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Poll

Blonde, James Blonde ranks...

Great (9-10)
1 (50%)
Good (7-8)
0 (0%)
Average (4-6)
1 (50%)
Bad (2-3)
0 (0%)
Anus of Cinema (0-1)
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Total Members Voted: 2

Author Topic: Atomic Blonde  (Read 438 times)

John Tyler

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2017, 12:04:20 am »
Alright, I'm gonna need Moody or John to explain to me why this movie was at least decent.
For one, I loved the action and fight sequences, especially seeing as there was barely any CGI film or shaky-cam. When people get hurt, it's genuinely convincing. The editing, choreography, and camerawork are all outstanding throughout. It's a beautiful-looking film too, with gorgeous cinematography and highly impressive direction. The acting is also fantastic. Charlize Theron is a bad-ass from start to finish and James McAvoy was also a highlight. While I do feel the characters could've been fleshed out a little better, I still found enough interesting aspects to them for me to get invested. I especially liked the relationship between Lorraine and Delphine, which was better handled than I thought it would be.
Spoiler (hover to show)

Those are my thoughts.

Cutler de Chateau

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2017, 03:44:14 pm »
Alright, I'm gonna need Moody or John to explain to me why this movie was at least decent.
For one, I loved the action and fight sequences, especially seeing as there was barely any CGI film or shaky-cam. When people get hurt, it's genuinely convincing. The editing, choreography, and camerawork are all outstanding throughout. It's a beautiful-looking film too, with gorgeous cinematography and highly impressive direction. The acting is also fantastic. Charlize Theron is a bad-ass from start to finish and James McAvoy was also a highlight. While I do feel the characters could've been fleshed out a little better, I still found enough interesting aspects to them for me to get invested. I especially liked the relationship between Lorraine and Delphine, which was better handled than I thought it would be.
Spoiler (hover to show)

Those are my thoughts.

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Kale Pasta

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2017, 05:23:20 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. She just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that she receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands. The dude who beat the kid up with a skateboard? Irrelevant for the rest of the film. Sofia Boutella's character? Irrelevant to the movie outside of her sex scene. Atomic Blonde is honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting. How are you guys excusing the fact that the lead character has no back story at all and we know absolutely nothing about her other than that she's a spy who can speak languages and beat people up?

And yes, this movie is pretty well directed with some beautifully shot action scenes. That's where it got the three stars I awarded it. But I'm really failing to see how that comes close to making up for all of its shortcomings in every other relevant area.

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2017, 05:52:06 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.

Kale Pasta

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2017, 07:33:23 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.
BvS has a far more coherent plot than this movie. Other than Amy Adams' story (which I've always said was bad), that movie's narrative makes sense and follows pretty naturally.
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Danny Darkoh

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2017, 08:56:48 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.
BvS has a far more coherent plot than this movie. Other than Amy Adams' story (which I've always said was bad), that movie's narrative makes sense and follows pretty naturally.
Have you seen the Ultimate Cut? I think you'll really like it.

Kale Pasta

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2017, 09:08:10 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.
BvS has a far more coherent plot than this movie. Other than Amy Adams' story (which I've always said was bad), that movie's narrative makes sense and follows pretty naturally.
Have you seen the Ultimate Cut? I think you'll really like it.
I have not, but I wouldn't mind doing so sometime.

Danny Darkoh

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2017, 09:09:06 pm »
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.
BvS has a far more coherent plot than this movie. Other than Amy Adams' story (which I've always said was bad), that movie's narrative makes sense and follows pretty naturally.
Have you seen the Ultimate Cut? I think you'll really like it.
I have not, but I wouldn't mind doing so sometime.
Get on it ASAP. I think improves upon a lot of things, including Amy Adams' storyline.

Robert Neville

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2017, 07:47:31 pm »
My own review, because why not? I wonder if the mostly-American Letterboxd audience will get the couple of stream-of-consciousness references I threw in.



I am likely one of the few people on Earth who saw this before (either) John Wick. Since I'm unable to draw comparisons to either the work that made its director David Leitch famous, or indeed, its source material (this is another comic book movie), I can only saw that it's an attempted triumph of style over substance.

I say attempted, because up until the midway point, the film seems to work at what it goes for. Quickly cutting from one stylish scene to the next, it establishes a host of players searching for the McGuffin in question (yet another list of double agents) in between the beatdowns that ensue whenever the protagonist, Lorraine, tries to get anywhere close to clues on that list.

Charlize Theron gives a good performance, carrying the material well even if there's absolutely nothing unexpected about her overall behaviour or reactions. In contrast, McAvoy's character is almost refreshingly morally ambiguous at times, but the movie never pauses enough to tease out a coherent philosophy of his actions. Everyone else is pretty one-note and indistinct, be they GDR agents or allies. French Delphine is both a clear satellite character and an archetypal rookie; both only a year on the job, and someone who would rather be a poet or director (Oh, those airy French!) The idea that French intelligence would be content with leaving someone this green and haplessly reliant on no-nonsense British in the capital of a country that **** them over twice in the outgoing century is laughably Anglocentric: Michel Barnier would probably have a good laugh over the movie, before further resolving to **** over UK nuclear power, (or whatever is this week's bone of contention).

Nevertheless, all of this is extremely well shot: at times, I paid more attention to the lighting of the scene then whatever cliched verbal exchange was happening. I'm more mixed on the soundtrack: on one hand, I suppose the song selections were often great: on the other hand, it's been a week and I only remember "How does it feel?" being reused for several fight scenes, as well as the sound editing that intentionally makes these (and other) lyrics blare up over the action scenes in a very distracting manner.

However, the film peaks at the hyped 10 minute melee fight scene in the East Berlin apartment block. There are only a few combatants, and the lack of proper weapons makes the taking of lives long, slow and exhausting: at several points, everyone is simply forced to stop just to catch their breath, half-crawling on the floor and barely seeing in front of them. This is the most memorable part of the film, and it really should have been near the conclusion.

Nothing matches it afterwards, and what's left of the story completely loses momentum. Characters that seem like they might get more interesting never do so, and are instead just dispatched or forgotten. The character who is suspected of being double agent from the start lives up to it: shocking, considering there were no real red herrings (well, there's one attempt during the otherwise pointless "present-day" interrogations, but it's pretty transparent. In all, those sequences only seem to exist because the comic had them, offering nothing but said attempt at providing a red herring and a few cool scene transitions.) There's also a Now You See Me-level end twist, which only succeeds in making at least half the film practically pointless.

Literally nothing about the way either of the main characters behaves makes sense once you know the twist, and I struggle to see what the film gained in return. It suffers from a problem I also had with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: too much focus on "who" and "how", and not enough on "why". In either case, I do not care who the double agent(s) was/were, unless I understand their motivation and what they hoped to achieve. It's funny that a film is devoid of any such discussion when it's so clear on its political agenda: scenes of Lorraine doing things while TV presenters breathlessly narrate how Wall Will Fall crop up at what seems like every 5 minutes. It's like producers were afraid an explicitly lesbian film would get a certain blogosphere riled up as "Cultural Marxist" or whatever's the buzzword of the day, and so swerved hard in the opposite direction.

Then again, I'm Russian: my dream version of the film would have probably ended with the 3-4 GDR agents winning, before realising it no longer matters because the state already failed. Such bittersweet ending is then followed with an epilogue teasing a T2: Trainspotting-style sequel, where the four get back together, discuss Trump and refugee flows, and canvass for Die Linke. Even so, Atomic Blonde's hollow core and whimpering ending are its key faults, regardless of your side of the cultural divide. I feel totally indifferent to the film I just saw last week, and same would have been the case if I saw a mirror flip on "our side" with the same flaws. The last time I remember feeling such great indifference was back when Robocop remake came out.


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Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2017, 07:54:52 pm »
Then again, I'm Russian: my dream version of the film would have probably ended with the 3-4 GDR agents winning, before realising it no longer matters because the state already failed.

Not sure if this was the intention, but this sentence made me laugh really hard.
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Robert Neville

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2017, 08:19:04 pm »
How are you guys excusing the fact that the lead character has no back story at all and we know absolutely nothing about her other than that she's a spy who can speak languages and beat people up?

As you can see, I also disliked the movie, but come on, this is argument is weird. Can you tell me what we know of 007's backstory in any of the pre-Skyfall Bond films? They are still the benchmark for spy films, like it or not. And while you are at it, can you please reiterate the backstories of the lead characters of Dunkirk?

 
When I talk about the plot being convoluted, I'm not just talking about the twist, I'm referring to all the random plot threads that just appear in this movie. He just goes and investigates all these different places due to random information that he receives (all simply to set up more action scenes, of course). I'm also referring to the characters who just come in and out of the movie as the plot demands... it's honestly one of the messiest movies I've ever seen from a narrative perspective, and that doesn't even touch on the fact that none of the characters are at all developed or interesting.

Sorry, this is the Atomic Blonde thread. I think you wanted the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thread.
BvS has a far more coherent plot than this movie. Other than Amy Adams' story (which I've always said was bad), that movie's narrative makes sense and follows pretty naturally.
Have you seen the Ultimate Cut? I think you'll really like it.
I have not, but I wouldn't mind doing so sometime.
Get on it ASAP. I think improves upon a lot of things, including Amy Adams' storyline.

Damn, when I saw Danny post in this thread, I thought he finally decided to argue on behalf of a non-superhero movie he praised before release (still a comic book movie, but still, that's a start.) I should have known this was going to be about DC again.

As someone who's only seen the Ultimate Cut, I'll again reiterate I didn't find it good at all. Though, the question of whether that idiotic mess flowed together better than Atomic Blonde is a somewhat interesting one: I am not sure how to prove which was better/less worse in that regard, but I'll say I lost interest in the narrative of BvS a lot earlier than in Atomic Blonde.

Spoiler (hover to show)

Those are my thoughts.

Spoiler (hover to show)

Robert Neville

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2017, 08:30:34 pm »
Then again, I'm Russian: my dream version of the film would have probably ended with the 3-4 GDR agents winning, before realising it no longer matters because the state already failed.

Not sure if this was the intention, but this sentence made me laugh really hard.

Every time I found the TV clips or other agenda-pushing a bit too blatant, I just reminded myself this film would never exist in the first place if generation above mine hasn't failed with GDR all those years back, so now it's on us to do better. Admittedly, I haven't yet read up as much on them as I did on most of our satellites, though I should. After all, I recently talked to a few people, both online and IRL, who did their military service there at the time, and have rather fond memories of it.

Kale Pasta

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2017, 09:20:31 pm »
How are you guys excusing the fact that the lead character has no back story at all and we know absolutely nothing about her other than that she's a spy who can speak languages and beat people up?

As you can see, I also disliked the movie, but come on, this is argument is weird. Can you tell me what we know of 007's backstory in any of the pre-Skyfall Bond films? They are still the benchmark for spy films, like it or not. And while you are at it, can you please reiterate the backstories of the lead characters of Dunkirk?
For the record, I've only seen the Daniel Craig Bond films, so that's all this answer is based on. Anyway, in my review I compared this to the Bourne films because I think it's far more similar to those. One of the reasons the Bourne films work so much better than this one is that Bourne's motivation to discover his past and get back at the CIA is always clear and it always works. Given the twists of this film, I think it was essential to have some idea of what motivated Lorraine and that never happened. The Bond movies, I think, are a bit different in that the organization and the spy are really one unit working toward a singular goal, meaning that Bond's background isn't particularly relevant because we know why he's doing what he's doing.

Either way though, I thought your review was good and did a good job summing up some of the problems I had with this movie as well.

J. Kashmir

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2017, 10:20:50 am »
This movie was pretty disappointing to be honest. The fight scenes were crafted quite well (especially the single take sequence), but as Paasche and Neville described earlier in this thread the plot was far too convoluted for my tastes, and had some admittedly predictable elements as well. The movie should've been fifteen to twenty minutes shorter; I was slowly beginning to tune out towards the end. A shame, since I think Charlize Theron is a great action star that deserves better projects than this.

Probably a C or a C+.

Edit: Also, while the soundtrack has some great songs, did anyone feel that some of the songs were picked due to their fame rather than how much they'd fit within the scene? From the top of my head the movie used Major Tom and I Ran during fight scenes and I don't find them to be rousing the same way as, say, Hocus Pocus was during Baby Driver. The same applies when Under Pressure is played at the end for some reason. I know it's a trivial complaint but I find it a bit weird.

Also, this film also does that thing that a lot of movies do where they cram songs and play them for a good thirty seconds or so (Mostly when they play London Calling at the end). Again, this is just an innocuous pet peeve, but I'm wondering why quite a few films even bother going through the trouble to get the rights to use songs if said songs are hardly going to be used.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 10:31:19 am by J. Kashmir »

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2017, 07:57:17 pm »
I saw this. It was fine. And then it ended.

J. Kashmir

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2017, 12:00:23 am »
I saw this. It was fine. And then it ended.
Is this a positive or negative evaluation? I was honestly beginning to tune out around the one hour-thirty minute mark.

Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2017, 12:01:57 am »
I saw this. It was fine. And then it ended.
Is this a positive or negative evaluation? I was honestly beginning to tune out around the one hour-thirty minute mark.

Pure 5/10. Nothing remarkable. Nothing loathsome (except for those awful graffiti-themed location names).
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Suspect #1

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2017, 12:04:19 am »
The stairwell scene is one of the best scenes from any movie this year.
Goodbye!

J. Kashmir

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2017, 12:06:13 am »
I saw this. It was fine. And then it ended.
Is this a positive or negative evaluation? I was honestly beginning to tune out around the one hour-thirty minute mark.

Pure 5/10. Nothing remarkable. Nothing loathsome (except for those awful graffiti-themed location names).
Fair enough. I think the fact that I spent more time talking about the soundtrack using songs for thirty seconds tops than the merits of the film is indicative of how much I cared for it.

The stairwell scene is one of the best scenes from any movie this year.
True, but it's too bad the rest of the film doesn't maintain that momentum.
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Diego Tutweiller

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Re: Atomic Blonde
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2017, 12:10:46 am »
Also, can we get a spy movie someday where the thing they're after isn't a list of all the agents in the field or whatever the fuck?

 

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