action wombmate's MOVIE MONDAY | 12.7.20

My weekly movie discussion thread. I'll list the movies that I've watched the previous week, covering only movies that watched for the first time, and you guys can comment with movies you're interested in and I'll tell you what I think about them, and then we can discuss. 

action wombmate

I've seen two movies (that I’d previously never seen) since we last convened for MOVIE MONDAY. 

 

Songcatcher - This is a period drama about a woman in the early 20th century who, frustrated with her progress in music academia in the city, goes to visit her sister in Appalachia and discovers a tradition of folk music that has been alive and preserved by that community for hundreds of years. Overall, the drama is okay, with some colorful characters and a love story and whatnot, but the real star here is the music, which to me was quite wonderful (if you liked the music in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, this is very much in the same vein. There’s some aspects of the attitudes the characters have that feel a little anachronistic, and maybe it deals with one or two too many subplots, but it was a pleasing enough story about the relationship between culture and class. 

 

The Wolf of Snow Hollow - I liked everything about the idea of this movie - the wintry setting, the premise, and the mixture of horror, mystery, and comedy. But I was ultimately perplexed and mostly turned off by the execution. The star of the film is also the writer and director, a guy named Jim Cummings (not the famous voice actor), and his handling of this material felt like a sloppy high school movie with a better budget. The acting is mostly quite poor, the tone is indistinct, the main character is laughably disjointed, the comedy is flat, and the structure is haphazard and squanders what could have been a really tight little movie. It does nothing interesting with any of its ideas, including a really creaky and kind of insultingly facile look at alcoholism.I was flabbergasted to see that it got mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. I think it’s among the worst movies of 2020 that I’ve seen. 

 

And, the usual MOVIE MONDAY thing:

 

1. Name a movie. Any movie. If I've seen it, I'll briefly tell you what I think about it. I'm sure you're dying to know.

2. If you want, we can then dig deeper in our agreement/disagreement about said movie.

From The Chatty
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    December 7, 2020 8:16 AM

    Trying the Cortex for the first time w/ this - please be gentle!

    Read more: action wombmate's MOVIE MONDAY | 12.7.20

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      December 7, 2020 8:23 AM

      Wow, Wolf of Snow Hollow must be a mess. You're usually pretty charitable even about films you didn't love.

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        December 7, 2020 8:40 AM

        I'm still confused as to why it got rated so highly. I'm just one dude with one opinion, but yeah I thought it was pretty fucking bad.

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      December 7, 2020 8:32 AM

      Nice.

      I watched One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

      Good performances all around, but I think Billy (Brad Dourif) really nailed it. The stutter, the shy innocence.

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        December 7, 2020 8:41 AM

        I have to admit that I don't remember that film very well, I saw it about 20 years ago, give or take. It didn't really stick with me for some reason.

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          December 7, 2020 8:43 AM

          It's on Netflix. It had been a few years for me too. Didn't remember the full ending.

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      December 7, 2020 8:37 AM

      Hmm. Did you manually post this chatty topic or did it get automatically posted with the cortex article posting?

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        December 7, 2020 8:41 AM

        I created it using the Cortex editor, if that's what you're asking.

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          December 7, 2020 8:51 AM

          Yup, just checking if there's something in the API server that needs to be updated to detect cortex threads and there is. Thanks!

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        December 7, 2020 8:43 AM

        Looks normal to me?

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      December 7, 2020 8:42 AM

      Harsh! Man I was looking forward to Snow Hollow. Had you seen Thunder Road from him? It's extremely awkward and (I think?) improvised at times, but I enjoyed the main character's journey. It teeters on a real thin line between funny and dramatic, where sometimes you're sort of unsure about how you should feel about this guy's arguably pathetic behaviour.

      Anyway on Friday I watched ARQ which had been sitting in my Netflix watchlist for years. I don't think I'm spoiling anything if I say that this is a time loop movie, and it doesn't bring a whole lot to the genre (although the idea that the main villain becomes aware of the loop at a certain point brought some fun twists) but I enjoyed how the movie slowly exposes you to the characters' backstory and the greater context. Some nice scifi lore, there.

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        December 7, 2020 9:07 AM

        It teeters on a real thin line between funny and dramatic, where sometimes you're sort of unsure about how you should feel about this guy's arguably pathetic behaviour.

        This kind of aptly describes Snow Hollow as well, so maybe this guy's style is not to my taste, or he doesn't quite have the talent to pull it off. I thought it was painfully clunky.

        I haven't seen ARQ.

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          December 7, 2020 9:34 AM

          Yeah that's my impression. I'll give Snow Hollow a try and report back lol where did you watch it?

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      December 7, 2020 9:06 AM

      Bombshell (2019) - Watched this simply because I saw it on HBO's "Leaving Soon" list and figured I'd check it out while I still had the opportunity. Aside from a stellar job with the casting and makeup, the movie was pretty mediocre. The subject matter itself is morbidly compelling, but aside from that, there's just not much of a movie there. I feel like too much effort was spent on trying to give the movie a sense of realism with regards to making the characters look and act like the real-life versions of the characters they were playing, and they completely ignored the drama and emotional aspect of storytelling. It almost felt like one of those cheesy documentaries that use stand-in actors to act out the events. Despite the underlying story being horrifying all on it's own, I felt like this movie wasn't able to tap into the emotion of it. They just told the story, and that was it. I feel like it didn't add anything above and beyond simply reading about what occurred. I probably wouldn't recommend this unless you really want to know more details about the story, but even then I feel like you're better off just reading about it.

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        December 7, 2020 9:13 AM

        I will give a quick shoutout to John Lithgow, as I feel like he was the only one to really bring his character to life. I feel bad giving praise to the villain of the film, especially a male villain in a movie that is specifically about gender power imbalances, but his performance was the only one that was truly memorable. Although I think Charlize Theron did a great job emulating Megyn Kelly (like it was scary how perfect of a job she did playing Megyn Kelly), aside from the novelty and awe of masterfully recreating the look, mannerisms and voice of someone so accurately, again I didn't feel like there was much emotion behind it. For someone having gone through something so ugly and atrocious, the movie barely scratched the surface of exploring the emotional and psychological experiences of Kelly.

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        December 7, 2020 9:22 AM

        Haven't seen it yet, thought I might give it a shot since it's leaving HBO.

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      December 7, 2020 9:09 AM

      Watched The Family Stone with the lady this weekend. I think I had seen it years ago. It's a reasonably enjoyable flick; I appreciated some of the things it tried to tackle (disability, terminal illness, sexual orientation), even if it was a little ham-handed about some of them.

      Also got suckered into watching Noelle on Disney+. What a steaming pile of shit that was. Even my fiancee—who is a lover of all things Christmas and will forgive just about any shortcomings of a Christmas movie—thought it was garbage. It felt more like an ad for the Desert Ridge outdoor mall than anything else. Just a terrible, cynical cash grab.

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        December 7, 2020 9:59 AM

        Hah, haven't seen either one, but yeah I generally steer away from most Christmas movies, and I'm a guy that loves Christmas.

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      December 7, 2020 9:41 AM

      Coming To America. Got the 4K of this as a Christmas present and watched it yesterday. This movie might have a foul mouth, but it has a sweet heart; Akeem is a genuinely warm and joyful fellow and even then antagonists in this movie are not all that bad. It's fluffy, but it's solid. 3.5/5, a couple legitimate belly laughs.

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        December 7, 2020 10:02 AM

        I haven't seen it in a long time but yeah it's kind of a classic at this point. I wouldn't say it's a personal favorite, but I do like it. Not sure I really have anything deeper to say lol

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        December 7, 2020 12:33 PM

        When you think of trash, think of Akeem

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          December 7, 2020 12:48 PM

          Yeah that was one of the best lines :)

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        December 7, 2020 5:13 PM

        This was peak Eddie Murphy for me. Arsenio is the big surprise here because I didn’t think he could keep up with Eddie.

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          December 7, 2020 8:44 PM

          I kinda wish the barbershop characters wouldn't have existed, though; they just weren't funny at all and sucked so much pace out of the film whenever they were used. It was like, Look! Our Stars Can Play Multiple Characters! But I didn't feel like they served the movie well.

          In general there were a few segments that felt indulgent in the editing, and they were the majority.

    • rms legacy 10 years mercury super mega
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      December 7, 2020 9:57 AM

      Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935156/
      Thanks to the many shackmentions I watched this documentary on J's aborted project, and enjoyed it immensely. Based on the snippets shown from his earlier films I'd have the same concerns as the studio heads who rejected the project lol, but having so much talent gathered, from the soundtrack to the concept artists to the actors, it really is a shame the piece never came to fruition. Especially as, after having seen Lynch's, J knew his would've been better. I wouldn't mind seeing some other of his films. I would like to imagine or hope this new Dune production has paid some obeisance to Jodorowski himself, and asked to see the storyboard volume....

      The Outrage (2010) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1462667/
      The first of another Takeshi Kitano yakuza trilogy, the plot is so straightforwardly presented as to suggest a bleak pointless-ness to it all -- bosses casually stabbing each other in the back, lower-ranked goons told to just go die or cut off their fingers -- that one imdb comment suggests a nihilist view of life on Takeshi's part (for an opposite take full of style, see e.g. A Bittersweet Life). The camera-work, audio etc, are of very high-quality and certainly help make the movie watchable, but you emerge from viewing feeling kind of empty, that nothing was gained. If I didn't already know there was a sequel, I'd have been perfectly happy to stop with this, as Outrage tastes a bit bland.

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        December 7, 2020 10:09 AM

        I saw Jodorowsky's Dune and it was very entertaining. I think I agree that Jodorowsky's film may not actually have been successful had it been completed, but he clearly had lots of big ideas for the project. Villeneuve's movie doesn't outwardly appear to have anything to do with Jodorowsky's ideas, especially visually.

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        December 7, 2020 5:41 PM

        I fell asleep (my fault I was tired, it's dope) watching Jodorowsky's Dune while it was free on Amazon Prime, and the next time...maybe not even a full day later it was only available for purchase.

        Been meaning to check it out again.

    • reply
      December 7, 2020 9:57 AM

      I would love a plugin that puts the Cortex content right in the OP (maybe with a click to expand) - I don't like having to click out to another page that has a chatty with a totally different interface

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        December 7, 2020 10:53 AM

        Yeah same, I haven't read the "OP" yet and it'd be easier to generally see it in passing.

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        December 7, 2020 10:59 AM

        Yeah it does get a bit... disjointed? I read the article then went back to get to chatty, rather than trying to post in the article.

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        December 7, 2020 1:31 PM

        Haven't clicked much on cortex stuff for this very reason.

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          December 7, 2020 5:27 PM

          This is unfortunate. I kind of understand...kind of not.

          Take this thread for example. If you've been reading every Monday for awhile then you know what the content will be like. If you enjoy it when it was posted directly in chatty then you'll still enjoy it in Cortex form.

          It opens in a new window. You read the 'article', and tab back to the chatty to post about it. What's so hard about that?

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            December 7, 2020 6:09 PM

            I don't think it's hard, I just think it's superfluous. I fail to see what something short and simple like Movie Mondays gains from Cortex. I think your photography posts make a bit more sense because embedded images look better with Cortex formatting, but then again why not just implement this ability to format posts and embed images in the chatty? I dunno.

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        December 7, 2020 5:28 PM

        It opens in a new window. You read the 'article', and tab back to the chatty to post about it. Don't try to post in the Cortex page.

        /shrug

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      December 7, 2020 10:15 AM

      Mank, which I really enjoyed

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      December 7, 2020 11:00 AM

      [deleted]

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      December 7, 2020 12:10 PM

      I caught a middle piece of The Photograph with Lakieth Stanfield as a reporter getting involved with Issa Rae against the backdrop of years later investigating the BP Oil Spill in N'awlins.
      So while I could give a FUUUUUUCK about the relationship part, they had a lot of THIS IS HOW THE SPILL AND HURRICANE LEFT THIS PLACE in the scenes and ancillary characters, so I want to see the whole movie to catch all that stuff.

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      December 7, 2020 12:19 PM

      I watched The Lord of the Rings: Hot Shit 4k Remaster Edition

      I watched all 3 of em, baby. After all these years, there is still nothing quite like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The MCU wishes it had 1/10th the epic feeling of finishing these movies. Despite some quirks like Orlando Bloom's awful acting, many questionable slo-mo/low-FPS shots from Peter Jackson, and Elijah Wood's many O-faces, the movies really hold up to this day. I was excited to start them again this year and after finishing them I'm excited to watch them again whenever that time presents itself.

      This new remaster is gorgeous. They completely re-color graded the movies, removing the heinous green/blue tint present in EVERY scene of the Blu-Rays. That alone is probably worth the price of admission, but we've also got the cleaned-up image and sweet, sweet HDR. Wait until you see Moria in glorious HDR. These remasters are a sight to behold.

      Still love it, magical ass movies.

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        December 7, 2020 12:44 PM

        I've only watched Fellowship so far, but fully agree. It's an amazing remaster and the color regrading is very welcome.

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        December 7, 2020 1:05 PM

        planning a xmas break marathon... hype!

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        December 7, 2020 1:29 PM

        These movies have mostly been discussed to death so I won't/don't have a ton to add, but I will say that putting aside everything else, one thing I absolutely adore is the art direction. I was a big fan of Alan Lee's as a kid from his work on the book Faeries with Brian Froud, so getting both him and John Howe to do conceptual design for this trilogy was a real coup for the filmmakers. Not only do I love peeking into all the corners of the world to see how they designed things, I love looking at the concept art and other stuff they developed for this trilogy. It's all so very very good.

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          December 7, 2020 3:02 PM

          The art direction is so good that it heavily influences pop-fantasy to this day. Imagine what Skyrim would look like without the Peter Jackson LotR movies.

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        December 7, 2020 5:20 PM

        I got the collector’s edition of this as a gift. It came with the one ring on a chain. WTF? I was expecting a book or booklet, some art cards, maybe a poster. What am I going to do with this trinket jewelry?

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        December 7, 2020 8:25 PM

        Did you get the Blu-ray or watch it streaming? Is it even available streaming 4K?

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      December 7, 2020 12:35 PM

      YES! Been waiting for this!!

      Underwater - This is as Meh of a movie as you can make. It's not bad, but it its not really entertaining, the people don't do dumb shit that makes me yell at the screen, but then nothing is really fun about this movie at all. They kill off the interesting characters too fast, and forget about back story or any kind of real character development. The movie is too dark the set pieces too blurry. The monster designs I thought were pretty awesome, until I found out they were Lovecraftian inspired, in which case they did a really shitty job. Kristen whatever is as wooden as a bedpost, and if they were going for sex appeal by having her in her underwear damn near the entire time, they missed the mark, not being sexist, its just she is ordinary, and an ordinary person half naked in a movie like this is just weird.

      Detective Dee - Netflix - this was a surprisingly good movie! I just wanted to pass the time with a good kung fu flick, but I was shocked as the plot, while nonsensical was at least really fun. The special effects were very good. This isn't a fight simulator, this is the evolution of wire-fu with a fantasy based story that reminded me why I love Big Trouble in Little China so much.

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        December 7, 2020 12:39 PM

        There's another good Detective Dee too. Yeah Underwater had moments when I was like Oh man this is turning into a decent procedural and then they would yank me right back out with some OMG INCOMING TROPE WAVE SIR. And then they didn't use what they had.

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          December 7, 2020 12:49 PM

          Whoa! a 2nd detective dee movie?! I must find this...

          Yeah, underwater wasn't the worst movie I ever saw, but it could have been so much better

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            December 7, 2020 1:11 PM

            Oh hey a third came out in 2018! Yeah the second replaces Lau with Mark Chao, but he's not bad in the part. Not as much gravitas; but I mean who else is Andy Lau? Not even Donnie Yen is smooth like dat.

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        December 7, 2020 2:59 PM

        Haven't seen either one. I've been wavering on Underwater for a while.

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          December 7, 2020 3:03 PM

          I went into it thinking it would be about on par with Leviathan; not up to Abyss levels. I was about right. It was maybe a little better than I'd expected.

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            December 7, 2020 3:22 PM

            Yeah, Axeman808 is right on, better than levithan, not as good as the abyss for sure

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          December 7, 2020 3:33 PM

          FWIW I enjoyed it for what it was. Felt like a rehash of Alien but in a good way, if that makes sense.

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          December 7, 2020 5:11 PM

          It’s about as generic and derivative as an action horror film can be.

          I think I posted about it over the summer.

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      December 7, 2020 12:38 PM

      These definitely work as a Cortex article, glad I checked All Posts so that I could add you to my follows.

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      December 7, 2020 1:28 PM

      Mank. I watched it twice, liked it a lot the first time and more the second. Shockingly timely given that Jack Fincher wrote it in the mid-90s and one wouldn't immediately draw connections between the development of Citizen Kane and this extremely specific political moment we're going through

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        December 7, 2020 3:00 PM

        Haven't dived into it yet, but I'm admittedly not the world's biggest Fincher fan.

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        December 7, 2020 8:23 PM

        I watched citizen Kane for the first time this weekend(!), mostly because I was long overdue, but partly so I could watch Mank

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        December 7, 2020 8:40 PM

        I haven't seen Mank, but given the role Hearst played in the politics of his day I can see some immediate applicability in the story.

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          December 7, 2020 10:58 PM

          It wasn't just Hearst, it was Sinclair being a Sanders-like figure who was ratfucked by capital interests

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            December 7, 2020 11:01 PM

            And Sinclair running for office on social policies against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

            Plus a change, etc etc

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              December 7, 2020 11:04 PM

              That all makes sense, but like I said, I haven't seen the movie yet.

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                December 7, 2020 11:06 PM

                Definitely, I'm just saying that I was expecting the "fake news" angle to be timely. I was not expecting the California governor's election to both be so timely and such a major part of the movie

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      December 7, 2020 1:28 PM

      okay now start filling out the backlog

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      December 7, 2020 2:08 PM

      The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

      It was OK. A fun light Christmas movie that didn't hate, but pretty predictable and forgettable.

      I did enjoy the scenery though. It was very pretty.

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      December 7, 2020 3:23 PM

      My only criticism is that I feel it lacks screenshots of the movies you watched. Other than that, it's perfectly serviceable as a Cortex.

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        December 7, 2020 3:27 PM

        Oh I'm sure the presentation of the Cortex version of this will improve as time goes on.

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      December 7, 2020 4:50 PM

      They Shall Not Grow Old

      I cried when they said they were 15 or 16 and signed up voluntarily. Then I cried when they were talking about shooting a comrade to put them out of their misery. And when they came back and nobody cares about them.

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        December 7, 2020 5:10 PM

        Between this and the 4K remasters of the LOTR and Hobbit trilogies, Peter Jackson and his team are absolute wizards at film restoration / remastering. I still can’t believe how masterful and respectful their treatment of the original WW1 footage is.

        This is my favorite recent documentary film, with Apollo 11 a very close second.

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        December 7, 2020 6:50 PM

        Yeah that was a pretty excellent doc, and it's a usage of that kind of technology that I can really get behind. I've become really fascinated with WWI ever since listening to Dan Carlin's series about it a few years ago.

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      December 7, 2020 6:57 PM

      [deleted]

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