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Aquaman (December 21, 2018)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by dpippel, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I saw this Thursday night in IMAX 3D and enjoyed it more than I expected.

    The IMAX 3D presentation was tremendous. Here in NYC at least, it's only playing in 3D on one of the four IMAX locations, and only for the first week - then all IMAX locations here will be showing it exclusively in 3D. That's a real shame, and I would encourage anyone interested in seeing the film to go see it in IMAX 3D. It has one of the more aggressive conversions that I've seen in recent times, with tremendous depth and some popout - the water effects are really used in a great way. The IMAX version also includes shifting aspect ratios; just about everything that's underwater is 1.90:1, as are most of the on-land action sequences. It's a visually stunning movie that has some things in it I hadn't quite seen anywhere before. Total eye candy.

    I thought the movie was well cast (the DC movies have really been nailing that part of the equation) and the performances were pretty good. This is a movie that has Willem Dafoe riding on a shark and Nicole Kidman as the queen of the ocean, so I mean, you get to see some of the greatest actors of our time having fun, and that's worth the price of admission in and of itself. Jason Momoa has charisma in the lead role, and is given much more to do here than he was in Justice League. James Wan's direction is solid; he nails the visuals, gets good performances from his cast, and keeps the film moving along.

    Where the movie fell short for me was its script. It felt like it was written by committee with no particular message to impart or urgency for telling its story other than, "we need to have a film ready by this date." It's a shame, because all of the other elements are there. There are lapses in internal logic galore, which may have made sense on the page at some point or another, but have been lost on the way to the screen. Subplots are brought up and then quickly discarded. Characters and story arcs are introduced and then set aside, and then brought up again out of nowhere, and then discarded again just as quickly.

    That the movie manages to work as well as it does is a huge credit to James Wan. The script should have doomed the film, and it somehow works despite it.

    There is a mid-credits scene but nothing after that.
     
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  2. Message #142 of 206 Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Saw this today. First, let me tell you of the strangest experience I've ever had at the movies, courtesy of reserved seating technology (of which I am not a fan). We get there - 5 of us - and I tell my wife we are in row F, seats 8-12. There's a man and a boy sitting in F 8-9. He shows me his phone, and I show him mine, and both of us have row F on the screen. We decide to sit in E, since there is no one there and it doesn't look like it will be crowded. (It's 10 am.) Another man in row D turns around and shows me his phone, saying the show is nearly sold out. Sure enough, the screen only shows scattered seats in the theater. By now, three more people are sitting in F 10-12.

    So I go to the manager. She takes my phone, comes into the theater and the man in row F gives her his phone. She sees that we have the same row. (BTW, I'm showing her the screen from the Fandango app, which is what the ticket-taker scanned.) The manager disappears for a minute or two as the previews start. She comes back and offers to give me vouchers for free movies for the inconvenience, but asks me to move -- two of us to the side seats near the front, and three of us in the back. Now, mind you, one of my sons is in a wheelchair, and I hate that AMC regulates wheelchair patrons to the back row, so we don't sit there. So, I told her no. I said, quite truthfully, that my kids have been looking forward to this movie for more than a year. One of them LOVES Aquaman, almost more than any other superhero. I said she was going to need another solution. I'm getting stressed, because the previews are almost over and I hate missing anything. She disappears again.

    While she's gone, I decide to look at my phone again, to make sure I'm not missing something. Sure enough, there's the page on the Fandango app that says row F seats 8-12. For some reason, I decide to open my email and look at the receipt from Fandango. I do so and - holy cow! - it says the same theater, the same time, the same seats, but ROW E. I ran up to the manager, showed it to her and told her the crisis was averted but how messed up is that? None of us - me, the guy in row F or the manager had ever seen anything like that.

    So there's your reserved seating technology.
     
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  3. Message #143 of 206 Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Aquaman is not the best superhero movie (opening 40 years to nearly the day of Superman: The Movie, I couldn't avoid comparisons in my head) but it is a lot of fun. Yes, sometimes it seems like an explosion of CGI mixed with kitchen sinks and silly string, but for an underwater movie, it's fairly bright, the cast is pretty engaging and it's a near-constant state of fun. The script is lacking for sure, as is Patrick Wilson's character, but Arthur, Mera, and Black Manta all have moments to shine and they're the main focus of the movie. I especially liked that Mera is a vital character to the film, instead of a princess in distress or a weak supporting character. Jason Momoa isn't my idea of Aquaman (who, to be fair, wouldn't be a memorable movie character) but he was terrific. He's clearly having a ton of fun with it and it shows. It's infectious. He and Amber Heard may not have the greatest chemistry, but she's also really good in her role. Too many of the action scenes are an orgy of movement with fish, people, fishpeople and bubbles zipping about, but at least it's colorful, even if there's a sameness to these scenes. I enjoyed the stuff with Arthur and the fish. I also really liked that there's no sacrificial lamb sequence (see: every other superhero movie ever).

    The DC movie universe still has a long, long way to go to get anywhere near Marvel, but this isn't a bad installment for them. It's a pretty good one, thankfully doing away with the dire tone of the earlier DC films (except for Wonder Woman) and showing us that the DC films can be fun.
     
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  4. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    That's quite the sucky saga Sam! I always reserve my seats directly from the theater chain's website and have never, ever had a problem. Seems like the combination of Fandango + AMC wasn't a good one.
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I've never had a problem with my reserved seat not being available, but once or twice, I had an issue where someone else tried to claim my seat with incorrect information. I think once, the person was admitted to the theater and did have the same seat as I did, but it was for the next showing that day. The other time, it was the same showtime but on a different date. I'd like to believe that these were innocent mistakes and not a case of someone wanting to attend the showing I went to, seeing that it was sold out, and then buying similar tickets and hoping no one would call them on it.

    I don't really see this as a problem with the reserved seating concept in general, though. If the showtime had been for a theater that didn't have reserved seating, it could just as easily been a different kind of computer glitch (perhaps one where it lost your ticket order altogether).
     
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  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    So while the app was showing you bought Row F, you really bought Row E, and those seats were available and you got to see the movie as planned from the Row E seats? Just trying to make sure I got this figured out. :D

    How did your Aqua-fan child like it?
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    That's correct. When I brought up the app for the ticket-taker to scan the QR code, it said row F. I did, in fact, buy row E. Strangest damn thing.

    He loved it; they both did. Hearing raves about it all day. (They're 9.)
     
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  8. Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    My wife and I once got seats that were "double booked" so to speak. There was no alternate way to see my seat selections as I used fandango to buy the tickets and received and email with a link to my tickets, but we got there second to the other party that reserved those same seats. They were QUITE unmoved and short with us when we were simply trying to figure out if they had the same seats. When we got a theater employee involved she was able to confirm that both of our parties somehow reserved the same seats, so she offered to just switch out tickets to be reserved for another seat, and that was all solved before the previews even started. We were annoyed though with the manager at one point because we asked if we could get a refund for the "convenience" charge. He said no and that we would have to take it up with Fandango. He didn't offer anything to us for the whole thing and seemed to not give a shit and quickly ran off. And Fandango didn't give a shit either when we tried contacting them. This WAS a while ago, back when this particular theater first started their reserved seating thing (the movie was Bad Moms), and nothing of the sort has happened ever since at any theater we've been to.
     
  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Interesting. That's the only other time I've heard of this happening. Kinda makes me feel better, knowing that it happened elsewhere, even if it was a long time ago. (Bad Moms - 2016?)
     
  10. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    This was probably an amazing film to be a concept artist for. It features no less than 5 fish man armies (admittedly, two are humanlike), a Kraken, the OG Aquaman suit, and some rad outfits for the incomparable Amber Heard. This is an unabashedly over the top superhero romp, but it worked for me. Felt like a nutty and expensive fever dream. Well directed, great visuals, solid structure. I hope DC keeps it up.
     
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  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    With a little underwater The Lord of the Rings/The Fellowship of the Ring sequences thrown in.;) At one point I thought I was watching that underground scene again when the Fellowship is running from all those orcs and such.;)
     
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  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  13. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Cinematographer

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    It's doing fine. It's been a huge hit worldwide and met projection for this weekend.

    It's hard to compare to opening weekend of Justice League where it opened against The Star and Wonder.
     
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  14. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    The article paints a largely positive picture of Aquaman’s box office performance. It’s going to be a financial success for the studio.
     
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  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Of course it's doing fine. I just thought it was an interesting contrast to its overseas box office performance.
     
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  16. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Just got back from seeing this and...well...I thought it was MST3K bad. I had high hopes too. :(
     
  17. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    “MST3K”?:wacko:
     
  18. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Mystery Science Theater 3000.
     
  19. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Ahhh!
     
  20. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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