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  #751  
Old 07-30-2018, 12:04 AM
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I just saw Extinction on Netflix and I liked it well enough. It was a bit like an extended episode of Black Mirror. Of course as usual I'm in the minority, as every review has called it garbage.

Father of the Year (David Spade stars) was an expected stinker but there were parts I laughed at so to me it was an okay movie.

My 13 year old picked The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassas to watch this weekend. I had never even heard of it and I thought it was a great show. The weekend before that she chose Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was an okay family film, a bit dated which is odd to say about a film from 2008. She's really in to those adventure type movies right now though and totally got in to it.

Recently saw Coco and Moana and we loved them both. I am not a big fan of kids' animated movies but Coco really held my attention. Moana was fun and cute and tolerable.

I had How it Ends on my list to watch but now I'm not sure I'll bother.
  #752  
Old 07-30-2018, 08:08 AM
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I've recently watched District 9 (sci-fi near-dystopia, OK), Lady from Shanghai (I'm a fan of film noir and Rita Hayworth) and The Last Detail (I'd seen it decades ago, but I like Jack Nicholson).

ETA: I just now noted that Hayworth was married to her co-star Orson Welles when they made Lady from Shanghai.

Last edited by septimus; 07-30-2018 at 08:12 AM.
  #753  
Old 07-30-2018, 10:51 AM
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...and the binder in front of General Turgidson (George C. Scott) in the war room with a label that says "World Targets in Megadeaths".
"Look, Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed...."
  #754  
Old 07-30-2018, 04:16 PM
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Today's "stuck on the couch" matinee is How The West Was Won(Blu-ray Cinerama Smilebox version). I wouldn't call it a "great" film but the restoration looks and sounds terrific.

Last edited by blondebear; 07-30-2018 at 04:16 PM.
  #755  
Old 07-30-2018, 07:14 PM
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Rupture (2016) - Starring Naomie Rapace, Michael Chiklis, a few others. As stated previously, I'm not really a horror fan but this one sucked more than most. I chose it out of the Sci Fi/Horror section, so I wasn't completely sure where it was going to go. And that's the problem with this movie - it didn't seem to know where it should go. I don't know how to describe its suckage with spoilering the whole thing, so:

SPOILER:
The movie starts out with a pleasant suburban scene consisting of single mom and cute kid make jokey family friendly banter. Cut to single mom is abducted on the side of the road by a group of people - a few thugs and a strange woman. The next hour and a half you spend trying to figure out what is going on. There are lots of scenes of her communicating with other prisoners without seeing them - they are setting you up for the big reveal that it's her tormenters the whole time. It's not. But they don't really make that clear until the end when you're begging for a twist because the real reason she's been kidnapped is so stupid. It seems this group of people kidnap people based on some genetic criteria and force them into terrifying situations (she's afraid of spiders so they play heavily in her torture) to force them to "rupture" thus evolving into the next level of human - a Spock like existence of cold logic and no emotions coupled with grotesque physical deformity. And wouldn't you know it, she turns out to be the first one they've done it to who has remained fertile so soon they won't have to kidnap people anymore. First, however, she is forced to hand over her son to the collective as well, but he gets away. The End.


Fuck, I hope there isn't a sequel.
  #756  
Old 08-01-2018, 03:42 PM
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After visiting the impressive Harry Potter areas at Universal Studios Orlando, I gave Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone another try. I had tried watching it before.

Watching it for the sets and props and not looking for much action or a very original plot, it was quite an enjoyable movie.
  #757  
Old 08-09-2018, 09:41 PM
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I watched The Shape Of Water. It was nice enough, but bugger me if I can see what all the fuss was about. It was hardly awards material. I didn't get caught up in the romance angle at all, it was a very weak part of the story.
  #758  
Old 08-10-2018, 08:12 AM
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Disobedience: A woman who had left her Orthodox Jewish life comes back and reconnects with a childhood friend. Disobedience ensues.

Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star. I had thought that the actors were too far apart in age to be childhood friends. In reality they are 8 years apart. A bit of gap to paper over but not as large as I thought.

Allan Corduner from Topsy-Turvy has a small but powerful role. Checking IMDb shows he's done a lot, little of which I've seen (e.g., Homeland). Think I might have to correct that.

A good film up to a point. There's a misdirection early on that almost works if you didn't know the basics of the plot.

OTOH the ending (barely a spoiler) is just
SPOILER:

... unexpected and not in a good way. Yeah, the writer wanted to avoid Obvious Ending A and Obvious Ending B, but this ending was too off course with the rest of the film.
Give it 4 candlesticks.
  #759  
Old 08-12-2018, 02:34 PM
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MotW: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix). Based on the book of the same title.

Starring 4 people from Downton Abbey, Cal from Orphan Black, Tom Courtenay from a boatload of great stuff, etc.

Set in London and Guernsey after WWII with flashbacks to the occupation of the latter.

Note that there is a book club within the movie which often reads passages from Bronte sisters' stuff. So you pretty much know all about the romance angle of this movie. (There were even a couple of shots that evoked scenes from movies based on those books.)

It started off deviating from the Bronte norm with 3 men in the life of the female lead. But one gets ruled out, so it's the usual two choices.

Very, very standard Bronte-like story except for the Guernsey/Nazi thing.

So for me is was fairly meh, but Mrs. FtG liked it a lot. She hadn't read the book but knew about it.

I give it 2.5 roasted pigs but Mrs. FtG would rate it more like 4.
  #760  
Old 08-19-2018, 05:02 PM
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Mile 22 - A mediocre action picture which compounds its mediocrity with an ending that pretty much requires a sequel (and I don't think it will do good enough business to get one). The plot and motivations aren't exactly logical, but the action sequences are pretty good, with the highlights being the scenes of Iko Uwais (The Raid) wreaking havoc. It's not really as rah rah MAGA as some reviews describe, but there is an undertone of "If it was American, wouldn't just a little bit of fascism be a good thing?".

Crazy Rich Asians - The best rom com to hit the screens in a long time. It is almost a musical comedy without the musical numbers. Bit of a throwback to something like The Philadelphia Story (which, for those who have not seen it, is a significant compliment). There is genuine chemistry between the leads (rare in modern romantic comedies imho), engaging and funny character actors abound (Awkwafina stands out), and the inevitable break-up scene doesn't occur through stupidity on the part of the lovers. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this won't be the break-out hit it deserves to be. Because the cast is entirely Asian. There is no handsome white boy, even as the villain trying to break-up our couple, no sassy white best friend. Every important (and not so important) cast member is Asian (primarily Chinese). It makes perfect sense for the plot and, for me, is just about perfectly cast. However, I suspect that there is a large bloc of movie goers who would normally flock to this type of movie, especially after a period of poor to mediocre rom com offerings, producing the "surprise hit" of the summer, who will stay away. Not because they are "racist", but because of the unconscious prejudice of "I just don't think it's made for me" that an all non-white (or non-black) cast will create. I hope I'm wrong about this. The first weekend's box office will probably be a big indicator.

Juliet, Naked - Another rom com. A good one, but not as good as Crazy Rich Asians. Really good performances by the main cast, good chemistry between the romantic leads, and stupidity is not used as a device to move the plot along. As an indie rom com, it doesn't provide a happy ending, but it does provide an optimistic ending (I hate inde pictures that seem to think arbitrarily providing "and then he/she/they die" as an ending is edgy and smart in a romance. This movie is definitely worth spending an hour and a half on, but not over Crazy Rich Asians. Did I mention I like Crazy Rich Asians?
  #761  
Old 08-19-2018, 05:55 PM
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ftg says that Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams are too far apart in age to be childhood friends since Weisz is eight years older than McAdams. One interesting thing is that Weisz (at 48) is currently expecting a baby, while McAdams (at 39) just had a baby. Sometimes people who are that far apart in age are often similar in other ways. Sometimes they look similar in age.
  #762  
Old 08-20-2018, 07:45 AM
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Note: I said I initially thought the Rachels were too far apart, but seeing that they were 8 years apart made it close enough by Hollywood standards.

Anyway: MotW. Funny Cow. The Big Problem. If you've seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel you are going to have issues with this film. It superficially sounds similar but it is very, very different in style, tone, etc.

A woman with a ton of troubles struggles to get somewhere in life. Ends up (apparently) as a stand up comic by the name "Funny Cow". (Seriously.) Told in random flashbacks after her success.

There is just one scene of her doing stand up and it is ... hard to take. Racist, crude, etc. For the most part, that she becomes a stand up is irrelevant to the story!

The character actually comes off as something of a sociopath in terms of being emotionally detached from people, etc.

Not really a lot to enjoy about this film. Paddy Considine does a nice job.

Give it two empty bottles as pity points.
  #763  
Old 08-21-2018, 10:08 AM
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My most recent five:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
Had its moments but a disappointing end to the series. Mostly meh.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
A kick-ass spy thriller, with lots of twists and turns. Tom Cruise still has it, and Rebecca Ferguson is a terrific addition to the franchise as a conflicted, beautiful, badass MI6 agent.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Also very good, with Cruise and Ferguson returning. The movie has probably the best helicopter stunts I've ever seen.

The Spy Who Dumped Me
Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon play gal pals who get in 'way over their heads in international espionage. A so-so spy parody, although with a particular good chase scene in Vienna.

Incredibles 2
Saw it again and enjoyed it just as much. A great superhero adventure, and a worthy sequel to the original.
  #764  
Old 08-29-2018, 12:15 PM
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I saw the gender-swapped remake of Overboard recently. I expected to hate it, but it was actually kind of funny and charming. Not the best movie I've ever seen, but decent mindless fun.
  #765  
Old 08-29-2018, 01:38 PM
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Crazy Rich Asians - The best rom com to hit the screens in a long time. It is almost a musical comedy without the musical numbers. Bit of a throwback to something like The Philadelphia Story (which, for those who have not seen it, is a significant compliment). There is genuine chemistry between the leads (rare in modern romantic comedies imho), engaging and funny character actors abound (Awkwafina stands out), and the inevitable break-up scene doesn't occur through stupidity on the part of the lovers. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this won't be the break-out hit it deserves to be. Because the cast is entirely Asian. There is no handsome white boy, even as the villain trying to break-up our couple, no sassy white best friend. Every important (and not so important) cast member is Asian (primarily Chinese). It makes perfect sense for the plot and, for me, is just about perfectly cast. However, I suspect that there is a large bloc of movie goers who would normally flock to this type of movie, especially after a period of poor to mediocre rom com offerings, producing the "surprise hit" of the summer, who will stay away. Not because they are "racist", but because of the unconscious prejudice of "I just don't think it's made for me" that an all non-white (or non-black) cast will create. I hope I'm wrong about this. The first weekend's box office will probably be a big indicator.
This one came out of nowhere. I had seen trailers for it but I had dismissed the movie. Jon Chu, the director, has made a string of forgettable movies. (He doesn't even make original bad movies. He makes the direct-to-video sequels to bad movies that other people made.)

So I was very surprised when I saw Crazy Rich Asian doing so well on both Box Office Mojo and Rotten Tomatoes.
  #766  
Old 08-29-2018, 01:46 PM
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I saw Ocean's 8 last week. A good movie but not a great one. The performances were good but the studio seems to have used up all its creativity with the idea of remaking Ocean's 11 with a female cast.

I saw Yellow Submarine yesterday. I had seen it way back during its original run and I've seen it since on dvd and blu-ray. It's a top notch movie and the soundtrack is, of course, great. George Dunning was a one-hit wonder; this is the only feature film he ever directed.
  #767  
Old 08-29-2018, 02:37 PM
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Breath. An Aussie movie based on the novel of the same name. Simon (The Mentalist) Baker stars, produced, etc. it.

Two kids learn how to surf under the auspices of Baker while his wife (Elizabeth The Night Manager Debicki) loafs around. Then stuff happens. Set in the 1970s so you get Landslide on a turntable and a few other such touches.

This is a movie about risk. Kind of drill that home a bit much. Surfing is one risk. Elizabeth Debicki is a former skier. And more would be spoilers.

They do a really good job showing the boys growing over the span of I guess 2 years. But not apparently shot over such time.

An okay movie if you like surfing. It's clear they cut out a lot of the book. "Threads" are underdeveloped and left hanging, etc.

Give it 2.5 old surfing magazines.

(Credit spotting: The name of the movie dog in real life is "Jed". The same name as Debicki's character in The Night Manager. Plus another actor's first name is "Jed".)

Note that there is also another recent Aussie movie that this one reminds me of: The Butterfly Tree with Melissa George. She does an above average job for her (which is a low bar) but the other actors are not even that good. Could have been something. A real waste.
  #768  
Old 08-29-2018, 03:06 PM
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I saw Beatriz at Dinner recently.

I thought the first 95% of the movie was excellent, but the ending totally ruined it for me.

What are we supposed to take away from it?

SPOILER:
The world is hopeless, so just kill yourself?
  #769  
Old 08-29-2018, 07:32 PM
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I saw Ocean's 8 last week. A good movie but not a great one.
I really liked it, but I admit I had seen much better plot twists and turns in an episode of Leverage. There was no jeopardy, it was a bit too slick for its own good. But I liked the characters and fun of it all, so I hope there's going to be another one, this time with a better story.
  #770  
Old 08-29-2018, 09:43 PM
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I really liked it, but I admit I had seen much better plot twists and turns in an episode of Leverage. There was no jeopardy, it was a bit too slick for its own good. But I liked the characters and fun of it all, so I hope there's going to be another one, this time with a better story.
I've thought about doing a thread to dissect the plots of movies like this. The ones where it's overly complex and parts of it are hidden from the audience until the final scenes. I'd like to go back and rewatch the movie, knowing the hidden plot, and see if it makes sense based on what the characters are supposed to know and be doing.
  #771  
Old 08-29-2018, 11:19 PM
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Jumanji (2017). I hadn't seen this because (1) It's a remake, which is never as good as the original, and (2) the 1995 film wasn't very good. And then...

It is good. It's not just reproduced with new actors: it's a new movie based on the original idea. I actually really enjoyed this, and I was surprised.
  #772  
Old 08-30-2018, 04:31 AM
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The most recently theatrically released movie I've watched recently is Deadpool 2 - the Super-Duper Cut. I think it was actually better than the first one, if you ignore the temporary Fridging of Vanessa. 'Hi, Wade!' 'Hi, Yukio!'

The theatrically released movie I watched most recently is the 2010 restoration of Metropolis. Still 2 scenes missing, and a lot of the restored ones were barely watchable (but at least they were there)... It really makes me wonder what the people who cut the scenes originally (I'm pretty sure Lang was neither among them, nor consulted) were thinking...I can't imagine the movie even making sense without the scenes that were cut. And reducing Georgy 11811, Josephat, and the Thin Man to basically cameos - a mostly pointless one in the Thin Man's case - was a real pity.

Not theatrically released, I've also watched (rewatched, in 2 cases) several of the DC Universe Original Animated Movies - Justice League Dark, Justice League vs Teen Titans and The Death of Superman (those three set in the DCUOAM universe) and Batman Ninja.

Not actually sure why I rewatched JLD and JLvsTT, specifically...Netflix probably recommended them when I was looking for something randomly to (re)watch. They are two of my favourite movies in the DCUOAM universe, but I'd have probably worked through the whole thing in order if I was watching for serious.

The Death of Superman is a HUGE improvement on the last attempt to do a movie of that storyline (Superman: Doomsday, which culminated in Our Hero tossing the Dark Superman into the middle of Metropolis from orbit)...that they're planning to do it as 2 movies certainly helps, so Death can focus on building up to the death and give the fight with Doomsday the attention it deserves, and Reign won't have to turn the replacement Supermen into a composite who manages to be less compelling than any of them.

Ah, Batman Ninja, though...that's...a gloriously weird specimen. Batman, most of his supporting cast and enemies, and Deathstroke are sent to Japan in the Warring States Period by Gorilla Grodd, where most of the villains set themselves up in the places of the significant Daimyo. And that's the relatively straightforward part of the plot. It starts going a little nuts in the second half, and officially gets balls to the wall batshit in the third act. And it works. So very well. It's also worth watching in both English and Japanese...due to a tight timetable and barebones translation, the people who wrote the English script basically had to make it up from scratch...so, while they avoided significantly changing the plot, the dialogue is totally different, leading to some slightly different characterizations. (Batman, Harley, Catwoman, and Joker, particularly).
  #773  
Old 09-05-2018, 04:52 PM
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Revenge For Jolly, a black comedy starring some fairly big names (Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Kristin Wiig, Adrian Brody, others you know). It's basically a McGuffin movie. The "protagonist" played by Brian Petsos (who I never heard of before) is a quasi-criminal low-life who owns a miniature pincher named Jolly. He was supposed to a thing for a guy but he couldn't (pretty much verbatim from the movie) so someone name Bockmire killed Jolly. The rest of the movie is him and his cousin (Oscar Isaac who is fantastic, funny as hell) killing pretty much everybody in order to find Bockmire. The End. I mean I won't spoil the last five minutes, but that's pretty much the entire plot.

They go from their neighborhood bar to a motel room with a couple of prostitutes to a lawyers office to a wedding reception growing progressively more violent and drinking beers along the way in their pursuit. There are no knee slappers here, but the performances are top-notch. Bobby Moynihan is hilarious, briefly, as one of the slippery lawyers; Elijah Wood plays the first victim, his last words being, "I'm sorry. I realize that sometimes pets -".

It's dark and violent, but goddamned funny. There's really no redeeming theme that I can discern. Maybe loyalty? The folly of chasing one's demons? I don't know. But you should watch it. It's good. I see it got a 4.6 on IMDb, but fuck them, it's good.

Last edited by Jack Batty; 09-05-2018 at 04:53 PM.
  #774  
Old 09-05-2018, 05:01 PM
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And the award for worst movie I've seen in a while goes to:

Love After Love. Stars Andie MacDowell and Chris O'Dowd. (Note the rest of the cast barely have an existence in the movie. There are essentially robots.)

A very misleading premise: MacDowell finds love after losing her husband. This is really not the story at all. In fact, there is not a "story" period.

Starts off with the usual end-credit cast listing with who played who. Okaaay. But it soon becomes clear that the film is intended to be non-standard thing. Forget story, forget relatable characters, forget understand what's going on at all.

It just sucks.

Got taken by the high RT score. But the panners sum it up nicely.

For those scoring MacDowell movies at home. Regarding weddings and funerals:
SPOILER:
0 weddings. 2 funerals.

Do not waste your time on this.

Give it a simple 0.
  #775  
Old 09-09-2018, 02:05 PM
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The Bachelors.

J.K. Simmons is a HS calc teacher with a HS age son. The wife/mother recently-ish died. Old J.K. decides it time to leave Dodge. New adventures in LA ensue.

Also starring Julie Delpy. (Can you guess what part she plays in this? I thought so.)

It's the usual things go this way (for both), then they go that way (for both), etc. The only "surprise" is the last change in how things are going is completely out of nowhere and pretty much seems to be done for plot convenience.

Good acting and all that. In particular, for someone like me, it's worthwhile just to watch J.K. Simmons. Shoot, I'd watch J.K. eat clams. It just needed a more original plot.

Sidenote: It has Tyrel Jackson Williams (Charles from Brockmire) in it as one of the HS kids. He looks really young compared to his Brockmire persona. IMDb says it was filmed in 2016. But still ...

Speaking of spoilers (?), regarding the movie poster:
SPOILER:
It shows a thing that only happens in the last scene of the movie. Nice job there.

Give it 3.5 Juno Dads.

You know, somehow I've never gotten around to see the Before Sunrise/Sunset films. Someday.
  #776  
Old 09-09-2018, 11:20 PM
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I’m not happy about it, but had bad reactions to two very well reviewed films, Incredibles 2, and She.

The Incredibles sequel was talky and wore its very ordinary philosophical ideas on its sleeve. The plot was a repeat from the first film, but broke continuity with the first film’s ending. The often beautiful phyics of the first film were mostly gone, and were replaced by “comic book” physics. (That mostly refers to ElastiGirl’s motorcycle adventure.) A huge disappointment for me.

She was well directed with several interesting concepts, but the basic story line was painful in the way a bad situation comedy is painful — the leads do something awesomely stupid and it’s obviously going to have eventual repercussions.
Sort of a mild spoiler:
SPOILER:
If the Operating System is not truly a conscious entity then the protagonist is selling his life down the river, and if the Operating System is truly a funny, artistic conscious entity then the human race is selling itself down the river.
I didn’t much care which eventuality the director decided to go with.
But it was extremelywell made.
  #777  
Old 09-10-2018, 01:32 AM
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I caught Tomb Raider on Sunday. A decent film that almost completely lacks flair - the dialogue just moves the plot along without letting the characters breathe. It's especially notable in Walton Goggin's character since offbeat rambling is typically what he's there to do. I liked Vikander in the role and liked the choice to show the character as an female action hero, forgoing the boobs and hot-pants version of the original.
For a hundred million dollar movie, it had a curiously made-for-TV feel to it.
  #778  
Old 09-11-2018, 03:16 PM
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I saw this movie last night on Netflix called The Discovery starring Jason Segal and Robert Redford. It was weird. It wasn't a great movie. The "discovery" is made by the scientist played by Redford, and it supposedly proves there's an afterlife so millions of people commit suicide to get to I guess the next level. It really wasn't a great movie. It was slow and tiresome, but it really made me think after. I don't want to spoil it but the end of the movie really affected me.
  #779  
Old 09-11-2018, 03:54 PM
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Speaking of movies that affected me ... I discovered Popcornflix, free on Roku, they've got a ton of grind-house flicks and generally low budget horror and niche stuff in addition to a pretty wide variety of big name movies as well.

I watched a movie about a serial killer who is a church deacon by day, but also somehow can't keep a job and is your average beer swilling loser. The movie isn't very thick on story telling. It tries to get suspense flowing but it never quite clicks. For example, there's a scene where the killer's cousin comes barging into his apartment looking for some towels, unbeknownst to him that there's a dead prostitute in the bathtub, but it comes off more comedic that suspenseful.

The conflict comes when he attempts to kill a girl in his van, but it turns out she was one of his old students from Sunday School so he lets her go. He ends up in a relationship with her that he is never able to consummate and he so he tries to kill her too. I don't feel bad spoilering this for two reasons - A) I can't remember the name of the movie and 2) I doubt anyone's going to watch it anyway.

So he drags her out to his favorite dumping place but she gets the drop on him and shoots him leaving him to bleed to death in the desert. The end. It isn't even a very gory movie but the charm is in it's true ickiness. The gritty film, the wooden performances, the odd editing/cuts, it's like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but without the ability to pull it off.

-- I just found it ... it's called Murderlust. How do you not watch a movie called Murderlust? In which case, sorry for spoilering it.


But wait ... my strange night of movie watching had only just begun.

Moebius.
Where do I even start with this disturbing, weird fucking movie. First of all, I should say I only caught about forty minutes of it before my Roku had a fit and I haven't been able to catch up with it yet. It is a very stylishly shot South Korean film with absolutely no spoken dialog. All communication is conveyed with actions and looks. It's pretty jarring, especially considering the shit that goes down. Here's what I caught so far. Mother catches Father screwing around on her. So Mother sneaks to his bed in the middle of the night and attempts to caught off Father's penis, but he wakes up and is able to thwart her. So Mother then goes into teen-aged Son's room and attempts to cut off his penis, this time successfully. Father comes running into the room horrified and tries to subdue Mother and get Son's penis back but she -- get this -- shoves it into her mouth and starts chewing it. But don't worry ... it gets worse. When Father brings Son to the hospital they cut back to Mother who is now sticking her fingers down her throat puking up Son's penis. Oh, this is an arty film.

When I left off it appeared that Father was preparing to sacrifice his own intact penis, surgically, I assume to donate to Son. I can't wait to see where else this fucking horror show is going.
  #780  
Old 09-11-2018, 04:04 PM
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Crazy Rich Asians: A date movie with a predictable plot. Well acted, with some funny moments. I really loathe the celebration of excessive wealth and the extravagant lifestyles of many who have it. Singapore is an obscene monument to greed on steroids.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:10 PM
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Update ... I just started watching Moebius from where I left off. I misconstrued a scene. I was wrong about the whole Father donating johnson to Son thing. That would have just made the movie weird.
  #782  
Old 09-11-2018, 05:10 PM
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Little further in now. Nope. I was right the first time. Moebius, for sure.

Ok more plot. Most of act II is about Father trying to guide Son through life penis-less. Son gets caught up with bad kids and is involved in a rape, though he has to fake it. He ends up in prison anyway. Meanwhile Father figures out a way for Son to achieve orgasm with out a cock through pain stimuli. Which leads to a disturbing sex scene, a fully clothed one but disturbing nontheless, where Son is now married to the girl who was raped (since he never really raped her) and she gets him off by stabbing a knife into his shoulder and wrenching it around. They get back at one of the real rapists where she seduces him but manages to lull him into a spot where she can cut of his dick. Moebius. Then there's a sort of three way with the whole crew and more knife in shoulder cumming. Great movie.

But here's here it gets weird. Father and Son finally found a doctor that can do a successful penis transplant and Son gets a new willy, but it still won't work with wifey. Then, what do you know, Mother shows back up and when she gets touchy feely with Son, the ol' fella rises to the occassion. That's when Mother freaks out, thinking Son doesn't have a penis - considering the last time she'd seen it was when she was gnawing on it - so she yanks down Father's pants to discover it's his penis that was transplanted and that's why Mother makes it go up. I swear to God I'm not making any of this up. Still a little while to go in this thing and it have a feeling it might begin to get strange.
  #783  
Old 09-11-2018, 06:09 PM
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Crazy Rich Asians is the most recent movie I've seen. I'd read and liked the book, and the movie was quite the rom-com spectacle and a lot of fun.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:28 PM
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Crazy Rich Asians: ... I really loathe the celebration of excessive wealth and the extravagant lifestyles of many who have it.
Agreed. This is why I can't get myself to drum up an interest in that movie at all.
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Old 09-12-2018, 06:55 PM
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Crazy Rich Asians: A date movie with a predictable plot. Well acted, with some funny moments. I really loathe the celebration of excessive wealth and the extravagant lifestyles of many who have it. Singapore is an obscene monument to greed on steroids.
Based on the first 2 words of the title, you can't say you weren't warned.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:29 PM
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MotW: Hearts Beat Loud with Nick Offerman and sort of some other folk.

Nick runs a record store that's past its prime with a daughter about to go off to college and music ensues.

I can see the elevator pitch for it now: It's like High Fidelity meets That Thing You Do! Or is it Empire Records meets Chasing Amy? But with the record store set in Red Hook, Brooklyn not Red Bank, NJ and Amy is chasing Amy. All with crappier music.

Let's face it. This is a good Nick Offerman performance weighed down by crud music. He is carrying the movie. Sure it has Toni Collette, Ted Danson and Blythe Danner but their characters are underdeveloped and underused.

The thing is the father and the daughter make up a two person group. So they use synth loops to fill out the music. Using synth loops for this type (or most types) of music is bad. Using bad synth loops is really awful.

The movie does have it pluses. It's got a slew of tiny little fun bits. A line or two thrown out here and there that are good. But they are isolated from each other. Not coherently put together.

And, hey. It's got Nick Offerman in it being Nick Offerman. I might not watch him eat clams like J.K. Simmons, but I would watch him sand oak.

Give it 3 Les Pauls.

I just took a peek at some of my favorite Empire Records scenes. Yeah, that's how to do a movie about these mythical things of yore called "record stores".
  #787  
Old 09-16-2018, 08:36 PM
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After something of a drought, a whole raft of movies opened here.

The Predator - A deliberate throwback to the original and the action movies of the 80's. Unfortunately, it doesn't capture lightning in a bottle. Despite a capable cast, the characters aren't sharply defined or very memorable (Yvonne Strahovski is wasted in what is almost just a cameo). The hero isn't able to fill the boots of Arnold. However, if you are willing to turn your brain off and enjoy the blood (both red and green) flying everywhere, it's an enjoyable time.

A Simple Favor - I found it surprisingly delightful and twisty. Anna Kendrick makes the perfect protagonist of this black comedy/Gone Girl wannabe (her chirpiness strikes exactly the right tone for a cross-grain character). While the twists are not as surprising as they should be for a dark mystery, they are actually perfect for the winking satire that this movie actually turns out to be (and that's a twist I didn't see coming). I expect this movie to make my list of overlooked gems at the end of the year.

Blaze - An outstanding film, but not a great film. Ethan Hawke show he knows how to put a twist on the standard biopic and the cast is uniformly great, with real chemistry between the leads. In the end however, its still a biopic, with all the limitations of the genre. Also, the bio is that of Blaze Foley, an alt-country legend who burned through his career quickly. (At the very least, he inspired this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXbn1-aVQw8 ).

I Think We're Alone Now - A decent, but not that inventive, dystopian sci-fi flick around the "last man on earth" trope. But it's got Peter Dinklage and he is always great to watch, and because he's "the last man on earth" for most of the picture, it's a meaty part, so in the end it turned out to be an enjoyable little diversion.
  #788  
Old 09-16-2018, 09:44 PM
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I've been doing a lot of catching up on old movies that I knew existed, but never saw.

I just watched Mad Love (1935) last night with a surprisingly tolerant Pepper Mill (my wife, who married me, so she's used to weirdness), Since I grew up reading Forest J. Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland I was familiar with the plot and several images from the film. I knew that it was based on the same story as the 1924 silent [B[ Hands of Orlac[/B], which is now regarded as a German expressionistic masterpiece, on a par with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and that it starred Peter Lorre. I'd seen the weird shots of Lorre dressed up in the Neck Brace and artificial hands and dark glasses, and I knew the plot.

In case you don't, both films are based on a story called "Les Mains d'Orlac" by Maurice Renard. A concert piuanist's hands are mangled in a train wreck and a brilliant surgeon is able to replace them by grafting on the hands of an executed murderer. (Not remotely possible at the time, of course, although the operation is now safely performed -- I know a guy who had it done). He finds that he can't play the piano well anymore, but his hands can expertly throw knives, and seem to want to kill of their own volition. The story has been stolen numerous times, and even appeared in an episode of The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror", with Homer getting an Evil Hair Transplant.

Anyway, the story had great potential, as the reputation of the 1924 original makes clear. But this version was made by MGM, which never was as good at horror as Universal. You can clearly see the clumsy hand of studio chiefs at every stage of the production, too scared that audiences won't accept the story, or have to be cajoled into liking it. The result is a real mess.

You can see the What Might Have Beens -- there are some gorgeously cinematic shots, as when the housekeeper answers the phone, and all you see is her grotesquely elongated shadow on the wall. Or the aforementioned shot of Lorre dressed in a pulled-down hat, neck brace, dark glasses, and (false) prosthetic hands.

Begin with the casting. It's the first American film of Peter Lorre, who came to the Us expecting to play Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. They made him do this film first. He's bald as a cue ball, and his eyes bug extraordinarily out of his head, giving him an extremely weird appearance. Apparently they urged him to repeat his style from Fritz Lang's film M, but in that film he was an ordinary man who was secretly a child molester and murderer. In this film, you can't help thinking the weird Dr, Gogol is up to something.
Colin Clive, the original Henry Frankenstein from the first two Universal Frankenstein films, here plays the pianist Orlac, and he seems as whiney as he was as Frankenstein.
The murderer, Rollo, is made out to be an American who, for some reason, carried out his crimes in France (all the other characters -- except one -- are supposed to be French, and the story is set in France). He's played by the guy who would go on to provide the voice for Timothy the Mouse in Walt Disney's Dumbo.
Finally, there's to worst piece of casting. Ted Healy plays a reporter named Reagan. Ted Healy is the guy that the Three Stogges were stooges to, originally, before they split from Healy and went on to greater fame and success. Healy plays a particularly annoying and very American reporter. (He and Rollo hit it off very well). He seems to have wandered in from some other movie. Indeed, there's nothing like him in the other film versions of the story. You get the idea that the Pwers That Be introduced him so that the American audience would have someone they could identify with in the film. Except that I had no interest in identifying with Healy.

The story starts out in a French theater that is obviously supposed to be the Grand Guignol of Paris, with its intentionally creepy and bloody shows. They try to convey a sense of this, but they're clearly pulling back and not depicting things as the real GG would have shown them. The torture scenes only hinted at in Mad Love would have been explicitly shown in the real GG theater.

Anyway, Lorre's Dr. Gogol has fallen madly in love with the star of the show, unbelievably unaware that she is married to the pianist Orlac. She knows of his infatuation -- everyone does -- but not that he doesn't know she's married. When he finds out, but persists, the film gets seriously creepy. Gogol consoles himself with buying a wax replica of the actress and serenading it at night in his roms. When Orlac has his accident, she throws herself at Gogol, begging that he operate. He does, without, amazingly, requiring anything of the actress.
This whole obsession subplot seems to be unique to this version of the story. Everybody else was satisfied with the whole "Hands of a Murderer" plot, without the "Doctor has designs on the pianist's wife" thing.

Anyway, the treatments are expensive, and soon the Orlacs are broke. (You'd think that, since Gogol is obsessed not only with being thought a genius, and with Ms. Orlac, that he'd cut them some slack in financing. Or at least that he'd demand sexual favors from Ms. Orlac. Today, such an operation would be done at reduced cost simply for publicity and to show it could be done. ) Orlac can't play up to his original level, but, heck, you'd think people would come even to hear him play "Chopsticks". And what about his vaunted skill as a composer?
But the plot demanded that Orlac be almost destitute, so that he can ask for money from his father, who hate him for becoming a world-famous pianist instead of going into the family business. (There just no pleasing some people.) He refuses. Orlac's knife-throwing hand throws a knife at his father, but misses. Later, his father turns up dead, stabbed with a knife. Rollo's fingerprints are on the knife, but they're also on Orlac's hands, now.
Things look grim for him, now, but Gogol starts to go really mad now, botching an operation that his subordinate has to finish (the subordinate is played by actor Keye Luke. It's heartening to see an actor of Asian ancestry playing a skilled surgeon, but we never see him without his surgical mask on.) He's hearing voices. Gogol sends an anonymous message to Orlac that he has something to tell him. Orlac meets Gogol (not knowing it's him) in a room in a bar. Gogol whispers that he knows about Orlac's hands, using a whispering voice so he doesn't reveal his identity. He says that he is himself Rollo, who had been executed on the guillotine, and that Orlac now has his hands. He shows him (false) prosthetic hands, then opens his coat to reveal a neck brace that is keeping his tyransplanted head on its torso. Orlac is seriously freaked, and now believes that HE unknowingly killed his father.
Things get even worse when Ms. Orlac discovers that Gogol has been keeping a wax figure of her in his room. She takes the place of the figure, and Gogol confesses his crime to his wax dummy. When she moves, he believes that she has, like Galatea, come to life. But his voices tell him he must "Kill the Thing he Loves", and he starts to strangle her with her own hair. Orlac and others hear her scream and try to break in, but the door is locked. Orlac kills Gogol with a thrown knife (the one time in this film when a knife, thrown by what are supposed to be expert hands,actually hits what it was thrown at)


A real mess of a film. There were at least three screenwriters, the last of them being John Balderston, the guy who rewrote Hamilton Deane's "Dracula" for Broadway, and later did the movie script. He also wrote "THe Mummy" for Universal and had a hand in "Frankenstein" But he couldn't save this mess.

Pepper Mill's comment was the same as for an earlier MGm release (made back when they were First National) -- Doctor X. "They had no idea what kind of film they were making". Just so. Is it a horror film about transplanted hands with a mind of their own? Or a film about a conflicted surgeon saving the hands of a man whose woman had spurned him? Or is it a Ted Healy comedy?




Oh, yeah -- I've always had an odd feeling about the story. When I was a kid, I took piano lessons. My teacher's name was Mrs. Orlac.
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  #789  
Old 09-17-2018, 02:05 PM
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Oh, yeah -- I've always had an odd feeling about the story. When I was a kid, I took piano lessons. My teacher's name was Mrs. Orlac.
Whoa, that's quite a coincidence. Although if I played the piano I'd be tempted to change my name to Orlac.

My contribution is the recent remake of Murder on the Orient Express. I give it a big "glad I saw it for free on HBO".

Director/star Kenneth Branagh goes heavy on artsy-for-no-reason camera placement. But my complaints are really with Agatha Christie, rather than Branagh's adaptation. I love the genre, but this was a really weak example.

SPOILER:


Seriously? They *all* did it? Weak. And Poirot's unraveling of everyone's cover story, to deduce that everyone on the train had a connection to the victim and the victim's past unpunished crime...bordered on magic and telepathy.



The final scene looks longingly towards a sequel based on "Death on the Nile" but given the tepid reaction to this one, I'd say that's not likely.
  #790  
Old 09-17-2018, 03:53 PM
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I just sat through the Ghostbusters reboot. My god, was it awful. Paul Feig should be grateful for the sexist "Controversy", because it took the light off of how disjointed and terrible it ended up. It was so forgettable, when trying to describe it to a friend less than 48 hours later, I could not remember a single character's name.
I caught the flick last night - I'm not quite so critical of it. I thought it was fun enough. I liked that the characters weren't just straight up clones of their original counterparts and the effects were pretty cool, for the type of movie it was. I bought The Ghostbusters video game on a lark a few years ago, and this movie reminded me of that style and vibe.

Eh, it was ok. I'll probably watch it again sometime.
  #791  
Old 09-17-2018, 04:20 PM
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Whoa, that's quite a coincidence. Although if I played the piano I'd be tempted to change my name to Orlac.

My contribution is the recent remake of Murder on the Orient Express. I give it a big "glad I saw it for free on HBO".

Director/star Kenneth Branagh goes heavy on artsy-for-no-reason camera placement. But my complaints are really with Agatha Christie, rather than Branagh's adaptation. I love the genre, but this was a really weak example.
SPOILER:


Seriously? They *all* did it? Weak. And Poirot's unraveling of everyone's cover story, to deduce that everyone on the train had a connection to the victim and the victim's past unpunished crime...bordered on magic and telepathy.



Quote:
The final scene looks longingly towards a sequel based on "Death on the Nile" but given the tepid reaction to this one, I'd say that's not likely.
When I was watching this with Pepper Mill we imagined the stabbing scene with the recent cast, but played out as if in the 1974 version. Each person comes up to stab Johnny Depp


"That is for The Lone Ranger... and THAT is for The Mad Hatter -- TWICE! ... And THIS is for Willy Wonka!....THIS (stabbing four times) is for Captain Jack Sparrow!... and This is for FRom Hell. I Wish I WERE Jack the Ripper!"

Finally Kenneth Branaugh takes up the knife as Hercule Poirot

"And THIS is for Mortdecai! Whoever told you that you could play a character with a RIDICULOUS mustache?"
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  #792  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:31 PM
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My most recent five:

What's Up, Tiger Lily?
Woody Allen's mashup of Japanese spy movies, with silly dialogue substituted for the original words. Sixties Japan's answer to 007 goes hunting for the world's greatest egg salad recipe. Pretty funny.

Hitler's Hollywood
Interesting documentary about Goebbels's cinematic propaganda machine, which churned out anti-Semitic films, romances, military adventures and costume dramas until just weeks before the fall of Berlin.

First Reformed
A dark, powerful drama about the priest of a failing parish whose faith is shaken when an environmental activist he is counseling commits suicide. Ethan Hawke is outstanding as the priest.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Saw a beautifully crisp, clear 4K restoration of Kubrick's 1968 classic sf film. Still a remarkable movie, and it holds up remarkably well.

The Shape of Water
A mute cleaning lady in a 1962 top-secret U.S. military lab begins a romance with the amphibious humanoid held captive for experiments there. Not as good as its most rapturous reviews, I thought, but worth a look.
  #793  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:43 PM
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I'd like to revisit that Moebius dick eating movie I went on about previously. In my attempt to be humorous, I gave it short shrift; it really is an excellent film despite it's odd plot. The themes are much deeper than, "oh no I lost my penis," it is beautifully filmed, directed and performed. The very fact that the entire movie is performed with no audible, verbal communication, through scenes of violence and rape as well as more subtle and tender scenes, makes it pretty remarkable.

If you can get past the weirdness of it, and you like arty movies, you really should give it a try.
  #794  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:03 PM
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I've been trying to keep up with Unspooled lately (it's a podcast in which Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson review a different movie each week, chosen at random from the AFI Top 100 list). Last week I watched E.T. - I hadn't watched it in a long time and to be honest, I watched it kind of distractedly, but it brought back the requisite memories. I remember being fascinated with California life as depicted in this and other films involving suburban California sprawl.

Last night I watched High Noon with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Yep, it's a good 'un. I don't believe I'd ever watched it before - maybe a scene or two here or there. Impressive photography within a pretty standard oater. Well, above standard. Great score to keep the suspense up when required. I really was in the dark as to how the showdown would wind up, or even if there would be a showdown. I really enjoyed it.
  #795  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:54 PM
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I just finished watching another Old Horror Movie that I'd never seen -- The Old Dark House. This one, at least, was from Universal. It was never included in the "Shock Theater" package of films released to syndication in the late 1950s-60s, so I never got to see it, although I saw plenty of stills from it in Famous Monsters of Filmland. Then it was declared a "lost film", until it surfaced again, and has been restored. I was expecting much better things of this than of Doctor X and Mad Love. Besides being by Universal, it has a stellar cast -- Boris Karloff (playing a hulking mute brutish butler -- think "Lurch" without the charm --, so he reminds you of the Frankenstein monster), Raymond Massey in his first American film, Charles Laughton in his first American film. Ernest Thesiger (before he was Dr. Pretorius), a young Melvyn Douglas, and Gloria Stuart (eons before Titanic). The whole thing was directed by James Whale, who did Frankenstein and would go on to do Bride of Frankenstein. Shoulda been great.

Only it's not. It's the classic idea of strangers forced in to take shelter at the titular Old Dark House by a raging thunderstorm (to my knowledge, this is the first appearance of this Rocky Horror Show theme, but it might have appeared earlier). There's the Sinister Butler, the foppish Master, his Shrewish Religious, condemning sister in the house. Later we learn that there's the older than dirst patriarch in a bed upstairs, and also the Crazy Family Member Chained Up in the Attic. Among the wanderers we have the Young Couple, their Bachelor Friend, and (in a separate group) a nouveau riche English Sir and his chorus girl companion. It's as if they wanted to get together as many clichers as possible to see what would happen.

Unfortunately, not much does. There are scenes that give us pairs of these characters interacting with each other. There's a Dinner scene with everyone sitting together at table and trying to act normal. There are intimations that someone is crazy, or acts scary when they're drunk, or they're terrified of what's upstairs. There are some gorgeous camera shots. There are some beautiful ones of reflections in warped mirrors, and they stole the best image from the Universal silent horror film The Cat and the Canary -- the hallway with curtain being blown in by the wind. But there's not much there there. There are a few unconvincing fight scenes and a lot of locked doors and much running around, but there's nothing to tie it all together, no single theme, no Great Revelation. It's a Tale Told by an Idiot, Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing.


Another film I saw has virtually disappeared. I heard nothing about it when it was released, and the reviews I've found of it panned it. I would never even have heard of it, had I not gone on a tour of the heavy cruiser USS Salem, which is tied up in Quincy, MA (Not Salem, MA). I learned that the engine room was used in the shooting of a film starring Chris Pine. That told me that it was a recent film, but I hadn't heard of it. Months later, I found a copy being sold cheaply at a 7-11 and bought it.

The film is The Finest Hours. It tells the true story of the Coast Guard rescue of the crew of the SS Pendleton, a crude carrier that broke in half in a storm off Nantucket in 1952. Amazingly, the film story takes few liberties with the true story (told in the book The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman, the b asis for the film). The reviewers objected to this by-the-numbers straightforward rescue story, and seemed to think that Chris Pine was just too model-pretty to be believable.

Pepper Mill and I found the story riveting. Chris Pine is great as the commander of the only (but inadequately equipped and manned) Coast Guard vessel to go to find the stricken ship (there were too many other disasters in that stormy night, including (unbelievably, but true) another crude carrier that also broke in half), but Casey Affleck pretty much steals the show as Ray Sybert, the engineer of the Pendleton who, as the highest-ranking officer on board what's left of the ship (the ship's officers were on the other half, which broke off and sank), leads the crew in saving themselves, despite the fact that most of them hate him, and half of them want to jump ship into the lifeboats. Sybert succeeds mainly through knowing more about the ship and its physical realities than anyone else, although he can take Julius-Caesar-like bridge-burning measures when necessary.

It's a Disney film, so you know it's going to succeed, and that most of them are going to make it, but if the reality was anything like the depiction, that end was by no means certain. )One of the real-life participants, upon seeing the film, reportedly said something like "I had no idea it was that dangerous.") Damn the critics, I highly recommend this film. It sure beats the 1930s horror films I've seen recently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fi...urs_(2016_film)
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  #796  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:48 AM
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Got some nice things to say about The Children Act with Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci.

Good acting, good story. Actually, that would be "stories" as it is two interconnected tales in one.

Thompson is a family court judge married to Tucci and one of cases involves an almost-18 year-old Jehovah's Witness refusing a transfusion. A fairly easy decision it would seem, esp. based on the first case shown in the movie, but Thompson gets a bit into it which leads to trouble later. So actually "the case" in the movie is done with fairly early. It's the rest of the movie that gets interesting.

Fionn Whitehead plays the JW kid. There's a bit of overdoing it going on there but I'm not sure if it's the actor or the writing. (And "Fionn" is a male name? Contrast to Thompson's character name: "Fiona". Could have led to confusion on the set.)

Thomson is a gem, as she almost always is. She sings and (appears to) play the piano. Tucci doesn't do a British accent and that's fine.

Oh, and Jason Watkins as Thompsons clerk does a great job as a somewhat background character. Watch him carefully.

This is based on a novel by Ian McEwan who also wrote the screenplay. I think that explains why the story was (nicely) more involved. Turning it over to someone else would have resulted in a simpler, poorer, story.

Give it 4.5 Yeatses. (Yeati?)

Last edited by ftg; 09-23-2018 at 08:49 AM.
  #797  
Old 09-24-2018, 04:57 PM
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Time for another edition of Jack's Weird Movie Corner.

On Popcornflix, The Blackout (2013). Now you may think by the cover art alone that I was surfing around for a decent titty-flick - and you'd be right - but that's not what I got. It's about a rock band on the cusp of stardom, about to sign a big contract and go out on tour. The neurotic guitar player/songwriter is in the middle of losing his girlfriend, the drug-addled drummer is just trying to have a good time, the omnisexual singer just wants to fuck everyone and the trying hard to remain sober bass player is just hoping for one last shot. The problem is that they can't find the contract; in fact they can't remember anything about the night before. The only solution - because science - is to reinstitute a blackout to remember the blackout. A method proven valid in Beerfest.

After I realized it wasn't your typical skin-flick, I was pleasantly surprised. Don't get me wrong, this isn't going to win any awards but it's pretty damn funny. The story holds up just enough to get in some decent gags and some legitimately funny lines. It stars no one I've ever heard of, but a lot who look familiar. And they're all really funny. No really horrible drama school dropout stuff.

Think Airheads meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but on a shoestring budget.
  #798  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
...Give it 4.5 Yeatses. (Yeati?)
Do Yeti rank movies with Yeati?
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:01 AM
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mother!

I don't know really what to say about this, except that I liked it a lot. I remember hearing that opinions on it were very divided when it came out, and I can see why. I like most of Aronofsky's work and I went in expecting something different from typical mainstream movies. I was not disappointed.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:56 AM
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Been wanting to see this for a bit. Eighth Grade.

It's about the last week or so in the life of an 8th grade girl. It reminds me a lot in certain ways of Welcome to the Dollhouse*. But now with social media and all that crap! So up to date that there's a "No one uses Facebook anymore." line.

The main character Kayla leads sort of a double life. She post videos about basically a fake persona and lives a miserable life of shyness and loneliness. Very bleak.

So, not exactly a fun movie. But well acted, esp. considering the majority of actors are teens. Well made otherwise, too. It's just ... a long downer.

Give it 4 broken iPhones.

* Where did the last 23 years go???
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