Rate the Last Film You Watched

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Cold in July (2014)

An unpretentious neo-noir story following a meek family man who inadvertantly shoots a burglar dead, only to find his family targeted by the man's vengeful father, this feels a bit like an 80s fistbump between Michael Mann and Alfred Hitchcock. Its twisty narrative eschews some potentially interesting avenues in favour of a more conventional conclusion and, in doing so, gravitates away from some interesting points about masculine identity that get thrown up along the way, but it's a tense, very solid and impeccably acted thriller, much enlivened by a pulsing, John Carpenter-style synth soundtrack.
 

msgeek

Magical Girl
Went to the Guardians of the Galaxy minute past midnight screening. Loved it! Not a massive Marvel fan in general but GOTG is an absolute fav and their second outing didn't disappoint.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

This was a great film, even with its length it kept me engaged throughout, especially since I loved the main character Kyon. The plot itself was well done, never seeming cliched despite its familiar premise. It also made Haruhi much more likeable than in the series, which made Kyon's quest so much more worthwhile. It served as a great conclusion to the series, and is definitely the best part of the overall franchise. 4.5/5
 
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HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Silent Hill

Having played the first two games I wanted to revisit the film I had seen years ago and disliked. Revisiting the film there's a lot of issues, but it's not all bad. The music is superb, lifting some directly from the game, and the atmosphere at times is fitting also.

Unfortunately the entire film feels too polished, the snowy town depicted here is a far cry from the game, and even when the world becomes dingy and rusty, it still feels too clean. The main lead is solid, but I'm not sure why they felt the need to change from Harry Mason to this rose mother, I felt that he was a great depiction of a single father trying his best to save his daughter.

The use of CGI is just unfortunate, and often looks cheap, though at times the sets look very impressive. The less said about the sequel the better. Overall the atmosphere and music save this from being a total failure of an adaptation, but the script and alterations don't do the game justice. I mean how hard was it just to directly adapt the game?
2.5/5
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Stalker (1979)

Slow but mesmerising Soviet science-fantasy in which two men hire the titular guide to take them into the 'forbidden zone', site of potentially lethal phenomena at the heart of which lies a room said to grant the wishes of all those who enter. Beyond the title and general concept, the film bears little resemblance to its videogame namesake and will probably try the patience of anyone expecting an action thriller, but there are powerful performances from the three leads, as they bicker, philosophise and slowly reveal their innermost thoughts along the way, to say nothing of Alisa Freindlich, who virtually steals the film in a small, but important role as the Stalker's wife. It's also eerily beautiful to look at, with the camera teasing a strange majesty out of both the squalid, polluted ruins and the squalid, polluted faces of our three protagonists. A rewarding oddity for those with a long attention span.
 

Peachy

Bumpkin
AUKN Staff
Stalker (1979)

Slow but mesmerising Soviet science-fantasy in which two men hire the titular guide to take them into the 'forbidden zone', site of potentially lethal phenomena at the heart of which lies a room said to grant the wishes of all those who enter. Beyond the title and general concept, the film bears little resemblance to its videogame namesake and will probably try the patience of anyone expecting an action thriller, but there are powerful performances from the three leads, as they bicker, philosophise and slowly reveal their innermost thoughts along the way, to say nothing of Alisa Freindlich, who virtually steals the film in a small, but important role as the Stalker's wife. It's also eerily beautiful to look at, with the camera teasing a strange majesty out of both the squalid, polluted ruins and the squalid, polluted faces of our three protagonists. A rewarding oddity for those with a long attention span.
Nice to see some more 'deeper into the medium' film fans here :)
I watched Stalker under recommendation as an introduction to Tarkovsky & Russian film ..it was certainly something. Left me feeling a tad displaced.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
I've watched four films recently

Dario Argento's Inferno
Dario Argento's Tenebrae

My thoughts on both of these films are largely similar, since Argento films tend to have a similar vibe, with murder mysteries involving beautiful young women, amazing synth-driven soundtracks and directing which oozes atmosphere and aesthetic appeal. They're certainly an acquired taste, and the story for Inferno was all over the place, I still found them enjoyable from a filmmaking perspective, especially as someone who did Film Studies for two years. 3.5/5, 3.5/5

A fistful of Dollars
For a few Dollars More

Both from the Sergio Leone "Dollars Trilogy", these films are both simple stories accentuated by great cinematography, gripping action, superb music (Ennio Morricone can do no wrong) and the ever awesome "Man with no name". The climaxes of these films were fun, and the build up throughout was well done. I can easily recommend these to any Western fans. 4/5, 4/5
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
I watched Stalker under recommendation as an introduction to Tarkovsky & Russian film ..it was certainly something. Left me feeling a tad displaced.
Not sure if you'd want to repeat the experience or not, but a few of Tarkovsky's other films are available for free through Mosfilm's official youtube channel, if you're interested. There are english subs, but their video names are all in Russian, so best just to use this article for navigation: Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online | Open Culture
 

Peachy

Bumpkin
AUKN Staff
Not sure if you'd want to repeat the experience or not, but a few of Tarkovsky's other films are available for free through Mosfilm's official youtube channel, if you're interested. There are english subs, but their video names are all in Russian, so best just to use this article for navigation: Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online | Open Culture
Always. I love a film that forces me to wonder. Thank you for the link :)
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Fire and Ice (1983)

Undoubtedly looking to cash in on the popularity of Conan the Barbarian following Arnie's breakout hit, this animated Ralph Bakshi / Frank Frazetta team up movie is a rather dated, pedestrian effort by today's standards, but still has some cache due to its unusual production.

It's a strange looking beast; almost entirely made through pre-digital rotoscoping to animate the actors, then that footage placed on top of the static, oil painted backgrounds. The slightly uncanny resulting look is quite jarring at first and does suffer from poor integration of different elements, but it's undeniably unique, even compared to Bakshi's earlier American Pop.

Unfortunately, the visuals are married to an uninspired 'heroic outsiders rescue a princess' story that feels like it could have been scribbled on the back of a cigarrette packet, and the film has some slightly unpleasant racial overtones, with the screamingly caucasian lead battling legions of grey-skinned 'subhumans'. I doubt it was ever intended to offend, but it doesn't help the general impression that the film is about forty years older than it actually is.

Fans of Frazetta's work will also be disappointed at the use of comic book style flat colour on the characters, killing much of his trademark style straight off the bat. Given that there was probably no way you'd ever really capture the look of Frazetta's art in animation without spending insane sums of money, however, it did strike me that there's a kind of parallel between the technical challenges facing this film back then and the CGI version of Berserk today.

Probably one for the serious animation enthusiasts only.
 
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IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Just got back from watching Alien Covenant, and I was pleasantly surprised. Wasn't huge on Prometheus, which I confirmed again on a rewatch last night, and this was far better in my opinion. It managed to stand on its own fairly well, but also tied into Prometheus nicely too, although it failed to really answer any lingering questions you may have had left at the end of that film. Biggest draw to me was the return to Alien's more gorey roots, which I loved. The film had some issues, mostly some pretty dumb characters and plot holes, but I can overlook almost all of them due to the sheer amount of gratuitous violence on display. Speaking of plot holes, these were the ones I noticed, I'd be curious if there were any I missed:

  • What was the reason the planet they land on didn't show up on an initial scan? There seemed to be no reason for them to miss it.
  • How did Shaw manage to repair David? At the end of Prometheus, he was a head. I don't think there were any spare mech bodies lying about.
  • You see a flashback to David dropping the payload onto the planet's populous, creating a load of aliens, yet when the Covenant crew land, there's barely any there. What happened to them all?
  • We see two facehuggers in this film, the first impregnates the captain then bursts out of him very quickly, yet the guy who births the last alien on the ship takes a conveniently long amount of time to birth the alien. This one might be a bit flimsy, as there could be an ellipsis of time with the captain we don't see.
  • Not really a plot hole, but what was the point of that one really focused shot of the drinking bird? Did I miss something there?
 

Anime1977

Adventurer
That sounds a bit despointing and alien did not rely on gore and it sounds like alien covenant is useing gore to cover up plot holes.

Rogue one blu Ray

7 out of 10 some good set pieces but not as good it's as its made out to be.
 
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Anime1977

Adventurer
Still technically animation, but I watched Batman: The Killing Joke.

I have kind of mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed it overall and it's better than most of the DC Animations we've had recently (though that's not saying too much) but it's somewhat inconsistent and feels like much of the content could have been cut without losing the main point.

I haven't actually read the original comic but I've heard a fair bit about it and it's probably been quite influential on a lot of the material I'm familiar with. The fact that the original comic was quite short is probably a factor in why the film feels padded. I'm curious as to the differences between the original comic and the film but I suppose it doesn't necessarily matter in terms of judging the film itself.

The Batgirl story at the beginning was decent enough and kind of works as a stand-alone story (which it basically is). It does make comment on some interesting points about the different motivations for fighting crime and the dangers of constantly dealing with "bad" people. It's not entirely original but it gets the job done.

I have to admit, one of my issues with the film in general is it has a tendency to try to make things about sex in a way that doesn't seem to actually contribute anything to the film or really say anything. At most, sex seems to be used as shorthand for certain emotions but it doesn't really work and it ends up feeling completely unnecessary. I suppose it does fill some time but that's more of a problem than an excuse. It also seems to dangerously oversimplify sexual violence, which only stands to make the sex related content feel more awkward.

The core point of the film, regarding the way that people react to tragic events, works fairly well. I also liked the theme of Batman still trying to avert a tragic conclusion to his relationship with the Joker despite how inevitable a bad ending seems to be. The film is generally quite strong when it's saying something about Batman or the Joker and comparing the two, although this ultimately only makes up a small portion of the running time. Still, those parts do probably just about make the film worthwhile but the padding makes it harder to recommend to anyone who isn't already interested in the characters. That's a bit of a shame too, because the themes could appeal to a wider audience and even get people interested in the characters if they were more accessible.

On the plus side, the film does end on a strong note prior to the credits. There's a mid-credits scene that has a somewhat different tone, which may not be appreciated by some but makes for a decent alternative end point for those who find the ending unsatisfying (and helps tie together the different parts of the film).

It's pretty clear the film was made with fanservice in mind, it's adapting a fairly famous comic and it uses the popular animated series actors for the voices of Batman and the Joker (Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, respectively). That's not a bad thing really, especially since the actors are quite good at their roles. Still, it is perhaps telling that they've had to use such methods to make for a stronger animation while the other animated films have been quite weak of late. It doesn't really inspire confidence for their future animations but at least they're willing to try something different and hopefully that will work out.

Overall, Batman: The Killing Joke is a pretty good film and worth watching if you're interested in the characters. It doesn't really offer as much story for the running time as it could but what little we get is fairly strong and has the potential to make it feel worth sitting through the padding. I don't know if that would work for everyone though and, either way, it's still a little disappointing to have all of that wasted time.
I have the comic book of the killing joke and the movie follows the book closely page for page.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me

A film that splits opinions amongst TP fans, I decided to watch it before the series and see how I'd react to it. The result? I really liked it, it was stylish and unique, with that surreal Lynch atmosphere that manages to blend quirky humour, disturbing imagery and a dreamlike consistency into an engaging narrative. The acting is superb, with even the smallest of roles being impactful (Lynch himself and David Bowie are notable examples of this), and it works to set up the series- my opinion might change on that once I'm done with the two seasons, but for now this is a superb film. 4.5/5

It's worth noting that I also watched The Missing Pieces as well, a clip slow of sorts that fills in the blanks and uses a lot of footage that never made the cut. Some of the scenes are great, and others so-so, but I'm glad they were included with the Blu Ray set.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Just got back from watching Alien Covenant, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Same here. The thing I was most pleasantly surprised by was the ending, I was really expecting David to be found out right up until the last moment. I thought for sure in the scene where the survivors were being put into stasis that Daniels would find out once she was the only one left, then they'd fight at the end. But thankfully we got a happy ending. David is a wonderful character brilliantly acted by Fassbender and I couldn't help but root for him to succeed, when he put that damn Wagner on at the end I almost wanted to applaud.

I did think the CGI on the young Neomorphs looked a little naff, but the full-grown Xenomorph looked amazing. The film struck a nice balance for me between the tension and horror of the first film and the action of the second. And as a huge fan of Giger, I was really happy to see how they incorporated his drawings and concepts into David's experiments.

Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me ... it works to set up the series- my opinion might change on that once I'm done with the two seasons.
You watched it before the TV series!? What are you doing man? You've just spoiled major revelations for yourself.

I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of FWWM, while it does serve to clarify certain things, it's spoiled by the amount of unnecessary exposition of things which were already implied in the series and the baffling and pretentious (even for Lynch) ending. I feel similarly disposed towards FWWM as I do towards End of Evangelion in fact - That it was just an unnecessary addendum to a perfectly good series. I find I'm finally getting what I actually wanted from the film with Season 3.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Same here. The thing I was most pleasantly surprised by was the ending, I was really expecting David to be found out right up until the last moment. I thought for sure in the scene where the survivors were being put into stasis that Daniels would find out once she was the only one left, then they'd fight at the end. But thankfully we got a happy ending. David is a wonderful character brilliantly acted by Fassbender and I couldn't help but root for him to succeed, when he put that damn Wagner on at the end I almost wanted to applaud.

I did think the CGI on the young Neomorphs looked a little naff, but the full-grown Xenomorph looked amazing. The film struck a nice balance for me between the tension and horror of the first film and the action of the second. And as a huge fan of Giger, I was really happy to see how they incorporated his drawings and concepts into David's experiments.


You watched it before the TV series!? What are you doing man? You've just spoiled major revelations for yourself.

I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of FWWM, while it does serve to clarify certain things, it's spoiled by the amount of unnecessary exposition of things which were already implied in the series and the baffling and pretentious (even for Lynch) ending. I feel similarly disposed towards FWWM as I do towards End of Evangelion in fact - That it was just an unnecessary addendum to a perfectly good series. I find I'm finally getting what I actually wanted from the film with Season 3.
I had the series spoilt for me ages ago, (the show is almost 30 years old), so I didn't care about any major revelations being spoilt since I already knew the basic gist of things. It seems watching the series chronologically is a controversial choice for the internet but I'm satisfied thus far, so that's what I'm doing :p I'm also looking forward to watching season 3 after getting through my Blu Ray set.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Alien Convenant

My hope for this was that, if I went in with very low expectations, I'd be pleasantly surprised by it, but honestly, it was more or less what I'd expected. It's certainly not unwatchable, with Fassbender on good form and (as IL pointed out) some very visceral effects work, but ultimately I'd liken it to Jurassic Park 3, in that the story beats are so familiar that much of it just feels like it was cobbled together from offcuts of the earlier films in the series.

If I was being particularly cynical, I'd say that Scott seems to have responded to the audience criticism of Prometheus by spoonfeeding the old films right back to them, but I actually never bothered to watch it. Having read a bit more about Prometheus susbsequently though, I feel like I might enjoy it more than Covenant.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
The Punisher (1989)

Often trashed by reviewers, I went into this one not expecting much, but to my surprise, it's a very solid, slam bang action b-picture that was infinitely more entertaining than the slick but po-faced 2004 version. It isn't nearly as witty as obvious touchstones Robocop and Commando, but it's refreshingly unpretentious and moves at a furious pace, eschewing such pleasantries as the romantic subplot and tragic backstory to make way for more scenes of Frank taking on machinegun-toting ninjas, as he battles against a yakuza takeover of the US crime syndicates.

Dolph Lundgren is not the most versatile of actors, but he acquits himself fairly well here, playing Castle as a sleepwalking psychopath who only comes alive when there's a gun in his hand, and he's ably supported by Louis Gossett Jr. as his scenery-chewing former police partner and Jeroen Krabbe as an old-fashioned gangster. Despite some questionable orientalism, Kim Miyori also shines as the steely crime boss at the top of the heap.

It's unlikely to win over anyone not into '80s action cinema, but I feel it's a minor classic of the genre.
 
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