Last Film You've Seen

Finally getting around to rewatching some of the 90s Tom Clancy films -- I'm working on a project for TVTropes (trying to build the character pages for all three films), and had to go back and check on some moments and scenes to get some more clarity, particularly in the case of Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games.

I always liked Clancy's work, and I used to pore through some of the mainline books when I was much younger -- I even got into some of the weird spinoff stuff like Op-Center and Net Force, which should probably be its own discussion. One thing I always liked about the books was that it was steeped in tech and explanations that were informed by real-world concepts, and the whole Cold War/shadowy espionage vibe in a lot of them really appealed to me.

It is extremely weird to me to see a trilogy of films (Red October / Patriot Games / Clear and Present Danger) that I enjoy so much and is so well-regarded, and yet, are so disparate and disconnected from the source material. There's so much stuff in this series that comes out of left field, and so much stuff that's either:

(a) brought in from the book to the film, but given no context, or
(b) created solely for the film and hits like a lead balloon, just as much as the novel events that inspired them

That I found myself shaking my head several times throughout the trilogy.

They do stuff like introduce Gates McFadden (Star Trek TNG) in a seemingly-major role as Jack Ryan's wife, Cathy -- who shows up in one scene, has a British accent (which she inexplicably drops from one line to the next) and disappears completely after the opening sequence. The Ryan family lives in London in Red October... except the next film explicitly points out that they don't, and that they've only gone to London for a vacation. Patriot Games does weird stuff like introduce a CIA handler who's set up to be a major character in future films (Marty), only for him to disappear from one film to the next, while a much more minor character (Rose) is somehow the only other person in the CIA offices (barring Admiral Greer, who gets knocked out of commission at the beginning of Present Danger) to make the jump from the second film to the third. The actress playing Cathy Ryan (McFadden in Red October, Anne Archer in Present Danger) had the majority of their role cut from the final print. New characters routinely get introduced as if Jack Ryan (and the audience) should know them already... which they probably would, if they were explained as well as they were in the book.

It's also weird to me that they had two (technically three, if you count Affleck in Sum of All Fears) actors playing the same role, in a trilogy that is functionally meant to be connected via James Earl Jones' Admiral Greer character, who couldn't be more different if they tried. Alec Baldwin (playing the role Harrison Ford initially wanted, but bowed out of when he realized Sean Connery had top billing on the first film) plays Jack Ryan as a jokey, almost neurotic analyst who is way out of his depth and plagued with insecurities about his past, while Ford's Jack is a much more stoic, less-jokey (kind of deadpan, really) analyst who is much more capable with weaponry and thinks nothing of throwing himself into the fray.

I never understood why Clancy himself was so down on Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, though. He complained that the film adaptations of his work missed the spirit of what they were about, but frankly, Patriot Games' film ending works far better than the book, where Sean Miller is just captured again and Jack again refrains from pulling the trigger on him. Clear and Present Danger's film ending gives Jack way more to do in Columbia (he has major agency over the plot) versus him basically just being mission control for Clark's mission in the book. And there of plenty of other moments where the demands of the short runtime didn't lend themselves to long, technical explanations like the book.

And yet, this trilogy has some of my favorite film moments in any trilogy. The reveal of the GRU mole in Red October. The shot of the IRA hitmen walking up the hill to Kevin O'Donnell's house during a windy night in Patriot Games. The Columbia attack sequence in Present Danger, or the slow-burning "print the documents before they get erased" scene from the same film. It pisses me off that they set up a massive sequel hook at the end of the third film (Jack testifying against the President, which could have major ramifications down the line) and then spent a good six years trying to adapt The Sum of All Fears into a workable film... and a novel that was already partially covered in the events of Present Danger. They never even bothered to adapt Debt of Honor, which was written in 1995 and would have been just as good an installment for a fourth entry.

And while I like the film version of The Sum of All Fears, it doesn't have much of the weight of the previous entries, sets up characters it never does anything else with (Liev Schreiber would have been a fantastic John Clark if they'd bothered to do more with him), and the factions/enemies are so forgettable it hurts.

It's certainly been an interesting experience watching the series. Not sure if I want to watch the Amazon series or the new Without Remorse adaptation.
 
Dune (1984)

A 130-minute long acid trip in the clothes of a meditative roman space opera. This movie is beautiful insanity that never leaves the realm of a dream logic world yet it seems to take itself seriously at every moment. The feature defies movie convention by including more internal monologue than any other movie I have ever seen. In this sense the movie is desperately wishing that it was a book, where internal monologuing is the norm. However, the beautiful sets, models and paintings show Dune embracing the movie format.

It becomes clear as day why this movie has gained such a cult following and why so many of its quotes have become memes. The movie becomes memorable because of its unique aesthetic and storytelling methods done against all better judgment. Dune is a fascinating time capsule of the 1980s. By no means a great movie but still so bafflingly bizarre and chaotic, beautiful yet ugly, that it needs seeing to be believed. Watch this movie so that the Sleeper may awaken.
 

Lulcielid

Eyes of the Lord
AKA
Lulcy
Rewatched the live-action Rurouni Kenshi movies trillogy in preparation for The Final movie (not the actual last movie though) that released two days ago. This movies are a beauty to watch, excited to watch the forth tomorrow.
 

Lulcielid

Eyes of the Lord
AKA
Lulcy
Rurouni Kenshin: The Final

They haven't lost their edge, still making pretty good movies.

4/5

Now waiting for the fifth (and actually final) movie to come to Netflix soon.
 
Black Widow

Agree largely with Red Letter Media's assessment, along with my usual complaint about CGI reducing my immersion (and probably the issue with grey blacks as well). Quite watchable, as all MCU films generally are. Seems like if I want some semblance of quality these days, I gotta see the TV series (plural) instead? I dunno, given it is all behind a paywall, and I'm a stingy frugal bastard. 3/5 stars.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Yesterday I finally saw the French live movie adaptation of City Hunter. It’s called Nicky Larson and truly is the adaptation of the French dub we had over there, with plenty of jokes that can only be understood by French fans.

However even Tsukasa Hojo and Japanese fans loved that movie. It’s perfect. I laughed, I cried (Kaori is still one of my favourite characters ever) it was so good. It was seeing an episode of City Hunter live. I’m so glad they got this because live action, usually, uhhhh…

So if you ever were a fan of City Hunter and can watch this, do. It will make you happy.

 

Rankles

Pro Adventurer
Annihilation.

Not entirely sure how to score a film like this tbh, possibly somewhere around a 7.5/10 as it’s well acted, thought provoking and has some genuinely unsettling moments that stick with you well after the credits finish rolling.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
i never saw the original space jam, but do you ever hear something is terrible and think 'i must witness this myself'

that and things i downloaded and completely forgot why are like 75% of my viewing experience
 

Wol

Saving a Lost Future
AKA
Dawn Warrior
90% of Hollywood's remakes or attempts to reintroduce an old franchise are mediocre at best. What they did with Independence Day or Jurassic Park is blasphemy.
 
AKA
Rishi
I double features both of them when I watched it, so I don't think I'm putting the first movie on a pedestal. It's a silly kids movie that doesn't quite hit the same as an adult, but is still clear and concise, with cute meta-humour taking dry digs at the wagecuckery of the Disney Corp. Plus, it has some really impressive feats of composting live action with 2d animation.

The second one is this weird attempt at flexing at the Disney monopoly that comes across as super pathetic. It has some great visuals and animation work, but feels far less technically impressive than the first one. The plot is also weirdly convoluted, the villains motivation doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and the video game backdrop felt weirdly out of place. It was painful and I hate it the more I think about it.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
The pacing of Space Jam 2 was akin to writing done by an excited ADHD pre-adolescent, having fun with injecting as much pop culture crossover humor as possible, every 15 seconds.

I couldn't take it. I felt time dilate while watching it.
 
AKA
Rishi
despite my grievances, I must say

the slam dunk mcflurry is legit the best mcflurry on the mcdonalds menu, and I highly recommend trying it before the promo ends.
 
The Suicide Squad (2021)

I think it is one of those movies that make me feel I have to broaden my tastes to enjoy it more, so I just switched my critical brain off for a lot of it. Mainly my issue was the pacing, I think. There were also some jokes that landed really well, while others really didn't, in a try hard way, like they weren't delivered right. There were some try hard artsy scenes too. Didn't feel genuine. Really enjoyed some of the fights scenes. Probably my favourite was where they thought they were on a rescue mission, but killed a place full of allied rebels who had actually helped out the person they were rescuing. Better than the 2016 film easily, from my recollections. My friend and I were talking about how we just couldn't remember much at all of the 2016 film, but I think this movie might be slightly more memorable, but I remember while watching the film that I'll probably forget most of this too. Perhaps consciously remembering I'll forget it might help me remember it more. Time will tell :P. Not sure what to rate it.... 3.2/5 stars.
 
Last edited:

Mobius Stripper

perfectly normal human worm baby
AKA
PunkassDiogenes
I finally got around to watching Midsommar the other night after being told that it would be my jam. I had mixed feelings about it. Great aesthetic and atmosphere, and it dipped it's toes into some interesting themes, but I didn't think it reached its full potential. Also way too long for what it was.
 
I watched the Tom Cruise reboot of the Mummy last week cause it was on TV. It was worse than I imagined. Completely devoid of charm. At least as hokey as the Brendan Fraser films were they had an endearing goofiness to them. This was just boring.

Though it did beg the question of who was more devoid of humanity. The dead-eyed sociopathic husk devoted to an ancient mythical god...or the Mummy character? :monster:
 
Free Guy

Wasn't intending to see this film. Better than I thought it would be though. 3.7/5 stars.

My few critiques: Taika Waititi's acting was a bit cartoonish (for lack of better description), which stuck out compared to that of other actors, the efforts to write the story out of corners were testing my belief suspension, and the Disney property usage at the end was a bit on the nose, as were the cameos of famous streamers. Otherwise, enjoyable. The jokes were pretty funny.
 

Tetsujin

Ready for the mosh pit, shaka brah
AKA
Tets
Watched Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey back to back yesterday.

First Suicide Squad was pretty naff, the new one was a lot of fun and Birds of Prey I think I liked the most out of the three like why did no one tell me how fun that movie is, they had some decent action bits and apparently the John Wick director was brought in for those or something
 
Dune

I take back all my criticisms of the first couple of trailers regarding monotonous aesthetics. This film is so good. Granted, I can't tell if I was making myself think that while watching it, I even came into the film with high expectations given the reviews I had heard (which is usually a bad idea), but my it-is-so-good perceptions weren't regularly broken whilst I was watching it. I try and think what did it for me, and I'd have to say the story, pacing, and the score, One of my few critiques is it had the Nolan-esque music-is-too-loud-to-hear-people-talk thing going on at times. I'd rate it 4.5 stars at least.

Just need Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve to work on a film together or capture their essence in a single protegee to possibly craft something superior :P.
 
The Summit of the Gods

An immensely beautiful, animated movie about the dangerous- and obsessive reality of mountaineering. My eyes (and even my fear of heights) thanked me for having soaked in this gorgeous film. Highly recommend.

Here is the Netflix trailer if you're curious but want a sneak peek before deciding whether to watch the movie.
 
AKA
Rishi
tbf volume mixing for home audio is just... not good across the board. Dunno why they do that, especially since movies are largely released for streaming alongside a theatrical run. It really annoys me though.

I've been watching old Bond movies. It's a world I am not really exposed to outside of Daniel Craig and Austen Powers. I'm only on From Russia with Love so far. I feel like I can say I "get" it with this one. To draw a comparison, Dr No is like NES era Mario. From Russia with Love is like SNES era Mario. I decided to embark on this journey after having a nice time taking my mom to see No Time to Die in theaters :)
 
Top Bottom