The Movie Preview, Review, & Recommendation Thread pt. II

Speaking of Avatar:

Avatar 3 will now be out a year later on December 19, 2025. Avatar 4 moves several years to December 21, 2029, and Avatar 5 moves to December 2031.
Director James Cameron, who launched the first Avatar in 2009, has said he may not direct the fourth and fifth instalments, the Associated Press reported. By December 2031, the 68-year-old Cameron would be 77.

What kind of film series takes 22 years to play out? I think the old & new testament and the koran were written and published in a shorter period of time.
 
What kind of film series takes 22 years to play out? I think the old & new testament and the koran were written and published in a shorter period of time.

  1. James Bond (1962-present) - Over 59 years and counting.
  2. Godzilla (1954-present) - Over 69 years and counting.
  3. Star Wars (1977-present) - Over 44 years and counting.
  4. Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) (2008-present) - Over 13 years and counting.
  5. Harry Potter (2001-2011) - Over 10 years.
  6. The Fast and the Furious (2001-present) - Over 20 years and counting.
  7. X-Men (2000-2019) - Over 19 years.
  8. Indiana Jones (1981-present) - Over 40 years and counting.
  9. Transformers (2007-present) - Over 14 years and counting.
  10. Alien (1979-present) - Over 42 years and counting.
  11. Mission: Impossible (1996-present) - Over 25 years and counting.
  12. The Terminator (1984-present) - Over 37 years and counting.
  13. Rocky (1976-2018) - Over 42 years.
  14. The Godfather (1972-1990) - Over 18 years.
  15. Planet of the Apes (1968-2017) - Over 49 years.
 
That is a very depressing list.

For me it can be divided into broad categories of:
- initial run + reboot with younger actors/actresses and retread of old stories
- degenerative spiral to zero
- story was complete but we needed to cash in with a modern and unnecessary extra chapter + previous star makes a cameo
 
That is a very depressing list.

For me it can be divided into broad categories of:
- initial run + reboot with younger actors/actresses and retread of old stories
- degenerative spiral to zero
- story was complete but we needed to cash in with a modern and unnecessary extra chapter + previous star makes a cameo

One of the main uses I have for ChatGPT now is to feed it some of the nonsense people produce and see what it comes back with:

Let's categorize the list across the three categories you mentioned:

Initial Run + Reboot with Younger Actors/Actresses and Retread of Old Stories:
1. James Bond (1962-present)
2. Godzilla (1954-present)
3. Star Wars (1977-present)
4. Harry Potter (2001-2011)
5. X-Men (2000-2019)
6. Indiana Jones (1981-present)
7. Planet of the Apes (1968-2017)

Degenerative Spiral to Zero:
None of the film series listed can be categorized as a degenerative spiral to zero, as they have either remained consistently popular or are still ongoing.

Story was Complete, but Needed to Cash in with a Modern and Unnecessary Extra Chapter + Previous Star Makes a Cameo:
1. The Fast and the Furious (2001-present) - The series continued with additional installments that expanded the story beyond its original scope.
2. Transformers (2007-present) - The franchise continued with additional films that introduced new storylines and characters.
3. Alien (1979-present) - The series continued with additional films that expanded upon the original story and universe.
4. Mission: Impossible (1996-present) - The series continued with new installments that built upon the original story and featured Tom Cruise reprising his role.
5. The Terminator (1984-present) - The franchise continued with additional films that extended the story and involved Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his iconic role.

Please note that the categorization may vary depending on individual interpretations, and some series could potentially fit into multiple categories to some extent.
 
I noticed Godfather isn't there because I think it's quite divided whether the third movie was part of the canon or a cash in by Coppola. He did go back and have the movie's dialogue rewritten so it wasn't like he didn't care. But Duvall didn't even bother to star in it.

Indiana Jones tried to reboot with Shia Labeouf. They didn't anticipate he would self implode in his personal life. Now it's like a bank for Harrison Ford to draw money from.

I don't know if you would call the continuing Fast and Furious and Transformers movies enduring. They reached their heydays by mid 2010s.
 
I noticed Godfather isn't there because I think it's quite divided whether the third movie was part of the canon or a cash in by Coppola. He did go back and have the movie's dialogue rewritten so it wasn't like he didn't care. But Duvall didn't even bother to star in it.
Why is The Godfather in any of these lists?

I apologize for including "The Godfather" in the previous categorization. It does not fit into any of the three categories mentioned. "The Godfather" film series, consisting of "The Godfather" (1972), "The Godfather Part II" (1974), and "The Godfather Part III" (1990), does not have a reboot with younger actors/actresses or retread of old stories, nor does it have a degenerative spiral to zero. While "The Godfather Part III" was released many years after the first two films, it was intended as a continuation and conclusion to the story rather than an unnecessary extra chapter. I apologize for the confusion caused by its inclusion in the previous response.
I don't know if you would call the continuing Fast and Furious and Transformers movies enduring. They reached their heydays by mid 2010s.

Depends on how you define enduring. They might not be up to your artistic standards, but they keep on making more and more money. So well within the cash cow parameters
 
I watched The Covenant this weekend on Amazon Prime. It was a serious Guy Ritchie movie that is 1/3 Jake Gyllenhaal the soldier being hidden and rescued by his interpreter, 1/3 stateside where he is trying to get the interpreter out of Afghanistan, 1/3 back in the country doing the rescue himself.

I thought the action scenes were pretty good but I have no idea how an interpreter is such a good shot with practically every weapon Gyllenhaal gives him. Also unrealistic is the seemingly unlimited amount of Taliban wielding AK47s.
 
I watched The Covenant this weekend on Amazon Prime. It was a serious Guy Ritchie movie that is 1/3 Jake Gyllenhaal the soldier being hidden and rescued by his interpreter, 1/3 stateside where he is trying to get the interpreter out of Afghanistan, 1/3 back in the country doing the rescue himself.

I thought the action scenes were pretty good but I have no idea how an interpreter is such a good shot with practically every weapon Gyllenhaal gives him. Also unrealistic is the seemingly unlimited amount of Taliban wielding AK47s.
I just watched an earlier film of his, Wrath of Man. Silly, predictable, cliched and formulaic. And yet it still build suspense. Well choreographed action scenes, too.
 
I just watched an earlier film of his, Wrath of Man. Silly, predictable, cliched and formulaic. And yet it still build suspense. Well choreographed action scenes, too.

I had to look that one up even though I already saw it. Yeah that's in between his comical and serious ones. (Comical being Operation Fortune: Reuse de Guerre or The Gentlemen). Holt McCallany was pretty good in that one although I don't know why he needed to go down with the ship when things started spiraling out of control. He could have just been that inside guy who never gets revealed. I liked him previously in Mindhunter.
 
I watched Maybe I Do on the weekend on Netflix.

A young couple wants to get married whilst their parents are cheating - with each other - so father + mother in law, mother + father in law. Absurdly they get together for a meet the parents evening. I'm sure Netflix paid a lot of money to get Richard Gere, William H. Macy, Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton in the same room. There's some seething built up anger of just staying together and tolerating venomous hatred for the kids but it gets all resolved at the end tied up in a lovely bow.

Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey (channeling Simon Baker) could have used more screen time but I guess people were more interested in seeing how Richard Gere still has the same amount of hair as he did 35 years ago and Diane Keaton has that one very consistent look post Godfather.

Paraphrasing William H. Macy talking to Susan Sarandon at the end on a bench - when I met you, I knew you were far more interesting than me and I thought that would make me more interesting. That's it? No fighting? No broken glass or mobile phones? No curse words for all those lost years?
 
I watched Extraction 2.

The sequel feels longer - there are basically 3 main action sequences interrupted with some talk to flesh out the story and for the actors and actresses to magically heal themselves of scrapes, wounds and bullet holes. This time around Golshifteh Farahani's character plays a bigger role and is accompanied by the character's brother Adam Bessa to help Chris Hemsworth against what seems like impossible odds - i.e. one man versus the entire prison + the prison guards.

The final scene in Vienna is a bit funny because the city and the hotel seems completely empty populated only with Georgian bad guys in military kit and the good guys. Maybe all the money for extras went to the action sequences and explosions.

But 2 hours of Golshifteh Farahani is so worth watching

 
The Out-laws on Netflix - a 90 minute caper movie that is truly forgettable.

Adam Devine is getting married to Nina Dobrev - no idea who the latter is but she looks nice. She is a yoga instructor and Adam's family is a whole bunch of cowardly klutzy hypochondriacs. He's a bank manager. Upon meeting her parents he tries to impress them by going drinking with them and gives up his bank's passcode and security setup. The parents, played by Pierce Brosnan channeling a...Scotsman (? - it's a very weird accent), and Ellen Barkin, then rob the bank to pay off a debt. Then Adam discovers Nina doesn't know anything about her parents' dodgy crime filled past until Nina is abducted and the parents have to co-operate with Adam to hit another bank to pay off the ransom to win her liberty.

I always found Adam Devine annoying. Here he's annoying and his antics are borderline insufferable. Brosnan is moving around in his action sequences a lot more nimble than Liam Neeson. He's one year younger, but he looks less stiff.

My favourite scene is Lauren Lapkus' sexually suggestive/comedic overview of her bank's security system.
 
Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer movie is getting some good reviews.
 
Two biggest cinematic releases this year: Oppenheimer and Barbie
 
People wanted to watch Barbie over Oppenheimer - based on box office results.
 
I finished Mixed By Erry on Netflix. It's a movie about 3 brothers from a poor family in Naples whose father works hustling people with fake alcohol. The middle one ends up working at a local electronics shop cleaning up for the owner and develops a taste for pop music. When the owner closes up for early retirement by selling the shop he takes it as a queue to pursue being a DJ except in the late 1970s and 1980s he's nowhere near hip enough to be spinning so he starts recording bootleg music mixes on to cassette tapes and sells them. It becomes a neighbourhood hit so he asks his brothers to borrow more money from loansharks to finance mass production.

The movie then gets repetitive because you know they will just keep bootlegging more and more until they get the attention of the police and government because they sell more tapes than the entire Italian recording industry. And of course with every other Italian movie there is the north versus south thing going. I wish it could have been deeper but it ended up being the rags to riches story and then back to rags as they end up being incarcerated.
 
Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 3 is on Disney+..... did anyone watch it?
 
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Excellent documentary about the 2019 volcanic eruption in New Zealand!

A bunch of tourists/visitors take a day trip to check out this amazing force of nature. Real footage, photos and testimonies set up the trip:

-A couple on their honeymoon.
-A family of thrill seekers.
-Visitors to NZ seeking a not so common tour.
-Guides who make the trip all the time.
-Etc.

What starts off as a "holy $hit" excursion turns into a life changing event for some and the loss of life for 22 others.

You get to hear from survivors, locals, rescuers, the government, etc.

One of the better docs I have seen in a while.

4.75/5!
 
I’m waiting for the doco featuring the former Finish PM

It's a Sanna Marin trilogy.

Part 1 - I'm the hot PM who got elected
Part 2 - I start clubbing with celebs during lockdown and my marriage falls apart
Part 3 - I lost the election so I'm not PM nor party leader and am available on OnlyFans. Look for me a few listings above Snoop Dogg.
 
The kids are watching Shrek again, so I’m digging into the classics …

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I somehow stumbled on The Incredible Jessica James on Netflix. I originally didn't have much interest in it but Jessica Williams kept me going. She seems fun and has similar mannerisms to one my artist friends whose motto is life has to be an adventure. I'm not big on nose rings or jump suits but she pulls it off like my friend.
 
I watched a forgettable German Sci-fi film about people trading years of like on the open market. Can’t recall the title but 5/10. Then I caught another classic that I’d overlooked:

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Lightweight Kingsmanesque action film with aspirations of epic series, riding a Swiss cheese plot and some very wooden acting. 6/10
 
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A few modern ideas thrown-in, but mostly the same formula as a hundred films that preceded it. Decent special effects and Russel Crowe, so 6/10.
 
Lightweight Kingsmanesque action film with aspirations of epic series, riding a Swiss cheese plot and some very wooden acting. 6/10

I started this. 2 1/2 hours of stuff blowing up..not sure how long it will take me to finish it. I kept thinking the only reason you're watching it is because of Gal Gadot.

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I watched Sr - which is a Netflix documentary of Robert Downey Sr. and Robert Downey Jr. spending his final years with him. It looks like it began before the coronavirus and then ended near the end of the height of it.

It hit home for me a bit given my own struggles with my father. 'Senior', as he is called in the documentary starts, getting dizzy and needing to sit down - special diets because he has the runs - what I deal with now. The final moments where is a bed ridden with in & out consciousness was a bit like what I saw with my 94 year old grandfather.

'Junior' has a more mainstream career than his father. I never watched anything from his father but it looks more like arthouse flicks. Also didn't know Downey is a fake name - they are Jewish.
 
I finished Heart of Stone. Not sure why it got slammed by critics. It does what it set out to do. It is really no different than 6 Underground, Extraction and other action movies that Netflix commissions every year. Gal Gadot takes an unusual amount of punishment but still looks okay in the end.
 
Everything Everywhere All At Once.

I'm late to the game but my mother mentioned it a few months ago and I finally got around to it.

I'm not sure why it won so many Academy Awards. To me it fell a bit like it borrowed a concept from The Matrix where you download (upload?) different personas and you suddenly gain different skills from the different lives/dimensions/iterations of the Matrix you live in.

The action sequences felt like it was a spoof on the wall to wall action the Marvel movies have made standard for the last two decades. I think that was the intention. Of course this movie had a clever twist to turn it into an anti-violent spoof. Overarching all of it was the mother caring about her daughter story between Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu. The movie had different layers.

However I thought the movie ran a bit long. In my ideal world it probably should have ended where they had the two rocks "talk" to each other. That was funny to me and would have put an artistic haute couture end to it but instead the movie ran longer with the predictable epic fight and an epilogue at the end.
 
I have been trying to get through The kids are alright at least three times and I haven't finished it yet. It is not because it is long but because Annette Benning's alcoholic character is insufferable and I have to turn it off if she starts raving again for more than a few minutes.
 
I watched Michael Pena in A Million Miles Away. It's a story of an astronaut who was the son of migrant farmers from Mexico. While his cousin ends up continuing manual labour he demonstrates above average mental acuity at school and becomes an engineer. He kept adding skills as a pilot, Russian language, etc. until his repeated attempts to get into Nasa's astronaut candidate program came through.

He hits another wall during Nasa training but is inspired by one of the instructors who was on the ill fated Columbia shuttle to keep going.

It's one of those feel good movies (yes he makes it to space) but the production values are a bit too high and the length too long to be a happy Hallmark movie. It could have used a bit more depth because the entire movie was literally him hitting a wall and then persisting and getting through it - his background, his training, his family. I feel a bit sorry for his kids and wife who always seemed to take second place to his dream to be an astronaut.
 
I watched The Covenant this weekend on Amazon Prime. It was a serious Guy Ritchie movie that is 1/3 Jake Gyllenhaal the soldier being hidden and rescued by his interpreter, 1/3 stateside where he is trying to get the interpreter out of Afghanistan, 1/3 back in the country doing the rescue himself.

I thought the action scenes were pretty good but I have no idea how an interpreter is such a good shot with practically every weapon Gyllenhaal gives him. Also unrealistic is the seemingly unlimited amount of Taliban wielding AK47s.
Just watched this and that’s a fair assessment. There was some good cinematography and the action scenes were well choreographed. I could nitpick a bunch of stuff which wasn’t realistic, but it was entertaining.

Also watched Barbie with my 10yo daughter. She loved it.
 
I watched Love Sarah. It wasn't something I wanted to watch but Amazon naturally rolled into it. Cute drama set in Notting Hill where a girl's mum passes away so she convinces her mum's friend and her grandmother to open a bakery and fulfill the departed mother's wish. There's a pastry chef friend and some romance as well as a side story where the grandmother hooks up with the shopkeeper across the street and the pastry chef thinks the blond girl might be her own child (DNA testing and all). Everyone has to give up some part of their dream (dancing, corporate life, slaving in Michelin star restaurants) to make the concept happen.

They start out making French pastries and when business is slow then pivoted to make ethnic sweets that appeal to the diaspora in London. I'm still not sure how you can make money in Notting Hill to cover rent much less earn a living selling tea, coffee and cakes with one picnic table for 6, one stool, two small tables of 2 inside and two tables for 2 each outside the shop but it's a cute story.
 
Just watched this and that’s a fair assessment. There was some good cinematography and the action scenes were well choreographed. I could nitpick a bunch of stuff which wasn’t realistic, but it was entertaining.

Also watched Barbie with my 10yo daughter. She loved it.

Just out of curiosity, what are the most unrealistic things?
 
Book Club 2: The Next Chapter. What can go wrong if you put Diane Keaton (77), Jane Fonda (85), Candice Bergen (77), and Mary Steenburgen (70) together for a bachelorette trip in Italy. The backdrop and cinematography is nice but there are no surprises to the story. I don't actually remember them discussing any books other than the faux lockdown Microsoft Teams calls they were doing in the beginning of the movie. Predictably there are some comedic moments, getting imprisoned, getting hustled for their luggage, senior age sex, etc. I also have to doubt these women can drink this amount of wine. They're putting the menopausal Sex and the City crew to shame.

Andy Garcia makes a cameo. He's 10 years younger than Diane Keaton and was Sonny's bastard in Godfather 3 so technically Kay is the aunt. Creepy. Keaton and Fonda look pretty much the same as I remember they did 10+ years ago - preternatural. But you can tell when they walk down the European stairs they are struggling.
 
Love at First Sight. Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hadley meet by chance at the airport. She missed her flight and runs into him in the waiting area before splitting a meal at an airport restaurant. Meet cute. Then his seatbelt is broken and he is bumped to business class to sit next to her. The rest of the movie is all about fate (personified by Jameela Jamil) nudging them closer together. Hadley had come back for a living funeral and one of Richardson's wedding guests skips out after the ceremony to go there so she follows along. There is the comic trope of Richardson's always failing mobile phone that keeps going cross town London an adventure.

Rob Delaney plays the father who honestly comes off really accommodating and nice - he even rescues his lost daughter and ferries her to the reception.
 
Michael Caine is retiring.



I feel ashamed for having Brooks Brothers now.
 
Maggie Moore(s) with Jon Hamm, Tina Fey and Nick Mohammed (of Ted Lasso fame) - directed by John Slattery back from the Mad Men days. Hamm and Mohammed are sheriff and deputy in a small town. A deaf hitman kills two women leaving behind clues to the police that it's the same killer. Tina Fey plays a neighbour in the deceased's neighbourhood and goes on a date with Jon Hamm. There's a side plot about pedo porn. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a police caper, a comedy, or a revenge drama+dark comedy moments because it never really develops into either one of these.

Were Fey and Hamm supposed to hook up? The ending is extremely sudden but strangely it drags on during certain parts even though it's a 90 minute movie.
 

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