Sunshine, Light, and Joy

 

This is a post that I've been thinking about for awhile. Recently, I opened up the discussion to other members of the staff to get their feelings on the matter, and their opinions generally matched mine, which is this:

Within the last year or so, there's been a steady increase of negative posts in movie threads. We've always had some heated discussions for some movies, but recently things have not only gotten more histrionic in those threads (generally speaking, the CBM ones), but they've started to spread to other franchises and other movies as well. I'm not talking about out-and-out trolling, I'm talking about members feeling they have to consistently shit on a movie (or studio, or star) simply because they aren't interested in the current project or projects. With every piece of news about a movie, it's now a virtual guarantee that there's a flood of people rushing to say they think it sucks, they don't like the current trailer/tv spot/actor/actress/director/concept. And I get it -- we all have movies we don't like, movies which we think are bad ideas, industry people that just don't appeal to us. But there's a fine line between expressing your opinion about this and doing it so often, with such consistency, that the collective emphasis of all of it basically brings down the entire thread and thus the entire forum.

There's no easy answer to this. We don't want to crush freedom of expression here. But at the same time, the spirit of this forum is for people to have fun talking about the movies they love and the box-office runs they love.

To have fun.

And while it may be fun -- in a sense -- to personally vent about a movie, or to vent at people who dare to enjoy something you don't, it doesn't bring fun to our community. In fact, it generally drags down the overall fun for everyone else. We've had people repeatedly mention to us over the last several months or so that in some cases they don't even bother going into some threads -- even for movies they're curious about! -- because they just don't want to deal with the overall mess those threads contain. And frankly, that matches the personal opinion of most of the staff as well.

So this post is both a request and a warning. 

The request: Next time you feel like taking a dump on a movie (or a topic) for the dozenth time, take a moment to consider whether it's really worth it. People probably already have a good idea of what your attitude about the project is. Maybe just put your posting energy into a movie that you enjoy and love or are excited about.

The warning: The staff is going to be taking a closer look at some of these threads and we'll be more active with temp thread-bans if we think it'll help the overall vibe of the forum. I'd rather we don't have to, but it's not going to constrain any of you too much if you aren't allowed to post about a movie you supposedly don't care about anyway.

Remember the words of Bill and Ted: "Be Excellent to Each Other".

They're just movies, guys. It's about having fun.

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Webslinger

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Everything posted by Webslinger

  1. It's sad, but not unexpected, that It Comes at Night hasn't caught on. It's way too deliberate and ambiguous to catch on with the mainstream horror crowd - especially given that it's not really a horror film in the first place.
  2. I still can't believe that it's late June and the Brewers are in first place. And all this in the year after the Cubs win their first World Series in over a century and enter the season as overwhelming favorites to cruise away with the division. (Granted, there's still a lot of baseball left to be played, but still...)
  3. It's kind of astonishing that The Last Knight may be on track to make less in its first day - plus previews - than Revenge of the Fallen did from midnight showings alone eight years ago. And lo, the mighty shall fall, indeed.
  4. That's basically Marky Mark's love interest in the new film. I started laughing when I thought of how perfectly it described her while seeing the film last night.
  5. Oh man. This movie is such a chaotic mess that I feel like there's no better way to capture the film's scatterbrained approach than with equally scatterbrained commentary. - It feels like at least half-a-dozen movies crammed into one. That's not even hyperbole, either. Seriously, here's just a short glimpse into the subplots that compete for screentime at one point or another: 1.) King Arthur with Transformers (which, admittedly, may have been better than the last two live action King Arthur flicks); 2.) The scrappy adolescent orphan's efforts to survive on her own and the half-explored arc in which she becomes Marky Mark's surrogate daughter; 3.) The continued adventures of Marky Mark (still a less ridiculous name than Cade Yeager, so we'll go with that throughout the review); 4.) Anthony Hopkins and his robot servant's ramblings about the coming apocalypse; 5.) The sexy professor's arc from an accomplished woman whom everyone rags on for not having a man to becoming Marky Mark's love interest; 6.) The U.S. Government reaching out to Megatron and a team of Decepticons lifted from prisons to form a last-resort team of bad guys to do the good guys' bidding - I was waiting for Megatron to say "So what are we, then: some kind of... suicide squad?"; 7.) Optimus Prime - yes, he's really in this movie! - being brainwashed into helping his creator destroy Earth. And honestly, I might even be missing a few subplots here and there. It makes Batman v. Superman look focused by comparison. - On one hand, I'm glad that we're no longer subjected to Shia LaBeouf screaming "No no no no no no no!" and exploiting every possible way to act like a tool. On the other hand, nothing in his characterization rings quite as hilarious as the film's attempt to retroactively pass his family off as - wait for it; like, seriously, wait for it; in fact, do yourself a favor and sit down if you're not already - members of a long line of nobles called - I'm serious, sit down if you're not - the... - I swear I'm not making this shit up - WITWICCANS. Not ten minutes before Sir Anthony Hopkins reveals that name, I was thinking "Well, at least this movie doesn't have anything as stupid as Transformium." - Despite the Witwiccan nonsense, I do still feel that this installment at least tries marginally harder than Age of Extinction. Unlike that film, which hit us with three setpieces massive enough to act as climaxes, this one tries to spend a sufficient time developing its story and characters before getting to the protracted sequence in which viewers' eyes glaze over despite the visual and aural mayhem (Bayhem?) unfolding before their eyes and ears. The trouble is that said "story and character development" is the kind of historical and mythological mumbojumbo so mind-blowingly dumb that it makes Dan Brown's oeuvre look like Team of Rivals. - Oh, Marky Mark. He's a legitimately talented actor and it's a shame that he hasn't translated his Oscar nomination for The Departed (speaking of: more than a decade later, I still can't believe he was the only cast member to score a nomination in a film that also starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson) into worthier roles. His charisma is wasted in this franchise. - You know who isn't wasted in this franchise, though? STANLEY TUCCI! I wished the entire movie could have been two-and-a-half hours of his drunken Merlin bumbling about on a horse and occasionally interacting with robots. His performances in these movies work so brilliantly because he knows he's slumming hard and he absolutely owns it. Anthony Hopkins also tries his damndest to take the "I know this is shit, so let me have fun with it!" route, but he's not quite as effective as Tucci. - There's at least a halfway-decent movie buried in this mess, and it's the subplot about the adolescent orphan girl. She's the only interesting character in the entire film, and she has an infinitely more believable bond with Mark Wahlberg than his character's daughter in the previous film (a low bar to clear, yes, but still...). So of course, that subplot gets nipped in the bud less than halfway through so that we can get tons of exposition before an overblown finale. - You'll notice that I've said surprisingly little about Optimus Prime until the very end of this review, but such a strategy reflects the movie quite well. Despite being the most prominent robot, he's barely in the film until the two-hour mark, and there's about as little tension to the question of "Can Optimus be turned good again?" in this film as there was to "Is Optimus really dead?" in the second and third films. If only the makers of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 had taken a similar approach to Jack Sparrow... - You may also noticed that I have said "shit" more often than usual in this review. That decision also reflects the film quite well. You could get pretty sloshed doing a drinking game in which "drink every time they say 'shit'" is the only rule. Seriously, it feels like they were trying to match the South Park episode that had a tracker for s-bombs in the bottom right corner of the screen. - Let's be honest: this movie blew chunks, and so will the next one. That being said, I'll still see them anyway because they're damn fun to hate-watch. I can't think of another series whose actual jokes land with a thud while virtually everything else is unintentionally hilarious. C-, I guess
  6. I'll have much, much more to say later, but the good/bad news (if you're someone whose anticipation for these movies has to do with ironic hate-watching) is that it's marginally better than Age of Extinction and possibly also Dark of the Moon (of course, the corollary is that it's also definitely worse than Revenge of the Fallen). The moment that had me laughing my ass off, however, was when we first see the very fetching female lead giving a serious presentation on Arthurian legends with glasses on and her hair in a tight bun. All I could think of was the joke script for Michael Bay's version of The Dark Knight that circulated the internet in 2008, which described its female lead as follows: "She is the hottest woman in the world, but she wears glasses because she is also the smartest woman in the world."
  7. That is short for Bay, though. I remember wrapping up the 130-minute running time of Pain & Gain and marveling at how much shorter and swifter it felt than his other works. Even the first Transformers feels "short" at 143, given how long the rest of them went.
  8. I'm re-(hate-)watching all the Transformers movies ahead of The Last Knight's midweek opening, and once again, I must say that I legitimately enjoy the hell out of the first movie. Sure, it has signs of all the qualities that would go on to sink the sequels, but those qualities appear to be kept in check by the filmmakers' apparent recognition that they actually needed to make a solidly enjoyable popcorn flick in order to get audiences on board with the whole concept of once-popular toys becoming the basis for a blockbuster franchise. I still remember that preview night screening fondly: the sold-out crowd was into every minute of it, which wasn't something I could say of the opening day audiences with which I saw the sequels.
  9. The vast majority of comedies released since November also looked incredibly unfunny, so I'd chalk it up to subpar products pulling subpar numbers rather than some sort of political connection. However, while it was sold as horror and definitely plays more in that vein than in a comedic fashion, I would argue that the humor in Get Out was a huge part of its audience appeal; therefore, in a sense, we have had a pseudo-comedic live action hit in 2017.
  10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt slumped a bit this season. I still enjoyed it thoroughly, but it's a cut below the previous two seasons. I also finished the new season of Orange Is the New Black. I must hand it to the showrunners for going as dark as they did this time around.
  11. It will undoubtedly be frontloaded, but damnnnn at that All Eyez preview number.
  12. A- Get Out Logan Wonder Woman B+ Beauty and the Beast Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 It Comes at Night John Wick: Chapter 2 The Lego Batman Movie B Alien: Covenant A Cure for Wellness The Fate of the Furious Split T2: Trainspotting B- Kong: Skull Island Life C Unforgettable C- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales D+ Fifty Shades Darker
  13. I know it's basketball and all, but two scores in the triple digits?!
  14. Honestly, I haven't frequented RT in over a decade. I'm one of those Metacritic sophisticates, I guess.
  15. What do you expect? Only six people saw Silence - the five others in the auditorium and me.
  16. To be fair, I think this forum cares about a Mummy film with Tom Cruise just as much/relatively little as the general public.
  17. Agreed, but unfortunately, theatrical mainstream audiences largely gave it the cold shoulder. I hope it picks up a massive following on cable.
  18. To be fair, when have these weekend threads ever stayed on topic? Coming from the limited and straightforward discussions on Filmgasm and KJ, I'd argue that the scattershot nature of these threads adds to their charm, if anything - just so long as it's not an endless back-and-forth of arguing about specific sets of films.
  19. It's kinda hard to believe that Russell Crowe was once nominated for three Oscars in a row and won one of them (almost two). Then again, the guy's temper is as legendary as his acting ability, so I guess it was only a matter of time until he hit supporting roles in major franchise films. I hope he gets another chance to straight-up act circles around everyone else around him in a dramatic role.
  20. Oh, I've told my students many-a-time that the Patriots sucked something awful when I first started watching football. It's hard to believe that their first Super Bowl win was actually a feel-good story at the time...
  21. My "what the hell is this?" reaction to all the memes in this thread is making me feel as old as Tele.
  22. You know, for all the irony that guides the internet's preoccupation with the Star Wars prequels, I actually find them pretty entertaining - especially Revenge of the Sith, which I rank ahead of Return of the Jedi on my Star Wars list. (*runs from the torch-and-pitchfork mob*)
  23. Does the internet really hate Kate Mara? That's unfortunate. Honestly, if film doesn't work out for her - and it clearly hasn't so far, aside from her supporting role in The Martian - she should sink her teeth into more TV roles. She was aces in House of Cards and the first season of American Horror Story.
  24. Perhaps it's because a solid 15 years have passed since I last tried to care all that much about the NBA, but I still can't wrap my head around the fact that the Golden State Warriors are good at all, let alone a juggernaut with three straight Finals appearances and the single season win record. It's almost as surreal as the fact that the Houston Astros are on pace for more than 110 wins. (They won't get there in all likelihood, but people said the same thing about Seattle in 2001, so...)
  25. I'm digging the hell out of Orange Is the New Black, but I get why reviews haven't been as strong this time around. The format is inevitably going to turn some viewers off, but it's still a show that runs on being able to find little moments of nuanced connections between its many characters.