Movies are cool as well

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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:35 pm

Alien: Covenant was much better than Prometheus. They threw out the mystery box and it's fairly safe to say that any questions Prometheus gave you, either Convenant found an answer for, or you can just ignore now.

It went back to it's routes, making it a little more about the horror, but mixing in some wider world building and a heavy focus on character. It's clearly a conscious choice because they reference the original Alien up to and including a climax that involved running round an industrial spaceship.

Unlike Prometheus, and many horror films, when characters do dumb things in Alien: Covenant it's because of genuine character flaws. Their captain is not ready for command, getting a field promotion he never intended to receive. He stutters, he's unconfident, he doesn't know how to get the best out of people and he has a small persecution complex. He's not a bad person, but he's overcompensating by making rash, heavy-handed orders that piss people off and put the operation off-kilter. When they fail to quarantine properly it's because the doctor is losing her shit because Alien's are freaking scary.

Genuine character flaws (and beautiful cinematography) wouldn't be enough to elevate the film out of the horror swamp though. What does is that those character flaws are used as contrast to highlight the real heroic qualities the main character has. She too was not meant to command, but she wasn't given it and threw her weight around to make it important. When the situation needed her, she had the wherewithal to pull herself together and pull other people together to do what needs to be done. The captain flung her weaknesses in her face to try to establish his power. She covers his insecurities and builds him up with his faith when he's falling apart and she needs him to get back on track. I never really bought Naomi Rapace as the heir to Sigourney Weaver in Prometheus, mostly because her character was doing the same dumb stuff as everyone around her. Katherine Watson, of Fantastic Beasts fame, is a worth successor, backed by the strong writing.

So all that is saying, Alien: Covenant was written by people who knew what they were doing and did it well.

It's also fun that, after Ridley Scott filled his Alien films with evil androids and James Cameron and the other directors filled their Alien films with benevolent androids, Ridley Scott has embraced that and made Covenant a battle between the better and worse views of synthetics. It really works as a conflict.

So did I like Alien: Covenant?

Not really.

The first truly good Alien sequel has just made it clear to me, that no matter how good they are, they're not going to be Alien. And by necessity, they're going to be filling in gaps that were better left blank in the original film. Alien was great because it was so unique. It felt expansive, but it was small. Every addition to the mythos cheapens that uniqueness and cleanness a little, even if the addition is good by itself.

Also, more personally, by making the film about David instead of Danni, the franchise has gone from celebrating a great character to revelling in a bad one. That doesn't make it bad, I think it's probably even an attraction for some people. However I don't personally really like films about bad bad guys. I always come back to the last chapter of the Hunger Games. Why do we tell these stories?
We have each other. And the book. We can make them understand in a way that will make them braver. But one day I’ll have to explain about my nightmares. Why they came. Why they won’t ever really go away.

I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.

But there are much worse games to play.
I needed that ending. Alien: Covenant doesn't have it. For lots of people that's no issue. For me it is.
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Supahewok

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Supahewok » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:44 am

Narratorway wrote:Wonder Woman treats WWI the way Battlefield 1 treated WW1. There's the barest amount of lip service being paid to the fact that the Germans aren't Nazis, nevermind the Wild Wild West level of out-of-era tech on display. The whole theme awkwardly being thrust through the movie is about the pointlessness of war and how horrible it makes people and you-know-that-drill and WWI is the best example of that...cept it doesn't really matter to your story if you don't actually...y'know...do that. Instead it starts with Chris Pine telling Diana he's the good guy and the Germans are the bad guys and it tows that line all the way through.
Having just got out from the movie, I really don't see how you can say that. They really drive the point home in the climax when Steve admits that the war is everybody's fault. And the Germans are never seen doing anything worse than the Allies, *except* for the acts of the literally cackling mad scientist and general, the latter of whom actually executes a soldier who protests said general's orders. I'm not saying that the theme and its execution is all that great, but it does have a point and it does execute it. The climax essentially hinges on the debate on whether mankind as a whole is worth saving.

Alright, having said all that, it's not a great piece of cinema. It's also not a bad one. It is decidedly and aggressively average. Rote themes, twists you know the outcome to the moment you're introduced to them, uninspired action sequences*, gray everywhere, standard cuts and transitions, the occasional dodgy special effects, the whole shebang. It's like a textbook for alright high budget action movies. Totally feels like it was a project done just for the sake of having it done. Some movies aim high and miss. This one aims for the middle and sticks there the whole way. Which still puts it over Man of Steel in my book, as I did not care for that movie at all. Never bothered seeing BvS or SS.

*The only exception of which are the 2(?) scenes that feature heavy use of the lasso. Those are actually pretty good because they don't have any fucking slo-mo to ruin them. They're pretty much the only part of the movie I'd say had any ambition, and I guess they were kinda forced to cuz there ain't no textbook entry on using a lasso in big budget action movies yet.

Edit: I will say that I don't really see the point of me putting spoilers on any of this, cuz nobody over the age of 12 is gonna have this movie surprise them at literally any point even if they come in completely blind... but I know some folks here are ticklish on the matter.
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:42 am

I honestly don't understand how you can think what you stuffed in that bit o black box is enough to justify it beyond the 'barest of lip service' I gave it.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:42 am

Get out is such a messed up movie.Do they honestly believe that anyone would buy such a silly premise?A tsa agent doing something competent?Thats ridiculous!
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:28 pm

How important is music to movies?Well,check out this musicless trailer for the mummy that accidentally leaked.Its the funniest shit ever.Also,the movie is shit even with the music,but thats not important right now.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:29 pm

I thought Wonder Woman was great. Almost exactly what it needed to be and well-placed for making Gal Gadot the version of Wonder Woman in people's eyes. It felt nice to see a film that was both good and not Marvel-factory-polished. Justice League is still going to suck, they should can it and make more Wonder Woman films. (Real shame they killed off Steve)

The only real let down were the last 2 of the 3 fight scenes that stepped way too far into CGI goofiness (which made the climax a bit too cheesy as a result. They're why I can believe Snyder produced - and not just because they're bad - but they're slow-mo ramping heavily colour toned affairs like everything he does.

Also I really love super-language skills as a power. I think that speaks to what makes Wonder Woman stay out.
Narratorway wrote:Wonder Woman treats WWI the way Battlefield 1 treated WW1. There's the barest amount of lip service being paid to the fact that the Germans aren't Nazis, nevermind the Wild Wild West level of out-of-era tech on display. The whole theme awkwardly being thrust through the movie is about the pointlessness of war and how horrible it makes people and you-know-that-drill and WWI is the best example of that...cept it doesn't really matter to your story if you don't actually...y'know...do that. Instead it starts with Chris Pine telling Diana he's the good guy and the Germans are the bad guys and it tows that line all the way through.
I disagree with most of this and think Supahewok is right. I didn't read what he wrote before watching it, but came to the same conclusions as him. What you dismissed in the text box, took up a pretty significant chunk of the film. For the first five minutes of the film I thought you were right, but then the film goes to great pains to establish that the Wacky Nazis are not at all related to the rank and file German military, up to and including two scenes where the Wacky Nazis kill normal German soldiers for protesting their actions, including the entirety of German high command who were suing for peace and thought the idea was madness. It's also part of the conceit of the film that it's Wild West level technology and not something natural, which again, is there to separate them from actually representing the German army. Also, there's the whole thing about the British leader turning out to be the God of War/

As for Chris Pratt saying they're the bad guys, well he would say that wouldn't he? And as was said, it's actually a very tiny little arc for him, because at the end of the film he breaks and admits that maybe he's the bad guys too.

Where I come to agree with you, is that Wonder Woman does kill Germans. It's a very separate act from killing the wacky nazi's and the focus of the deed is on the people she's saving and not the ones she's killing, but they don't try to hide that she's doing it and it's still meant to be an act of heroism. Germany did occupy foreign soil for most of WW1 and it was their paranoid strike-first-before-they-strike-you foreign policy that absolutely doomed the war to last but it's not like the other countries were much less free of those faults. It's always bothered me that most people think only German used poison gas in WW1. Britain tried to use it, as did everyone else, they just sucked at it more often than not and poisoned their own troops.

I'm on the fence as to the use of WW1. It's a real bug bear of mine when it's abused in media, because it would be good to have just one war that we all agree isn't heroic. I hate Battlefield 1 for that. On the one hand, the film picked WW1 absolutely because of that and it's tragic war status. And they have two effective scenes where they actually use that (three if you count Pratt's description of it at the start). On the other hand, it's a superhero film, it's not serious business. And the cheesyness and fight scenes don't exactly fit into the horror of war.
Also it bugs me that Germans speak English. I wouldn't be bugged, cept the movie goes out its way to mention language barriers, so that's clearly a thing.
This bugged me so much. I don't know what's going on there. I guess they didn't want to subtitle all the German scenes? They should have just subtitled the scenes with Chris Pratt in at least then as he's not a native speaker. And maybe his accent could be not so awful.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:09 pm

Thomas wrote: Where I come to agree with you, is that Wonder Woman does kill Germans.
Yeah,but she did not have the no kill rule as superman.Nor does she have a reason for it either,being from a warrior greek culture.
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Supahewok

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Supahewok » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:34 pm

Pssst. It's Chris Pine, not Pratt.

Also it was obvious from the beginning (at least to me) that Steve was gonna bite it. They obviously weren't going to re-use the WW1 setting, and since I think the deal with WW is that she doesn't do WW stuff until the modern day, they're obviously not gonna have a movie that takes place in a part of the timeline where Steve would be relevant. And as a superhero hero movie driving to be exactly average, it was gonna use any low hanging fruit it could find, and the "love interest dies in the climax to inspire the protagonist" trope is pretty darn low. The only question was how Stevie was gonna bite it. The method they chose was fairly dumb, but at least it wasn't really dumb.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:57 pm

Supahewok wrote:Pssst. It's Chris Pine, not Pratt.
Youre thinking of Chris Franklin.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:35 am

I was thinking the make-up was surprisingly effective =D
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4th Dimension

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by 4th Dimension » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:09 am

Well he is a guy named Steve in a World War super hero movie. Apparently it's required. :)
I kinda wouldn't agree on the whole it was all sides fault about WWI. While the western front was mostly superpowers butting heads, for a LOT of nations participating in it that did not fight at the Western front the war the war was a heroic one since they were fighting not over superpower power politics but for the freedom of their people, liberation of them, or fighting to protect their right to be a free nation. And they have full right to consider themselves heroic for doing that. And even without that, it's war, most of the time one of sides leadership is not in fact filled with monsters and it's usual humans killing humans for our reasons that make the other side bad. The facing and overcoming adversity is heroic.
On the other hand a super powered ancient, bullet resistant, woman of war going to town on conscripts is a lot less so, simply because of the power difference.
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:23 am

Thomas wrote:What you dismissed in the text box, took up a pretty significant chunk of the film.
On paper. The script has scenes/dialogue/etc. that show #notallgermans, but I'm saying the movie never backs that up. Allies are framed always in a humanizing and sympathetic light. At best, the Germans are framed as fodder. We never see their faces and they attack WW well after it would plausible to think a normal human being would be that disciplined a soldier...because they're not human, they're mooks. There's one moment where they are framed with any level of empathy and its effectively after the movie is over. It simply doesn't ring genuine at all to me.

Even the scenes ya'll brought up really don't do what you seem to think they do. The guy that got shot was complaining that his men were overworked, not about anything they were doing and the reason the high command was angling for the armistice was because they thought they were going to lose, or at the very least, not win. There's certainly nothing about what they say to indicate they have a beef with the horrors or war. Speaking of...

The British high military are shown convening in well-lit offices and courtrooms, while the German high command is shown huddled in the back corner of a dank castle basement. That is what I'm talking about when I say the movie isn't practicing what it's trying to preach.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:14 pm

That's seems a fair argument. You've convinced me
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Wide And Nerdy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:30 pm

Supahewok wrote:
Daemian Lucifer wrote:Producer has a far lesser impact on the quality of the film,especially if they are busy doing another project while this one is being made.
Maybe in traditional film, but in this age of cinematic universes, the producers have to have a strong hand on the reins to make sure all the projects fit together and have consistent quality. Just look at the Marvel films. Sure, the director and writers are important, but every Marvel movie has that sort of same glossy sheen and formula. That's the producers showing their influence.
You know. I've complained about Marvel sometimes feeling a bit too bland and formulaic but I can see the dilemma. What happens when you bring Ant Man into Civil War? Do you do his scenes Edgar Wright style? If not, are you really getting Ant-Man? If so, are you hurting the tone of the film or just injecting a little levity into a pretty heavy movie?

As for Wonder Woman, it really says things, both good and bad, that Wonder Woman is the fun character of the DCCU.

On the one hand, it says they're doing something good with Wonder Woman. I won't say they're doing her "right" because honestly Wonder Woman is a stick in the mud in the comics. Emphasizing her Amazon aggression and competitiveness helps but honestly the writers need to look at this movie and do more of that. This reminds me of one of the few times WW was actually fun in the comics, when she worked for Taco Bell (or a generic equivalent). It was funny and endearing seeing her approach the work with such pride but also kind of inspiring the way she strove for excellence even in a such a job.

On the other hand, obviously, it says they've screwed up everything else. Wonder Woman ends up being fun because her aggression and competitiveness fits the tone of the screwed up universe meaning she can actually get some joy out of living in a grimdark setting.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:11 pm

Wonder Woman has opened lower than Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad :(

On the other hand, it's sales have fallen a lot less quickly than any superhero film since Spiderman. So maybe it's because of how bad every DC film has been until now. I also feel like they stepped back the marketing for WW a little bit, maybe again because of how those other films did.
Steve C

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Steve C » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:24 am

I want to see Wonder Woman. I also want to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Both are only being shown in 3d. I was able to find a showing of Dr Strange a few weeks after it came out that wasn't 3d. Apparently they aren't doing that anymore? Well that's not strictly true. They have like 1 show a week that isn't 3d. Full price and off-time matinee on a Saturday afternoon that I haven't been able to make.
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Wide And Nerdy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:11 am

Thomas wrote:Wonder Woman has opened lower than Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad :(

On the other hand, it's sales have fallen a lot less quickly than any superhero film since Spiderman. So maybe it's because of how bad every DC film has been until now. I also feel like they stepped back the marketing for WW a little bit, maybe again because of how those other films did.
Maybe they were starting to hedge their bets/give up after the negative reactions to the first three movies.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:42 pm

Thomas wrote:Wonder Woman has opened lower than Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad :(
Its the same thing as with watch dogs:people are weary of the good one because the bad ones were so bad.Also,I dont think the marketing of it as "for women more than men" helped.It wasnt as bad as for ghost busters,but it was noticeable enough to make an effect.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:27 pm

The trailers were pretty deceptive about that. Wherever 'man' is used in the trailers, it almost always turned out to actually mean 'mankind' * in the films.

Also I've just realised the reason why the scene where Steve takes her to a classy bar and tries to get her drunk with shots wasn't in the film is because that was the animated film and I totally just imagined it being in the live-action trailers.

*Sometimes with a second meaning of 'man', but pretty low-key stuff.
Steve C

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Steve C » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:15 pm

There are so many DC animated movies. They look pretty good when I see a clip of them. I never notice them until years later. They tend to have impossible to search for generic titles. That movie (simply titled "Wonder Woman") is from 2009.

What are some good DC animated movies?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:09 am

Steve C wrote: What are some good DC animated movies?
Justice league gods and monsters is a great elseworld story,with the big three being slightly different than the ones everyone is familiar with,yet still being heroes.

Justice league war is batman v superman done right.Also it includes way more heroes.

But really,you cant go wrong with picking up a dc cartoon.They are all great,whether in tv show or a movie form.
Steve C

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Steve C » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:44 am

Oh I wish that was the case. Sadly no. They are not all good. Some are terrible. Flashpoint was great. I didn't like Flash before that movie and now I do. I read reviews that Son of Batman was good. I saw a couple of clips that yes, it looked good. The start of that movie though... awful. Cringe-worthy bad. Then there's the newest (AFAIK) Batman based on the 60s TV version. I won't be watching that. I always liked Adam West (RIP). I never cared for that style of Batman.

I've seen both the movies you mentioned and liked them both. Justice League War had some bad parts. The good parts made up for those though. I watched that 2009 Wonder Woman today and really enjoyed it. (Far more than Lego Batman.) There were one or two Supergirl movies I saw that were pretty good, yet forgettable.

What else you guys got?
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Retsam

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Retsam » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:25 am

I've heard Under the Red Hood recommended enough that it seems likely to be good, though I haven't seen it myself.

As for shows, I've got decent memories of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (basically my only point of reference for half the DC superheroes that I know), and Teen Titans was pretty phenomenal.
Steve C

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Steve C » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:01 am

I have seen Under the Red Hood. It's... good? Most of the movie is just "ok". The ending though! The ending is fantastic! It is so good that it makes up for the other shortcomings in the rest of the movie. It felt like the ending was the entire point of the movie. That they came up with the ending first, then fleshed out the rest of the movie later to work to that ending. I also recommend that movie. If at some point you decide to turn it off, then look up the ending on youtube. It's so good it is strong enough to stand on it's own without the movie. I still recommend it as a whole.

Under the Red Hood is another DC movie I never knew existed for years until I randomly ended up watching it. I wish it was easier to learn about these things compared to the live action stuff like Suicide Squad and the rest. (Oh btw the animated version of Suicide Squad was much better than the live action one. It was called "Batman: Assault on Arkham" but really should have been called "Suicide Squad.")
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:25 am

Justice League: The New Frontier. Very Watchmen, but honestly I think it's better. Based on a well regarded comic of the same name.
Thomas wrote:Also I've just realised the reason why the scene where Steve takes her to a classy bar and tries to get her drunk with shots wasn't in the film is because that was the animated film and I totally just imagined it being in the live-action trailers.
To be fair, they did take at least one scene from one of the animated movies.
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