Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9847Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:31 am

The only good movie trailer ever made.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRqxyqjpOHs

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filmfan94
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9850Post filmfan94
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:30 pm

R.I.P. Nick Redman

https://variety.com/2019/film/obituarie ... 203111967/

This man has done so much for the film world with his assistance on film restorations and his extensive care for the Fox archives, which has led to releases of some of my favorite scores from that archive.

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filmfan94
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9853Post filmfan94
Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:37 pm

New online website about Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons:

http://www.themagnificentambersons.com/

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9857Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:08 am

Superman doesn't fly backwards in time or erase memories or other weird powers. Father Jor-El has given him something which lets him do that, but only once (or twice for the sequel, or gives him two things). There, I fixed Superman 1978/1980. Am I too late? Call Richard Donner.

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filmfan94
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9938Post filmfan94
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:58 pm

We all knew it was coming, but the deal was just made official today:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/busi ... -deal.html

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9939Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:31 am

(Didn't post this here earlier, as the FForum was down.)

Captain Marvel is a solid film. Cinemascore polling has given it an "A" from audiences, and I'd give it at least a B+. It's a testament to the high quality of Marvel Studio's other efforts that a movie with so much going for it feels like more of the same. Really, it's something of a step back for the Avengers franchise in more ways than one. It's a prequel, set in 1995 and setting up events that were hinted at in the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy films. It's also Marvel's first film starring a woman as the title character - only eleven years late, and only if we don't count Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the meantime we've had a whole raft of films starring a blond white guy named Chris.

Since Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios has built a film franchise like no other, bringing its superheroes to vivid life in over twenty hit films. And they've still found ways to break new ground. Black Panther, with its vision of a futuristic African kingdom, felt like a game-changer for the studio. So did the funny and inventive Thor: Ragnarok, and of course the hugely ambitious crossover Avengers: Infinity War.

Captain Marvel doesn't feel quite as amazing or unique as those films did, and might land somewhere in the middle of your list of favorite Marvel movies. It's a lot better than Thor, Doctor Strange, or The Incredible Hulk, but I wouldn't rank it above, say, the Captain America movies.

It's a good film which sticks the landing enough to achieve greatness at a few key moments, which are sure to become iconic in their own right. And if you liked the political subtext of Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there's a lot going on here too. I would say this is a weaker origin story than the better Marvel origin films, but several genuinely great moments make me hold my tongue. At heart it's a film about a woman who has always been driven to succeed in a man's world, and whose life is changed by a tragic event which leaves her with memory loss, trained as a soldier and picking up the pieces to figure out who she really is. That should really resonate with female viewers, but it also keeps the character at some emotional distance from us for much of the movie. It's certainly not the easiest way to introduce a hero and make her likeable, and it's to the credit to Brie Larson as an actress that she makes the character work as well as she does.

The film has been criticized for being effectively a recruitment commercial for the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. military in general. Perhaps those critics have confused the film for the very literal recruitment commercial for the U.S. Air Force that plays before Captain Marvel in theaters. Certainly the Air Force was given script approval, and lent its resources to the film. This happens a lot with Hollywood product, and the military actually refused to provide resources after reading the script to the first Avengers film, in which SHIELD is portrayed in a vaguely sinister light. They must have missed all the subtext in Captain Marvel.

Our hero, Carol Danvers, was a hotshot Air Force test pilot in 1989, making references to Top Gun and The Right Stuff as she strives to go "higher, farther, faster." The backstory is important, but it's also only shown in flashback, meaning we don't dwell on it, and see it only in glimpses through a haze of dream logic. This backstory gives us three strong female characters - Carol, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening) - but it's also implied that the Air Force is a boy's club where these women aren't valued. They're test pilots because they can't fly in combat.

And in a larger sense the film itself is a critique of war and military imperialism. It presents us with a race war between two alien species - an unjust war that we want to see brought to an end. It could easily be seen as a metaphor for current conflicts around the world, and the film is very brave in that respect. There is a lot of action in the film, but at heart it's more like Star Trek or Doctor Who than Star Wars.

After a plane crash in 1989, Carol Danvers loses her memory but gains certain powers. She spends six years on the Kree homeworld of Hala, training as a soldier in their war against the shape-shifting Skrulls. Her mentor is Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, a true believer who has concealed her past from her. Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou reprise their roles from Guardians of the Galaxy, but remain minor characters in both films. Gemma Chan also turns up, to do not a whole lot. This whole space war is a lot to take in, and the movie throws a lot at you in its first 20 minutes without exactly showing you why you should care about it. This section lacks any of the humor of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Carol Danvers (or Veers as they call her) is a pretty grim character, trained by Yon-Rogg to avoid emotion and even humor. The film feels a bit bland from the outset, although there's more happening here than meets the eye. It's hard not to feel like we're getting a lot of the least interesting stuff from previous Marvel films. Thankfully this movie is going somewhere with it.

Captured by the Skrulls, who dig into her memories, she crash-lands on Earth in 1995, with the Skrulls in pursuit disguised as Earthlings. As she struggles to piece together her past, she teams up with Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, who along with Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson has been digitally de-aged. This turns out to be something of an origin story for Nick Fury and the Avengers Initiative at SHIELD, and Jackson has never been better as Fury. He seems to be having a ball playing a younger, happier, more naive and more trusting take on Fury. Although as we already know from a previous film, the last time he trusted someone he ended up losing an eye.

As Carol Danvers, Academy Award winner Brie Larson faces an uphill battle. In flashbacks we see - very briefly - that Carol was probably a lot of fun at some point. But she's lost her memory and been retrained as an alien soldier - and she was in the US military to begin with. Brie Larson is a skilled enough actress to make this work, but she can't fall back on charm the way that, say, Chris Evans can. Eventually we see more of the "old Carol" in her performance as she opens up. Most of that has to do with her chemistry with Jackson's Fury and with Lashanna Lynch as Maria Rambeau, who was Carol's best friend. Like Larson, Lynch has a very tough job ahead of her as an actress, and she really pulls it off. Since Carol doesn't remember her, Maria has to sell the friendship between the two single-handedly, by acting the scenes twice as hard. Almost immediately there are flashes, little moments, where Brie Larson's Carol Danvers clicks with her like an old friend, in spite of herself, showing us what the old Carol must have been like.

Akira Akbar turns up as a young Monica Rambeau (age 11), and is distractingly child-actory, though with some fun moments.

There is also Goose, an orange cat who tags along for the entire film, and who the Skrulls believe to be a dangerous Flerken. There's a lot about Goose that's just unexplained, although Ellen Ripley also took a cat into space.

The soundtrack needle-drops various hits from the 90s briefly throughout, almost to the point of self-parody. It doesn't work here the way it did in the Guardians films. Instead it feels gratuitous, with only some of the songs having a purpose beyond "look how 90s we are." But when it works- as with Just a Girl, Celebrity Skin and perhaps Come As You Are- it works.

The film begins with a brief tribute to the late Stan Lee. He does have a cameo here but it's unclear whether it was shot for this film or created from old footage.

With his unusual speech patterns, Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn has made a memorable villain in films like Rogue One and Ready Player One. He's similarly very good as the Skrull leader Talos, even though it feels like more of the same from the actor. He makes the character sympathetic and layered.

Jude Law is also very good as Carol's tough-as-nails mentor. We first see them sparring in a training fight, and their final scene together is one of the film's truly great moments from a character (and, yes, feminist) standpoint, where we really see how Carol has grown into herself.

There is, of course, tons of action in the film, although when Carol really takes control of her energy powers in what would otherwise be a fistfight, this is less interesting to watch than normal hand-to-hand combat would be. It is, however, thrilling to see her flying through space and taking down threats.

Arguably the film's best scene has been teased in the trailers. It involves a montage of Carol, as a child and as an adult, getting up when she's been injured.

Comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick put it this way: "Carol falls down all the time, but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’"

Indeed. She isn't a smiling, all-charm, Christopher Reeve Superman type. Nor is she a gloomy Zack Snyder Superman. While Brie Larson's Carol Danvers is not without her charming moments, for the most part she's all business, ready to get the job done.

She's also the Avengers' secret weapon in their fight against Thanos, and with her cosmic superpowers it's understandable that the series hasn't introduced her until now. The film, of course, sets us up for sequels - the next Avengers film, and perhaps an immediate Captain Marvel sequel involving more of the Kree/Skrull war.

And while this may not be your top-choice of Marvel movie, it's certainly good enough to leave you wanting to see more.

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