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REPO Man
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by REPO Man Sun May 10, 2020 3:10 am

Just finished the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. I enjoyed it, but it took a lot of liberties with the source material. Guess this is set in a different timeline. But I had fun.
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Michi
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Michi Wed May 13, 2020 9:38 pm

Write-up time:

Witchery (1988)

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Part of the La Casa series over in Italy, but a stand-alone film just about everywhere else. A nice looking film with a decent cast and a muddled plot.



prfsnl_gmr wrote:As always, great review, Michi!

Aw...thanks :oops:
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samsonlonghair
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by samsonlonghair Fri May 15, 2020 10:26 am

I watched a couple of video game movies this week.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
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Sonic the Hedgehog wasn't exactly good, but it was better than I expected it to be. The filmmakers had the unenviable task of trying to shoehorn this franchise into the format of a road trip buddy comedy. Considering this limitation, the filmmakers succeeded as best they possibly could. Sonic fans might imagine that a Sonic buddy film must pair up Sonic with Tails (or Knuckles, Shadow, et cetera), but that cannot be the case here. The rules of the buddy film format dictate that there has to be a funny guy and a straight man. Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) takes the role of the funny guy, and the role of the straight man goes to generic-nice-guy-smile James Marsden. Marsden does a perfectly acceptable job playing the handsome small town cop from every Hallmark Christmas movie. There's nothing wrong with this. The straight man has to be there in order to make the funny guy seem louder, cooler, and more energetic by comparison. This does mean that a lot of screen time goes to Marsden, who probably keeps the moms in the audience entertained. He doesn't do much for me, but then again, he's not there for my benefit.

The script and dialog are a little clumsy. The filmmakers let the audience know that Sonic feels lonely by having Sonic look directly at the camera and say that he feels lonely. Maybe filmmakers do this for the sake of children in the audience. I'm not convinced that any child young enough to need character emotions stated aloud is old enough to care.

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that the real star of this movie is Jim Carrey. Despite having a whole different body type, Carrey does an excellent job as Robotnik. Carrey's Robotnik is manic, egotistical, amoral, scheming, and driven. He really does make a perfect supervillain. I couldn't help but notice that much of Carey's screen time seemed to be shot on a separate soundstage, probably utilizing a green screen. In these scenes Carrey only interacts with a single henchman rather than the main characters. I think Carey is only on screen with Marsden in one scene towards the end of the first act. The filmmakers did a good job of making Carrey appear to be on screen with the main characters in the climax of the movie, but it looks to me like Carrey is piloting a green screen mech which was incorporated into the action in post. One might speculate that Carrey was only available for shooting for a few days.

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By now, everyone on the internet and their brother has heard about Sonic's ghastly character design, and the costly redesign. I won't tred over that ground again. Suffice to say that following the redesign Sonic the Hedgehog looks "right" in this film. He's sort of a balance between the chubby round sonic of the 16-bit glory days in the leaner modern Sonic Adventure design.

Speaking of glory days, there are plenty of callbacks for old school fans to notice from the Sonic franchise. Some of the most obvious ones are loop-de-loops, echidnas, Green Hill Zone, Mushroom Hill Zone, and of course chili dogs. Sonic even calls Robotnik "Eggman" at one point in the film. There's a bit where Sonic plays a little tune on Robotnik's missiles that sounds like the stage complete music from the games. That's not the only place where music matters.

Indeed, the soundtrack is one more saving grace. The soundtrack includes popular songs that mass audiences will recognize as well as throwbacks. The opening theme from Sonic Mania also opens this movie. Jon Batiste recorded a rendition of the Green Hill Zone theme.
Track list
"Friends" - Hyper Potion
"Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen
"Flight of the Valkyries" - Jim Carrey
"All Fired Up" - The Lazys
"White Lightning" - Tennessee River Crooks
"Bad News" - Ghost Hounds
"I'm Turnin' 'Em Up" - Wyley Randall
"Love In The City" - John Christopher Stokes
"Boom" - X Ambassadors
"Where Evil Grows" - The Poppy Family featuring Terry Jacks
"Catch Me I'm Falling" - Kelly Finnigan
"Green Hill Zone" - Jon Batiste
"Speed Me Up" - Wiz Khalifa,Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, and Sueco the Child


Altogether, Sonic the Hedgehog is a better film than it has any right to be. The road trip buddy comedy format is this movie's biggest hindrance, but there's enough good to outweigh most of the bad.

Verdict: Sonic the Hedgehog 2020 is a solid film with a flimsy plot, a great villain, pretty good CG, and and a darn fine soundtrack. It's the sort of movie you stream once, but you might not bother buying the Blu-ray.

I also watched a movie based on Mortal Kombat this week which takes a whole different approach. More on that next time.
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Michi
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Michi Wed May 20, 2020 9:24 am

New write-up of the week:

Project: Metalbeast

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Interesting mix of Sci-Fi and horror with Kane Hodder as the titular beast. A straight-to-video release that ended up being more entertaining that I thought it would be, even with all the very questionable science :lol:
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Ack
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Ack Wed May 20, 2020 10:18 am

Not as good as Dog Soldiers, still better than Alpha and Full Moon. Good choice, Michi!
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REPO Man
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by REPO Man Thu May 21, 2020 11:45 pm

Fantasy Island, which I felt was quite a good dark fantasy film. I'd love to see a sequel.
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RCBH928
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by RCBH928 Fri May 22, 2020 1:45 pm

Michi wrote:New write-up of the week:

Interesting mix of Sci-Fi and horror with Kane Hodder as the titular beast. A straight-to-video release that ended up being more entertaining that I thought it would be, even with all the very questionable science :lol:


You have such a unique choice when it comes to movie viewing, may I ask how do you even stumble upon these movies?
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stickem
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by stickem Sat May 23, 2020 8:43 pm

RCBH928 wrote:
Michi wrote:New write-up of the week:

Interesting mix of Sci-Fi and horror with Kane Hodder as the titular beast. A straight-to-video release that ended up being more entertaining that I thought it would be, even with all the very questionable science :lol:


You have such a unique choice when it comes to movie viewing, may I ask how do you even stumble upon these movies?


X2 on alot of these reviewers. Definitely not the mainstream crowd.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by prfsnl_gmr Sat May 23, 2020 10:08 pm

My wife and I most recently watched Sunshine (2007) and Solaris (2002). Both are solid sci-fi films that flopped hard at the box office. The first, written by Alex Garland and directed by Danny Boyle, is an astoundingly good thriller with a really dumb premise (and just a touch of good, old-fashioned cosmic horror). The second, written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a heady adaptation of classic, Polish sci-fi novel. It’s not quite as good as the Soviet version from 1972, but it is much brisker and more accessible. I recommend both.
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MrPopo
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by MrPopo Sun May 24, 2020 12:50 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:with a really dumb premise

The dumbness of the premise cannot be overstated.
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