What movies made in the last five years are worth watching?

Discussion in 'Discussions' started by OmniaNigrum, May 27, 2012.

  1. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    You have to realize that "2001" was my generation's "Star Wars". I'll disagree with you, as it was one of my all time favorite theater experiences. But yes, it's not a popcorn movie, nor was it intended to be. It was one of the very first hard science fiction movies, that is science fiction written by someone who understands the science and technology that is intrinsic to the story. And it also was one of the first SERIOUS science fiction movies, in that it was made by one of the all-time great directors. To someone like me who loved science fiction, but hated that it was rarely treated with intelligence or respect outside of the written form, it was a milestone.

    That said, Interstellar was a colossal mess. I don't quite understand the high ratings. To me, it's the Nolan's worst film ever.
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  2. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    Aye, I understand it's a hard science fiction movie (I'm a sci-fi author, I know the term rather well ;) ) I'm not a fan of hard science fiction because I get my "hard science" from education, including schooling and non-fiction books. When I want to relax and unwind, I watch a movie or read a good, thrilling book. If you start putting that hard science into either of those things, it starts feeling like I'm at school / reading a science manual, and that just totally turns me off.

    But I also, again, know that I'm very much in the minority about that, especially 2001. It was a huge accomplishment for its time, but it's not for me. I respect it for what it is, but I don't like it.

    ((and just so you don't think it's just cuz I'm a young whippersnapper ;) and think old movies are boring, 12 Angry Men is one of my favorite movies of all time. Slow, yes, but the pacing and procedures involved are just as relevant and interesting, to me, as they ever were.))
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
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  3. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    It was not made in the last 5 years, but a movie well worth seeing, and seeing again: Robert Altman's "The Player". It came up on my TiVo as a recommendation, and I hadn't seen it in a while, so I just finished watching it. It's a great movie about Hollywood and the movie business. It's also kind of a thriller, but a most unusual one.

    Tim Robbins plays Griffin Mill, a man who reads promising scripts for a major movie studio either rejects or purchases them. He's having a bit of a stressful time, because someone (Larry Levy, played by Peter Gallagher) may be gunning for his job. But also, some nameless writer that he may have snubbed several months prior has been sending him threatening postcards. He's not taking them too seriously, but then again, the threats are making him a bit jumpy. He sets out on his own to try to figure out who it is that's threatening his life, and to see if he can appease the guy, or somehow make things right.

    Anyway, it's a brilliantly written film, it features a great cast, and cameos that are a regular who's who of Hollywood. Everyone from Cher to Harry Bellafonte is in the film. And it's one of many reasons why I've often felt that Tim Robbins is extremely underrated as a lead actor. The story itself is extremely clever and self-aware, and does not go anywhere predictable. If you have not seen it, you really should.

    And btw, it does have a scene set inside an old favorite movie theater of my college days -- just the mention of the theater brought back fond memories.

    And on to a movie that was made a lot more recently, and one that some of you may have already seen or are considering seeing, "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies". Just so you know, I've had mixed feelings about the first two films in the series, but I found myself at the movie theater last weekend, and I thought I knew what I was going to see, but on an impulse, I changed my mind and went to see this move instead. It had to do with the fact that I had asked my nephew to go see it with me, but he had already seen it.

    Anyway, let's just say that I enjoyed the film more than I had expected to. There's a lot of things about the whole series that I could mention (heck, I'm not a Tolkien purist -- there are a couple of things about the source material that have always bothered me). I don't think that the novel ought to have been broken up into 3 separate films. I think it could have been done MUCH better, and certainly more concisely and faithful to the spirit of the source material with 1 film -- certainly it could have been done better in 2 films. But what we have are 3 films, and so that's what I'll comment on.

    The third movie, of course, picks up right where the second one left off -- Smaug is about to take out his anger on the people of Laketown. Thorin and friends find themselves alone in the Lonely Mountain. And Gandalf is a prisoner of the Orcs of Dol Guldur. And from there, it's almost nonstop action. That's a bit of a problem in that this is a trilogy, and so a year has passed in most of our lives since last left the story. Thorin's group suddenly finds themselves being led by a dwarf suffering from the 'dragon sickness' (aka 'greed'). And that's another problem in the story. There's little development. And something that also bothered me when reading the book, is how the whole Smaug story is resolved. But that's Tolkien's fault. You can hardly blame Peter Jackson for that.

    So what we end up with is a lot of fighting and action. And for what its worth, it's MOSTLY very well done as an action piece. The part of the film with Gandalf and Galadriel and so on did not impress me. The Love story with Tauriel and Kili felt entirely like what it was -- filler to attract a different sort of audience. And there's a lot of unnecessary (and sometimes totally inane/nonsensical) references simply as a wink to Tolkien fans.

    If you liked the first two films, why are you even bothering to read this? Just go see it. IT's a deeply flawed trilogy, certainly not nearly as good as the first one. But this does the story up reasonably well.

    IF there's only one word I could use to describe this trilogy of films as a whole, it's 'bloated'. Jackson forgot the most important part of writing, and that's editing -- trimming a story down to it's most necessary details. It seems to be an illness certainly not isolated to Jackson. There are a lot of writers out there with the the talent to know how to write. And unfortunately, there's not many who know when or how to stop.

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  4. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    I've still not seen it myself.

    Finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy the other day, was a lot of fun!
  5. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I've seen Guardians of the Galaxy like 3 and a half times. The first time, I went by myself, and enjoyed the heck out of it. Second time, I went because my nephew wanted to see it. The third time, I purchased the digital edition, but I fell asleep while watching it. Fourth time, THE NEXT DAY after falling asleep watching it, my brother comes over to the house with my niece and nephew, bringing one of their Chanukah gifts.... the DVD version of the film. I wasn't very well going to tell them that I had just watched the movie AGAIN the previous night and fell asleep while watching it lol.

    Anyway, yes, It's an incredibly fun movie. honestly, I didn't have to watch it 4 times. But still, I did enjoy it every damned time I saw it. It's a great popcorn film. I don't think it's the BEST of the MCU films, but it certainly is (at least for me) the most fun.
  6. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I'm going to recommend another fun popcorn movie: "Kingsman: The Secret Service". It is totally a tribute to the old spy movies and television shows from the 1960s, such as the older James Bond films, The Man from Uncle, the Flint movies, The Avengers (these avengers: [​IMG]
    not to be confused with Marvel's Avengers)

    It was a fun, over-the-top tongue-in-cheek film about a fictional spy agency and an plot to... well you'll have to see.

    It's rated R for a ton of violence (albeit cartoony over-exagerated cartoony violence) and some language, so keep the kiddies at home.

    There is nothing deep about the film -- it's merely the kind of movie that you go see to have a good time without too much thinking. I went to see it because the trailer made me think of John Steed:

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  7. I must agree on this! Definitely my favorite and the best so far.
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  8. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I love Guardians, particularly the chemistry between the characters, and their dialog (as well as the soundtrack). It certainly is tonally different from all other superhero films I've seen.
  9. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I don't know if I should be nervous or excited, but there seems to be a growing trend of going back to classic SF as the basis for upcoming movies and television shows:

    1. I already mentioned elsewhere, "The Man in the High Castle", based on the Phillip K. Dick novel of the same name. The pilot was actually pretty good, though I wish it were better. And it's been picked up for more episodes by Amazon Prime.
    2. I just read that Bryan Singer is directing an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". The working title for the film is "Uprising". This is one of my favorite Heinlein novels (after "Stranger in a Strange Land") -- I'd hate to see an all too traditional Hollywood handling of the film. Another "Starship Troopers" would just be awful.
    3. Syfy is making a miniseries based on Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End". I have not been entirely impressed with their handling of previous SF classics. Their version of "Dune" was meant to correct the mistakes of David Lynch's film (such as Lynch's apparent total lack of understanding of the novel's theme and the importance of the original ending). which they in part did. Unfortunately, they did manage to eliminate so much of what made the novel fun in the process. Then there was their version of "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" (ie. "Riverworld") which was not only bad, probably one of the very worst adaptations of a novel I can recall seeing.

    I'm sure that there are more. I'm still hopeful about "Wild Cards", though I haven't seen any new news regarding it in a long time.

    Taliking about classics: Syfy's series "12 Monkeys" is not bad. It's only loosely based on Terry Gilliam's classic film, and some of it really doesn't make a lot of sense if you examine it too closely (TV and Movies, with a few exceptions, tend to not handle time travel in an intelligent and logical way, so that's not isolated to this series specifically). But it's entertaining.
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  10. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    *please dont screw this up please dont screw this up please dont screw this up*
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  11. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Hehe :cool:. I've been thinking the same thing.

    It is so rare that a great SF literary work is actually handled properly that you can count instances of that happening on one hand. My favorite examples are:

    1. "Blade Runner" -- one of the ONLY instances where a movie actually was better than the novel it was based on.
    2. "The Lathe of Heaven" -- I'm talking about the 1980 made-for-PBS movie, rather than the 2002 fiasco. Low budget? Sure. But what it lacks in fancy special effects, it more than makes up for in its writing and the ability to present difficult to communicate concepts without feeling pedantic. It may also contain one of the earliest multi-racial couplings on the small screen that I can recall.
    3. "Children of Dune" -- while not great, actually was a lot better than the first miniseries in the Dune opus that Syfy did. I'd argue that they took a difficult and complex story and did about as well as we could have expected with it. Now if anyone ever decides to film "God-Emperor of Dune", I'm wondering how many people I could get to contribute to a fund to have the entire staff of writers, directors, and studio bosses who approved it executed.
    4. "Solaris" -- I know that the old Russian version, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky is considered a classic, but all I Can remember of it is waking up after a long sleep, having missed almost the entire movie. I actually prefer the remake with George Clooney. It's not a perfect rendition of the classic novel, but I really liked it.

    And that's all I can really think of.
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  12. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I actually liked Starship Troopers. Not the sequels. But the original is great if you do not take it seriously. I think of it as a spoof.
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  13. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I don't think that one counts as something from the last few years, but yes, it was a nice movie.

    Admittedly, I liked the novel more than the movie, but it tends to be like that for me with most movies adapted from books so that means nothing.
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  14. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    That was in response to this post by Haldurson.
  15. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I thought that Starship Troopers was just bad. It had bad acting, bad casting, and bad writing.

    If you want to see examples of what I mean by bad acting just watch Denise Richards in some of her scenes. It looks like her face is literally frozen, and if that's not bad enough, the face it's frozen in is just disturbing. I remember one scene where she has this INCREDIBLY inappropriate frozen smile. You'd think she was posing for a photo-shoot instead of going to war. And if it were just her, that would be something I could overlook. But the whole movie was kind of like that.
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  16. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Yeah. But what spoof does not have terrible acting? Nothing in the movie was serious. It acted like it was, but it never was.
  17. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    The problem I have with it being a spoof is that far too much of the film seems like it's being taken way too seriously. To me, it felt like it started out as satire, but lost its way after very little time. It never actually committed itself to being just one thing or the other -- a serious movie or a satire. I think it tried too hard to be both.
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  18. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    I have to agree with Haldurson on this one. I can't stand Starship Troopers for precisely that reason: it has an identity crisis. It's too violent, depressing and gory to be a good satire (in my book anyway; lots of people disagree with that idea nowadays) and it tries too hard to make fun of gung-ho politics. I've never, ever liked it.
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  19. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Well, I think I simply got used to violent movies then, since I can accept it as a spoof in spite of that. “To each their own”, as some do say.

    Though I do admit that it's not overly humorous, and thus not a parody in the usual way. I'd be tempted to say that it is a showcase of why movies about heroic warriors of that sort shouldn't really work.

    Anyway, matters not. I enjoyed it and that matters for me and for others who enjoyed it. And for those who didn't enjoy it that's what matters instead.
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  20. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    A beautiful way to put it! I wish more people on the internet were as sublime about such things.
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