Comics Creators

What are you watching? 2019 edition


I liked it more than I expected and it was because the fantasy angle was up front with the mages and monsters being real things - not some kind of historical fiction. However, at the same time, it kinda was a bad approach with some kind of historical approach to the intrigue not entirely matching completely magical to the whole prophecy angle. I actually would’ve been all right with a more down to Earth (and probably a lot less expensive) version of the story using Ritchie’s style to make a comparison between modern gangster movies and the chivalrous knights of old.

In fact, I feel reasonably certain that the cast probably thought that the less magical, more grounded movie was what they were making until the reshoots started and Ritchie was telling them things like “this is the part where you charge the giant elephants from horseback.”

If you get a chance to read Terry Jones’ CHAUCER’S KNIGHT, it’s a terrific exploration of the truly criminal reality of being a knight in the middle ages in contrast to the tales of chivalry that were even then being told about them and about King Arthur.



I am very impressed with John Krazinski’s directorial work on A Quiet Place, and his ability to tell a clear story in spite of the handicaps he imposed on himself and his cast. Between this film and the upcoming Jack Ryan series, this could be the year he finally gets out from under the shadow of Jim Halpert.



I liked “Annihilation” a lot. As Garland’s work tends to be, it’s very meditative and leaves you to ponder some interesting questions without spelling out any answers. Also as with a lot of Garland’s work, I tend to think that it ended up a little too much of the conventional side of things and could have taken the ideas two steps further, but it was still very good. My kind of movie, certainly.



I didn’t like A Quiet Place quite as much as others in this thread, although I liked it quite a lot.

I just couldn’t turn off the part of my brain that felt that these creatures would be extremely easy to keep hidden from, and even to kill. Even though they’re fast and strong, surely possessing five senses gives you an advantage over creatures with one?

That said, I would recommend it as it’s quite well made.

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Yeah, again, it’s a situation where you’re never really asked to think about how it got to this point, like most post-apocalyptic stories, it’s not claiming this could ever really happen. Like how the square cube law would never allow an animal the size of Godzilla or King Kong to exist. But it’s no fun to expect movies to be realistic.

At heart, the movie works on many levels. As a straight horror thriller or a movie about how not talking about important but painful things can tear a family apart. It has more to it that hooks into the audience.

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Yeah, I can agree with all of that. It was hard to suspend disbelief on some of that. Like the moment people figured out they hunt by sound I feel like the world governments would have been able to combat them effectively. Surely they would be incredibly easy to bait, for instance.

But yeah, still a very well made and effective monster movie with a good heart and a good hook. It’s nice to see unique, low budget horror movies like this find success.



I thought A Quiet Place was…well not that good. The ending seemed silly to me. Their weakness was bullets? Who would have thought of that?

I have to admit all the actors were great though.



Well I think the issue with bullets was that the creatures were heavily armored and fast. However, it’s ridiculous to believe that nobody tried sonic feedback on them before.



A Quiet Place is one of those films that works really well when you lose yourself in the immediacy of it, but yeah, when you start to thinking about how this world must be working away from this one single family, the logic crumbles a bit.

The world realised sound was the key when there was still enough civilisation to be printing newspapers telling people that … surely enough time for people to be in sound-proof bunkers somewhere? The story seemed to be that they landed with a meteorite in Mexico? So not independently airborne? And so on, and so on…

And as soon as you realise they’re sensitive to sound, then yes, surely sonic feedback is one of the first things you’d try?

And the implication is there is a network of survivors - the beacons - but no real sense of how they are supporting each other? When the kids light the signal beacon, and it goes out, the camera makes the point there are no answering beacons - because their beacon wasn’t lit long enough, or because the other survivors have been killed?

And on a far more personal level to the story - why on the earth would you run ANY risk of becoming pregnant in this world? Take some bloody condoms from the pharmacy!

But yeah, most of that is ignorable in the heat of the story, and it’s very well put together.

I would happily vote for Krasinski and Blunt to be Reed and Sue on the basis of that as well.

Oh, and also saw Love, Simon this weekend, and yes - about damned time!



Another weird thing about A Quiet Place…they had a lot of stuff planned out, like white lights = safe, red lights = danger, but they had surprising little in terms of sound distractions set up in case of emergency. And there’s that whole moment when the dad has to go look for his kids, but he doesn’t do the first thing he should have done: turn off the red lights and turn the white lights on.

Again, I do think it’s well made in that the emotional arcs work quite well and if you can lose yourself in both the immediacy and the intimacy of the story its effective. But it will fall apart if you think about the grander scheme at all.



I missed the beginning of A quiet place because I was at the wrong screening so might have missed a bit of the explanation of what was going on. I saw the beginning of Hurricane Heist which looked bloody ridiculous.



Yeah … I thought that too. I’d’ve rigged up a whole lot of sonic decoys to be triggered in the event of a major attack. They sort of had a smaller scale version of it with the timer, and the nucleus of it with the fireworks … but, yeah.

It’s a film that made me say “but … yeah” a lot basically.



The City & The City on iPlayer. It’s got a pretty interesting premise, with a detective trying to solve a murder in a city. But the city is split in two, and people on each side of the city can’t acknowledge anything on the other side.

The way they show the separation is by blurring one side of the city, which I was a little confused by at times, because I didn’t know if that’s what the characters were seeing or not. But other than the sci-fi angle it’s a pretty by the books cop solves a murder, that’s actually a much bigger conspiracy story.

Other than the plot being a bit generic, I thought it was alright. And it’s only four episodes so it’s an easy watch.



Transformers: Age of Extinction ended up being a surprisingly fun way to pass the time.

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Still, that’s basically the difference between a plot and plot holes. The movie is not about what you should do if a sound-hunting threat nearly destroys the human race. Just like Ex Machina and Westworld are not really about how artificial intelligence will impact human relationships, and Lethal Weapon is not about the investigative procedures of the LAPD. I thought about this recently when I rewatched THE GREEN MILE. If you just ask “what hours does Tom Hanks and his team work at the prison?” the whole movie breaks down. When they take Coffey out of prison to heal the warden’s wife, it is in the middle of the night. Why would they need the entire staff working all night to guard two sleeping prisoners?

Plots, by necessity, cannot be realistic when they want to tell dramatic stories. They simply have to be consistent and clear to the story they set out to tell. The story of The Green Mile was not about the functions of a Mississippi prison during the Depression. Without the unrealistic plot turns, there would be no story or the story would be drowned under the demands for “believability.”



Yes, that was pretty much what I meant by “works really well when you lose yourself in the immediacy of it” and “most of that is ignorable in the heat of the story”.



Downbeat and oblique, crime thriller YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE never really comes together or provides any satisfying moments. I think I’d have rather seen a straight thriller like TAKEN than something so fragmented.



Yeah, I completely agree. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve been conditioned to look for holes in movies by the current nature of the way movies are sold to us. There was a moment in the film where someone was marking a calendar, and I thought “wait a minute, if this is 467 days into the crisis, then who printed a calendar for this year?”

I think there are a couple of concerns in this regard.

First, if you look for holes in movies then it could simply be that the movie is not reaching you, so you can use “unbelievable” as the justification for why you think it is a bad movie. You don’t like the movie - ergo, the movie must be bad - but it must be bad for an objectively verifiable reason. Like I said, every plot has to eschew plausibility to tell any sort of story, so that will always offer good reasons for us to use to prove that it is a bad movie. I’m actually an expert at this pointless activity.

Second, the movie is too effective, so looking for implausibility is an emotional defense. It’s a way of telling yourself that “it isn’t real!” I’ve come to the opinion that we should appreciate the implausible elements of movies in this regard. Like earlier, the movie isn’t about the premise of the movie, but how it connects to the emotional needs and realities of the audience, so having the conventional plot elements there are welcome to both allow the drama of the story to be revealed and to reassure us that this is “just” a story as much as we need it to be.

Finally, this is why I’ve kinda come to hate world building in fiction. At heart, I think the obsession with making a fiction as “real” as possible - other than commercial considerations - actually results in killing the intimate impact the story has for the audience. By remaining consistent to the fictional reality of Star Wars, Star Trek or Lord of the Rings (or the Marvel universe, Harry Potter and so on), it places this cushion between the story and the less rational and very inconsistent nature of the emotional world where stories come to life.

I think I’d call it the “midichlorian effect.” If I had to explain a joke to you, you obviously would realize that it’s not really funny. If a magician showed you how the trick was done, then it wouldn’t be magic effectively, would it? By explaining the Force with pseudo-science fiction (midichlorians = mitochondria?), Lucas denied the emotional connection many Star Wars fans felt for the Force when it was left a mystery.

Lately, I’ve come to appreciate the implausible and inconsistent or unrealistic elements in movies as crucial parts to making stories really work.

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At their request I took the kids to watch A Wrinkle in Time a couple of days back.

I had listened to the Kermode and Mayo show before hand where they interviewed the director and did a review. Ava Duvernay said the book was really popular in the US but not much known outside, since I come from ‘outside’ I’d never heard of it.

Kermode’s review marked it as an ambitious failure, his view (which I share) is he’d rather see an ambitious film that misses the mark than something competent but bland.

I don’t know where he was coming from with this film, it was competent and bland. I don’t know if he felt the ambition was with having a female director of colour and lead character but that didn’t reflect for me on the actual ambition as a piece of cinema.

It really reminded me a lot of 80s films like The Neverending Story or Flight of the Navigator, where if you remove nostalgia are rather unremarkable kids fantasy tales with a lot of cliches. It’s alright and passes the time, nothing much to object about.

The kids loved it by the way and gave it 10/10 but of course it would all be fresher for them.



I didn’t know they had made a movie of the city and the city. I really.enhoyed the book. Might have to look this up.