Last movie you watched

  • Banned

    Queen Rock Montreal

    As someone who barely knows Queen at all, I thought this ninety minutes was pretty nice. The band is so well synchronized, it sounds like an album.

    This Blu-ray has some disgusting grain management, though. The grain swarms around the performers, follows them, as they move.

  • @ezekiel Interesting background note for Queen Rock Montreal:

    The final version you saw was basically de-edited (the original footage was cut into a live video in 1981 that the band hated)
    Queen finally bought the rights to the film in 2006, and the original negative had to be scanned and restored so that they could re-cut it into what you saw. They sent it to be scanned and re-assembled back into as much of the original footage as they could, and they used the same NASA algorithm that was used to restore the footage of the Apollo moon landing. (which is why the film grain has that look to it, I'm guessing) Sadly some of the footage was either too far degraded or the footage had been destroyed in the original editing process so the Flash Gordon theme and The Hero which appear on the live CD do not appear on the video.

  • Last weekend I did a Friday-Saturday double header of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Back in the late 2000s I purchased the Coppola approved Blu Ray Remaster of these classics. At the time, I thought it looked phenomenal. A lot better than my old DVD version. They did a great job at recreating that crispy golden sheen that the original film had.

    But I'm speaking past tense here... I was not impressed by it in 2020. Some scenes in the original Godfather looked really really noisy to the point where it was distracting. I'm not sure if its the Blu Ray remaster doing this by making it HD or maybe its my new 4K Samsung versus my old TV but it just didn't look as great as I remember it being. I might check the Netflix version just to compare.

    For the most part it looked good and the story is what matters most in these movies, but still. It really wasn't as jaw dropping as I remembered.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    A big complaint I've heard about it is that it has too much going on. It certainly has a lot of different locations and situations, but I never felt overwhelmed. Most of it was quite well explained in simple language, and the action was easy to follow. Most shots only focus on one or two things, and the colour palette makes things easy to identify. Compare it to Revenge of the Sith, which is just swimming in unnecessary detail and movement, and is oversaturated to boot.

    The story doesn't have a lot of heart, and there's a fair amount of flimsy dialogue (especially the emperor's). There's also a few cheap callbacks, but they're not as in-your-face as the ones in The Force Awakens.

    The actors do a reasonable job, though, and the visual design (sets in particular) is stunning. J.J. Abrams is a hollow director, but an eye catching one.

    What I feel anchors it is the soundtrack, and not merely the nostalgia of the classic themes. Every scene is heightened by the music.

    If I had to ask for one improvement, it would be a gripping spaceship battle. I saw ships flying around, but I rarely felt like they were doing anything awesome or important. Rogue One was way better in this department.

    It's between this and The Phantom Menace for most rewatchable non-original trilogy Star Wars film.* RoS is less cringey, but TPM has more memorable content.

    3 1/2 out of 5.

    *I haven't seen Solo, but the trailer footage I've seen didn't fill me with promise.

  • Banned

    Stop Making Sense (1984, Talking Heads)

    I understood only some of the lyrics.


    Best concert film I've seen and one of the few classics kept in good condition. Excellent separation of instruments and singers, with the surrounds mostly used for the audience. Satisfying low frequencies. Seems few changes had to be made for the Blu-ray, as (I saw in the credits) it was originally presented in Dolby Stereo, which is six channel surround. I already liked their music, but had no idea they were this entertaining live. As Leonard Maltin said in his review (which I didn't read but whose quote I found on Wikipedia), "brilliantly conceived, shot, edited and performed."

  • Banned

    Over the weekend, I watched Prince: Sign o' The Times twice.

    This movie is awesome. I quite liked Purple Rain, but it didn't funk and rock or have as much soul (I mean the genre) in its sound as this, as it was a story with musical numbers and not an eighty minute concert film. This has so much energy and the theatrics and seedy scenery set the tone so well.

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    I dug the way his performers acted out the music being played. Separately recorded clips interspersed between the songs and wardrobe changes kept the pace smooth.

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    I loved when Prince traded places with Sheila E., went up to do the drums while she got down on the stage and rapped in "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night," because I forgot Prince drummed or don't remember if I've ever even seen him drum. It was only briefly, though, because he's no serious drummer. "Not bad," Prince comments earlier, as she's rocking up there. "For a girl." I laughed out loud when Prince, out of nowhere, slid under this dancer with his guitar and ripped off her skirt.

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    The film was originally presented in six-track Dolby Stereo, but I think I honestly prefer the PCM stereo track with headphones over the DTS 5.1 track with speakers/sub. It had better clarity. Average video bitrate is 30 mbps, and it's a pretty good scan. There's one song in the middle with separately recorded footage that looks VHS quality, but I'm pretty happy with it overall, considering how poorly most older concert films have been treated.

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    Sign o' the Times is my favorite Prince album and of all the concert films I've seen Prince is also my favorite musician. This movie still exceeded my expectations.

  • Last movie i watched was the contagion. Its about this outbreak virus that got out of hand and killed countless people, which is similar to what the world is going through now. The symptoms in the movie were a lot worse than the coronavirus, but the concept of vaccine's and govt's responses are similar

  • @Falco444 I watched it too, I was entertained. @DMCMaster I hope this is the start of the trend to release the movies immediately on streaming, but I'm never paying 20 to watch a new movie.

    I spent the last three days bingewatching the two seasons of Kingdom, a series about a zombie outbreak in feudal Korea in the midst of a throne succession dispute. It looks good in both effects and characterization, as well as worldbuilding. The plot is also interesting, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Well, not actually, because I was exercising while watching some of the episodes.

  • @irongrey

    Honestly $20 to rent a new movie that's still in theaters doesn't seem too bad, especially for things like Trolls. I also hope this will clear out some rooms or get extra time slots for limited screening stuff like flashback cinema or the various Fathom Events stuff.
    Maybe I'll actually be able to catch stuff without having to leave work early.

  • @DMCMaster why would someone pay more than a cinema ticket for a release that doesn't demand the extra costs that come with the cinema exhibition?

  • @irongrey I guess it depends on the city, but a non-matinee in NYC is routinely above $20, and premium formats top $30.

  • @naltmank
    Average ticket prices in my area are around $13-$17 depending on time and theater. So two people going is easily about $30, throw in just a small drink your looking at around $45-$50.

    So $20 to rent a new movie while it's still in theaters, yeah that's cheaper, even adding in food cost.

  • Where I live we're charged 5€/6€ per ticket. I barely go to the cinema now, because I'm too cyberpunk to spend money on films, if you catch my drift. The last three movies I watched were Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, for the total amount of 15€. Plus about 1€ because I once bought M&Ms.

  • Banned

    I wonder if this pandemic (the lack of retail purchases, joblessness and stalled shipments) will accelerate the death of physical media, namely films. I rarely stream and would hate to be solely at the mercy of those services and my internet. I stick with physical media (and disc rentals) mainly because of how much better the quality is and being able to watch almost anything I want. There is no way I would be watching seven to nine movies a week if I limited myself to any one service or even three. My enthusiasm would sizzle out so fast. I would spend half the time just trying to find stuff to watch on Netflix and Disney Plus and such. This lockdown is gonna be so bad for smaller labels.

  • physical media will probably never die for the same reason it hasn't already died. there's a lot of places where internet just isn't good enough for where data caps are so limiting that streaming just isn't viable. That and a lot of people just prefer the feeling of physically owning something.

  • I wouldn't be so sure. Life changes in unexpected manners and it doesn't bode well for us to grasp too much to old concepts.

  • I've been working from home for a while now (well before the pandemic started), but recently my job has become increasingly mindless so I've gotten in the habit of throwing a movie on in the background while I work. Oddly, this has made me more productive than I was before, since I don't take as many breaks to snack, wander around the house, go to the bathroom, etc. Anyway, here's a quick roundup on the movies I've been watching.

    One of many movies that I had seen in bits and pieces many times, but never all the way through. This movie is as good as its reputation. Great performances and direction, but I think one thing that people often forget is how tight this movie is. Scorcese might be notorious for his bloated epics these days, but this movie clocks in at a speedy 2.5 hrs. I say speedy because I was so wrapped up in the rise and fall of Henry Hill that I legitimately did not even notice how quickly time was passing. God, this movie is good. A

    What We Do in the Shadows
    Another movie I'd seen in bits in pieces, this is one that I think might be better served by the "clip" format. There are some great bits in here, but overall the narrative through-line didn't keep me as invested as the other great Mockumentaries. That said, the comic timing of the entire cast is pretty damn perfect, and it's still absolutely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet. B+

    The Usual Suspects
    Here's a hottake for you: this is a fine movie that is made worse by its widely-revered ending. Spoilers for why:

    The whole crux of the ending is that Kevin Spacey is making everything up, and it's supposed to be some great demonstration of his intellect and ability to use the environment to fabricate a story. The problem? It completely de-legitimizes everything you've seen before. It's a twist that exists only for the surprise, but makes rewatches completely pointless because you know that none of it is real. Kobayashi showing up in the car at the end only serves to make things more frustrating - why is he real, but nothing else is? Or are bits and pieces real, and we're just not privy to that information? Whereas The Sixth Sense's gobsmacking ending opens up future rewatches for closer examination, The Usual Suspects just makes the narrative an exercise in tolerating a sub-par noire-like told by a filmmaker and character that thinks he's smarter than he really is.

    My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
    Honestly don't think this is worth commenting on - movies based on anime movies are typically pretty dumb and mess with the mythology of the world, and this one is no different. It killed an afternoon (watched it on a rainy weekend) and kept me entertained well enough. Bonus points for pretty animation C+

    Really beautiful movie filled with great performances and a mesmerizing sense of tone and pace. The movie deserves all of the praise it got for telling the story of the life of closeted gay man from such a unique and harrowing perspective, and it serves to highlight how the system fails the most vulnerable members of American society. That said, I didn't really connect with this movie the way so many others did. I can tell that it's quality, but for some reason it didn't resonate with me on a deeper emotional level like I was hoping it would. That's not an indictment of its quality, it's just something that kept me from loving it in the way that I expected to. A-

    While technically not terribly impressive and fairly formulaic as a "JOURNALISM" movie, there's no denying how powerful this story is and how strong the performances are throughout. While Mark Ruffalo gets a lot of praise for his grandstanding moment near the end, Liev Schrieber, Michael Keaton, and especially Rachel McAdams deserve just as much praise for their subtle performances of professionals just trying to keep it together for the sake of their jobs. There's a scene in the middle where Rachel McAdams goes around trying to interview victims and priests that is worth a watch of the movie in and of itself. Just don't expect to feel good after you're done. B+

    All the President's Men
    Watching this so close to watching Spotlight probably unfairly colored my viewing of this movie. There's a reason this movie is so beloved - the acting is superb, the script is tight, the cinematography is iconic. That said, the storytelling is definitely dated. Characters jump jarringly from place to place, the plot moves forward in bits and pieces, and the main moments aren't given enough time to land or breathe. This is most jarring at the end, when the movie seems to be building towards its main climax and then... text on a typewriter, fade to credits. Compare that to the emotional wallop of Spotlight, and it definitely feels like a bit of a letdown. Still an incredibly influential movie that's worth watching B

    I, Tonya
    I have no idea what the general reception is to this movie, but somehow I feel like it's underrated. Maybe it just hit me at the right time and the right place, maybe it's because I also come from a subjective and performative sport (diving), but I absolutely loved this movie. It definitely owes a lot to Scorcese, and at times it almost feels derivative, but it's made all the better for it in my opinion. The performances are both outsized and entirely appropriate, with Paul Walter Hauser standing out in particular as just an ace interpretation of Shawn Eckhardt. For the most part I think it does a good job at toeing the line between fact and fiction, but there were points when I felt like they went overboard with their interpretation of LaVona Harding; she was already an abusive mother, you don't need to make up much extra to make her that much more evil. Still can't help but love Janney, though. She's a pro. A-

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    This is a strange movie. Purportedly taking place in a high school in the 90s, the characters are almost entirely unbelievable as both teenagers and just plain old human beings. Overly precocious and precious, the movie somehow wants me to believe that high schoolers in the 90s would regularly put on and participate in full Rocky Horror performances, wax poetic about how the music from the old days was better, and then somehow not be able to identify "Heroes" by David Bowie. The performances are all over the place - Lerman goes from turning in one of the most overly precious performances in the movie to one of the most raw and realistic depictions of a mental breakdown I've ever seen. Ezra Miller is consistent and does the best job he can with an overly theatrical and temperamental character. Emma Watson does her best in a performance that I would call "definitely not a British teenager besides the fact that I just unironically said 'shag' and the director didn't make me redo the take." The most bizarre character is easily Mae Whitman, who plays a buddhist punk senior that gets straight As, a nearly perfect SAT score, is extremely world-weary, and... immediately thinks someone is her boyfriend after she kisses them? What?? Still, for as bizarre and unreal as the setting and characters are in this movie, it contains some of the most intense and realistic portrayals of anxiety and depression that I've ever seen, especially as they pertain to trauma and abuse. These themes are scattered throughout the movie, but come to fruition in a last act that made me go from wondering why people like this movie so much to wondering if this is one of the better teen movies in the last decade. I think it will definitely be triggering for some viewers (check out a wiki summary if you're not sure if this will be too difficult a watch), but if you're curious, you'll be treated to a fascinating exploration of mental illness that just happens to be trapped in a bizarro 90s version of a John Hughes movie that just happened to be made in 2012. B

  • @naltmank I, Tonya is excellent! I agree that it's underrated.