Shoot 'Em Up. Which is John Wick done as black humor.
Sin City... the first one, which is very good, as opposed to Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, which is good only if you're deeply familiar with the comics, and even then it's not so great.
The Adventures of Tintin.
The Stranger. My favorite Orson Welles movie, despite it not being anywhere near his best work.
Moneyball. Because I don't know how much you know about baseball, and I'd love to hear what someone who isn't a fan of the sport thinks about the film.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Wednesday, December 23 2015 01:12 PM (zAcee)
15Shoot 'Em Up is on my iTunes account, though I don't remember buying it, so that goes on the list.
I'll take a look at the others - they all sound like good suggestions, but none of them are on Netflix. Netflix Australia doesn't have much of a catalog.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, December 23 2015 01:38 PM (PiXy!)
Posted by: Wonderduck at Thursday, December 24 2015 11:59 AM (zAcee)
The best review of Sucker Punch I ever read was basically: "Things The Internet Likes: The Movie". It's visually spectacular, and braindead, and I own a copy on DVD that I dust off from time to time
Posted by: Artee at Thursday, December 24 2015 12:12 PM (5blmT)
I looked for a copy of Primer today. It's not on Netflix or iTunes, and JB Hifi didn't have it either. If I can get it it will go on the list. (This thing will run until the end of January, so that seems likely...)
I don't mind watching a movie that's a visual spectacle with an idiot plot, as long as the director doesn't deeply believe it's more than that. Also, I already have Sucker Punch; I think it was on a 2 for $20 sale.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, December 24 2015 01:20 PM (PiXy!)
Two (or three, depending on how you want to count them) more for you:
The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Big goofy fun with cars in Japan. Notable for being the entry in the FF franchise almost entirely lacking in Vin Diesel. Also notable for a female lead with an almost perfectly square face and a jawline that could cut diamonds. I was shocked at how much I liked it.
Desperado and/or its older, less expensive prequel El Mariachi. EM was shot for $7000. D was shot for $7million. One has Antonio Banderas and a young Salma Hayek. The other was shot for $7000. Both were directed by Robert Rodriguez who also did Sin City and its sequel. I'm a big fan of Desperado, not as huge a fan of EM... mainly because it looks like it was shot for $7000, and the acting is, shall we say, spotty.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Thursday, December 24 2015 02:05 PM (zAcee)
The Lego Movie
Iron Monkey -- non-gloomy kung-fu action
Casablanca (just in case you haven't seen it)
Cars (because you mentioned you could be talked into giving it another shot; it's not my favorite Pixar by a long stretch, but it's still worthwhile)
Posted by: Griffin at Thursday, December 24 2015 03:48 PM (fEEE3)
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Friday, December 25 2015 12:18 PM (XC8ds)
I second Rush. A very good movie that happens to be about Formula 1, as opposed a Formula 1 movie that happens to be very good.
I'm not big on the Truth in 24 films, though. That's just me.
If you haven't seen it already, might I suggest Big Hero 6 for your list? I just finished watching it (literally, like, 10 minutes ago) and was quite impressed. I think Pixar would have been happy with it if they had done it which they didn't.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Friday, December 25 2015 02:08 PM (zAcee)
Unfortunately (if that's the right word) I've already seen Big Hero 6. I like it a lot; it's a little uneven but a lot of fun. And I loved the setting of San Fransokyo. I want to live there.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, December 25 2015 02:47 PM (PiXy!)
I'm not surprised you've seen it already, honestly... about a quarter of the world did when it came out, after all. If I wasn't allergic to people, I would have gone to see it in the theaters. Lovely film.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Friday, December 25 2015 03:10 PM (zAcee)
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, James Earl Jones, Frank Oz
1980, 124 minutes
As I mentioned in my pre-review, while I'm very very late watching this film, I already knew almost everything about it. I'd read the book, heard the score, seen images and clips and spoofs of the action, listened to entire podcasts about it... I just hadn't seen it.
The good news is that the film holds up both to my expectations and to the 35 years since its release. I watched the Somethingth Anniversary Digital Special Edition Release, which has toned down some of the earlier Lucasic fiddling, and which looks absolutely beautiful.
There's little about this film that doesn't work. The stop-motion AT-ATs look a little odd compared to how polished and fluid the rest of the cinematography is. And Yoda... Okay, I can understand the attachment people have to the physical puppet over the CGI version in the prequels, but he's a puppet.
And the giant space worm is a goddam sock. I'm a little surprised they left that in, but I'm glad they did.
Three and a half star wars out of four. Having watched (or rewatched) the original trilogy, I give them all three and a half stars. There are definitely things the latter two films do better than the first - cinematography, sets, costumes - but they both sag a little in the middle (the Dagobah and Endor parts).
You've probably already seen them, but if you haven't, highly recommended.
I also watched the first half hour of The Phantom Menace. I'll say this: The first eleven minutes are not entirely terrible.
"The stop-motion AT-ATs look a little odd compared to how polished and fluid the rest of the cinematography is."
That's true, but pretty much all stop-motion animation did at that time, so nobody would've thought it particularly bad.
(In Chrome the entire previous paragraph is underlined even though I highlighted just one word and used the button. The HTML looks right, though, so let's see what happens.)
Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, December 29 2015 03:03 PM (FvJAK)
The editor acts weird under recent versions of Chrome. I'll see if there's an updated version available.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 29 2015 03:09 PM (PiXy!)
I just like how it got the HTML wrong both in preview and when posted, but the "html" button in the editor showed HTML that looked right.
Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, December 31 2015 01:07 AM (FvJAK)
42 Days of Summer #6 (yes, we're out of timetable order, whatever)
Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Chris McKay
Written by Dan Hageman, Christopher Miller, Kevin Hageman, Roy Lee
Starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, and with a whole bunch of other people
2014, 101 minutes
What the hell happened here? With three directors and four writers and being clearly nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy, this should have been a train wreck. Maybe it would keep the kids quiet for ninety minutes so mommy could get some me time with a stiff gin and tonic, but you couldn't expect more than that.
The Lego Movie blows the doors off all expectations by delivering something that is smart, fun, and sincere, fast-paced, well-directed, and if it doesn't entirely make sense then for almost its entire 101 minutes it doesn't give you enough time to notice.
For a film about and composed of plastic bricks, it is endlessly inventive and visually stunning. While the movie is almost entirely computer-animated, every scene is planned out as though it were to be built out of real Lego blocks. I don't know if that restraint improves the movie itself or if it's just one sign of how much care went into the production, but it's clear that the production team failed a cynicism check and ended up caring deeply about what they were making.
The story almost doesn't matter in the whirlwind of inventiveness, but very quickly, Emmett Brickowski (Pratt), a Lego construction figure so everyman-ish that no-one actually remembers him, falls down a hole in a construction site and encounters the Piece of Resistance, a mysterious artifact that will allow a rag-tag group of freedom fighters to stop the plans of Lord Business (Ferrell) to destroy the world by unleashing the power of the Kraggle.
When the Lego Police show up to arrest him, led by Bad Cop (Neeson), Emmett is rescued by action girl Wyldstyle (Banks) and... Lego magic happens.
Almost everything about this film is awesome, including the score.
Three bricks out of four. Recommended.
Oh, and one more thing: The Lego Movie is a better Batman film than Batman Begins. Suck it Christopher Nolan.
Sounds like you're pretty much target audience for http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4116284/ then
Posted by: Artee at Monday, December 28 2015 07:36 PM (5blmT)
I was probably the only person who didn't actually like The Lego Movie. It's very pretty, granted. But the story was... um... limp? I didn't care about the any of the characters, and actively detested Batman. The cameo was oh-so precious, except the actor involved is on my short list of "avoid at all costs".
On the whole, I understand why people liked it. I just didn't.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, December 29 2015 10:17 AM (zAcee)
I didn't like Batman in this; I liked that Batman was a horrible person.
The cameo didn't work for me; I thought the movie would have been stronger without it. But I did like the invasion right at the end that the cameo set up.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 29 2015 11:39 AM (PiXy!)
I also liked the moral of the story, which was: Corporatism is bad! No, wait, corporatism isn't all bad. Blindly following the rules is bad. Be yourself. Except, no, wait, don't be yourself, you suck. Be a team. But individually. And ignore the rules, except when you shouldn't. You're great! Buy more Lego!
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 29 2015 11:47 AM (PiXy!)
As for the other characters - they're all flawed. Emmett and Lucy are selfish, Vitruvius is an old fraud, the master builders in general are jerks and quitters, and Uni-Kitty is batshit insane.
I liked that a lot.
Can't say anything bad about 1980s Lego Space Guy, though. He's awesome.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 29 2015 12:08 PM (PiXy!)
Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson
2005, 1719 minutes... okay, 140 minutes, it just seems longer
The first forty-five minutes of Batman Begins are almost unwatchable, while the remaining hour and a half is merely tiresome and unoriginal. The only good thing in the whole dreary mess is Michael Caine, who tries but ultimately fails to rescue the film.
Everything about the story is both fomulaic and overdone. We need an origin story (or rather an Origin! Story!) so the first forty-five minutes are wasted (and I do mean wasted) on that. If they'd cut that entirely, and another thirty minutes here and there (even the action sequences drag), then maybe...
No, forget it, there's no saving this wreck. It doesn't even look pretty, because you can't see anything. And the score just phones it in. They may as well have held up a card reading dramatic orchestral piece for climactic fight sequence.
Honestly, Gotham deserves whatever happens to it. By the looks of the place they've been electing Democrats since 1927; they did this to themselves.
It just occured to me that I have a suggestion: Double Indemnity.
Posted by: Phil Fraering at Monday, December 28 2015 01:03 PM (9XuP9)
Steven - it's rendered, but meticulously done; every scene is planned out as though they were going to film it in stop-motion. They even put Lego bricks under a microscope to get real-life scratches and blemishes for the animation.
Phil - good suggestion. If I've seen it, it would have been as a kid falling asleep in front of our old black-and-white set. Added to the list.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, December 28 2015 02:53 PM (PiXy!)
Watched Star Wars for the fourth time today, and Empire for the first.
It's a bit of a strange experience, since I've read the books and seen bits here and there and in general been steeped in Star Wars culture for more than three decades, and I'd seen the first film at least three times before, but hadn't ever sat down to watch the later ones. So I knew the characters and the actors and the story and the music and the cinematography and...
I'm watching the latest Digital Edition, which has most of the infamous changes, but not the most infamous changes. The only one that really didn't work for me was the deleted scene from the original, where Jabba confronts Han before they leave Tattooine. Because they used the original footage and stuck in a huge CGI Jabba, the composition is all wrong.
The Han vs. Greedo shootout in this version is something I'm basically fine with. They fire more-or-less simultaneously, but Han is already dodging when Greedo shoots. Which is more in line with Han's character as established later on... But which gives him less character development.
The first film still holds up very well, though the second has noticeably better sets and cinematography.
Of all the things they could have changed, though, the three-dollar sock-puppet space worm was left in. It looks like it escaped from a Jon Pertwee episode of Doctor Who - probably Carnival of Monsters.
Doo-de-doo skip out early for a long lunch break. (Working from home today.) After tracking down an application failure to a flaky network card on one server in the front-end cluster.
Doo-de-doo buy all the presents.
Doo-de-doo go to bank to do a money transfer.
Doo-de-doo well, crap my phone wipes account details for the money transfer while I'm in line for the teller.
Doo-de-doo hit the supermarket for a few things while I'm there AND THERE'S NO LINE FOR THE CHECKOUT.
Doo-de-doo go home, put the groceries away, get the transfer details again.
Doo-de-doo back to the bank.
Doo-de-doo buy one last present and some wrapping paper.
Doo-de-doo hit the other supermarket for a few other things while I'm there AND AGAIN THERE'S NO LINE FOR THE CHECKOUT.
The mall was busier than an average Thursday, but the stores had enough staff on that everything was flowing more smoothly than average. Except for the extended family groups with strollers and whatnot that would enter a store and stop dead right inside the doorway as though they'd just suffered a collective aneurysm.
Written by Tim McCanlies and Brad Bird from a story by Ted Hughes
Voices of Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Christopher McDonald, and featuring Vin Diesel as a big inarticulate monster
1999, 86 minutes
In a small town in Maine in 1959, people are mysteriously dying of cancer. Like, all of them. A young boy points the blame US government nuclear "tests" and sets out to... No, wait, that's Iron Giant II.
In a small town in Maine in 1958, a young boy gets the Christmas present he always wanted: A genuine Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Mk VII self-assembling killbot. Things go awry when the usual Sirius Cybernetics QA problems arise and the killbot switches operational modes without password confirmation.
I know some people love this film, but I'm just not feeling it. It's neither good enough for me to rave about it, nor bad enough to elicit an entertaining rant, nor is it a flawed work whose faults can elicit an interesting discussion. It's just there. Perfectly fine.
I do like the fact that when the adults see the giant killbot, they say, oh, right, giant killbot. It's the late 50s, we have giant killbots now. I'd like to compare that with the original story, because this film was made in the 90s, but the story was written in 1968, and a typical 50s or 60s film with similar subject matter would feature a great deal more running about and shrieking.
I don't like the laziness of the characterisation of the government official, whose actions would in reality have caused the agonising deaths of everyone in the film. Happy ending my arse; this film has a MESSAGE, and the message is DUMB.
Oh, maybe I can rant about its flaws after all.
Two and a half autonomous repair systems out of four.