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Rate the last film you watched out of 5


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The Square (2017) - 3.5/5

 

Satirical film about the Swedish contemporary art scene. It meanders a bit and I imagine there's a fair amount of Swedish social subtext I didn't get, but there are some very funny scenes.

 

It's written & directed by Ruben Östlund who made Force Majeure and is very similar in tone, so if you liked that you'll probably like this.

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15 minutes ago, PK said:

P.S. would love any recent scandinavian film recommendations, I'm definitely in a minimal teak furniture mood at the moment

 

I'm going to asume you've seen Another Round? If not you should. 

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3 minutes ago, Rayn said:

 

I'm going to asume you've seen Another Round? If not you should. 

 

I have, and it wasn't massively helpful for my alcoholism 😂

 

Exceptionally good film though. I also saw Riders of Justice recently, also with Mads Mikkelson, which is a fantastic dark comedy. I think that might have been off a recommendation in this thread actually

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Just now, PK said:

 

I have, and it wasn't massively helpful for my alcoholism 😂

 

Exceptionally good film though. I also saw 'Riders of Justice' recently, also with Mads Mikkelson, which is a fantastic dark comedy. I think that might have been off a recommendation in this thread actually

 

Persona Non Grata was pretty good. Also a danish drama but I really recommend it if you can get hold of it. 

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53 minutes ago, PK said:

P.S. would love any recent scandinavian film recommendations, I'm definitely in a minimal teak furniture mood at the moment

 

 

The Innocents

 

The Worst Person In The World

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53 minutes ago, PK said:

P.S. would love any recent scandinavian film recommendations, I'm definitely in a minimal teak furniture mood at the moment


Two flicks I loved on MUBI were Icelandic black comedy Under the Tree and Finnish slightly less black comedy The Other Side of Hope, both excellent.

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Edge of Tomorrow

 

Was supposed to have an early night tonight (long day today, long drive tomorrow. For whatever reason, I decided putting this on for 5 minutes was a good idea.

 

I'm now 15 minutes from the end. I've lost track of how many times I've seen this and I love it every time.

 

5 resets of the day / 5.

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The Worlds End 3/5

 

I’ve only seen the last 15 mins or so before, but this is not as strong as the first two.

 

at least the first two were confident in their own right, as well as successful pastiches of other films. 

 

this was lacking, in that it doesn’t really have a direct analog to refer to/lift from.
 

Invasion of the bodysnatchers maybe? Invaders from Mars? Or something a bit more… Michael Crichton?

 

or does it miss the mark because it doesn’t have that familiarity?

 

Also: feeling very attacked right now, in that I know which one of the group I am…

 

cant believe the ending was

 

Spoiler

Predator

Terminator 3

mad max 3

reign of fire <- IJGT!

army of darkness (alt.ending)

 

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2

 

I unashamedly love this, and it's all down to the chemistry between Corddry and Robinson. Plus that it doesn't have John Cusack in it (I'm not a fan of him).


Yes, the humour is puerile. Obviously the plot is stupid. Without question it didn't need to exist.

 

And yet, it works. It has some heart underlying it all, the core group all riff off each other and there are some proper laugh-out-loud moments. As I say, Corddry and Robinson get to enjoy a closer friendship than existed in the first film and Robinson is just so smooth and charming, even when insulting the rest of the gang.

 

It's not high art, it's not got a clever script or is wonderfully shot, but, for me, it is a fun romp.

 

4/5

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Three Days of the Condor (1976)

 

The 70's were a perfect time for a grimy paranoid downbeat conspiracy thriller.  Robert Redford is a CIA analyst who nips out from his office for lunch and comes back to find everyone in the building murdered.  He then goes on the run and has to find out what is going on, while having no idea who to trust.

 

Not going to go any further into the plot, but this is a stellar example of the genre with strong performances from Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow.  Definite moments between Redford and Dunaway that felt like a template for the first Jason Bourne movie.  Clever, tightly plotted.  Redford looking every inch a movie star and Dunaway looks absolutely gorgeous.

 

It's on Netflix at the moment.

 

4.5/5

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16 hours ago, SeanR said:

The Worlds End 3/5

 

I’ve only seen the last 15 mins or so before, but this is not as strong as the first two.

 

at least the first two were confident in their own right, as well as successful pastiches of other films. 

 

this was lacking, in that it doesn’t really have a direct analog to refer to/lift from.
 

Invasion of the bodysnatchers maybe? Invaders from Mars? Or something a bit more… Michael Crichton?

 

or does it miss the mark because it doesn’t have that familiarity?

 

Also: feeling very attacked right now, in that I know which one of the group I am…

 

cant believe the ending was

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Predator

Terminator 3

mad max 3

reign of fire <- IJGT!

army of darkness (alt.ending)

 

 

Of all his films, 3/5 is what I'd give Shaun. The rest probably less. Seems like a nice bloke, loves his film, but just don't get the love for his output. 

 

It seems really odd to me that his fans often single out World's End as lesser to Shaun and Hot Fuzz, when it feels very similar in construction, quotes from past films, etc.

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Hustle (Netflix)

 

Really don’t get the love for this. Perhaps if you’re a big basketball fan you’d get a kick out of seeing famous players playing and/or trying to act. Sandler is good in it but it lacks drama. It’s shot really nicely. So nicely that it makes the lack of drama even more obvious. One dimensional characters and feels like a really long advert for the NBA. They also manage to cram in 5 fast food adverts in the first 5 minutes. 
 

2/5 for the nice plays. 
 

Fresh (Disney +)

 

Bit of a weird one. Interesting premise and nicely acted horror/thriller. Has some very nice, stylish touches. A little on the nose but manages to stay true to the rather ham fisted point it’s trying to make. 
 

3/5

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Dashcam 

 

Nowt wrong with this inventive use of the found footage trope.

 

It's intense, well made, has humour and some great FX. 

 

Host was a great film that used the pandemic and zoom to make an entertaining slice of horror. 

 

This does the same with a dashcam and vlog to what I would say is a more effective end result. I also think he's read Neonomicon. 

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1 hour ago, Festoon said:

 

Of all his films, 3/5 is what I'd give Shaun. The rest probably less. Seems like a nice bloke, loves his film, but just don't get the love for his output. 

 

It seems really odd to me that his fans often single out World's End as lesser to Shaun and Hot Fuzz, when it feels very similar in construction, quotes from past films, etc.

I'm with you on that, I've never understood the adulation Shaun in particular gets, but also Hot Fuzz. I mean, they're okay I guess? I actually thought World's End was a bit more interesting just because they swapped the Frost and Pegg characters around, but I still couldn't say that I particularly liked it.

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My short reviews of the 3 are: Shaun of The Dead, i just prefer characters covering vast distances in zombie films than going down the road a bit and then back to the pub. There are quality moments but when i watched Zombieland, how that opened i just thought was funnier than anything in Shaun of the Dead, but they're different, and Shaun of the Dead is a higher calibre of humour i know than the pretty tackiness of Zombieland.

 

Hot Fuzz, the editing eventually made it unwatchable the more the boring story progressed, and I resent that Edgar Wright could say he loves the long take in the Point Break foot chase then do his own foot chase and butcher it with his awful editing as though he had no understanding of what made the Point Break foot chase so good other than a dog being thrown at Keanu... or that he's got some obsession with editing*.

 

The World's End, i find Simon Pegg funny in this, surprisingly a more acute character when it's usually others who get to be odd, it doesn't progress well but i don't think any Edgar Wright films do really thinking about it, they lose it past the half way point as their lack of ambition becomes clear. I really like that first half though meeting up, going to pubs.

 

*compare

 

 

 

I get that tonally it'd be harder to click in Hot Fuzz and it's not a great foot chase anyway, but if you're going to do something, do it well maybe? He could have come up with a better foot chase idea. It's just always comforting in that Point Break sequence to know the director knows what they're doing and hits all the yeah this is awesome points, like a massage therapist who knows how to release pressure points on your back or something, same thing. It's obvious Kathryn Bigelow knows what she's doing on Strange Days too.

 

Hot Fuzz foot chase is too short as well, it's not a spoof film so if it was the sequence would go on endlessly and all manner of things would be thrown at him escalating from a dog, i get that. But surely there's still humour in extending it out into ridiculousness, it being a comedy. Just sort of pointless.

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Shawn of the Dead lost me at the record scene - where they continue to throw a whole box of vinyl records at zombies while making jokes, even though they don't work/have any real impact from the start.

 

 

 

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Not to labour on it, but after he smashes through the window, the editing approaches Taken 3 Neeson jumping over a fence legend. From exactly 24 seconds in, it cuts to the back of the black clothed guy, then to Pegg, then to black clothed guy, now on 25 seconds, back to Pegg, back to black clothed guy with Pegg chasing him in view, Pegg from the front, then a cut to black clothed guy from the front, then to Pegg closer, then black clothed guy from behind, then in front, then Pegg behind, then Pegg from the front, then from behind again, then black clothed guy from the side, then Pegg from the front. That was more tedious to write than it would have been to read. Anyway, all that happens in 8 seconds.

 

 

Interesting comment below this video

 

Quote

Some of y'all may find how awful this editing gets pretty interesting: I did an Average Shot Length (ASL) for many movies for a recent project, and just to illustrate bad overediting in action movies, I looked at Taken 3 (2014) in its extended cut.

 

The longest shot in the movie is the last shot, an aerial shot of a pier at sunset ending the movie as the end credits start rolling over them. It clocks in at a runtime of 41 seconds and is, *BY FAR*, the longest shot in the movie.

 

The next longest is a helicopter establishing shot of the daughter's college after the "action scene" there a little over an hour in, at 5 seconds. Otherwise, the ASL for Taken 3 (minus the end credits/opening logos), which has a runtime of 1:49:40, 4,561 shots in all (!!!), is 1.38 SECONDS .

 

For comparison, Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) (minus end credits/opening logos) is 3:50:59, with 3163 shots overall, giving it an ASL of 4.40 seconds, and this movie, at 1 hour 50 minutes, has north of 4,561 for an ASL of 1.38 seconds?!?! **Taken 3 has more shots in it than Zack Snyder's Justice League, a movie more than double its length...**

 

To further illustrate how ridiculous this editing gets, the ASL for Taken 3's non-action scenes is 2.27 seconds. To reiterate, this is the non-action scenes. The "slow scenes." The character stuff. Dialogue scenes.

 

The stuff where any other movie would know to slow down. 2.27 SECONDS For comparison, Mad Max: Fury Road (minus end credits/opening logos) has a runtime of 1:51:58, with 2646 shots overall, for an ASL of 2.54 seconds.

 

TAKEN 3'S "SLOW SCENES" ARE EDITED MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN MAD MAX: FURY ROAD! And Taken 3's action scenes? **Their ASL is 0.68 seconds!**

 

If it weren't for the sound people on the movie, Taken 3 wouldn't be an "action movie". It'd be abstract art.


It's hard to believe the average shot length could be 1.38 seconds. Makes me think of Jean-Pierre Jeunet doing Alien Ressurrection and watching American films to recognise the amount of shots they typically use in comparison to Alien, and wanting to be on par with the average at the time. When a film feels naff and tacky, this has so much to do with why for me. I always wonder about chase sequences, like car chases, because i realise you need fast cuts to impress speed in a way, editing really is something that in an action scene is really meant to make you feel like you're really there and feeling it but if you're not maybe 80% there you start to notice it, it seems like a fine line and something like the Bourne sequels, though i've not watched them since the cinema, maybe are happy amazing some people and having the rest just disconnect with it. I never watch Ronin and think the chases don't appear fast enough. And with Bourne, it not being about seeing much but Bourne himself living through it.

 

I think editor would be an amazing job, like sifting through so many takes, but then there's more you've got to do isn't there to get inside what the film is trying to do, in terms of how things are ordered. There's probably some video out there analysing The Departed, one of the more interesting edits i can think of because it's a 2 1/2 hour film that tries so many things to never make it feel like that, the late title that appears something like 15 minutes in, the narration of Nicholson that only happens once, the constant use of music inbetween scenes so they blend and flow, changes of locations when Di Caprio is on the phone where there's a contrast, Nicholson in a room, Di Caprio pacing down the docks or airport. Maybe that's another reason they made Wahlberg so foul mouthed, to perk people up in case they're starting to slouch. I love Di Caprio's anger in that film, i just watch it to see how angry he is. I can't imagine many other actors doing those scenes seething like he is.

 

Rambling on...the use of music to create flow makes me think of Fincher's 'talk more quickly' in The Social Network to get through the amount of dialogue they have in the run time they have. I've been reading about the amount of takes he does, again, and can't grasp it. Doing so many that the actor forgets his process in delivering the lines and is more natural with it, that seems to be the gist of it. Gyllenhaul in an interview when asked about it said that he'd do a thousand takes if he knows what the intent is, it's when he's doing take after take and the director is leaving him in the dark. Actors end up breaking down. 100 takes, i can't imagine it. I'm just not convinced they'll be much difference in performance between them. I bet if you took the final scene used in Kubrick and Fincher films and threw them into alternative takes and 100 people were asked to pick out the one that was used, i don't think many could, and obsession fans who watch their films yearly don't count.

 

And i watch Fincher films thinking so many are processions, a lot of connecting dialogue scenes where it's just about the scene fitting into the overall thrust of the story, the performance isn't the key. There's plenty of videos about Fincher's framing on youtube, the camera is still and generally only moves when the character does. I'd say Fincher's obsessive ocd about performance has decreased his ambition in thinking about film as a whole.

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The Van (1996)

I'd just finished reading the third of Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy of novels and thought I'd give the film a go, see how it compared. Roddy Doyle adapts his own novel and whilst the plot is largely the same - two out-of-work middle-aged men in Dublin try to run a fish and chip van - he makes some changes, like toning the language down considerably, pushing a number of characters into the background rather than binning them altogether, and whilst I'm not sure if this is more a direction thing but the characters lacked depth, especially the relationship between Larry (Jimmy senior in the novel) and Bimbo where the deterioration of their friendship just feels a bit limp. Stephen Frears manages to keep the heart of the story intact, even if the pathos ended up feeling a bit out of place. Mind you, Colm Meaney is perfectly cast as Larry. It's coarsely funny but, like the novel, is sympathetic to the characters but it doesn't rise much above a collection of funny scenes featuring a likeable bunch of characters. I wasn't on the same emotional rollercoaster anyway.

 

2.5/5

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@Loik V credern I've never really had a problem with the action editing in Hot Fuzz. Maybe that's because even though it's homaging the genre, I've never really viewed it as an "action film", by which I mean that the film's appeal does not primarily lie in showing off cool and spectacular feats, or in watching heroes escape from impossible odds. So even though the above Hot Fuzz chase scene is over-edited (but IMO still pretty clear what's happening), as is its supermarket shootout climax, it doesn't bother me much because it's not what I'm really seeking from the film.

 

On the other hand, I'd say that The World's End, Scott Pilgrim, and Baby Driver are action films, and better at it than Hot Fuzz: the toilet fight in The World's End is presented as an unbroken shot, and the sword fight at the end of Scott Pilgrim has some lengthy shots. (It can't be a coincidence that Brad Allan and his stunt team were involved in both!)

 

 

There's a lot of focus in your post above about average shot length, but I think it's misleading to focus too much on that when discussing why one action scene is more clearly edited than another. When Mad Max Fury Road came out, a short video did the rounds (halfway down this page: https://vashivisuals.com/the-editing-of-mad-max-fury-road/ ) which illustrated how the film's shot compositions were consistently framed with the most important thing in the centre, so that no matter how they ultimately chose to edit it, your eye would never have to flick from one side of the screen to the other. So an action scene can have rapid shot changes, but still give you long enough to register everything you need to follow it.

 

 

 

 

As for the infamous over-editing in the Taken sequels:

 

I recently came across an action movie YouTube channel called Fight Scene Film School. When it comes to the cottage industry of YouTube film video essays, he's not the most polished, but he's done videos on stunt impacts on breakaway props and solid surfaces, and on the repetitiveness of one major fight scene in Tom Yum Goong/The Protector. (Unfortunately he has an annoying habit of giving clickbait titles and thumbnails that undermine the videos' good points. For example, this one about how a bent hand posture can make punches look weak is given the off-puttingly sexist title "Why Women STINK at Fight Scenes 💩" - even though he points out that Hugo Weaving was guilty of the same thing in The Matrix, which I'd never noticed.)

 

Anyway, he recently did this video where he attempted to re-edit a clip from Taken 3 to make it clearer. Because he's restricted to using footage from the movie, he can't really slow down the pace of editing; instead he focuses on removing shots that break the 180° rule, and re-ordering some shots so that they make more sense (i.e. thug looks to the side -> we see what he's looking at -> we see him move his gun in response).

 

It doesn't make that much of a difference to be honest, but it's enough of an improvement to illustrate his point!

 

 

 

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Starcrash (1978)

It's difficult to watch something this cheap and ropey without it bringing to mind the many parodies of this sort of thing down the years. There is a consistency to the crapness of this Roger Corman Star Wars cash-in that gives it a bit of charm though. Once you get used to it there is some ironic enjoyment to be had although It flags somewhat as it goes on. Christopher Plummer deserves credit for his professionalism. And you get an early appearance by David Hasselhoff. Best thing by far is the superb John Barry soundtrack.

 

2.5/5

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