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JohnnyBlaze
JohnnyBlaze
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The Nightengale currently streaming on Hulu

Just. say. no. to. watching. this.

Perhaps the book is better? I have severe doubts.

Not one, but three rape scenes. One baby silenced by being slammed into a wall. A face caved in with a rifle butt.

Then there are too many scenes involving the three rapists / killers tormenting each other. On the one hand, this speaks of an attempt humanize them. On the other hand, this panders to an audience wanting to see them to suffer for their crimes.

The movie is way too long at 2 hours 17 minutes. About 60 minutes of it is bullying and violence for the sake of shock value and justification of its "what comes around, goes around" revenge themed story.

Which is a shame, because there was a story underneath it all of historical value, involving the racial oppression in Tasmania perpetuated by the British ( mirroring the atrocities committed against indigenous peoples in America by colonists ), aside from inhumane treatment of convicts.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmania?wprov=sfla1

The island is believed to have been occupied by indigenous peoples for 30,000 years before British colonisation. It is thought Aboriginal Tasmanians were separated from the mainland Aboriginal groups about 11,700 years ago after the sea rose to form Bass Strait. The Aboriginal population is estimated to have been between 3,000 and 7,000 at the time of colonisation, but was almost wiped out within 30 years by a combination of violent guerrilla conflict with settlers known as the "Black War", intertribal conflict, and from the late 1820s, the spread of infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. The conflict, which peaked between 1825 and 1831, and led to more than three years of martial law, cost the lives of almost 1,100 Aboriginals and settlers.

The island was permanently settled by Europeans in 1803 as a penal settlement of the British Empire to prevent claims to the land by the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. The island was initially part of the Colony of New South Wales but became a separate, self-governing colony under the name Van Diemen's Land (named after Anthony van Diemen) in 1825. Approximately 75,000 convicts were sent to Van Diemen's Land before transportation ceased in 1853. In 1854 the present Constitution of Tasmania was passed, and the following year the colony received permission to change its name to Tasmania. In 1901 it became a state through the process of the Federation of Australia.

anna_grin
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ilchruthach
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r.e. the girl with the dragon tattoo - watch the original in swedish. just sayin

edit: the rape scene ought not to be gratuitous, but it's necessary. and i find it telling that most men have more of a problem with the revenge scene than the actual rape

JohnnyBlaze
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anna_grin said:r.e. the girl with the dragon tattoo - watch the original in swedish. just sayin

edit: the rape scene ought not to be gratuitous, but it's necessary. and i find it telling that most men have more of a problem with the revenge scene than the actual rape


Thanks, Anna. I just read a comparison of both movies. I'll keep an eye out for the Swedish version!

The_Silly_Sibyl
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Jack Thomas
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anna_grin said:edit: the rape scene ought not to be gratuitous, but it's necessary. and i find it telling that most men have more of a problem with the revenge scene than the actual rape

You raise an interesting point there. When Roger Ebert wrote his infamously zero-star review of I Spit on Your Grave back in the Ď70s, he split the film into two halves, dramatically; the first half involving the gang rape of the heroine and the second involving her revenge.

In his (also zero-star) review of the 2010 remake he seemed to me to suggest that the latter half was there merely to justify the first:

ďFirst, letís dispatch with the fiction that the film is about "getting even." If I rape you, I have committed a crime. If you kill me, you have committed another one. The ideal outcome would be two people unharmed in the first place.Ē*

Itís legitimate to wonder, I think, which half of the movie certain audience members go for, and whether the revenge scenes make them feel okay about enjoying the rape scenes. (ďItís okay, she got her own back, itís empowering!Ē)

By the way, guys, thank you for keeping this thread alive. I was meaning to do another review for it but havenít had the time to settle down with a movie lately.

Thank you for your review of The Nightingale, Johnny, I might skip that one. To my mind a rape scene is rarely justified, though my response to violence in movies in general tends to be more about attitude than content.

Some years back I posted on here about a scene in a British sitcom set in a Spanish hotel, wherein two characters ďteach a lessonĒ to a philandering Spanish waiter by tying him to a bed and, itís implied, violating him with a cucumber. No doubt many found that funny, but the way the scene was staged, with a fourth character walking in on the scene and making eye contact with the bound-and-gagged, clearly terrified waiter, whose eyes were wide and pleading, struck me as upsetting.

Yet Iíve seen massively more graphic fare in films, which didnít upset me in the same way. One of my favourite films is David Lynchís Blue Velvet, wherein a psychotic gangster (Dennis Hopper) coerces a nightclub singer (Isabella Rossellini) into sadomasochistic sex, but the scene and story are presented in a way where your sympathies are with the victim. The attitude of the filmmaker isnít leering or sadistic.

* https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/i-spit-on-your-grave-2010

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ilchruthach
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interesting - yes, i can see that view where the revenge is used to outweigh criticism for basically making rape porn.  with spit on your grave that may be the case, or it could be it just missed the mark of what it was trying to say.  i havent seen it in a while

in the girl with the dragon tattoo, i read the books and saw the films, and i think it's the other way around.  the rape and brutality is used to explain the violence that comes later.  if the rape scene is not made bone twistingly uncomfortable, the outcry against the revenge- the torture and the tattooing and sodomising and blackmailing- is that it was an over reaction, an unjustified response. lisbeth is just another misandrist bitch.

thats why you have to see lisbeth suffer, and if you get a boner during, thats your problem, not the story's fault.

JohnnyBlaze
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I've been replaying old dvds on my new tv while I work online. Today's choice was the action movie Speed. I've probably seen it a half dozen times over the last 25 years.

It has an extremely ridiculous plot: a bomb is wired to blow up a bus full of passengers if the driver decelerates below 50 miles per hour. About an hour of the movie revolves around the bus being driven through Los Angeles nonstop and there's all kinds of crazy assed stunts before the characters figure out how to get the people off safely while not slowing down.

I ( finally ) thought to myself, What would I do?

And within a few seconds, the answer I came up with was, The wheels will still keep spinning if I tip the bus over on it's side.

Of course, there was more to the story, but . . .

don't you just hate it when the thousands of people involved in creating an action movie overlook details like that in their haste to sell tickets to the latest blockbuster?

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JohnnyBlaze said:I've been replaying old dvds on my new tv while I work online. Today's choice was the action movie Speed. I've probably seen it a half dozen times over the last 25 years.

It has an extremely ridiculous plot: a bomb is wired to blow up a bus full of passengers if the driver decelerates below 50 miles per hour. About an hour of the movie revolves around the bus being driven through Los Angeles nonstop and there's all kinds of crazy assed stunts before the characters figure out how to get the people off safely while not slowing down.

I ( finally ) thought to myself, What would I do?

And within a few seconds, the answer I came up with was, The wheels will still keep spinning if I tip the bus over on it's side.

Of course, there was more to the story, but . . .

don't you just hate it when the thousands of people involved in creating an action movie overlook details like that in their haste to sell tickets to the latest blockbuster?


Iíve always thought that the plot of Speed was a screenwriterís stroke of genius because the premise itself prohibits any slackening of the pace. The story canít ever hit a slow bit because itíll literally blow-up in the form of that bus if it does.

Nefenge
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I saw the trailer for this movie this week and would like to see it in the near future.I added it to the list of movies I need to watch.My problem is that I don't have much free time to watch all these movies, but for this creation, I can't call it anything else, I'll really try to find a few hours of free time to watch.

JohnnyBlaze
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The_Silly_Sibyl said:

Iíve always thought that the plot of Speed was a screenwriterís stroke of genius because the premise itself prohibits any slackening of the pace. The story canít ever hit a slow bit because itíll literally blow-up in the form of that bus if it does.


It's a lot like Die Hard 2. You get so wrapped in John McClane trying to stop terrorists in order for Holly's plane to land safely, while no one else in the movie questions the need to. An entire plane full of passengers ends up being  crashed because its absolutley crucial that one politician / drug dealer goes to jail? Uhm . . . okay.

Nefenge
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I saw the trailer for this movie this week and would like to see it in the near future.I added it to the list of movies I need to watch.My problem is that I don't have much free time to watch all these movies, but for this creation, I can't call it anything else, I'll really try to find a few hours of free time to watch. I even found a super good site where you can watch interesting movies and TV series with very good quality and where there are many new movies, including this one.

JohnnyBlaze
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Nefenge said:I saw the trailer for this movie this week and would like to see it in the near future.I added it to the list of movies I need to watch.My problem is that I don't have much free time to watch all these movies, but for this creation, I can't call it anything else, I'll really try to find a few hours of free time to watch. I even found a super good site where you can watch interesting movies and TV series with very good quality and where there are many new movies, including this one.

Was the movie titled, Attack of the SPAMbots ?

JohnnyBlaze
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Mars Attacks!

PG-13 1996 ‧ Sci-fi/Comedy ‧ 1h 46m

All I have to say is,

Tim Burton, what tha fuck?!

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Willy's Wonderland cements for me why I'm pretty much done with movies that feed on '80s nostalgia. The '80s was an interesting time in horror because there was a glut of cheap media which exploited the erosion of censorship, and was often so low-rent that it developed an afterlife on the cult movie circuit. Compared to what movies can show now (which is essentially anything), those of the era are tame. Willy's Wonderland doesn't even have the base titillation of its predecessors.

There are two gimmicks to the film, one mildly promising and the other stupid. The former is the premise of the film, which is that animatronics at an abandoned children's pizza restaurant come to life and kill people, a la the Five Nights at Freddy's video game (the popularity of which is the reason for Willy's Wonderland's existence). The "story" is underwritten to a point where it barely makes sense at times, and is really just a string of basic tropes established in those '80s movies, with no style or thought applied to them. The heroine is a girl once rescued from the restaurant who's now trying to burn it down with her friends, each of whom represents a teen stereotype (the slut, the jerk, the token black male). Nicolas Cage is the true protagonist, however.

Well, the movie tells us that he's the protagonist. That brings us to the second gimmick, which is that Cage doesn't speak a word of dialogue throughout the whole movie. Why this is being treated like a legitimate stylistic choice by some, I don't know. It's so painfully clear that it's just an excuse for Cage to put in as little effort as possible while still collecting a paycheck. The filmmakers would probably describe his "character" as a man-with-no-name type, but the thing about strong and silent protagonists is that they do still need to give you a hint of an inner life, or thought process. Tom Hardy's Mad Max from 2015's Fury Road didn't say much, but you knew that he had a backstory and motivation. Cage has neither. He just comes across as dull-witted, like he doesn't fully understand where he is or what's going on around him.

The "plot" is that he's a drifter whose car breaks down outside a small town. He's picked up and taken to an abandoned pizza restaurant, where he's offered a deal. If he spends the night cleaning the restaurant, his car will be repaired and returned to him in the morning. As the night unfolds, the animatronic animals that once entertained the guests come to life and attack.

The restaurant, Willy's Wonderland, is modelled on places that were popular in America in the '80s and '90s, before arcades went out of vogue and every kid had better entertainment options on their smartphone. On Wikipedia the film's budget is listed as $5 million, yet based on the restaurant set (and everything else in the film) it looks like it was made for a fifth of that.

There's no sense of scale or depth to the restaurant, it's just one main room, another room, a kitchen, and a dank strip-lighted hallway which looks like it belongs in a strip club rather than somewhere you'd take your kids. The rooms don't connect with each other in a way which conveys the sense that the characters are occupying a real place. You could call it minimalist, but it's really just cheap, hence why the only other sets are a grotty old trailer and a "police station". The latter of which is used briefly and never shown from the outside, and looks like what it is: a spare room someone had.

The only thing I liked about Willy's Wonderland was Beth Grant as the town sheriff. Grant is a character actress who's always good value, known among cult movie fans for her role as the pinch-faced, censorious dance coach in 2001's Donnie Darko. She's the only person on camera who can act, besides a couple of bit players who do a passable job as the townspeople who make Cage the deal. I don't count Cage because, although he can act, he doesn't in this film.

There's no reason to watch Willy's Wonderland, especially when 2019's The Banana Splits Movie tells the exact same story with ten times more effort, and a YouTube playthrough of Five Night's at Freddy's gives you more atmosphere. As for this, there's one or two kitsch-y songs on the soundtrack, Beth Grant's in it, and I guess if you're a Nic Cage fanatic you'll get something from it, but otherwise it's just nothing.

1.5/4

JohnnyBlaze
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Jack, I don't think anyone could pay me to watch that movie, even if to review it in the thorough manner you did. It sounds a bit like Child's Play which I never had the desire to see more than once back in the 80's after flipping a coin.

The_Silly_Sibyl
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Hey, I love Childís Play! Admittedly I only saw this film because a friend wanted to watch it with me.

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