This is part 3, covering the next 10 movies I watched this year that were new to me. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t read them…though this isn’t exactly a narrative so I guess you can jump in wherever.
This took longer to end up happening because I was finally able to get that surgery I mentioned in another post – and instead of wanting to focus on some long narrative in a movie during recovery I marathoned Star Trek TNG which is not only fucking fantastic fun but also just a mess of purposefully retarded episodic content.
I had only seen a bunch of episodes randomly throughout my life, so it was super goddamn fun to sit through it all from start to finish. TNG is unironically some of the best television ever made, and aside LITERALLY one specific episode there was never a moment that I wasn’t greatly enjoying my time watching it. I started up DS9 after, but it’s been slower going because it’s not as good and I’ve just been in a different non-bed-ridden situation. Anyway, movies.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Starting this out with a very good one. Ryan Gosling stars as The Driver in this sequel to the cult hit Drive from 2011, this time we see him a handful of decades later in 2049. I joke but really…Ryan Gosling literally is just reprising his role here, the character is fucking identical to the point it’s almost lazy feeling, he’s INDISTINGUISHABLE from the driver and that is in no way the fault of Gosling but the directors telling him to be exactly that and him being good enough that he did it TOO WELL. It doesn’t negatively impact the movie, it’s just very noticeable the whole time.
That’s my first “issue” – though I enjoyed it kinda more FOR that because, again, I fucking love Drive. My second and I think the only other issue I had at all was the fucking music, it’s just so fucking bad and comes off like it’s being done for the sake of parody. If you’re not 8 years old you remember when every single movie trailer was this;
And that’s the entire soundtrack here; there are like 2 actual songs – one being at the very fucking end – and aside that it’s just HERE’S A LOUD METALLIC NOISE FOLLOWED BY SILENCE UNTIL ANOTHER LOUD METALLIC NOISE HAPPENS for the music. It’s fucking awful and feels like some sort of joke youtube edit to make it seem like those trailers.
Neither of those issues is exaggerated, but they are somehow the only issues – the rest of this movie is really fucking good (and again, Gosling as the driver is also a positive in it’s own way). It does an incredible job at immersing you into it and slowly handing you bits and pieces to the main story which is essentially a very moody mystery. Set design is fucking fantastic, the atmosphere is completely perfect, and even the overall direction and pacing was exactly what it needed to be. I never liked the original Blade Runner but it’s been a long time so I might go back, but I doubt I’ll be able to enjoy it as much as this one for whatever the reasons I didn’t before for HATING it were – I feel like remembering it being similarly paced but less intriguing during that.
I ended up kinda loving this movie and I have to say it’s one of those rare films that can really keep you fully engaged throughout every second.
Loan Shark Ushijima The Movie 1 (2012)
I’ve meant to check these movies out since forever and randomly noticed that all 4 are on Amazon with Prime, so it was finally time to try it out. All I went in knowing was Ushijima is played by that cool dude who played Hero Yoshihiko and was fucking hilarious in it and is in loads of great JP commercials, along with very little knowledge of the manga aside it being a darker heavier story about society.
While it is exactly that, it’s presented in a way that really reminds me of Boogiepop Phantom – especially the character Ushijima and the overall concept of showcasing these screwed up stories of humanity or the lack thereof in a drab mostly realistic light with some also Boogiepop-esque surreal qualities and even what seems like will be a recurring pseudo-antagonist to Ushijima himself. The story isn’t even about Ushijima, it’s mostly about two other characters; who they are, how they ended up that way, and watching them evolve through the events that unfold from them both changing their lives dramatically and what they end up coming out of that experience with. Meanwhile, Ushijima himself acts as a sort of neutral equalizing force that acts solely on a personal code that he maintains 100% without budging or making exceptions just because he might get in the way of the narrative if he doesn’t act leniently this or that time.
By the end of the movie, again, he reminded me a lot of Boogiepop herself sort of bubbling up when necessary and ultimately bringing a conclusion to both of the main stories in a way that really works with the overall theme of people causing most of their own fucking problems by giving them an ending one way or another that they clearly earned themselves that he’s only here to deliver on, while also not caring about the ‘narrative’ and how anyone believes it should go – not in a meta way, but just appearing when he feels like it and doing what he needs to do instead of caring about these people and their personal lives (which the movie is about).
I liked it. It’s grim and depressing at times to an extreme that makes it seem unbelievable, but if you know about the underbelly of Japan well enough you know this really isn’t all that inaccurate in it’s portrayal of seedier life in the country even if it is fairly exaggerated at times. At the same time it’s very intriguing – the acting, writing, and directing all help it out a lot too. Due to the nature of the story mostly being about the events and development of the cast I don’t want to say too much, if you know nothing you should keep it that way and just try it out.
Solo : A Star Wars Story (2018)
I saw this days before my surgery and it’s very unexpected but I actually liked this. It was nothing like the hate would lead you to believe and ultimately ended up being entertaining and OKAY. It was not more than just okay, but it absolutely did a good job of being okay throughout. I think the first and most important thing I need to mention is that Solo FEELS LIKE STAR WARS which is everything these movies need to be and what TLJ and Rogue one absolutely were not. TLJ was a reddit comedy mixed with tumblr bullshit with enough good Kylo Ren to make it tolerable for a single viewing to get that part of the story – and Rogue One was just edgy grimdark bullshit with horrible acting, writing, and even set design. Solo, however, feels like it’s exactly what the sub-title of these side stories is; it felt like “a Star Wars story” rather than a new Star Wars episode, and not a comedy or an edgy Disney film.
I’ll just rundown some stand-out elements on both the good and bad sides and a lot of in-the-middle stuff (hence being okay). Han doesn’t feel like Han at all, the guy does a good job playing HIS character though but it’s absolutely not Han Solo – so come into the movie treating him as a new character who has his own little side story that is just very similar to Han’s and you’ll be happier with it. Chewbaccca feels perfect because it’s not hard to do with him. I liked the overall plot – it’s basically a heist movie just a little poorly paced, and the action was pretty exciting and engaging throughout. There are a lot of well done references, nods, or even direct connections to other canon and lore – even some of the extended universe (Darth Maul, though without his spider legs, is back) and USUALLY it’s done without feeling retarded about it. Even the infamous scene of Han getting the last name Solo given to him makes actual sense and is a short well done little thing…now did it need to happen at all? No, just make it his last name to begin with, but they at least give a reason for that too that ties into his backstory. It wasn’t some great thing but when that’s one of the most mentioned complaints it’s a little silly.
Lando doesn’t feel like Lando – Mr. THIS IS AMERICA! FUCK WYPEPO! does an INCREDIBLE job of mimicking the voice and style of talking of Billy Dee Williams, and honestly he plays “his version” of him just fine…but that’s where Lando stops being Lando and it’s done for reasons that are kind of upsetting. Lando used to be a REALLY flamboyant cliche of a snazzy black dude full of charisma…now he just comes off as a flaming homosexual instead. He’s still okay in the movie but they really so clearly purposefully “misunderstood” his original character to shoehorn in the whole HE’S PANSEXUAL thing though it never comes up directly luckily (in fact the robot cunt pretty much says she wants to fuck him but he won’t). He still just doesn’t feel like Lando though, he feels like someone acting like the actor that played Lando and for some reason making him a massive queer.
The WORST thing about the movie though is that it’s easy to tell how much of it was done to pander – just like everyone was worried about – to feminist and SJWs. It’s not nearly as bad as you’d be lead to believe, but it’s undeniably there the whole time. The whole story revolves around a white woman who turns out to be bad, and along the way the strongest people we meet are all mulatto or black women who are empowered, can take down the empire on their own, and are all about rising up and ending the inequality in this patriarchal galaxy.
The leader of the fucking early bits of the rebellion is even a mulatto teen girl to make it even more about empowerment for the kids too (but ONLY the mulatto ones! FUCK whitey!). When it comes to the ultra-feminist robot though the movie surprisingly seems to treat her like a fucking joke – I’m almost certain this was not INTENDED and she was meant to be very empowering and uplifting for the minority teens in the #Resistance against Darth Drumpfer and his Nazi Misogynist Militia but because they went so fucking over the top with her she’s a complete joke to the point that even the characters in the movie treat her like one.
Overall, I actually enjoyed watching this and unlike TLJ and Rogue One I would actually recommend watching it if you like Star Wars – it was a good time while feeling like it actually belonged in the franchise.
The Incredibles (2004)
I only saw this due to wanting to sit up a little while and spend time with my family while doing the very early recovery from my surgery at my brother’s house and the kids wanted to watch it (well one of them, the other is only 2 so he’ll watch anything). It turns out it’s actually alright, I’m not a fan of Disney or Pixar outside of Kingdom Hearts really but if I had to choose I’d rather watch Pixar stuff because it isn’t about princesses and the cast doesn’t sing half the script due to being a musical as I fucking hate musicals. I don’t have too much to say especially because I was taking a lot of Norco (Vicodin) still but I did like how it felt just a little more adult(?) than it should be for kids – I mean the entire reason the story exists is due to the main character saving a man trying to kill himself…who then sues him, wins, and then every super hero starts being sued and so they’re forced into hiding which eventually leads to the main antagonist existing, being an actual threat, and being able to fool the main guy into a trap. It wasn’t “OH THERE’S SECRET DARK/DEPTH/MATURITY TO THIS” or something, the story was LITERALLY about a Jew trying to suicide, suing, lawsuits destroying hero’s lives, and a femme fatale fooling an ex-hero into a trap for her master because he found her sexy and ultimately ending up with him putting his family in a situation where they should have died in hopes he could cheat on his wife.
Was it good enough for me to care about seeing the second one? Not really, but if it’s on Netflix or something some day I might watch because all this stuff on /tv/ about the mom’s booty. Also for being so old it actually looks very good visually – but I suppose that’s expected from Pixar.
Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
This is a mid-level Cage flick – not good, not bad, but full of Cage actually being in it and so it’s fine and enjoyable enough. He’s got maybe his actual worst hair here too. The movie is a generic hitman story of “this is my last job” and ending up with him breaking all his own rules by falling in love as well as making a friend/apprentice and both of those things getting in the way of his job and ultimately fucking him over. It’s over the top in the stupidest ways it can be – for example Cage’s girlfriend is a deaf Thai pharmacist he decides to literally stalk after he meets her for 30 seconds after cutting his arm fleeing from a murder scene.
There’s also a really stupid boat chase sequence which eventually ends up with a boat-motorcycle chase. Basically this is a stupid movie but it’s middle-tier Cage and is one of those that actually stars him instead of “starring” him and having him around for 10 minutes (like that one where he has snakes for hands and is mad at anakin for killing the younglings) – I’d say lower-middle if only because of the absolutely retarded directing of the whole ending of the film. It ends on a mundane random shot of a supporting character just standing there and sits on it forever and makes no attempt at connecting it to anything.
Movie I Forgot (XXXX)
I forgot what the fuck it was but I know for a fact I watched something between Cage and Maquia and I even liked it, but I have no idea what it was. So I recommend it!
Maquia : When The Promised Flower Blooms (2018)
I’ve written a review for this one. Absolutely fantastic story of an ageless child becoming a mother and the life of her and her son written and directed by Mari Okada. Absolutely recommend and gave it a 10/10. Super emotional.
Mushy Apples (2018)
Is this a real movie? I honestly don’t fucking know, but it is feature length (1:29:37) and was shown in a virtual theater to a bunch of people when it “premiered”. It was also made in VR Chat and is also really fucking stupid, but hilarious, and better than some other movies I’ve seen this year because it had me (purposefully, not ironically) crying laughing a few times and was genuinely entertaining in a way that kept me actually watching it even when during the “premiere” it reset itself like 5 times because when they made the map for the theater they fucked something up so it took almost 3 hours instead of 90 minutes (though that too added some fun to it).
This was made by a few different groups of friends with mutual friends who play VR Chat (all of which come and go in a revolving door of a light-RP’ers where they all just be retards in a bar) and decided it’d be fun to spend hundreds of hours making something together with a good mix of actually trying and letting everyone do whatever the fuck they wanted, memes, blatant 4chan humor and lots of gay jokes that were really surprising to see given the main guy involved (though he wasn’t really in it much) is one of the top 3 streamers of the game and even has twitch staff follow him who are ultra-liberal, and so on. It also had a very nostalgic feeling that brought me back to the dumb shit me, my brother, and our friends used to do when we got our hands on a video camera in the 90s without trying to come off that way but coming off that way because it’s exactly what it is – just a bunch of dorks screwing around but half-seriously trying to make something people would enjoy.
It’s stupid, nobody can act, it’s not “the greatest example of what VRChat can do”, it’s written like Naruto, and directed/edited by someone with no idea of how to do either of those things…but it was unironically actually very fun and entertaining and kept me from losing focus on it at any point, plus the effort put into it is very clear.
As an aside, I really liked that the more prominent streamers weren’t really part of it including the guy who pitched the idea – usually with stuff like this in general no matter what it is or who is doing it, people tend to just circlejerk and make things about themselves/their other popular friends, it was nice to see that not being the case here with only a couple who were directly involved in thinking up the movie at all having very short cameos. Instead it’s people anyone who watches or plays the game enough might recognize most names of, but not e-celebs even for the niche – it wasn’t like James Rolfe starring as James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd in The Angry Video Game Nerd Movie directed/written/starring James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd (it was also much better than the AVGN movie, but that’s not saying much I suppose) or whatever that clusterfuck with TGWTG was ages ago. Nor is it full of in-jokes catering only to themselves or their friends/long-time viewers (though I’m sure there are some probably).
It was a community thing and from that it just feels better – they even let mutes and desktop users be in it, not just those who spent thousands of dollars on high-end PCs and full-body trackers, and everyone was able to just use whatever avatar they wanted without it being “no you have to be this/that” even to the point of having the main antagonist be a gorilla-man who uses subtitles because in their RP outside of this (this movie ‘being made’ as part of the RP technically) he exists as just a gorilla-man who grunts. It’s genuinely entertaining because it’s fucking stupid whiel also trying to tell a budget-anime story and it has such an obvious feeling of “friends goofing around while also sort of trying and ad-libbing half their lines into shit you’d never expect” that watching it is enjoyable. I unironically love VR Chat even though I’ve never touched it myself, and I feel like this fucking retarded movie made by a bunch of goofballs is a good example of at least part of why I feel so strongly about the ‘game’.
Also there’s a shrimp-man in every single scene and cameos by your favorite actors like Sylvestor Stallone, slutty Hatsune Miku, Megamind, gay dads who failed and raised a non-gay son in this anti-gay world, and Morgan Freeman as well as fun outtakes during the credits.
The full movie was uploaded by the guy who ultimately edited it all and can be found HERE.
Seriously, you should find the time for it – it’s so fucking stupid (on purpose, and it works) and weird and hilarious and just interesting that it exists…and honestly, for how it came out they did a genuinely good job at trying to make such an ambitious project in fucking VR Chat and all it’s massive limitations of all things and with a staff of nothing but weeaboos and gamers all while clearly being aware it’d be bad and also just having so much fun making it.
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
To go with the show now that I finished it, I figured I’d watch through the movies too given my brother had them all on bluray from some sale. I know a lot of these have a VERY bad reputation but I’m not sure which specifically or if it’s all of them, though I know First Contact is generally well liked?
As far as Generations goes, it’s the one where a Star Trek thing happens and so Captain Kirk dies by being pulled into a space distortion thing and eventually Picard does too and they work together to save the day from a paradise-obsessed Malcolm McDowell who is blowing up suns to get there, which makes for a fun thought of him being Tolwyn from the Wing Commander games ending up going crazy. I don’t know if this is one of the hated on movies but I thought it was pretty good – it was basically a 2-part episode arc (the fact episodes of TNG are 45 minutes helps with that feeling) with a cameo from everyone’s favorite open and confirmed 4channer.
The only thing I didn’t like, which I don’t know how the other movies work in terms of where they are in the timeline, was Data finally using his emotion chip and also it becoming completely stuck in his neural network. They just kinda throw that in without much care when the entire show he’s so certain that it’s too risky that it never even gets mentioned aside one time after they originally get it…and in this he just pushes Dr. Crusher off a holodeck boat because they do it to Worf and everyone laughs, so he tried to be humorous and did it wrong SO FUCK IT PUT THAT CHIP IN ME MAN IT’S OKAY IF I BECOME LORE AS LONG AS I GET THE LAUGHS, GEORDI! Then for some reason his emotions are limited to laughing maniacally nonstop. It was stupid and I don’t like the idea of helpless retard Data who can’t do shit because he’s dealing with feelings or laughing his ass off like a jackass – albeit at least that aspect was believable (going from feeling nothing to everything would likely be really intense, especially if right then your best friend gets kidnapped because of you).
Everything else felt very typical TNG in a positive way; if this really was a 2 or 3 episode arc it’d be an alright one with a fun cameo, and as a movie it works well. I looked up the overall ratings on the usual sites and I don’t get it – apparently this IS one of the pretty bad ones (not worst, but still) and I’m not seeing why. Did everyone watch this too long after seeing TNG and forget IT IS LITERALLY EXACTLY LIKE TNG just with less comedy and better visuals? Did they imagine TNG to be something it wasn’t when watching this and so felt this wasn’t like it at all? I can’t help but feel that’s what happened because nothing else makes any sense. At the very least, the fact THIS seems to be so hated when it was actually pretty good makes me curious about the rest of the TNG films.
Also, it was pretty sad to see the Enterprise-D die, especially in such a lame way. They literally fuck up separating the saucer section and crash it into a mountain range because apparently the entire navigational and helm crew are retards. Not to mention the entire reason they had to separate it at all was because a 30 year old Klingon ship shot a torpedo at them. At least they killed those fucking annoying Klingon sisters.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
To be honest, I’ve seen First Contact at least once or twice, but we’re talking like 20 years ago before even some people who might read my blog were born…so I think it’s okay for me to include it with how long it’s been. First Contact is, as I just mentioned in the Generations part, widely accepted as one of the best of the overall film collection of Star Trek even beyond “just the TNG ones”…but watching it now, I really have to disagree. Ironically, I enjoyed Generations way more than this, sorry Frakes – your directing wasn’t the problem at least.
First Contact randomly decides to shove Borg in again (which by this point in the timeline shouldn’t even exist and it also retcons their individuality out entirely except for retarded Borg Queen shit that Voyager decided to make up because Voyager is fucking garbage) which is already a boring fucking idea, the Borg are not interesting or exciting outside of their original appearance within the TNG series because it dealt with them rarely and in interesting ways especially after they destroyed the collective. Here? I dunno, just put the Borg back in and make a bust of a woman be their leader because they have a leader now but are also a collective also she didn’t come about after the collective was destroyed she’s the original Borg who made the collective because that makes sense. I don’t care about that in terms of “oh no muh lore” but that it felt fucking stupid and gave such a weak excuse for the story to take place. I read a bit about the creation of this movie and it’s obvious why the story sucks – from what I read, everyone involved in writing it wanted THEIR idea to be in it so they had to make it so EVERYONE’S plot idea was in it – borg, time travel, the original first contact, a Data problem, etc. They literally just took all the ideas and lumped them together so they could get this finished without anyone complaining.
Then you’ve got Picard lusting for a strong empowered black woman who has no relevance TO LITERALLY ANYTHING IN THE ENTIRE FILM but continues to be on screen throughout it. Not to mention Picard just randomly becoming a huge piece of shit willing to kill his entire crew just to punch some Borg which makes no sense given how many times he’s run into Borg throughout TNG post-becoming Locutus without ever having this issue and EVEN BEFRIENDING ONE IN A REAL GENUINE PERSONAL WAY. Then you’ve got another badly written Data plot-line like in Generations that I just didn’t care for.
Then you’ve got that fucking retard shit-tier actor, James Cromwell, who yes I can’t stand. I don’t think there’s a single thing he’s acted in where I could see him as anything but a guy with no talent attempting to act and failing at it the whole time. It doesn’t help that the character is a lazy fucking “alcoholic miracle worker” trope either. You’ve also got Geordi after almost 200 episodes of TNG defending his choice to not get implants…now just having implants without an explanation because he decided nah fuck it, just like Data did about the emotion chip, I guess.
The plot of the movie is boring and stupid. Borg magically re-appear (and in a way they couldn’t possibly do so), 100% of all mankind is assimilated in a way that IF THE BORG COULD DO IT THEY WOULD HAVE ALREADY AGES AGO because they CAN JUST GO THROUGH TIME NOW, Picard is a dick, half the plot clashes with the canon lore, there’s no explanation of how they get back to their time after saving the past AT ALL, and honestly it was pretty fucking boring. Generations was almost all talking but it was Star Trek style very interesting and engaging stuff, but this just has a bland summer blockbuster script to the point that this may as well have been an Independence Day sequel or something.
I’d like to say it was fine, but I kind of hated my whole time watching it. I really have no interest in sitting through it again though – boring, bland, felt stupid for so many reasons, bad acting from almost every single person that was not a major character in TNG, bad writing, directing was fine from Frakes at least but that’s about it and even that was “fine” at best. It even had a fucking licensed insert song because EPIC!!!! No idea how this is lauded as one of the best of all the franchise, even if I ignored all the bad qualities it’s still fucking boring.
At least Barclay got a short scene and surprisingly he was not raping all the women out of frustration from not having his holodeck Troi fuck-room available.
Expect more of these posts – maybe the rest of F&F, for sure the rest of the TNG films as still I have that box set borrowed from my brother, hopefully the My Hero Academia movie if I can manage to go see it in the theater like Maquia (it’s showing here, but with my situation I never know what I can or can’t do), and surprises even I don’t know yet because I kind of watch movies at random. Though I am doing so at a slower rate now so it might be awhile again, but if it’s late-December and I haven’t seen 10 more I’ll just post what I have seen.
Part 4 is HERE.