Let's Talk Movies #35 – Sparrows and Panthers and Dinosaurs…Oh My!

Which Movies Might You See? (Multiple Votes Allowed)

  • Feb. 16th - Black Panther – Action adventure with Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyo

    Votes: 32 61.5%
  • March 2nd - Red Sparrow – Mystery thriller with Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Mary-Louise Pa

    Votes: 14 26.9%
  • March 9th - A Wrinkle In Time – Adventure fantasy with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Oprah Winfr

    Votes: 26 50.0%
  • March 16th - Tomb Raider – Action adventure with Alicia Vikander, Walton Goggins and Kristin Scott T

    Votes: 10 19.2%
  • March 30th – Ready Player One – Sci-fi adventure with Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Simon Pegg

    Votes: 10 19.2%
  • May 4th - Avengers: Infinity War – Adventure fantasy with nobody famous

    Votes: 27 51.9%
  • May 18th - Deadpool 2 – Adventure comedy with Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin and T. J. Miller

    Votes: 19 36.5%
  • May 25th - Solo: A Star Wars Story – Adventure fantsy with Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover and Woody

    Votes: 27 51.9%
  • June 8th - Ocean's 8 – Action thriller with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway

    Votes: 24 46.2%
  • June 22nd - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Action sci-fi with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and

    Votes: 22 42.3%

  • Total voters
    52

VIETgrlTerifa

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One issue with The Shape of Water that I had was that it never fully addressed its plagiarism issues. Son of novelist and playwright Paul Zindel sued the writers of TSOW because he felt it was too similar to his father's play Let Me Hear You Whisper about a cleaning lady who works at a science lab who learns to communicate with a dolphin being experimented on and decides to break it out.

The case later got dismissed, but I still can't help reading about the similarities and knowing that the screenwriter Daniel Kraus was a huge fan of Zindel who even listed one of his books on his online profile as one of his favorites of all time.

That said, I guess the story of a human breaking another being out of captivity to be free from experimentation is a common trope, though I wonder how common that trope was when Zindel wrote his play in 1969.

I don't mind the romance angle of it because it is a semi-fantasy setting and people get married to animals in real life (though not legal and definitely weird to put it mildly and very concerning and inhumane for most people).
 

Vash01

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I don’t care if they remake Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I don’t care who might star in it. My only request is that they jettison Moon River. I hate that song with the fire of a thousand Hells; it ruins the movie for me way more than Mickey Rooney does. So there!
Oh! I want them to keep Moonriver. Such an iconic piece of music! No matter who they cast in Audrey’s role, it is going to be a big challenge.
 

VALuvsMKwan

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I wanted to share this NY Times article by Meg Wolitzer author of The Wife on what it's like seeing the characters you created on screen:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/22/...tzer-the-wife.html?partner=rss&emc=rss#380328
Interesting that Ms. Wolitzer refers to playing "the old woman" in Garcia Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba" - one of my first theater experiences as a freshman at William and Mary was watching a production of that very play, in which Glenn Close, who was in her senior year (in her mid-20's, after breaking away from Moral Re-Armament and the Up with People singing ensemble associated with it to attend college), played the role of Bernarda Alba brilliantly.
 

Kasey

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I just watched Roma for a second time. Sigh. I appreciate the cinematography. I appreciate the lead's acting. I still despise the pacing and the film as a whole. So, that's going to be the (presumed) Oscar winner, huh? Bleh. Sorry to all who apparently have fondness for it.
 

Aussie Willy

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Last night I saw Vox Lux starring Natalie Portman and Jude Law. It did not get a lot of publicity until the last week when it start appearing on my Facebook feed.

Interesting movie. Portman is a pop star named Celeste who suffered an traumatic injury at 14. She shares the character with a younger version of herself so the film is in 2 Acts.

I think I found the first act more effective than the second act and I am not sure I was convinced of Portman as a pop star, even thought I think she is a really good actress and I liked her performance. I did think Jude Law was excellent though as the manager. I did like Raffie Cassidy as the younger Celeste and then as Celeste's daughter Albertine.

Willem Dafoe doesn't appear in the movie but is the narrator. Also there are a number of original songs by Sia which I think work well but they do have Sia written all over them. I think the movie was a pet project for Portman and Sia as they are Producers.
 

Vash01

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I just watched Roma for a second time. Sigh. I appreciate the cinematography. I appreciate the lead's acting. I still despise the pacing and the film as a whole. So, that's going to be the (presumed) Oscar winner, huh? Bleh. Sorry to all who apparently have fondness for it.
It is almost binary with this movie. People either love it or hate it. I ran into two persons in the last 24 hours who had seen it. One hated it. The other loved it.:)

I admit there are some good things about it, like the cinematography, and the relationship between the maid and the family, but overall it is highly overrated. JMO of course.
 

Kasey

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I admit there are some good things about it, like the cinematography, and the relationship between the maid and the family, but overall it is highly overrated. JMO of course.
Ditto. I think part of my dislike is that it is the most "Oscary" of the Oscar nominated films (like Gandhi or The English Patient)....it just kind of screams "Oscar Bait" and that is a turn off to me (kind of like overhyping skaters :) )
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I actually thought Green Book and A Star is Born were more Oscar-baity because they used tried and true formulas and plot points, indulgent scene-chewing scenes, and traditional American "serious" film-style pacing to hit all the markers to attract Oscar voters. Oscar voters don't usually go for foreign-style paced 2.25 hour long artsy indulgent films except for categories like Cinematography, if it gets any awards attention. Oscars aren't the Cannes Film Festival and the average Oscar voter may be above Michael Bay but they aren't writing articles for Sight & Sound either (unless they're like from the Director's Branch or something). I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was pretty Oscar-baity as well due its biopic nature centering on a beloved frontman of a beloved band whose members are roughly the same age as the average Oscar voter and using fake prosthetics to help a performance gain credibility. I personally thought the quality of Bohemian Rhapsody was pretty subpar for the usual Oscar Best Picture contender, but here we are and I guess it takes the "popular film with middling reviews spot" like some BP nominees of the past (especially with the expansion to more than 5 films in the BP category).
 

Vash01

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I actually thought Green Book and A Star is Born were more Oscar-baity because they used tried and true formulas and plot points, indulgent scene-chewing scenes, and traditional American "serious" film-style pacing to hit all the markers to attract Oscar voters. Oscar voters don't usually go for foreign-style paced 2.25 hour long artsy indulgent films except for categories like Cinematography, if it gets any awards attention. Oscars aren't the Cannes Film Festival and the average Oscar voter may be above Michael Bay but they aren't writing articles for Sight & Sound either (unless they're like from the Director's Branch or something). I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was pretty Oscar-baity as well due its biopic nature centering on a beloved frontman of a beloved band whose members are roughly the same age as the average Oscar voter and using fake prosthetics to help a performance gain credibility. I personally thought the quality of Bohemian Rhapsody was pretty subpar for the usual Oscar Best Picture contender, but here we are and I guess it takes the "popular film with middling reviews spot" like some BP nominees of the past (especially with the expansion to more than 5 films in the BP category).
Ok, we get it that you hate Bohemian Rhapsody.

Which film released after October is NOT an Oscar bait? They all wait till the end of the year.

I found Cold War to be as Oscar bait as Roma (comparing foreign language films).

IMO the most Oscar baity film ever was The Artist. Not just B&W but silent too? I found it to be just Ok. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t feel it was something to rave about. I wouldn’t have picked it for BP. Too gimmicky for my taste.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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Ok, we get it that you hate Bohemian Rhapsody.

Which film released after October is NOT an Oscar bait? They all wait till the end of the year.

I found Cold War to be as Oscar bait as Roma (comparing foreign language films).

IMO the most Oscar baity film ever was The Artist. Not just B&W but silent too? I found it to be just Ok. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t feel it was something to rave about. I wouldn’t have picked it for BP. Too gimmicky for my taste.
I actually didn't think The Artist was Oscar bait but actually a real risky prospect. Not many black/white silent films get awards after 1929 or make money. It was like the first one since the first Oscars. I thought that year overall was sort of meh. I mean when you have films like The Help and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close nominated for Best Picture and I guess The Artist at least provided a different flavor from what we usually see from Oscar contenders.

ETA: About Bohemian Rhapsody, believe it or not, I've held back of giving a full review of it because I know people like it here. Maybe I should though.
 

Japanfan

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Ok, we get it that you hate Bohemian Rhapsody.
I haven't seen it, so I can't hate it. But I have zero interest in seeing it. Queen wasn't among the rock bands I listened to personally in the 70s. I'm sure Queen's music must have been played at parties I attended, but I wasn't aware of the name of the band.
 

mrr50

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is not oscar bait. It is pleasant, but not as good as the earlier Lego movies. There is a song called Catchy Song(that song will get stuck in your head) will probably end up as a skating exhibition song.
 

DannyCurry

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Unfortunately, I haven't been to the movies much lately :(

Luckily, what I saw wasn't awful :
  • Border : A "fairytale" about an ugly-looking woman who's great at her job at Swedish customs. One day, she meets a guy who has similar features as her. Raw, fascinating...until the mystery is revealed. Still, overall I really liked it.
  • The Favourite : Loved it. From the same director, Yorgos Lanthimos, I had also loved the Lobster.
  • Patema Inverted : Pretty much the same storyline as Upside Down. The girl is annoying and it's too bad, because this had potential.
 

clairecloutier

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I hardly ever get to the movies, but my kids wanted to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 this weekend, and they wanted me to come too. They had watched the two prior movies with my husband, and also watched all the TV series and read all 12 books with him. So this was like a big event. :D To prepare, they had me watch the 2 prior movies this week, and then we went to the third movie today. I have to say it was really good!! It even made me cry a little (LOL :lol:). It's really cute and involving and the animation is great. If you at all enjoy animated films, I recommend it. I read some reviews and I guess some people felt it was a little derivative of some Pixar films, but I haven't seen many Pixar movies except The Incredibles, so that didn't bother me.
 

Wyliefan

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When I saw A Star Is Born, they were showing Bohemian Rhapsody right next door. Invariably, every time there was a quiet and pensive moment in our movie, a Queen song would come blaring through the wall. It was pretty funny. :)
 

Vash01

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I haven't seen it, so I can't hate it. But I have zero interest in seeing it. Queen wasn't among the rock bands I listened to personally in the 70s. I'm sure Queen's music must have been played at parties I attended, but I wasn't aware of the name of the band.
I didn’t know Queen either but I had heard and liked some of their songs, especially We are the champions. However, that was not the reason I saw BR. The trailer looked interesting so I thought it could be a good or interesting movie.
 

Vash01

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I finally watched Split, so now I can watch Glass. I didn’t like Split though. Too weird, scary and somewhat violent. James McAvoy is a fantastic actor but it was not enough for me. Also the suspense was not that good.
 

watchthis!!

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Non-Stop was a great thriller/mystery movie. Liam Neeson plays an air marshall who has to figure out who is threatening to kill a passenger on the plane every 20 minutes unless 150 million dollars is deposited into a bank account. The movie is really well written, directed and edited. Great thrill ride. Julianne Moore also stars and probably did this movie just for fun. :)

Trailer for Non-Stop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiHDJ19A3dk
 

MacMadame

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When I saw A Star Is Born, they were showing Bohemian Rhapsody right next door. Invariably, every time there was a quiet and pensive moment in our movie, a Queen song would come blaring through the wall. It was pretty funny. :)
Oh that is funny because we had the opposite experience. We were seeing Bohemian Rhapsody and there was some action-adventure movie next door showing in IMAX and it made our walls rumble at very inappropriate times.

@VIETgrlTerifa your definition of "Oscar-baity" seems to be "anything Oscar voters might like." That pretty broad. When most people think of Oscar-bait movies, they are thinking of movies where there are false / forced moments that seemed designed just to win an Oscar instead of being organic to the movie.

I think it's pretty clear from the interviews with the cast and crew that the people making Bohemian Rhapsody were not thinking about the Oscars at all while making that movie and that they were very dedicated to their artistic vision. OTOH, I do think Green Book qualifies from what I've seen and maybe even The Favourite. A Star is Born, OTOH, I think is more about the Director having a cliche vision than about being Oscar bait.
 

annie720

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Watched Roma last night at home on Netflix. Wish I could have seen it in a theater with a big screen. I enjoyed it and thought the cinematography was beautiful but I'm still wondering what it was all about. Guess I need to do some reading.
 

manhn

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A movie that stars Lady Gaga is hardly Oscar Bait. Bradley could have casted someone like Amy Adams or Michelle Williams or Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone if Oscar was truly on his mind.

Anyways, I love Oscarbait movies. I don't see why that is a bad thing. There are a gazillion comic book movies out there for the general public. Heaven forbid a movie like Lion is released.

ETA: Based on interviews, how are movies like Green Book or The Favourite or really any film deemed oscar baity? Did Emma Stone say something like "I acted this scene this way not because my character would have done it, but I wanted something really dramatic, so it would make for a great Oscar clip?" Only the people of Bohemian Rhapsody were wholly devoted to some artistic vision?
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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Maybe a fun exercise is all of us sharing what/who we would give our own personal Best of the Year awards to in the past few years. I think it'd be a fun way of sharing what our taste in movies are like and we can talk about why we loved certain picks.
 

Vash01

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Watched Roma last night at home on Netflix. Wish I could have seen it in a theater with a big screen. I enjoyed it and thought the cinematography was beautiful but I'm still wondering what it was all about. Guess I need to do some reading.
It was about the loving relationship between the maid and the family, and the family itself- their struggles, and finding their way out of it.

I had the same reaction. I couldn't quite keep up with the story.
What story? The story didn’t even start until half the movie was over. They could have squeezed the first half into 25 percent of the movie, and then it might have made a greater impact.
 

Vash01

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Finally saw ‘Glass’ today. It was pretty good. It helped to get suggestions in this thread to see the first two movies (‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split ‘) before seeing this. Thanks for the suggestion. It was not easy to do this ‘honework’. First, Unbreakable was not available on Netflix ‘very long wait’, so I bought the dvd. Next I rented Split on Netflix. However, this was during the Oscar season, so a bit of a wait. Anyway, it was worth the wait. James McAvoy was great in both movies. Samuel L. Jackson was scary, like in the first movie.
Overall 8/10 IMO.
 

Nell411

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Maybe a fun exercise is all of us sharing what/who we would give our own personal Best of the Year awards to in the past few years. I think it'd be a fun way of sharing what our taste in movies are like and we can talk about why we loved certain picks.
Last year my personal Best of the Year was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. It was fun, inventive, was creative with it's animation in ways I hadn't seen in years and at no point did it feel like something I had to sit through, which is a feeling I've had with some of the MCU movies. I also have a lot of love for Black Panther, great cinematography and while it kept to the MCU formula for their heroes origin, it didn't keep to it strictly and the supporting characters were all amazing and had their own fleshed out arcs. Also the cinematography makes my heart sing.

I also really loved Crazy Rich Asians but I've still only scene it the one time so I can't give a thoroughly articulate opinion on it. Just know that Constance Wu is still the best (her character in Fresh off the Boat is amazing) and I love Gemma Chan.

2017 is the year of Baby Driver and Wonder Woman. Baby Driver with it's stunning sound design (it should have won those Oscars over Dunkirk and I will remain annoyed that it didn't) solid cinematography, great chase scenes and the credits sequence which was shot in a single take. Also Lily James in a small role but I love her so it just added to my enjoyment of the movie.

Wonder Woman as the first female led superhero movie, the No Mans Land scene is everything I wanted in a big hero moment, I got chills watching it in theatre and Gal Gadot is perfect as Diana. More Chris Pine in things is always good.

2016 I would have to go back and double check what movies came out that year. I'm 87% sure Star Trek Beyond came out that year though and I do really like Star Trek Beyond. It's one of those very rare cases where the fan writing the movie didn't go horribly (Simon Pegg as co-writer). But then Simon Pegg is very good at writing things. I should watch that movie again actually, it's been a while.
Also I love La La Land. It evokes the spirit of 1930's/1940's musicals and that speaks to my soul.
 

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