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January 22nd, 2014

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10:42 pm - Something Old, Something New
Although the last batch mixed old and new, the new movies tended to be terrible. Not so this time!

John Dies at the End: John Dies at the End is one of my favorite books, but I was unsure how well it would translate to film because it is just so out there. Don Coscarelli's adaptation manages to juggle the horror-comedy tone more successfully than Bubba Ho-Tep, largely because he doesn't try too hard to make the movie scary. And yet, he doesn't make it a silly comedy either; he plays the weirdness pretty straight, which as it should be. The movie gets a lot of the adventures of John and David right. Though I was unsure from the trailers, I did think the casting of the two leads was pretty good, though I can't say someone else couldn't have done a better job. Rob Mayes as John is particularly good, far more likable than Chase Williamson as David, who—although the movie erases his problematic behavior and language—doesn't come off as very likable. Several scenes, especially early on, are straight out of the book, and it's a joy to see them onscreen. Unfortunately, the movie cuts out a lot to the point that the book is practically gutted. Important subplots—and I'm talking really important, like a major plot twist—are removed. Amy, the sole female character with any agency in the book, is barely even a character at all, plus they changed her hair color. The plot is somewhat more coherent on the surface but more incoherent overall because all of the actual atmosphere and worldbuilding that leads to the climax have been removed. In the end, it's a fun, bizarre movie that could never have lived up to the sheer WTFery of the highly entertaining and imaginative book. B/B+

Shaun of the Dead: In preparation for The World's End, I rewatched the first two installments of the Cornetto Trilogy. I'd seen Shaun at least two or three times, and it remains a wonderful zombie film. Like the best of them, it's completely character-focused: killing zombies is incidental. Shaun's relationships with his girlfriend, his best friend, his girlfriend's mates, his mother, his flatmate, his stepdad...those are what matters. No one is just zombie bait, and we actually care about their fates; it helps that the cast is great. Wow, that was a lot of rhyming. Pegg and Wright pack the movie full of foreshadowing and clever wordplay, much of which I didn't even pick up on until this most recent viewing. It's well constructed and well paced and highly entertaining, and Wright's visual style is a joy. There's a reason it's held up as a zombie classic. A-

Hot Fuzz: Many people prefer Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead, but even after a rewatch, I find Hot Fuzz a bit lacking in comparison. It takes a little longer to really get going, and it seems a little too serious at points. Simon Pegg's character doesn't have as strong a character arc, although it is kind of amusing that Shaun isn't responsible enough and Nicholas Angel is too responsible; Pegg gives a very different performance and reminds me that he's a great actor. Whereas Shaun sticks to the zombie genre, I feel Hot Fuzz tries to do a little too much, mixing a slasher movie with an action movie, and it doesn't feel as focused. That doesn't mean it's not very entertaining, however, especially in the last half hour when it just goes balls-out bonkers. B/B+

Network: In the first ten minutes of this movie, a newscaster announces that he will kill himself on-air in a week. If you think that's fucked up, you've still got 110 minutes to go. Holy fucking shit, this movie is amazing. After Howard Beale has a meltdown on national television, the network decides to exploit his rage for higher ratings, and cutthroat Programming executive Diana Christensen has all sorts of ideas on how to turn him into money. This movie is basically two hours of awful people yelling, and it's absolutely riveting. It's vicious and vulgar and how does this movie even exist. It's horrifyingly prescient about television and culture; everything it says is still relevant and powerful today, especially if you account for the influence of the Internet on public perception. It does peak at the famous "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore" speech and lags a little in the middle, but it picks up again for a hell of an ending. This is one of those classic movies that truly deserves its reputation and needs to be seen. A

The Silence of the Lambs: In preparation for Hannibal, I rewatched the classic I was far too young for when I watched it at, like, 11 or 12. Now I can truly appreciate the performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins and HOLY CREEPING SHIT TED LEVINE AS BUFFALO BILL IS CREEPTASTICALLY HORRIFYING. We all know the story: Clarice Starling talks to Hannibal Lecter to help catch a serial killer. I've found that one of the things I appreciate most in narrative is focus: the movie tells you what the characters are trying to do right at the beginning, and you spend the movie watching them attain that goal. No froofy subplots, no distractions. They are after Buffalo Bill, the end. Hannibal Lecter is almost incidental, and yet he makes the biggest impression because he's one of those polite monsters. He's the smartest person in the room and he wants you to know it, and also he will eat your face. Clarice's backstory is interwoven elegantly, and we understand her character based on what she tells us of her past, what Hannibal intuits about her, and what she actually does. It's weird, honestly, because this movie is deceptively simple, and yet because it's executed so well, it elevates itself above many other similar movies in the genre. A-

The Sting: It's another classic Hill/Redford/Newman joint, and they're up to their old shenanigans again, this time as con men out to fleece a mob boss. Robert Redford is the young pup, and Paul Newman is the legend, showing him the ropes on how to run a long con. And what a long con it is! (No, seriously, the movie is over two hours long.) Title cards announce each part of the con, from The Set-Up to The Sting, and...really, that's about it. It's one of the classic, quintessential grifter movies, and it's interesting to watch because it's set in 1936 so it's very low-tech. Phone calls! Telegraphs! Western Union! Much of what they do wouldn't fly today, but it's easy to see how the basic concepts would carry over into a modern context. While the movie doesn't pop with the whizbang swiftness we expect from heist movies these days—and it's not a heist movie, but the complicated schemes and the huge team involved make it feel more like a heist movie than a simple confidence game—it does keep moving, piling complication upon complication, occasionally adding a dose of unexpected violence. Plot twists abound, and when the con is on, the fix is in, and other catchphrases. Redford and Newman ooze charisma, as they are wont to do, and the whole enterprise is a lot of fun. B+/A-

Warm Bodies: In this new spin on the zombie genre with a dash of Romeo and Juliet, zombies are vaguely sentient for some reason. The main character has coherent thoughts and narrates although, as a zombie, he can only groan and speak the occasional word. None of this makes any sense at all, and it takes a long time to accept how zombies work in this movie because they're hardly zombies. They have pretty great motor skills, and they communicate, and we hardly ever see them eat any brains. Although they do! Because that is how they get memories or something, unlike these other zombies who are just wasted away and monstrous. Like I said, NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE AT ALL. Still, zombie R falls in love with human Julie, and their romance is kind of sweet and awkward. The movie plods along for a while, perhaps attempting to emulate a zombie shamble with its narrative momentum. The movie improves instantly any time Analeigh Tipton is onscreen, however. Not that Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer aren't good, though. I just think Analeigh Tipton should be in more things. Anyway, zombie romance, it's very sweet, characters are likable, sometimes the movie is funny, none of it makes any sense. That basically sums it up. B/B+

Bonnie and Clyde: I'm 40 years late on this, but I have a crush on Faye Dunaway. As the sexy and dangerous Bonnie Parker, she matches Warren Beatty's Clyde Barrow with style as they rob banks. The movie doesn't waste any time, beginning with their fateful meeting, where she's clearly drawn to him and a life of crime, far more enticing than a life of waitressing. Everything we really need to know about Bonnie we know from her decision to go with him. Their inevitable romance is complicated, as he's "not much of a loverboy" (which Wikipedia informs me was code for impotence, which makes more sense than his being situation-dependent asexual or something), but who needs sex when you have guns. Soon enough, they're on the run from the police, not to mention darlings of the media, who inflate their crimes into a place of myth. They pick up more colleagues and form the infamous Barrow gang because Bonnie and Clyde are charismatic as hell; it's hard not to get caught in their orbit. For some reason the only actor who won an Oscar was Estelle Parsons, who plays the most annoying character in the movie, Clyde's hysterical sister-in-law, who spends half the movie screaming (despite her real-life counterpart's being more helpful and proactive). But we've also got Genes Hackman and Wilder (the latter in his film debut)! The Barrow gang have many misadventures, but it was never going to end well: the final scene is still shocking and brutal after all these years. B+

Thelma & Louise: After having it out from Netflix for a MONTH, I ended up watching this feminist classic on Ridley Scott's birthday! Housewife Thelma and waitress Louise set off on a vacation away from their crappy significant others, and they get into some trouble. And then some more trouble. Hoo boy, these girls just can't keep out of trouble! They end up fugitives in multiple states, but at least they're enjoying themselves. The narrative moves swiftly; there's never a lull since they're on the run. The relationship between Thelma and Louise is central to the movie: it is the movie. They have plenty of conversations that aren't about a man, although they also have conversations that are about men because most of the men in this movie suck. At times it does feel like a cathartic feminist revenge fantasy, which is fun. I loved Thelma especially, as she undergoes the most dramatic transformation, finally free from her terrible marriage; Louise seems to have some darkness in her already. It's a whole movie about women having fun and committing crimes! We have so few of them. Everyone knows the end of the movie, and by God, it earns it. B+/A-

All the President's Men: It's the story of the quintessential political scandal, Watergate, a scandal so scandalous that decades later we -gate things that have nowhere near the impact this story had on the country. This story took down a President, okay. Two guys took down the President. Although the movie doesn't take us that far, it does follow the crucial first seven months of the investigation, in which Woodward and Bernstein make lots of phone calls, pay awkward housecalls, meet with a mysterious informant in a dimly lit parking garage, and attempt to confirm information in the most roundabout ways possible. It's always fascinating to watch these pre-digital age conspiracy thrillers, watching people dig through STACKS OF PAPER of all things. Using rotary phones! Phone booths! Phone BOOKS! Woodward is the neophyte, but he takes the lead in the investigation over the more senior Bernstein, who doesn't play second banana but isn't featured as heavily. It's fun to watch them dig deeper and deeper, following each clue down into a new rabbit hole as the plot becomes more and more labyrinthine. It's a template movie full of elements that have now become clichés, like the aforementioned parking garage meetings, "Follow the money," "This goes all the way to the top!" (not a direct quote), etc. I started to become lost halfway through myself, but Woodstein—so affectionately/derisively named by their editors, not that they ship them or anything—doggedly put everything together to the point where they piss people off, which is when they know they're right. This is a movie that makes phone calls tense and typewriting ominous. B+

Tootsie: Once that Dustin Hoffman interview went viral, I figured it was time to check out this classic drag comedy, in which an unemployed actor goes to drastic lengths to get a part on a soap opera. Michael Dorsey becomes Dorothy Michaels and boom, he's a star! On the one hand, the entire plot revolves around a man taking a part away from a woman, and on the other hand, the entire plot revolves around a man having his eyes opened to the sexism women face every day. As the interview shows, Dustin Hoffman's growth paralleled his character's. Dorothy responds to microaggressions with impassioned monologues about being a woman and standing up for yourself, and those moments are lovely, but it's more than a "message" movie. It's also more than a "Ha ha, it's a man dressed as a woman" movie. While there are plenty of dual-identity shenanigans, it doesn't feel like a hysterical farce that goes for cheap gags. In fact, it's more of a really weird romantic comedy, as Michael—as Dorothy—begins to fall for BABY JESSICA LANGE (while also in It's Complicated with baby Teri Garr [and in It's Really Complicated with some other men who fall for her]). Watching the behind-the-scenes features, I can see that a lot of love and care went into this movie; it's a movie where everyone involved worked together to make the best movie they could. The script is sharp, with very little fat, and scenes end on punchy lines. It's got jokes about theater, acting, and soap operas. Also, Geena Davis's film debut and Bill Murray! B+/A-

The Heat: I experienced some cognitive dissonance watching this movie because it was just like all those buddy cop movies BUT WITH WOMEN. Which was entirely Parks and Recreation writer Katie Dippold's intention, after all. According to IMDb trivia, the last female buddy cop movie was Feds from 1988. Sandra Bullock plays the tightly wound, by-the-book cop, and Melissa McCarthy plays the aggressive, uncouth cop who just doesn't play by the rules. Each woman's introductory scene perfectly illustrates who she is, and we know how this story goes, and it's incredibly entertaining. They team up to take down a drug lord or whatever—the crime plot is, of course, incidental to the real story, which is their relationship—and Sandra Bullock learns to loosen up a bit. She also gets to say wonderful lines like "That is a misrepresentation of my vagina." McCarthy's character is wildly unprofessional and pulls her gun out all the time so much I can't even but this is action-comedy movie world, where you don't get suspended a million times for things like that. I could criticize little things about the script if I felt like it, but the movie is funny enough to make up for it. It's pretty much funny all the way through, with very little falling flat, and it's got a sweet core; I felt an actual emotion at the end. Now that both Bridesmaids and The Heat have been big hits, can Hollywood stop pretending that it's box office poison to give women leading roles? B+/A-

This Is the End: This apocalyptic comedy received surprisingly strong reviews, and several people said it was hilarious. Perhaps, like the characters in this movie, they were high. The movie opens with a parade of cameos, where nearly every other line is an actor saying another actor's other name—Seth Rogen knows his own name, folks—and it's cute and distracting because they're all playing fictional versions of themselves and I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time but it's weird okay. Then, as you may have guessed from the title, the world ends, and then, as you may have guessed from the poster and the trailers, the only people left are a bunch of white dudes and one black guy. They proceed to be very dudely about everything, and it is only mildly amusing at best. I could tell the movie thought it was funny. I could tell there were points in the movie where I was supposed to be enjoying myself. But the characters are such awful people that I didn't want to watch them. I did like that the fact that they were awful was relevant to the plot, but the superficial discussion of what makes a good person was kind of insulting by that point. The best parts of the movie are anything dealing with the actual apocalypse because at least those scenes are fun and cool and visually interesting (the movie does have some nice directorial moments, despite the shitty script). Also Emma Watson. B-/B

Mama: A horror movie produced by Guillermo del Toro, co-written by Neil Cross of Luther fame, and starring Jessica Chastain and Jaime Lannister? Sign me up! Expanded from this short film, Mama had me staring at the screen in horror within the first ten minutes. Two girls are found in a cabin after five years, feral. Their uncle and his girlfriend (Jessica Chastain, who looks like she's in a rock band...because she is in a rock band) take them in, but they bring with them...MAMA. Who is a grotesque ghost played by a man with Marfan syndrome. There are some wonderfully creepy scenes where it's unclear you're watching the ghost until you realize you're watching the ghost and all your hair stands on end. And then there are the fucking scary scenes when the ghost is angry and she's moving all spider-like. It's a PG-13 horror movie, so it's not about buckets of blood; it goes for old-school scares and it earns both its jump scares and its creeping horror. Besides the horror elements, though, we connect with Chastain and her attempt to be a mother to these children she didn't ask for, as well as the children's attempt to bond with her after five years being raised by a ghost. As for the ghost itself, I love that the movie is upfront about her and generally plays by its own rules throughout, leading to an ending that feels right. All in all, a very strong horror movie that left me uncomfortable to be alone in my apartment. B+

The Conjuring: It was a good year for horror movies with old-school scares! Unlike Mama, though, The Conjuring is based on a "true story," featuring real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who investigate the haunting of the Perrons, a family with FIVE DAUGHTERS because we need lots of children in peril. The strong cast—Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor—give us a reason to care about these characters and their fates. Once the scares start, they're practically relentless, and director James Wan mixes them up so you're never quite sure what's coming. A door opening or closing? Lights going out? A face in a mirror? Like a demonic spirit himself, he feeds on the audience's fear, playing with our own anticipation for a scare and then throwing an actual sighting at us when we least expect it. The movie is full of fantastic, terrifying scenes, bolstered by the 1970s aesthetic and the use of now-outdated technology. The climax is somewhat disappointing because it doesn't have as much oomph as the rest of the movie. But, hoo boy, overall, it's creepy as fuck. B+

Pitch Perfect: I kind of thought this movie was basically Step Up but for singing, but I heard enough good things and I like Anna Kendrick so onto my DVR it went. The basic plot is simple: Anna Kendrick joins an all-girl college a cappella group seeking to win a national competition. Of course, the group is a ragtag group of misfits who are laughably bad in the beginning but get it together by the end. Of course, Our Heroine's love interest is a member of the rival a cappella group. Of course, the scene-stealers are a fat Tasmanian and a soft-spoken Korean. Okay, that's a bit different. Writer Kay Cannon, of 30 Rock and New Girl, however, uses this skeleton of familiarity to hang all sorts of hilarious shenanigans, making the movie consistently funny. It achieves a perfect blend of silly and fun, never going too far into absurdity, except maybe with the announcers played by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks, who seem to exist in a world all their own. And yet as awful as they are, they represent the magical way the movie is able to gently mock a cappella while also celebrating it unironically. The musical numbers are expectedly wonderful, especially the final routine. The movie is not—har har—pitch perfect; the main character's arc is a bit muddled and a lot of time is spent on a tertiary character who barely interacts with the story. But it passes the Bechdel test the way movies should—by focusing on female characters and telling their stories—it's unabashedly fun, it's laugh-out-loud hilarious, everything Rebel Wilson or Hana Mae Lee says is gold, and Anna Kendrick makes great songs even better. B+/A-

Now it's time for the annual Oscar catch-up!
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Lorde - Royals

(14 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")


[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2014 07:09 am (UTC)
The Sting! Pitch Perfect!

I have a soft spot for The Sting; it's one of the movies my father sat me down and had me watch at a young age (I was probably 11 or 12) and watched me watch it (other such movies were Dr. Strangelove and all of the original Star Trek movies). And I could just stare into Paul Newman's eyes all day. Wait, what?

And as a singer in a choir, Pitch Perfect was...well, perfect! One of my other soprano friends and I may be planning to use the Bellas initiation at the start of our next year...and we call each other aca-bitches all the time now.

Also, thank you for reminding me that I need to see The Heat. Like, yesterday.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2014 07:13 am (UTC)
Both The Heat and Pitch Perfect are sharply written female-centric comedies written by women with sitcom experience!
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
I would have given The Heat a B/B- for being way too long. Several of the scenes would have been funnier had they been cut by 30 seconds to a minute. But I did love those two together.

The Conjuring probably deserves that B+ but I almost want to give it an A- for how much fun we had clapping at random times after the movie. (I watched it Halloween weekend while on a trip with friends.)

I also liked Warm Bodies more than you did but I'll concede your points on the lack of sense making. Although I took his being able to narrate internally to be our first sign that there was more to the zombies than we might assume. Almost like they were deteriorating from the outside in? And if they could find a way to get their hearts beating again, it could reverse the process. But, if not, they'd eventually lose all of their fleshy humanity and become Boneys.

I'm right there with you on This Is the End. I'll note the majority of people I saw praising it so highly were celebrities. And it felt like something someone who is a part of that world would enjoy as kind of an inside joke. I laughed more than I thought I would based on my first assumptions about this movie but less than I expected based on the high praise it was getting. Emma Watson was probably my favorite part.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
The Conjuring probably deserves that B+ but I almost want to give it an A- for how much fun we had clapping at random times after the movie.
Oh my fuck the clapping scenes.

I'll note the majority of people I saw praising it so highly were celebrities.
That may be true, now that I think about it. But it got good reviews from real critics!
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
But I think critics would also still get that inside joke feeling out of it since they probably have access to and have interviewed a lot of the people involved. Maybe? I have no other justification for why they thought it was so amazing. But, to be fair, I feel that about how they review all of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's movies. There's something there that critics seem to love that I just. Do. Not. Get.
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
I'm one of those who prefer Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead, if only because (a) I prefer action movies to zombie movies, and (b) more to the point, I'm more familiar with action movies than zombie movies. Also, while I agree the slasher movie stuff is a bit much, the payoff is it being an homage to the original Wicker Man, which to me elevates it.

It's sad that when Network originally came out, it was billed as a "perfectly outrageous motion picture", because just about everything the movie predicted has come true (except no one's ever been killed on the air for ratings - yet). Consequently, it's not as funny as I imagine it must have been in 1976, except when Faye Dunaway is on screen, but it remains a powerful experience (especially Ned Beatty's speech near the end).

I actually prefer The Sting to Butch Cassidy; despite the length, I find it tighter, and without any extraneous fat (Butch had the "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" interlude and another pointless musical interlude when they got to Bolivia). Plus, Paul Newman's entrance is one of the great character entrances.

I'm in complete agreement with you about Estelle Parsons in Bonnie & Clyde; I don't understand how she won the Oscar that year (admittedly, of the competition, only Beah Richards and Katharine Ross deserved to be there). The rest of the movie is very good too.

I have to admit it took me a couple of viewings of All The President's Men to give it a fair chance, simply because it cuts so much out (if you've never read the book, it's one of the best non-fiction books ever written), but I do like it a lot now. And speaking of the Oscars again, it's mind-blowing to me Gordon Willis' cinematography was completely ignored. As for the other Dustin Hoffman movie you cover, Tootsie is proof a trouble production doesn't dictate how good the movie is, because this was extremely troubled (they went through at least eight writers and three different directors, and Hoffman and Pollack clashed throughout filmmaking), but you'd never know it from how funny it was (and Bill Murray's playing the straight man and still almost steals the movie!).

I forget, were you a My So-Called Life fan? There's a whole episode where one the characters admits she only slept with her ex-boyfriend because A River Runs Through It was on TV, and she got horny while watching Brad Pitt; at the end of the episode, the ex mentions he's rented Thelma & Louise, and you know they're going to get back together again. As for Thelma & Louise, there were some slow spots, but it is powerful overall, and I actually think there are more good males in the movie than are given credit for; Harvey Keitel's character is somewhat patronizing, but he honestly doesn't want them to screw things up any more than they have, and doesn't want any harm to come to them, and as for Michael Madsen's character, he brings money to Sarandon that she needs, without getting an explanation.

Finally, I watched Mama for Jessica Chastain, and while I thought the horror stuff was a little by-the-numbers, I did like it overall, and she was very good.
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
I actually prefer The Sting to Butch Cassidy
So do I.

Bill Murray's playing the straight man and still almost steals the movie!).
I didn't even realize Bill Murray was in it! I was like, IS THAT BILL MURRAY??

I forget, were you a My So-Called Life fan?
Not when it aired, but I watched it on DVD. And, yes, Brad Pitt is pretty damn hot in T&L.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
LOVE all these mini-reviews. Makes me want to watch some movies now!~
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 07:14 am (UTC)
Yay! Watch and report back!
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
I really want to rewatch Hot Fuzz now, and it's not on Netflix. I swear, they somehow manage to never have what I'm in the mood for.

I've been wanting to see The Heat, because... well, it's a female buddy cop movie. These are things relevant to my interests.

Silence of the Lambs was a fantastic film. It's a shame that they had to try to cash in with sequels and prequels, because I feel like they do a disservice to the original.

I saw John Dies at the End a few weeks back, and it was about as twisted as I expected from something by a Cracked staff writer. Very entertaining, tho. Dark, funny and action-packed. I haven't read the book, but judging from what I've read about it on TVTropes, a lot was cut... which was probably necessary to keep the length manageable. The Frankenplot they wound up with did a decent job of seeming like a single story arc to viewers unfamiliar with the book (like me).

...and speaking of epic mind-fucks, have you seen the Madoka Magica movie yet?
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
I HAVE NOT! How is it? I know it came to theatres a while back, but is it a real sequel?
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
It was scheduled to show at the little arthouse theater near my place, so a friend and I eagerly made plans to go see it. Aaaaand then all nine showings were sold out almost a week beforehand. At a theater that doesn't normally pre-sell tickets. So I downloaded a fansubbed bootleg instead. We were disappointed to not get to see it in theaters, but there was an up side: since we were watching it at my place and it was a rare night when I didn't have work, we could split a bottle of bourbon and crack wise. Oh, how we cracked wise....

Yes, it's a real sequel, depicting post-series events. Telling you that is almost a spoiler, because we spent the first ten minutes debating whether or not we were seeing an earlier time loop before determining that there was no possible place in the timeline it could fit. This movie spends the first half-hour actively trolling the audience.

Fifteen minutes in, I looked at my glass and said, "What was in that bourbon?" Half an hour later, I said, "I used that 'what was in that bourbon' line too soon." An hour after that, my friend said, "Okay, now is when you should have used that line." That's how much this movie fucks with your head.

How was it? Amazing. Mind-bending. Frustrating. Exciting. Horrifying. Amusing. Bewildering. Agonizing. Brilliant. Awful. Incredible. In other words, it was a Madoka Magica story.

I seriously can't say much about it without giving away things that you should find out by watching. There are some fantastic action scenes and visuals. There are some good character moments. There are some laughs. There are twists that blew my mind. I can't even talk about my feelings about the ending without revealing too much.

It's a nuisance that the only copies around are camrips, but it's definitely something that needs to be seen. Only... once you see it, you can't unsee it. You may want to cherish that ignorance while you still can.

And they need to hurry up and make the next movie, dammit!
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
Ok, this is weird. I just read this post, and then happened to go look at the on-screen guide on my TV.

Three of these movies are on right now. Did you Netflix all this, or was some on HBO/Showtime/other cable movie channel? If the latter, then I guess it's not weird and they're just in-rotation this week?
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
I Netflixed Mama before discovering that it was playing on Cinemax all the time. Pitch Perfect was from cable. And I Netflixed or Redboxed Warm Bodies months ago and now, yes, it is playing on cable all the time.

(I managed to take A Good Day to Die Hard out of my queue in time since it's also on cable now.)

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