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Thread: General Movie Discussion - **please mark spoilers**

  1. #5601
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    Hmm...then maybe I will like Annihilation after all. I was avoiding it because it looked exactly the opposite of intellectual.
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    I'm really worried about Annihilation. I absolutely loved the book. But the trailer doesn't really look much like the book at all. I'm worried they went in and took tiny bits and made their own story out of it, which will be a shame. I'm hesitant to go see it, even though I'd probably rank the book in my top 10. I'm waiting to hear some reviews about how similar it is to the book, but my guess is I'll just wait for it to come out on dvd.

  3. #5603
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather19 View Post
    I'm really worried about Annihilation. I absolutely loved the book. But the trailer doesn't really look much like the book at all. I'm worried they went in and took tiny bits and made their own story out of it, which will be a shame. I'm hesitant to go see it, even though I'd probably rank the book in my top 10. I'm waiting to hear some reviews about how similar it is to the book, but my guess is I'll just wait for it to come out on dvd.
    Check this out, Heather:

    https://filmschoolrejects.com/annihilation-review/
    With ‘Annihilation,’ filmmaker Alex Garland has created one of the most challenging science fiction films of the decade.

    One of the more fun tenets of the search for extraterrestrial life is that, if we ever were to actually make contact, their intelligence would be nearly impossible for us to comprehend. Like something out of a Lovecraftian novel, extraterrestrials could belong to a plane of existence – or adhere to laws of nature we have yet to even discover – that would make them unknowable to humanity. This concept has spurred some of the most exciting science fiction films of the past few decades; movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Interstellar have offered a vision of the future where mankind sits far below other lifeforms on the evolutionary scale. And with Annihilation, filmmaker Alex Garland throws his hat into the ring of high-concept science fiction that will surely delight and confound audiences in equal amounts.

    It’s been over a year since Kane (Oscar Isaac) went missing during his latest tour of duty, and Lena (Natalie Portman) is still stuck in her grief. She sleepwalks through her lectures on microbiology at Johns Hopkins, forgoing colleagues in favor of endless requests for information from the United States military. So when Kane appears at her door one day – confused and unable to answer any questions about where he has been – Lena is understandably concerned, a concern that grows to a full-blown panic when Kane’s body violently begins to shut down. Lena soon finds herself in a military base on the edge of the Shimmer, an inexplicable and expanding barrier that threatens to soon envelop the entire Southeast. At the behest of military psychology Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Lena enlists to join the military’s next expedition into the Shimmer, hoping to find both an answer for what happened to her husband – and, just maybe, a cure.

    In most movies like Annihilation – supposing, of course, that there are other movies like Annihilation – the scene where the protagonist is enlisted to join the expedition plays out as a series of strong emotions. Anger. Disbelief. Grief. What’s so striking about the first scenes between Lena and Dr. Ventress is how quickly both characters discover candor as their common ground. Lena is truthful about the circumstances of reuniting with Kane and, eventually, her desire to head into the Shimmer; for her part, Ventress does not duck Lena’s difficult questions nor shy away from her culpability in the disappearance of Kane and his squad. Their early interactions set the tone for the remainder of the film, one where competency and experience supersede the broad emotional beats we expect to find in even the smartest soldiers-vs-the-unknown science fiction. At its best, Annihilation demonstrates why so many sci-fi movies fail their characters by not allowing them to be, and remain, intelligent.

    It also doesn’t hurt that Garland has enlisted a quartet of powerful actresses to play the leading roles. Portman has never shied away from more difficult projects, leveraging her hard-earned Hollywood clout into films like Black Swan and Jackie; she anchors Annihilation from the first moment she appears onscreen. Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson, playing more conventional roles as the unhinged and neurotic teammates, make Anya and Josie more than just the expected redshirts of the expedition. Jennifer Jason Leigh, now 40 years into her marvelous career, also provides a welcome inversion of the corporate suit. She and Portman imbue their characters with a sense of finality – a desire to see this through, though not at the unnecessary expense of human life – that propels both Lena and Ventress through to the film’s important final scenes.

    And Garland needs every ounce of that acting talent, because Annihilation is endlessly, breathtakingly complex. Often playing out like a National Geographic documentary from some alien planet – with Lena and company meticulously observing and cataloging the various permutations of human, animal, and plant life they find within the Shimmer – Annihilation moves with a freedom unseen in most studio science fiction. The Shimmer is a kaleidoscope of known biology and botany; throughout their journey, Lena and company encounter an astonishing array of human-plant and plant-animal hybrids, there to be observed by the audience more than understood. The closer they get to the lighthouse at the center of the Shimmer, the more Garland also veers into territory typically reserved for directors like David Cronenberg and Clive Barker. Even the best horror directors may go their entire careers without visualizing a concept as terrifying as Annihilation‘s skinless human-bear hybrid, one cursed to perpetually give voice to a character’s dying screams.

    But as Lena closes in on the answers she seeks, one question remains for us: will Annihilation find its audience? Earlier this week, ScreenCrush critic Matt Singer tweeted that he was breathlessly anticipating the CinemaScore for Annihilation, a sentiment that also kept bouncing through my head as the film pressed fast-forward on evolution heading into its finale. It’s not enough that Garland grounds his film in difficult concepts like astrobiology; the writer-director also seems determined to avoid any singular interpretation or theory about his narrative. Annihilation is a movie of questions, not answers, and while the characters and arresting visuals ensure that the film is fully accessible to everyone, this opacity will certainly spark resentment on behalf of many moviegoers. For as much hand-wringing as we did about Annihilation’s international Netflix distribution, it seems this is the rare studio move where both parties were proven correct. Annihilation is a science fiction journey the likes of which we rarely see in theaters. Enjoy it, American audiences, while you can.

  4. #5604
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    Interesting, it sounds intriguing and now I want to see it again

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    I've always felt that Annihilation would get made into a movie someday, it had too much potential not to. I'm glad to see that my faith in Garland has (apparently) not been misplaced, reading really good things about this film.

    Might even go watch it tonight...
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    I'm just nodding my head the whole time thinking "ok, stop now, please."

  6. #5606
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky View Post
    Hmm...then maybe I will like Annihilation after all. I was avoiding it because it looked exactly the opposite of intellectual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heather19 View Post
    I'm really worried about Annihilation. I absolutely loved the book. But the trailer doesn't really look much like the book at all. I'm worried they went in and took tiny bits and made their own story out of it, which will be a shame. I'm hesitant to go see it, even though I'd probably rank the book in my top 10. I'm waiting to hear some reviews about how similar it is to the book, but my guess is I'll just wait for it to come out on dvd.
    The film is directed by Alex Garland. He's incredibly talented as a filmmaker. He directed Ex Machina, so I feel like he has the tools to make a thought provoking film and do the book justice. I haven't read the book, so I will leave that up to you guys to determine.

  7. #5607
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    So with Mute getting poor reviews, I'm wondering if Netflix should just get out of the original movie business and just focus on show content. Someone on another site made an interesting point that Netflix original movies have become the new direct-to-video (albeit with bigger budgets and flashier actors attached).
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  8. #5608
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky View Post
    Hmm...then maybe I will like Annihilation after all. I was avoiding it because it looked exactly the opposite of intellectual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky View Post
    So with Mute getting poor reviews, I'm wondering if Netflix should just get out of the original movie business and just focus on show content. Someone on another site made an interesting point that Netflix original movies have become the new direct-to-video (albeit with bigger budgets and flashier actors attached).
    I was going to mention Mute. I'm kind of worried about Duncan Jones at this point. That's two stinkers in a row.

    Films like Mudbound and Beasts of No Nation were two films that were great. Bright was supposed to be bad, but people seemed to like it and that's a film they had a huge part in producing as well.

    Netflix does have to be careful what they are purchasing though. Some of these studios are using them as a dumping ground and that might be a problem moving forward.

  9. #5609
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    The moment you realize that Coco is essentially the same film as Kubo and the Two Strings.

  10. #5610
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  11. #5611
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky View Post
    I heard about this the other day. I'm so excited! It wouldn't be my choice for him to continue on with their story, but I'm excited he's working on something new.

  12. #5612
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    So I watched a random movie, "Mayhem" starring Steven Yuen from The Walking Dead. Was a lot more entertaining than I had expected. Not the best, not the worst, but fun.

    Think Zombieland, but without Zombies.
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  13. #5613
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather19 View Post
    I heard about this the other day. I'm so excited! It wouldn't be my choice for him to continue on with their story, but I'm excited he's working on something new.
    Yeah, I don't know how he plans to go on especially after the ending of The Devil's Rejects, but I'm definitely intrigued, especially since I think The Devil's Rejects was his best film (haven't seen either of his Halloweens, though).

    The title makes me think the film is going to be about the Fireflys in Hell (which I think could be kind of cool). I could totally see him setting the film in Hell and having
    Spoiler:
    them make some kind of bargain with the devil to bring them back to life, setting up for another sequel.
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  14. #5614
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    Oh that sounds interesting. I'm curious what he's going to do as well.

  15. #5615
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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelinJack View Post
    So I watched a random movie, "Mayhem" starring Steven Yuen from The Walking Dead. Was a lot more entertaining than I had expected. Not the best, not the worst, but fun.

    Think Zombieland, but without Zombies.
    You know, I heard a lot of good things about that one last year, but lost track of it. I will have to jot it down and catch it at some point.

  16. #5616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Still Servant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TravelinJack View Post
    So I watched a random movie, "Mayhem" starring Steven Yuen from The Walking Dead. Was a lot more entertaining than I had expected. Not the best, not the worst, but fun.

    Think Zombieland, but without Zombies.
    You know, I heard a lot of good things about that one last year, but lost track of it. I will have to jot it down and catch it at some point.
    Curious what your thoughts will be after you get a chance to watch.
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  17. #5617
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    I just got out of Ready Player One, which is excellent, and it featured The Shining (movie) rather heavily. Some incredible sights on the screen for that portion. I enjoyed it and the whole movie rather well.
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  18. #5618
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCCBodhi View Post
    I just got out of Ready Player One, which is excellent, and it featured The Shining (movie) rather heavily. Some incredible sights on the screen for that portion. I enjoyed it and the whole movie rather well.
    Have you read the book? I'm always interested to hear someone's take on a film in regards to whether or not they have read the source material. I like to get both sides.

  19. #5619
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    Yes, I read the book about a year and a half ago, just before the movie was announced. I read quite a bit, and RPO is one of the best novels of it's types that I've read in years (but of course, I'm a child of the 80's). The book is FILLED with references to that 80s pop culture, making me think that licensing issues in novels are much less problematic there than in visual mediums.

    That said, it appears that having the Spielberg name attached to the film must have eased a lot of the licensing issues that it otherwise would have had. There are some changes to some of the pop culture references used for several of the major plot points, but it never felt like they were changes just to 'make do'. There was some major love (and $$$ surely) in recreating some of Kubrick's The Shining visuals, although to do so, it removed one of the big references used in the book.

    My imagination had a little grander and grittier scale for 'The Stacks' than the movie did, but the movie did good justice to the IOI Sixer building and the Loyalty Centers. I do dislike that in typical Spielberg fashion, some of the 'real life' danger is minimized to a degree. Casting was generally pretty good, with Halliday being MY standout. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Simon Pegg's Og.

    That's about what I can think of without anything giving away any major spoilers. I think that the movie will please readers, and generally understandable if you HAVEN'T read the book. We WERE quite surprised that our opening IMAX showing wasn't even close to sold out. Hopefully, once the weekend hits it will fill up and perhaps hit capacity in non-premium theaters.
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  20. #5620
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCCBodhi View Post
    That said, it appears that having the Spielberg name attached to the film must have eased a lot of the licensing issues that it otherwise would have had...
    Without question. In fact I'm convinced that was a principle factor in hiring Spielberg in the first place.

    Also, I'm as far from a book purist as there can possibly be. Things that work in one medium simply won't in another. As long as they capture the spirit of the novel as closely as they can I'll be happy.
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  21. #5621
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    Ready Player One is 10/10. Amy King fan... will love in more ways than one.


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  22. #5622
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    Quote Originally Posted by fernandito View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TCCBodhi View Post
    That said, it appears that having the Spielberg name attached to the film must have eased a lot of the licensing issues that it otherwise would have had...
    Without question. In fact I'm convinced that was a principle factor in hiring Spielberg in the first place.

    Also, I'm as far from a book purist as there can possibly be. Things that work in one medium simply won't in another. As long as they capture the spirit of the novel as closely as they can I'll be happy.
    This one also has the advantage that the author of the book also wrote the screenplay for the movie.

  23. #5623
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    Quote Originally Posted by webstar1000 View Post
    Ready Player One is 10/10. Amy King fan... will love in more ways than one.


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    Quote Originally Posted by adammoro View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by webstar1000 View Post
    Ready Player One is 10/10. Amy King fan... will love in more ways than one.


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    Was it better than the book?
    It’s a Shawshank thing... if you get my drift.



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  25. #5625
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    Quote Originally Posted by webstar1000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adammoro View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by webstar1000 View Post
    Ready Player One is 10/10. Amy King fan... will love in more ways than one.


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    Was it better than the book?
    It’s a Shawshank thing... if you get my drift.



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    Oh right, I saw somewhere earlier it has a scene related to one of King’s more famous books (don’t want to say which because I’m not sure if it’s at all a spoiler). I was asking if you thought the book, Ready Player One, is better than the movie. I keep having great books ruined by their movies lately so I’d want to hold off on watching it before reading it, if that’s the case. But, if you think the movie is as good, or better, than the book then I’ll watch the movie now while it’s in the theaters.
    Looking for Mister Slaughter S/L #78

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