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Distinct muttering

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Posts posted by Distinct muttering

  1. On 30/07/2021 at 13:59, Jamie John said:

    I had a go on this on my Quest 2 earlier. I've not played the game before, and while it's spectacular and everything, I don't feel like the actual gameplay is that engaging. You just hold a button, wave the cursor over pretty much everything on screen, release the button, then said things blow up. That seems to be it as far as the actual game is concerned. I've tried both the regular mode and Area X. It's pretty, and the music is cool, but I don't really get what I'm supposed to be doing. Area X makes me crane my neck as well, seeing as you have to move your head a lot to move around each level.

     

    What am I missing? (And don't say, 'A soul'.)

     

    Its about playing until you experience a synergistic flow

  2. 1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

    Dawn of the Dead (1978)

     

    image.thumb.png.5423d9748891fbe61560c92ca9cc6b5d.png

     

    :unsure: Hmm. Someone's going to have to explain this one to me, because I really don't understand why this is revered so much.

     

    I've not seen it before. All I knew going in was that it was set in a shopping mall and it was supposed to be one of the best zombie/horror films ever made. Granted, it's been about 43 years since it first came out, so it's original impact is impossible to replicate. That said, however, I'm guessing it's really not dated very well at all, certainly compared with several other 70s films released either before or shortly after this which I would count among some of the best ever made - The Godfather, Jaws, Apocalypse Now, Alien, for example - all of which I think still hold up extremely well. I suppose it's not really fair to compare those films to this one (I get the impression that this was made on a far smaller budget, even with all the extras and the helicopters and so on), but I don't understand why this stands alongside films like those in lists of the best cinema of the time.

     

    The acting is pretty terrible throughout from everyone bar Foree and (sometimes) Ross (it's quite telling that I don't think I've seen any of the cast in anything else, before or since). I didn't find Scott Reiniger's performance and his transition into a blood-crazed hot-head convincing at all, although he's not helped much in that regard by the script. Other performances are just laughably rubbish, and often bizarre, like the weird copper asking everyone for cigarettes near the beginning (wut?), or Wooley talking about the 'Bastard, bastard' Puerto Ricans (one of whom is obviously some skinny white bloke in blackface) in an early scene. Very strange.

     

    As a social commentary about the evils of consumerism, by modern standards this just feels extremely on the nose, about as subtle as a big sign on the screen that says 'Materialism is bad, kids'. Moreover, once this original point has been shoved in your face, it's just repeated throughout the film in slightly different but similarly obvious ways, never really developed into anything more nuanced or interesting. Maybe social commentary in mainstream media was rare enough in the late 70s for this to be notable because of its novelty, but I found the lingering shots of zombies going clothes shopping or pressing their noses up against the window displays annoying by the end.

     

    As a gory zombie movie, the special effects are just rubbish, even when compared with other films made at the same sort of time - the blood looks like magenta paint and the bits where people get bitten are laughable. The 'zombies' are only zombies because they're daubed with white paint and have rings under their eyes. They're entirely unthreatening and just sort of goofy (see the weird monk guy in the screencap above, for example - what was that about?) Watching it made me appreciate the SFX in The Thing (which only came out 4 years after this) a lot more.

     

    On a technical level, the continuity between quite a few of the shots just don't make sense. Like, a character will look at something they find interesting through an air vent, for example, and you'll expect the next shot to be what they can see, but, instead, the next shot is what a different character can be, in a completely different location - there were three or four shots like this I found entirely jarring. It's the same with the bit when they first get on the chopper at the beginning - the camera suddenly cuts from all the characters talking excitedly to one another to one of them being asleep, and then there's another cut to another character being asleep, without there being any other indication that time has passed. It's hard to explain, but it doesn't work. I actually rewound the film on two different occasions because I thought I'd missed something, but it was just bad editing.

     

    The narrative itself and what happens in the film is also just pretty...dull. I didn't really think the plot was very entertaining, and it's absolutely not scary or horrifying in anyway at all (again, you could argue that I'm desensitised to it as a media-hardened millennial, but The Exorcist, which predates this by 5 years, is still pretty fucking disturbing). Even beyond the horror, though, there isn't even that much tension, and any tension that is created is almost immediately undermined by some random comic moment, intentional or otherwise, like a zombie dying in a stupid way or pulling a silly face, or the characters suddenly happy because they can loot fur coats or expensive watches, or the annoying music, which often feels like it's been taken from a different film entirely, or several other films, being a mixture of the gothic stuff you'd find in a Hammer Horror and weird Blaxploitation movie-style funky basslines. Compare the score in this to something like the one used in The Shining (1980) and the difference in quality is notable.

     

    I dunno. Maybe I'm just not clever enough to understand it, or maybe you just had to be there, man. I've done a bit of reading on it this evening since watching it and it sounds like it's seen as an 'important', 'seminal' film for the horror genre, and maybe if I was more of a film studies student I'd be able to appreciate it more. I can see why, without this, we wouldn't have stuff like The Walking Dead, or The Last of Us, or (obviously) Shaun of the Dead.

     

    Nonetheless, just because something's influential doesn't necessarily make it good, and watching this cold in 2021 for the first time, I thought it was bemusing, but also quite boring and just kind of stupid, as much as I'm aware that I sound like a brat typing that.  I didn't turn it off, but I thought about doing so a couple of times, and I spent most of its 2.07 runtime looking like this :huh:, wondering when it was suddenly going to become this genre-defining experience, or if it was actually all some big piss-take that I wasn't getting.

     

    I will say that the second half is better than the first, once the characters are more established in the mall and the 

      Hide contents

    raiders

    show up. But, even then, it sort of just...fizzles out.

     

    All I know is that I paid about £25 for the super-duper 4K boxset and I'll definitely be selling this one on.

     

    Sorry!

     

    1.5/5

     

    (From kerraig, I knew he'd wanna respond to this)

    Time hasn't been kind to Dawn of the Dead simply because of the limitations of its budget and the scope of its ambition, but you simply have to put it into context. Very few films by this point had grappled with such huge themes in horror: What do we do when a global supernatural phenomenon affects absolutely everything. Something that isn't aliens or terrorists, but is something existential like death no longer being death. Being forsaken by God, existing outside of ourselves and our own consciousness. 

    This is riffed upon in so many clever ways. What does a talk show look like when ratings dont matter? What do the religious poor do with their dead when the government demand the bodies are handed over, where do you escape to when the thing you are trying to outrun is death itself? do trinkets still have any meaning in a post consumerist world? what is the point of getting married?

    Etc etc. 

    These themes are handled quite clumsily because the film was made by amateurs at night on a shoestring budget, but nobody else was dreaming that large at an indie level at the time. Kubrick and Bergman and Kurosawa were the ones tackling the big themes and they were doing it with all the backing of their studio or their government. Dawn really searches for the big questions and really tries to make you care about humans and humanity. It's very creaky now and almost impossible to go into cold. But for the time it is absolutely beyond seminal.

     

  3. Very inventive but too long. Was ready for it to end by the final big fight. 

     

    Spoiler

    Back to back homages/references/rip offs in the middle was like a video shop compilation. Last Boy Scouts cigarette/touch me again i'll kill ya followed quickly by Lethal Weapons hanging torture legs around neck snap then into Day of the Deads autopsy scene straight into Suspirias heart penetration shot... Pretty bold idea appropriation going on there.


     

  4. On 29/07/2021 at 19:16, BitterToad said:

    Do you understand how fucked the entire cinema industry is at the moment? Pay for your shit. 


    99% of the films on release need your money more than this multi billion franchise.

  5. 47 minutes ago, JohnC said:

    Don't know about that Fear Street. I mean, Windows 3.1 on an Amiga 2000? I suppose I'll persevere with the rest of the movie and see what horrors await, apart from that.

     

    they also call it the internet... in 1994. I dont think I heard that expression until at least 97

  6. 12 hours ago, Festoon said:

     

    100% agree. QTs attempts to bust mythologies just don't work when it's a white dude putting an Asian man in his place when said man achieved so much in a time when the predjudice against Asians was sky-high. And it's tone deaf for him to still be rabbiting in about it.


    Dude, if you dont think a massive stone cold killer could grab Bruce Lee and throw him into a car door in a moment of hubris then I dont know what world you are living in. A writer doesn't have to consider the overall image of a nation when inventing a scene.

  7. 21 minutes ago, NexivRed said:

    The Exorcist 3 - another of William Peter Blatty’s novels. 
     

    What a little surprise. What a cracker. The cast and the script are really, really good in this. 

    I love George C. Scott’s acting. He does the voice for one of the most underrated Disney Villains and does it so well. I think he basically plays himself on both. Dry, witty, probably a right cunt in real life. But the dialogue exchanges in the first half of the movie with him are such easy watching. I chuckled out loud a couple of times. 

    As with a lot of horror movies, it can slow a bit as things try and wrap up. It can be hard to write a climax. And I think that actually, the strongest part of horror was the psychopath of monologue in the second half. Really quite good. The script was excellent. The execution was so believable it was uncomfortable the watch. The different voices used in the whole movie really did a lot of ground work for suspense and edge, including Scott’s unique growl of a voice. 
     

    I liked the slightly jarring, and at times, old fashioned effects. It prevented it from being a slasher, which in my opinion, is the worst genre of horror. 
     

    The story was tidy. The characters gave a good connection. It may have been down to low expectations that meant I enjoyed it as much as I did, but I don’t think so. Not when it comes to the script. I think it was excellent writing. 
     

    3.5/5

     


    Exorcist 3 has one of the all time greatest scares IMO. That bit with the nurse in the hospital...

  8. 8 hours ago, MarkN said:

    It's really not. Musicals (to me) are a film ruined by having awful musical intervals that stop the flow at regular intervals (usually performed by people who are laying on the schmaltz or the glitz to the Nth degree, because that's what's expected). It would be like reading The Lord Of The Rings, and not just skipping the songs like a normal person would, but getting the bloke from the "Go Compare" adverts to sing them to you instead. I don't have a bad word to say about disco (even though I wouldn't often listen to it myself), but I'd rather punch myself in the face several times (really hard) than sit through a musical.


    Spot a guy who has never seen Hedwig and the Angry Inch

  9. 2 hours ago, Doctor Shark said:


    Ive tried four or five times now, including once since the recent update. I just don’t find it particularly engaging or compelling and it doesn’t hold my interest for long past the first 45 mins to an hour before I find myself wanting to go do something else. 

     

    Niothing wwrong with 45 min stints though? it gets much more interesting as it progresses

  10. 13 hours ago, ZOK said:

    I don’t think that’s true, they are all superb comic actors, it’s one of the reasons the show was so good.

     

    Also I find Joey’s ‘comedy’ practically unbearable in the later series, as it is nearly all predicated on the writers deciding he suffered a catastrophic brain removal at some unseen point.

    Not true. Courtney Cox was always horrifically unfunny, despite being the most famous.

  11. 1 hour ago, Down by Law said:

    Back in the day you'd be amazed to see the physicality of a performance - e.g Arnold carrying a fucking tree on his shoulder , JCVD doing kicks that seemed to defy gravity or Jackie Chan doing stunts that would put most actors into an early grave - but no one gives a fuck about that anymore when a computer can make anybody into a larger than life hero. 


    Go look at that tree on a 4K TV ;)

  12. 4 hours ago, K said:

    I can't stop thinking about this film. I think it might be the first musical I've watched all the way through, ever. Maybe I really like musicals? Maybe they're all as good as this. Tempted to give Mamma Mia a shot; I'm not really an Abba fan either, but Rocketman has proved beyond doubt that I have no fucking clue what I like or don't like.

    Honestly, Hedwig and the angry inch.

  13. 5 hours ago, Wiper said:

    I'm not sure how I'd feel about yelling out my special abilities before using them like some sort of anime protagonist/fighting game character.

     

    (on the other hand, the opportunity for secrets/cheats would be fun. Shouting "shoryuken!" at the screen in order to reach otherwise inaccessible ledges/pulverise phantoms up close sounds amusing)



    Could still have the decision wheel for introverted weirdos like

  14. 2 minutes ago, Pob said:

    Like the squad commands in Rainbow Six on the OG Xbox? I quite liked that, actually, and the tech has moved on so much since then.


    Yeah that was great. Surprised its not utilised more. Especially in games like this and Dishonored where it could be incorporated into the UI and spacial awareness. Whistle to get attention like in Manhunt. 

  15. 17 hours ago, Pob said:

    All these immersive sims suffer from having to go into a radial menu to select powers. When you really want to be mixing things up - freezing time, chucking out psychic blasts and teleporting around - you’re required to be in and out of a selection menu. They need to figure out a better system, because four items on quick select (three in Prey) isn’t anywhere near enough. 
     

    Also I don’t think enemies respawn. As you advance the story, the areas you’ve been through will be populated by new enemies but it’s not like Dark Souls where the same enemies just respawn. 
     

    In fact one of the most impressive things is the way the areas remain just as you left them - it all seems to get saved. I got killed by a friendly turret in the main hall very late in the game, because I’d got to the point where I had enough typhon material in me that I was classed as a foe. I’d set that turret up right back at the start. 


    Surely we're at the point where you could do it by voice command by now...

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