Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

4815162342

Crunching the Numbers: Year 6

Recommended Posts

First things first, requests. Request 2 films, neither of which are your own. They could be films you think are great and want more praise for, they could be films you think are bad and want slammed, or they could be films you haven't even looked at yet and want me to make up your mind for you.

 

Since Filler Time is now ongoing I probably won't start reviewing until the weekend's close, but still get your requests out there for cataloging.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So unless I got another set of requests (like from Creator or Alpha) the requested films, in order of review, are:CyberAvariceWickedSocietyHigh Life451Last Ditch EffortPortalL.A. NoireExpedecadeTo the MoonChuck Norris and Liam Neeson vs. Giant SpidersI try to read through most stuff before I start doing the reviews, so I'll start the actual posts sometime tomorrow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cyber

 

The Revolution Will NOT Be Computerized

 

Cyber is a film about bright, technology savants who decide to change the world for the "better" by engaging in hacking and other electronic activities to promote whatever cause they feel like toying with. The film gets off to a solid-enough start with Thomas and Jonathan conspiring to deface a local school website to make a message against bullying, it's a quick and slick use of techno-plot to show some skills, some ideology, and some dreams. However the film then proceeds to wash, rinse, repeat this cycle for about 80% of its plot. Steven Soderbergh may be talented and he may have assembled a talented enough cast, but what he doesn't understand is this: Films about hacking, about electronic development, about computers. They have all stunk because they fail to offer compelling material. The Social Network was not a film about Facebook, it was 21st-Century revisionism of the American Dream. Cyber claims to be a film about hacktivists and about how technology is a tool for social change, and while it might make for good film if the film showed that, it doesn't. Instead we get over an hour of Aaron Paul's character slowly becoming an arrogant, bitchy shithead who is like "Yo help me hack!" then is like "Don't be afraid of what you hack!" and finally like "Yo bitch don't need your help to hack!"

 

The storyline with Joseph is handled sloppily. He commits suicide because he gets jealous of Thomas getting more attention? Because Patrick says some mean things? It's impulsively done and then gets pushed under the bed to be ignored. Oh yeah, for a film that is supposed to be about genius hackers, it has some very stupid, illogical moments, such as when Joseph presents a case to a jury in a court hearing. Wait...when did Joseph become a lawyer? When did Joseph become a prosecutor, because this is a criminal trial after all? Does Seattle allow private citizens power to send other people to jail just because? NO SENSE. Then the film starts in the final act to set up its big hackathon to protest an internet law, what exactly that internet law is we have no idea other than the hacktivists scream that it will be BAD and we should believe them because they're always on the right side. All we know is that it may reduce access to the internet but that information is filtered through the descriptions of people heavily biased against any regulation (and they admit that the people most affected would be people like them who break the law). And then the final minutes, oh my god. The film suddenly veers into preachy melodrama with Thomas speaking about how hacktivism is great and misunderstood and we can ignore any other ways of spreading awareness or making social change and then gets sad about why not many buy into his rant. Oh, and all the prisoners showing silent respect for him and Jonathan? What? First things first, those guys are in prison, most likely they now squat about the hackathon. Second, having hardened criminals act deferential to the two is shameless as a final way to manipulate the audience.

 

So yeah, I did not like Cyber. Did not like it at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While you hated it, I admit that that review was funny to read. :lol: It's sad how the flaws in ones films don't become apparent until someone reviews it.

 

I wasn't very happy with the ending, but I wasn't really in my best mood when I wrote it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Avarice

 

Gentlemen, we can build it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build a better film than Nirvana. Avarice will be that film. Better than Nirvana was before. Better, stronger, faster.

 

 

I wasn't entirely sold on Nirvana when it first came out, it was good and entertaining and epic, but it seemed a little derivative of Avatar (with a bit of evil Galactic Empire thrown in) and some annoying plot/logic holes in the climax. Still it was a fun ride. Avarice is Ueka learning from the mistakes of the Nirvana almost entirely. We have Ralph Fiennes' character get essentially bitchslapped for his boneheaded actions with the superweapon in Nirvana, we have more layered and original developments between various indigenous races than the white vs. dark race war in Nirvana (seriously, I still lol about the "good" aliens being white and the "bad" aliens being dark-colored). We get more complex and intriguing new characters, such as Eric Bana's Aaroe and James Cromwell's General Nao. General Nao is interesting and somewhat contradictory, as he is pissed off about destroying a world and its inhabitants but then 2 hours later in the film he essentially says that those inhabitants are inferior and worthless. So if that's true, why did he get so pissed about his son's use of the Torax? Just because the Emperor was going to throw a bitch-fit? Speaking of the Emperor, Rodrigo Santoro remains the weakest link in the film, he's simply not an imposing or intimidating Galactic Emperor.

 

The visuals are insanely good, as expected. Spielberg definitely knows how to world-build and we get a dynamic adventure across three different planets as Russell Crowe grits his way to finding and saving the love of his life. There's surprisingly not much action in the movie, with the entire middle of the film being a mix of prison drama and solar travelogue elements. I didn't mind at all, we got the chance to deepen the characters and the mythology, though some of the ADHD crowd might get bored. Speaking of the prison drama aspects, Eric Bana steals the film as the slave labor camp warden whose thoughts on the Empire and on racial relations is surprisingly complex and, eventually revealed, a mask for his true alleigiance. I was annoyed by Spielberg again using Zimmer for the film instead of his bro John Williams. Zimmer makes great scores now and then, but his style doesn't work for epic spacefaring adventure really. It's serviceable, but the score could have been much better (which would raise this film a notch or two higher).

 

All in all, the stage is set for Obliteration, as we have more clues to the Empire being humanity itself, evidence of rebels within the Empire, and the indigenous resisters scoring a small but meaningful victory against their imperial oppressors. If Ueka brings the same level of craft to Obliteration as he did to this, then I have to say this to my fellow CAYOMers:

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wicked

 

We certainly aren't in Kansas anymore, again

 

 

Year 6 will be known as the year that everyone (almost) decided to make a musical. Wicked is one of those musical outings, adapting the hit Broadway stage adaptation of the novel. However unlike say the movie adaptation of Les Miserables in 2012, which reconciled some of the changes from novel to musical, Wicked does no such conciliation and sticks straight to the Brodway version. And speaking of musicals this is also the year where everyone tried to cast Samantha Barks in a major role in their musical. As Elphaba, Barks does shine as she easily has the vocals for the role and she's continuing to work on her straight acting ability. Emily Blunt sells the acting of Glinda but her voice isn't quite there (speaking of Emily Blunt, EVERYONE cast her in a film this year, except me). Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman bring energy and moxie to their roles, but Eddie Redmayne is wasted in a minor role that shunts him off to the side. Baz Luhrmann's part is mixed, as he gives the film energy, visual appear, and zip, but he never tries to elevate the material beyond the stage version.

 

All in all, Wicked is a solid, entertaining, fun musical that should be a crowd-pleaser.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Society
 
This Isn't Your Typical High School Musical
 
 
Society is a brave film, a 2.5 hour musical about teenagers going through lots of traumatic stuff. First, I will get some criticisms out of the way. For one, Society purports to be about teenage society, but it's about the stereotypical teenage society that exists only in movies and on the CW. You have the hot popular couple whose relationship is more complicated and frayed in truth than what they show to the public, you have the religious couple where one of them becomes a hypocrite and goes all temptation-crazy, you have the anorexic/bulimic who has no reason to actually be one other than mommy issues (also the bullied lesbian), and you have the bullied minority who eventually lashes out. The odd thing is that for a film about our society, there's a huge lack of normal people, who actually make up the bulk of our society. Luckily the film transcends these cliches and stereotypes to construct a very moving and emotional ride, investing you in the 6 main characters and their trials and troubles in their final year of high school. Samantha Barks shows up again in another major role and her acting is better here compared to Wicked because you have a much better "actors" director in play here with Sam Mendes. Jennifer Lawrence turns in a strong performance while the rest of the cast does well.
 
My other criticism is the ending. Riley beats the crap out of Emily in an attempt to force a miscarriage, but apparently Emily has battered woman syndrome because she's just fine and peachy with that, never attempts another relationship in her life for 60+ years after his suicide, and once she dies it's all good to be together in eternity with him forever because I guess true love always happens in teenage years even if one guy turns into a violent douche and no matter what you'll be together in the end. VOMIT.
 
So Society could have been really great, should have been really great, after going far above and beyond the cliche foundation, but then the ending slaps it back down to just very good. I don't know why writers think that teenage love gone sour must end up as everlasting and eternal. They must think it's romantic, but in truth it's idiotic, especially since Riley essentially physically and mentally traumatized Emily and made her incapable of forming a romantic bond with anyone ever again and as a result he gets her forever. Come the fuck on movie. The vast majority of people move on and form actually healthy relationships, and those who don't would rather not spend eons in the arms of the ghost of the guy who messed up a time in their life.
 
So yeah Hiccup, you got the film into the end zone, but then the extra point got blocked. So close man, so close. If that ending hadn't happened, this would have been #1 of the year, no doubt about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No it did not. The review only seems negative because you could have had the best film of the year but the film faceplanted in the final 5-6 minutes.

 

Yeah.. I am starting to realize that now. It sounded good in my head so I went with it. I never really questioned the ending until I read your review. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.