2020 Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft - ROUND 4

#66
Will force myself to go in alphabetical order for some extra excitement.

A is for Alien.

View attachment 9870

Pretty sure I chose this first the last movie draft I was in too, and I’ll have no problem doing it in the next one either. :D
Flawless movie to me.
Ridley Scott directed Alien for a 1979 release and then Blade Runner for a 1982 release. They were both absolute marvels of art direction and production design. They were also his second and third films! Tremendous stuff.

It appears that my devotion to Blade Runner means that I must sacrifice the opportunity to write about Alien. I missed out on both in KF.com's previous movie draft! But Alien is a movie I cannot praise enough. It's just perfect in every way. Great pick. And good luck going in alphabetical order!
 
#67
Ridley Scott directed Alien for a 1979 release and then Blade Runner for a 1982 release. They were both absolute marvels of art direction and production design. They were also his second and third films! Tremendous stuff.

It appears that my devotion to Blade Runner means that I must sacrifice the opportunity to write about Alien. I missed out on both in KF.com's previous movie draft! But Alien is a movie I cannot praise enough. It's just perfect in every way. Great pick. And good luck going in alphabetical order!
And maybe, just maybe, part of the same simultaneously awesome and horrifying shared universe.
 
#68
And maybe, just maybe, part of the same simultaneously awesome and horrifying shared universe.
Haha, yeah, I've read those theories. I don't have a lot of patience for the shared universe stuff. Alien and Blade Runner are both awesome in the classical sense of the word. They are standalone features of extraordinary vision, and I don't think that either movie illuminates the other by roping them together in that fashion. Marvel Studios has done well for themselves with their shared universe, but it seems foolhardy for everyone in Hollywood to try and jump on that bandwagon. Not everything needs to connect to everything else. Anyway, that's enough "get off my lawn" ranting for one day. ;)
 
#70
I also have decided to go in alphabetical order, which has more to do with memory at my age than being brave. That said, after forcing myself to pass over at least 20 or 30 movies that deserved to be mentioned, I decided to go with Avatar simply because of it's creativity and ground breaking cinema. Directed by James Cameron, of Aliens, and [redacted] fame and staring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, a great villain in Stephen Lang, and one of my favorite supporting actresses of [redacted] fame, Michelle Rodriguez. And of course, I have to mention the great Giovanni Ribisi, who effortlessly slides from role to role.

 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#71
I also have decided to go in alphabetical order, which has more to do with memory at my age than being brave. That said, after forcing myself to pass over at least 20 or 30 movies that deserved to be mentioned, I decided to go with Avatar simply because of it's creativity and ground breaking cinema. Directed by James Cameron, of Aliens, and [redacted] fame and staring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, a great villain in Stephen Lang, and one of my favorite supporting actresses of [redacted] fame, Michelle Rodriguez. And of course, I have to mention the great Giovanni Ribisi, who effortlessly slides from role to role.

This was on my short list of "A" movies just for the reasons you mentioned. This was one of the few movies I attended in a theater in 3D where the 3D actually "worked" the way I thought it should. The environments are so lush and detailed and downright beautiful it was amazing. It's an entertaining action flick with a good cast.
 
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#75
I also have decided to go in alphabetical order, which has more to do with memory at my age than being brave. That said, after forcing myself to pass over at least 20 or 30 movies that deserved to be mentioned, I decided to go with Avatar simply because of it's creativity and ground breaking cinema. Directed by James Cameron, of [redacted], and [redacted] fame and staring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, a great villain in Stephen Lang, and one of my favorite supporting actresses of [redacted] fame, Michelle Rodriguez. And of course, I have to mention the great Giovanni Ribisi, who effortlessly slides from role to role.

I mean this purely as a commentary of my own evaluation of Avatar's pre-release potential for mass popular appeal: I still cannot for the life of me understand how this became the highest-grossing film of all-time.

CGI-heavy Sci-Fi aliens vs. space cowboys with a blatantly unapologetic "save the trees" message and little star power (Zoe Saldana WAY before she was Gamora, and Sigorney Weaver WAY after she was Ripley) seemed so incredibly niche. I distinctly remember seeing a preview for Avatar and saying out loud "what nerds are going to see that?"

Granted, I said something similar when I first learned about email, so having my finger on the pulse of tech trends and popularity is not my wheelhouse.

Nevertheless, there I was in '09, with my 3D glasses on, watching CGI Rambo-smurfs defend the Forrest Moon of Endor from General Space Marine and his army of Evil Inc. Exo-Skeletons in their pursuit of Unobtanium. That last one isn't even a snarky comment - it's actually what it's called.

Obviously the spectacularly stunning visuals (inspired by Cameron's scuba diving ventures) are the draw here, but I could say that about dozens of films. This was less a movie and more a phenomenon event that every single person I knew, myself included, HAD to experience. And just like that, it was gone, leaving no real mark on pop culture other than a new high-water mark on the top grossing movies list.

A record that took Marvel a decade of inflation, 12 years of multi-franchise shared-universe building, a rabidly-motivated and devout fanbase, and a "special features" re-release to beat. Which ultimately just replaced one Disney-owned franchise with another at the top.

Now I'm left to wonder how long before I strap on my 3D glasses again for another tour of Pandora ... trying to figure out what I'm doing there in the first place.
 
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#76
I mean this purely as a commentary of my own evaluation of Avatar's pre-release potential for mass popular appeal: I still cannot for the life of me understand how this became the highest-grossing film of all-time.

CGI-heavy Sci-Fi aliens vs. space cowboys with a blatantly unapologetic "save the trees" message and little star power (Zoe Saldana WAY before she was Gamora, and Sigorney Weaver WAY after she was Ripley) seemed so incredibly niche. I distinctly remember seeing a preview for Avatar and saying out loud "what nerd's are going to see that?"

Granted, I said something similar when I first learned about email, so having my finger on the pulse of tech trends and popularity is not my wheelhouse.

Nevertheless, there I was in '09, with my 3D glasses on, watching CGI Rambo-smurfs defend the Forrest Moon of Endor from General Space Marine and his army of Evil Inc. Exo-Skeletons in their pursuit of Unobtanium. That last one isn't even a snarky comment - it's actually what it's called.

Obviously the spectacularly stunning visuals (inspired by Cameron's scuba diving ventures) are the draw here, but I could say that about dozens of films. This was more a phenomenon event than a movie. And just like that, it was gone, leaving no real mark on pop culture other than a new high-water mark on the top grossing movies list.

A record that took Marvel a decade of inflation, 12 years of multi-franchise, shared-universe building, a rabidly-motivated and devout fanbase, and a "special features" re-release to beat. Which ultimately just replaced one Disney-owned franchise with another at the top.

Now I'm left to wonder how long before I strap on my 3D glasses again for another tour of Pandora ... trying to figure out what I'm doing there in the first place.
More phenomenon than movie is a good way to put it, I think.

Avatar is not a film that I particularly enjoyed, but there was tremendous novelty to its 3D effects. Everybody wanted to know if this was the next technological leap forward in filmmaking. It wasn't. But people paid the extra premium on top of the regular cost of admission to see for themselves. Call it a perfect storm.

The numbers are also kind of misleading. You could pay the average cost of a movie ticket in 2009 to see Avatar in 2D, but what would be the point of that? Most viewers opted for 3D, to the tune of 70% of its total gross in ticket sales, with an approximate 25% bump in the cost of each 3D ticket over a 2D ticket. I'm not a huge fan of Marvel's output, either, but if their most recent big crossover event movie had cost 70% of its viewers an extra 25% per ticket, it would have absolutely shattered Avatar's box office record without breaking a sweat.

Avatar is a fascinating case study in what sells in the moment vs. what has lasting appeal. Every time I hear whispers about the four or five sequels that James Cameron is planning, my forehead wrinkles and I ask myself, "Who really wants to see that many more Avatar movies over a decade after the first?!" Of course, I wouldn't bet against Cameron. He hasn't directed anything I've loved since the mid-90's, but whenever he decides to get behind the camera, he ends up making a movie that just slays the box office. He's certainly got a Midas touch, confounding though it may be to me.

Edit: I realize that I'm kind of slagging off this movie, but to its credit, and to Cameron's credit, it was an original property without a pre-existing fanbase. No, it was not a particularly unique story. Yes, it was derivative of a few other well-known films. But the fact remains that it was an original property released into theaters during an era of Hollywood history--an era that we have not yet departed--when studios were investing the vast majority of their resources into existing IP.

Somehow, some way, James Cameron convinced a geometric sh*tload of viewers across the globe to pay extra to see something new. I have few memories of Avatar. It made no lasting impression on me, personally. But I've got mad respect for Cameron's insistence on making a really expensive movie using cutting edge technology because he knew he could put asses in the seats even without the benefit of trading on audience nostalgia for whatever IP they loved from their childhood.
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#77
Of course, I wouldn't bet against Cameron. He hasn't directed anything I've loved since the mid-90's, but whenever he decides to get behind the camera, he ends up making a movie that just slays the box office. He's certainly got a Midas touch, confounding though it may be to me.
To be fair, the only things he's directed since the mid-90's is Avatar and a couple documentaries about underwater exploration. ;) I own one of the documentaries and enjoy it for what it is and who is in it.
 
#78
To be fair, the only things he's directed since the mid-90's is Avatar and a couple documentaries about underwater exploration. ;) I own one of the documentaries and enjoy it for what it is and who is in it.
Ha, well, I was referring to Cameron's 1994 feature, of which I am a fan. But before Avatar, he released an extremely popular film in the latter half of the 90's that I'm not particularly fond of. Mostly, I'm trying to be a good boy and refrain from specifically mentioning movies that have not yet been picked. ;)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#79
Ha, well, I was referring to Cameron's 1994 feature, of which I am a fan. But before Avatar, he released an extremely popular film in the latter half of the 90's that I'm not particularly fond of. Mostly, I'm trying to be a good boy and refrain from specifically mentioning movies that have not yet been picked. ;)
Ah, gotcha. It is just hard to know the cutoff when someone uses a somewhat vague term like "mid-xxxx".
 
#80
Ha, well, I was referring to Cameron's 1994 feature, of which I am a fan. But before Avatar, he released an extremely popular film in the latter half of the 90's that I'm not particularly fond of. Mostly, I'm trying to be a good boy and refrain from specifically mentioning movies that have not yet been picked. ;)
Hot Take: Cameron’s ex-wife is a better filmmaker than he is.
 
#83
More phenomenon than movie is a good way to put it, I think.

Avatar is not a film that I particularly enjoyed, but there was tremendous novelty to its 3D effects. Everybody wanted to know if this was the next technological leap forward in filmmaking. It wasn't. But people paid the extra premium on top of the regular cost of admission to see for themselves. Call it a perfect storm.

The numbers are also kind of misleading. You could pay the average cost of a movie ticket in 2009 to see Avatar in 2D, but what would be the point of that? Most viewers opted for 3D, to the tune of 70% of its total gross in ticket sales, with an approximate 25% bump in the cost of each 3D ticket over a 2D ticket. I'm not a huge fan of Marvel's output, either, but if their most recent big crossover event movie had cost 70% of its viewers an extra 25% per ticket, it would have absolutely shattered Avatar's box office record without breaking a sweat.

Avatar is a fascinating case study in what sells in the moment vs. what has lasting appeal. Every time I hear whispers about the four or five sequels that James Cameron is planning, my forehead wrinkles and I ask myself, "Who really wants to see that many more Avatar movies over a decade after the first?!" Of course, I wouldn't bet against Cameron. He hasn't directed anything I've loved since the mid-90's, but whenever he decides to get behind the camera, he ends up making a movie that just slays the box office. He's certainly got a Midas touch, confounding though it may be to me.

Edit: I realize that I'm kind of slagging off this movie, but to its credit, and to Cameron's credit, it was an original property without a pre-existing fanbase. No, it was not a particularly unique story. Yes, it was derivative of a few other well-known films. But the fact remains that it was an original property released into theaters during an era of Hollywood history--an era that we have not yet departed--when studios were investing the vast majority of their resources into existing IP.

Somehow, some way, James Cameron convinced a geometric sh*tload of viewers across the globe to pay extra to see something new. I have few memories of Avatar. It made no lasting impression on me, personally. But I've got mad respect for Cameron's insistence on making a really expensive movie using cutting edge technology because he knew he could put asses in the seats even without the benefit of trading on audience nostalgia for whatever IP they loved from their childhood.
Throughout his career Cameron has always approached film as go big or stay at home. One can criticize the plot as just a remake of the same story that's been done before, but then, one thing Hollywood has been lacking for some time is originality. Thus the insurgence of Marvel on the screen. I'm less critical of a plot seeming familiar as long as the movie meets other requirements. The main one is that I have to care about the subjects in the movie. Otherwise, what happens to them doesn't matter.

I would love to give some examples, but then I would have to name some movies, which I can't. Oh well!
 
#85
Terminator (1984)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088247/


Director:
James Cameron
Writers:
James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Stars:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

Pretty much the perfect sci-fi action film. This is the film that cemented James Cameron's brilliance as a proactive, inventive filmmaker for the young-boy me. Making work with the physical specimen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose limited wooden on-screen presence works perfectly for the emotionless machine, the relentless thread that is the Terminator, was a stroke of genius. The havoc makes for a heart-pumping, unyielding, and uncompromising steel metal trap of a movie that is the best picture of its kind, in my opinion.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#86
To fill my "A" column in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Arrival (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Written by Eric Heisserer, based on "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang

Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Trailer

With my first selection I took a great Space Opera, but with my second, I'm taking a great Sci-Fi film. Denis Villeneuve really only came into the public eye in 2013, but he has already established himself as one of the best directors out there, and Arrival is no small part of that. The setup is practically classic action film - out of nowhere 12 gigantic spaceships appear, hovering over apparently random locations. What will Earth do? But rather than being about how humans can blow them up, the plot of Arrival is about how we can communicate with them. Sounds heady? It is. Much of it is a story about cracking a linguistic code, but it's much more than that. It's a story about global cooperation (and the breakdown thereof), it's a story about the relationship between language and one's perception of the world, it's a story about accepting the trade-off between joy and pain.

On top of the plot, it's a masterfully made film. The cinematography (Bradford Young) is top-notch (a scene where the clouds roll in over a Montana valley is breathtaking), the score (Jóhan Jóhannsson, selected by Padrino in the Album Draft) is magnificent, and the aliens are unlike anything you've ever seen. My only regret in selecting this film is that I can't possibly write it up as well as Padrino would have, had I given him the opportunity to select it. ;)

In war there are no winners, only widows.
 
#87
Terminator (1984)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088247/


Director:
James Cameron
Writers:
James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Stars:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

Pretty much the perfect sci-fi action film. This is the film that cemented James Cameron's brilliance as a proactive, inventive filmmaker for the young-boy me. Making work with the physical specimen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose limited wooden on-screen presence works perfectly for the emotionless machine, the relentless thread that is the Terminator, was a stroke of genius. The havoc makes for a heart-pumping, unyielding, and uncompromising steel metal trap of a movie that is the best picture of its kind, in my opinion.
Damn. That was likely my next pick. It has become popular to name its sequel as the best movie within this franchise, but I heartily disagree. The Terminator is the perfect example of "less is more." Cameron used a tiny budget and a tight shooting schedule to craft an absolutely propulsive and relentless thriller that is also surprising and moving in its intimacy. The stakes are limited, yet the film hinges everything on them. You get invested in the fates of Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor because of how human and vulnerable they are and how elemental the threat is. The music by Brad Fiedel is a masterwork, as well, like crushing a John Carpenter score in a hydraulic press and recomposing the pieces into a futurist nightmare. I adore everything about this film. Great pick.
 
#88
To fill my "A" column in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Arrival (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Written by Eric Heisserer, based on "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang

Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Trailer

With my first selection I took a great Space Opera, but with my second, I'm taking a great Sci-Fi film. Denis Villeneuve really only came into the public eye in 2013, but he has already established himself as one of the best directors out there, and Arrival is no small part of that. The setup is practically classic action film - out of nowhere 12 gigantic spaceships appear, hovering over apparently random locations. What will Earth do? But rather than being about how humans can blow them up, the plot of Arrival is about how we can communicate with them. Sounds heady? It is. Much of it is a story about cracking a linguistic code, but it's much more than that. It's a story about global cooperation (and the breakdown thereof), it's a story about the relationship between language and one's perception of the world, it's a story about accepting the trade-off between joy and pain.

On top of the plot, it's a masterfully made film. The cinematography (Bradford Young) is top-notch (a scene where the clouds roll in over a Montana valley is breathtaking), the score (Jóhan Jóhannsson, selected by Padrino in the Album Draft) is magnificent, and the aliens are unlike anything you've ever seen. My only regret in selecting this film is that I can't possibly write it up as well as Padrino would have, had I given him the opportunity to select it. ;)

In war there are no winners, only widows.
Don't sell yourself short! You've written beautifully about a film that I admire greatly. Well done, sir. I was proud to select it in our previous movie draft, and apart from stepping once again into the world of Blade Runner for this draft, I don't intend to tread ground I've previously covered. That said, I'm delighted to see Arrival selected so early. It's a masterpiece of contemporary science fiction. :)
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#90
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Endgame did not resonate in my soul, in the way that [REDACTED] did, but it's definitely my second-favorite, MCU movie, and one of my Top 5 favorite movies of all time (and it ain't #5). Not only was it the perfect payoff to a decade of MCU movies but, for someone like me, it was also the payoff to forty years of reading comic books.

Warner Brothers could NEVER!