Movie Watcher's Oasis

Movie Discussion Boards => Pretentious Elitist Snob Discussion => Topic started by: Diego Tutweiller on December 25, 2016, 08:01:50 pm


Title: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 25, 2016, 08:01:50 pm
I finally gave in and made a Letterboxd page recently, and I've rediscovered my love of writing at length about movies. The page is here, (http://letterboxd.com/DiegoTut/) but for those of you who don't use the site, I'll post a review here occasionally. These won't be as long as they once were, but Paasche (I think) and a few other people have said that they miss Tut's Tutillating Reviews, so here's my review for Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad (2016)

I found it funny when people walked out of Suicide Squad saying that it was ruined in the editing, or by studio meddling, or that the "extended edition" would probably be much better. Anyone paying attention to this movie in the months prior to its release should have known that it was going to be an utter disaster regardless of what was left on the cutting room floor. This lazy, stupid, messy mishmash of superhero cliches and tonal inconsistencies blows me away the more I think about it. If I had made a movie this bad, I'd have simply pushed the release date back another six months or so in order to get my act together. The fact that they actually released this in theaters... it's simply baffling.

Yes, the editing is a mess. Yes, the tone shifts wildly between "edgy" comedy and exhaustingly boring action. Yes, the first half-hour is devoted to establishing a group of action-figure characters through witless and plodding exposition. But let's say that Suicide Squad had been a well-assembled movie (at least in terms of editing), to the point that it actually had a narrative thrust. What then?

Then we still would have been left with a horrific performance from Jared Leto, countless scenes of ugly and incomprehensible action, a generic plot, too many useless characters, and Will Smith not giving a shit about anything. Worst of all, we'd still have to endure cringe-inducing attempts at humor (mostly from the insufferable Harley Quinn). For all the praise she's gotten, Margot Robbie (sorry, CRITIC'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER MARGOT ROBBIE) is terrible in this movie-- her performance is so irritating you almost forget to ask why she's even on the team in the first place. Good thing we've got Margot Robbie in fishnets with a baseball bat to defend us from these mutant zombie alien hordes, everyone! America is saved!

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/50/Suicide_Squad_%28film%29_Poster.png/220px-Suicide_Squad_%28film%29_Poster.png)

None of the logic behind the film's premise ever coheres. It pays lip service to actually having a plot, but it's clear early on that what little structure there is only exists for the movie to showcase its action, CGI, and characters. Even for people who care about these villains, I'm not sure there's much fun to be had here. Viola Davis' character, a government agent, assembles the titular squad on the basis that they can be used for suicide missions and then disavowed should they be captured or killed. Then she sends soldiers into battle with them, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. And really, when the villain is another evil being from another dimension that wants to destroy all of humanity, why would you need to disavow your agents' actions? And what good is a guy named "Captain Boomerang" going to do in this scenario? I suppose Davis and I can see eye-to-eye on one thing-- throughout the film, she repeatedly insists that the characters are the "worst of the worst," and after sitting through this tremendous bore, I'm inclined to agree with her.

On some very fundamental levels, this movie does not understand what it wants to be. It tries to set itself apart from Marvel using a darker tone, but it still tries to incorporate humor and witless banter because the studio heads knew it was too morose. It tries to be different and original, but the climax is just another mindless horde of baddies surrounding a blue laser shooting up into the sky. And it tries to use its unusual premise to its advantage, but is unable to make these antiheroes anything more than boring action figures. Sorry, but I was not enthralled by the fleshed-out and wholly fascinating character of "Slipknot," whose head gets blown up after he's had about two minutes of screentime. I'd say it was a case of wasted potential, but that would require thinking there was some potential in the first place.

If Suicide Squad isn't the worst movie of the year, I don't know what is. Unlike Batman v Superman, it can't even be watched as an unintentional comedy, mainly because the feeble attempts at humor are so misguided and clunky. Everything about this film-- from the idiotic premise to the disgusting candy-colored visuals-- makes me sick to my stomach. It's quite frankly a disgusting piece of work. I can't remember feeling this good about seeing a film fail critically in a very, very long time. Nothing deserves it more.



Also, for those of you who do use Letterboxd, have you thought about advertising/recruiting for this site on there? It seems like the logical thing to do. There are some smart people over there.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: J. Kashmir on December 25, 2016, 08:05:11 pm
I've considered tecruiting, but it's a bit awkward with Milito still in the mix. I suppose it depends on the user, but if you were to try and move forward with efforts you'd have to account for that.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Cutler de Chateau on December 25, 2016, 08:23:20 pm
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 26, 2016, 01:38:46 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: CT_Sexybeast on December 26, 2016, 05:56:27 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: John Tyler on December 26, 2016, 10:00:08 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
*takes a swig*

Eh, I'm okay with it.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 29, 2016, 01:05:33 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: John Tyler on December 29, 2016, 01:07:50 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Just updated. (http://letterboxd.com/johntyler/)
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 29, 2016, 01:25:08 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Just updated. (http://letterboxd.com/johntyler/)

Cool. I'm working on other methods of reaching out to movie-watching communities across the internet, but stuff like this is a good first step. If only we could create some kind of major news article about ourselves again...
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: CT_Sexybeast on December 29, 2016, 02:00:18 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Will do. Wish the url didn't have "trollfighters" in it, tbh. Think that might be a turn-off to some people.

Also, changing my name so that if anyone joins, they can locate me.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 29, 2016, 02:06:48 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Will do. Wish the url didn't have "trollfighters" in it, tbh. Think that might be a turn-off to some people.

Yeah, I've said before that I want to change this site's url... not sure how I'd go about doing that, though.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: CT_Sexybeast on December 29, 2016, 02:10:48 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Will do. Wish the url didn't have "trollfighters" in it, tbh. Think that might be a turn-off to some people.

Yeah, I've said before that I want to change this site's url... not sure how I'd go about doing that, though.
Yeah same here. I'll have to look into it.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Robert Neville on December 29, 2016, 02:18:02 am
Had a Letterboxd account

Before it was cool

I have a plan. My main purpose is to first establish myself, then use John and Tatum's not-insignificant presence on the site to advertise the Oasis. If they're okay with it, of course.
I've been debating doing this for a while now. At first I was trying to keep my Letterboxd community somewhat seperate from the Oasis, but if others want to advertise, I'll totally join.

All right. Well, firstly, a good idea might be to put the Oasis' url up for your website on your profile. I put it up as mine, but I've only got 15 followers thus far, so we might get more curious visitors if you or John does it.
Just updated. (http://letterboxd.com/johntyler/)

Cool. I'm working on other methods of reaching out to movie-watching communities across the internet, but stuff like this is a good first step. If only we could create some kind of major news article about ourselves again...

That was fun, but did it really attract anyone? I think it lost us a member, if anything, as Damien Parker (remember him?) went from occasionally posting to not posting at all after his mom found out through the article.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 29, 2016, 02:56:25 am
That was fun, but did it really attract anyone? I think it lost us a member, if anything, as Damien Parker (remember him?) went from occasionally posting to not posting at all after his mom found out through the article.

Damien was Tatum all along. And we've had two big news stories about us-- the Indiewire incident and the 5=7 meme. When the Indiewire thing happened, we didn't have our own site. And I stupidly did not see the potential of 5=7 at the time, and didn't use it to subtly put in a plug for the Oasis. Clearly we have the capability to do this, but it'll have to be done right.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 30, 2016, 02:28:38 am
Assassin's Creed

If Assassin's Creed had any chance of making its budget back, I'd feel bad about seeing it in theaters. But compared to the many other big, dumb, and unoriginal action films that came out this year, this film seems absolutely harmless. It doesn't have the unstoppable juggernaut of Disney or DC Comics behind it, and it's going to crash and burn at the box office, due in part to the pitiful 18% it's received on Rotten Tomatoes thus far. It's pathetic (and pretty funny), and it will likely have very little impact on the cultural mainstream, so I'm a little more lenient on it than I typically would be.

That said, Assassin's Creed is a woefully misguided mess that you would be foolish to ever put yourself through. This film tells the story of a modern-day criminal who is sentenced to death, then abducted after his lethal execution is faked (?) and taken to a facility where the Illuminati uses his blood to see the memories of his ancestor (??), who belonged to a secret society of assassins whose task was to guard a magical apple that could control all of humanity's capacity for free will (???). Oh, and it may or may not have been made by aliens. Or divine beings. Still not sure about that one.

Yes... well, in all fairness, people don't play video games for the plot any more than they subscribe to Playboy for the articles. I'm sure that Assassin's Creed (the video game) has plenty of fun gameplay to distract from the unintentional hilarity that is its story. The difference here, as it is with all film adaptations of video games, is that the audience is not directly involved in the action enough to ignore the ludicrous plot surrounding it. But even the action sequences in this film, which should have been its most impressive feature, are incredibly poor. It's as if the effects budget wasn't enough to cover everything the filmmakers wanted, so they threw smoke, fog, and mist in front of the screen in order to obscure our view (and hopefully leave enough in the effects budget for some much-needed tequila). It's as close to literal "smoke and mirrors" as we're ever going to get.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a0/Assassin%27s_Creed_film_poster.jpg/220px-Assassin%27s_Creed_film_poster.jpg)

I don't often offer up my own ideas for how to fix a movie (it's far more fun to just sit back and complain), but I do feel that there was potential here, so allow me to go off on a hypothetical. If I were making this film, I'd cut out all the modern-day scenes and simply tell the story in the 14th century, then use the boost in the effects budget to more accurately capture the atmosphere of the time period. Just a thought. I know nobody involved in the production of this movie cared enough to do that, and the omission of the video game's main plot point would undoubtedly have irked the target audience, so forget it. But without drastic changes to the story (such as what I've suggested here), this project was doomed from the start.

Attempts were made at creating something of quality, I suppose (which is the highest praise I can give the film). Michael Fassbender plays the lead character(s), portraying both the present-day criminal and the ancient assassin, and his involvement was enough to give some people hope that the film would be good. However, his early scenes lead to some of the film's finest moments of unintentional hilarity-- are we to believe that Blackadder had it right, and that people look exactly the same as their ancestors no matter how much time has elapsed? By the time a robo-arm from the ceiling reaches down and grabs him by the waist, all hope is lost. And when he starts doing bad Tai Chi in an empty room... well... I'd be lying if I said I didn't chuckle.

To call Assassin's Creed inept is an understatement. It's truthfully one of the most enthusiastically terrible films I've ever seen. But there's still something about this odd, worthless movie that's appealing-- it really doesn't purport itself to be anything more than absolute crap. Compared to a film like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which tries in vain to make some sort of weighty political commentary, Assassin's Creed is positively lighthearted. The movie is trash, but it's harmless trash, and it's not turning an entire generation of moviegoers into brainwashed, popcorn-chomping slobs like DC and Marvel are. So congratulations, Assassin's Creed. You made it over that very, very low bar. I suppose that counts for something.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on December 31, 2016, 04:14:44 am
The Empire Strikes Back

(In honor of Carrie Fisher.)

Regardless of how you feel about Star Wars, or sci-fi in general, the skill and creative energy on display in The Empire Strikes Back is undeniable. This beautifully made film tells a sweeping story with incredible ease, bringing together some of the most iconic and memorable elements of the series and presenting the audience with human characters and powerful emotions. There has not been a film like it since, and I do not expect to see anything like it ever again.

Whether they realize it or not, most Star Wars fans love the franchise because of this film. A New Hope established the characters, but Empire builds on them, and for a brief moment in the series we get to see into their minds in ways that are not duplicated in any subsequent entries. The decisions they make and the courses of action they choose tell us about them. Their compassion for one another comes out when they are put in danger, and through that the film conveys the perilous world these characters inhabit. Their bravery is shown not through hamfisted dialogue or quippy one-liners in the face of certain death-- instead, it is implied through the simplest of actions, such as pulling a pistol on the deadliest man in the galaxy, or warning someone of a trap while still in mortal danger.

The movie looks real in a way that neither the CGI hellscapes of the prequels nor the sound stages of Disney's films have been able to replicate. We are given battle scenes that show the chaos and complexity of warfare, but still do not entrench us in the action to the point of confusion. The final lightsaber fight, the best in the series, is perfectly choreographed and expertly lit. It's no coincidence that Empire is the one film in the original trilogy that remained virtually untouched by Lucas' "Special Editions." From a visual standpoint, the film is virtually flawless.

But what drives this movie is the characters and their decisions. Luke's impulsiveness and impatience is established in this film, fleshing out his character and illustrating his flaws. By subjecting him to a tricky first test, Yoda demonstrates perfectly why Luke is reckless and unreliable, which in turn establishes Yoda's character. His quotes have become so ingrained in the cultural mainstream, we forget sometimes just how intelligent he is. From his first scene ("Wars not make one great"), the casual way in which he dispenses ingenious wisdom captures the audience's attention and imagination. It's not just the result of an intelligent character. It's the result of an intelligent screenwriter.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/3c/SW_-_Empire_Strikes_Back.jpg/220px-SW_-_Empire_Strikes_Back.jpg)

The burgeoning romance between Han and Leia rounds the film out, and gives it a more relatable and human aspect. The two characters work perfectly together, and the romance develops in believable and realistic ways. It borrows heavily from the sci-fi serial playbook-- the charming rogue protecting the vulnerable princess (and I'm sure someone has found something to whine about here with regards to gender roles), but given the franchise's history of taking inspiration from Flash Gordon and similar sources, it works. Han proves in this film that he can put his money where his mouth is, and time and again he demonstrates uncommon cleverness and daring that eventually wins Leia over. He doesn't have to fight the enemy-- he outwits them. This is why he's such an enduring character (and also why kids still dress up as him instead of pretending to be Qui-Gon Jinn).

I haven't even touched on the film's most iconic moment, where Luke discovers who his father truly is, but not much needs to be said about it. It's a scene that hits all the necessary dramatic beats with astonishing grace. If I could go back in time to watch any film in theaters during its initial release, it would probably be The Empire Strikes Back, if only to witness the audience's reaction to what is arguably the most famous and memorable twist ending in cinematic history. In the end, it's this psychological blow-- not the opening battle scene-- that best personifies the film's title.

I could go on. It's not that Empire is for everyone, but if someone denies the artistry and expert craftsmanship of this movie, I am unlikely to take their opinions on film seriously. It shows an inability to look past genre and instead appreciate an incredibly passionate and human story for what it is. The amount of wisdom, love, pain, and beauty packed into this movie is unprecedented, and it is far and away the best film in the franchise.

In the end, Chewbacca's despondent roar when Han Solo goes missing in the film's beginning has more emotion and depth than every film in the godawful prequel trilogy combined. In a perfect world, Empire could just have been a stepping stone to even further greatness. As it is, however, it's hard to imagine anything ever topping this.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on February 04, 2017, 02:46:47 am
Passengers review is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/passengers-2016/) I won't paste it here since it contains spoilers. Just know that I was a bit more complimentary than I expected to be (probably due to phenomenally low expectations).
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Caleb Paasche on February 04, 2017, 01:43:23 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on February 05, 2017, 03:01:01 am
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Tho Master Fie on February 05, 2017, 03:37:23 am
Paris is stale..but it's war if we fail.  And in the migrant hotels, they never sleep they never wil
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 13, 2017, 02:59:59 pm
Come and See review is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/come-and-see/)
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 01:21:55 am
Free Fire

I haven't cottoned on to Ben Wheatley's directorial style as much as others have. His 2016 film High-Rise was a visually impressive yet overwhelmingly blunt class warfare movie with very little to offer in the way of original social commentary. The film's vision of societal collapse was fairly shallow, and Wheatley seemed more concerned with setting up memorable visual moments than offering any thoughts on inequality or decadence. Even at its best moments, the movie was noncommittal fluff.

Wheatley's latest film, Free Fire, does away with the pretense of social commentary that plagued High-Rise, and the change is arguably an improvement. But while the movie does have its charms, it still lacks originality, a trait that was similarly absent in High-Rise. I'm not one to complain much about films that reuse time-tested premises, so long as they shake up the formula a little bit. Free Fire doesn't do much in the way of that, and the comparisons made between it and the films of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie are numerous and warranted. It's fleetingly entertaining, but easily forgettable.

The film takes place in one location-- an abandoned Boston warehouse-- which functions as a meeting place between a group of IRA members and a group of gun dealers. Through a messy turn of events, the deal goes south, and the two sides engage in a gun battle that eventually leaves them all crippled on the floor, scrabbling through dust and glass to attack one another as they bleed out. There are a number of ways this story could have been made more original and interesting. Wheatley could have taken a cue from 2016's Green Room and constructed a more sinister tone, turning his film into a mix between dark comedy and genuine horror. Or he could have committed completely to the Tarantino/Ritchie route, and toyed with a slightly more complex plot while still maintaining the movie's lighthearted tone. It's an intriguing premise, but while it's enough to fill a blurb on the back of a DVD sleeve, it's not enough for a 90-minute feature. So, what does Wheatley do to shake off the obvious Tarantino comparisons and make the movie his own?

Well... not much. Free Fire has plenty of gunfights, as well as a few clever insults and one-liners. It sets up some compelling action pieces, and definitely delivers on the violence. And the cast is largely believable, even if there aren't any standout performances. But rarely does it innovate on the genre. When characters turn on one another, it's not because they've discovered some shocking revelation, or because their business interests diverged. It's because someone gave them a dirty look, or someone was in their way, or because they got shot by accident. The gunfight itself erupts as a result of a personal feud, which is a far less interesting impetus for violence than, say, the plot of Reservoir Dogs or The Hateful Eight. It all comes across as very forced, and as the gunfight mushrooms out of control, it's hard to root for one side or even one character. It's wholly uninteresting.

Now, the climax is arguably an interesting plot twist, but here's my problem with it (without getting into spoilers). If you're going to have the character we least expect turn out to be the villain, we're going to have expected it from the get-go. It was painfully obvious to me who the "winner" of the gunfight would be after the character spoke their first line of dialogue. I don't know if this was intentional, or if Wheatley was actually trying to do some sort of Usual Suspects-style plot twist, but either way it didn't work at all. The "twist" is just as blunt and obvious as the rest of the film.

For all I've said about it here, Free Fire is far from unwatchable. It's actually a pretty good time, at least in the moment, and the action scene-to-scene is well-shot and choreographed. As a whole though, the movie did not capture my imagination or my curiosity. It's a cheap action knock-off that borrows from much better films, and you'll be much better off watching any of the films I compared it to in this review than spending your time on it. Its premise is solid, but it's not creative enough to justify its existence. Just like High-Rise was, it's all style and no substance.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Caleb Paasche on June 15, 2017, 07:46:02 am
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 12:26:28 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Eight sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: John Tyler on June 15, 2017, 12:31:56 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 12:33:27 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Cutler de Chateau on June 15, 2017, 12:40:59 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 12:46:12 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.

Not bots. I've just figured out the perfect method of getting people to follow you back on Letterboxd. Before my trip, I was adding nearly fifty new followers every week.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Cutler de Chateau on June 15, 2017, 12:56:12 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.

Not bots. I've just figured out the perfect method of getting people to follow you back on Letterboxd. Before my trip, I was adding nearly fifty new followers every week.

"Letterboxd HATES him.  But he found the perfect way to gain 50 FOLLOWERS A WEEK!  And his method will SHOCK YOU!"
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 12:59:43 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.

Not bots. I've just figured out the perfect method of getting people to follow you back on Letterboxd. Before my trip, I was adding nearly fifty new followers every week.

"Letterboxd HATES him.  But he found the perfect way to gain 50 FOLLOWERS A WEEK!  And his method will SHOCK YOU!"

But Cutler... I really do have ONE WEIRD TRICK that users from the MOVIE WATCHERS OASIS need to know-- and IT WORKS!
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Cutler de Chateau on June 15, 2017, 01:01:22 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Right sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.

Not bots. I've just figured out the perfect method of getting people to follow you back on Letterboxd. Before my trip, I was adding nearly fifty new followers every week.

"Letterboxd HATES him.  But he found the perfect way to gain 50 FOLLOWERS A WEEK!  And his method will SHOCK YOU!"

But Cutler... I really do have ONE WEIRD TRICK that users from the MOVIE WATCHERS OASIS need to know-- and IT WORKS!

What is it!?  I'm DYING TO KNOW!
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: John Tyler on June 15, 2017, 01:10:29 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Eight sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
He does have a Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/calebpaasche/


That don't count.

Paasche, what if I told you I could have 300 followers for you by December?

Hahahaha!  Bots!?  Caleb, I could get you 5000 followers.  All real people by August.

Not bots. I've just figured out the perfect method of getting people to follow you back on Letterboxd. Before my trip, I was adding nearly fifty new followers every week.

"Letterboxd HATES him.  But he found the perfect way to gain 50 FOLLOWERS A WEEK!  And his method will SHOCK YOU!"

But Cutler... I really do have ONE WEIRD TRICK that users from the MOVIE WATCHERS OASIS need to know-- and IT WORKS!

What is it!?  I'm DYING TO KNOW!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pdWAcK6Eh8
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Caleb Paasche on June 15, 2017, 05:55:23 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Eight sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
I have one, but for some reason I didn't ever really get in the flow of using it. I should though, definitely a better place to keep track of rating/thoughts on films than my head. I wouldn't write full reviews for every movie I see since they take me a fair while to compose (usually an hour or two), but I do think it'd be nice to at least get a few thoughts down after I see a film and have some longer ones on there as well.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 08:18:59 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Eight sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
I have one, but for some reason I didn't ever really get in the flow of using it. I should though, definitely a better place to keep track of rating/thoughts on films than my head. I wouldn't write full reviews for every movie I see since they take me a fair while to compose (usually an hour or two), but I do think it'd be nice to at least get a few thoughts down after I see a film and have some longer ones on there as well.

The community there is filled with dummies, but there are some intelligent folk. I hope you do start using it again. We need more people to bring balance to this ridiculously lopsided chart.

(Each square represents 10 followers.)
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Suspect #1 on June 15, 2017, 08:53:00 pm
I've never played the Assassin's Creed games, but after reading your plot synopsis I do have to wonder how anyone ever thought this movie might be good.

Yeah, it's shocking, isn't it? Imagine the good that budget could have done if it had gone to, say, The Lobster Circle...
Super late but I was just reading this review because of the new one you put up and I actually agree with you about most of this. I still maintain, and have told people in real life, that Passengers deserved a better reception than it got- hell, I was going to give it a positive score until the end where it devolved completely
Spoiler (hover to show)
. Also, for the record, I didn't think about it at the time but you're absolutely right in that flipping the narrative a bit to surprise both us and Lawrence at the same time would have made this movie much better.


Yeah, I thought that would be an interesting way of telling the story. Kind of a Hateful Eight sort of thing. It wouldn't have fixed the movie, but it would have at least given us a big shock halfway through (rather than the hour of romantic dreck we got instead).

Are you ever going to make a Letterboxd account, Paasche? I'd be interested in reading your reviews.
I have one, but for some reason I didn't ever really get in the flow of using it. I should though, definitely a better place to keep track of rating/thoughts on films than my head. I wouldn't write full reviews for every movie I see since they take me a fair while to compose (usually an hour or two), but I do think it'd be nice to at least get a few thoughts down after I see a film and have some longer ones on there as well.

The community there is filled with dummies, but there are some intelligent folk. I hope you do start using it again. We need more people to bring balance to this ridiculously lopsided chart.

(Each square represents 10 followers.)

I still can't believe that Sally Jane Black account.  She (hopefully didn't misgender them there!) finds a way to get offended about every single movie.  I saw her review for Wonder Woman pop up in my feed, and I couldn't believe it.

Some people on there I follow because I genuinely like their reviews, some people I randomly follow just so I can get a general consensus opinion on the site, and then others I follow because their reviews are insane.  Sally falls into the latter category..
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 08:57:39 pm
I still can't believe that Sally Jane Black account.  She (hopefully didn't misgender them there!) finds a way to get offended about every single movie.  I saw her review for Wonder Woman pop up in my feed, and I couldn't believe it.

Some people on there I follow because I genuinely like their reviews, some people I randomly follow just so I can get a general consensus opinion on the site, and then others I follow because their reviews are insane.  Sally falls into the latter category..

Do not follow that retarded transqueer. Every time I think of him/her/it, I remember Cutler's wise words on the subject.

These people are future Nazis.  Blue eyes, blonde hair will turn to man with wig, chick with dick
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Suspect #1 on June 15, 2017, 09:01:09 pm
I still can't believe that Sally Jane Black account.  She (hopefully didn't misgender them there!) finds a way to get offended about every single movie.  I saw her review for Wonder Woman pop up in my feed, and I couldn't believe it.

Some people on there I follow because I genuinely like their reviews, some people I randomly follow just so I can get a general consensus opinion on the site, and then others I follow because their reviews are insane.  Sally falls into the latter category..

Do not follow that retarded transqueer. Every time I think of him/her/it, I remember Cutler's wise words on the subject.

These people are future Nazis.  Blue eyes, blonde hair will turn to man with wig, chick with dick

I just unfollowed.  If I ever need a good laugh, I can always go back there.  Of course though, that laugh will probably be followed up with a long, slow head shake.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 15, 2017, 09:02:28 pm
I still can't believe that Sally Jane Black account.  She (hopefully didn't misgender them there!) finds a way to get offended about every single movie.  I saw her review for Wonder Woman pop up in my feed, and I couldn't believe it.

Some people on there I follow because I genuinely like their reviews, some people I randomly follow just so I can get a general consensus opinion on the site, and then others I follow because their reviews are insane.  Sally falls into the latter category..

Do not follow that retarded transqueer. Every time I think of him/her/it, I remember Cutler's wise words on the subject.

These people are future Nazis.  Blue eyes, blonde hair will turn to man with wig, chick with dick

I just unfollowed.  If I ever need a good laugh, I can always go back there.  Of course though, that laugh will probably be followed up with a long, slow head shake.

Thank you. I just had a look at its Wonder Woman review... that creature is a menace.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: CT_Sexybeast on June 15, 2017, 11:40:53 pm
I've been trying to keep my Letterboxd life fairly separate from my forum one, but I'll look for recruits. 
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on June 25, 2017, 04:25:27 pm
My review for Beatriz at Dinner is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/beatriz-at-dinner/) I think this was one of my best, to be honest. Hopefully it'll make it to the highest-voted reviews for the movie and discourage others from seeing it.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: J. Kashmir on June 25, 2017, 04:55:42 pm
My review for Beatriz at Dinner is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/beatriz-at-dinner/) I think this was one of my best, to be honest. Hopefully it'll make it to the highest-voted reviews for the movie and discourage others from seeing it.
Your scathing movie reviews are often your best ones, and this is no exception. Nice work.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on July 10, 2017, 01:21:04 am
Alien: Covenant review is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/alien-covenant/) Some spoilers are present, but honestly, it's probably nothing you couldn't guess just from seeing the trailers/being familiar with the franchise as a whole.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on July 18, 2017, 11:39:06 pm
Just a nine-paragraph review of The Circle. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/the-circle-2017/) I had a lot of fun with this one, given how much I hated the book.

Full text:



You know, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and it's still many orders of magnitude better than the book it was based on.

Dave Eggers' The Circle was utterly embarrassing. The characters were inconsistent. The dialogue was among the worst I've ever read from a professional author. The man should be ashamed that he even submitted such sloppy tripe for publishing. But ignoring all that, the book frustrated me because I agreed wholeheartedly with the message it tried (and failed) to convey. If there's anything worse than propaganda, it's bad propaganda-- preachy, intolerable moralizing supported by flimsy straw-man arguments and ridiculous exaggeration. When someone on your side puts out bad propaganda, it reflects badly on you. That book made me feel like an idiot for agreeing with Dave Eggers.

The Circle (the book) was met with widespread critical acclaim, for reasons I cannot fathom. So now that the film adaptation is an absolute disaster in every sense of the word, I ask fans of the book to answer one simple question: In what way is this movie significantly worse than the novel? In adapting his book to the screen, Eggers did make some changes-- he trimmed off a lot of fluff (including more-- yes, more kayaking scenes), and he altered the ending of the story in an attempt to give his main character some semblance of an arc. These are positive changes.

Aside from this, The Circle (2017) is just as bad as the novel that spawned it. The film stars Emma Watson as Mae, a woman whose friend gets her a job at a company called the Circle, which is headquartered somewhere near San Jose. As a character, Mae is the biggest problem with both the film and the book-- the Circle is clearly invasive and authoritarian from minute one, yet she spinelessly toes the corporate line, grovelling to her bosses and voluntarily engaging in wanton acts of privacy violation. Eggers fails to create any sort of slippery slope here, and instead of seeing a naive young woman get slowly sucked into a brainwashing machine (an approach that would parallel how real cults operate), we are presented with a main character who seems to willfully submit herself to her corporate overlords within a few short weeks. Mae's first scenes at the Circle are filled with obvious warning signs, to the point that it's almost comical she doesn't notice them. The result is that we do not respect her intelligence, and we certainly don't cheer for her.

It doesn't help that the character is horribly written as well, though she is not unique in this regard. The writing in this movie has been compared to the prose of Tommy Wiseau, and I must say that the comparison is earned. Every single character is inconsistent, serving only to push the plot forward-- most of their motivations can be explained by "this needed to happen in this scene, and so it did." One scene, where Mae is confronted by her childhood friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane), is exceptionally poor. The pair exchange a string of generic, flat dialogue ("I can't be a part of this world you're creating!" "Look at these people! Something's wrong with them!" "We used to go on adventures and have fun, and you were brave and excited!") before Mercer offhandedly says "Bye" and walks out of the frame. During this supposedly heated argument, both actors stand rigidly, with their arms hanging limp at their sides. It looks like a production put on by a middle school drama troupe, and that's not an exaggeration.

Though the subplots have certainly been trimmed down for the film adaptation, they're still numerous and wholly uninteresting. John Boyega plays Ty, a former head honcho at the Circle who has decided to go underground (literally) and fight his company's invasive technology. This is where the story could have really lifted off, with a tech-thriller suspense tale about Mae and Ty teaming up to bring down the corporate powers-that-be. Instead, Ty is given so little screentime he hardly qualifies as a character, and he instead makes most of his appearances shaking his head disapprovingly in the background while a new product is being discussed. Meanwhile, even after he tells Mae the dark truth about the company and its plans for the future, she continues to passively go along with the Circle's plans. He literally shows her the underground vault where the company plans to store all the data in the world and warns her of the imminent danger of corporate surveillance, and then she goes back to work and the vault is never discussed again. I have no idea what the significance of that scene was, or what Eggers was trying to accomplish with it. It only serves to make his main character even less likable.

It's impossible to overstate how terrible of a character Mae is. She has no convictions or moral compass whatsoever-- if a character is telling her that the Circle is bad, she agrees. If a character tells her it's good, she agrees to that as well. When Ty asks her what she thinks of one of the company's stunts, she says "It was a bit much." A few scenes later, she voluntarily chooses to do the exact same thing. Her friends warn her about the company's invasion of privacy, and so instead of doing something about it, she goes to a board meeting and proposes the most invasive, borderline fascistic idea she can think of. Mae seems to go wherever the prevailing winds are blowing, and when she finally takes charge in the end, her transformation is rushed and sloppy. It only serves to make her character more inconsistent.

This waffling, bland character becomes a complete contradiction later in the film as she ascends the ranks of the corporation for no clear reason. The CEO of the company (Tom Hanks) seems to see something in Mae that we don't, and allows her to speak at board meetings, pitch ideas, and run seminars. Didn't this woman just join the customer service department about two months ago? Does she have any experience in the tech world at all? Mae's marketable skills essentially amount to blogging and "live-streaming" her daily activities, and once you realize she's no better than those idiots on YouTube who tell fake personal stories, it makes her incredibly easy to hate. And yes, while all of these problems were present in the novel as well, a good performance might have saved the film (well, maybe not saved, but at least lessened the damage). Emma Watson is not capable of giving that performance-- she's no better in this than those kids in the Divergent movies. Granted, she has zero material to work with, but it's still extremely embarrassing,

But aside from all these wonderful aspects that made the movie work so well-- terrible characters, a ludicrous plot, and clunky dialogue that sounds like it was run through Google Translate a half-dozen times-- the premise and message of The Circle don't even remotely cohere. It's not a film, it's a lecture, and not even a particularly good one at that-- it delivers its thesis with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. It would be very interesting if, some years from now, an aspiring writer or director created a film similar to this one, using humor, likable characters, and dramatic realism to craft a convincing argument against technological surveillance. But this is not that film. It does a disservice to its own message, and its climax is hypocritical to the point of idiocy. If anything, it will cause its viewers to create Facebook accounts out of pure spite.

With his novel, Dave Eggers tried to remake 1984 for the modern age. What he created was more akin to Birdemic: Shock and Terror. And while he may have made some smart editing decisions in transposing his literary bowel movement to the silver screen, all he's managed to do is remove minor parts of a massive, pulsating tumor. But if nothing else, it's lent some credence to a suspicion I've held for a long time-- not one person who showered Eggers' book with praise actually read it from cover to cover. I say with all sincerity that no thinking person can read that novel and find it to be anything less than an absolute disaster of biblical proportions. And there is no truth whatsoever to the claim that the book was ruined (or even significantly altered) in its journey to the big screen. So what really happened here? Did America's book critics hear about a new novel that criticized Silicon Valley, and they decided to hop on the hype train without actually reading it? Or do all of these paid professionals lack basic critical thinking and English skills? It's up to you to decide. But while it might have been difficult or time-consuming for even the most dedicated critics to sit down and actually slog through the book, it's been very easy for the rest of us to sit for two hours and watch as Eggers is exposed for the hack he is. This movie has been very vindicating for me, and for that... it has my deepest thanks.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Cutler de Chateau on July 18, 2017, 11:43:04 pm
(https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/10435615_458531277632596_4514699043532116875_n.jpg?oh=431f904cd6b9d7a6d4c94f5f762fdd8a&oe=59FA3C6D)
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Caleb Paasche on July 18, 2017, 11:54:46 pm
Just a nine-paragraph review of The Circle. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/the-circle-2017/) I had a lot of fun with this one, given how much I hated the book.

Full text:



You know, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and it's still many orders of magnitude better than the book it was based on.

Dave Eggers' The Circle was utterly embarrassing. The characters were inconsistent. The dialogue was among the worst I've ever read from a professional author. The man should be ashamed that he even submitted such sloppy tripe for publishing. But ignoring all that, the book frustrated me because I agreed wholeheartedly with the message it tried (and failed) to convey. If there's anything worse than propaganda, it's bad propaganda-- preachy, intolerable moralizing supported by flimsy straw-man arguments and ridiculous exaggeration. When someone on your side puts out bad propaganda, it reflects badly on you. That book made me feel like an idiot for agreeing with Dave Eggers.

The Circle (the book) was met with widespread critical acclaim, for reasons I cannot fathom. So now that the film adaptation is an absolute disaster in every sense of the word, I ask fans of the book to answer one simple question: In what way is this movie significantly worse than the novel? In adapting his book to the screen, Eggers did make some changes-- he trimmed off a lot of fluff (including more-- yes, more kayaking scenes), and he altered the ending of the story in an attempt to give his main character some semblance of an arc. These are positive changes.

Aside from this, The Circle (2017) is just as bad as the novel that spawned it. The film stars Emma Watson as Mae, a woman whose friend gets her a job at a company called the Circle, which is headquartered somewhere near San Jose. As a character, Mae is the biggest problem with both the film and the book-- the Circle is clearly invasive and authoritarian from minute one, yet she spinelessly toes the corporate line, grovelling to her bosses and voluntarily engaging in wanton acts of privacy violation. Eggers fails to create any sort of slippery slope here, and instead of seeing a naive young woman get slowly sucked into a brainwashing machine (an approach that would parallel how real cults operate), we are presented with a main character who seems to willfully submit herself to her corporate overlords within a few short weeks. Mae's first scenes at the Circle are filled with obvious warning signs, to the point that it's almost comical she doesn't notice them. The result is that we do not respect her intelligence, and we certainly don't cheer for her.

It doesn't help that the character is horribly written as well, though she is not unique in this regard. The writing in this movie has been compared to the prose of Tommy Wiseau, and I must say that the comparison is earned. Every single character is inconsistent, serving only to push the plot forward-- most of their motivations can be explained by "this needed to happen in this scene, and so it did." One scene, where Mae is confronted by her childhood friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane), is exceptionally poor. The pair exchange a string of generic, flat dialogue ("I can't be a part of this world you're creating!" "Look at these people! Something's wrong with them!" "We used to go on adventures and have fun, and you were brave and excited!") before Mercer offhandedly says "Bye" and walks out of the frame. During this supposedly heated argument, both actors stand rigidly, with their arms hanging limp at their sides. It looks like a production put on by a middle school drama troupe, and that's not an exaggeration.

Though the subplots have certainly been trimmed down for the film adaptation, they're still numerous and wholly uninteresting. John Boyega plays Ty, a former head honcho at the Circle who has decided to go underground (literally) and fight his company's invasive technology. This is where the story could have really lifted off, with a tech-thriller suspense tale about Mae and Ty teaming up to bring down the corporate powers-that-be. Instead, Ty is given so little screentime he hardly qualifies as a character, and he instead makes most of his appearances shaking his head disapprovingly in the background while a new product is being discussed. Meanwhile, even after he tells Mae the dark truth about the company and its plans for the future, she continues to passively go along with the Circle's plans. He literally shows her the underground vault where the company plans to store all the data in the world and warns her of the imminent danger of corporate surveillance, and then she goes back to work and the vault is never discussed again. I have no idea what the significance of that scene was, or what Eggers was trying to accomplish with it. It only serves to make his main character even less likable.

It's impossible to overstate how terrible of a character Mae is. She has no convictions or moral compass whatsoever-- if a character is telling her that the Circle is bad, she agrees. If a character tells her it's good, she agrees to that as well. When Ty asks her what she thinks of one of the company's stunts, she says "It was a bit much." A few scenes later, she voluntarily chooses to do the exact same thing. Her friends warn her about the company's invasion of privacy, and so instead of doing something about it, she goes to a board meeting and proposes the most invasive, borderline fascistic idea she can think of. Mae seems to go wherever the prevailing winds are blowing, and when she finally takes charge in the end, her transformation is rushed and sloppy. It only serves to make her character more inconsistent.

This waffling, bland character becomes a complete contradiction later in the film as she ascends the ranks of the corporation for no clear reason. The CEO of the company (Tom Hanks) seems to see something in Mae that we don't, and allows her to speak at board meetings, pitch ideas, and run seminars. Didn't this woman just join the customer service department about two months ago? Does she have any experience in the tech world at all? Mae's marketable skills essentially amount to blogging and "live-streaming" her daily activities, and once you realize she's no better than those idiots on YouTube who tell fake personal stories, it makes her incredibly easy to hate. And yes, while all of these problems were present in the novel as well, a good performance might have saved the film (well, maybe not saved, but at least lessened the damage). Emma Watson is not capable of giving that performance-- she's no better in this than those kids in the Divergent movies. Granted, she has zero material to work with, but it's still extremely embarrassing,

But aside from all these wonderful aspects that made the movie work so well-- terrible characters, a ludicrous plot, and clunky dialogue that sounds like it was run through Google Translate a half-dozen times-- the premise and message of The Circle don't even remotely cohere. It's not a film, it's a lecture, and not even a particularly good one at that-- it delivers its thesis with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. It would be very interesting if, some years from now, an aspiring writer or director created a film similar to this one, using humor, likable characters, and dramatic realism to craft a convincing argument against technological surveillance. But this is not that film. It does a disservice to its own message, and its climax is hypocritical to the point of idiocy. If anything, it will cause its viewers to create Facebook accounts out of pure spite.

With his novel, Dave Eggers tried to remake 1984 for the modern age. What he created was more akin to Birdemic: Shock and Terror. And while he may have made some smart editing decisions in transposing his literary bowel movement to the silver screen, all he's managed to do is remove minor parts of a massive, pulsating tumor. But if nothing else, it's lent some credence to a suspicion I've held for a long time-- not one person who showered Eggers' book with praise actually read it from cover to cover. I say with all sincerity that no thinking person can read that novel and find it to be anything less than an absolute disaster of biblical proportions. And there is no truth whatsoever to the claim that the book was ruined (or even significantly altered) in its journey to the big screen. So what really happened here? Did America's book critics hear about a new novel that criticized Silicon Valley, and they decided to hop on the hype train without actually reading it? Or do all of these paid professionals lack basic critical thinking and English skills? It's up to you to decide. But while it might have been difficult or time-consuming for even the most dedicated critics to sit down and actually slog through the book, it's been very easy for the rest of us to sit for two hours and watch as Eggers is exposed for the hack he is. This movie has been very vindicating for me, and for that... it has my deepest thanks.
I'll know it's time for me to leave this website when I don't enjoy reading you tear into a piece of shit. Fortunately, now is not that time- great review.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on July 23, 2017, 05:19:00 am
Wonder Woman review is up. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/wonder-woman-2017/) Not pasting it in, 'cause spoilers, but I think I was pretty fair with this one (Danny might say otherwise).
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on July 29, 2017, 03:50:42 am
Lady Macbeth review. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/lady-macbeth/)

Full text:



Just how dangerous is an overly attached girlfriend? If Lady Macbeth is to be believed, the answer is “very.” This gleefully mean-spirited film is among my favorite movies of the year, not in spite of how unlikable all the characters are, but rather because of it. Nearly all of the people in this film are unwaveringly repugnant, and there’s something refreshing about how willingly the movie wears that trait on its sleeve. Part of the fun in moviegoing is spending time with interesting characters, and in that respect Lady Macbeth succeeds handily. It’s a bleak, moving portrait of the ugliest side of humanity.

Lady Macbeth tells the story of Katherine, a young woman trapped in a horribly mismatched arranged marriage in 1800s England. Unsatisfied with her husband, she finds a lover in the form of a stable boy, and goes to great lengths to keep the relationship working. I didn’t know much about the plot going into this movie, and I expected a fairly straightforward story of two soulmates separated by circumstances in the vein of Romeo & Juliet. It was surprising, therefore, to find that Katherine is just as unlikable as her father-in-law and husband (and her lover, for that matter).

Still, the audience does take some vindictive pleasure in watching Katherine navigate each new challenge and obstacle that stands between her and the object of her lust. I say “lust” because there is no real love connection between Katherine and the stable hand. She’s sexually deprived, he’s willing, and that’s about all there is to it. Nevertheless, in a movie populated by cruel and indifferent characters, their relationship fast becomes the most recognizably human part of the film. That may be why we ultimately root for Katherine despite everything; her very real sexual needs stand out when put against the backdrop of puritanical 19th century England, and she does gain some of our sympathy, even if she proceeds to immediately squander it.

Florence Pugh is just magnificent in the title role, giving a performance that’s layered, witty, and cold, all while displaying deep sexual vulnerability. She’s a character who is simply fun to watch as she moves through a scene; her reactions, expressions, and body language invite endless analysis. Every time a problem confronts her, we watch in rapt anticipation as the gears turn in her head, and she never fails to choose the most outrageous (yet intelligent) solution. From what we see of her, she does not appear to have much of a conscience, but we nevertheless enjoy her dispassionate, logical approach to life. It’s akin to watching a documentary special on a great white shark-- you don’t question why the shark does what it does. It’s a shark, it has an appetite, and it needs to be sated. That’s all the motivation this character ultimately needs, and it’s extremely compelling in its simplicity.

This film will benefit from rewatches, as there are too many details to notice all in one viewing. It has a keen sense of visual humor that undercuts the twisted escapades that transpire on screen. Disturbingly sexual or violent moments will end with a cut to a perfectly innocuous teatime scene, or to a shot of a cat sitting at the table. One montage near the beginning of the film is especially effective, interspersing passionate scenes from Katherine’s love affair with quiet indoor shots. Here, the camera does a lot of the storytelling, and while it moves jerkily and freely during the sex scenes, it sits still in the dinner scenes, symmetrically framing the subjects with a surgical precision. It adds a lot to the contrast between the freedom Katherine feels with her lover and how confined she is in her duties as the woman of the house. There are also dozens of beautiful landscape shots of the fog and the moors, which serve to underline the untamability of nature. Wuthering Heights comparisons are certainly earned.

Lady Macbeth is a masterpiece of visual storytelling and an excellent character study. Pugh may not receive much awards recognition, but she’s certainly earned her place in the annals of movie antiheroes-- I’d be hard pressed to find one wrong note in this performance, or in the way the character is written. There’s something chilling and malevolent in her that really has to be seen to be understood. I recommend this film wholeheartedly to anyone who can handle a certain level of depravity. You will not be disappointed.
Title: Re: Tut's Tutillating Reviews™: The Return
Post by: Diego Tutweiller on August 01, 2017, 04:57:24 pm
Dunkirk review. (https://letterboxd.com/diegotut/film/dunkirk-2017/)



As many of you probably know by now, I’m not the biggest fan of Christopher Nolan. While his visual style is impressive, his movies generally lack emotional heft, and his characters are often underwritten-- while the concepts he explores are memorable, his characters... not so much. That said, with Dunkirk, Nolan has found a genre that plays to his strengths, and the result is something very special. This concise, tense war epic isn’t perfect by any means, but as a documentation of historical events (and an examination of human desperation), it hits all the right notes.

One of the persistent problems in Nolan’s past films has been an overabundance of exposition, which, to be fair, was sometimes necessary given the complex sci-fi concepts his movies usually deal with. But Nolan always had trouble balancing this out with character development, and in movies like Inception, the characters ultimately became exposition vessels with no discernible personalities. It’s clear from the first five minutes that Dunkirk is not a typical Nolan film in this respect. The movie opens with a tense, elaborate sequence in which a British soldier runs through the streets of Dunkirk, ducking into alleyways and narrowly avoiding German gunfire. There is no exposition here-- in fact, there’s no dialogue whatsoever. The actions speak for themselves, and because the audience is already familiar with the events, there’s no explaining to be done. It’s infinitely more compelling than technobabble-laden narration.

This is why the war genre lends itself to Nolan’s style. His scripts have never quite lived up to his visual mastery, but in Dunkirk, very little dialogue is necessary to get us invested in the characters and their plight. It’s not just their situation that makes them empathetic, it’s how they react to it. The movie has been compared to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which was similarly sparse in dialogue, but the two films really couldn’t be more different in execution-- Dunkirk blows Fury Road out of the water. We learn about these characters through their actions and decisions, and their dilemmas are moral, not strategic. I find the themes of self-sacrifice in Dunkirk to be far more interesting than questions like “Which way should we drive on this road?”

Dunkirk’s characters shine especially when they make decisions that are morally dubious. The movie does not portray every soldier as a hero, and instead it examines the types of decisions people make when trapped in an impossibly bad situation. In this battle, survival is victory, and the characters in the film go to great lengths to win that battle. Yet despite this, the film has a deep empathy for its characters even when they do terrible things out of self-preservation-- it does not shame them for wanting to live, and at the same time it does not paint them all with the same brush of nobility and heroism. There’s a level of nuance found here that is simply not present in a lot of war films, and the movie becomes thematically richer for it.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/15/Dunkirk_Film_poster.jpg)

Because the dialogue is so limited, the actors are given a lot of freedom, and they work wonders with this material. I’ve said in the past that Nolan is not an actor’s director, and he often boxes his actors into roles that feel sterile, wooden, and forced (often due to the stiffness of his expository dialogue, which doesn’t lend itself to dramatic acting). Here, he seems to have given the actors a lot of creative leeway, and the result is often nothing short of magnificent. Mark Rylance gives a memorable, touching performance as a civilian ship captain, and Kenneth Branagh is excellent as the evacuation’s commander. The one weak link is Cillian Murphy as a downed fighter pilot-- his performance is one-note and not particularly malleable. Still, the ensemble works, and they sink into their roles to the point that they’re virtually unrecognizable.

What dialogue there is in the film, however, is often unintelligible. Between the British accents, Hans Zimmer’s punishing score, and the loud sound effects, I think I missed at least half the dialogue in the movie (and I know others had similar complaints). The same problem was present in Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar, but fortunately the dialogue here is not as fundamentally important as it is in Nolan’s sci-fi movies. Still, even though the cacophony of sounds adds greatly to the movie’s chaotic tone, it’s very distracting at times. The music in particular is not among the film’s assets; it plays near-constantly throughout the movie and there’s very little variation in it. A Gone Girl-esque soundtrack with quieter, more ambient moments might have worked better.

Visually, the movie is simply spectacular, making extensive use of practical effects and era-appropriate costumes. The sweeping shots of the beach are awe-inducing, and the fact that Nolan actively avoids showing the faces of the German soldiers is particularly clever. As with all of this director’s films, there’s not much to fault in the visual style, but the sheer scale of the production really contributes to the aesthetic of the film as a whole. The spitfires, the ships, and the uniforms all look authentic and appropriately dirty.

Dunkirk isn’t necessarily my type of movie, as I do tend to prefer films that are more dialogue-driven. Still, the sheer power of the filmmaking on display here is undeniable. The movie succeeds for a myriad of reasons, but a big one has to do with tone-- while Dunkirk does have the dark, gritty, morally grey elements of Nolan’s other films, it ends with a sense of hope and optimism that is completely absent in a lot of the movies made by Nolan’s imitators. It’s a seamless blend of dark and light that works beautifully for this particular story. I do hope that now that Nolan has found a place for his particular skills, he’ll put it to good use. I’d have no objection to seeing some films about Dresden, the Battle of Stalingrad, or the bombing of London from Syncopy Studios a few years down the road.