The LTLF Film Thread (sponsored by FBS!)

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Prey​

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

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

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

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

FBS

Stuart Pearce
The Outfit​

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

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

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

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

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Bullet Train​

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

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

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

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

Strummer

Orel Mangala Fan Club
The Outfit​

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

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

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

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

Jack Armstrong
Prey​

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

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

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

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

Phooey

Jack Armstrong
Good to find another Predator 2 fan

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

FBS

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

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