Rate the Last Film You Watched

Mr L

Student Council President
Venom

This version of the Venom character is pretty unintentionally(?) funny which is probably the most salvageable element they have going forward. Focus on that and less on the 00s style comic book movie blandness.

I've made peace with the fact that I won't being seeing a version of the original Venom story with Spider-Man for a good long while, so why not take things in a less conventional direction?

Probably the worst live action DC/Marvel film th is year, would be surprised if Aquaman falls lower.

4/10
 
A Simple Favour

7/10. Wasn't too bad. I do love Blake Lively and she was brilliant. As was the fella who plays her husband (who's in Crazy Rich Asians too). Anna Kendrick is beyond annoying now though. She's just been around too much lol.
 

Mr L

Student Council President
Johnny English Strikes Again
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I have a soft spot for these movies but I will say that this is the weakest one. It isn't as funny as the first movie and doesn't have the added spectacle of the second despite the product place being used to prop up the budget. There's a lot of tepid tepid tech jokes that were clearly written by people with a very basic understanding of sucy things.
 
Haven't watched that many films since last time, been busy with project at the Uni.

Ip Man 3 (2015) Wilson Yip (1st time watch)
This was an alright entry in the Ip Man trilogy, I did not enjoy it as much as the other two movies, but they were also top notch. I wish that Mike Tyson would have been more in the movie, and the whole plot with him didn’t make much of a difference in the movie. The story was alright, and the other characters were great! I am pumped for the 4th movie! 6/10

Drug War (2012) Johnnie To (1st time watch)
Wow, just great. One of my favourite To films! The story was awesome, and the characters were very very good. Even the little comedic bits were good as well, and fit perfectly in. Louis Koo was perfect in it, and the action scenes were awesome! Highly recommend this one! 8/10

The Adventurers (2017) Stephen Fung (1st time watch)
This was actually a better newer Chinese (or foreign, French, whatever lol) movie that I seem to enjoy. For once I also like Shu Qi's character, and Andy Lau was very good as well. The plot was like a foregin Ocean's Eleven lol. However, I though Jean Reno would have a bigger role in the film. A good keeper, 7/10
 

Joe

Straw Hat Pirate
Figured I should probably watch at least one horror film during October: t'was the season after all. I'm a big fan of a lot of the themes, atmosphere building and ideas of horror, but I'm a massive pansy when it comes to things like jump scares. As a result, I don't watch very many horror films, and play even less horror games.

But last night, decided to throw on Hideo Nakata's Dark Water. It's a pretty slow burn. Intertwined with the supernatural silliness going on is some family drama involving a single mother going through a custody battle, with her and her young daughter moving into an old fairly run-down apartment building. It takes a bit to really get off its feet, but there's a constant undercurrent of tenseness running throughout the whole thing that never quite allows you to take a break and feel comfortable. My only real complaint was that the climax maybe unfolded a little too quickly? It seemed to betray some of the very deliberate pacing of the rest of the film prior.

Regardless, as a horror film newbie, I enjoyed it well enough. A couple of jump-scarey bits near the end, but nothing too bad.

7/10.
 
Animal World

An adaptation of Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji from mainland China, this is a rather odd one, as it's mostly quite faithful, except our hero Kai Si now frequently imagines himself as a heroic clown battling alien-like monsters whenever the chips are down. In practice this has very little bearing on the plot, seemingly existing only to let the filmmakers add more action scenes, demonstrate their (admittedly very impressive) special effecs work and give the trailer people room to convince you it's a superhero movie. Mixed messages aside, it's a little overlong, but entertaining and visually quite splendid. It's on Netflix too, so check it out.
 
Only two movies since last update for me, yikes!
And both were here in the weekend :rolleyes:

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Denis Villeneuve (1st time watch)
I haven't watched the original (yet), however, my brother (who is a big fan of both films) said it wasn't a necessity to watch the original before going in to this one. Some things were unclear, but it turned out good in the end. The story was interesting, but boy the visuals, oh those pretty colours and everything! I bet it would look nice with HDR. Overall good film, 7/10.

Gorgeous (1999) Vincent Kok
I've watched this one before, but I was very young so I couldn't remember it at all, only the small fight scenes. Gotta have some Jackie as always! The story was alright, I mean it was a comedy romance film, I couldn't expect anything great lol. It had it's funny bits, but it became too much in the final fight. There wasn't any real villain, just people that had problems with each other lol. It was a classic, and brought back some memories, 6.5/10.
 

NormanicGrav

March comes in like a Grav
AUKN Staff
May as well recap some of the films I've been watching at the cinema over the past few months:

BlacKkKlansman [dir. Spike Lee]
A pretty entertaining movie with great characters and an interesting storyline. I do feel that this film ends pretty underwhelming but it does have a strong message in general. 4/5

The Predator [dir. Shane Black]
The Iron Man 3 of the Predator franchise basically. This film is pretty amusing for the most part but it has a lot of stupid moments and plot points. The death scenes are hilarious though. 2.5/5

Venom [dir. Ruben Fleischer]
This film has a lot of issues but the best parts were the interactions between Eddie & Venom. Outside of that the rest of the film is okay but not something memorable. I would be down for a sequel though. 3/5

First Man [dir. Damien Chazelle]
A biographical film about Neil Armstrong that was pretty investing to watch, and was paced very well. Some of the sequences were pretty solid and the last act was great to watch. 4/5

Bad Times at the El Royale [dir. Drew Goddard]
This is an interesting one. I really like the layout of this film and each character have their moment of shine throughout, however I felt that some characters were not given enough time and the final act wasn't as investing as I wanted it to be. 3.5/5

Halloween (2018) [dir. David Gordon Green]
A sequel to the original Halloween film. I like bits and pieces of this film but it's a pretty disappointing one mainly because of the marketing and the weird tone shift throughout. It's not bad but not perfect. 2.5/5

Bohemian Rhapsody [dir. Bryan Singer]
Fans of Queen will love this film and I did too, the actor who portrayed Freddie Mercury was very good and the final act was well done. My main issues with this film is this weird cartoony villain aspect it has as well as some pacing issues and mis-information on legit events that will no doubt ruin your experience if you are knowledgeable of the band's history. Still worth checking out though. 3.5/5

Overlord [dir. Julius Avery]
This is basically a mini-version of Castle Wolfenstein. It has a strong first act and a weird tone shift throughout, but overall it was an entertaining film in general. It's a cool idea that could have been explored a lot more especially with how it was marketed. 3/5

Suspiria (2018) [dir. Luca Guadagnino]
A remake of the cult classic horror film that I never heard of until I watched the teaser for this year's adaptation. It's a long film but it's really investing especially with the excellent music composed by Thom Yorke and the insane final act. My only nitpick is that there's a sub-plot that has a historical theme used throughout and it doesn't really affect the main story at all. 4/5
 
Just been 2 films since my last update :confused: not a lot...

Aces Go Places (1982) Eric Tsang (1st time watch)
Damn, didn't expect this movie to be that funny. Had a great time watching this! Of course the story was meh, but that's not the point of old HK classics, right? lol. I was having a hard time not laughing! I am looking forward to ordering the second one soon, can highly recommend for some cheesy HK film, 7/10 (for the comedy lol).

Rumble in the Bronx (1995) Stanley Tong
It's been a while since I've seen this movie, and also a while since I made the upgrade to the US blu-ray over the UK blu-ray. It's still great as ever, a classic Jackie Chan film. Great choreography as always lol, the start of the film was great. But the whole plot about the diamonds seemed rushed and came in late in the movie (imo), nevertheless still good fun. 7/10
 

Mr L

Student Council President
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The worst film in this franchise to me. There is tons of confusing and contrived family/relationship drama with there separate plot threads spread thin that only really coincide at the end. The acting is good but most of the character's didn't get enough time to realiy engage me. Consequences of the previous movie are undone with little to no explanation abd despite the filn's titles, there aren't that many crimes being committed by Grindelwald though I appreciate their effort to differentiate him from Voldemort. One highlight is Jude Law as Dumbledore whose presence is really only there to set up future films though, with everything else underwhelming me that fact didn't bother me!

I should mention that I liked the first Fantastic Beasts just fine but after this I feel like they're running into the Star Wars Prequel issue. The big 'main event' of these prequels, the narrative reason for them to exist, is being held off and padded out. The ending of thus movie, as well as being utterly baffling, does seem to indicate that we aren't getting there anytime soon. It looks like this fiom will likely stull profit bur if follow up doesn't maintain momentum, I may never see Jude Law's Dukbledore against Grindelwald ajd that would he the biggest disaster of all this to me.

Lastly, its too dark, as in David Yates refuses to use his lights. Didn't know what was hapoening in so many scenes.

4/10
 

Nyu

Pokémon Master
Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Having just recently moved home I found myself moving boxes around in the kitchen with Sky Cinema on in the background when this little gem came on. I sat down on the couch with a pile of books in my arms that I had just taken out to be shelved and didn't move until the credits rolled. What a fantastic dark comedy. The characters are brilliant, the script is crisp and clean. And the journey? What a ride this film takes you on.

This is everything what Gone Girl wishes it was. Brilliant.

 

ayase

State Alchemist
So rather than watch The Shining for the thousandth time, I decided it was high time I had another attempt at finding that rarest of gems, a creepy (not gory, gore does nothing for me at all) horror film that would genuinely spook me a bit, or at least have a slight effect on my arm hairs. So I had a look around and found three more recent ones that sounded like they might fit the bill, which I've watched more or less back to back.

The Orphanage (2007)
A very enjoyable and cleverly written story, I don't think there was a single moment I could guess quite where this was going to go next and I certainly wasn't prepared for the film's major reveal about Simon's whereabouts. But while it did have a great atmosphere to it and provided a couple of unexpected shocks and twists, it never particularly gave me the chills. I'd say it's more of a dark, supernatural mystery than a horror, really and in the end, it turned out to be kind of heart-warming.

The Conjuring (2013)
A much more straightforward haunted house tale, which when placed next to the other two is clearly more targeted towards the mass market (aptly illustrated by the fact it's already become a franchise with multiple spin-offs that I doubt I'll be bothering with). It looked very good and the actors were convincing (the child actors especially were a lot better than many you see) but honestly, the film's entire premise of the Warrens coming to investigate lowered the threat value significantly. One of the things I love about The Shining is that sense the Torrences are as alone and isolated as they can possibly be with these malevolent forces - There is no getting out of there and there is no help coming, it creates a real sense of foreboding and dread. With The Conjuring, you have the initial creepy scenes of the Perrons moving into their lonely rural house and starting to feel that things aren't right, then the ratcheting up of the threat as they begin to directly witness these bizarre phenomena, it comes crashing back down almost to nothing the moment the Warrens show up with all their equipment and almost comic relief roadies. The best it got, the absolute high water mark of creepiness in the film for me, was the scene with the pitch black void behind the door in the girls' room, when one of them was terrified because they could see something the other couldn't. That terrifying void was scarier than anyone in Halloween witch make-up will ever be, the problem of ruining the thing causing your terror by showing it is an ever-present one I'm not sure horror films will ever manage to get around. There was also a point I started to smile when I thought I'd caught the film trying to wrong-foot me when the Warrens mentioned that it doesn't matter where the Perrons go because the spirits have now latched on to them. Previous scenes with their daughter and the text at the start about how this was a case they had supposedly "never revealed" made me think for a moment they were wrong, and that the spirits were instead going home with the Warrens and the film was about to shift focus entirely from the Perrons to them, but unfortunately that was me giving the film too much credit and thinking it was cleverer than it actually was. Though the house was very creepy and the actors were very good, sadly in the end the story was just too predictable and formulaic.

Hereditary (2018)
Easily the best of the bunch for creepiness factor and building that sense of dread. I'd say it owes more than a little to The Shining in fact, in set design, camera work and sound, not that that's a bad thing at all. There were a couple of moments where I felt I was owed a bit more in the way of explanation (MASSIVE spoilers) We're just going to skip right past how Peter isn't in prison for decapitating his sister while driving way over the speed limit under the influence of drugs, and how he isn't somehow sequestered in a mental institution for just driving home and going off to bed leaving her body on the back seat of the car for his mum to find the next morning, really? And Annie spins on a dime from "We can communicate with Charlie from beyond the grave, this is great!" to "I've unleashed something terrible, I have to put this right" so abruptly I feel like there must be at least one fairly major cut scene there. Oddly, right at the end it suffers from the exact opposite issue - A totally unnecessary monologue explaining exactly what had happened (presumably for audience members - Or more likely studio executives - too dense to have picked that information up throughout the course of the film) something I think I've only ever seen before in the craptastic Blade Runner theatrical cut. But for being not only an original and engaging story but actually kind of terrifying in places, Hereditary definitely deserves to wear the crown here.

Also if anyone has any more suggestions for creepy films I'd certainly be up for some more. It's a fantastically creepy night out there tonight, freezing cold and dense fog. Wonderful.

Update: Damn it, I can't find anything else of interest at all. One day, when I make my millions, I'll produce a horror film of my own. It will be nine hours of slow camera work in dimly lit abandoned buildings like orphanages, mental institutions and concentration camps while a doom-laden soundtrack and ambient sobbing noises depresses the hell out of anyone watching it. Like a horribly bleak Koyaanisqatsi.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Festive family fun with Stanley Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut (1999).

Actually not a bad companion piece at all to The Shining, it has a similar dreamlike feel where reality is often in question, sometimes in literal terms but mainly Bill Harford questioning and gradually being stripped of what he believed to be his reality (some not-so-subtle visual clues there in terms of him being "in the dark" and "enlightened"). It also feels like it has quite a lot in common thematically with David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. (potential spoilers for both films) in terms of the main character hiding essentially wilfully, to the point of being in denial of certain ugly truths about the world, other people and even themselves. Both films are a journey of discovery that leads to a fairly brutal loss of innocence, but in both cases an innocence that feels a bit put on and never quite sincere, like the characters kind of knew all along and just didn't want to admit it - Certainly that's explicitly true in the case of Mulholland Dr. and I suspect that was also the intention here.

Also in common with The Shining, it's far from the easiest film to read, since Kubrick liked his ambiguity that tends to lead to as many interpretations as there are viewers. Is it about sex and relationships? Is it about the commodification of people? Is it an exposé (or at least dramatization) of the Illuminati or the less occult, but similarly sinister activities of the likes of Jeffrey Epstein/Jimmy Savile and high-up pals?* It's a pretty dark film already, but it only gets darker when you start to examine some of the implications - The girls at the start of the film want to take Bill "where the rainbow ends" which is nicely book-ended by him turning off the Christmas tree lights in his home (Christmas lights having a constant presence throughout the film) after he has learned the truth from Ziegler. Another simple "lights" metaphor for his loss of innocence. But it's also no co-incidence the costume shop is named "Rainbow" and that strand of the story ends with the owner reversing his previous rage towards his promiscuous daughter and willingly pimping her out. Is "the end of the rainbow" a more general loss of innocence, or rather an acceptance that the innocence people like Bill and Milich previously believed in was a delusion? At the very end of the film, Bill and Alice (who is always "enlightened" from the very first scene, therefore never innocent) completely disregard their own daughter (her interest in the Barbie doll immediately beforehand seems to foreshadow her own inevetable loss of innocence and commodification) in a similar display of recognising their pretence to a happy family life was also a delusional façade. Where they go from here is ambiguous, but "no dream is ever just a dream" suggests that Bill, having lost his innocence and being "awake now" is now either accepting or resigned to abandoning his life as a faithful husband and father and participating in Alice's debauched fantasies, either inside the society or not. Finding the mask on the pillow next to Alice seems to suggest as much, either that is who Bill is now or it's the person Alice wants him to be.

Kubrick is on record as stating he wanted to make the scariest horror film ever made, and while most people tend to identify this statement with The Shining, I can't help but wonder if really, Eyes Wide Shut is more horrifying in its portrayal of a society where everyone is inevitably reduced to their basest urges, where people's own selfish desires lead them to view other people, even their own children as exploitable and expendable. A fantastic, but at the same time incredibly depressing film.

*Funny how things that would have been derided as laughable conspiracy theories when this film was released actually turned out to be true a decade or so later. Less funny that no-one is asking any questions or seems to care about the wider circles these people moved in, which now makes Eyes Wide Shut somewhat more believable in its exposé interpretation. I notice one of the girls Bill meets at the party is identified as a Windsor. Andrew and Charlie Windsor of course, being close acquaintances with Epstein and Savile respectively. Hmm.
 
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