RECENTLY WATCHED MOVIES

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I watched Godzilla, it was fine.
author=Shinan
I watched Godzilla, it was fine.


Which Godzilla film?

I'm guessing based on your statement that it was fine that you aren't talking about the American Godzilla film that came out in 1998 under the name "Godzilla".
ive been mostly watching documentaries, been going through the Werner Herzog catalogue lately and some murder docs such as OJ Made in America and The Jinx, both highly recommended if you want to lose faith in the criminal justice system (if it wasn't lost already). Last I watched was a doc about an artist named Francis Bacon who is super existential and likes to gamble a lot. Most interesting was that he'd destroy his own paintings which typically went for a million dollars, and eventually had to straight up burn them because people would go into the dumpster near his place to scrounge up "bacon scraps".

Next I'll probably watch a doc called "Grizzly Man" about some guy who hung out with a bear and died to it, which sounds about what would happen if you hung out with a bear.
author=thesacredlobo
author=Shinan
I watched Godzilla, it was fine.
Which Godzilla film?

The one from 1954.

(like Frogge I also want to plug my letterboxd account, even if I rarely write reviews over there)
The one from 1954.


Ah the classic one. I really need to try and watch some of those, but I tend to pick up cheap movies from Dollartree or get used movies from Goodwill and you never know what's going to pop up there.
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Well, I did devote sometime on Monday to watching some additional movies for my Bargain Bin Saturdays series.

Andy the Talking Hedgehog

A low budget movie starring Dean Cain and Tara Reid. Sadly this low budget effort is really boring and filled with conversations so unnatural that it makes watching the movie hurt. So much so, that I had to take multiple breaks and still only managed to get through about 50 minutes or so of this 76 minute movie before I gave up on it.

And, I'm still pissed at the box for lying to me since it implies there's a scene where we get to see an African Pygmy Hedgehog riding a horse and this never happens.

Though there are multiple scenes that showcase just how small the budget for this movie was considering they didn't redo shots where you can clearly see the guy operating the boom mic. There's also multiple scenes where they hold on still images while the title character talks over them as well as multiple scenes where they switch over to what appears to be stock footage of European Hedgehogs drinking milk.

And I'll admit that I really don't appreciate the director's attempt at dodging some of the criticism by arguing this movie was meant for 4 - 7 year olds.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

I'm not sure I'd call this animated film by Burbank Animation Studios a classic, but it is one of their better efforts. Though, I'll admit I'm not sure how much of the comedy is lifted from the source material. After all, it's been over 20 years since I last read "Tom Sawyer" for school and I have no plans to change that. Regardless the comedy is what helps keep this film afloat since the cheap nature of Burbank films mean the animation tends to be rather basic/limited in order to save on money.

Eggy

Honestly this film is probably better known under the title "Pet Pals in Windland". And I really don't know why they decided to release the movie under both titles in the United States. I can only assume they were either trying to put distance between this film and first movie simply titled "Pet Pals". Or were trying to cash in on Easter by making the movie seem like it focuses a lot more heavily on Eggy, a chick that communicates with magic placards.

Outside of my questions on the title this film is definitely aimed at a younger demographic since it contains multiple scenes that clearly take inspiration from "Dora the Explorer" by having the heroes and villains act like they can see and hear the audience. The heroes even ask the audience for help on a few occasions as well. A decision that will either endear you to the movie for it breaking the 4th wall or greatly annoy you for the same reason.

And if your curious the movie itself is about the Pet Pals trying to make sure the Crow Witch doesn't destroy the town of Puff. Which she plans on taking out with a bunch of infernal machines that need to be empowered by a magical McGuffin being guarded by a magic wielding turtle.

Though I'd say the movie's biggest problem is the movie sometimes has scenes that don't make a lot of sense. A good example of this is during the fight between Eggy and the Crow Witch. There's a scene where Eggy manages to sneak behind the Crow Witch to go for hatch only for the Crow Witch to emerge from the hatch when Eggy opens it. It's scene like where the apparent natural flow of events are disrupted that make following this movie at times a bit difficult, but my best educated guess is that scenes like that were meant to be a bit of a nod to classic cartoon shorts. After all, the break in expected flow can be seen as comedic if done right.

And I'd say the second biggest problem is the lackluster villain song where the Crow Witch just sings her name a couple of times while we watch robots build her various infernal machines on assembly lines.
kory_toombs
Live we shall, through moments both fleeting and eternal.
13356

Swallow

-About a woman with a rare disorder. Fascinating and disturbing at the same time.



Tenet

-When I was watching this, I was like "Is anything happing in this movie." It has a slow start, but.......... Then you figure out what the movie is about. Then you're full attention. It just sort of jumps out of nowhere.



Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
I have letterboxd for this.

author=Darken
ive been mostly watching documentaries, been going through the Werner Herzog catalogue lately and some murder docs such as OJ Made in America and The Jinx, both highly recommended if you want to lose faith in the criminal justice system (if it wasn't lost already). Last I watched was a doc about an artist named Francis Bacon who is super existential and likes to gamble a lot. Most interesting was that he'd destroy his own paintings which typically went for a million dollars, and eventually had to straight up burn them because people would go into the dumpster near his place to scrounge up "bacon scraps".

Next I'll probably watch a doc called "Grizzly Man" about some guy who hung out with a bear and died to it, which sounds about what would happen if you hung out with a bear.


I see you're a man of taste. I'm not the biggest herzog fan, but I probably should watch more from him. Francis Bacon is an interesting figure. Was the doc worth watching outside of informative value? It's kind of difficult to find films/documents about visual art, which don't suck.
Well, I used my Monday to watch some more movies for my Bargain Bin Saturdays series. Albeit the episodes the following movies will produce won't be publically available until July at the moment.

Alice in Paris

I'm pretty sure this film is better known by other titles like "Alice of Wonderland in Paris" or "Alice in a New Wonderland" and is a 1966 Czech-American animated film that was produced using extreme limited animation. As a result the movie isn't all that impressive in the visual department and would leave those that love sakuga begging to watch something else. After all, the best animation in the film is tied into the Alice portions of the movie, but those are meant to serve as connectors between the short stories. And to help create those connectors they brought in Francois, a business mouse willing to take Alice to Paris in order to find out where her favorite cheese is. Sadly this was probably a poor decision on Francois part since Alice's favorite cheese is initially cheeseburgers and later changed to cottage cheese and jelly which is a crime against humanity in the eyes of a cheese connoisseur.

As for the short stories cover we get really brief adaptations of the following stories. (Note: These are listed in order of appearance.)

Eve Titus' Anatole
Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline and the Bad Hat
Crockett Johnson's The Frowning Prince
James Thurber's Many Moons
Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline and the Gypsies

And I mean brief since the entire movie clocks in at around 52 minutes. As a result this movie was actually billed with another short film when it was released in theaters. As for the shorts themselves I'd say their alright, but I imagine some people would be annoyed at the lack of a real over arching connection between some of the shorts and the movie. Especially the shorts told by Alice whose shorts either tie into Francois' declaration he'll never smile against after Alice's declaration that her favorite cheese is cottage cheese and jelly as a lead into The Frowning Prince. And the lead into James Thurber's Many Moons is even weaker with Alice telling Francois about a dream she had once while she takes a break from test tasting various types of cheese.

All and all I'd say it's probably decent entertainment for small kids, but I can't imagine this being a particularly memorable experience for anyone else.

The Wind in the Willows

I also watched Burbank Animation Studios adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows". For the curious this was released back in December of 1988 and showcases a lot of the usual cost saving tricks I've come to expect from Burbank with them reusing animation to shave costs at times. This is especially stands out during a driving sequence involving Mr. Toad as we repeatedly see the same trees appearing on the right and left sides of the screen several times in a row.

Sadly, my copy is really crappy since Digiview Productions messed up the sound balancing when they did the transfer so there are multiple points in the film where the background music and sounds become so loud that you can't hear the character's speaking.

And I know this is the fault of Digiview Productions since you can find illegal uploads of the movie on youtube that don't have those issues. Outside of my problems with Digiview Productions messing up the sound in this movie. It does appear to be a pretty solid if condensed retelling of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. And I'd go so far as to say this is probably among the best animated movies I've seen from Burbank Animation Studios catalogue.

Panda and the Magic Serpent

I'll admit I'm probably not the best person to offer an opinion on this film. After all, this film carries a lot of cultural and historical significance since it was the first feature length color anime, was the first attempt by Toei Animation to become the so called 'Disney of the East' and was the second feature length anime to be dubbed into English and was released just a little over two weeks after "Magic Boy". The film is also based on "The Legend of the White Serpent" which is considered among the four greatest folktales to come out of China. And the film basically pushed animation technology to the limit at the time, but that may not sound as impressive as it should when you realize this film came out in Japan in October of 1958.

Sadly, all of this significance doesn't change my opinion that the English version of this film is really iffy. And that iffy nature comes from multiple issues. For starters the studio that did the U.S. release for this film got a damaged copy of the film so there are a lot of instances of scratches appearing on the screen for extended periods of time as green lines as well as times when you'll see black and yellow splotches pop up as well. To make matters worse the voice acting ranges from okay to almost painfully bad.

As for the plot it revolves around Xu-Xiang, a local boy, and Bai-Niang, a magical white serpent and the spirit of the storm, falling in love. And of course to add in some drama the story contains a magic wielding monk named Fa Hai that tries to destroy their relationship on his misguided belief that the magic serpent is an evil spirit, but to be fair to him animal/nature spirits in most folktales are pretty malicious in my experience and this definitely holds true when it comes to snakes. Of course the loves eventually manage to convince Fa Hai that their love is genuine and they sail off at the end of the movie to live happily ever after.

As for why the movie is called "Panda and the Magic Serpent", I'm going to assume it was attempt by the studio that dubbed the movie to draw in kids with a cute animal mascot since Xu-Xiang keeps a red panda named Mimi and a panda named Panda as pets. And we spend a decent chunk of the movie following their adventures as they search for Xu-Xiang after Fa Hai gets him sent to a forced labor camp in a bid to separate him and Bai-Niang. This ultimately culminates in Panda taking over a street gang after he pulls a Spongebob/Homer Simpson by defeating his enemies by allowing them to tire themselves out. We even see the Panda get up after getting literally hammered into the ground like a nail. And while that's a pretty violent scene I feel I also need to point out that the fight is entirely devoid of blood/visible injuries. So the fight really doesn't feel as violent as it probably should.

And yeah, the side kick characters have the worst vocal performances in the movie with Panda being really monotone throughout the movie and Mimi having a really high-pitched voice that can potentially grate on the ears.

All and all I'd say this adaptation is still worth a look because of it's historical significance, but I'll admit that may not be enough of a draw for most people.
Well, I watched some more movies on Monday in order to get material for episodes 277 - 279 of Bargain Bin Saturdays. Though, I'll admit the first option was probably not a good idea.

The Carebears Movie

Yeah, this was definitely not the best pick for a movie for me to discuss. After all, it's really hard to be super critical about a movie aimed at toddlers. Though, I did spend the episode discussing some of the movies many errors like Braveheart Lion's tummy symbol appearing during one of the scenes where he's fighting the evil spirit that possesses the tree or how Friendship Bear gets replaced in a few shots with Tenderheart Bear. Though my favorite is probably when they managed to misspell magician as magicinan in a few shots.

I suppose I could have discussed how some critics have accused the movie of being sexist considering Kim's dream is to be a nurse while Jason wants to be a pilot, but I figure that's a discussion that is best avoided on youtube for the most part. Though, I'll admit the decision was rather creatively lazy.

Caroline and the Magic Potion

This movie is usually accused of being a "Coraline" rip off because of the title and similar box art, but I feel that assessment is unfair considering the movies original name is "Meigallos" which is Galician for witchcraft. Which makes sense considering the main character brews a potion that can be used to make objects fly when combined with a simple spell. As for why the English version of the title is the way it is. I'm going to assume the people that bought the rights to distribute the movie in the United States and United Kingdom figured the movie would do better if people thought it was a knock off of "Coraline". Even if the movie was released over five years after "Coraline" was.

If anything I'd say the change in name and box art is another shining example of how dishonest companies can be when it comes to distributing low budget foreign films. And while I can hope the company behind this will eventually be successfully sued for trying to piggyback of the success of others like Phase 4 Film was. It definitely won't come at the hands of a lawsuit over "Caroline and the Magic Potion".

With all that being said the English dub of this movie is awful. It runs the entire gambit of issues you would expect when it comes to a low budget movie like god awful CGI that runs at a low frame rate in an attempt to mimic the look of stop motion to atrocious dialogue. Thankfully this movie is just the right kind of awful for me to enjoy it for all the wrong reasons. Even so I really don't recommend this movie since you'll either love it for being absolute pig slop or will utterly despise it for the same reason.

And I still haven't figured out why the villain went with spinning Caroline's granny while she's strapped to a table and being pumped full of truth serum in order to get her secrets when she has access to mind controlling technology. Why bother with a lengthy and cruel interrogation when you can easily slap a mind controlling device on one of her ears and ask for the recipe.

Lionelville: Destination Adventure!

"Lionelville: Destination Adventure!" serves as Lionel's first and only family feature. And while I really won't begrudge Lionel for making a 62 minute long movie to help hawk their products. I will begrudge them for making this the first movie in a multi-part series that was never finished. As such this movie sets up a bunch of plot threads that will never be resolved since the other movies were never made.

And to make matters worse I find part of the basic premise of the movie rather questionable. Since the only way to enter Lionelville is to make use of a special circuit board that can somehow manipulate matter on the quantum level in order to generate "unlimited power" for Emperor Palpatine. As you can imagine the idea a circuit board can generate electricity is pretty dumb and the notion it can rip a whole in the space time continuum when hit with a crowbar is even worse.

That being said the movie does do a decent job setting up some potentially interesting ideas when it's not trying to distract the audience with in-movie advertising about various Lionel trains and accessories. Even so I really don't recommend looking for this movie considering the overall story was never finished.
Well, I sat down and watched another series of movies for Bargain Bin Saturdays. So I figured I'd add another post discussing my opinions on what I watched.

Dragons II: The Metal Ages

Oddly enough this movie based on a mostly forgotten toy line by Mega Bloks is rather average. While the animation and overall visuals have aged poorly over the year. They weren't that surprising for a low budget movie based on a toy line at the time. I'd even say the movies overall visuals are pretty on par with the Bionicle movies being put out by Lego at the time.

And while Dragons II: The Metal Ages borrows a lot of plot elements from the previous film in the series Dragons: Fire & Ice with a bunch of royal teens working together to bring peace to the land. The movie manages to execute this predictable plot well enough to be watchable. Though, I'll admit I'd advice watching "How to Train Your Dragon" over this any day of the week.

In all honesty, the most interesting thing to happen to me involving this movie is when I stumbled over this gem of a review on IMDB while trying to get a feel on how other people felt about this movie.

plus pairing the two minority characters together, asian and arab, so you don't have the white guy with a minority, smacks of the racism in the early 2000s, it happens alot more often than you'd think

Admittedly this is the second half of their review, but this section is the only part I really find amazing to behold. The other half is mostly a rant about the movie introducing new creatures and magical plot devices that weren't brought up in the previous film.

The GadgetGang in Outer Space

To be brutally honest this film is most likely aimed at a younger audience considering most of the humor is derived from slapstick and bodily functions like passing gas. Outside of that the film also has a few jokes about the Invas, little green men, being really dumb and tries to spice things up for parents by adding in references to other movies and video games.

As such, this one can only really be recommended to those still in touch with their inner child or love to go through movies in order to comb through them for references. Though, I'm still not sure how money the studio got out of making the Invas spaceship run on Coca-Cola and Mentos.

All and all the movie is pretty predictable with some of the slapstick jokes being so obvious you'll see them coming in terms of light-years.

Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos

A short animated sequel to the first "Puss in Boots" movie that manages to be funny, charming, and slightly actioned packed in a meager eleven minutes. And while I feel this does heavily limit Puss' ability to properly bond with the three diablos. They do manage to use the limited time they have to make the sudden shift from the diablos being evil to the princess new royal guards somewhat believable.

Though I still wouldn't recommend paying more then a few bucks for this movie considering it's length.
I recently watched all of the Hellraiser films. I can only recommend the first one. It's excellent! There's a scene where one of the characters is brought back to life that's very gruesome and well done for the time.

The second Hellraiser film is decent, but it has some scenes that feel like they don't need to exist . . . Unfortunately, this theme sums up the remaining movies, and there are quite a lot of them. In fact, a reboot is currently in the works!

I hope the upcoming reboot can revive the series! While watching all of the Hellraiser films, I felt that there was something unique and interesting, obscured by a lot of torture porn.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26260
I watched Lifeforce (1985) yesterday. I have no idea what I was expecting. Okay, I have some idea. Science-fiction has always gotten a bad rep and genuinely good movies and shows have utterly failed because it's sci-fi, and therefore is, by default, garbage. Happened to Farscape. Happened to Dark Matters. Happened to The Expanse. Happened to Firefly. So, I thought there was the possibility that Lifeforce failed because of this really shitty attitude people have towards sci-fi. I mean, this was part of the same movie deal that Poltergeist came out of!

I didn't sit down with the plan of watching this movie. I was channel surfing pluto.tv and it was just coming on, and so I watched it. The first thing I heard was a fabulous score by Henry Mancini that was just as epic sci-fi as anything Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams would write. I saw a low quality special effect done very well for the materials being used: Astronauts floating weightless towards an alien spaceship hidden in Haley's Comet in space. The set was very nice. You could easily see that the astronauts were on wires, even though the wires had been properly removed. Really low quality weightless effect, but done really carefully and smoothly so that you almost believed it for five seconds until you realized that they obviously were hanging there. So far, so good. It's the kind of effects I'd expect from a 1985 sci-fi movie. Most spaces movies from that era didn't even bother trying to do a weightless effect. Even Star Trek: The Motion Picture half-ass cheated it.

The first half hour to an hour of this movie was really neat. Really intriguing. Very well-paced. And then...it wasn't. The story is about astronauts finding aliens in suspended animation in an ancient space ship. They decide to bring it back to Earth and the crew apparently dies en route. A ship is sent up to find out what happens, and apparently, there was a fire and there were no survivors, except the aliens. The bring them back to Earth and these aliens wake up and start draining the lifeforce (roll credits!) out of people. They escape, and the people they drained, don't die, but now must feed on other people themselves in order to survive. I should have realized at this point what was going on here, what the big mystery was, but I didn't. In hindsight, it was really obvious, but some of the best effects in this movie were the creature effects of the desiccated victims coming back to life and going into a feeding frenzy. Very creepy, very realistic, and with John Dykstra doing these effects, they had better be damned good. And the story setup really grabbed me. EXAMPLE: When the alien woman causes this mayhem and escapes, you've gotten really invested in this story. Now, I will admit that there were some really silly moments in the leadup. When it's revealed that the victims are still alive, it's when they are getting ready to do an autopsy on the presumed dead guard, who wakes up and attacks one of the doctors with a special effects light show. One of the doctors overacts being afraid so ridiculously, it's a performance that wouldn't be out of place for a "scary" movie made for very little kids. There were little signs of where this movie was going that didn't immediately click with me.

Then, the captain of the spaceship is discovered still alive. He took an escape pod after his crew died and he destroyed the ship to prevent the aliens from getting back to Earth. This is when the movie takes a sharp left turn. The acting, the story, and just everything, turns batshit, crazy stupid. The aliens are vampires and they don't even try to be original. No, these are just regular ordinary vampires. It just turns out that vampires are from outer space. The rest of the movie is basically actor Steve Railsback as the space commander going into absolute histrionics chasing the vampire girl played by Mathilda May while the no-nonsense army colonel played by Peter Firth is trying to understand what the fuck is going on.

There's a real gem of scene where Patrick Stewart (who got really high billing despite being in the movie for all of 10 minutes) is possessed by the alien vampire girl from outer space and Railsback and Firth have him strapped to a table. The vampire girl has taken over and it keeps switching between Patrick Stewart and Mathilda May. Railsback is screaming more and more hysterically trying to get answers out of the vampire girl, even though all of his questions are pretty pointless and the script has no clue what this guy wants to accomplish with this interrogation. It's switching between Mathilda May talking and Patrick Stewart talking Mathilda May's modulated voice until Railsback plants the most forced kiss in history right on Patrick Stewart and the room basically explodes as this kiss apparently energizes girl vampire. This scene cannot be adequately described. It is probably the dumbest thing I have ever seen in a movie, bar none, and it is absolutely hilarious. And this movie takes itself so seriously. Watching this movie is like watching a quiet, thoughtful, intellectual philosopher go to a party, get into a really deep conversation and hold the room, and progressively get shit-faced drunk until they're making boob jokes.

Apparently, one of the critics called the movie "hysterical vampire porn"...and yeah...yeah, that pretty accurately describes it. I found that I couldn't stop laughing throughout the second half of the movie. Everything was done so badly, every plot point hit just so perfectly wrong, that the movie was hilarious. And it's really disappointing because the first half of this movie was strong and had some really neat ideas. Even if they were just doing the standard vampire, this movie had the potential to be one of the few really original and imaginative takes on vampires, but the story, plot, acting, and dialogue just disintegrated into a spectacular trainwreck. Musical score was solid throughout, though. How did this movie start out so neat and then absolutely fall apart? How the fuck did that happen?
The Ice Road
Liam Neeson and big fucking trucks. What else is there to say? Hell yeah! Trucks!

A Quiet Place 2

John Krasinski's directorial 'A Quiet Place 2' has heard a lot of positive response from the audience and shown us how good a sequel can be. The second part is more nerve racking than the first one. The story grips the spectator's neck from the start till the end making it one of the seat edge thrillers that you will experience. The director has presented us a good story, where you will also live in that world even without your knowledge. Every second of the movie is so tense that the spectator will expect something is gonna happen definitely in the next moment.

In the second installment, Milli is taking the baton as the lead character and she paves her way into an unknown journey. Where they can live without these so-called alien creatures. A huge applause should go to every actor and actress in the movie. All the creatures that we see were CGI, which means that they were added later to the reel. Every actor, actress needed to create an imaginary world by themselves so that they could give their best shot by acting in their particular scenes.

What was fascinating for me is that the children who were afraid and running away from these creatures stood against them in the end. Showing that they are matured now and ready to face their fears in order to survive in the world.

The other thing that I love is, during the opening scene we starts hearing the world as Milli hears it. Literally mentioned as Milli's envelope by the director which happens during a close up shot of Milli. As an actress Milli inspires every human being.

Writer, director John Krasinski has created his own imaginary world into a beautiful piece of art. An art where you will live in that world even if you have ended watching the movie. The person behind the camera with the help of background music fuels the movie to become an astounding experience for any movie lover.

A must watch movie. This movie is about the family. The love for the family.
Backwards_Cowboy
owned a Vita and WiiU. I know failure
1332
I watched The Suicide Squad and Space Jam: A New Legacy this past weekend.

The Suicide Squad is a huge redemption for DC Comics and the Suicide Squad franchise. Much brighter visually than the washed out shit show that the first movie was.

Space Jam 2 - take a drink every time somebody says "King James". This movie is one long stroke for Lebron's ego with a splash of corporate advertising for the new "Jellystone" animated series.
I saw THE Suicide Squad but it wasn't that funny as it could have been, it's not a mess like the original SS but uh, it's also not going beyond anything. Everyone's keen on DC to do a redemption arc but idk, for what purpose??? Just to blend with all the other Marvel shit I'm probably going to fotget about anyway?
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26260
One of the movies of my childhood that I loved was The Golden Child. I haven't seen it since the 90s. People today seem to despise it. I watched it again today to see if I see it any differently as an adult after multiple decades of having not seen it. Nope. I still love it.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26260
Today, I watched Ghost in the Shell (2017), starring Scarlett Johanssen. I am not sure why I decided on it. Really didn't want to see it. I went into it expecting to be disappointed.

And I wasn't. I am glad I watched it. It makes a few story changes that kind of separate it from the manga and the 1995 movie, and anyone who knows them will be uneasy for about the first hour. I wasn't enthusiastic about them. When I saw the changes being made to the story, especially how Puppet Master had been changed into a prototype of the type of cyborg Major was, now named Kuze, I was concerned. They seemed to have made some significant changes to the Puppet Master character. Instead of being a sentient AI that evolved from the network, he was now a cyborg that created his own network. I was seeing the warnings of a Hollywood fuck-up. Fortunately, that fuck-up didn't happen. I don't feel like they were completely faithful to the story, but they were certainly faithful to the characters and the setting and I think they did a really good job on this movie.

Scarlett Johanssen's performance; I'm on the fence about this. For a solid half of the movie, her performance seems to be not great. I can understand the robotic movements, considering the character has a robotic body, but she's a cyborg. Surely she hasn't forgotten how emotions work? But there are things later in the movie that would plainly explain why her behavior was so bland and emotionless throughout this first half. In the second half, she completely comes to life, and there is plenty of context in the movie for this shift in behavior and attitude. It's just that I can definitely see people losing enthusiasm and checking out of the movie due to the dry, almost lifeless acting of ScarJo in the first half.

There is a bit of racial thing that you'll miss if you're not paying attention. That being the notion of a major corporation basically kidnapping Japanese people, experimenting on them, and inserting their brains into robot bodies with very caucasian appearances. It didn't bother me but it occurs to me that some people might misconstrue what the movie was trying to say with that and be justifiably upset, particularly given the context of when the movie was made. To me, it just made the main villain look like even more of a dick.

I won't talk about what happens at the end because I don't want to spoil it (and I do very much recommend this movie. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.), but I would like to warn people that it doesn't have that deep, thought-provoking conclusion that the 95 anime did. Although I liked the ending and liked the decision they made, it still doesn't sit well with me. It asks a very different question about identity that, being fair, is deep and thoughtful in its own right, but it doesn't leave us with that deeper question.

Instead, it seems that it answers that deeper question. This film, the anime, and the manga all inquire into the substance of a human. What makes us who we are? How do you define the human soul? At the end of this film, the Major clearly has the answer to these questions, whereas, in the anime and the manga, she's accepted that there is no real answer and that it's not a question to answer so much as an unknown possibility to explore. This movie doesn't try to be that deep, and thinking about it, it probably shouldn't. After all, the anime and manga already explore that question, and this film looks at it from a very different angle.

While it may not be the Ghost in the Shell you're looking for, I think it's a good movie, and I'm convinced it's, importantly, good sci-fi. I didn't expect to say that about a live-action anime remake. Particularly this one.
I just watched The Mist from 2007, very good horror movie.
Ice Road Truckers (2021)
Interstellar (2014)
Prisoners of the Sun (2013)
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