2020 Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft - BONUS ROUNDS

With my 20th pick I select -

A - Aspen Extreme (1993)

1594787637721.jpg

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0106315/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3

Ever since Top Gun was taken from me earlier in this draft I knew I’d take the “Top Gun on the ski slopes” with my last pick. Full on guilty pleasure. As a teenager this movie had me and my buddy convinced we were going to be ski bums. This film follows two best friends from Michigan who set out on adventure and look fo chase their dreams in Aspen, Colorado. And yes, there are a lot of similarities to the storyline of Top Gun. :)

 
E = Equilibrium (2002) - R



A Rare dose of originality said:
If there is one complaint about the Hollywood system that rings true, it is that Hollywood seems quite bereft of ideas. Then films like Equilibrium come out and remind us that it's not that we're out of ideas so much as we're just not trying hard enough. Not that Equilibrium is inherently new - it borrows a fair few plot concepts from Farenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four, to name the most prominent examples. It is the way in which the old ideas are combined with the new that makes Equilibrium a fun and underrated experience.

The premise is simple enough. In a kneejerk reaction to the horrors of World War Three, the survivors outlaw what they blame the chaos upon. Their own emotions, in other words. As the lead character has a series of revelations, we begin to understand that in so doing, they have also outlawed much of what gives our existence a point. In the bland, lifeless world that the law-abiding citizens inhabit, everything that the audience takes for granted to make their lives worthwhile is being systematically destroyed. Shades of the America of today, the whole principle of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, are shown in a stark horror show.

I've read people comparing this film to The Matrix or its sequels. Where The Matrix series' fights were overlong, and often with no payoff, Equilibrium's fights are short and to the point. The difference this makes is, needless to say, as uplifting as Preston's fight to regain the humanity he stripped so many others of. Instead of having fights with no emotional connection to the characters, the story is given sufficient development to make the audience care what happens.

The film is not entirely without flaws. The Prozium element seems to have been written with no regard for the facts about psychiatric medicines. Their purpose is not to suppress emotion at all, but to balance the chemical system of the brain in order to give the patient better control of them. Sure, they're not without problems of their own, but exaggerating them like this does not do the portion of the community that needs them any favours. That aside, however, the on-camera struggle is one of the most intriguing I've viewed for some time. Ergo, this minor plot problem is made up for. The only other real complaint I have is that the film could have done with a little more footage to give some characters more of a chance to develop.

I gave Equilibrium an eight out of ten. It's not the best negative science fiction you'll ever see, but it is enough of a breath of fresh air that this won't entirely matter. If the MPAA made more films like this, it wouldn't be suffering the constant financial dire straits that it so loves to blame everyone else for.
Link #1

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238380/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
 
I mean, technically, he could have fit on that door, sure...but it would have lacked the buoyancy.

T is for Titanic

B79E7E6F-D104-4048-848C-ED3D99D45A56.jpeg

Internet blurb: A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
T = Tears of the Sun

This movie tells the story of a robotic Navy Seal Capt's mission and how he regains some of his humanity along the way, but at great cost to himself, and his team. The movie was directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Bruce Willis, in what may have been his last non cameo walk through role. It also stars Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser and the ever loving Tom Skerrit of Top Gun, and Alien fame, not to mention A River Runs through it.

Being a ex- Marine and a history buff, I really liked this movie. Like most movies it takes some liberties with military protocol, but once caught up in the story, you don't care.


Turmoil erupts in Nigeria following a military coup d'etat, which involves the brutal murders of the president and his family. As foreign nationals are evacuated from the country, Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) and his U.S. Navy SEAL detachment comprising Zee (Eamonn Walker), Slo (Nick Chinlund), Red (Cole Hauser), Lake (Johnny Messner), Silk (Charles Ingram), Doc (Paul Francis), and Flea (Chad Smith), aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, are dispatched by Captain Bill Rhodes (Tom Skerritt) to extract a "critical persona", one Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a U.S. citizen by marriage and the widowed daughter-in-law of a U.S. Senator. Their secondary mission is to extract the mission priest (Pierrino Mascarino) and two nuns (Fionnula Flanagan and Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy), should they choose to come.

The mission begins as planned. Waters tells Dr. Kendricks of the company of rebel soldiers closing in on her hospital and the mission, and that the team's orders are to extract U.S. personnel; however, Kendricks refuses to leave without the patients. Waters calls Captain Rhodes for options; after their short and ambiguous conversation, he concedes to Dr. Kendricks' wishes and agrees to take those refugees able to walk. Kendricks begins assembling the able-bodied for the 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) hike; the priest and the nuns stay behind to take care of the injured.

Irritated and behind the schedule, the team and the refugees leave the hospital mission after daybreak. At nightfall they take a short break. Guerrilla rebels rapidly approach their position, and Waters stealthily kills a straggling rebel. Dr. Kendricks warns Waters that the rebels are going to the mission, but he is determined to carry out his orders, and they continue to the extraction point.

Back at the mission, the staff and refugees are detained by rebel forces. Despite the priest's pleas for mercy, the rebel forces execute him and the remaining occupants.

 
Bonus Round!

The pandemic continues…The stimulus check has finally cleared, and after bills, back taxes, and expenses you find a few extra funds for more movies. To complete your collection, you need 7 more films, one per letter. Fortunately, guidelines have loosened some!

Bonus Round Rules:
  1. Alphabetic pick may include first or last letter of any word in the title, including the number pick.
  2. Fill in letters may be made in any order, and do not need to be alphabetical.
  3. The draft order will remain, without change. Nice job so far all!
  4. Other predetermined rules remain for eligibility, although some TV would be nice, let’s stick with the original rules here.
  5. Please update earlier pick pages with your favorite awesome content to sell your pick and describe your preference for it. I have included links to the selection page and will use this for final rankings/playoffs.
 
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Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
With KainLear timed out, it appears it is up to me to kick off the bonus rounds and take advantage of the relaxed rules to fill in all of those tough-to-select letters.

To fill my "relaxed Q" column in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Galaxy (Q)uest (1999)

Directed by Dean Parisot

Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

Trailer

The washed up stars of "Galaxy Quest" - a stand-in for a well-known Sci-Fi TV title - figure they're going to spend their retirement working Sci-Fi conventions. But the TV signals of Earth's broadcasts travel across the depths of space, where they are intercepted by an alien race that doesn't understand the concept of fiction, and who come and abduct "Commander Taggart" and his crew to help them fight an interstellar war.

Galaxy Quest may be a "dumb" comedy, but in the end it's one of the smartest dumb comedies out there. The continuous gentle jabs at Roddenberry's creation come from a place not just of satire, but of love, and that really makes the whole film work. Major bonus points for Tony Shalhoub and Sam Rockwell on top of the three headliners.

By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged!
 
With KainLear timed out, it appears it is up to me to kick off the bonus rounds and take advantage of the relaxed rules to fill in all of those tough-to-select letters.

To fill my "relaxed Q" column in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Galaxy (Q)uest (1999)

Directed by Dean Parisot

Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

Trailer

The washed up stars of "Galaxy Quest" - a stand-in for a well-known Sci-Fi TV title - figure they're going to spend their retirement working Sci-Fi conventions. But the TV signals of Earth's broadcasts travel across the depths of space, where they are intercepted by an alien race that doesn't understand the concept of fiction, and who come and abduct "Commander Taggart" and his crew to help them fight an interstellar war.

Galaxy Quest may be a "dumb" comedy, but in the end it's one of the smartest dumb comedies out there. The continuous gentle jabs at Roddenberry's creation come from a place not just of satire, but of love, and that really makes the whole film work. Major bonus points for Tony Shalhoub and Sam Rockwell on top of the three headliners.

By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged!
By Grabthar’s hammer! :mad:

Was my next pick Cap. Now I’m back to scrambling for a quality Q film.

Double :mad:
 
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Bonus Round Rules:
  1. Alphabetic pick may include first or last letter of any word in the title, including the number pick.
Awesome!

T = Contact (1997)



This movie examines the premise of what would actually happen if we were to make first contact with aliens, and how that contact would logically happen.

The protagonist is loosely based on an actual astronomer named Jill Tartar. She is focused on finding other life almost to the exclusion of all else in her life. When aliens respond to the Earth's first interstellar broadcast, she is caught up in the hysteria.

What follows is an interesting observation of humanity rather than any aliens. We learn very little about aliens throughout the movie. Rather, we see how people react to knowledge of this magnitude. The movie examines religious, scientific, military and international reactions to the idea of humanity not being alone. I thought they did a fantastic job of representing the scale of reaction, from the fanatic to the skeptic, within the confines of a 2 hour movie. The movie mixes a thoughtful, sentimental tone with a good pace for action and excellent characterization. There is a somewhat arbitrary love story thrown in, but it is tolerable based on how it helps the protagonist's long-delayed progress towards a deeper understanding of her own humanity.

The movie ends in a poignant yet hopeful tone, understanding our human problems but accepting them. I think the message is that the alien contact is the catalyst that will help humanity mature and grow past our more dark halves.

If you like the movie I'd recommend the book. It gives much more insight on the aliens, and expands the scope as there are a number of scientists that participate rather than just one from America, and goes more in depth into the science. It also attempts to show that religion and science can get along. My favorite part is at the very end of the book where Sagan shows how God hid a message in the very fabric of the cosmos, that we could only read when we were ready. Be prepared however, the book is quite a bit drier than the movie and those who don't enjoy reading Discover magazine may have to dig in to get through the slower, more scientific parts.
Link #1
Link #2
Link #3

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118884/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
 
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I must admit, the letter Q has put me in a bit of a corner. Going into the draft, the only Q movie I'd seen that I even considered drafting was Quiz Show. But decided that wasn't a priority, and would just as soon not draft a Q film at all. I even applauded as our commissioner took the lone Q delegate off my draft board. What did I care; we were only going 20 rounds anyway. Q could rot on the scrap heap.

Then, surprise, bonus rounds. All those letters I'd been ignoring were now suddenly clawing up from the graveyard to zombie bite me in the backside. And there was Q leading the pack.

I scrambled my memories to dredge up the campy, semi-cultish Galaxy Quest to cheat my way out of the problem with a passably fun, forgotten film, but obviously Cap got that memo too.

So, I did what any sane person would do and binged Q movies until I found one I could live with. And it ironically comes from one of my least favorite eras of cinema linked to a band for which I have little affinity.

Q is for ...




Quadrophenia (1979)

"We are mods. We are mods. We are, we are, we are mods."

With all the seminal Who music baked into the DNA of this project, it's somewhat shocking the simplistic "We are Mods" chant is what's been stuck in my head the last day.

I'd been trying to keep my picks on the fun side, sticking with the idea that these are films I'd be stuck with for eternity, and this one proves to be decidedly more bleak. But there is quite a bit of joy to be mined from it merely by celebrating the care and craftsmanship. The soundtrack is killer. The dialogue is top notch. The performances are excellent. The ennui is palpable. The mise en cine is superb. The costume design is a character all its own. The cinematography is entrancing. And Sting is delightfully 'Sting-y" throughout.

If I'm going to be forced to take a Q film along with me, I'm confident this is the best of the bunch.

Trust me, I did the research.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
This is a great pick. Definitely my favorite Sofia Coppola's movie. The mysteriousness of the relatively unknown Scar-jo plays perfectly along with the legend Mr. Bill Murray. As a photographer growing up in Asia and has been living in America for the past few decades, this film hit me deeper than for other people.

I would've picked this if you didn't. :)
I watched this the other day for the first time and...meh. It was OK. I kept waiting for it to do something other than just wallow around in place. It never did.

The acting was very good, but it never did anything. At all.
 
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I watched this the other day for the first time and...meh. It was OK. I kept waiting for it to do something other than just wallow around in place. It never did.
As unintentionally pretentious as this will sound, the wallowing in place is the point.

I am completely aware how frustratingly unsatisfying that can be. To appreciate the movie, you have to enjoy basking in the ennui and sense of incompleteness. The absense and malaise are not bugs, but features.

I fully understand if that's not someone's preference. Similarly, there are countless superb horror films that I will never enjoy nor even watch for the simple fact that they are horror films, regardless of how well they accomplish their vision.

Actually, especially when they accomplish their vision.
 
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bajaden

Hall of Famer
As unintentionally pretentious as this will sound, the wallowing in place is the point.

I am completely aware how frustratingly unsatisfying that can be. To appreciate the movie, you have to enjoy basking in the ennui and sense of incompleteness.

I fully understand if that's not someone's preference. Similarly, there are countless superb horror films that I will never enjoy nor even watch for the simple fact they are horror films, regardless of how well they accomplish their vision.

Actually, especially when they accomplish their vision.
This reminds me of a comedian relating the story of 5 or 6 chemistry nerds sitting around when one asks," Why is there air"? They all sat with a confused look on their faces except one, who replied, "To blow up basketballs".
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
As unintentionally pretentious as this will sound, the wallowing in place is the point.

I am completely aware how frustratingly unsatisfying that can be. To appreciate the movie, you have to enjoy basking in the ennui and sense of incompleteness.

I fully understand if that's not someone's preference. Similarly, there are countless superb horror films that I will never enjoy nor even watch for the simple fact they are horror films, regardless of how well they accomplish their vision.

Actually, especially when they accomplish their vision.
I get that. I do. Theoretically, I understand that was the point. And I enjoy a lot of slower-paced movies my friends and family don't care for.

But it was almost like watching grass grow. Without the occasional dog pooping on it. Just the grass. Growing. Slowly. And there is only so much slowly growing grass I care to watch without something happening at some point. The movie could have been 1/2 hour long (pick any 1/2 hour out of the movie you want) and I would have gotten the exact same amount of satisfaction and feeling out of it.

It wasn't a bad movie by any means. It just made a point of not having a point. And I guess that is fine, too.
 
I get that. I do. Theoretically, I understand that was the point. And I enjoy a lot of slower-paced movies my friends and family don't care for.

But it was almost like watching grass grow. Without the occasional dog pooping on it. Just the grass. Growing. Slowly. And there is only so much slowly growing grass I care to watch without something happening at some point. The movie could have been 1/2 hour long (pick any 1/2 hour out of the movie you want) and I would have gotten the exact same amount of satisfaction and feeling out of it.
That's really funny. "Just the grass. Growing. Slowly." would be a poetically perfect tagline. I wish I'd come up with it. How appropriately zen.
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I will say again that if for no other reason I enjoy these drafts as they expose me to (or remind me of) movies I never watched previously. I see some movies selected that I love, some that I enjoy for what they are, and some that I really don't like for various reasons (@Padrino, for instance, and I agree on a lot and disagree on maybe almost as much, including at least one of his selections in this draft). But I am still exposed to things I haven't been exposed to before. And that's a good thing. :)

In a previous post or two I have discussed a few movies I've seen solely due to this draft. I re-watched The Fifth Element and was reminded why I hadn't watched it in forever (just not a huge fan of that movie). I watched (redacted) again (forgot parts of it from my first viewing years ago - a well known movie by a famous director and fantastic cast that I am somewhat surprised hasn't been taken yet). I'm in the middle of watching another redacted classic right now (borrowed my sister's Blu-Ray of the movie). Both have some somewhat sensitive societal issues that may be keeping them off the board, though, including keeping one from being on my list right now.

I've set the DVR to record a few others when available and will catch those when they pop up. Unfortunately a lot of these films are still unexpectedly pay-per-view (despite their age) and I'll just wait to see those at some point. But I am definitely enjoying this.
 
With my twenty-first pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter U to select:

Under the Skin (2013):



Director: Jonathan Glazer
Dir. of Photography: Daniel Landin
Writer(s): Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Faber (based on the novel by)
Score: Mica Levi
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Genre: Sci-fi, horror
Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441395/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Awww, man! A bonus round?! And here I was thinking I might have time this week to start filling in my previous picks. Life comes at ya fast.

Okay, well, then here comes Scarlett Johansson's finest performance, in a movie not nearly enough people have seen. As with my last several picks, hopefully someday I'll get around to detailing this one further, because it's a special little film.

Eric Kohn said:
The premise is deceptively simple: Michel Faber’s 2000 science fiction novel “Under the Skin” follows an alien tasked with kidnapping earthlings and selling their bodies for consumption back home. Adapting the material into his first feature since 2004’s “Birth,” music video director Jonathan Glazer only borrows half that scenario, following the extraterrestrial seductress (a virtually unrecognizable Scarlett Johansson) as she repeatedly nabs hapless male victims while her motives remain mysterious. A totally wacky head-trip with midnight movie sensibilities and a daring avant garde spirit, Glazer’s movie meanders aplenty, but owes much to Johansson’s intense commitment to a strangely erotic, unnerving performance unlike anything she has done before.

In the grand tradition of “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” Glazer drops us right into the thick of the alien’s experiences without a modicum of exposition to explain her arrival or intent. A shocking series of visuals open the story with bright flashes of color that eventually reveal an unblinking eyeball, followed by shots of Johansson’s character against a stark wide backdrop discovering her fresh human host. In wordless minutes that follow, she drives around Scotland in search of suitors while Mica Levi’s eerie soundtrack drifts in and out, furthering a sense of discombobulation associated with her cryptic point of view.

Eventually, the creature manages to nab one man and bring him back to her lair, where he follows her into a black abyss and eventually sinks hypnotically into an invisible liquid prison. It’s here that Glazer establishes a cycle of entrapment that continues several times over, as the alien makes her way to a local dance club and nabs a suitor, then lures a shy virgin with a birth defect to the same fate. While at first effectively unsettling, the scheme grows tiresome by its third iteration, and a slightly different variation in which the alien attacks a man and his family at the beach lacks much staying power.

Yet there’s no denying the movie’s technical polish as it continually pushes its unnerving atmosphere to centerstage. Glazer supposedly shot much of the film using invisible cameras in real environments. The effect frequently pays off by creating an ongoing contrast between the believable environment and Johansson’s otherworldly presence in it. The dichotomy further develops in a later scene when Johansson’s character becomes suddenly more cognizant of her human body and undergoes some kind of unearthly emotional breakdown.

Though she retains an icy expression for much of the running time, Johansson implies a fascinating degree of calculation with the slightest robotic motions, particular in relation to occasional dialogue scenes in which she uses charm to attract her victims (the alien is a quick study). As the basic story provides a rumination on the performative nature of sexual attraction, Johansson takes the bait, throwing the full range of expressiveness and physical prowess into the role. There’s nothing remotely familiar about her appearance as she spends most of the movie hidden beneath a black mop and reigning in her typically energetic delivery. The actress has an appropriately exotic presence onscreen.

Glazer show an even more extreme commitment to the zaniness of the material than his star. The climax, a mess of crossfades and pensive shots of trees as Johansson hides out in the wilderness, brings the movie’s meditative power to a vivid finale. From “Eraserhead” to “Beyond the Black Rainbow,” there’s a longstanding tradition of such WTF-caliber storytelling littered with imagery that transcends any precise interpretation with its sheer visceral force. Invading this arena with no evidence of even the slimmest compromise, Glazer has managed to make one of the most outlandish portraits of alienation in recent memory — and Johansson, liberated from the conventions of the projects from her past, has entered an audacious new stage of her career. Let’s hope she stays there. No matter its impermeable depths, “Under the Skin” certainly will get under yours.
https://www.indiewire.com/2014/03/review-why-under-the-skin-is-scarlett-johanssons-craziest-performance-28455/
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
With my twenty-first pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter U to select:

Under the Skin (2013):



Director: Jonathan Glazer
Dir. of Photography: Daniel Landin
Writer(s): Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Faber (based on the novel by)
Score: Mica Levi
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Genre: Sci-fi, horror
Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441395/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Awww, man! A bonus round?! And here I was thinking I might have time this week to start filling in my previous picks. Life comes at ya fast.

Okay, well, then here comes Scarlett Johansson's finest performance, in a movie not nearly enough people have seen. As with my last several picks, hopefully someday I'll get around to detailing this one further, because it's a special little film.
I was wondering if you would pick this. Seemed like your kind of movie. Definitely different! Another one of those where for long stretches it is the same thing, but it actually pays off at the end.
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Max: I'm just here for the gasoline.

With the revised rules, "X" is for:

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad_max_two_the_road_warrior.jpg

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082694/

Another one I was introduced to by my dad and an action favorite. It helped propel Mel Gibson into stardom. One of the many films I think where the sequel is better than the original.

(Per wikipedia) The movie is a:
post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. It is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as "Mad" Max Rockatansky. The film's tale of a community of settlers who moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypical "Western" frontier movie motif, as does Max's role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity when he decides to help the settlers.
Observers praised the visuals and Gibson's role. Noteworthy elements of the film also include cinematographer Dean Semler's widescreen photography of Australia's vast desert landscapes, the sparing use of dialogue, costume designer Norma Moriceau's punk mohawked, leather bondage gear-wearing bikers, its fast-paced, tightly edited battle and chase scenes, and Brian May's musical score.
The film's post-apocalyptic and punk aesthetics popularised the genre in film and fiction writing. It was also a box office success, being the highest-grossing Australian film worldwide. It won the Best International Film from six nominations at the Saturn Award ceremony, including: Best Director for Miller; Best Actor for Gibson; Best Supporting Actor for Bruce Spence; Best Writing for Miller, Hayes and Hannant; and Best Costume for Norma Moriceau. Mad Max 2 became a cult film, with fan clubs and "road warrior"-themed activities continuing into the 21st century, and is now widely considered to be one of the greatest action movies ever made, as well as one of the greatest sequels ever made.
"The Road Warrior is everything a bigger-budgeted Mad Max sequel should be: bigger, faster, louder, but definitely not dumber." Film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, praised its "skillful filmmaking," and called it "a film of pure action, of kinetic energy", which is "one of the most relentlessly aggressive movies ever made". While Ebert pointed out that the film does not develop its "vision of a violent future world ... with characters and dialogue", and uses only the "barest possible bones of a plot", he praised its action sequences. Ebert called the climactic chase sequence "unbelievably well-sustained" and states that the "special effects and stunts...are spectacular", creating a "frightening, sometimes disgusting, and (if the truth be told) exhilarating" effect.
In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "Never has a film's vision of the post-nuclear-holocaust world seemed quite as desolate and as brutal, or as action-packed and sometimes as funny as in George Miller's apocalyptic The Road Warrior, an extravagant film fantasy that looks like a sadomasochistic comic book come to life".
Richard Scheib called Mad Max 2 "one of the few occasions where a sequel makes a dramatic improvement in quality over its predecessor." He said that the film is a "kinetic comic-book of a film," an "exhilarating non-stop rollercoaster ride of a film that contains some of the most exciting stunts and car crashes ever put on screen." Scheib stated that the film transforms the "post-holocaust landscape into the equivalent of a Western frontier," such that "Mel Gibson's Max could just as easily be Clint Eastwood's tight-lipped Man With No Name" helping "decent frightened folk" from the "marauding Redskins".
Christopher John reviewed Road Warrior in Ares Magazine #13 and commented that "Its taut scripting, exceptional performances, and pulse-pounding pacing, which leaves an audience breathless, combined to make it one of the best SF films of the year. It also has the courage to show what the face of death really looks like. Mel Gibson's portrayal of Max is hard, bitter and realistic; he is neither hero nor coward, but a man caught up in a mad future which he confronts unafraid."
The Humungus: There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the whole compound, and I'll spare your lives. Just walk away and we'll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.

Max: I want to drive that truck.
Zetta: And how do you plan to do that? Look at yourself. You couldn't drive a wheelchair.


The Gyro Captain: No! It's *my* snake, I trained it, I'm going to eat it! I got a recipe for snake. Delicious. Fricassee of reptile. You are what you eat.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Based on my understanding of the Bonus Round rules, the list I inherited from @VF21 only allows me to select movies that have words in the title that begin or end with N, Q, U, V, W, X or Z. There are only two movies on my draft board that I think are even a remote threat to be taken by somebody else, so let me get them out of the way. With my first pick in the Bonus Round, "W" is for:











































Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4154756/

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Score: Alan Silvestri
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Adventure
Run time: 2 hours 36 minutes


IMDb summary: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

The antepenultimate movie in Marvel Studio's Infinity Saga, Avengers: Infinity War has nearly all of the known MCU heroes joining forces in a desperate attempt to stop Thanos from ending half of all life. This movie is (very) loosely adapted from the two-issue comic miniseries The Thanos Quest (collected as part of the trade paperback Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos ISBN 0-7851-2046-7) and the first issue of the six-issue comic miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet (collected in the trade paperback The Infinity Gauntlet ISBN 0-8713-5944-8).

How loosely is "(very) loosely"? Well, for starters, many of the characters that appeared in the comic series were either characters that Marvel did not own the cinematic rights to, at the time, or simply had not yet debuted in the MCU: that scene at the beginning of the movie, where Doctor Strange and Wong encounter Bruce Banner? That was Silver Surfer in the comics, whose cinematic rights still belonged to Fox, at the time that the movie was filmed. Another character who has a major role in the comic series was Adam Warlock, who was only just barely teased in a post-credit scene of [REDACTED], and has not officially made his MCU debut.

Another pretty serious divergence from the comics is the Infinity Stones themselves since, in the comics, none of them are found on, or have any particular relationship to earth; the jewel in the center of Vision's forehead has nothing to do with the Mind Stone, it's just a power source. Not even the Time Stone, as the Eye of Agomotto is an mystical artifact of entirely different origins in the comics. Only two of the characters who originally possessed one of the six Stones in the comics has even yet to make their MCU debut, and one of them was not in possession of a Stone in the movies. The Infinity Stone acquisition that is closest to its comics analogue is Thanos acquiring the Reality Stone from the Collector. And, even then, it was significantly changed because Thanos obtaining the Reality Stone is directly related to how he acquired the Space Stone in the comics (which was definitely not given to him by Loki, in an attempt to save Thor's life). And the Soul Stone has nothing to do with Vormir. Vormir has almost no significance in the Marvel Comic Universe, other than being home to the Star Stalker, an alien that was an enemy in a two-issue arc of The Avengers in the mid-seventies, and neither he, his planet, nor any others of his race have been heard from, since.

More importantly, Thanos' motivations in the comics is totally different from his motivations in the movies. My comments from a previous post, in a different thread (unboxed quote, because the QUOTE and SPOILER tags don't get along):

Well, for starters, in the comics, Thanos didn't try to warn his people of impending doom, nor was he himself concerned with balance: he straight up murked his people, because he's a nihilist, who's in love with the metaphysical manifestation of Death, which exists as an actual character in the Marvel Comics Universe, usually depicted as either a beautiful woman, or an anthropomorphic skeleton.

In the two issue miniseries "The Thanos Quest," from which roughly the first two hours of IW was (very) loosely adapted, Death comes to the realization that there were, at that time, more beings alive in the universe than ever had died, and so she tasks Thanos with killing half the living things in the universe. Thanos learns about the power of the Soul Gems Infinity Stones, and determines acquiring them to be the most efficient way to accomplish this task, so he sets about on a quest to barter, steal and/or kill to acquire the Gems from their handlers, five of the Elders of the Universe (the Gardener, the Runner, the Champion of the Universe, the Collector and the Grandmaster), only two of which have yet been introduced in the MCU, as well as the In-Betweener, the metaphysical manifestation of duality in the Marvel Comics Universe, who has also not yet been introduced in the MCU. Upon acquiring all six Gems, Thanos returns to Death's lair, in hopes that she will now see him as an equal, and return his affection, only to learn that Death still won't have anything to do with him because, being in possession of the Soul Gems now made Thanos her superior, rather than her equal.

This leads to the beginning of the "Infinity Gauntlet" miniseries, where Mephisto (who is either an agent of the Devil, or the actual Devil, depending on who's writing him) convinces Thanos that the real reason why Death will not acknowledge him is because he never actually completed the task that Death set him upon. And so, with a snap of his fingers, he wipes out half the life in the universe. The surviving heroes of Earth are organized by Adam Warlock (who has not yet debuted in the MCU, but is widely believed will make his debut in GOTG Vol. 3) to confront Thanos, in an effort to save the universe...

This is probably my second-favorite superhero movie, after the previously mentioned Black Panther (no sense in re-redacting it, now, the cat's out of the bag... err, no pun intended). As I mentioned in another thread previously, I consume these as live-action comic books, rather than movies, so my comic book nerd soul was overjoyed to see the interactions between characters like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, Thor and the Guardians, Captain America and Black Panther. This movie was incredible!


 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Sorry for the delay, but I couldn't get the formatting tags to do right, so I kept typing and deleting and re-typing, until the post would act how I wanted it to.
 
N = Watchmen (2009)



I like dark superhero flicks. This one is ripe with antiheros trying to make sense of a cruel world. Rorschach is my favorite character. He is powerful in his obsessive battle for justice, even if he must himself do dark deeds.

IMDB said:
Watchmen is iconic and iconoclastic, deconstructionist and revisionist, laden with allegory and allusion. Consider, for example, the character Ozymandias. I'm wondering how many people who viewed the film ever even heard of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem by the same name. The character even quotes the poem on a plinth in his Antarctic lair. The allusion is amazing. Here's the full quote;

And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Clearly one must see the allusion to the work, in this case, of a superhero who hopes to leave mankind a lasting legacy, but realizes in the back of his mind that everything is eventually lost in time. Ozymandias was the first poem I ever examined from an expositional point of view, and I was blown away. The use of it in this movie is equally impactful.

Then there is Dr. Manhattan, named, of course, for the Manhattan Project, which yielded the atomic bomb. His character is an allegory for God, and his relationship with man mirrors the apparent detachment with which God sees suffering in the world He created. The deity reference is reinforced often, and one thinks of Oppenheimer's citation of the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Vishnu takes on a godly form and says, "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

In an expository scene in the second act, Dr. Manhattan has a sort of recollection of his life. His account is dizzyingly elliptical, since he does not see time as linear the way others do. This scene has the lyrical feel of my favorite piece of fiction, Alan Lightman's almost unbearably beautiful Einstein's Dreams, and the reference to Einstein cannot be ignored.

But the real beauty of Watchmen is the moral diversity of its superheroes. Each is flawed in different ways, allowing us to inhabit different ethical perspectives, intellectually at least, and witness their consequences. Everything from Rorshach's refusal to compromise, which makes him a doomed fugitive, to the ultimate compromise envisioned by Ozymandias, who can dispassionately evaluate scenarios where millions of lives are sacrificed, calls into question our most cherished beliefs. Where does it leave you? Well, that's for you to decide.

From a purely entertainment perspective, Watchmen is stunning. The visuals are state of the art, and do not suffer from the sort of mental rejection I have for some movies that present too many special effects to swallow at once as reality. And Watchmen doesn't suffer from Hollywood's apparent fascination with camp in comic book movies. Camp works to some degree in REDACTED, since he's a somewhat humorous character to begin with. But the excess of camp rendered theREDACTED sequel unwatchable. Watchman proves that superheroes can use more subtle forms of humor, such as irony, without devolving into camp for cheap laughs.

And the music, oh, the music. If you didn't grow up in the 60's and 70's, you will surely miss some of the impact, but don't worry. Even a second hand recollection of such iconic tunes will suffice. I am reminded of the painfully awful Across the Universe, which couldn't even pull together a decent movie built around the greatest catalog in modern music. Watchmen does it in spades.

I LOL'd, I cried. The people in the theatre applauded at the end. I vowed to wait 24 hours before writing a review to see if my euphoria passed. It hasn't.
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https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2