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Topics - SCB

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General Discussion / Game of Thrones: Season 5
« on: January 31, 2015, 03:07:46 AM »
Season 5 trailer

Also no Winds of Winter in 2015, pretty much cementing HBO finishing the story before the books.

Geekville / Female Ghostbusters
« on: January 29, 2015, 10:15:40 AM »
Looks like this is happening. Not sure if this is a complete reboot or there will be ties to the original, but they're going all in with a female cast. I personally love these four women, although the weak link to me is Melissa McCarthy who is just becoming the female Chris Farley lately with her choices in movies where she just breaks things with her fall.

Geekville / X-Mení Live-Action TV Series
« on: January 27, 2015, 11:29:11 AM »
Twentieth Century Fox is getting in on the superhero tv show bandwagon. They're developing a live action X-Men series. That much is confirmed, but rumors are it's to focus on the lesser character they can't fit into the films and it will share the movie universe.

General Discussion / Black Mirror (tv series)
« on: January 18, 2015, 08:59:14 PM »
Hearing lots of good things about this show and rumor going around that this will be gone from Netflix possibly, so I got on it. It's like a modern R-rated Twilight Zone, but focusing on the dark side of technology and social commentary on where this could all be taking us one day.

Only two seasons with three episodes each season. Just finished season one. Not sure what to think of it. Each episode is it's own story and cast, but you never know what the plot is til you get to the second act and it's hard for me to really like it, til the episode is over and they reveal where this was all going.

Season one was a mixed bag. It's more dark than humorous, but with only three episodes left to go, I'll go ahead and give season 2 a chance.

General Discussion / Selma (2014)
« on: January 18, 2015, 02:10:12 AM »
Getting to top rated films of last year that was not on top my of my must see list, mostly war dramas left and this.

As far as black struggle/civil rights movies go, this was actually really good. One of the best movies of the year? No, but really well directed. This is supposed to be her directorial debut and it's a fine film. It hits all the right tones without becoming corny or preachy, in a movie about a preacher funnily enough. It really stays focused and on topic.

This sort of takes the Lincoln approach, a movie I will never watch again. The Lincoln film was more focused on the one thing Lincoln did rather than focus on his life, although that movie was basically a lesson in real time about how a bill is passed. This just focuses on MLK trying to secure the Voting Rights Act with the march from Selma to Alabama.

It felt like a very lean movie, they didn't cram a ton into this, at least it didn't feel like it. There's several talks between MLK and President Johnson about passing the Voting Rights Act and Johnson just shuts him down every time, basically playing politician. This is where the supposed controversy is with the film because apparently President Johnson played ball right away? I actually don't know, but what they show in the movie and how politics works in the real world, it didn't seem that far fetched.

The most powerful moments in the film is the violence inflicted by the police on the protestors. And it's not so much what you see on screen, it's that it's eerily familiar to what's been going on in the news the past couple of months. The movie is disturbingly relevant, whether you agree or disagree with certain issues in the news now. Yeah we've come a long way since then, but not enough perhaps. And the Voting Rights Act matters.

David Oyelowo is great in this. He doesn't do an MLK impression, just plays him as a regular guy. I think that's the best thing I liked about the movie. The man was never more important than the movement and message. When it came time for him to give the speeches in the film, he did deliver those notes.

I don't know why people rag on Oprah so much whenever she's in a movie. She delivers huge every time. I'm assuming people have never seen any of her movies and dislike her reputation. She basically makes a cameo a handful of times in this film and she's great in that tiny role. It's not that big loud talk show host, it's a real person. She serves her purpose.

Funny thing is the director basically took a lot of the actors from The Butler and used them for better purposes, including Oprah and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Really good movie about the Voting Rights Act. It stays on topic to the point where you can show this in schools. Also really relevant film right now.

Was this snubbed by the Oscars? I would say so, I mean at least for best actor. It's not going to make my personal top movies list, but that's subjective. I would nominate this for best director though since it's just very well made and hard to nitpick.

General Discussion / American Sniper (2014)
« on: January 15, 2015, 02:28:47 AM »
I'm not into war films, especially with the post 9/11 genre of them. Maybe because those wars are still going on. But I love a character piece like The Hurt Locker and this is kind of that.

This is about America's deadliest sniper, Chris Kyle. He's credited with 160 kills and wrote a book about his experience in the military. There seems to be a lot of controversy about the real guy, but that isn't part of this movie. Bradley Cooper talked to him and wanted to dedicate a movie to him. He produced it and Clint Eastwood directed it.

We meet Chris Kyle back when he was just a regular Texan, til one day he was inspired to serve the country and tried out for the Navy Seals. It seemed like due to the abnormal amount patriotism he had, it pushed him to his military greatness.

In The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner's character would disarm IED's. In this, Chris Kyle would take out those people setting them up. A lot of times these people were women and children and it was never a simple or easy decision if they should be taken out, quite tense actually. Chris Kyle protected his brothers basically and we see him start to lose his humanity which each kill.

This is the best Bradley Cooper I've seen or heard. He gained about 40 pounds for the role, but the way he talks as a southerner and the look in his eyes, I forget he is Bradley Cooper, same way I never thought he was voicing Rocket Raccoon. It's a shame Cooper got zero award nominations for this.

As for the movie, I think it could have been great, but it ends abruptly with a caption and the it just felt rushed. I would have liked to seen the things in the caption actually develop in the film. It just had an unfinished feel to it for me.

I'd see this movie for Bradley Cooper. He's great in this. He's come such a long way, not just since the Hangover days, but he was also in Wedding Crashers, and now he's a great actor.

Geekville / Spider-Man in MCU (Done Deal!)
« on: January 14, 2015, 01:46:49 PM »
I don't think thi belongs in Civil War thread anymore.

Latest unconfirmed news says it's a done deal. Spidey to be in Infinity War, plus huge unconfirmed spoilers for Civil War, Thor 3, and Infinity War 1-2.

Read at your own risk.

Geekville / Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
« on: January 13, 2015, 08:27:23 PM »
Well if you liked Justice League: War, you might like this. I disliked this as much as War. It's a boring and generic origin story of the 52 Aquaman with the unmemorable personalities of the 52 Justice League alongside him. If you only listen to the audio, it's really difficult to tell whose voicing which character as everyone is very generic, including Batman.

The movie involves the queen of Atlantis wanting to bridge the gap between the sea and surface lands. She has a son in Ocean Master who is itching to take over as king with Black Manta in his ear helping and her bastard son Arthur Curry who is the unlikely hero.

Yeah this was a one time watch.

Geekville / Chappie (2015)
« on: January 09, 2015, 05:55:48 PM »
This looks good. Johny 5 with guns.

General Discussion / Whiplash (2014)
« on: January 08, 2015, 11:47:11 PM »
I honestly would have never seen this based on the subject matter (jazz drumming), but this has been making a lot of people's top films of 2014 and I wanted to see why. And I now get it.

This is about a 19 year old jazz drummer who gets into this prestigious music school. His life ambition is to be a great jazz drummer, maybe become one of the greatest of all time. He relates to the drums more than he does with his friends and family. One day he's chosen by the one maestro and teacher at the school who can take him there. First day of class he realizes this guy is the biggest a-hole imaginable, a drill sergeant who will attack you emotionally and physically til you get it right. His philosophy is that in order to bring out your greatness, I will have to destroy, so you can overcome me and be the greatest possible.

I've read a lot of comparisons to the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket and it's pretty accurate. The things he says and does are horrible, but you can't help but laugh and not look away. It's intense, amazing, and never dull. JK Simmons kills it in this movie and his performance alone is reason enough to see this movie. If you've followed his career since Oz, then you knew he was capable of this, not just watching him in the last Spider-Man trilogy.

Miles Teller is also great in this. I guess the upcoming Fantastic 4 movie has at least 3 really good actors.

This is going to make my best of 2014 list for the intensity and fresh unique feel of a film.

See it. You'll be hooked once JK Simmons gets started on his students.

General Discussion / Top Five (2014)
« on: January 08, 2015, 02:31:01 AM »
Chris Rock writes, directs, and stars in sort of a self-reflective film. From the trailer it seemed like a generic Chris Rock movie, but this was surprisingly a deep, intelligent, very funny, but meaningful, romantic comedy once in a while, with an indy movie feel. Yeah Chris Rock accomplished all that and deserves credit.

It's about a movie star Andre Allen. He was a great stand up comedian who hit it big with a trilogy of comedic films called Hammie The Bear. Those were sorta his Nutty Professors and Big Momma's House cash in films. Now he wants to be taken seriously with his new film about a slave revolt, and no one gives him any respect. Plus he's about to get married to the Kim Kardashian reality tv star archetype in a televised wedding.

The movie takes place in a day when he let's a reporter hang around him for a candid interview to improve his image and it's a journey to sort of find his groove back.

I want to say so much more about this film, because there's so much good in it, but it's all spoiler territory and worth discovering on your own. If I had to guess, this movie is kind of about the process he might have had to go through to try and even make this movie. He used to be on top, then floundered on his early popularity the last decade, and now wants to be taken seriously again and turn it around, even though his reputation is his biggest obstacle. He has a lot more to offer the world than what they just expect of him.

I've heard people compare this to Adam Sandler's Funny People. I'd say it's a lot better and shorter. It's a funny thing because a lot of this movie has the Aaron Sorkin walking and talking moving dialog, but a lot more natural. And full of set pieces by well chosen and directed comedic actors who come in and out of scenes. Tracey Morgan is hilarious here, he's used just enough before he over does it and then he's gone. I'm going to keep the rest a secret since there's too many to name, but I even thought he had a very meaningful take on the Kim Kardashian character, rather than making her a parody of Kim and Paris type people.

This is also one of those films you have to sit through the end before you make up your mind because the last half hour really delivers and drives the story home.

Also in a subtle or not so subtle way, this feels like an FU to Tyler Perry and what he's pigeon holed black comedies to be the last few years.

Quality film.


General Discussion / Birdman (2014)
« on: January 04, 2015, 06:30:04 PM »
Heard great things about this film and it lived up to the hype in my head. The main draw for me was that this was a commentary on superhero films. While it is, that's just one comment the movie makes. There's a lot of great things going on at once.

So this is about a washed up movie star. He was most famous for playing the big budget superhero, Birdman. This trilogy kept him a world famous celebrity for three films. And it's been 20 years since he passed up on Birdman 4 because he thought it was getting silly and wanted to pursue other avenues as an actor. Nothing happened since and his life has gone downhill.

In an attempt to achieve something meaningful, he writes, directs, and stars in his own adaptation of a famous play. This might be all he has left since he's financing it himself. And nothing goes according to plan, plus people in the theater industry want him to fail because he's just a celebrity, not a "real" actor. They look down on him and are even disgusted.

So is this a reflection on Michael Keaton's career for turning down Batman 3? It sure seems like it, although I haven't read up on the reason for his casting. It just makes all the sense in the world for this meta casting. The movie references today's big superhero franchises like the insane amount of money Robert Downey Jr. is making off Iron Man and even lesser known guys like Jeremy Renner cashing in on Hawkeye. And 20 years ago, he was Birdman and superheroes were nowhere near the cash cow it is today, so it sucks. He sorta started it all and can't get any respect today.

Through out the film there's two constant elements of magical realism. There's the illusion that this entire movie was filmed like one continues take. I really liked this because you get the feeling like this movie never takes a break. It's constant because it has to be. Keaton's play has to succeed, even though everything keeps going wrong. The second element is that he hears and sees a voice in his head that looks like his Birdman character and uses the Birdman voice, telling him to screw everyone, we can be Birdman again and get back on top. During these moments in his head, he gets telekinetic powers and we're not sure if this is real or not.

Michael Keaton is brilliant in this. This is like The Wrestler to his Mickey Rourke. Again, I really don't know how much of this is really about him, but there's some extremely harsh things said to him about his career, that if I were Michael Keaton, I'd start to cry and punch the director. It's amazing and not just because of Keaton. Emma Stone kills it here as his estranged and jaded daughter who hates and loves him. One of my favorite Emma Stone performances.

Now it's interesting that both Emma Stone and Edward Norton were also cast because they're big names in superhero films. There's no reference to them, but Edward Norton is like the worst actor to work with in this film. And he was taken off The Hulk for that very reason. Norton kills it here as well. I loved and hated him. Zach G. and Naomi Watts also have small and memorable parts and Zach G I loved here. Completely serious and different here and also came close to making me cry.

Other than the commentary on big budget blockbusters, there's a scathing critique on critics and just being famous that's done really well.

Yeah I loved this movie. I don't think it's for everyone. It's a bit artsy and a lot more to do with theater than superheroes, but it does things you don't see other movies ever do and it's laugh out loud funny and touching at the same time.

Great movie.

Geekville / Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 Concepts (now a reality!)
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:57:57 PM »
This was going to be a direct sequel to Aliens, ignoring 3 and 4 and centering around Ripley and Hicks.

General Discussion / Foxcatcher (2014)
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:19:23 AM »
I went into this blind, other than the constant mention of Steve Carrel's great performance. And I was pretty weirded during the whole thing and I kept wondering and looking for the movie to tell me what to do and how to really feel.

This is based on actual events and actual people I've heard of in real life, mostly due to being a UFC fan from it's inception.

This movie centers around Olympic gold medal wrestler Mark Shultz, played by Channing Tatum. Like most athletes, once the Olympics are over, they're left with nothing to do unless they can make something off their Olympic fame. Mark can't and he's also overshadowed by his famous older Olympic gold medalist brother Dave Scultz, played by Mark Ruffalo. The only money he makes is for $20 a pop speaking fees, really meant for his brother.

One day Mark gets a call to meet multimillionaire John Du Pont, played by Steve Carrel at his private estate and ranch. Du Pont offers to pay Mark whatever he wants, as long as he can coach him to the next Olympic games to win another gold medal.

This all sounds great on paper, but the tone of this film is cold dead serious without any score. It's complete silence when people are not talking, an uncomfortable silence. The elephant in the room is that Du Pont is completely weird and creepy. He's not a normal person. And Mark Schultz is not a normal person. He's a walking time bomb due to all the pressures of having Dave Schultz as your older brother and training for the next games. So you have fire and gasoline close to each other the entire movie and I the audience never once felt calm or safe.

Dave ends up joining the estate/ranch to train with his brother and see's the uncomfortable tension between Mark and Du Pont himself, but since they're getting paid so much money by this guy, he puts up with it.

You know it's a shame Steve Carrel will overshadow everyone else in this film. His performance is very jarring. I mean you know it's Steve Carrel because it still look like him, but you'll forget it him in the film. It's his best performance, but it's also very noticeable of a performance. The transformation of Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are just as brilliant, but a lot more subtle to the point where people won't talk about it as much between the three.

I've always said Jonah Hill is the only person able to make Channing Tatum into a likable actor, but this movie shows Tatum as a terrific actor. He is solid in this and the main reason I felt uncomfortable watching this. I kept bracing myself waiting on what will Mark do?

Ruffalo wow. Put on lots of muscle, got a new hairline, and a brand new set of mannerisms that make him look and feel brutish.

Yeah so you get a really uncomfortable and weird movie. It's a wrestling and sports film in a way, but has nothing to do with those two subjects. It's the characters and you get three shocking transformational performances here.

I brought up UFC earlier because Mark fought in the early UFC's back when there were no rules or gloves.

See it for the performances and I'm curious what others say about the tone and story.

General Discussion / The Interview (2014)
« on: January 01, 2015, 05:09:12 PM »
So with all the controversy, you should not only know the plot, but also the ending. Actually you should have seen the ending since they keep airing it.

There are also several ways to see this now...and I think you should skip all of them because this movie was a long painful unfunny concept for a sketch gone horribly wrong. Yeah I was all for patriotism the last couple of weeks and watching this in the name of freedom, but now I'm just wondering if this really was a bad marketing attempt by Sony because they realized they were sitting on a turd.

Well controversy aside, let's just judge the movie. I'm a big fan of these two, especially Seth Rogen. So I genuinely enjoy this type of brat boy humor. You could say I should have been the audience for this. But the funny moments in this film are extremely rare and I chuckled at most in those rare scenes. Never laughed out loud.

The comedic writing is bad, but I think they made a big mistake in the roles of Franco and Rogen. Franco is the comedic one and Seth plays the straight man to him. James Franco to me just falls flat and forced in everything he says here. And I really think Rogen would have made all his bad dialog and jokes work.

Maybe this is for you if you think James Franco is funny. I've seen people actually split on who was funny and who was not between the two. Comedy is personal and might be a personal taste.

The little bits of the film I did like was Seth Rogen. He doesn't have much to work with, but he knows how to make his scenes enjoyable. And the character of Kim Jung Un was mildly entertaining in the start, but quickly went downhill.

Another huge problem with the movie is that it's a solid two hours. One hour in I was checking my watch and praying time would fly.

Yeah I did not like this and really hoped I would in the name of creative freedom, but I now find it hard to believe we'd go to war over this.

Geekville / Ant-Man (2015)
« on: December 29, 2014, 04:51:39 PM »
Promo art of Yellow Jacket

General Discussion / The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
« on: December 25, 2014, 08:38:11 PM »
I was dreading this based on what people have said, actually ready to hate it, but it was a really good Christmas matinee and a nice send off to this prequel trilogy.

Plot is pretty simple, but the journey is not. The movie is basically about the aftermath of Smaug's destruction. Towns and villages are destroyed and all the gold Smaug was guarding is not really up for grabs, but some is owed to the town's people who protected Thorin, Bilbo, and the dwarves. The elves also have claim to certain treasures in there. And Thorin is consumed with greed and wants all of it to himself. The elves lead by Legolas's father and the town's people lead by Bard are reluctantly ready to wage war against Thorin, unless he gives them their share of the gold.

So that's the setup of the movie and essentially the battle of the five armies. Now I'm not sure there were five armies in the film, I counted four and some bat people in the background who help the orcs.

It's non-stop action once the war begins and we get a really entertaining Battle of Helms Deep type war film and some setup for the Lord Of The Ring villains on the side wrapped up really neatly and briefly.

I thought this was really good. Not going to call this great, but it delivers on attempting to make a short story into another LOTR when stretched out in the final moments.

Hated Thorin as the main character in the first two films because I found him very unlikable and often times one note, but here I finally found him complex and redeemable.

The battles really deliver here as well, which is the strength of the film since there are quite a few.

Most of the things did feel very CGI, like I knew I was watching CGI instead of real armies or orcs. I wonder if I rewatch the original trilogy I'd notice that too or if he used more practical effects in early 2000.

I'd rank this and the second one the best and tied while the first one would be the weakest of the three.

Overall this finished strong, but it's no LOTR. If the first trilogy was Star Wars, this trilogy isn't bad like the second Star Wars trilogy. Wish they had made The Hobbit as a fourth film immediately following Return of The King a decade ago when Jackson's inspirational juices were fresh and splitting one film into 2-3 parts weren't a thing yet.

I'll always be curious of two things.

1. What would this film be like if it was one three hour film?

2. How would this have looked and felt like under Del Toro?

Geekville / Keaton's never to be Batman 3 Costume
« on: December 24, 2014, 04:47:59 PM »
This is supposedly where Grant Morrison came up with the Batman Inc. costume design. Actually really like it because of the black and gray.

Geekville / Star Trek 3 (2016)
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:00:16 PM »
Film finally lands a director, Justin Lin. He's done Fast 6 and a few other Fast films, plus True Detective, and a good thriller called Better Luck Next Time.

The last director Robert Orci actually dropped out about a month ago and I'm actually glad because he's never directed a movie before, only produced.

The Fast 6 stuff might turn people off, but all his films, especially Better Luck Next Time have been really fun. Guy knows how to direct action and build good scenes.

Geekville / Marvel vs. DC Fan trailer
« on: December 22, 2014, 04:42:24 PM »
Pretty awesome fan made trailer

General Discussion / A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014)
« on: December 19, 2014, 07:22:59 PM »
Pretty late on this, actually saw it a while ago now too. So this isn't a fresh from the theater review, I've sat on it for a few weeks, so maybe this will be more honest.

Liam Neeson plays a former disgraced cop who sort of acts as a private investigator for bad people or anyone whose willing to pay him really. He's not really licensed and has no badge, but he's good at this job and is pretty indifferent at life in general, due to his past as a cop. One day he's hired to find out what happened to this missing girl. More he digs, he finds out this is a regular thing and other women are getting kidnapped, tortured, then killed by a couple of guys around town. These guys are so bad, Neeson's character whose indifferent towards this type of stuff, even takes it personally and wants these guys caught.

The way this film was marketed in the trailers, you think this is another Taken film. This is more like The Gray. If you go in expecting Taken, you'll get a quiet crime thriller instead, more in the line of Silence of The Lambs when Jodie Foster is hunting and investigating Buffalo Bill, all the way to the end actually.

However, you do get your classic Liam Neeson moments you did pay to see. He eventually speaks to one of the killers on the phone and activates his Taken tone of voice and tells them this is how it's going to be, this is what he does for a living, and this is why they should just do what he says. Plus you get to see him fight, although he's not a superhero like in his other films.

So is the movie good? Yep. Haven't seen John Wick yet, but you have a couple of movies out right now from the Liam Neeson genre with this and The Equalizer with Denzel. Equalizer is more of the Taken route and this goes the Silence of the Lambs route. It's a mature crime thriller. Neeson is always fun to watch and the killers in this are genuinely scary and believable.

It's also a strange period piece in the sense that it constantly reminds you that this takes place in the late 90's and before a 9/11 world. I'm sure there's some subtext to that, but I didn't really think about it.

One funny thing is that Liam Neeson has a Brooklyn accent in the start of the film then just says fuck it and drops it like it's nothing.

Good movie.

General Discussion / Sony drops The Interview North Korea Wins
« on: December 18, 2014, 12:12:03 PM »
So this is what all the Sony hacks have been leading up to and Sony has caved, setting a really bad precedent about who we can and can't make fun of on the big screen, despite North Korea being the butt of jokes for at least a decade.

General Discussion / The Babadook (2014)
« on: December 09, 2014, 06:28:15 PM »
Well the horror genre seems to be all but dead, which is sad because I love that genre. Very few horror movies get released year after year and when they do, they're usually found footage or just pure crap, usually both. Well here's finally a good one. This is more of a late 70's and 80's type horror and a thinking man's horror movie. Watched it a couple of times now and still not sure what this is really about, and I mean that in a good way.

It's about a mother. Her husband died on the way to the hospital when she was ready to deliver her baby. And now that kid is a major problem child, like he's awful to deal with and she comes close to hating him because there's nothing she can do. One night she reads her son a bed time story and the kid asks her to read a book she's never seen in the house before called Mr. Babadook. It's a pretty creepy children's book and after reading it, strange things start to happen and this Babadook, let's say, won't leave her alone.

That's about as much I want to give away. I don't think the movie is scary, certainly no jump scares, but it's a really good story, more than just horror, there's other themes dealing with the mother and I'd be interested in listening to a director's commentary on what really takes place during the film and what is the Babadook.

See it.

Geekville / Krypton (SyFy)
« on: December 08, 2014, 07:23:44 PM »
Looks like they're developing a Superman show without Superman about his grandfather.

I don't know about this. Just my personal opinion, but Superman is hardly interesting enough to carry his own films and tv series, so a show about him without him will require some amazing performances and writing to hold interest.

Geekville / Bigger Box Office Numbers: Star Wars: TFA or Avengers 2?
« on: December 08, 2014, 02:33:08 PM »
Saw this debate on another forum and people are leaning a little bit on Star Wars edging out Avengers 2.

I confidently say Star Wars because it appeals to multiple generations of Star Wars fans.

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