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Films - Watched and Thoughts 2021


Angel P
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5 hours ago, dienekes96 said:

Kelley, I just watched Predator 2 yesterday as well.  Hadn’t seen it in decades...possibly since I saw it in theaters.  And I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Definitely a balance between 80s movies and 90s movies.  

The more I think about it, I don’t think I had seen it all the way thru since I saw it in the theater. 

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Predator 2 had Bill Paxton.  My 17 year old knows him as the “Game Over, Man” guy from YouTube clips of Aliens and mentioned that to me.  So, to educate the lad, on Saturday night, we watched ALIEN.  On Sunday night, we watched ALIENS.

 

Needless to say, both films hold up to their eminently lofty reputations (and then some), and even my kid’s over-stimulated cultural palate was impressed by both.  That two such distinctive masterpieces (each in their own way) could come from a consecutive movies is astounding.

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4 hours ago, dienekes96 said:

 That two such distinctive masterpieces (each in their own way) could come from a consecutive movies is astounding.

 

Do they stand alone in that respect? I'm trying to think of other examples of a classic original, and a sequel from a different filmmaker that spun the concept in a totally different genre and defined itself as a classic in its own right. The fact both films were separated by seven years is also remarkable. That would be unheard of today. Fox didn't even offer Scott the opportunity for a sequel after Alien.

 

Are you going to show your son Alien 3? I'd actually love to know what someone of that age, too young to carry any baggage from loving the series in its heyday, would think of it (particularly if the first version they ever see is the extended assembly edit).

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Sorry for the late, late reply.  I think they stand alone quite well.  It is hard for me to gauge Aliens too much...I’ve seen it so many times.  It is so familiar to me.  Alien is the visionary film, really tickling parts of the brain rarely touched.  The combination of performances, art direction, and the actual concepts just sort of add up to a really special, singular picture.  So much so, that it is literally impossible to follow up to in a related way.  Cameron’s genius is that he took the conceit in a completely different direction.  I think he had to...you were never going to catch or equal Alien.  In not trying to, he almost did.  As he has said in interviews, Alien is horror and Aliens is terror.  Aliens is probably my favorite movie of all time, but even I know Alien is the genuinely iconic one.  Aliens has to settle for being one of the greatest action films of all time, a Swiss timepiece of escalation and payoff.

 

I did not show my son Alien 3, but I will if he asks me to.  The Assembly Cut, of course.  I find it to be a tremendously interesting film, thanks to the conceit and the direction.  I know Fincher hates it, and he should, but I’m glad it’s there.

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In the Heights - It's unlikely to win over any unfortunate souls with an aversion to stage musicals ( :) ), but I thought this was brilliantly adapted for the big screen. Went to see it on Friday and loved it so much. There's some fantastic visual flare and outstanding choreography on display, and it's superbly cast (like the stage version some might say it peaks musically with exhilarating 'Blackout,'  but the emotional rewards of the more intimate second half should not to be underestimated).  I really couldn't have asked for anything more lively and joyous to welcome me back to the comfort of a cinema for the first time in over a year, and on a rainy London summer's day no less.

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1 hour ago, Magness said:

How was the actual cinema experience Dan? How did seat booking and stuff work? I guess I’m just curious what was different/better/worse. 

 

Booked online via Everyman's website which didn't appear to be any different than usual (they note that "We've updated our seat selections so there’s always a space between yours and other groups for social distancing"). It was just me and one couple seated a few rows behind me who had the screening room to ourselves (it was a mid morning Friday showing). My mask took a little adjusting to stop my glasses fogging up, but once I'd settled it didn't keep happening which was really my only concern going in.  You're allowed to lower your mask if eating or drinking, obviously. 

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Thanks - that doesn’t sound too bad really. I’m thinking of prebooking for Black Widow at Vue out here but, wanted to get an idea of how it actually is in-cinema now. I know that it’s not going to be like for like between BW and In the Heights but, that helps so thanks.

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3 minutes ago, Magness said:

Thanks - that doesn’t sound too bad really. I’m thinking of prebooking for Black Widow at Vue out here but, wanted to get an idea of how it actually is in-cinema now. I know that it’s not going to be like for like between BW and In the Heights but, that helps so thanks.

 

It should be fine. As I understand it every venue is adopting socially distant seating and insisting on masks.

 

I want to see Supernova next which is out on Friday, so I will either head back to an Everyman or go to a Curzon venue. If I decide to see it I'll probably catch Black Widow at a VUE myself too. Their notice when you go to make a booking reads "For your safety, our screenings are currently limited to comply with government guidelines. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Additionally, our system will automatically physically distance your seats, so you and those in your booking are apart from others," so it's similar to others really.

 

I didn't have to use the NHS app QR check in at the cinema on Friday by the way. I thought I might have to but maybe that requirement only applies to restaurants I don't know (I haven't been to one in over a year 😩). Perhaps it's voluntary for all businesses to opt into at their own discretion though, in which case it's possible some cinema venues may have it set up and others might skip it so you might want to be sure you're set up to scan QR codes with the app just in case.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/20/2021 at 10:12 PM, Magness said:

Thanks - that doesn’t sound too bad really. I’m thinking of prebooking for Black Widow at Vue out here but, wanted to get an idea of how it actually is in-cinema now. I know that it’s not going to be like for like between BW and In the Heights but, that helps so thanks.

 

Update for you. I saw Supernova at the VUE in Islington today. They had both their own QR registration and the NHS app QR on the door. I used the NHS one although other people were going in without using either, so at that venue at least they didn't seem to be enforcing it. They had a lot of (really high end) hand sanitiser stations all over the place. The foyer toilets were closed, which may have been simply to stop the public running in and using them before leaving without seeing a movie. The toilets were open in the area where the auditoriums are once you have shown your ticket. Masks required, obviously, and the online booking seems to automatically place two spare seats between the ones you choose.

 

The concessions stand queue and the automated ticket collection machine queue were sectioned off with clear plastic walls. It's not worth the hassle buying a ticket in person. Cheaper online and easier to pick your seats and calculate your distance from others, plus you can send your ticket to your Apple Wallet and have them scan that on entry. 

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Watched Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) last night. I’m a little at a loss for words even after processing it over the evening. 
 

This movie is what America really needs right now, IMO. A nearly forgotten time-capsule of a moment, decades ago, where black people gathered en mass to express pure, unadulterated joy. To celebrate and to be celebrated!
 

It’s also an astonishing cultural artifact. Unearthed in pristine condition. I really couldn’t believe my eyes and ears at times. 
 

Questlove does a fantastic job interweaving concert footage (of which there is a lot and much of it is beautifully shot), historical context, present-day interviews with audience members and performers. 
 

It ends up like a kind of bittersweet love-letter to an America we all know is possible, and yet one that is far too fleeting. A place where African Americans are as free and open to public self-expression, public expressions of pride and joy without fear of reprisal or, in the words of a particularly stunning moment in the film, “backlash.”

 

I won’t spoil anything by naming specific performers.
 

I can’t say enough good things. Oscar for best doc, easy. Heck, I’d put this in the category for best picture. 

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3 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

Watched Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) last night. I’m a little at a loss for words even after processing it over the evening. 

 

I got the trailer for that when I saw Supernova last week. Between that and Edgar Wright's Sparks documentary it's turned out to be a special month for music docs.

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3 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

 

I got the trailer for that when I saw Supernova last week. Between that and Edgar Wright's Sparks documentary it's turned out to be a special month for music docs.


I went into the Summer of Soul pretty blind. Only having heard a story about its release on NPR. 
 

Likewise I don’t know about the Sparks Brothers doc until you mentioned it, so thank you. I mentioned it to the BF and he was quite excited about it. So I suspect we’ll see it next weekend. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I watched a few this weekend:

 

Back Widow - thought it was good, good action, I was interested in Ylena and good comic beats mixed in. 
Summer of Soul - This was really good and interesting for an event I’d never even heard of. Some seriously great performances in there. 
The Sparks Brothers - this was fascinating to me as I’d never heard of Sparks before. A really good look through their career and all the changes over the years. 

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Blood Red Sky - airline terror horror flick on Netflix. An "interesting" setup that's just destroyed through lazy plotting, atrocious acting, and just taking too long to get to its conclusion. The last 20 minutes or so spoils any good will it's built up. It's honestly not worth spending a couple of hours of intelligence on, so of course it's #1 on Netflix right now. 

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