The LTLF Film Thread (sponsored by FBS!)

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Prey​

Set 300 years ago in the world of the Comanche Nation, skilled female warrior Naru fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

This Predator prequel just about ignores everything except the original film. It’s a film that has little touches that people might remember from the original Arnie movie, but this is a prequel after all so a lot of it is brand new and not quite as evolved as in the Arnie film or the subsequent sequels. Yet, I kind of like that about it as the Predator is finding their feet when it comes to their survival and hunting skills. There are moments in this film where the Predator starts to understand their own power and what they can do only when they need to kill. The film is quite gruesome at times. It isn’t afraid to show some of the kills. But some are done just off-camera as well. It’s a film very much designed for a more modern audience where being too adult would throw off a lot of the audience, or least I suspect that’s what they think over at Disney HQ. But the reason the original film was so successful was because it never shied away from showing the kills on-screen. I felt this one could have gone a bit stronger than it actually does.

However, I did quite enjoy the idea that Naru and her tribe are ultimate hunters. That is until they come face to face with the Predator. Then it becomes that hunter becomes the hunted. But also it reverses that when Naru goes out hunting the Predator. There are some neat little hunter/huntee touches in this film. I think the only problem is that it does drag a lot of the time. There are plenty of moments where the film doesn’t feel like it is doing anything of note. It’s more than happy to allow scenes to play out where Naru just wanders aimlessly or is tucked under a tree truck hiding. It did, at times, get a little bit boring. Which is not a good thing to say when the film is one hour and forty minutes long. Even as the film is gearing up to the big finale it still doesn’t really shift out of second gear. It really needed more energy to it all.

I think as Predator sequels/prequels go then this is one of the best (I’m still a fan of Predator 2, no matter what others say). However, it is a little bit underwhelming at times.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
The Outfit​

An expert cutter must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night.

The Outfit looks & feels very much like a chamber piece. It’s set in predominately two rooms and features a minimal cast where it is dialogue that is the order of the day, not bullets. It’s a slow-moving film too. Yet, that’s exactly why it has so much tension running through it because it builds up to a very big finale. Yet there are huge moments along the way that also had me shocked and surprised as to their explosive nature. I won’t give anything away as watching it with minimal information on the actual story is probably the best way to watch this film. I will say this, there were times I wasn’t sure where the film was going or how it was even going to end up. It really kept me guessing every step of the way. I’ve seen this film compared to some of Alfred Hitchcock’s work, and that isn’t far from the truth. It has a very Hitchcock vibe, which I liked a great deal.

I think Mark Rylance is a damn fine actor. He really is a chameleon when it comes to playing different characters. This is the complete opposite to his hilarious performance in The Phantom of The Open. This one is more reserved and serious. You can see his character – Leonard – taking everything in as the night unfolds and using certainly elements to his advantage. But also to the advantage of the mobsters as well. There is that constant thought of who’s side is this guy really on. He certainly keeps you guessing as to what he is really up to. I was also really impressed with Zoey Deutch as Mable, Leonard’s shop assistant. She starts as a secondary character, yet as the film moves on we see her become more involved because she loves working for Leonard and wants to protect him at all costs. But those costs come at a high price as she is dating one of the mobsters. So there is a conflict of interest going on within Mable that she has to work out during the heat of what is unfolding in the shop.

I’m always a fan of character pieces. Films that put actors in a room and make them act with only dialogue and their expressions. No hiding behind anything. The Outfit does that all the way through and it comes out the other side as a really entertaining, thought-provoking piece that will have made you guess many times what is actually happening. A small yet brilliantly formed movie.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Bullet Train​

Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.

Instantly, here is a film that knows what it is, what it wants to do and who it wants to do it with. It’s a film that has a very clear line of everything it sets out to achieve, and I think on the whole it does it all very well. Bullet Train sits somewhere between a Hollywood Blockbuster and the B-Movies of the 60s & 70s. It operates in an area that we don’t see many films made in anymore. This is adult. It doesn’t care that is t is quite relentless with its action or its kills or even its swearing. It’s basically saying: “Hey! I’m a film made for adults” and I like that about it. It is essentially loads of fights all breaking out on a train. The fights are great. They are quick and aggressive and, at times, super funny. I lost count of the amount of times I laughed at a punch or kill or something that one of the assassins did. Its humour is really good. It knows how to play it without over-reaching.

In terms of the stars of the film, it’s a pretty cool bunch. Brad Pitt is the big star and he plays his assassin – Ladybug – in a sort of Deadpool meets The Dude from The Big Lebowski kinda way. It shouldn’t work but Pitt makes it look easy, and it is a heck of a ride watching him do it. I could have watched a film just with his Ladybug in it. However, there are some other assassins on the train. Now, I don’t want to spoil too much about the others so I’m just going to single out Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Tangerine and Bryan Tyree Henry’s Lemon as the pick of the bunch. These two are brothers who are on the train for a very different purpose. They are ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to claim what is theirs. I’ll say this: Taylor-Johnson and Henry worked so well together. A formidable duo that I think Taylor-Johnson just about steals because he looks like 1970s-era Ringo Starr and sounds like he has stepped off the set of a Guy Ritchie film. But then Henry’s Lemon is a Thomas The Tank Engine enthusiast in a very different way, and I liked that about him. All the characters have really good traits, and really bad ones obviously.

Bullet Train is not Train To Busan (another brilliant train film). This is its own movie, and what an entertaining movie it is. Just a non-stop thrill ride that does exactly what it says on the tin. Action, action and more action. And some good dollops of humour.
 

Strummer

Orel Mangala Fan Club
The Outfit​

An expert cutter must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night.

The Outfit looks & feels very much like a chamber piece. It’s set in predominately two rooms and features a minimal cast where it is dialogue that is the order of the day, not bullets. It’s a slow-moving film too. Yet, that’s exactly why it has so much tension running through it because it builds up to a very big finale. Yet there are huge moments along the way that also had me shocked and surprised as to their explosive nature. I won’t give anything away as watching it with minimal information on the actual story is probably the best way to watch this film. I will say this, there were times I wasn’t sure where the film was going or how it was even going to end up. It really kept me guessing every step of the way. I’ve seen this film compared to some of Alfred Hitchcock’s work, and that isn’t far from the truth. It has a very Hitchcock vibe, which I liked a great deal.

I think Mark Rylance is a damn fine actor. He really is a chameleon when it comes to playing different characters. This is the complete opposite to his hilarious performance in The Phantom of The Open. This one is more reserved and serious. You can see his character – Leonard – taking everything in as the night unfolds and using certainly elements to his advantage. But also to the advantage of the mobsters as well. There is that constant thought of who’s side is this guy really on. He certainly keeps you guessing as to what he is really up to. I was also really impressed with Zoey Deutch as Mable, Leonard’s shop assistant. She starts as a secondary character, yet as the film moves on we see her become more involved because she loves working for Leonard and wants to protect him at all costs. But those costs come at a high price as she is dating one of the mobsters. So there is a conflict of interest going on within Mable that she has to work out during the heat of what is unfolding in the shop.

I’m always a fan of character pieces. Films that put actors in a room and make them act with only dialogue and their expressions. No hiding behind anything. The Outfit does that all the way through and it comes out the other side as a really entertaining, thought-provoking piece that will have made you guess many times what is actually happening. A small yet brilliantly formed movie.
To be honest I had not heard of this movie, but if it’s got Mark Rylance in it, I’m going to watch it, because he is frankly a superb actor and anything he is in is well worth a look.
 
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Phooey

Jack Armstrong
Prey​

Set 300 years ago in the world of the Comanche Nation, skilled female warrior Naru fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

This Predator prequel just about ignores everything except the original film. It’s a film that has little touches that people might remember from the original Arnie movie, but this is a prequel after all so a lot of it is brand new and not quite as evolved as in the Arnie film or the subsequent sequels. Yet, I kind of like that about it as the Predator is finding their feet when it comes to their survival and hunting skills. There are moments in this film where the Predator starts to understand their own power and what they can do only when they need to kill. The film is quite gruesome at times. It isn’t afraid to show some of the kills. But some are done just off-camera as well. It’s a film very much designed for a more modern audience where being too adult would throw off a lot of the audience, or least I suspect that’s what they think over at Disney HQ. But the reason the original film was so successful was because it never shied away from showing the kills on-screen. I felt this one could have gone a bit stronger than it actually does.

However, I did quite enjoy the idea that Naru and her tribe are ultimate hunters. That is until they come face to face with the Predator. Then it becomes that hunter becomes the hunted. But also it reverses that when Naru goes out hunting the Predator. There are some neat little hunter/huntee touches in this film. I think the only problem is that it does drag a lot of the time. There are plenty of moments where the film doesn’t feel like it is doing anything of note. It’s more than happy to allow scenes to play out where Naru just wanders aimlessly or is tucked under a tree truck hiding. It did, at times, get a little bit boring. Which is not a good thing to say when the film is one hour and forty minutes long. Even as the film is gearing up to the big finale it still doesn’t really shift out of second gear. It really needed more energy to it all.

I think as Predator sequels/prequels go then this is one of the best (I’m still a fan of Predator 2, no matter what others say). However, it is a little bit underwhelming at times.
I watched it last night and really enjoyed it, definitely up there with Predator 2 for best sequel.
 

Phooey

Jack Armstrong
Good to find another Predator 2 fan

Sent from my SM-G996B using Tapatalk
I loved it, nice to see the Predator in a different environment. There was a series of Predator graphic novels in the early 90's, one of which was built around Dutch's brother Shaef being hunted in the city. It came out several years before Predator 2 and I always wondered if Black Horse had been paid for their input.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
I loved it, nice to see the Predator in a different environment. There was a series of Predator graphic novels in the early 90's, one of which was built around Dutch's brother Shaef being hunted in the city. It came out several years before Predator 2 and I always wondered if Black Horse had been paid for their input.
Didn't know about those graphic novels. Might have to have a quick look at those.

Sent from my SM-G996B using Tapatalk
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Nope​

A horse rangling brother and sister who live in a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

This is the third film from comedian-turned-horror-filmmaker Jordan Peele and once again he has knocked it out of the park with this latest film. Now, I’m not going to give too much away because a lot of things in this movie needs to be seen without even a hint of being spoilt or spoken about. So, let me say that both Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer are the brother and sister are absolutely brilliant here. Kaluuya’s OJ is a low-key, almost solemn character who just wants to get on with his life and try and bring in a bit of money by using some of his horses in TV commercials and also films. His sister, Emerald, is the live wire. She has a million different things going on at once and is never fully fixed into one thing, which really annoys her brother. Their father dies while out riding a horse and they try to seek answers as to what happened. Then they start to discover some strange noises in the sky that spook the horses. Saying any more would ruin the rest of the film.

But it’s safe to say that I was captivated by this film all the way through. I really wasn’t sure what was happening at any given moment. I had hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I got chills. I started to perspire. I even said “Nope” several times when some things were happening. Now, that sounds like I’m describing a horror film. And while Peele’s previous two films could very much be described as horror, Nope is very much Science Fiction. Yet it has a slight horror edge to it. It’s also all grounded in reality because everything that OJ and Emerald do looks & feels like something all of us would do in those situations… well, possibly.

I want to mention the sound design on this film. Absolutely incredible. Some of the noises and sounds in this film and the way it is pushed through different speakers is amazing. Probably the best sound design I’ve heard since Denis Villeneuve’s film Arrival. Which this film has a few things in common with. Also, the cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema is stunning. His previous work with Christopher Nolan, especially Intersteller, really put him in good stead for his work here.

it needs to be seen on the big screen because it is even more impactful. I’m going to say this is Jordan Peele’s best film to date. It’s not as political as his other two. Or at least on the surface it doesn’t seem to be. There is a lot to unpack in this film. I cannot wait to see it again and again and again. So, don’t read anything more about this film. Don’t listen to anything more on it. Ignore the trailers. Just go and see it. It is one heck of a ride. I loved this film.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Sonic The Hedgehog 2​

When the manic Dr Robotnik returns to Earth with a new ally, Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic and his new friend Tails is all that stands in their way.

More Jim Carrey doing Dr Robotnik is never a bad thing in my book. I loved his performance in the first film. So classic Jim Carrey. In this one we see less of him unfortunately. However, when he is on-screen he still steals the film. So Carrey is still the best thing about this franchise. Sadly, this franchise has now done one of the major wrong things some franchises do when they hit big straight off the bat, and that is introduce loads more characters. So now we have Knuckles and Tails both involved and also a load more secondary characters. The film is too packed with characters now and as such the storyline is trying to have all of them have their own moments and it just becomes a real mess. The Knuckles storyline is overblown and overlong. The Tails storyline is annoying, but then to be fair the character in the games was annoying. He is Sonic’s version of Scrappy-Doo. Nobody likes him. It’s a waste of screentime. So we get more characters but less actual storyline for Sonic and his new family, which is what this film is pushing. That Sonic is now part of Tom & Maddie’s family life. He is like their son. It’s an interesting take but one that never really pays off because the film is too interested in running off to the next plot point so it can get more Sonic vs bad guys action.

There are some good action set pieces. The best is when Dr Robotnik and Knuckles are running through a temple being pursued by a boulder and then having to dodge all manner of traps throughout. It’s a sequence that is ripped direct from the computer games and is actually done really well. I though the giant robot Dr Robotnik was pretty awesome and then is some fun to be had in that action set piece. So I think the action is still pretty good, much like the last film.

The issue is that there is too much storyline and characters to cram into one movie. It’s bloated big time and that’s a shame because more time with Knuckles would have been good. Less time with Tails would have been excellent. So this sequel isn’t as good as the first film. Yet, there are some genuine highlights that are worth watching the film for.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Where Is Anne Frank​

Set in Amsterdam in the near future where Kitty embarks on a journey to find Anne, who she believes is still alive in Europe somewhere.

This is a really interesting way of bringing Anne Frank’s story to an entirely new generation, or generations. It’s an animated feature film that is about Anne Frank’s life and diary and it is also about a girl who discovers a kinship with Anne but she lives many decades afterwards and yet is directly talking to Anne in some of the scenes. So it’s almost a fantasy time travel real-life drama documentary adventure, if such a thing exists. I have to say I was fascinated by this film because of how different it is. Its storytelling is very unique and you really get to understand Kitty much more because of her association with Anne. These are not just two schoolgirls giggling and talking about boys, I mean the film does start like that, but after that it becomes way more nuanced and insightful into both their lives. Anne is explaining what is happening to her family to Kitty, and why they are having to hide in a secret apartment. As Anne explains more Kitty, who is actually reading it in Anne’s diary but see’s it more as if Anne is actually there telling her, the film becomes a dark telling of Nazi occupation and the atrocities that they were committing all while Anne and her family are in hiding. As the film moves on it suddenly changes into just Kitty’s story because Anne disappears on her. Obviously, those who know the Frank’s story will know why but Kitty doesn’t and she goes looking for her and even tries to file a missing persons report at the Police station. Kitty has lost her best friend and the only way she knows to get her back is to steal Anne’s diary from the museum. A huge media campaign starts to find the criminal who took it. But Kitty doesn’t see it like that. She see’s it as the only way she can be close to her friend.

The film, while showcasing the Frank’s story, is also one about friendship and kinship and even finding solace in someone’s writing when you are coming of age. The film is so multi-layered that it’s hard to pick everything up in one viewing. The animation is gorgeous to look at. It’s very much in keeping with Ari Folman’s previous adult animated movie Waltz With Bashir. But it doesn’t take the impact away from the storyline, which is the main importance of this film.

This is a really interesting way to tell a story we all know but in a very different way. I liked this a lot.
 

HBB

Geoff Thomas
To be honest I had not heard of this movie, but if it’s got Mark Rylance in it, I’m going to watch it, because he is frankly a superb actor and anything he is in is well worth a look.
I'm the opposite I find the man impossible to watch and I've seen him on stage too at The Globe... but each to their own!!
 
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