Movies You’ve Only Just Watched

The Batman (again)

This is a really good movie and I’m excited for its sequels (don’t know about the tv spin-offs, maybe every franchise could lighten up on those). I was able to reevaluate a few things, particularly Pattinson’s Batman. I caught more of the implied motivation behind his becoming the Batman this time and, more importantly, I’ve become a huge fan of his presence as the caped crusader. His slow, deliberate, meticulous walk in particular is is a highlight and a masterclass in a crowd control/manipulation; everyone, friend or (mostly) foe, is simultaneously fixated on him AND unsure of how to deal with him. By the time Riddler says Batman is the true persona you believe him; Robert Pattinson IS Batman.

I’m going to upgrade my score to 7.5/10. It might sound low but I really do like the movie. The atmosphere and visuals are great and this is probably one of the best interpretations of Gotham. Like I already mentioned, I was able to better appreciate some things that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the first time, ranging from Batman himself to his motivations to different character interactions like Bruce and Selina, among others (EDIT: including, but not limited to, Gordon seeming to get so much leeway (with Batman) simply because he’s likable). However, there are some things that really detract for me and I can’t quite get over and most of the review will be dedicated to them. Honorable mentions that did not lose points are Alfred and Bruce’s somewhat antagonistic relationship and the great but repetitive score. The former is kind of explained (or at least inferred) and seemingly resolved by the end and the latter is generally the same sting for three hours but still very good and surprisingly versatile. Now on to the negatives (in ascending order):

Flying Squirrel Batman is a ridiculous looking scene and would even if the movie wasn’t as serious as it is otherwise. The scene immediately preceding it in the interrogation room is one of my favorites in the film and the mood is completely ruined by the visuals of this scene. Also, what exactly is he trying to do for that landing? Things like a gunman not shooting Selina after she saves Batman is a pet peeve I’ve developed within the last few years. I can’t stand when plot contrives to save characters when writers make bad or stupid decisions. Why does the guy punch her when he could have grabbed any number of guns that were present? The same effect could have been achieved if he tried shooting but it was empty or jammed, we maybe hear the slight click, and then he resorts to beating her with it (or he throws it away to then punch her). Better yet, maybe they don’t need to throw that scene in there; just let Selina have that helpful moment and Batman almost pummeling that guy to death in an adrenaline rush adds nothing. Both scenes lose 0.25 points.

Since I’ve first seen the movie I’ve had to correct myself multiple times that Riddler is NOT Dark Knight Joker when thinking about anything to do with him. That’s not anything to do with Paul Dano; he’s fantastic in this role and his final scene with Batman in Arkham is absolutely phenomenal. It’s also incredibly similar to the interrogation scene between Heath Ledger and Christian Bale and it’s not the only thing that reminds me of that legendary Joker. The live-streamed kills, the systematic killing of powerful individuals (including the police commissioner and the district attorney being blown up), intentionally getting arrested and a plan to happen while he’s incarcerated, etc… These are all not only derivative but feel oddly inferior to their 2008 counterparts. I really tried not to compare the two but the movie itself so willingly invokes that masterpiece, I have no choice and it costs this one 0.5 off its total.

The flood sequence also losses 0.5. I cannot overstate how pointless the last half hour of the movie is. It completely cheapens Riddler’s stated goals and undermines the impact of the revelation that was supposed to tear the city apart. That “revelation” is so pointless that the movie almost immediately moves on from it and proceeds to drown the city. It simultaneously lessens the impact of the preceding two and a half hours AND plays like a knockoff of the ferry scene sans choice or hope. To top it all off, it then doesn’t really seem to do anything. Batman doesn’t stop it, he just says some trapped people and then it ends. “Parts” of the city are still underwater but it doesn’t really seem to matter. Batman gets new purpose, Riddler makes a funny friend, and Selina leaves and then the movie ends with Batman riding off on a motorcycle to musical flourish while Gordon declares him a dark knight (oh! wait, that last part was a different movie, my bad). In a far cry from a city of tens of millions “tearing itself apart”, it’s really just an excuse for a few dozen conspiracy nuts to shoot up a convention center (btw a bowl surrounded by mostly glass walls is some “shelter”)… It’s a testament to the strength of the rest of the movie that a last half hour that almost completely derails the movie doesn’t hurt it more.

Riddle me this: I take up a lot of time but use none of it wisely and build up one endgame but drown in another. What am I? If it wasn’t clear: I still absolutely HATE Riddler’s “plan”. It’s literally just indiscriminate murder that he spends two and a half hours trying to convince us is about exposing corruption. Unless he’s decided that everyone in the city is corrupt which is still bad because he’s also spent that same time railing against the elite. I guess he just to kill as many people as possible, class, status or ethics be damned? His assassination of the mayor also took me out of his plot VERY early; the debate coverage seemed to me to be setting up a tight election battle where Riddler does more or less the same stuff, without the mayor murder, indirectly to helping boost Real to victory, while it’s never clear if she’s employing him or not, the Mayor cheats in the end to secure re-election, the flood is punishment for that, his thugs target because she’s useless now, Batman finds his purpose to fight for the will of the people not because some things got wet but because everything continues to ignore that will (Riddler is just a mass murderer and Real may or may not be corrupt, either actively using the Riddler’s plan to boost her campaign or at least trying to exploit it for her benefit, either way profiting off of chaos, death and destruction), and things are set up for Riddler to assassinate the mayor in the beginning of the sequel as part of “comeback story”, and then the mayor gets bludgeoned by a carpet tool… :man_shrugging: As the Riddler’s plan is the backbone of the movie, and it is severely compromised by the completely unnecessary and tacked on final thirty minutes, I have to dock a full point.

It’s truly a shame to be so critical of an otherwise very good movie but, whenever I think about it, I’m always drawn to the negatives in this one. They’re aren’t many and most of them aren’t even that bad but I find myself dwelling on the Riddler and his plan a lot. It’s so integral but it’s so infuriating; the Maroni Drug Bust and the Gotham Renewal Fund are so loosely connected and the “revelation” of the city’s long standing corruption is so inconsequential that the movie seems to realize this immediately when it quickly moves on to flooding the city. It feels like they had more in mind when they started writing the plan only to realize that “Gotham is corrupt” is about as newsworthy as “the sky is blue”. About the same time, they apparently got bored of their own premise and turned a nice slow burn detective story into a disaster movie for thirty minutes. Without that last half hour, this is probably a 8, 8.5, easy; Riddler’s plan would probably be anticlimactic but it wouldn’t get washed away and Selina would never be in a position to not get shot by a gunman so there’s some possible points back right there. Anyway, I had more to say about the negatives but I am excited for the future of this series.

(apologies again for the novel; this movie inspires a LOT of thoughts in me)

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I liked the flying squirrel Batman scene lol, especially his hesitation and fear before the jump. Like “Oh shit this is supposed to work in theory but I actually might die here.”

That part is good. I was mainly talking about how it actually looks when he’s in the air. I like the concept of the glider in theory but in practice it either comes across like they skimped on the cgi budget for that scene or they intentionally played it for laughs. I don’t think it’s the latter (though the completely unnecessary disaster movie at the end does indicate a predisposition towards random genre and tone shifts) but the way it’s been presented on screen has made me chuckle both times I’ve seen it and has seemed like an out of place joke in an otherwise serious narrative.

I’m sure the framing of the shot is supposed to represent his experience of flying for what is likely the first time but it just looks unnaturally generated. It breaks my immersion and I don’t like looking at it…

Sometimes plot contrived things save the bad guy too. There is a scene in one of the John Wicks where he could shoot his target in a hot tub, but then the movie would be over, so he doesn’t and the movie goes on for another hour and a half.

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Yeah, I’ve come to be not a huge fan of that sort of thing either. I mean, I get it but plot contrivances usually bother me more and more often lately and just take me out of the story every time I see them. Luckily, most are relatively minor and I can still enjoy movies in general.

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You know, just once, I wish something like that would happen. Like, the hero, or the villain, whichever, just kills their adversary the first chance they get, half an hour into the movie, just to see what happens afterward. Who can say?

While we’re at it, can we have a bomb with a ticking clock be stopped sometime a little more realistic than .0001 seconds before it goes off? With all the work that had to be done beforehand on that bomb to make it, get it where it needs to be and then arm it, couldn’t the good guys figure out where it was placed and deactivate it, like, 4 days before it was supposed to go off? Just once?

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Everything Everywhere is even better on a second watch!
(I didn’t expect to be seeing it again so soon, but I told myself I’d watch it when it came to my local indie theater – and, well, they sure surprised me with it this week.)

Gosh, this second time was awesome. I totally understood the entire film’s arc this time around, since I wasn’t so focused on my brain’s Analysis Mode running rampant.

  • You’ve got Evelyn, pulled in so many different directions, in a very chaotic and frantic opening. It only seems to get crazier once she’s tasked to save the Multiverse.
  • While she isn’t meant to, she finds it hard to stop looking at her other selves, ones that are more successful than her – either in class, in strength, in skill, in romantic pursuits… And she decides that she will use all the power she can muster to become as powerful as Jobu Tupaki, so she can defeat it.
  • However, after her mind fractures, she finally understands what is means to experience every universe all at the same time, and at this point, in seeing every regret and mistake she had made, she is lured into Jobu’s nihilistic mantra. She’s about to throw herself into the Nothing Matters Bagel, about to scream, slap, cut Waymond out of her life, in every life, until she realizes, and understands from Waymond, that everything matters. It just matters to you, and to everyone around you that you encounter. It’s no use to fight or agonize over the infinitesimal sum of everything, since that itself doesn’t matter. Cherish your hand of cards, and those of the people close to you, because that’s what this universe is about.
  • And in the end, even if she may not agree with her daughter all the time, Evelyn realizes that she needs to be there to support her, be open, and let her be her own person.
  • And to not dwell on the what if’s and what-could-have-been’s. To make whatever this moment is matter, not let it pass her by.

Love, love, love this movie. It’s so human and grounded at times, but so wacky and wild in others. And the balance between it all is so fun.
I think it does get a bit long overall, but I can’t think of a scene I’d want left out. Maybe just a tightening of the pacing.
I liked the detail near the start of the IRS meeting, where you hear of various things Evelyn counted as “business expenses” but were actually hobbies – things that she actually does in other universes – singing, cooking, dancing, etc.
This second time around I also caught onto the fact that she stabs IRS Waymond in one of the multiverse montages, among the many other things you see she can/may do to other Waymonds across the multiverse (throwing rice at him, slapping him, etc… It’s a truly heartbreaking moment when she gives up on life like that.
The middle-of-the-movie insane Multiverse Montage is still so freaking cool to see. I heard someone say “holy shit…” after in the audience. Today’s audience was pretty lively and packed too. Cool to see.
I’m sure I’ll be getting this film on disc in the future, just to be able to add it to my collection. It’s great. I think I’ll also need to watch it with subtitles one day, as sometimes the theater speakers are a bit much, or character’s thick accents or whispers are too quiet to understand every piece of dialogue.

Cool tip: Look up Jamie Lee Curtis’ social media pages. She loves this movie, and is promoting it way, way more than any normal actor would, especially for a smaller part as hers. It’s amazing and kinda heartwarming. She really loves this film, message, and style, and it shows. She’s also really shitting on Doctor Strange 2 as the much bigger blockbuster, which is funny as well.

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I dunno, sounds like it was going into something interesting there to actually see a protagonist fall into the hopelessness of reality, only to do the cliche move of rejoicing that nothing matters because that means it only has to matter to you kind of crap, that still doesn’t solve or negate the original issue. Wish they’d stop doing that and actually leave viewers for once with the message that, yeah, it’s all hopeless and there’s nothing to feel good about in that. The Mist was onto something.

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I dunno man, the view of nothing matters and why bother is a pretty terrible way to go about life that’ll bring you nothing but pain.

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Not really relevant if it’s accurate. Besides, that’s pretty much all I feel anyway. It’s why I spend my time playing a simulation where I murder other human beings; there isn’t really anything more worthwhile to do with my time. Just once, I wish a movie would carry that message instead of shy from it. Be far more entertaining than the usual nauseating hope.

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Ninja Assassin (2008)

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Raizo, a ninja assassin, decides to go against his own clan after something important to him happens. Obviously this leads to a sequence of events where he is forced to battle ninjas in different contrived action sequences.
The film is directed by James McTeigue after he did V For Vendetta.

I forgot how much I love this ridiculous, dumb movie.

I mean, beyond a dope ass soundtrack by Ilan Eshkeri, and the fantastic action set pieces it really isn’t all that good… suffers from sub par acting, and feels cheap. But god damn those action set pieces.

Some people probably don’t like the CG blood, but I feel like they went with a comic booky look to it that really just works with the overall tone of the movie (which feels like it’s an adaptation of a comic book).

The action sequence in the middle of the movie that leads into a bizarre foot chase down a heavily trafficked street where black clad, katana wielding ninjas are flipping over cars while chasing the injured hero… I love it.

The sequence where the fucking Europol invade the ninja hideout in Japan with rocket launchers and shit is some of the stupidest shit I’ve seen, yet really entertaining.

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This kind of happens in Psycho, where the villain kills what looks to be the main character halfway through the film. Hitchcock wanted the secret kept so badly that there were notices outside every screening of the film requesting that people didn’t spoil it for others (and here I am 60 years later just freewheeling it online lol).

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Also a contribution to cinemas showing films in appointed times on a designated schedule if I recall. Hitchcock didn’t want it played like films at the time were shown as occasionally because the audience drifting in and out might have lead to confusion and spoilers.

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Werewolves Within was a fun little take on werewolves. It’s set in a small town in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard. A small group of the quirkiest residents quickly get cut off from what little civilization there is and they suspect they’re being hunted.

It isn’t as funny as advertised and I almost wish there wasn’t actually a werewolf and it was all just their paranoia and deep rooted mistrust of each other and their differences but it was still good. Lily from AT&T (Milana Vayntrub) was probably the best part. I think she likes being Lily but you could tell she relished the chance to do something else.

Other than that, I liked how much effort the movie put in to keep you guessing who the werewolf is. There’s so many red herrings and misdirections while throwing so many clues at you as to who the werewolf is or isn’t. And I really appreciated that a certain superstition they mention is actually (somewhat) based in reality.

Overall… :thinking: 6.5. Enjoyable and clever, it simultaneously goes above and beyond in some areas but not far enough in others. Also, I’m still trying to figure out why the werewolf didn’t eat the one character when they had the chance… I have an idea but it still doesn’t reflect well on the werewolf’s survival instincts in that specific moment. :man_shrugging:

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. All in all it was a movie I’m happy I didn’t waste money on in the cinema. One of the things that really ruined the movie for me was the awful visuals. Not that the plot or acting was great. The majority of the fantastical visuals looked like it belonged in a animated film and didn’t blend with world. It became an eyesore and likewise alot of the animation looked janky. I’m impressed that with all that money and effort they often look cheap. Not as bad as Black Panter’s cgi hell climax fight.

Im glad my last MCU film in cinema was End Game.

Score 4/10

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I hope they print this quote on the blu-ray box

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It was closer to roller coaster then a film.

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Dr Strange: Multiverse of madness

Different from what i expected tbh. Most Marvel movies have a simple cinematography style, this one didn’t for some reason. Some neat, professional kind of angles were chosen which makes me believe the creators took this project and its story pretty serious. The only problems is: the acting and the hasty pace of the movie went fully against that.

This is definitely cinema for simple minded people who like a pre-chewed story. Things in this movie litterly happen for no reason at all. The flick starts with Spanish Girl™ falling out of a random universe with Stephen Strange’s corpse and bringing an octopus-like creature with her that trashes the city. Somehow Strange makes it his life goal to get her back and shit. Que to Wanda being le bad because (see: Wandavision). Shit happens, some funny cameo’s, a few battles later and Wanda ain’t bad anymore. Cool.

I don’t hate this movie. I actually enjoyed it for what it was. Visuals and cinematography were nice. The people behind this movie have a really, REALLY creative mind. Some things you just don’t make up on the spot. Kudos for that! I’m just a bit let down about the unnecessary aspects and the fact that too many ideas were squished in a (imo) short run time.

Rating: 7

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I feel attacked. :sweat_smile:

It has its weaknesses for sure but I found it oddly compelling. Much more engaging than the first one, for sure. I might be “simple minded” (definitely pretty aggressive tbh :joy:) but I was entertained despite its obvious flaws. I usually just look to enjoy a movie first and then figure out why or why not later and, for this one (like with Endgame, which I adore despite its ludicrous time travel plot, to borrow an example from a certain Jedi Master), I just found more to like than not and that most of the flaws were overlookable (except when Wanda clearly took America’s power at the end only for that to apparently not be the case, that remains a headscratcher).

I would say she’s more misguided and selfish, not to mention corrupted by (a dark) magic (book) and then realizes that.

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Two words: Sam Raimi
…along with the executives who gave him lots of free rein to paint it in his style; Plus the team at Marvel who went along with his vision and crafted it all.

I didn’t catch all of this, I’m not aware of most of his films, but apparently there’s a lot of parrallels you can gather from his other films compared to Doctor Strange 2.
It’s not perfect parrallels, but some are pretty darn close.

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