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Going into a movie with no expectations and getting floored

Old 09-22-20, 09:11 PM
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EJ123
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Going into a movie with no expectations and getting floored

There are probably two movies I can recall where I had zero expectations going in and really zero insight on what these certain movies were about, only to finish the movie absolutely floored. Those would be Mad Max and Alita Battle Angel. I think with Alita, originally an anime from the early 90s, with the live-action movie released in '19, but this movie (despite the average critic reviews) was extremely well praised by viewers and fans, including myself. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron.

I think the two most notable scenes are with revealing how powerful Alita
is and then this romantic scene
with her and hugo, really complements her character well. Plus we are slowly shown the back story on her origins throughout the movie. I was so impressed and having Christoph Waltz as one of the main characters is always a plus. Highly recommend a watch if you're a fan of sci-fi or fantasy.
What other movies have you all been floored by with having no idea what the movie was about?

Last edited by EJ123; 09-22-20 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 09-22-20, 09:20 PM
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The benchmark for me was set by The Matrix. Keanu Reeves was years from becoming an internet darling, and the movie was released with minimal promo, from a directing team no one had ever heard of. That movie basically came out of nowhere, and just blew away pretty much everyone who saw it.

When I watch it now, these 20 years later-- it still holds up.
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Old 09-22-20, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The benchmark for me was set by The Matrix. Keanu Reeves was years from becoming an internet darling, and the movie was released with minimal promo, from a directing team no one had ever heard of. That movie basically came out of nowhere, and just blew away pretty much everyone who saw it.

When I watch it now, these 20 years later-- it still holds up.
That definitely was such an awesome movie. I wish I saw it in theaters when it came out.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:45 AM
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I'd say "Little Big Man" and "The Great White Hope." I was a 13 y/o kid when those first came out in 1970, had no idea what the movies were about, no expectations, and was blown away by both. They remain among my favorite movies and I've watched each about a dozen times.

More recently... probably "Let The Right One In." I only knew it was a vampire movie featuring kids. But it was nothing like I expected. It's not like any other vampire movie. While a bit tamer than the novel in terms of some controversial issues, both defy summaries or easy explanations.

I had high expectations for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" because I'd read so many glowing reviews. And it was even better than that. From the overt story to the subtext about America at its core to the casting, acting and cinematography, it's among the few perfect movies. Ron Hansen's novel should be in the top ten of American literature, alongside the best of Melville, Hawthorne and Hemingway.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:35 AM
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I was disappointed when I went to pick up my girlfriend and she said we can't go see the blues Brothers movie because she has to babysit her 10 yo cousin. No problem, we'll take him with us. But no, he cried because he wanted to see the empire strikes back. Now I was mad, I didn't want to see some space movie. Well I was mad til I saw the movie and was totally blown away. I think I was a blue belt in martial arts and I'm my mind it was all martial arts related... so I was hooked.
The kicker? The kid had already seen empire strikes back...but I didn't blame him for wanting to see it again.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:41 AM
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the red violin.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
There are probably two movies I can recall where I had zero expectations going in and really zero insight on what these certain movies were about, only to finish the movie absolutely floored. Those would be Mad Max . . .
Which Mad Max? I watched the original in the theater way back in time. As a 14 year old kid I definitely liked it, but it sure was a non-blockbuster underground indie kind of flick.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:32 AM
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As mentioned by DrIsotope, the Matrix was a knockout. I still love watching it every few years.

For a family movie, The Incredibles caught me off guard. I took the kids and wife, but I'm the one that liked it the most. I still do, for some reason.

Some others that I liked much more than expected were the fantasy movies Guardians of the Galaxy and John Carter. The second movie's lead character's acting is fairly wooden, but the whole premise originally conceived over 100 years ago was very entertaining to me.

Good entertaining escapism is usually what I'm looking for in a movie. Need a break from real life, you know.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'd say "Little Big Man" and "The Great White Hope." I was a 13 y/o kid when those first came out in 1970, had no idea what the movies were about, no expectations, and was blown away by both. They remain among my favorite movies and I've watched each about a dozen times.

I think Little Big Man is one of the best films of my lifetime. But I've only watched it couple of times as I really find it too emotionally powerful to watch.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Which Mad Max? I watched the original in the theater way back in time. As a 14 year old kid I definitely liked it, but it sure was a non-blockbuster underground indie kind of flick.
Fury Road 2015 all the way
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Old 09-23-20, 08:37 AM
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Little Man Tate. It's definitely not the sort of movie I would normally watch, and I don't even know how I wound up watching it, but I loved it. I related so much with the main character. Also, it had some absolutely hilarious moments, as well as some really touching ones.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:58 AM
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Bourne Identity. I knew nothing about it. And I was on what was a bad date. At least I didn't end up floating in the ocean, and knew my name at the end of said date.
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Old 09-23-20, 02:47 PM
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I love seeing movies I don't know anything about. I remember back in the days of video tape rentals my wife brought home two movies for the weekend that I had heard of, but knew nothing about: Fargo and Slingblade.

Wow. Those two blew my mind. About then I started avoiding movie trailers and discussions of movies I'm even remotely interested in. No spoilers, please!
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Old 09-23-20, 02:51 PM
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The original Terminator movie. T2 wasn't bad either.

And of course, the original Star Wars movie.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:02 PM
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My son (who works in the film industry) dragged me out to see Blade Runner 2049. I never saw the original, and knew nothing of the story. I left the theater with my jaw dropped. Also the first Tarantino movie I ever saw was Pulp Fiction. I didn't quite know what I saw, but I knew I loved it.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:02 PM
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The 400 Blows by Truffaut. I saw it as part of an English class in college and knew it wasn't just something I had to watch for the class.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:09 PM
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Night of the Living Dead was another one. I went with a big group of friends to see it one warm summer night in college at a drive in with some friends who were there for beer and fun and had too much beer to appreciate it. Definetly worth seeing again.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
Bourne Identity. I knew nothing about it. And I was on what was a bad date. At least I didn't end up floating in the ocean, and knew my name at the end of said date.
Yup, The Bourne Identity and sequels were a pleasant surprise. Author Robert Ludlum created great characters and basic scenarios, but was a terrible writer. Just awful. And the first Bourne adaptation with Richard Chamberlain was utterly forgettable. Perhaps closer to Ludlum's conception, but, again, Ludlum was not a good writer and a faithful adaptation of his books would make bad movies.

Taking the core of the story and reinventing it was brilliant.
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Old 09-23-20, 09:21 PM
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From Russia With Love. I had no idea of who or what 007 was when I saw this at the local neighborhood movie theater in 1963. Still a super-duper movie and the best of the Bond series.

For a Few Dollars More. I had never seen an Italian Western before seeing this one in 1965. Still the best.

The Godfather. Stood in line to see it at the 1130PM show on a Thursday night at the 2,500 seat Fox Theater when it opened in Philadelphia. I knew it was a popular movie but did not know the story. Big characters on a BIG screen, the way movies are meant to be seen.
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Old 09-24-20, 03:32 AM
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I got extremely lucky once in my 20's, during weekdays I had a habit of returning home from some bar somewhat after midnight and have a smoke and watch some tv with some roommates. With the BBC in a different timezone there was often an old movie starting around 00.30. That time appearently there was a serious rockumentary on about a 70's rock band I had somehow never heard of called Spinal Tab.
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Old 09-24-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
I got extremely lucky once in my 20's, during weekdays I had a habit of returning home from some bar somewhat after midnight and have a smoke and watch some tv with some roommates. With the BBC in a different timezone there was often an old movie starting around 00.30. That time appearently there was a serious rockumentary on about a 70's rock band I had somehow never heard of called Spinal Tap.

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Old 09-24-20, 07:56 AM
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The Red Violin (mentioned above by ooga-booga) is a great drama with Samuel L Jackson. Other great dramas - Being There, King of Hearts (is it a goofy rom-com or a caustic political satire? from 1962)

Good action flicks - Bladerunner (original), The Professional (with Jean Reno/Natalie Portman/Danny Aielo), Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Dep and Christina Ricci), Pale Rider (unheralded Clint Eastwood western, but very entertaining).
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Old 09-24-20, 08:35 AM
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Purple Rain
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Old 09-24-20, 09:43 AM
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I was a teenager in Belgium when Monty Python and the Holy Grail came out. It was the only movie in English we could find, I never heard of Monty Python, the movie posters looked really dumb (I don't think we realized it was a comedy), but it was the only movie in English, so we bought tickets - and OH MY GOD what a treat!
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Old 09-24-20, 10:07 AM
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For some reason, I was an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan in the early 1980s, I guess after watching Conan the Barbarian. So I dragged my (good-humored) girlfriend to The Terminator on the day it came out. No clue what it was about, really, and the first few minutes seem really cheesy and made me think it was just gonna be a schlocky B-movie. Yeah, cue jaw-drop.
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