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rukaio101

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rukaio101 last won the day on December 23 2014

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About rukaio101

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    Wherever a man cannot live in simple dignity, wherever a people cry out for justice

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  1. I haven't slept in nearly 20 hours and I'm very bad with names. Sue me.
  2. Just got back from my midnight screening and, while I'm not usually the sort to say this kind of thing, in this case it feels appropriate. Fuck the critics. This was great fun. Don't get me wrong, it's probably a weaker movie than the first Kingsman, the narrative's not nearly as tight and there are quite a few dodgy moments here and there (including some really bad CGI robot dogs) but I thought it captured a lot of the same sort of style, imagination and heart that made the first Kingsman such a fun watch. A lot of the cast are clearly having fun (even if some have fairly minor roles), Julianne Moore was delightfully over-the-top as the campy villain, the action was great and I honestly think it was a very worthy follow up to the first film and better than most action movies I've seen this year.. My audience seemed to respond positively as well. I will say that if you didn't like the original Kingsman or were on the fence about it, you'd probably dislike this one as well, since it is very much the same sort of thing. But if you enjoyed the first Kingsman as much as I did then I'd say definitely give it a try.
  3. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Woot! Managed to get a bunch of good tickets for the London Film Festival in October, up to and including The Shape of Water, You Were Never Here, Big Fish & Begonia, Brawl on Cellblock 99, Blade of the Immortal and several others I've been interested in. Here's hoping they live up to my expectations. Only real disappointment is not being able to get any tickets for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (since I love me some Martin McDonagh).
  4. Not trying to patronise you Bau, just struggling to understand how anyone can say "The child orgy was an integral part of the story" with anything resembling a straight face. (FYI, I'm so going to quote you out of context saying that next chance I get.)
  5. Come on, Baumer. The sewer sex scene? All that crap with the Turtle and the Ritual of Chud? There's a lot of things I like about the book, but that doesn't change that there's some really stupid stuff there.
  6. I read the book (albeit a few years back) and... honestly, I actually kinda prefer the film? Don't get me wrong, the movie has issues as an adaptation (since I do agree that Ben and especially Mike both get somewhat shafted) but I thought it did a great job at slimming down the narrative and cutting out a lot of the unnecessary fat and stupider aspects of the book. Most of the changes you brought up I honestly thought kinda actually improved the movie or at least had good enough payoffs to justify the change. Even Beverly getting kidnapped I felt worked narratively (although I'm 50/50 about the damsel in distress implications) since she was the heart of the group, the one who tried to keep them all together when they started arguing and the one who did the most damage to Pennywise in the wellhouse. Plus her kidnapping worked to force an immediate confrontation between the Losers and It, without time for the former to prepare, hence more tension. Anyway, personally, I really liked the film a lot. I don't think I'd call it all that actually scary but I thought the Pennywise setpieces were fun and twistedly inventive and the movie had a lot of heart, especially with the Losers club. It had a lot of good strong emotional beats and character arcs and I liked the movie's slow-burn use of Pennywise as a slowly encroaching menace. I'll admit I'm skeptical to see how they handle the second movie, since there are quite a few changes and I'm not sure the movie's charms will work as well with adult characters, but this turned out a lot better than I thought it would. A
  7. Theater bans Gone With The Wind for being "Insensitive"

    No. Because the last century of film hasn't consisted almost entirely of movies with all-black casts.
  8. Theater bans Gone With The Wind for being "Insensitive"

    Funnily enough, this is actually a pitch-perfect argument for why we do need more diversity in films and portrayals. Why? Because there were black people and people of other races in Medieval Europe. Loads of them. Traders, workers, even a few minor nobles and knights here and there. They're not exactly pushed front and center in the history books, but they were there. So how come nobody ever brings them up? Well, it's quite simple. The major reason that the general view of Medieval Europe as being whites only is because almost every piece of media produced about said era chooses to portray it as being whites only. Which is kinda the problem.
  9. Theater bans Gone With The Wind for being "Insensitive"

    Right, so to get this straight, a single private cinema cancelled a screening of Gone with the Wind, which they have the right to do, because they received enough protests about it from people, which said people also have the right to do, who thought it was rather inappropriate in light of recent events in Charlottesville, which is a pretty valid reason. Yeah, I fail to see the problem. Freedom of speech does include freedom to protest, you know? And, despite what some may think, it does not include the automatic right to a platform. There are still plenty of other ways to watch Gone with the Wind out there, there is no government oppression banning the film from being screened, it's just that one particular cinema decided not to show a movie that infamously romanticizes the Confederacy in light of a recent major pro-Confederacy/Nazi rally that ended with a woman being murdered. Not really that difficult to understand. As for the whole wider discussion on pro-Confederate media/statues/whatever, I agree with the general premise that it is possible to watch something with the context and knowledge to recognise how problematic it is. But, let's be honest here, is that really what happened with Gone with the Wind? Is it really tarred with the same level of stigma as something like Birth of a Nation (a similarly groundbreaking movie which glorified horrendous ideals)? Perhaps this is just my own personal experiences, but it's never seemed to have that same level of stigma placed upon it and its glorifications of the Confederacy are usually looked on as little more than a side note. And the reason that that is problematic is because it's symbolic of a much much wider issue, which I can sum up with one simple question. Is the Confederacy looked upon with the same level of hatred as the KKK or the Nazi party? It's not like it doesn't deserve to be. Slavery was the widespread systematic torture and enslavement of millions of people, a human rights violation on a massive scale, and the Confederacy chose to fight an entire war to keep it around. Yet why does it not garner that same level of instinctual hatred as the Nazis? Well, in large part because of books and films like Gone with the Wind and because of statues glorifying Confederate leaders. When you produce a bunch of media and symbols saying that the Confederacy wasn't all that bad then, believe it or not, people start to believe the Confederacy wasn't all that bad. And as much as we'd like to believe that people will look upon these symbols and recognise them for what they are, the fact is that the human brain has a significant ability to normalise this sort of stuff. It's been seen in cultures and atrocities thoughout history and should never be underestimated. It's not like even America are the only ones to do this. Japan have largely whitewashed their own history in WWII and the less said about colonialism among European countries, the better. Even my own country tends to glorify the British Empire much more than it should. So how do we fight this? Simple. Change the narrative. Treat these symbols with the disdain they should be treated with and relegate them to their appropriate place in the garbage dump of history. If we wouldn't accept a statue glorifying a Nazi figure, why should we accept one glorifying a Confederate figure? Strip it all down and treat it the way it should be treated. You don't have to ban anything, just make certain the label of what it represents is irreparably attached and recognised for what it is. Only then can we start making some actual progress.
  10. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Watching the Netflix Death Note movie is like watching the 1999 'The Haunting' remake. You know that you should probably try to judge on its own terms without comparing it to the source material, but it's just so fucking stupid and so badly misses the point that it makes you want to throw things at the screen. Ah well, at least I didn't do something stupid like spend £30 so I could go to London and watch it on an Imax screen a day early. Because that would just be dumb, right? *sobs*
  11. While I do definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying here, Dash (in regards to feminism being a varied and complex subject, both Cameron and Jenkins not being perfect representations, etc), I can't help but think the bolded is missing the point somewhat. Yes, I do agree that Wonder Woman's visual/action style reflect that 'hot model kicking-ass' very nineties-esque feminism, but the thing is............... I really don't think that's why the movie succeeded to the degree it did. Or at least not the major reason. I mean, when I think about the reasons I loved Wonder Woman so much, it's really not the action I think of first. It's the excellent characterisation, the deft and brilliant use of themes, the complex and interesting character arc that Diana goes through and the subtle and thoughtful deconstruction of a lot of superhero tropes and ideas. And a lot of those things really don't relate to that same nineties stereotype. I mean, to bring up an excellent example, think about probably the most iconic action scene of the movie, the No-Man's Land scene. The reason that moment worked so well wasn't because of the choreography or the slow-motion or whatever. It was because of what came immediately before. The establishing of the hopelessness and horror and inhumanity of the frontline, the suffering of people and innocents in need because they simply don't have the time/manpower/whatever to waste in order to help, followed by Diana's rejection of those excuses and her stepping up into action because she (and the audience) feel that it's the right thing to do. It's a powerful moment, not because of the slow-mo bullet deflection, but because of what it represents. Simply dismissing it as a 'hot model kicking ass' nineties stereotype is to only look at it in a very superficial way. And that's true of most of the rest of the movie as well. Diana's personality isn't a jerkish, dismissive-of-men 'strong independent woman' stereotype you often see in said movies, she's genuinely sweet and honest and loving and her own three-dimensional character. She doesn't win the day just by beating up the badguy, she wins by coming to terms with the complexities and weaknesses of humanity and by growing and maturing as a person (albeit thematically represented on-screen by her frying Ares with a lightning bolt). Hell, part of her character arc is her learning that not all problems can be solved by punching the bad guy, which as about as far removed from that stereotype as you can get. And that's a large part, in my opinion, of what made the movie so acclaimed and watchable. It's not just that a woman was directing it, it's that it was a genuinely good movie on multiple complex levels. Now, despite all of the above, I'm not saying that WW avoids that nineties stereotype entirely, nor that said nineties stereotype is necessarily inherently bad and wrong. Like you said, feminism is a complicated subject. But claiming that it's WW only major feminist focus and said things are only considered revolutionary because of Jenkins is overly simplistic at best and at worst just plain wrong. And I can't help but feel that Cameron's comments also reflect that same overly-simplistic and superficial look at the movie, hence why I, and many others, just plain disagree with them (along with, as you mentioned, his general condescending attitude about them). Especially since there are a lot of worthier targets out there. Hot Take Alert: If you want a more straightforward example of that 'sexy kickass lamp' stereotype of feminism, just look at Wonder Woman in BvS instead. That was about as straight an example as you can get (although Wondy probably lucked out considering how terrible the movie was when it was actually trying to provide characterisation to its other characters).
  12. The Anime Thread- Summer 2015

    So, I watched an early screening of the Netflix live-action Death Note movie last night. Long story short, it sucked donkey balls. Don't go see it. **Minor spoilers* Seriously, you'd think that the central focus of a Death Note movie might be on the cat-and-mouse game between Light and L or Light's descent into his own God Complex. Not the teenage hormonal romance between whiny teenage Light and his psycho girlfriend (with power issues that were clear from the very off), which is what the Netflix movie chooses to focus on. Hell, L himself gets massively shafted into more-or-less a side character role (and turns into a gibbering idiot in the second half.) You could probably write him out with minimal difficulties. Now, I'm aware I'm going to be almost perpetually biased against any major changes in the story/characters/whatever, having already seen/read the original source material. And I did go into the movie trying to keep an open mind, especially since I know changes are needed for such a dense story like Death Note. But this movie clearly didn't understand the source material, nor the storytelling involved, because so many of the changes are not only pointless, but actively serve to undermine the film and the whole thing worse. Even minor stuff like *mild spoilers* Light being coerced into his first kill by Ryuk hurts the point of the original source material and the movie's payoff is not nearly good enough to justify it. Now, I'm not going to say there wasn't stuff I didn't like about the movie. Willem Dafoe is clearly having great fun as a more sinister Ryuk (and is probably MVP for me). In fact, most of the acting is pretty solid all around. And there are some interesting ideas here and there. But everything else is just dumb. The characters act dumb, the story is dumb, there are some truly ridiculous stretches in logic to make said dumb story work and, while it may have been trying to be its own thing, overall said thing not only paled into comparison to the original, but was just kinda crap on its own rights. Honestly, I'm probably going to end up writing a longer review on it sooner or later, going into more depth and spoilers and the like, but I honestly really ended up fucking hating it by the end. Like really hating. I don't know whether someone less familiar with the source material might end up enjoying it or just hating it less, but, for me at least, it's an absolute failure of an adaptation and does not stand up on its own merits either. Oh, I also saw Ancien and the Magic Tablet. That was fun.
  13. A Ghost Story (2017)

    You know, watching this movie reminded me of a few years back, when I was taking my screenwriting degree and, for one of our classes, we all got together to watch 'Salo, or 180 days of Sodom'. (For those not in the know, Salo is basically an art movie about depravity and/or an excuse to show two hours of torturing teenagers, nudity and shit-eating.) The reception for that screening was, unsurprisingly, mixed. But after the movie, we had an interesting discussion about where exactly that line was between 'meaningful art about depravity/abuse of power' and 'torture porn/fetish film'. Some considered Salo art, others considered it torture porn, and that mindset tended to line up with how much they liked the movie itself. And I think that A Ghost Story is very much the same, in that regard. Either you understand its purpose as art and really get into its poetic atmosphere of grief and mourning... or you just think it's two hours of the filmmakers fucking with you and Casey Affleck in a bedsheet staring solemnly at stuff. Unfortunately, I fell into the latter category. Because I fucking hated this movie. A lot. Now, I'll admit I probably wasn't the best fit for this movie, since I tend to drift easily during long boring moments and this film feels like more-or-less 80% long boring moments. But a good director can make silences and nothings every bit as engaging as dialogue or action. That did not happen here. (Hell, I ended up turning on my ipod and listening to a podcast partway through and never felt like I missed a thing.) Don't get me wrong, I know what it was trying to do, build a drawn-out, melancholy atmosphere. And I've seen that done before and to great effect. But there were a few issues with its execution here with stopped it from working for me. First of all, the movie makes a mistake by starting out with the same drawn-out, boring atmosphere instead of utilising it when appropriate. Seriously, I'd probably (maybe) be perfectly happy if it moved at a normal pace and waited until Affleck died before moving onto the slow, drawn-out crap. But no. We get shots of houses and hallways and etc that felt like they went on for like five minutes and all before Affleck bites the dust. And there's no real emotion for us to feel, so we don't and simply end up getting bored. Then, when Affleck finally does die and the drawn-out atmosphere feels more appropriate... it still doesn't work because we were already bored senseless by it and disengaged as a result. Secondly, for much of the first two thirds or so, it really feels like the movie, like its titular protagonist, meanders a lot. Floating around with no purpose or drive or really anything. Just wandering around staring solemnly at stuff. Now, I'm certain people could argue that that was the point, that it reflects the protagonists own ennui and lack of purpose/drive as a ghost. And that's a perfectly understandable point. But just because something has a purpose doesn't necessarily mean it works. And, if you're not engaged with the movie, not in tune with the atmosphere it's going for, then this meandering attitude only makes it seem even worse. And this brings me onto my third and possibly most important point... I don't give a crap about the characters. Seriously, not one crap is given before or after death. We get a handful of scenes with mumbly Casey Affleck and generic love interest Rooney Mara before Affleck bites it and neither of them make any kind of lasting impression. Thus the atmosphere of grief rings hollow because I don't care about either these characters. I don't feel especially sad about Affleck's accident, I just feel numb and bored. I didn't give a crap about Rooney Mara listening to dull music and it feels like the only meaningful exploration of her own grief we get is 9 minutes of her eating pie.* They feel every bit as lifeless as the actual ghosts, if not less. It's annoying because there really are a lot interesting ideas and themes** in A Ghost Story, especially towards the final third. But by the time the movie actually gets to them, it's already frittered away your patience with long, meaningless shots of hospital beds or Rooney Mara eating pie. And, as a result, you really can't get that invested even when seemingly interesting stuff is happening. It tries to be a poetic meditation of death and grief but, for me at least, it overestimated the audience's tolerance for its own bullshit and just ends being a bore. In conclusion, my advice for seeing this movie is to wait until the pie-eating scene. If you're really feeling invested then by all means stick with it. If you're feeling bored senseless, then just walk out. It doesn't really get all that much better. Or maybe just skip to the final third where shit actually starts happening. For me thought, this was just a disappointment. *Seriously, no amount of reasoned arguments about deeper meaning and resonance can convince me that the pie scene was anything other than the director fucking with the audience. **I didn't get a chance to mention it in my review, but I really want to bring up the fucking bullshit nihilistic speech that Will Oldham gives like halfway through the movie. It really pissed me off because it came out of nowhere, barely felt like it tied into the themes of the movie, didn't really fit the scene it was in and it clearly felt like the screenwriters thought they were being really deep and meaningful with this 'Baby's first Nihilism' bullshit. And quite frankly, it really pissed me off. Fuck you movie, I've had to sit through an hour of nothing happening and Affleck looking at shit mournfully and now you want to tell me that nothing matters, like you're some sort of big boy philosopher? Fuck you, you're not intelligent to get any kind of meaningful discussion out of this subject and you think this ham-handed effort will just be enough. Go fuck yourself, movie. Ahem. Sorry, that scene really pissed me off.
  14. Dunkirk (2017)

    That's not really denying my point about Brannagh, that's just saying 'Oh, it's okay in this specific example because it serves a purpose'. Which I could say the same about a few shots showing the German soldiers getting closer. Besides which, I think you're severely overplaying the extent to which the movie focused on Fionn's/Dawson/Tom Hardy's perspective. The perspective in the movie jumped about all over the place here and there in each of the segments. It went to Collins's perspective when his plane went down and he was trying to get out of the cockpit, it went to Dawson's son's perspective when he was locking Cillian Murphy in the closet and so on. The movie was not exactly puritanical about sticking to perspectives and I don't think a few shots of Germans would've ruined it that much. I'm not denying that it was a choice done with purpose and deliberate intent, I just don't think it worked for what this movie was trying to achieve.
  15. Dunkirk (2017)

    It made sense in-universe, sure, but from an out-of-universe perspective, I still think it was a mistake overall. It undercut a lot of the tension the movie should've had in regards to the Germans closing in on Dunkirk. Besides which, it's not like we never cut away from Fionn's POV during the land scenes. We saw Kenneth Branaugh commanding plenty and other people boarding the medic ship and etc. So it's not like that's much of an excuse.
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