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  #101  
Old 12-21-2018, 10:19 PM
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I thought it a pretty poor movie. At every step of the way bar one Momoa gets told what to do. He almost never finds out for himself. The exception is the bottle in the hand of the king. And the fights above the lava fields? Give over.

And, oh look, they're going to the Mediterranean! Umm... isn't Wonder Woman's home in the Med? They missed an opportunity for a cameo. Or was Gal Godot pregnant at the time?

I think WW's home was off South American somewhere, not in the middle eastern area.
  #102  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:07 PM
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I liked it. The writing was a little weak but it had amazing visuals and a lot of imagination and fun. It's a fantasy movie basically and going in knowing that I think people would enjoy it.

I was wondering if they would connect it to Justice League at all and they did by mentioning Steppenwolf. Also I was sure the establishing shot of Sicily (which looked beautiful) would be Themiscyra but I was wrong.
  #103  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:38 PM
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And Nicole Kidman is horribly miscast.
Pretty sure this was just a paycheck for her.

The movie was a big drip. 2 conch shells out of 5. It was a feast for the eyes, but very poor writing and acting. There was so much going on, jumping too fast from one action set to another. Honestly, it would have been better served as an origin move.

I did like the comic accurate representations of Black Manta's and Mera's costumes, and Ocean Master's helmet.

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  #104  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:44 PM
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I think WW's home was off South American somewhere, not in the middle eastern area.
You're saying Steve Trevor flew from Turkey down the entire length of the Mediterranean then across the Atlantic in a crappy little World War One biplane? No wonder he crash landed.
  #105  
Old 12-22-2018, 10:53 PM
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And what was the German Navy doing in the South Atlantic?

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  #106  
Old 12-23-2018, 08:04 AM
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You're saying Steve Trevor flew from Turkey down the entire length of the Mediterranean then across the Atlantic in a crappy little World War One biplane? No wonder he crash landed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themyscira_(DC_Comics)

This article says that in the original comics it was implied but not confirmed that the island was in the Pacific. In the Lynda Carter series Paradise Island was in the Bermuda Triangle. A 2009 animated movie has Themyscira in the Aegean.

So we can take our pick.
  #107  
Old 12-23-2018, 08:18 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themyscira_(DC_Comics)

This article says that in the original comics it was implied but not confirmed that the island was in the Pacific. In the Lynda Carter series Paradise Island was in the Bermuda Triangle. A 2009 animated movie has Themyscira in the Aegean.
”Themyscira is not a place; it’s a people.”

DC Films is creatively bankrupt at this point, anyway; they might as well borrow from the best Marvel films. I’m still not sure what to suggest that they do with Shazam! other than bring in Sinbad to bury that thing deeper than Chris Christies’ family Mafia connections.

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  #108  
Old 12-23-2018, 10:29 AM
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I liked it. The things I didn't like about it -the stilted dialog (writer's fault) and the gratuitous explosions- were the same things I don't like about comic books. I always feel a bit like a visitor in these movies, and that's as it should be. But in this case more than most, I felt as if the director had made an aesthetic decision to have all the dialog be a stand-alone declarative. It was like the 1950's "More powerful than a locomotive!!" delivery. You can't make every line quotable and still have a realistic conversation.

I thought Momoa did an amazing job of acting despite the pathetic script he'd been given. His face and posture made relationships believable when the words definitely did not.

The brother (Orm?) being wishy-washy was good to me. He's a product of his two diametrically opposed parents, and stunned to see his mother alive. I thought he wore it well.

I would have appreciated just one good establishing shot of the mega-creature guarding the trident. I still can't tell if it was a giant squid or some sort of crab.

There was nothing that really explained his sudden decision that being king might be fun. As someone said above, just figuring out the bottle/king riddle is not enough.

Things that completely took me out of it:

I actually heard myself say aloud "Oh! Come on!" When a group of professional sea-ninja pirates let loose a series of increasingly powerful kinetic weapons inside a submarine. You wouldn't even take those in with you on a sub, much less release a spray of stray bullets.

William Dafoe's accent. Why this Wisconsin boy sounds like a hard-bitten New Yorker while playing an Atlantean courtier is completely beyond me. But he sounds like that in every movie. Or maybe that really is a Milwaukee accent? I don't know. But it felt jarringly out of place.

Nicole Kidman's trident had five tines. This bothered me more than it should.

Shining a lamp on the ability to talk underwater. Not a terrible idea, but they did it so long after we'd been forced to accept the ability that it just took me out of it again.

Two things I can't help seeing in every action movie: 1) the amusement park ride design (As they entered the Sahara cave)and 2) the video game sequence (chasing across the roofs of the seaside town.) The game sequence in particular looked like some cheap late-90's game. I wasn't impressed by that whole setting, nor by the "resolution" of the threat.

Things that bothered me less than I expected:

Mera's red hair. Did they tone it down in post-production? I found it far less distracting than in the trailer.

The transitions from water to air bubbles and back again. They handled it pretty smoothly.

Nicole Kidman slurping down a live fish. She actually made that look natural and innocent.

Jason Momoa's shirt. He spent far more time clothed than I might have liked, but I was fine with it. He made his character three-dimensional, causing me to feel embarrassed about having treated him like a sex-object.

Things I loved:

They did a great job with the underwater visuals. The Atlantis scenes had great depth and detail. I'd love to just sit and pore through the stills on those scenes.

The various Atlantis groups and the "look" they gave each of them. I hope we get more into the societies in the next movie.

Last edited by TruCelt; 12-23-2018 at 10:34 AM.
  #109  
Old 12-24-2018, 03:20 AM
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I enjoyed it.

However, several times I was taken out of the movie by a "Goddamn! How much did this CGI cost??" thought.

I don't think CGI should make you think that.
  #110  
Old 12-25-2018, 01:58 PM
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Saw it last night. Had a pleasant experience even though the script was awful. I recommend being high for the movie, it makes you more able to get past the awful dialogue and plot holes while really enjoying the scenery.

Totally worth seeing in 3d by the way. 3d is often an afterthought in post production and makes things worse, but this one used it really well. It enhanced the wonder of all the grand sweeping camera movements around all the sea life.

It tried to be too serious. Jason Mamoa has natural charisma and you can tell he's having fun with it, so the movie should've catered to him having fun with it. Make his character have a goofy sense of humor, take advantage of that natural charm, and don't worry about the whole thing being campy. Roll with it. It would've come off as more charming than the attempt to be more serious.

The dialogue and characterization is awful. Aquaman goes from being a laid back but smart, savvy dude to a dumbass who can't remember anything in every other conversation. He went from empathically not wanting to be the king to suddenly feeling like he was born to be the king for no apparent reason. They really didn't flesh out why it was even so important that he be the king, and why the second son's advisor and bethrothed risked their lives to save him. Seems like they could've gone more into that.

It also just sort of seemed to be two movies crammed into one. We have a very rushed origin story (we get the aquarium scene followed immediately by him having his full on aquaman powers) - and then we have two villains in a movie that doesn't really need them. It feels like they cut some parts short (him discovering/becoming aquaman) in favor of overly complicating the story with two villains.

Black Mantis seemed like maybe he could've been a good villain if he was the villain of his own movie, but just didn't work very well as a basically side character. Also, that costume/atlantean armor was kind of ridiculous. "Oh shit, I'm being hunted by a humanoid fly, in the water!"

The world building makes so little sense. Okay, so the biker guys in the bar come up to him and want a group selfie. That's actually the sort of not taking itself seriously scene the movie should've had more of. And on the news, early on, he's called "the meta-human aquaman". So society apparently knows there's a superhero roaming around and what he looks like and that he's an Atlantean, but no one is studying him or trying to find his home or anything. We're told repeatedly that the surface dwellers don't believe in the existence of the Atlanteans, even though we've got people recognizing him in bars for a selfie. At the conclusion of the movie, we also see the news with a blank photo captioned "Aquaman?!" as if this were a new concept to them that only came to light after the resolution of the movie. How, then, earlier in the movie is he treated like everyone knows who he is and that he's a superhero?

Okay, so if humans don't believe in Atlanteans, why the fuck are they sending a lone sub down to the ruins of Atlantis to blow up some statues with a torpedo? That's what causes the whole fucking war and makes no sense at all. "Hey, we don't think Atlantis is real or anything, but we think we found some underground statues or some shit, so instead of sending archaelogists let's go ahead and send one random sub to blow those statues up for no reason. If the humans secretly knew that Atlantis was real and it was a threat, it's not indicated anywhere, and specifically contradicted with all the "surface dwellers don't believe we exist" stuff. But if the military secretly knew, they'd sure as fuck do something more potent than firing a random torpedo at some old rusty sunken statues.

So, in conclusion, a waste of Mamoa's charm, can't figure out whether to take itself seriously or not, wildly inconsistent world building, two movie plots crammed into one, the whole hidden king and his supporters plotline isn't very well established as why it's necessary, bad dialogue, plot holes.

But really pretty scenery. Better direction and action sequences than most comic book movies. The humanoid hand to hand/weapon to weapon fighting was surprisingly well shot. All the expansive shots of Atlantean architecture and sea creatures were very cool. And since that's like 85% of the movie by screen time it's sort of redeeming.

Honestly, I think seeing this movie in a foreign language you don't understand without subtitles would make it better. You would get the gist of it, enjoy the scenery, and assume all the dialogue and story parts were better than they actually were if you didn't understand them.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 12-25-2018 at 02:00 PM.
  #111  
Old 12-25-2018, 02:07 PM
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Forgot to add: this movie may be the grandest example of the "scriptwriter can't figure out a segue, so let's have an explosion in the middle of dialogue" technique. I think it happened like 7 times.
  #112  
Old 12-25-2018, 02:31 PM
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The world building makes so little sense. Okay, so the biker guys in the bar come up to him and want a group selfie. That's actually the sort of not taking itself seriously scene the movie should've had more of. And on the news, early on, he's called "the meta-human aquaman". So society apparently knows there's a superhero roaming around and what he looks like and that he's an Atlantean, but no one is studying him or trying to find his home or anything. We're told repeatedly that the surface dwellers don't believe in the existence of the Atlanteans, even though we've got people recognizing him in bars for a selfie. At the conclusion of the movie, we also see the news with a blank photo captioned "Aquaman?!" as if this were a new concept to them that only came to light after the resolution of the movie. How, then, earlier in the movie is he treated like everyone knows who he is and that he's a superhero?
This part was sort of muddled, but what the script is saying is that everyone knows there's a water-based meta-human after the events in Justice League and that he has water powers, but they don't know he's part-Atlantean or that Atlantis exists (aside from a scientist everyone assumes is crazy). The post-credit scene is showing an old clipping, probably right after his reveal in Justice League.
  #113  
Old 12-25-2018, 02:45 PM
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To add one more thing, I think the director and/or DP of the movie had some really interesting ideas. There were a few unusually constructed shots in the movie, like how they were basically filming two seperate action scenes in one shot in Sicily. Pretty unique. The scene with the sea zombies (trenchers?) was also pretty uniquely shot compared to the rest of the movie and really photogenic... cinematogenic..... looked cool. I could see that being a great horror scene in a movie that had an aesthetic like Metro 2033. I'd like to see what that director could do with a good script. There was some really good camera/choreography in parts, too, like the first fight scene a few minutes into the movie with Nicole Kidman.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 12-25-2018 at 02:47 PM.
  #114  
Old 12-25-2018, 04:04 PM
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Correction to my earier post - the submarine attack was a false flag with Orm paying off Black Mantis for the sub. Wasn't totally clear especially since the hijacking attempt shown in the movie resulted in a disabled and sinking sub.
  #115  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:30 PM
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Manta was wasted and really shouldn't have been in the film as he added nothing with his minor role. They could have just kept him out, started Aquaman 2 with the sub pirating flashback for motivation, have Manta steal the gun from some Atlanteans and then make his water-bug suit. Instead, he just took up time that could have been spent expanding (and filling in plot holes) the Atlantis story.

Speaking of -- missing from the story: an explanation of how Mr. Manta got so tech savvy. He was a pirate and his pappy was a pirate and his pappy was a pirate but "able to reverse-engineer alien technology in his garage" isn't something I consider part of the standard pirate skill set.
  #116  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:32 PM
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Forgot to add: this movie may be the grandest example of the "scriptwriter can't figure out a segue, so let's have an explosion in the middle of dialogue" technique. I think it happened like 7 times.
It's funny you mention this because a review site I read said that one of the movie's problems was it constantly relied on this, and they put the blame on the director because....

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The scene with the sea zombies (trenchers?) was also pretty uniquely shot compared to the rest of the movie and really photogenic... cinematogenic..... looked cool. I could see that being a great horror scene in a movie that had an aesthetic like Metro 2033. I'd like to see what that director could do with a good script. There was some really good camera/choreography in parts, too, like the first fight scene a few minutes into the movie with Nicole Kidman.
.....James Wan is a horror director by trade. They were saying having a quiet moment interrupted by an explosion is the action movie equivalent of a jump scare

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Correction to my earier post - the submarine attack was a false flag with Orm paying off Black Mantis for the sub. Wasn't totally clear especially since the hijacking attempt shown in the movie resulted in a disabled and sinking sub.
Ohhhhh is that what that was? I assumed the attack was set up to incite the war, but I never figured out how. So the beginning scene attack was there so that Orin could obtain a sub in order to do the attack? Wish they would have said that....
  #117  
Old 12-26-2018, 01:24 PM
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Saw it. Meh.

The Manta character was a complete waste of time and added nothing. I quickly tired of seeing Aquaman being smashed into things. The undersea scenes were well handled and convincing. My wife poked me and giggled when Mera kisses Aquaman and causes his trident to rise. The plot rambles and the dialog was cliched, to say the least.

Nothing wrong with the acting that a better script couldn't fix. It didn't seem to have any rhythm - just boring plot exposition interrupted by explosions and CGI monsters.

We should have waited for the DVD.

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  #118  
Old 12-26-2018, 04:56 PM
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I literally fell asleep shortly after Arthur emerged with the MacGuffin trident (and his gold-and-green costume) and didn't wake up until the battle was over and Orm was being arrested.

I don't think I missed anything important. Frankly, the suggestions made by the redlettermedia guys would have made this film a lot tighter and more coherent.
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  #119  
Old 12-26-2018, 11:39 PM
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I liked it. A good popcorn flick, and one of the better DC flicks in a long time. There was actual humor and colors brighter than grey. I'd recommend it.
  #120  
Old 12-27-2018, 12:40 AM
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Costume looks good. I just want to see it for the sex scenes with the mute janitor.
  #121  
Old 12-27-2018, 05:44 PM
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I liked it. It wasn't great by any means but I found it enjoyable enough.
I'm glad his parents reunited (well you know what I mean) at the end of the movie. I also liked the fountain scene (Mera just happens to get a copy of Pinocchio? )

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  #122  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:19 PM
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It was a decent popcorn flick that did it’s job but I’m not liking this trend of going 100% CGI with everything. No set pieces, no stunts, no real locations. It’s even questionable if the actors bodies are even theirs or if they are just putting their faces onto GGI characters.
It adds up to these movies feeling like cartoons and makes them rather thin and shallow.
It’s part of what made the Star Wars prequels so bad.
  #123  
Old 12-30-2018, 09:38 AM
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. . .
Black Mantis . . .Also, that costume/atlantean armor was kind of ridiculous. "Oh shit, I'm being hunted by a humanoid fly, in the water!"
. . .
Honestly, I think seeing this movie in a foreign language you don't understand without subtitles would make it better. You would get the gist of it, enjoy the scenery, and assume all the dialogue and story parts were better than they actually were if you didn't understand them.
My overall sense is that the director wanted to do something different, and make a movie that * felt like * a comic book. Not just a movie based upon a comic book, but a Graphic Movie. I get where he was going, I'm just not certain it quite got there. If I'm right about that though, your comments above and most of my complaints might actually be the best compliments he could receive.
  #124  
Old 12-30-2018, 09:50 AM
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Forgot to say: I think it was a conscious decision to make Manta Ray's costume look as it did in the old comic books. I never liked comic books, and even I have seen that costume in a childhood nightmare. It looks ridiculous to modern eyes, but I feel that leaving it alone may have been a gesture of respect to the fans.

Last edited by TruCelt; 12-30-2018 at 09:52 AM.
  #125  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:05 PM
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I thought they were pretty explicit about the sub. When Orm shows up to pay Manta, he says "That sub you delivered to us was barely operational... but it did the job successfully, so here's your payment". And it's not like it's really surprising that he's the sort of guy who would stage a false-flag operation to start a war.

Overall, I thought the movie was cliched, and never really achieved greatness (the closest was probably the bottle in the hand of the king). But there wasn't anything about it that was particularly bad, and it was an enjoyable enough couple of hours.

I'll agree with others that Manta was a much more interesting character than Orm, and that he was tragically underused in the film.

The one point I wonder about, though: Just how does Atlantis' primogeniture/gender roles work? On the one hand, Atlanna had low enough status that she was forced into an arranged marriage and had no way out of it other than fleeing to the land, but on the other hand, it's her firstborn son, not the King's, who has the greater claim to inherit. There are some real-world examples of societies which are matrilineal but patriarchal, but I don't think that sort of thing really fits what we saw.
  #126  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:29 PM
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. . .
The one point I wonder about, though: Just how does Atlantis' primogeniture/gender roles work? On the one hand, Atlanna had low enough status that she was forced into an arranged marriage and had no way out of it other than fleeing to the land, but on the other hand, it's her firstborn son, not the King's, who has the greater claim to inherit. There are some real-world examples of societies which are matrilineal but patriarchal, but I don't think that sort of thing really fits what we saw.
As I understand it, Nicole Kidman's Daddy was the king and she was an only child. Her husband was meant to rule beside her as he was also of high status. But she ran off with this landlubber, a serious no-no. Then the king (her Dad) found her and forced her into the marriage. That marriage produced Orm.

At some point in the next twenty-odd years they sent her off to die, probably while Orm was a child. Was her father still alive for this? Most likely she and her husband were rulers by then. I wonder how many Atlanteans even knew about her first born?

It's not the low status people who get married off against their will. Low status marriages don't matter. It's the people in the line of succession who have to continue the line however unpleasant it may be. And who they marry is driven by DNA and consolidation of power.
  #127  
Old 12-30-2018, 07:57 PM
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Well, low authority, then, if you prefer to phrase it that way. In any event, there was certainly someone with the authority to both force her into marriage, and then sentence her to death. And it probably wasn't someone outside of the royal structure, either, because the principle advisor to the monarch appears to have been on her side.
  #128  
Old 01-04-2019, 01:32 AM
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We saw it today. Not crazy about it. Mediocre. I thought much of the special effects looked amateurish including a lot of the figures who seemed to move like video-game avatars. Not quite as godawful boring as the last two Superman or Justice League or whatever they were movies, but pretty close. And thanks to the previews giving it completely away ...

SPOILER:
we already knew Nicole Kidman had never died.
(Spoiler box in case anyone missed those previews.)

I've always liked the Marvel universe much better than the DC one, and Aquaman dd nothing to change it. Still, unless it's positively cringe-worthy, one has to keep up on these storylines.

Jason Momoa was born here in Honolulu and likes to play up his Hawaiian connection even though he was raised in Iowa. The locals here go gaga over him. I thought his performance in this one rather juvenile.
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  #129  
Old 01-04-2019, 09:38 AM
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Eh, I never saw any of those previews, and that "twist" was still obvious right from the outset. The only ambiguity was whether they were going to spring it in this movie or save it for a sequel, and even that didn't seem very likely.
  #130  
Old 01-04-2019, 12:49 PM
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Eh, I never saw any of those previews, and that "twist" was still obvious right from the outset. The only ambiguity was whether they were going to spring it in this movie or save it for a sequel, and even that didn't seem very likely.
Yeah, you don't spend thousands of dollars de-aging someone and then have them not show up later in the movie.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:30 PM
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Eh, I never saw any of those previews, and that "twist" was still obvious right from the outset. The only ambiguity was whether they were going to spring it in this movie or save it for a sequel, and even that didn't seem very likely.
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Yeah, you don't spend thousands of dollars de-aging someone and then have them not show up later in the movie.
Yeah, but I know someone would have complained if I hadn't spoilered it.
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  #132  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:11 PM
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I just watched it for the second time. The first time, I was unimpressed by the wooden acting, the cumbersome exposition, and the weaknesses in the plot. I was like, “Okay, the effects are cool but it’s all just a string of CGI fights.”

The second time, I shut my brain off and really focused on the details of the art, the creative designs, and the composition. It really is an astonishingly beautiful movie. At some points it’s even captivating. I enjoyed it much more the second time. It deserves to be seen on the biggest possible screen.

I also noticed that there is a scene where Aquamom first wakes up in the lighthouse, and on the table is a copy of “The Dunwich Horror.” It is not a small thing... it’s under the snow globe so it’s really visible and easy to read the title. I wonder why they went with that story. I kinda-sorta see the relevance of the monster bred from a union between a human and a god. I would have picked “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” since that more directly deals with man-fish hybridization and we actually see Deep Ones in the film. Did anyone else notice this?
  #133  
Old 01-10-2019, 08:51 PM
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I noticed the title, and I knew that Lovecraft wrote stories about fish-people, but I didn't know if that was one of them.
  #134  
Old 01-10-2019, 10:44 PM
Uncle Jocko Uncle Jocko is offline
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
Jason Momoa was born here in Honolulu and likes to play up his Hawaiian connection even though he was raised in Iowa.
Fun fact: Momoa grew up not far from where fellow Iowan Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) lived. The future Superman and Aquaman actually played soccer against each other in middle school, I think.
  #135  
Old 01-11-2019, 10:26 AM
Quimby Quimby is offline
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I don't have the link but I read this is now DC's biggest hit financially. I hope this helps the Flash movie get fast tracked as soon as what's his name is done making Harry Potter movies. He was a highlight of Justice league and I want to see him in the part again.

Last edited by Quimby; 01-11-2019 at 10:26 AM.
  #136  
Old 01-11-2019, 10:56 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Paul Scheer just gave an enthusiastic recommendation on the latest How Did This Get Made mini episode.

I haven't seen it yet, but I'm more excited now.
  #137  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:20 PM
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Wait, Aquaman did better than Wonder Woman? No way is that deserved.
  #138  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:29 PM
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Wait, Aquaman did better than Wonder Woman? No way is that deserved.
WW did better in the US but Aquaman is doing better worldwide.
  #139  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:56 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Wait, Aquaman did better than Wonder Woman? No way is that deserved.
BoxOfficeMojo.com ranked list of total domestic grosses (and opening weekend gross)

Aquaman had an opening gross that was somewhat more than half of Wonder Woman, and the total gross to date is less than Man Of Steel (which was considered a disappointment by DC Films). Wonder Woman has by far the highest gross of any “DCEU” film and is only trumped by the unrelated Nolan films The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. (There is technically not a DC narrative universe in the way that Marvel Studios has architected the MCU to a central storyline, but this refers to the collective films as laid out by Bryan Singer prior to his departure from Batman v. Superman.)

Aquaman has outperformed beyond its pretty abysmal opening weekend but is unlikely to continue to bring in the nearly US$145M to match Wonder Woman, and as it stands, adjusted for inflation it is barely if at all outperforming Superman Returns, which killed the original attempt to revitalize the Superman franchise. It will actually be struggling to outgross Suicide Squad, which was less of a movie than a series of bad CGI setpieces punctuated by Will Smith mugging for the camera and redeemed only by Margot Robbie chewing scenery Jack Nicholson-style.

The worldwide gross for Aquaman may be nearly US$1B, but the way accounting is done makes it very difficult to make a like-to-like comparison. For instance, most of the film revenues made in China are required to stay in China, and there is a tendency to inflate the value just to be able to take away the most amount of profit. And what plays to foreign audiences is not necessarily the same things that American moviegoers and critics would consider good filmmaking, which anyone who has seen ‘blockbusters’ made for the Chinese domestic market can attest to.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 01-11-2019 at 12:57 PM.
  #140  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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We saw this movie on New Year’s Eve. We were sending the long weekend on the Oregon Coast and had spent the morning beachcombing. We then went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and spent a couple of hours wandering through, looking at all the cool exhibits, which of course were all marine-based. We decided to finish the day with this movie, which seemed an appropriate. Sort of a nautical-themed day.

I’m not at all into superhero movies; I can’t really put my finger on it but they just don’t appeal to me. This one, however, was pretty good. The acting sucked (or maybe it was just a crap script), especially from whatshername… Johnny Depp’s ex. The comedy seemed a bit forced. But overall I liked the CGI effects. As someone upthread noted, you have to suspend disbelief throughout pretty much the entire film but once you’ve done that the visuals are pretty amazing.
  #141  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:47 PM
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Yes I should have clarified that it was world wide. They also mentioned it will grow because it hasn't yet opened in Japan.

I agree it was not as good as WW but Box Office success is separate from quality as everyone knows.
  #142  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:12 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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I agree it was not as good as WW but Box Office success is separate from quality as everyone knows.
I have not seen Aquaman so I cannot make any informed commentary about it, but the general consensus—that the plotting and dialogue are weak, but the visuals are stunning (if you like a lot of obvious CGI) and Momoa puts in a charismatic perfomance—is about what I expected. I wasn't sure whether Momoa could carry the film, but then I had my doubts about Gal Godot and she managed to carry a film with pure charisma that was 1/3 pretty good (mostly the Themyscira), 1/2 passably derivative, and the remainder painfully awkward plot shoehorning. I don’t think Aquaman’s pretty modest success portends well for any kind of future “Justice League”-centered stories, but a teamup wih Momoa, Gadot, and Ezra Miller could be worthwhile if they don’t try to shoehorn in Sad Affleck and Raging Asshole Cavill in some midguided attempt at completeness.

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  #143  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:20 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Sad Affleck and Raging Asshole Cavill in some midguided attempt at completeness.
Affleck and Cavill have already left/been fired from the DCEU as Batman and Superman.

Personally speaking, I thought they performed just fine in their roles. Indeed, after Adam West, Ben Affleck was my No. 1 Batman actor. To me, he absolutely looks and feels the role of Batman, in a way that no other Batman actor has even gotten close to. To the extent that their appearances were weak, I blame on the writing and directing, not on the acting.

Last edited by Acsenray; 01-11-2019 at 04:21 PM.
  #144  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:35 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Affleck and Cavill have already left/been fired from the DCEU as Batman and Superman.
Are you sure about that?

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Personally speaking, I thought they performed just fine in their roles. Indeed, after Adam West, Ben Affleck was my No. 1 Batman actor. To me, he absolutely looks and feels the role of Batman, in a way that no other Batman actor has even gotten close to. To the extent that their appearances were weak, I blame on the writing and directing, not on the acting.
Affleck was perfect casting for Bruce Wayne, having spent decades cultivating the persona of a wealthy entitled douchebag in his personal life, but he just came off as very unenthusiastic about the role, which was admittedly underwritten. Cavill always just seemed like a jerk even before he opened his mouth in interviews and expressed his primary interest in just making as large of a paycheck as possible. His portrayal is the antithesis of the boyishly charming Christopher Reeve even above and beyond the Zack Snyder intent to make Superman dark and moody. Brand M has also had their behind (and a couple of times in front) of the screen shakeups but they’ve managed to actually improve on the casting and develop stronger narratives through them, whereas DC Films seems pretty directionless and derivative.

Oh, well...I’m at least looking forward to a Wonder Woman sequel with Kristen Wiig and the Red Viper (who hopefully doesn’t get his eyes gouged in and head burst like a melon this time around...keep your distance while monologing, Oberyn!) and hopefully a Flash movie that doesn't suck.

Stranger
  #145  
Old 01-11-2019, 05:06 PM
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Maybe I'm not sure, but I guess we'll see.

Quote:
Affleck was perfect casting for Bruce Wayne, having spent decades cultivating the persona of a wealthy entitled douchebag in his personal life, but he just came off as very unenthusiastic about the role, which was admittedly underwritten. Cavill always just seemed like a jerk even before he opened his mouth in interviews and expressed his primary interest in just making as large of a paycheck as possible.
I'm not commenting on their personalities. However, I think they're both fine actors.

Regardless of how many bad movies Affleck has been in, I've never had a complaint about his acting ability. He's good at acting, plain and simple. I think he did fine as both Batman and Bruce Wayne. And I'd be happy to see him play the role again. What I fear is further bad writing and directing. DC obviously doesn't have a very good concept of what it should do with Batman and Superman on the screen.

Similarly, I don't think Cavill was terrible as an actor. He was fine in Tudors. Although, I think there are probably better choices, because he's one of those non-American actors who do an American accent through a super-clenched jaw.

Quote:
His portrayal is the antithesis of the boyishly charming Christopher Reeve
Say what you want about Reeve's charm, but those movies were boring to me as a nine-year-old, and I still can't watch them. Endless mooney-eyed scenes with long romantic ballads and stiff, unsubtle conflicts. Everything shiny. Blech. There was no joy for me in the Donner/Lester movies and they got stupid after that. I don't think I've ever seen a Superman on screen that I really liked. ... Except Ben Affleck as George Reeves, perhaps.
  #146  
Old 01-11-2019, 06:15 PM
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I thought that the movie for the most part looked great, with some really imaginative undersea shots in particular. But aside from that it was, surprisingly, pretty boring. It's hard to get excited about what's happening in the movie when:
- It's 100% predictable. The only plot twist I guessed wrong was that
SPOILER:
Willem Defoe turned out to actually be a good guy. Who'da thunk it?

- The heroes never really feel challenged by any of their opposition. Aquaman got tossed around a lot, but I never got the sense that he was in any serious danger. I think in an effort to put the "Aquaman is a useless Superfriend" reputation behind them they went way too far in the other direction. When it came down to it, Black Manta was just a guy with a powerful gun who had already been beaten once, and Orm never came across as clever or buff enough to be a real challenge. I wish they'd played up his gladiatorial skills a little more, especially since Aquaman apparently got most of his weapons training up on dry land for some reason.
- The characters were completely inconsistent, Aquaman in particular. He ranged from dumb to brilliant, brooding to jovial, blunt to scheming all without anything in the script motivating the changes. It's as if every scene was done in complete isolation. There was no motivating growth to his character. Was this about a kid who was treated as an outcast finally finding a place to belong? Maybe, for one or two scenes. Was it about a hero with a more complicated code of honor than Superman learning to live with the consequences of his moral code? Sort of, a little, but then that got dropped too. And there was nothing motivating Mara or Vulko, other than that Team Hero needed a motivating force. It would've been nice to see why they were so dead set against Orm.
- The bad guy's plot made no sense. It'd be one thing if he was trying to motivate the undersea folk based on the water pollution and so forth, which they kind of made a nod to and which might have been interesting. But then he does the false flag with the submarine, which should have been no threat at all -- the Atlantean's technology is ten times better than a few torpedoes. This is enough for him to start uniting the tribes to.... What? March on the surface and conquer it, when only the highborn can even breathe air? What's his endgame here?
- The usual globetrotting handwaving about travel distances and things is in full force here. Presumably the undersea tribes are spread all over the earth -- there's a quick reference to a 'Seven Seas' sort of motif. Which means Mara's little aquacar is zipping along pretty quickly over the course of the movie, or they're skipping over weeks of travel. Not to mention that the bad guy seems to be toting his whole army with him as he visits each of the other tribes. Then there's a quick side trip to the middle of the Sahara for no real payoff. The whole thing seemed to sap the energy from the plot, since it's hard to argue that the heroes have to hurry up and find this trident if it's really taking weeks or months to make the trip.
- Although they did a reasonably good job of keeping it offscreen, a ton of (mer) people died in this movie. That's kind of inevitable if you want big battle scenes. It kind of ruined the mood at the end for me, though. The royalty didn't seem to care much that hundreds or thousands of the peasants had just gotten slaughtered for no good reason. Just bygones, we're all a happy family now. Maybe that's just the kind of movie it was. But in Wonder Woman, for example, the deaths of the people in the gassed village seemed to have a real emotional impact on the characters that was nice to see.

Last edited by ebb; 01-11-2019 at 06:17 PM.
  #147  
Old 01-11-2019, 09:54 PM
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Yeah, "Too many people are dying! We have to end this battle right away! But first, well, there's explosions going on all around us, and it'd be a shame to waste those when we could use them as a backdrop for a long, sexy kiss that we really didn't do any meaningful build-up to at all."

I could buy the romance between his mom and dad. They didn't show much of the development (it wasn't really their story, after all), but the chemistry was there, and it worked. But I couldn't buy the Arthur-Mara romance. It just felt like "Well, we've got a male lead and a female supporting character, so naturally they have to fall in love (or at least lust)".
  #148  
Old 01-13-2019, 12:21 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I finally saw Aquaman last night, and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed it. I found myself spontaneously smiling at the end when he burst out of the sea with his trident and costume. It was a naturally joyful moment. The only other superhero movie that has given me moments of unselfconscious joy was Wonder Woman.

It was certainly not a perfect movie. It had a lot of flaws. But most superhero movies have flaws, even my beloved Wonder Woman.

Flaws:

1. Amber Heard. Her acting was absolutely atrocious. And she doesn't fit my image of Mera. Mera should be a mature woman, and fully grown adult. Not an ingenue. At some point in the movie, I decided I would watch it and every time Mera appeared on the screen, I would mentally replace her with my vision of how Scarlett Johansson would have played that role. I loved the cartoony red hair though, and the green outfit.

—1.a. There was no chemistry between Jason Momoa and Amber Heard

2. Really cheesy dialogue clumsily delivered. This was also one of the biggest flaws of Black Panther

3. Some really atrociously jarring pop music choices for the soundtrack, the worst being a hip-hop version of Toto's "Africa" for a scene in the Sahara Desert. (The biggest perpetrator of the bad soundtrack crime is, of course, Suicide Squad.) I love pop music and rock, but it wasn't appropriate for this movie.

4. The "young-age" makeup for Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison. It looked horrible. They should have cast different, younger actors for those scenes and then surprised us at the end with Nicole Kidman as the older Atlanna.

5. I was a wee bit troubled at first by the villain Black Manta being played by a black man. I got shades of Conan-style racist casting. But overall, the movie balanced this out, with white villains, and Polynesian heroes, and stuff. Generally making good steps towards multiethnic casting, so it's fine to have a black villain occasionally.

6. Randall Park—This movie did not need that character or that kind of comedy vibe.

7. Patrick Wilson as Orm was not the greatest

8. I wish we had seen King Orvax, Orm's father, on screen

The Good

1. The visuals were just amazing. I was always seeing something new and interesting. I never, ever got bored, and as you can see below, I often get bored during superhero movies.

2. I loved how the worked in all the main supporting characters from the Aquaman canon—Vulko, the Ocean-Master, Black Manta, Mera. If there's a second movie, I hope we get Arthur Curry Jr., because to me parenthood and family are a big component of the Aquaman character. I like the change they made to Orm's background (fully Atlantean son of the Atlantean king and Aquaman's mother, instead of the fully human son of Aquaman's father).

3. The movie was just fun and joyful and heroic and mythological.

4. I loved it whenever one of the characters said "gods." Like in Game of Thrones, I like it when movies and shows acknowledge non-monotheist belief systems.

5. The casting was generally very good. Highlights—Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Temuera Morrison (his dad), Nicole Kidman (his mom), Dolph Lundgren (!!) (Mera's dad), Willem Dafoe (the vizier of Atlantis), Yahya Abdul-Mateen (Black Manta), Djimon Hounsou (voice), Michael Beach (Black Manta's dad), Graham McTavish (the ancestral king of Atlantis). All the young Arthur Currys were also well cast.

6. The revenge-motivated Black Manta and the lesson that Aquaman learns about his decision that led to this motivation.

7. Manhattan was not destroyed in this film.

8. The romance between Temuera Morrison and Nicole Kidman was cliched and stereotypical but it was beautifully portrayed and they had a spark on screen.

For context, here's how I would rank the recent superhero movies I've seen.

The Good—

1. Wonder Woman
2. Ant Man and Ant Man and the Wasp
3. Aquaman
4. Once Upon a Deadpool (The PG version of Deadpool 2—I didn't see the R version)

The Flawed, but I liked some things about them—
— Black Panther (start by deleting the Martin Freeman character from this film. And that stupid casino scene. Ugh.)
— Batman vs. Superman

The Bleah—I got bored during significant stretches of these movies, so I judge them below average, and I have no motivation to re-visit them:

— The Spider-Man Movies,
— the Iron Man movies,
— the Captain America movies,
— the Avengers movies,
— the Guardians of the Galaxy movies,
— the Christopher Nolan Batman movies

The I-Can't-Even-Remember-What-Happened-in-that-Movie Movies, so I might have to watch them again just for that—
— Superman Returns and Man of Steel

Way Below Average: Justice League, the Fantastic Four movies
Just Bad: Suicide Squad
Dead Last: Deadpool 1. God, I hated that movie. Everything about it rubbed me the wrong way
  #149  
Old 01-13-2019, 02:20 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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A few I forgot:

Thor movies: bleah
Doctor Strange: suuuuuuuucked. I was so disappointed because I love Benedict Cumberbatch
  #150  
Old 01-13-2019, 04:11 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I don't understand how anyone could think the visuals looked great. They looked so amateurish.
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