The Hateful Eight

Sam: WHAT? A MOVIE DISCUSSION POST? Yes, dear readers, we are doing your favorite discussion format, but this time, about a movie. I know, it’s exciting. What’s more exciting is that it’s about a good movie, and a movie you might actually want to see. Today’s topic shall be Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film (as the credits so helpfully remind you), The Hateful Eight. We both saw this movie in OMG NECESSARY CINEPHILIACASM 70mm, and we have a blog, therefore we are qualified to tell you all about this extremely Tarantino-y movie.

Emily: It might have been the most Tarantino-y movie ever and that’s saying something because it’s not like he ever makes anything that’s not very much him. It was so good and I want to see it again. The 70mm was pretty gorgeous, though, so I think I’m going to be angry every time I see it when it’s not in 70mm.

Sam: No, no, don’t be angry, just think wistfully of seeing it all giant on the screen and settle in with contentment for the talky, bloody ride. Before we jump to spoilers/an actual reasonable, full discussion of the movie, it’s worth noting: this movie is recommended and you should go see it. Provided you know what you’re getting into, but you should know what Tarantino is by now, and this is that.

Note: after the jump THERE SHALL BE SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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Guardians of the Galaxy

guardiansOn its surface, making a movie adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a horrible idea. A genetically modified raccoon and a tree creature are major players. It’s not a well-known Marvel property like The Avengers or The X-Men. That may very well have been why it succeeded, though.

All movies from Marvel studios have had a certain level of expectation placed upon them starting after 2008’s Iron Man and exploding after 2012’s The Avengers but beyond that, most people had no expectations for this film when it was first announced. James Gunn had mostly done small films and he was probably better known to most people as Jenna Fischer’s ex-husband or Kirk from Gilmore Girls (Sean Gunn, who has a mid-size role in the film) than as a writer or director if he was known at all. The biggest names in main roles were Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Zoe Saldana and two of them were animated while the third was painted green. This was a film that relied on a little-known writer/director, his co-writer, Nicole Perlman, writing her first big budget sci-fi film, and the charm of Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Moneyball). Continue reading

Cheap Thrills

cheapthrillsCheap Thrills is a movie with a simple premise. To the broadest possible question, you get as many answers as people you ask: what would you do for money? How much money? Is it worth it?

A glorious black comedy directed by E.L. Katz, Cheap Thrills unfolds over a single night of escalating dares that push darker and more insane with every passing minute. Craig (Pat Healy) has a wife and infant son at home and is barely making ends meet at his menial job changing oil in cars. Vince (Ethan Embry), a friend of his from school, is a legbreaker for… someone… and you get the feeling the cash is not so free-flowing for him either. They run into each other at a bar after not having seen one another for years.

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Snowpiercer: No Spoilers

snowpiercerposterNote: This review contains NO SPOILERS. Read it to sell yourself on why you need to see this movie immediately, then read the other review for my thoughts on what actually happens.

When Inception came out in 2010, there was a great line I saw about it that went something like “Christopher Nolan has done the impossible: he’s taken $350 million and actually made a good movie with it.” So maligned is the big-budget summer action movie genre that it’s a surprise when one actually has more to it than bigger and bigger explosions.

Snowpiercer, although it’s getting a tiny release because of distribution company shenanigans, is completely the rightful inheritor of Inception‘s throne. It’s epic, dense, and completely awesome. It’s everything Elysium wished it could be (side note: don’t see Elysium; it’s terrible).

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Snowpiercer: Spoilers

snowpiercerNote: After the jump, this review DOES CONTAIN spoilers. It contains all my thoughts on anything that happens in the movie. If you’re interested in seeing the movie and haven’t yet, read this review to whet your appetite and check back here when you’ve seen it.

When Inception came out in 2010, there was a great line I saw about it that went something like “Christopher Nolan has done the impossible: he’s taken $350 million and actually made a good movie with it.” So maligned is the big-budget summer action movie genre that it’s a surprise when one actually has more to it than bigger and bigger explosions.

Snowpiercer, although it’s getting a tiny release because of distribution company shenanigans, is completely the rightful inheritor of Inception‘s throne. It’s epic, dense, and completely awesome. It’s everything Elysium wished it could be (side note: don’t see Elysium; it’s terrible).

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This Week in the Box: Doctor Zhivago

DoctorZhivagoNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

When I told a friend I was going to be watching Doctor Zhivago for this project, she said she’d never seen it because she believed it to be mostly about miserable Russians. Having watched it: it’s mostly about miserable Russians.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Spidey-posterThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 made almost $92 million in its own opening weekend, so pretty much you already know whether you want to see this movie or not, and already have. I’m writing my review anyway for posterity.

First, I was a surprisingly huge fan of the first Amazing Spider-Man. It was basically a beat-for-beat remark of the other most recent Spider-Man franchise, only instead of annoying mopey Tobey Maguire you had charmingly frenetic Andrew Garfield. I know that that doesn’t work for some people (Josh Larsen of Filmspotting included) and that everyone agreed the reboot was unnecessary, but the twitchiness completely reflected my personal experience of high school. I was completely on board with Andrew Garfield as my official Spider-Man.

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