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

terry.330

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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story- Solid, not amazing but still solid. It obviously doesn't get as crazy or crude as something like Walk Hard but if you're a fan of Al and the type of humor in UHF I can't imagine being disappointed in this. The cast is great, the pacing is good and there's more than enough parody material between Al's own career and general biopic genre cliches to go around. There's also enough random ridiculous period centric gags like him playing Pablo Escobar's birthday party and a bunch of others I won't spoil. For people our age that grew up with Al it's definitely worth a watch but I can't imagine it having much appeal to younger viewers. It's just a shame it's stuck on the damn Roku Channel.
 

HornheaDD

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Watched the Weird Al movie tonite as well. I mean, I knew not to expect an actual biopic from him but I was still pleasantly surprised. Only thing that sorta took me out of the movie was when they had to overdub Al's vocals, but it wasn't really an issue.

Lots of laughs, cool cameos by people (Conan as Andy Warhol and fuckin' Emo Phillips as Salvador Dali :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:) and a hilarious parody of himself, if there could be such a thing.

I agree that it sucks its on Roku channel. I had to pirate it because Im not gonna pay for Roku. Hopefully it'll get released physically so it can go right next to UHF on m'shelf.
 

terry.330

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Only thing that sorta took me out of the movie was when they had to overdub Al's vocals, but it wasn't really an issue.

Lots of laughs, cool cameos by people (Conan as Andy Warhol and fuckin' Emo Phillips as Salvador Dali :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:) and a hilarious parody of himself, if there could be such a thing.
I'm pretty sure they dubbing on the music was purposely bad.

The cameos were great, that whole pool scene was fantastic. The Doors parody was unexpected but pretty great as well.
 

100proof

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Al is so goddamn wholesome, a traditional biopic would've been boring as shit. The "Funny or Die" sketch was funny and the trailer for this was great but I was kinda worried that it would get old after 15-20 minutes. Glad to hear that it's got some of that UHF spirit to it. Plus that all of his misfit friends snuck their way in.
 

100proof

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So yeah, watched Weird this evening at the behest of my wife and her family. It's... amusing but yeah, the joke does kind of wear thin after 15 or 20 minutes. It was fun playing "spot the cameo" and there are definitely moments that remind me of UHF (the pool scene, the Pablo Escobar sequence, some of the stuff with his parents) but I didn't laugh at a single thing when it was mocking biopics which is a big portion of the movie. Maybe I'm just a soulless monster.

The end credits (and particularly the song) are terrific though. The human race doesn't deserve Al.
 

terry.330

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I think there were a lot of missed opportunities even within the stuff that is in the movie. Like when he's in the jungle he should have been shirtless (Radcliffe is pretty ripped which is already funny) but with a Rambo style headband made out of a Hawaiian shirt. The camo shirt was cute but not really funny. Having him hooked up to an actual IV he had to drag around on stage during Like a Surgeon instead of just being super weak from blood loss. Little stuff like that goes a long way and wouldn't compromise the Alness. It felt like they needed someone with fresh eyes to come in and fine tune a lot of things.
 

HornheaDD

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That’s why I originally had zero interest lol. Al’s just a good guy.
When I heard they were making the movie I thought, oh, that'll be kinda interesting to see what he went through and how he became so famous. Never thought about a Weird Al BIOpic but I'll check it out. And then I read the synopsis:

  • Exploring every facet of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle, this biopic takes audiences on a truly unbelievable journey through Yankovic’s life and career, from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time.

So I was like yeah ok this'll be a typical Weird Al offering. Enjoyed it.
 

terry.330

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Savage Streets- Linda Blair is the leader of an all girl gang that roam the Hollywood strip. When her deaf-mute little sister (Linea Quigley) is hit by a car which happens to be driven by an all male gang they decide to get even. This of course triggers an escalating series of events between the two gangs which culminates with Linda Blair armed with a crossbow and bear traps taking out the guys one by one.

Peak 80s insanity, it's got the fashion, the music, the settings, the coked up gang of maniac punks, tons of T&A (including Blair fully nude) and a whole lot of 30 year olds playing teenagers. While it's not as heavy as a lot of revenge movies it's still nasty enough to warrant the vigilante justice Blair doles out. In fact aside from one scene in particular this is actually a pretty fun movie. The over the top goofiness does a good job of canceling out most of the heinous stuff. Blairs performance in particular is very entertaining, she seems to know exactly what type of movie she's in and hams it up hard.

Edit:

Night of the Creeps- Alien slugs that want inside your brain run amok on a college campus. I forgot how crazy this movie is. Multiple head explosions, a flamethrower, a lawn mower to the face, an entire frat turned into zombies and one suicidal alcoholic hardboiled detective. Tom Atkins is awesome and steals every scene he's in.

Thrill me.
 
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jro

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@terry.330 you had me at Linda Blair and Linea Quigley, how TF have I not heard of this before? Gonna seek it out, TY bruv.

And I have watched...

Crimes of the Future - Cronenberg gonna Cronenberg I guess. Utterly annoying to watch though, dude is too far gone to make a decent movie anymore. Good cast but a bad movie. Re-watch The Fly or Scanners or Videodrome or any of the rest of his library of really, really good movies instead.

The Raid - I still like how Gareth Edwards emphasized the "Huw" in his name (and then stopped doing so later) to bulk up his Asian bonafides on this when there was absolutely zero need to do so since it's just incredible on its own. Holds up really well, Iko Uwais is still awesome, the setup is still perfect. I had forgotten how much Alex Garland used this as inspiration for Dredd. Honestly, I don't think there's been an action movie since that has surpassed this.

The Raid 2 - Still good, but its (much) farther-reaching scope than in the original kind of hurts the movie IMO in that it makes things much less focused. Still works well when things are finally pulled in tight to the main plot and the action scenes, but it kind of sprawls out to not much effect. I also had forgotten how weak the payoff is to deaf hammer girl and bat guy. Still worth watching but nowhere near the masterpiece that the original is.

28 Days Later - Speaking of holding up pretty well, this is still quite good. I like how it starts out on full-scale zombie apocalypse and then settles into character drama instead. Excellent cast that does a great job with Garland's script.

28 Weeks Later - 'K, first, Imogen Poots was super hot when she was 18, just gonna get that said and done. Movie itself also holds up surprisingly well and is still among the better examples in the genre. Bunch of brutally tense scenes, crazy good cast (Carlyle/Dracula is awesome), tight pacing. I remember watching this 15 years ago and being surprised by the quality of it, and if anything, I'm more impressed now. Train to Busan films are the only other genre movies even in the ballpark for the same time period.
 

terry.330

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28 Weeks Later - 'K, first, Imogen Poots was super hot when she was 18, just gonna get that said and done. Movie itself also holds up surprisingly well and is still among the better examples in the genre. Bunch of brutally tense scenes, crazy good cast (Carlyle/Dracula is awesome), tight pacing. I remember watching this 15 years ago and being surprised by the quality of it, and if anything, I'm more impressed now. Train to Busan films are the only other genre movies even in the ballpark for the same time period.
I remember being pretty down on 28 Weeks originally because it seemed like a bit of a lazy cash grab off of a movie that totally stands on it's own and without Danny Boyle having any involvement. But I've come to enjoy it quite a bit, there are some really great scenes. That opening scene is a banger. And yes Imogen Poots is stupid hot, I actually watched Need for Speed because she was in it.
 

terry.330

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The Mist- I was wondering how well the movie would hold up considering the ending but I think it benefited from that and I was able to appreciate the actors, dialogue and pacing a bit more. With the fhe first viewing between the crazy religious fervor and the ending it's a fairly shocking movie so it was nice to be able to look past those things. I watched the B&W version, which helps hide some of the cheap CG and also gives the movie a more fitting retro and ominous/eerie vibe. Also I forgot how many people were in this, they weren't all recognizable at the time but it's like half the cast of The Walking Dead among many other things. Overall it's still an excellent movie.
 

fake

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Bodies Bodies Bodies - Pretty funny prodding at Gen Z with some tense murder mystery framing.
 

rarehero

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The Mist- I was wondering how well the movie would hold up considering the ending but I think it benefited from that and I was able to appreciate the actors, dialogue and pacing a bit more. With the fhe first viewing between the crazy religious fervor and the ending it's a fairly shocking movie so it was nice to be able to look past those things. I watched the B&W version, which helps hide some of the cheap CG and also gives the movie a more fitting retro and ominous/eerie vibe. Also I forgot how many people were in this, they weren't all recognizable at the time but it's like half the cast of The Walking Dead among many other things. Overall it's still an excellent movie.
Frank Darabont directed this and the first season of walking dead. I agree, great cast, walking dead alum or otherwise. I'll look for a bw version, didn't know that existed.
 

fake

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Videodrome: First time seeing this one, though I love Scanners. Between these two and The Brood, I'm not really sure which one is my favorite – they're all so good. I got the Criterion disc for Videodrome, so I'm going to go through all the extras next.
 

100proof

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Hellraiser (2022) - Oh right. This. So I snuck this in at some point before Halloween. I was initially interested in seeing it after seeing the early casting news and the initial trailer but after it started getting breathless praise from certain corners of the internet, I immediately became skeptical and watched it out of obligation to one of the few movie franchises I have any emotional investment in.

TL;DR: It's the third best movie in the series but that's faint praise.

I'm a lifelong fan of the series (books and movies, at least) and while the first two movies are genre-defining and genre-defying, almost everything after that is varying levels of trash. The original movies were theatrical (as in the theater) and told a timeless story with a thick layer of gore and fetishy sex laid over top. It's really not unlike a Greek tragedy. After those two movies, the Weinsteins bought it and immediately turned it in to a joke. They converted Pinhead in to a slasher villain spouting hacky one-liners and it nosedived in to direct-to-video hell for the next 25 years. They fundamentally misunderstood what made the series interesting. Julia was the villain of the original stories. She was the evil stepmother in a fucked-up fetish fairy tale. The cenobites were just really cool looking ferrymen. They're Virgil from the Divine Comedy.

Anyway, the later movies still have their moments and I have a soft spot in my heart for Bloodlines (aka Hellraiser in Space) even though that movie's a total mess.

So yeah, the remake. It gets a lot right and makes some smart changes and decisions along the way that modernize the story without making it an embarrassing mess like so many unnecessary remakes do. The decision to cast a trans woman as Pinhead: great. The cenobites are described in the books as genderless anyway and frankly, no one was going to match Doug Bradley. His booming voice of cold, uncaring authority, the look, the subtle facial acting... going in a different direction to avoid any comparisons was wise and it worked for me. Doug is an old man now anyway and you can't just keep dragging him out. They also brought the cenobites back in to the background somewhat. While they are the primary antagonistic force in the movie (and I have serious issues with how they're handled), it's largely a story about human wickedness.

The costumes are great (when we see them) and they do make some additions and tweaking to the lore that I really like (the idea of the six configurations, utilizing Leviathan in an interesting way, etc.). I actually really like the lead actress as well. She's attractive in an unconventional way (she doesn't look like a CW star/Instagram thot) and the character's broken without being a screeching damsel or a mopey mess the entire movie. The fact that she's not "infallible, confident girl boss" in a 2022 movie is a breath of fresh air in and of itself.

My misgivings with this movie though are numerous. While there are certainly some broad strokes that feel more in line with what I personally would want from a Hellraiser movie in the 21st century, the main conceit of the film that drives the plot is a huge swing and a miss. The idea that whoever gets stabbed with the puzzle box's various sharp edges automatically and almost immediately dies at the hands of the cenobites, regardless of whether they were the one who solved it, is stupid. Just pants-on-head retarded. Once again, the cenobites are ferrymen in "the further regions of experience" as Pinhead so eloquently puts it again in this movie. This idea just turns them in to a blunt instrument. It's transactional in a way that cheapens the idea of people solving the box as a way to go beyond the normal realm of pleasures and experiences. It's not a vice that causes their downfall. It's just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and while that's certainly A way to alter the lore to move the story along, for me it's a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes those characters and that story device work. Especially when they then arbitrarily decide to break that rule later in the movie which is just asinine. And then immediately unbreak it to unceremoniously kill off The Chatterer. As though they would kill off one of their own just because they were stabbed by their device which they literally just showed isn't an automatic death sentence if they don't feel like it. So are they bound to follow the rules of the box or not? There's a number of other smaller, nitpicky things spread throughout but they really weren't worth mentioning.

Next, the movie makes the same mistake so many other movies and TV shows make of late in that it's unnecessarily dark. Not in tone. As in they can't light the movie to save their fucking lives. Multiple deaths happen almost completely in shadow and so much of the great costume and makeup work in the movie goes completely unseen because everything is shot in constant darkness. It's a plague in modern filmmaking that really needs to end.

The idea of bringing back the idea from the original two movies that the world of the cenobites and Leviathan is barely hidden and the rearranging of reality to create doorways to their realm when summoned is a great one (walls and buildings rearranging) but the introductions and entrances of the cenobites just whiff. Half the time, they show up in shadow and the rest they just appear out of thin air with little to no fanfare. The entrances in those original movies (the music, the light pouring in to rooms, their slow introductions) are what made Pinhead iconic and spawned all of those unnecessary, direct-to-video crapfests.

While I do like the lead character being an addict who has to take responsibility for her actions, it is yet another twenty-something cast Scooby Doo-ing their way in to a series of relatively unremarkable deaths which just seems like a trite cliche compared to the more adult stories of the original. The entire turning point of the original stories is illicit love. This is just standard "girl gets beset upon by evil and triumphs after losing everyone around her".

I don't know if I'm too hard on this movie because I'm a nitpicky fanboy who thinks very highly of the original story (and, to a lesser extent, the first movie sequel) or too easy on it because it's probably my favorite horror movie series and just want it to succeed. It's a lot like Prey was earlier this year for me: a mediocre movie in a franchise that hasn't sniffed mediocrity in a long time. The fact that I wrote this much about it means it's way better than any of the sequels past Hellbound... but once again, that's a low bar. Hey, it's way better than The Scarlet Gospels!
 

100proof

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My pleasure... kind of all over the place on it (the fact that I couldn't narrow it down to my usual paragraph or two is telling) and it's ultimately a ridiculous thought exercise pondering and writing so much about an unnecessary direct-to-streaming horror movie remake but that's what I do in this thread. I write a lot for my job and when I've got the free time, I write about movies in here.
 

terry.330

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Lake Placid- Dumb as a bag of rocks but still fun. Some awful CGI but also some great practical effects by Stan Winstons team. Whoever's idea it was to cast Brendan Gleeson as a park ranger in Maine was out of their mind. He's a great actor but can't do an american accent to save his life let alone a regional one. Hell, the whole cast is odd, lots of big names but they all seem totally miscast. The movies saving grace is that it knows how stupid it is and everyone seems to be having fun. Unlike a lot of giant monster movies from the time. Anaconda took itself too seriously and Deep Blue Sea was too ridiculously stupid. This one finds a nice balance, a perfectly serviceable guilty pleasure on a lazy afternoon.
 

HornheaDD

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Lake Placid- Dumb as a bag of rocks but still fun. Some awful CGI but also some great practical effects by Stan Winstons team. Whoever's idea it was to cast Brendan Gleeson as a park ranger in Maine was out of their mind. He's a great actor but can't do an american accent to save his life let alone a regional one. Hell, the whole cast is odd, lots of big names but they all seem totally miscast. The movies saving grace is that it knows how stupid it is and everyone seems to be having fun. Unlike a lot of giant monster movies from the time. Anaconda took itself too seriously and Deep Blue Sea was too ridiculously stupid. This one finds a nice balance, a perfectly serviceable guilty pleasure on a lazy afternoon.

If that's the movie I'm thinking of, it has Bill Pullman in it, and at one point he says "Drop the anchor here" in this super trying-to-be-gravelly voice and my wife and I busted up laughing when we watched it. We still quote it to this day.
 
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