Rate the Last Film You Watched

It's not like Star Wars was ever particularly original in the first place, with wholesale borrowing from Flash Gordon and Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress amongst other sources. But I think the lack of originality (and it being meta about it) has worked to spectacular effect - it fits with the circular nature of Joseph Campbell's monomyth and the force / the circle of life. The Last Jedi subverts our expectations that this builds up, and makes that an essential part of the narrative.
"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

I really liked The Last Jedi. I think there were more missteps than there were in The Force Awakens, but the best bits reached even greater heights.
 
Watched The Kingsmen, or whatever it's called, the one with Collin Firth in it. Absolutely dreadful.

I only watched about 40 minutes or so before I switched it off, but thought it had no redeeming qualities. It's lovely to know that such condescending and cringe worthy depictions of the British working class are still being perpetuated gleefully. ergh. Everything about the film made me cringe.

1/10
 
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The Seven Five (2014)

Not as flashy as Senna, but the central story in this documentary about the rise and fall of two New York cops absorbed into a drug cartel at the height of the 1980s crack epidemic, is utterly gripping throughout. It's astonishing to hear the central duo describe what they were able to do and keep getting away with, given the siege mentality and atmosphere of silence amongst the police at the time - you'd call it unrealistic if it wasn't all true. If you enjoyed the likes of Cocaine Cowboys, this is a must see.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Eden Lake (2008)

'Feel Good Film of the Year' is often a term you see bandied about to describe gentle, heartwarming and uplifting films, films where you come out at the end with warm fuzzies and a sense of optimism going forward. Despite how common a term this seems to be amongst film critics, I don't think I've ever heard anything called the 'Feel Bad Film of the Year', which is about the most apt description I can think of for Eden Lake. The directorial debut of James Watkins, perhaps better known for the Daniel Radcliffe chiller The Woman in Black and more recently the Black Mirror series three standout episode Shut Up and Dance, Eden Lake is about as hopeless, crushing and depressing a horror film as you are likely to find yet, despite this, is an all time favourite film of mine that I just can't help but revist, despite the unrelenting misery it portrays.

Featuring Kelly Reilly and a pre-superstar Michael Fassbender, Eden Lake is about a young couple's romantic break that goes horribly wrong when Steve (Fassbender) confronts a gang of yobs eager to disrupt their weekend. What I really love about Eden Lake is that it manages to work on two levels, and both of them are down to this really simple premise. Simply looking at the movie on a surface level, it just undeniably works as a horror. Not reliant on cheap jump scares or mass amounts of grotesque torture like some its ilk, Eden Lake instead opts to create a fantastic atmosphere and sense of dread throughout almost the entire film, created via a mix of brilliant editing and cinematography and not to mention the score. The use of violence here is also brilliant in its restraint, feeling very viceral and real, but rarely actually showing much in the way of gore, cutting around the worst of it to let your imagination fill in the blanks.

Characters are are also a surprising strong point in Eden Lake, with the hateable gang of youths showing some shades of morality and remorse, and even managing to get the audience to generate a slither of sympathy for them in the gut wrenching final sequence, which I dare not spoil here, but will sit with you for days afterwards.

Where the film gets really interesting, at least to me anyway, is when you start to dig into the deeper themes it has to offer, working quite well at conveying a theme about the cyclical nature of abuse. Now, if you were to cast a cursory glance at the plot and take a surface level reading, you could easily be forgiven for thinking the actual message is something along the lines of 'the working class are all terrible', and it's one of the biggest missteps Eden Lake makes, the lack of a balanced portrayal. Having the two protagonists be upper-middle class was a bit of a mistake, as although it works well to convey a sense of culture shock, it ultimately gives off a message of 'Us vs Them', depicting literally every working class character as either an active criminal or at least complicit in crime in general, and I honestly don't think this is intentional, as the previously mentioned theme of abuse makes a lot more sense once you do some digging. The leader of the gang, Brett, is clearly abused by his father, and this translates to his psychotic behavior we see in the film, which leads him into forcing his friends to commit violent acts on Steve, leading Jenny to seek revenge, killing two kids in the process. It's easy to overlook this reading for a more political, class based one, but this feels more unintentional, masking the real meaning of the film.

If you're a horror fan, I'd consider Eden Lake to be a must watch. It's dark, intense, shocking and very bleak, but it has a crystal clear message behind it, and doesn't do anything just for the sake of shock, making it one of my all time favourites.
 
The last Jedi
I don't want to litter it with spoilers, but I am going to say it's a bit all over the place.
Sure, there are good bits, some new and seemingly clever bits that unfortunatly weren't in enough of the film, and some things end up making no sense or being pointless, Mark Hamill has a few choice words for how they've treated Luke, but it very much tried to keep the backbone of star wars. I'll have to say though this planned trilogy looks worse then 1-3, with the only really good point of those is how much more Information it gives the audience about certain characters, 7 and 8 don't really give you any information about it's own characters. If your looking for a great star wars fix then you'd have to stick to the originals.
6\10
 

Haven37

Brigade Leader
The Cloverfield Paradox
I actually enjoyed this movie, and looking online i'm in the minority. I love the Cloverfield franchise, the 1st is a fun B-Monster Movie, and 10 Cloverfield Lane is a fantastic suspenseful thriller. This one seems to be in the middle. It was pretty creepy and suspenseful at the start, and going more b-movie as it went on. Great cast, everyone played their roles well. The sets looked nice, even if it was mostly generic sci-fi space ship. And everything going crazy and weird with reality was fun and unpredictable. It's not the best written movie, it's got plot holes and seems to ask more questions than answer any. But if you turn your brain off and just go with it in it's weirdness, it's a fun little sci-fi thriller/horror.
I really like the idea that the Cloverfield series is a bunch of anthology movies, it helps keep everything fresh and new, while allowing more unknown directors to show their stuff and get their movies out under the Cloverfield banner.
The way Netflix released this movie was really crazy and unexpected. Show a trailer of at the Superbowl, and have the movie release straight after the game finished. No theatrical release, no trailer hype, no reviews. Just go in and form your own opinions.
I can't believe that we're getting another Cloverfield movie later this year, i'm really looking forward to it now.
 
Sicario (2015)

An absorbing film about the journey of an idealistic FBI agent afforded a glimpse into the heart of the US war on the Mexican drug cartels, it has a neat touch of Alice in Wonderland (or perhaps Dante's Inferno) about it as the main character descends deeper and deeper into the moral quagmire. My only complaint would be that the electrifying first hour led me to expect something different to the murky drama it finally becomes.
 

Greboruri

Brigade Leader
I, Tonya
This film really, really says a lot of about the United States of America; in relation to classism, child abuse, domestic violence and the absolute myth that everyone has an equal chance to make it in that country. The film really brought back a lot of memories watching that ugly drama unfold in real time via the media during my late teens and early twenties. I think the faux documentary, and part docudrama format works really well for the story being told. While there are multiple viewpoints presented, Harding is shown in an extremely sympathetic light and the US skating fraternity comes off as a bunch of elitist jackasses who wouldn't know talent if it bit them on the bum. However Harding is certainly not portrayed as a victim, more a survivor against all odds. Margot Robbie is brilliant as Harding and the supporting cast is brilliant, especially Allison Janney as Tonya Harding's mother. The real archival interviews with the main players in the story during the end credits just reinforce the fact this utterly bizarre story is true.
 
You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay's latest film, the story of a violent, hobo-like unlicensed detective who specialises in retriving kidnap victims, suggests something like Death Wish or Drive in descriptions, but plays mainly as a brief, intense character study of a severely broken person trying to employ his skills for the good of others. It's a brutal, grimey film, but it's also strangely elegant and boasts a mesmerising turn from Joaquin Phoenix in the central role. See it if you can.
 

Blaize

Straw Hat Pirate
Finally saw The Last Jedi. Not sure what all the hate and uproar was about. Though I'm by no means a die hard Star Wars fan, I like the films but I don't subscribe to any Star Wars religion shall we say haha. But yeah I liked the film, maybe slightly less so than Force Awakens but then it's the middle movie of a trilogy, that tends to always mean it's going to be less interesting. Not sure what all the fuss about
Luke was, so he isn't the same Luke from before... and? It's called character development people. Also Luke is an old ass man who has been through some ****. Hardly surprising he might be alittle recluse. Also fine with him dying, out with the old and in with the new lol. Not like his death was cheap, it had meaning and gravitas. Rey's parents reveal (assuming it's true) was actually better than I expected. She should be from nothing, isn't that more inspiring? Better than some "Royal" bloodline and certainly better than her being a Solo or something.
So yeah I went into this film expecting some train wreck but no it's a totally fine film, though Rogue One is still my favourite Star Wars film by far. I think people are just so crazily attached to the originals and 40 years of fanatical fandom and theories that if it doesn't line up with some grand vision then they won't like it.

Now to wait on the Solo film, which looks terrible from the trailers honestly lol.
 
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I have to be in the mood for documentaries, and tonight I was so I gave Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie a whirl.

And it kinda works? It becomes pretty apparent by about the midway point when they've barely even touched upon their "recreations" of events with the actors they've hired to play Tom Cruise and David Miscavige (the actor of the latter surely has a promising career ahead of him) that they're less the main event and more bait for the Church to take and yes, they do take it but in a manner that's hardly revelatory about them or their modus operandi. The best parts, as always, are the ever unflappable Theroux's conversations with somewhat agitated former members (in some cases one suspects, potentially nursing guilty consciences) and belligerent current members. For that alone and especially the couple of surprise bits of knowledge he pulls on people that they clearly don't know he knows, it's probably worth the price of admission.

I do find it staggering that rather than even attempt to tell their own side of the story, the Church of Scientology would rather paint themselves as paranoid lunatics by, well, acting like paranoid lunatics. Quite how otherwise seemingly intelligent people get suckered into something which seems so genuinely unhinged will continue to remain beyond me I expect, at least as long as they won't talk about it. And it's that simple fact really that frustrates both Theroux's usual candid style and has the potential to frustrate the audience, who won't really learn anything new here.
 

Blaize

Straw Hat Pirate
I have to be in the mood for documentaries, and tonight I was so I gave Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie a whirl.

And it kinda works? It becomes pretty apparent by about the midway point when they've barely even touched upon their "recreations" of events with the actors they've hired to play Tom Cruise and David Miscavige (the actor of the latter surely has a promising career ahead of him) that they're less the main event and more bait for the Church to take and yes, they do take it but in a manner that's hardly revelatory about them or their modus operandi. The best parts, as always, are the ever unflappable Theroux's conversations with somewhat agitated former members (in some cases one suspects, potentially nursing guilty consciences) and belligerent current members. For that alone and especially the couple of surprise bits of knowledge he pulls on people that they clearly don't know he knows, it's probably worth the price of admission.

I do find it staggering that rather than even attempt to tell their own side of the story, the Church of Scientology would rather paint themselves as paranoid lunatics by, well, acting like paranoid lunatics. Quite how otherwise seemingly intelligent people get suckered into something which seems so genuinely unhinged will continue to remain beyond me I expect, at least as long as they won't talk about it. And it's that simple fact really that frustrates both Theroux's usual candid style and has the potential to frustrate the audience, who won't really learn anything new here.
Honestly as much as I enjoy Louis Theroux's work I really didn't like this film. It didn't bring much to the table at all. If you haven't seen it I recommend Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief as it's pretty much the definitive film about this subject.

It's interesting that you say they act like Paranoid lunatics. Thing is I see it as people who are part brainwashed to part in utter desperation. Scientology is pretty much a cult and once you stumble into it it becomes nearly impossible to get out. So the way that many of these people act I see as true desperation to not displease those who hold something over them. I also believe that those at the top don't really care how Scientology appears because they are protected by law regardless. I seriously hope there attempt to move into the UK is outlawed in time. As a far less religious nation, especially in terms of government, I seriously hope we as a people and a country don't allow this poison into our society.
 
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Chopping Mall (1986)

Following an after hours sexy party in the furniture store, a group of young employees are hunted by their shopping centre's berserk robotic security guards, in a minor cult classic of '80s kitsch. There's some clumsy dialogue to deal with, but it's a spirited and decently acted horror romp with some very nice practical effects work in spite of a low budget. While it can't hold a candle to the likes of Evil Dead 2, it's definitely good company - the jokey tone and camp villains could lead you to believe you were watching a particularly vivid episode of Scooby Doo, were it not for a few surprisingly gruesome death scenes.
 
I seriously hope there attempt to move into the UK is outlawed in time. As a far less religious nation, especially in terms of government, I seriously hope we as a people and a country don't allow this poison into our society.
They've been here for quite some time, now have a City of London branch (can you even imagine bankers on Scientology?) and links with the police. We're already screwed.

I have a certain measure of sympathy for them I suppose, but surely there comes a point when you realise you're being exploited, and that what you've been told to believe is a load of old balls? That's a problem a lot of people have (not just Scientologists, I think of myself as a kid at the point I became aware the Bible was not a factually provable account of history, at which point I realised it was made up nonsense) that I'll never quite understand. Is it really that hard to admit you made a mistake or were taken advantage of? How do people move forward in life without the ability to do that? This is why I'd genuinely love for them to talk about it, to hear how they see things, but of course they won't.
 

HWR

The Wildcard
They've been here for quite some time, now have a City of London branch (can you even imagine bankers on Scientology?) and links with the police. We're already screwed.

I have a certain measure of sympathy for them I suppose, but surely there comes a point when you realise you're being exploited, and that what you've been told to believe is a load of old balls? That's a problem a lot of people have (not just Scientologists, I think of myself as a kid at the point I became aware the Bible was not a factually provable account of history, at which point I realised it was made up nonsense) that I'll never quite understand. Is it really that hard to admit you made a mistake or were taken advantage of? How do people move forward in life without the ability to do that? This is why I'd genuinely love for them to talk about it, to hear how they see things, but of course they won't.
There's a Scientologist building or whatever just off Tottenham Court Road in London next to the CeX, they always try and hand out fliers and I'm just like "Nope"
 
Deadpool

Long been sceptical about this one, as I only know one person who consistently watches Marvel things and he didn't like it, but I rather enjoyed this one. Didn't think all the jokes landed, but it's rare that a film makes me laugh at the opening credits, and I kept laughing pretty much consistently throughout.
 
Free Fire (2016)

The '70s set tale of a gun deal gone disasterously wrong, this tongue-in-cheek shoot-em-up is endearingly high-concept in that it tries to tell virtually the entire story through a 90 minute, one location shootout. Despite the American setting, Ben Wheatly and Amy Jump bring a very British sensibility to proceedings, with the large cast of eccentric characters giving it the feel of Agatha Christie by way of Guy Richie. It very nearly pulls it off too; it's witty, arch and well acted, but sadly runs out of steam at the very end with a slightly lame-duck conclusion. Still worth a look if you get the chance.
 
Majestic Thunderbolt (1985)

Ostensibly the story of an escalating feud between Hong Kong triad gangs, kicked off by an attack on some diamond smugglers, this is my first experience of a film by Godfrey Ho, a man who surely is to narrative cinema what a giant inflatable hammer is to keyhole surgery. Largely assembled from bits of other movies and Ho's own stock footage, then dubbed with an attempt at a story of sorts, the film quickly descends into an incoherent odyssey, punctuated by increasingly bizarre death scenes, nonsensical tangents and unlicensed Pink Floyd samples. Even at less than a hundred minutes, it's often draggy and suffers when stars (?) Phillip Ko and Richard Harrison are offscreen, but there is something oddly charming about its sheer ineptitude, and I am now morbidly curious about Ho's better known cycle of ninja films from the same period.
 

jjburgan

Completely Average High School Student
The Cloverfield Paradox
I really like the idea that the Cloverfield series is a bunch of anthology movies, it helps keep everything fresh and new, while allowing more unknown directors to show their stuff and get their movies out under the Cloverfield banner.
I agree - I'm surprised how few people actually enjoyed watching it. But I spent a great time watching every single one, but I have a soft spot for 20 Cloverfied Place.
 
Punishment Park (1971)

A fictional documentary about an exasperated US government's attempt to penalise arrested minor 'enemies of the state' (protestors, hippies, communists, etc.) through an ordeal in the desert, as an alternative to overcrowed prisons, my main interest in seeing this was to finally lay to rest an old story I'd heard about this being the original 'found footage' film, not Cannibal Holocaust.

The film is earnest and often powerful, exploring how clashes between the real authorities and anti-Vietnam War protestors could turn so shockingly violent, but, while its realistic, verite shooting style does predict the later sub-genre, it is not a found footage film, even if it might have worked better if it were. I struggled to suspend my disbelief that, having been allowed to witness, at close quarters, police and troops firing on and beating their prisoners, a foreign film crew would be allowed to leave with their footage, apparently unchallenged.
 
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