Author Topic: Respond to the last movie you watched  (Read 99374 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2490 on: June 27, 2018, 11:00:55 AM »
I know the professor mentioned the Scarlet Witch in a lecture at the start of the semester, but for the life of me I can't remember who she was.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2491 on: June 27, 2018, 12:52:24 PM »
Uncle Drew (Charles Stone III, 2018)

When Pepsi rolled out the original Uncle Drew commercials, featuring NBA star Kyrie Irving as an old man who schools the youngbloods on the local playground blacktop, they made a minor splash in pop culture, specifically the basketball world. So of course, when it was announced that a movie based on the character was in development, it was a little head scratching given there isn't a great track record for successful movies based on characters from a 30 second commercial. However, I am of the generation that grew up with and loved Space Jam, which took current NBA stars and turned them into movie stars. The critics disagreed, but as a young sports fan, I loved seeing my heroes on the big screen, utilizing their personalities for entertainment and seeing them dunk on the Monstars. Could Uncle Drew be this generation's Space Jam, a movie that entertains basketball fans but is generally panned by critics? We shall see.

Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) is merely a legend to today's New York City ballers hoping to make their stamp on the famous Rucker Park tournament, but when Dax (Lil Rel Howrey) loses his star player (Aaron Gordon) to his rival (Nick Kroll) just before the tournament, he must strike up a friendship with Uncle Drew to head his new team. The two travel the area to recruit Uncle Drew's old team, which includes Preacher (Chris Webber), Lights (Reggie Miller), Boots (Nate Robinson), and Big Fella (Shaq). But before the team can excel on the court, where they hope to once again restore true basketball to the playground, they must overcome their own long brewing animosity in order to come together to play team ball. Dax, meanwhile, is on a mission of redemption not only from childhood embarrassment, but also the embarrassment of his girlfriend (Tiffany Haddish) leaving him for his rival.

 To begin, the story at play here deals in very broad strokes and is paper thin narrative work. However, odd as it may be to say, the story is only a small percentage of what this movie is attempting to accomplish. True, in fact very true, this is a very corporate commercial for Pepsi and a few other brands. There is no avoiding that point. But once you look past the product placement and thin story, what you get is a movie that loves basketball, about characters that love basketball, and that passion comes through clearly while also assembling an otherwise amatuer cast who is more or less game to entertain. Where the movie often fails is trying to be overly sentimental and emotional. Where is soars is when it affords this pro basketball cast to show off their skills on the court, and allows them the chance to be comedians. It often helps too when the comedic talents of Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll help lead the bunch.

Kyrie Irving et al. are surprisingly not as bad at acting as I would have thought. That is not to say they are good, and in fact they stick out far more often than they blend in, but I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't a trainwreck from a performance standpoint. Minor win? I suppose so. But as I said, what truly fuels this film is its love of basketball. Director Charles Stone III, who already has a solid sports movie under his belt with Mr 3000, adds nothing to the film with his filmmaking sensibilities, save perhaps getting out of the way enough to let the amatuer cast have its fun, which pops off the screen in a very fun way. In the end, Uncle Drew is merely a film in which a bunch of pro basketball players who love the game get to play ball and have fun. As a result, there is some fun which translates on screen and is available to the audience, should they choose to embrace it.

I couldn't help but think that basketball is likely the best sport to do this sort of project with. There are more personalities, and the NBA seems to have the sort of relationship with its fan base which allows for the amount of fun on display here. I with other sports leagues were able to follow suit and have their famous players showcase their sport on the big screen. I would welcome that kind of potential showcase of fun, especially as a major baseball fan. But if you take the NFL for example, they have a relationship with their players and fans that is tenuous at best, and one which is certainly not the right environment to produce such a film. So yea, Uncle Drew may be cheesy, it may be broad, its story may be actually pretty horrible, but in the end I can't deny that I had fun with this. You be the judge, but I would move to not simply dismiss this movie as horrible.

★★★ - Liked It
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Junior

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2492 on: June 27, 2018, 02:11:58 PM »
Space Jam was , odd as it may seem, a formative movie for me. Your review indicates that Uncle Drew will hit about as high as I expected it to, but that will likely be good enough for me too. I think it looks kinda fun.
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2493 on: June 27, 2018, 08:20:54 PM »
Deciding between that and the Soldado for tomorrow night.

pixote

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2494 on: June 27, 2018, 09:53:09 PM »


Love, Simon  (Greg Berlanti, 2018)

Although Love, Simon eventually won me over with its feel-good ways, I found it to be a very problematic film for reasons I haven't really seen discussed anywhere (surprisingly). Simon exhibits some internalized homophobia that the film never properly deals with. Early on, when still closeted, he remarks of the school's sole out (flamboyantly so) gay student, "I wish he wouldn't make it so easy for them [to make fun of him]." This kid, who seems to be picked on constantly, represents Simon's worst fears for himself should he come out of the closet. The other kid deflects all the venom with sharp-tongued sass, but there's still the strong sense that he's a helpless victim, however tough his outer skin might be. But when everyone realizes that Simon is gay, the whole dynamic of the high school seems to change: teachers step in to reprimand homophobic bullies; the whole student body roots for gay love; etc. Because Simon is so straight-acting, he helps to make gay cool. He's gay, but he's not GAY. His internalized homophobia practically becomes an asset, and that's a completely shitty message.

Grade: B-

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2495 on: June 30, 2018, 06:09:08 PM »


Three Identical Strangers  (Tim Wardle, 2018)

This new documentary is strong on subject, weak on presentation. Wardle repeatedly plays up the "twists" of the story at the expense of delving too deeply into the details. The interviews aren't great, the reenactments are needless, and the editing too often buries the lede. Cut through the gloss, though, and you have the inherently fascinating story of triplets reunited as strangers in their college years, with the added bonus of a possible conspiracy and the tragedy that lends it all extra weight. It's all plenty watchable but ultimately a bit underwhelming.

Grade: B-

pixote
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 01:31:06 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Bondo

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2496 on: July 01, 2018, 06:30:50 AM »
Love, Simon  (Greg Berlanti, 2018)
Although Love, Simon eventually won me over with its feel-good ways, I found it to be a very problematic film for reasons I haven't really seen discussed anywhere (surprisingly).

I watched this last night and had a similar response. Like, the film is mathematically created to make you feel happy about it at the end, but so much oof along the way. Just based on the trailer I was a bit cynical because it's 2018 and stories about the toll of the closet seem passe. Certainly closet panic has ceased to be an excuse to treat all your friends like trash and generally be a bad person. At least Simon gets called out, Martin's creepy incelist entitlement that Simon abets gets a free pass. Also, I will never not hate people who make large public scenes about their feelings, except for weddings. People who show up for weddings are consenting to the scene.

But the thing I did like is how it displays Simon's projection of who his pseudonymed corresponder, each in series as he eliminates people from contention. It is a sort of on the fly retconning that seems authentic to how crushes work.

pixote

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2497 on: July 03, 2018, 12:43:04 AM »
Certainly closet panic has ceased to be an excuse to treat all your friends like trash and generally be a bad person. At least Simon gets called out, Martin's creepy incelist entitlement that Simon abets gets a free pass.

Amen.

But the thing I did like is how it displays Simon's projection of who his pseudonymed corresponder, each in series as he eliminates people from contention. It is a sort of on the fly retconning that seems authentic to how crushes work.

The film is probably at it's most refreshing and progressive when it implicitly encourages its (mainstream) audience to root for one potential crush over another. There's a presumption of empathy for the character that's refreshing. The audience isn't watching from a clinical distance as an Other, wondering what this gay kid on screen will do; instead, we're all invited to share in the giddy thrill of possibilities of who Blue might be.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2498 on: July 03, 2018, 12:55:37 AM »
Saw Isle of Dogs on a plane.  The screen was too small to see the subtitles, the color was off, and the sound kept cutting in and out.  For a Wes Anderson film, I don't think this counts as watching it!
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Re: Respond to the last movie you watched
« Reply #2499 on: July 03, 2018, 12:56:26 AM »
Unsane

I'd say this is the least of the Soderbergh "Medical System Trilogy".  Certainly the tension is high, but I think that Claire Foy's character is so unpleasant, it is hard to really appreciate the injustice and terrible danger she is in.  And that takes some effort on Foy's part, because she is so likable in The Crown. Joshua Leonard is fantastic as her stalker and Jay Pharoah was extraordinarily pleasant as her co-patient.  The thriller is well paced.  But wow, Sawyer, you are a tough person to be around.

Unsane-- 3.5/5
Side Effects-- 4/5
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