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

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

  1. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I thought the story was always that although the book is satire whoever made the film was actually into the idea and didn't intend it to be satire?

    Might be misremembering but it would explain the weird tone of the movie.
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  2. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Starship Troopers, the novel, was not meant as satire. It actually was meant to express Heinlein's belief in national service, and that everyone really ought to have to EARN their citizenship. He's certainly been criticised for that philosophy. On the other hand, he also wrote books like Stranger in a Strange Land, which in some ways became a handbook for the hippy movement, as well as I Will Fear no Evil, which dealt (symbolically) with gender politics and women's rights. So he was a complex guy that couldn't exactly be shoehorned into the left or the right, politically. (I believe I read somewhere a while back that he was embarassed by how the hippies embraced his writing).

    Honestly, I tried once or twice to read Starship Troopers, and I just got totally turned off by it. I couldn't read it. I do like a lot of his books, just not that one. I've also had problems trying to read some of his juveniles. But that's not just him -- I have that problem with a variety of YA books by other authors as well.
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  3. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

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  4. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Well, it is a book that takes a certain sort of ... let's say “perception”, to be able to enjoy it. But to be honest, that is true about many books dealing with potentially controversial issues and presenting a viewpoint that is distant enough from the current situation.

    All the controversies about the books, the accusations of various extreme viewpoints presented? All of them are true, and yet at the same time none of them are. It is all as much a political discourse as it is a form of presentation for the story contained in the book, and which you see is which it is for you. So it ends up being a book the reading of which is influenced—more than in many other cases—by the experiences through which we see the world, by our perception of what is, what isn't, and what appears but nothing more.

    When I'd read that book, I had already heard and seen my fair share of propaganda and misconceptions and cultural brainwashing about various things and from various sources. And I could relate, and I could look at the presentation, at the controversial propaganda, and snort at it mentally while at the same time being aware that it's not a simple black-and-white issue and that those in the book, many of them, might as well have done the same too and yet they went along with it because that's how they were made to be.

    But others are not me. Others have their own perception of it. And all of that dictates whether they will enjoy the story, scorn it, or think it unworthy of any attention. And sometimes not even they know why that is, because not everyone knows why they perceive the world the way they do. Even those who do aren't always able to tell others why it is, because explaining our own perception to those with differing one doesn't always work as well as we'd want to. I'd learned to accept that, or at least pretend well enough that nobody notices the difference.

    Anyway, I'm stopping now; not because the potential discussion would be bad as I'm sure that wouldn't be the case, but rather because I'm making a wall of text about a book in a thread about movies, and I don't want to force Daynab to go “what a nice post you have here, would be a shame if something happened to it” on me because we know he doesn't fancy doing that.
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  5. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Ah so I was half misremembering. The book wasn't satire, the movie tried to kinda be.
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  6. Bohandas

    Bohandas Member

    Spongebob II was good
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  7. Bohandas

    Bohandas Member

    Good lord, 2001 was -TERRIBLE-. It should've been about 1/3 as long and it should have had either a different ending or at least a much better executed one.
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  8. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    The ending was brilliant. I saw it in the theater when it first came out, and I Remember discussing it with my dad. I didn't think it was too long -- I was engaged the whole time. If they ever actually make Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" into a movie (Which keeps being rumored over and over again, but never actually happens), you'll REALLY hate that ending. Because it's a book that doesn't actually have a real ending lol. But it's great. And again, it never spoon-feeds you it's meaning, and there's no real revelation or explanation to it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0134933/?ref_=nv_sr_4

    Part of the problem I believe is that it's one of those movies that works best on the big screen, like Lawrence of Arabia. Also, It doesn't spoon-feed you its meaning, which lets it work on multiple levels. 3 people can go see the movie, and they can all have a different interpretation of it, and they all can be right.

    The other part of the problem is that post-Star Wars, everyone wants simple action stories where you just turn your brain off, and not have to think. There's nothing wrong with that, but this is not one of those movies.

    Furthermore, Clarke was notorious for his belief that anything alien or overly advanced would probably be incomprehensible to modern humans. And it infiltrates a lot of his writing.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
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  9. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    A movie that I've been waiting to see for a while now, finally opened near me (it's an indie film that had only a limited release, but apparently after great word of mouth, it opened in a lot more theaters starting yesterday). The movie is called "Ex Machina", a little science fiction film that is about this wealthy genius/CEO who claims to have invented an AI, and invites one of his employees to his remote mountain laboratory to conduct a Turing test.

    In case you are unfamiliar with the term -- a Turing test, named after computer pioneer, Alan Turing, is a test where you have a conversation with an unseen entity and decide based on that conversation whether or not the entity you are talking to is a machine or a human being. If you interview a machine and you cannot tell that it is a machine, then for all intents and purposes, that machine could be said to be intelligent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

    This is an intelligent, twisty little drama in which it is difficult to predict exactly what direction the story will progress, and that is the beauty of it. If it is playing by you, I highly recommend it.

    BTW, I also previously saw "Furious 7", but never actually wrote a review of it. It was a fun movie, that had good word of mouth, but really the only reason why I went to see it is because I got to the theater too late to see the movie I actually wanted to see lol. It's a fun, mindless action film with over-the-top vehicular stunts and almost non-stop action. Buy some popcorn, turn your brain off, and enjoy. Note that actor Paul Walker died before the film was completed. Thus, they actually ended up changing the end of the movie to be a tribute to his character in the franchise. Imho, It was a well-done and fitting send-off.
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  10. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    This evening I went to see a double-feature of "Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron", both in 3D. I have to say that I had a really good time, and both are films that are best seen in the theater. And although often films do not benefit all that much from being in 3D, these do. The crowd was great, which certainly added to the experience, with people laughing and clapping and cheering at all the right spots. Granted, I now have to see the second film again, since at times the crowd was so noisy that I didn't get all of the dialog. But that was a given anyway.

    As far as the new one is concerned, I have a few criticism, but overall it was a fun film to see for anyone who likes action adventure/comic book films. But I will say that it certainly has more visible flaws in it. It was obvious to me that some scenes were cut, probably to get it down to its 2 1/2 hour length, and I suspect that those scenes were a bit... essential, in that there were places in the film that seemed to jump too abruptly (I'm trying not to give any spoilers, but to give one huge example, there's an action scene in NYC that doesn't seem to have actually started in NYC... Which had me scratching my head). There was a lack of chemistry between two characters who had a romance arc. And a few other odds and ends that I won't bother you with.

    On the other hand, there were some things about the movie that I did really like, that were good enough that I forgave Joss Whedon... for most of it. I love the introduction of the new characters, (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and The Vision (who was one of my favorite Avengers back when I was reading the comics). And some peripheral characters from the other movies also make appearances, a few of which are hinted at as being new members of the team going forward (I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to mention War Machine, and Falcon).

    Anyway, it's a movie that I wish were better, but one that still is a great achievement, contains a great deal of humor, and was a lot of fun. If you like any of the movies from the MCU, I definitely recommend this film. Oh, and the usual cameo appearance of Stan Lee in the movies... well this one Is my favorite out of EVERY one of the Marvel movies he's appeared in (not just the MCU ones).'
  11. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    I saw Age of Ultron last night, and while I cannot disagree with most of your quibbles (I actually liked the romance, it made sense to me, but I'm a romantic at heart so maybe it won't make sense to others) I actually preferred this movie to the first one. I really didn't expect that to happen.

    At the end of the movie, walking out, my wife and I both agreed that it wasn't exactly what we were expecting going in...and that we rather liked it that way. From all of the interviews I read, they were saying that it was going to be absolutely jam-packed with action. And granted, it was action-sequence and money-shot one after the other through the whole movie, but I felt the downtime gave us a better understanding of our heroes, and our villains, than any other MCU film to date. It made everyone, even Ultron, seem more human and real.

    I totally can see that there were scenes cut. If the rumor about an extended edition blu-ray are true, I'll be all over that like [insert outdated metaphor here]. But I came away actually thinking about how the movie made me feel, and what I liked about it, and I came away preferring it to the first. My wife puts it on the same level as Guardians of the Galaxy, which is her favorite MCU movie, so that's pretty high praise from her.

    In the end, I think my opinion of it is a bit hard for me to pin down. The first Avengers had more 'fun' to it, I think, but then again in AoU there was a Hulkbuster fight and Vision's casual scene (you know the one I mean, Haldurson) and Ultron was just awesome...so I don't even know if I can say I feel the first one was more fun. Yeah, the first one had all of them getting together for the first time, and our first helicarrier, and all the awesome 'firsts,' but this one felt more...meaningful...to me. There was bigger heart and soul to this one. You can really feel that Whedon put every ounce of himself into Age of Ultron and it feels more substantial somehow. I really can't explain it.

    And yes, that Stan Lee cameo is now tied for my favorite of them all as well. (My other favorite is Thor, with the truck, and "did it work?!" still makes me laugh out loud.)
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  12. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    I've not yet seen Captain America 2 or Thor 2; would this one spoil much if I saw it first?

    And re: Stan Lee cameos

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  13. Xyvik

    Xyvik Member

    Captain America 2 has an extremely huge paradigm shift in the Marvel universe, so yeah this would spoil that. Thor 2, not so much, although one of the objects in it is referenced a few times
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  14. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    You should definitely see Cap 2 first. It explains quite a bit, plus it's just a great film. A lot of people feel that it was the best of all of the Marvel films, actually. I actually bought it just so I could watch it again before I saw Age of Ultron. I watched several of the Marvel films again before seeing the movie.

    And btw, this film to a large extent, is setting up the upcoming Captain America 3 film ("Captain America: Civil War"). A lot of people are calling "Civil War", "Avengers 2.5", because so many of the other characters are supposed to play a role in it. There's even rumors of a Spiderman appearance, and the actor who plays Daredevil in the Netflix series, Charlie Cox, has stated how he'd love to make an appearance as well (although that would not be his decision, obviously).

    I also agree that James Spader was TERRIFIC as Ultron, and I do love Vision as well. I kept wanting to see him in the trailers, because I loved him in the comic books, and he was the character that I was most excited to see. And I think they did a really good job with him. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future movies.

    As far as romance is concerned, it's not that I don't like romance in the films -- I just felt like that the particular romance between Bruce and Natasha felt uncomfortable. It just felt like a terrible mismatch. The thing between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts -- I just loved that. I also liked the Captain America romance in his first film. And I loved the whole family farm thing. And I'm wondering whether or not they will go the comic book route with Vision and Scarlet Witch having a serious romance.

    I didn't dislike the film, but I'm really glad that there will be an extended cut when it's released on home video.
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  15. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Avengers 2 is the only movie I am currently thinking of looking for when it comes out. I used to hate the "Superhero" genre altogether, but they have made it much more enjoyable in recent years. (Or my standards sunk low enough that I no longer notice how awful they are.)

    I have been watching all the Marvel stuff recently. And much of it, despite being horrible for the side of my brain that has reason and logic, it has been good all around as a time waster.

    When it comes out in a form I can use, I will likely shell out the cash to rent or even buy it. (Lacking a Blu-ray drive for my PC, or a television at all, I can only depend upon watching a DVD on my PC or renting one of the more modern streaming copies when it is available.)
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  16. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I think that, rather than your standards lowering, it's that this particular genre in the past had just been a cheesy thing for fans of the genre, and while it can still be quite cheesy nowadays it's at least somewhat enjoyable, be it because it's good or because it's a good train-wreck.
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  17. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    First of all, we've come a long way as far as the kinds of effects that can be shown on the screen. Second, it's become more acceptable not only to like comic book movies, but for well-respected mainstream actors to appear in them. It's easy to rationalize why a movie isn't good if you can point to it and say 'well so and so is just an action star -- he can't act'. But you can't claim that Robert Redford is a bad actor, nor can you claim that about Idris Elba or Robert Downy Jr., or James Spader, or Anthony Hopkins, Don Cheadle, Christian Bale, or any number of other talented actors who've appeared in comic book movies. I think that when the film makers started treating the genre seriously, it became easier for everyone else to treat it seriously.

    It's still hard to make a good movie, which is why there's so much drek out there. For every "Captain America: Winter Soldier" or "Guardians of the Galaxy", there's 10 Paul Blarts. But when a movie studio is spending the big bucks, you bet that they are going to put a lot more effort into making sure their summer blockbuster is not going to be compared to Paul Blart.
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  18. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    BTW, I've started getting interested in reading comic books again (well, graphic novels and omnibus collections). I never totally stopped -- I'd occasionally re-read "The Dark Knight Returns", or "Watchmen" or "Sandman", or "Cerebus". But then I got interested in "The Walking Dead", from the TV series, and then I saw a recommendation for this comic book series called "100 Bullets". And now I started looking for other recommendations. I don't think I'm going to get any comic book subscriptions any time soon. But for now I am interested in seeing what other people consider good in the genre.
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  19. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I went to see "Mad Max: Fury Road" this afternoon and it was absolutely fantastic. It's wall-to-wall action, a perfect popcorn movie, but with decent acting, over-the-top action scenes, beautifully filmed, without the cheesy accelerated shaky-cam action that is so hard to follow, and yet so loved by too many action directors.

    And btw, Tom Hardy may be Mad Max, but the film primarily belongs to Charlize Theron, who plays Furiosa. If you like action movies AT ALL, you'll have to see this one. It's crazy ridiculous, bizarre and wierd, and yet completely compelling. You don't have to have seen any of the 3 original Mad Max movies to get this one, but you may want to anyway (they are all worth watching). This is the best of the bunch, though.

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  20. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I went to see the next movie in the MCU this evening, "Ant-Man". I enjoyed myself, and I definitely recommend it.

    The story focuses primarily on Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd), who in the opening scenes is being released from prison. He's a burglar who's served his time, but he's a burglar with a conscience. He's divorced from his wife (played by Judy Greer), and she has custody of their young daughter, Cassie. She's since remarried to a police officer, played by Bobby Cannavale.

    Eventually, he meets up with retired CEO/scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily), and gets pulled into a scheme that just may save the world, but to do so, he must become Ant-Man and along with some friends, pull off a heist.

    The best parts of the film involve Scott learning how to use the Ant-Man suit, and I also really loved a lot of the action scenes, which (for obvious reasons) are VERY different to any previous action scenes. I know a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the comic book character who can't take the character of Ant-Man seriously, and they have a good point. But if they needed convincing that Ant-Man is an Avengers-level hero, the action scenes ought to convince them.

    The movie certainly has a sense of humor, but I actually preferred the style of humor in "Guardians of the Galaxy". What it does have, though, is the immense talent of Michael Douglas, who is really good and convincing as Hank Pym, the 'original' Ant-Man. Corey Stoll plays industrialist Darren Cross and the supervillain, Yellow Jacket. Darren Cross maybe is not as good a villain as Loki, but he's far better than most of the other Marvel villains.

    Anyway, if you go and see it, keep in mind that there are * TWO * post-credit sequences, the first is something that I know the MCU fans will be excited to see. The second, which comes at the very end of all of the credits, ties Ant-Man into the rest of the MCU. Oh, and btw, there are a few easter eggs, such as an obvious reference to Spiderman.

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