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  #251  
Old 07-14-2015, 03:04 PM
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"Spy" with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham. Ok it's a Melissa McCarthy movie but I thought she was hilarious in Identity Thief. In Spy she is relatively competent and not there for fat jokes and physical comedy. Even though I'm a big Statham fan his role in this movie wasn't as good as I expected. Don't go in expecting logical exposition, but overall I thought it was very funny and would watch it again.

"Seven Psychopaths" It's trying to be Tarantino-esque but mostly failing. It is also a movie within a story within a movie, or something like that. Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken do well in their roles, and Tom Waits even has a farily small but important part. It was good but not as clever or funny as I had expected from the trailer.

"The First Turn-On" A 1983 Kaufman/Troma film, but this is more about sex than weirdness or gore. I had never heard of it, just happened to see it on Amazon Prime. I thought it was an interesting and funny take on the "teens having wild times and sex at camp" genre.
  #252  
Old 07-14-2015, 03:11 PM
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I just saw Birdman with Michael Keaton.

I really enjoyed it. Acting, pacing, soundtrack, visual style...all really well done.
  #253  
Old 07-14-2015, 05:18 PM
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Saw "Sorority Sex House" on late night cable. It was very strange. It was rated R, made in 2014, direct to video, so I figured, soft core porn. And it had just the sort of storyline you'd expect from softcore. The acting was a little better than you'd expect from softcore, and the actresses were not as attractive as you generally get in softcore but .. there was no porn. No sex scenes! Just a few scenes of the actresses getting naked.

So what this movie wound up being was the plot filler bits that serve to link the sex scenes together in a softcore porn movie, with just bits of female nudity to substitute for the porn. Sort of like teen movies back in the 70s and 80s, you know, before there was Internet porn and cable porn. Except this movie was made in 2014. I have NO idea who the filmmakers thought was gonna watch this movie. At least softcore porn has the porn elements to redeem it. This movie has nothin' ... but it IS a strange little curiousity piece.
  #254  
Old 07-20-2015, 04:37 PM
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Frankenstein, err, Ex Machina.

Some original stuff here and there, but good grief, I've seen a lot of this movie before. Plus the implausibility of the lone guy developing all this out in the tullies, even if he did have Amazon Prime.

Really blew some of the tech talk badly a couple times, etc.

Overall, it would have been a good movie if only ...
  #255  
Old 07-23-2015, 05:21 PM
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I have NO idea who the filmmakers thought was gonna watch this movie.
I'd guess people like you, who watched the movie.
  #256  
Old 07-23-2015, 05:54 PM
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Whiplash. Meh.
  #257  
Old 07-23-2015, 06:30 PM
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This very short film is quite possibly the dumbest thing you will ever see, in every possible way. The acting, camera work, editing, and story are horrifically stupid. I could have made a far better film on my frikkin' Droid, with my cat playing a cameo.


It is totally SFW and may actually be a good cure for insomnia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmYPdcmHxzM

P.S. What's even more stunning to me is that I know the person responsible. I never would have expected this.
  #258  
Old 07-27-2015, 04:29 PM
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Up next: 5 Flights Up. With Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.

This is just a really nice movie.

Simple movie, simple review. If you want to know about the plot or who else is in it, follow the link.

A good movie to watch at home on a Saturday night with a loved one.
  #259  
Old 07-27-2015, 06:46 PM
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I'd guess people like you, who watched the movie.
I do not believe that "people like me" constitutes enough of a demographic to keep a parakeet in sunflower seeds.
  #260  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:17 AM
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I've recently seen:

The Matrix
Watched it again with my teenage son, who'd never seen it. It held up pretty well - a nifty premise, good-looking cast, great action scenes, goofy/portentous dialogue, style to burn and still-impressive sfx.

Mr. Holmes
Ian McKellen is wonderful as the elderly Sherlock Holmes, retired to beekeeping on the Sussex coast in 1947 and troubled by both his last case and his failing memory.

Minions
Good silly fun, with a ridiculous plot mainly set in London. If you like the Despicable Me movies, you'll like this.

Bowfinger
Having long heard good things about this Steve Martin/Eddie Murphy sendup of B-movies and talentless people on the Hollywood fringes, I was a little disappointed. It had its moments but not enough to really grab me.

Forbidden Films
A pretty good German documentary about the 40-some Nazi-era films that are still banned from public showings there. The movie includes excerpts from many of them - anti-Semitic, anti-British, anti-Russian and anti-Polish movies, but also innocuous song-and-dance films, an exuberantly over-the-top Luftwaffe adventure, Stuka, and a cast-of-thousands Napoleonic epic released in 1945, just months before V-E Day. The documentary includes several interesting interviews with German film experts and historians, discussing free speech, democracy, the enduring evil these films represent, and the harm they might yet inflict.
  #261  
Old 07-30-2015, 10:52 AM
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Seen (and later re-watched with my wife): Leon: The Professional, a 90s fractured fairytale/action/love story (of sorts).

Never saw it when it came out, which was probably a good thing, as the initial cut of the movie was missing nearly half an hour - stuff cut for being too upsetting for audiences in screening. The missing scenes were added back in later.

I thought it was excellent - both moving and disturbing.

On the surface, it's an action movie about an apparently unstoppable hitman. Nothing about his actions are in the slightest realistic, which doesn't detract from the movie - it isn't intended to be; this is more like a fairy-tale than a police procedural. He kills gangsters at the order of his boss, disappearling like a ghost.

However, we soon discover that this hitman is a lonely and broken fellow, living a crappy life in a run-down apartment - his only friend is his house-plant, his only amusement watching old movies.

The real heart of the movie is the odd relationship he strikes up with the neighbor kid, a 12 year old played by Natalie Portman. She absolutely stars in this role, the best child acting I think I've ever seen.

Suffice it to say her role is very disturbing. It's a 20 year old movie, but still, maybe in spoiler:

SPOILER:
She is clearly an abused child - she is beaten by her family; in one pivotal scene, the hit-man fellow hands her a hankerchief to staunch the blood dripping from her face. Her dad is a thieving drug-dealer and her step-mom is a prostitute. The only one she cares for is her little brother. They are all killed by psychotic crooked cops - her dad had ripped them off - and she is (reluctantly) saved by the hit-man.

Thereafter, she worms her way into his life, trying to convince him to teach her the hit-person skills necessary to exact bloody vengence on the murderers. He's very reluctant to do anything of the sort - but she is plausible and manipulative. In a scene cut from the original release, she basically puts a gun to her own head and threatens to kill herself if the hitman doesn't agree to her plan - he knocks the gun away at the last second.

Throughout she develops a crush on him, apparently the only adult ever to be nice to her - much to his discomfort - and the subtext of sexual tension between them becomes unsettlingly overt: she expressly propositions him (in a scene again cut from the original release). He turns her down. But at the same time, she becomes, basically, the centre that is lacking in his aimless, murderous life.


In a lesser movie, this stuff would seem grossly exploitive. It is a tribute to the skills involved - directing and acting - that it works.
  #262  
Old 07-30-2015, 11:42 AM
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Thanks. Leon has been on my to-see-someday list for a long time.
  #263  
Old 07-30-2015, 12:40 PM
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Saw Hercules on Netflix last night. Starring the Rock and his 'Roids!

I wasn't expecting much and it was stupid.........but it was good fun. Duane Johnson can carry his lines well and has a likeable screen persona. And it was an actual movie, unlike most of the film-school drop-out dreck I see on Netflix and Hulu and Popcorn. Seriously. They all missed the classes that taught sound and lighting. (if it's supposed to be scary dark...I should notice the long shadows on the wall)
  #264  
Old 07-30-2015, 12:58 PM
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Thanks. Leon has been on my to-see-someday list for a long time.
If you do, make sure it is the so-called "international version".

The original US cut is nearly a half-hour shorter, and the half-hour that is missing isn't filler [the story goes that when the film was screened for test audiences, they reacted badly to the sexual innuendo - hell, not even "innuendo", it goes beyond that - and violence being associated with a 12 year old, so some of it was cut - I haven't actually seen the cut version, but I can't imagine it was better as a movie. Though in discussion boards I've read discussing the movie, some prefer it.]

I highly recommend the movie - it's a real classic, and it holds up well because of the quality of the acting: all three of the central character's performances are amazing - though the guy playing the evil cop's perfomance is over-the-top to the nth degree, it is awesome to behold - one of the creepiest, most entertaining psychos I've ever seen, he just exudes insanity and menace.
  #265  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:37 PM
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If you do, make sure it is the so-called "international version"....
Will do!
  #266  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:57 PM
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I highly recommend the movie - it's a real classic, and it holds up well because of the quality of the acting: all three of the central character's performances are amazing - though the guy playing the evil cop's perfomance is over-the-top to the nth degree, it is awesome to behold - one of the creepiest, most entertaining psychos I've ever seen, he just exudes insanity and menace.
Yes, one of Gary Oldman's craziest, over-the-top roles, and that's saying a lot.
  #267  
Old 07-31-2015, 08:11 AM
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Yes, one of Gary Oldman's craziest, over-the-top roles, and that's saying a lot.
"You don't like Beethoven!"
  #268  
Old 07-31-2015, 08:18 AM
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As a side-note - last night I was watching the Lego Movie with my kid (3rd time for him, he loves it) when I saw what may be a shout-out for Leon the Professional - when Emit was in his apartment, he looks at his "instructions", which tells him to have breakfast with his 'loved ones' (showing a family) - he looks around, then pulls up his house-plant, and has breakfast with that.

The plant looks like a lego version of Leon's plant.

It's plausible, because the Lego Movie has literally dozens if not hundreds of shout-outs in it.
  #269  
Old 07-31-2015, 07:47 PM
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Watched The Strange Love of Martha Ivers on Netflix.

Barbara Stanwyk, Van Heflin, a very young Kirk Douglas and a smoking hot Elizabeth Scott.

It was actually quite good. Especially Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Great Film Noir.
  #270  
Old 07-31-2015, 08:29 PM
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After a long stretch of watching only cable TV series I just recently watched a few movies.

American Hustle-Great acting, period correct, seemed awfully long but not a problem.
Silver Linings Playbook- Cringe inducing at times but I thought the leads did a great job. Happy to see Lawrence and Cooper get together at the end. DeNiro was pretty good too.
Tig-I heard some of the set that went viral and made Tig Notaro known. I find her very funny. That's why I watched the movie. Touching stuff. Definitely worth a watch.
  #271  
Old 08-01-2015, 02:26 PM
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Saw "Lucy." It is one hell of a stupid movie in terms of its basic concept, and, well ... everything. Still it was a fun ride. Do not let your brain inhibit your ability to enjoy this movie! Don't let the paltry 10 percent of your brain that you use destroy your pleasure by asking such questions as, "Wasn't the basic concept of this movie, that people only use 10 percent of their brains not only debunked many decades ago, but was never even held to be a scientific truth by actual scientists?" and "Wouldn't a real supergenius superhuman be able to handle things a lot less violently?" and "why are Yakuza interested in this drug?" Don't let your 10 percent brain interfere by asking these sorts of questions, just set your brain on one percent, and you'll be fine.

I think the problem was, Luc Besson directed it, and the French have always had a problem distinguishing between SF and childish fantasies. A shame.
  #272  
Old 08-02-2015, 12:19 PM
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This week a really "deep" film. Clouds of Sils Maria with Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart. (The film Stewart famously won a César award for.)

Binoche is an actress preparing to play the older woman part in a play where she had the younger woman part in many years earlier. Stewart is her assistant.

Has a sort of complex plot weaving thing: There are parallels between the main movie storyline and the play Binoche is preparing for. Also some connections to real life relation between Binoche and writer/director Assayas as well as to the briefly seen author of the play.

Very dialogue heavy. Usually this works well or not at all. In this case, it started off poorly, got reasonably good after a bit, then continued to seesaw. In particular I noticed that a lot of the dialogue with Stewart didn't click. And since she's in a lot of the movie, oh well. I am quite surprised at the attention she received. OTOH, Binoche was tip-top as she usually is. Chloë Grace Moretz has a small role. Didn't really wow me (like she has before) until her last scene ... then big wow.

2 hours long, too many scenes ran on too long, etc. Really needed to tighten up. Not worth the slog all that much.

It also used Pachelbel's Canon. Twice. Good grief.

BTW: In English with small bits in other languages (that were mostly background).
  #273  
Old 08-02-2015, 01:33 PM
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Jenny's Wedding.
What a stinker! It could have been a great film with the storyline (lesbian coming out to uptight family) but it came off like some early 90s Lifetime drama. Catherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel are almost a parody of a couple. They look so uncomfortable in any intimate scene (and by intimate I mean hugs, because you don't get much more than that from them and even that is rare) and every character and scene came off as a well-worn cliche. I can't offer one good thing about the entire movie.
  #274  
Old 08-03-2015, 03:51 PM
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Jenny's Wedding.
What a stinker!
Heigl has 3 movies in a row coming out that are more-or-less direct-to-video. Home Sweet Hell which I reviewed earlier. Not a horrible movie, but definitely not good.

Jackie & Ryan, which is 62% at RT with 21 reviews. Her first non-rotten rated movie since Knocked Up. I am tempted to semi-watch it.

And then the notorious Jenny's Wedding. Tried to do an online fund raising campaign to "finish" the film a year ago. Sat on the shelf until IFC bought it. (Why?) Token theatrical release. 1 good review out of 12 at RT. I wonder if the people who donated to the Indiegogo campaign regret donating.
  #275  
Old 08-03-2015, 04:04 PM
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Just watched Lucy. I was surprised that the middle half of the movie moved along at a nice clip. Not enough to make up for the slow beginning and end though.
  #276  
Old 08-03-2015, 09:44 PM
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Saw "Lucy." It is one hell of a stupid movie in terms of its basic concept, and, well ... everything. Still it was a fun ride....
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Just watched Lucy. I was surprised that the middle half of the movie moved along at a nice clip. Not enough to make up for the slow beginning and end though.
As I've written before, I've seen both movies, and I think Limitless is a much smarter, more engaging take on the "You only use x% of your brain" trope. It stars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro - highly recommended.
  #277  
Old 08-15-2015, 03:58 PM
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Recently seen:

A Lego Brickumentary
A light-hearted, entertaining documentary about Lego building blocks, from their earliest days to the present, with interesting discussion of the company's ups and downs, testimonials from both young fans and old, and some truly amazing Lego creations, including a huge recreation of Rivendell done entirely in Lego.

Return of the Pink Panther
Hadn't seen this 1975 comedy in years. Peter Sellers is quite good as the bumbling Insp. Clouseau but the movie just wasn't as funny as I remember.

Megamind
Watched this superhero spoof again and enjoyed it. Great voice cast, lots of superhero in-jokes (especially about Superman) and impressive visuals.

Time Bandits
A deserved classic, about dwarves who steal a map of the universe from the Supreme Being ("You mean God?" "Well, we don't know him that well") in order to steal from such personages as Napoleon, Robin Hood and Agamemnon. The child star is great - I see from IMDB that this is practically his only role. The movie's downbeat ending is still a bummer.

The Third Man
Just saw a remastered print of this British masterpiece and loved it all over again - an atmospheric B&W Cold War thriller set in still-devastated postwar Vienna. Orson Welles shamelessly steals every scene he's in. Poking around on Wiki last night, I learned that there was a radio prequel series, also starring Welles!
  #278  
Old 08-18-2015, 08:42 AM
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Mad Max: Fury Road An engaging story, top-notch acting, original dialogue, fleshed out characters, suitable soundtrack and excellent CGI are part of what makes a great film, great. MM:FR has none of these.

Danny Collins Al Pacino has been accused of hamming up recent roles with caricatured performances, and is at risk of being typecast as Al Pacino, by always playing parts as though they're being played by Al Pacino squared. If you like them, Danny Collins is Al Pacino, gently cubed.

While We're Young Satirical, honest, sharply written and played by actors who bring together a story that appears to total more than the sum of its parts.
  #279  
Old 08-18-2015, 09:12 AM
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For whatever reason, I like to have the Harry Potter films playing in the background, my feeling is like they're a form of comfort food.
  #280  
Old 08-18-2015, 04:32 PM
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Two extremes in terms of rating.

First, Shaun the Sheep. From Aardman studios. Fairly "meh". Not as good as the Wallace and Gromit stuff. Some of the animation was nice, especially water splashing around.

The other is the Norwegian film Blind. Definitely the opposite of a G rating. Brief shots of someone watching adult material on a computer screen plus the usual stuff you'd expect in a Scandinavian film.

A woman who has lost her sight creates a fantasy world that blends with her real world. Very involved. I found it best to just give up trying to figure out what is real and what is fantasy. It's the blend that's important. Surprisingly satisfying for such a dark (?) film.
  #281  
Old 08-18-2015, 05:51 PM
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“Terminal Invasion” - sort of a “Who Goes There” story, with a bunch of random people stuck at a remote private airport in a blizzard. Some of them are aliens, but who? Bruce Campbell is a convicted felon, and Chase Masterson is the pilot/owner, and everyone else is a minor character. The plot proceeds according to time-honored traditions, and eventually we learn who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Certainly a B-movie, but Bruce and Chase make it a lot of fun.

“Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead” – Mad Max meets Night of the Living Dead. The zombie apocalypse hits the Australian outback, and a man who was forced to kill his wife and daughter must rescue his sister from a mad scientist, with the help of an aborigine and other rag-tag survivors. Using zombie breath as fuel for their truck! Fast paced, bloody, violent, and full of black humor. I loved it.

Both on Netflix streaming.
  #282  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:12 AM
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I'll See You In My Dreams.

Blythe Danner, Sam Elliott, Mary Kay Place and an very surprising Martin Starr. Several very good secondary actors.

Older people dealing with changes and other people.

A really nice little movie. Partially funded via KickStarter. Good acting, good story.

Martin Starr in particular wowed me. If you don't recall that name, maybe you know his current character of

SPOILER:
Gilfoyle on Silicon Valley.

a completely different character here.
  #283  
Old 08-30-2015, 11:50 AM
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I recently watched Due Date (2010) for the third time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1231583

Many of you would classify this as a "silly comedy" and it would be hard to argue with that.

But from the moment it began until the end, it held my attention and there were some wonderfully funny moments.

I would recommend this film to anyone and everyone (not for children however).

It was rated at 6.6 on IMDB which I consider to be a most grievous mistake. I would have rated it around 7.5.

The story is about an expectant father (Robert Downey Jr) who meets a kind of weird-o (Zach Galifianakis) who decides to befriend Downey and follows him and makes his life fairly miserable.

But that is not really a good description of this film. You really should give it a try for yourselves. At least try the first 15 or 20 minutes. I think you will then have a hard time leaving this film.

There are some wonderful contributions by some supporting actors (Julliette Lewis & Danny McBride). McBride especially is great in his portrayal as a paraplegic war time vet.

I didn't get anything out of it more so when I watched it for the 2nd or 3rd time. I just enjoyed watching it all 3 times because it is just such a fine comedy.

The only other thing I can say is, "If you are in the mood for a comedy, Try it. You'll like it".
  #284  
Old 08-30-2015, 11:58 AM
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“Terminal Invasion” - sort of a “Who Goes There” story, with a bunch of random people stuck at a remote private airport in a blizzard. Some of them are aliens, but who? Bruce Campbell is a convicted felon, and Chase Masterson is the pilot/owner, and everyone else is a minor character. The plot proceeds according to time-honored traditions, and eventually we learn who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Certainly a B-movie, but Bruce and Chase make it a lot of fun.

“Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead” – Mad Max meets Night of the Living Dead. The zombie apocalypse hits the Australian outback, and a man who was forced to kill his wife and daughter must rescue his sister from a mad scientist, with the help of an aborigine and other rag-tag survivors. Using zombie breath as fuel for their truck! Fast paced, bloody, violent, and full of black humor. I loved it.

Both on Netflix streaming.
Big second on "Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead." The camera barely stands still. Well acted all around. Funny as all get out. Working hard to be a cult classic. Half a step below "Shaun of the Dead."

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 08-30-2015 at 11:58 AM.
  #285  
Old 08-30-2015, 12:09 PM
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I saw a post upthread about Jenny's Wedding.

It got me to remembering another film about a wedding. Muriel's Wedding (1994).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110598/

This is an Australian film and it would seem that most of the actors (and maybe even people behind the camera) were novices.

But this is one of the most enjoyable comedies I've ever seen and I can't recommend it highly enough.

IMDB rates this film at 7.2 which I think is a real travesty. IMHO, it deserves at least 7.8.

Some of the aspects of "novice actors" and "novice film makers" would seem to be rather apparent. But that is just my guess. It still is a film to be treasured by anyone who loves good films.

I treasure this film and I hope some of you will give it a try. It is a real treasure.

It was the first movie (I think) for Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths. Both of them went on to many other fine films and TV shows. They have always turned in wonderful performances and fully deserve (IMO) all the good things that have happened to them.

This film is were that all began. I love this film.

P.S. I just want to take this opportunity to say Hello to my old friend Burpo. It is so nice to see you again. I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that you have been absent for a while. Perhaps I'm mistaken about that. If so, please excuse me. But I'll never forget how you helped me find some movies that no one else ever could (It Came from Beneath the Sea, for example) and I've been in awe of you ever since. Burpo, you should consider me to be a fan.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 08-30-2015 at 12:12 PM.
  #286  
Old 08-30-2015, 12:44 PM
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I'll See You In My Dreams.


Martin Starr in particular wowed me. If you don't recall that name, maybe you know his current character of

SPOILER:
Gilfoyle on Silicon Valley.

a completely different character here.
Seeing him now, it's kind of hard to believe he was Bill Haverchuck in Freaks and Geeks.
  #287  
Old 08-30-2015, 10:39 PM
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It got me to remembering another film about a wedding. Muriel's Wedding (1994).
I saw that several years ago and really enjoyed it, mostly for...

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Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths
Love both those actresses. Collette shone in this movie. Griffiths was in an earlier movie as a mentally handicapped girl and was so believable, I wondered if they might have hired an actual mentally handicapped girl for the part. She was also in the terrific series Six Feet Under with not a hint of accent. She's a great, versatile actress.
  #288  
Old 08-31-2015, 11:08 AM
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We saw End of the Tour Saturday night. Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace, and Jesse Eisenberg as the reporter interviewing him.

Segel gives a great performance, far from his usual Sarah Marshall/HIMYM kind of role. Jesse Eisenberg gives his usual weaselly-little-creep performance.

I'm not sure if I liked it or not. Wallace spends so much time in his own head, wrapped around his axle, it's a bit frustrating. I want to know more about him, and more about Infinite Jest (surprisingly, they don't talk at all about what the novel is about)...but maybe not so much as to invest in 1000 pages.
  #289  
Old 09-01-2015, 08:41 AM
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I've recently seen:


Mr. Holmes
Ian McKellen is wonderful as the elderly Sherlock Holmes, retired to beekeeping on the Sussex coast in 1947 and troubled by both his last case and his failing memory.

Minions
Good silly fun, with a ridiculous plot mainly set in London. If you like the Despicable Me movies, you'll like this.

I just saw Mr. Holmes. There are a lot of pastiches about the ages Holmes in his retired, bee-keeping days. This is the first movie I've seen of it. It was well-made, but I found it to sentimental -- I hate it when people set out to "humanize" Holmes, and this film definitely does so. I was middlin' pleased with it, and was surprised to find that the book it's based on is highly praised.

They definitely did do their homework, though . The story is (as a Holmes fanatic friend of mine would have put it) "completely canonical". It's knowledgeable about the Canon and doesn't contradict it. I was happy to instantly identify an in-joke -- the "Lady in Gray" stops and waits for Holmes at a Taxidermist shop labelked "Ambrose Chapell". If you don't get the reference, re-watch the second Hitchcock version of The Man who Knew Too Much (the Jimmy Stewart/Doris Day version).

Another little in-joke I did NOT catch -- in the Sherlock Holmes film-within-the-film, Holmes is played by Nicholas Rowe, who had played the part in Young Sherlock Holmes thirty years ago. He looks perfect to play SH in his prime now.




Saw Minions, too, and liked it, but didn't love it. Fun film.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 09-01-2015 at 08:41 AM.
  #290  
Old 09-02-2015, 04:04 PM
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I saw Due Date when it came out and thought it was just OK. Not enough laughs for its running time IMHO. Several times I just wanted to throttle the Zach G. character.

Recently seen:

Leon: The Professional
At Malthus's urging, I saw the international version. It was pretty good - a hitman shoot-'em-up with a heart. Both Jean Reno and a young Natalie Portman are excellent in their roles; Gary Oldman was a bit too over-the-top as the villainous DEA agent, though.

Timecop
Saw this Jean-Claude Van Damme time-travel action/adventure again after many years. Lots of plot holes, but a good B-movie.

Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World
A recent documentary about the late sf/horror visionary Swiss artist. Filmed mostly in his last years, when he was overweight and quite slow (both mentallyand physically), with interviews of many people who knew and worked with him. Giger was a pack-rat and his house was stuffed with all kinds of cool stuff from his long career. I would like to have seen more about his production design for the Alien movies.

The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Sellers is as hilarious as ever. Several times I started laughing during the setup to the gags - didn't even need to see them before being amused. Favorite bit: "Does your dog bite...?"

The Music Man
I had seen bits and pieces of this big-time 1962 musical but never the whole movie in one go. Overlong but a lot of fun, with great songs. Robert Preston absolutely dominates the screen as "Prof." Harold Hill, and Shirley Jones is pretty good as Marian the librarian.
  #291  
Old 09-03-2015, 02:44 PM
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I just watched the first 30 minutes of Southpaw (2015) starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachael McAdams. It was only rated 7.7 on IMDB which I consider to be too low - even though I've only watched the first half-hour. I think it's OK to post about a movie given that I've only watched the first 30 minutes (Its runtime is 124 min) when there is something extraordinary about the film.

I've always liked movies in which Jake Gyllenhaal appears. Nightcrawler (2014) was wonderful and if you're looking for an exciting film, you might want to give this one a try. Prisoners (2013) was an amazing Crime Mystery. Too many more fine films to list.

But this film opens with a boxing fight scene that just seems far more realistic than any other fight scenes I've seen. I know that is something extreme to say because there have been so many superb fight scenes from so many boxing movies recently. But give this film a chance and see if you don't agree.

This film seems like it will be truly excellent.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-03-2015 at 02:44 PM.
  #292  
Old 09-03-2015, 02:56 PM
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<snip>
Recently seen: Leon: The Professional
At Malthus's urging, I saw the international version. It was pretty good - a hitman shoot-'em-up with a heart. Both Jean Reno and a young Natalie Portman are excellent in their roles; Gary Oldman was a bit too over-the-top as the villainous DEA agent, though.
<snip>
Please excuse me for offering an opinion about Leon: The Professional that is a little different than yours.

I think it was a much better film than just "pretty good". My opinion may not be extremely different than yours. But I really liked this film because it pulled me in and would not let me go until the film was over.

There were many human traits that were revealed in a silent kind of way.

Most of my opinion stems from the fact this was Natalie Portman's first full-length motion picture. She first captured my attention in the film "Beautiful Girls" (1996) in which I thought she did an amazing job. She was supposedly 14 years old in that film (I think, although she was really 15). She portrayed a young woman who was very hot and desirable - even though she was only 14. But I'm not a pedophile and so I had to keep my desire in my pants.

In Leon: The Professional, she was portrayed as being a little older and so I figured it was acceptable to make my feelings of desire more evident.

In short, I think she can project a highly desirable young woman and the attraction or lack of attraction was not presented in an overt fashion. But Leon clearly had to pay attention to her.

But besides that, there were many other facts in the plot of this film that were done really well by the film makers.

This film was rated 8.6 by IMDB. For those of you who know how IMDB gives out those ratings to movies and the range these ratings usually take, that is an astounding rating. It's in the same league as films like "The Godfather" and "Shawshank Redemption" and other films you might know.

In summary, Leon: the Professional, is an excellent film with a jaw-dropping rating. If you try it out, my guess is that you would not be disappointed.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-03-2015 at 03:00 PM.
  #293  
Old 09-04-2015, 04:01 AM
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Most of my opinion stems from the fact this was Natalie Portman's first full-length motion picture. She first captured my attention in the film "Beautiful Girls" (1996) in which I thought she did an amazing job. She was supposedly 14 years old in that film (I think, although she was really 15). She portrayed a young woman who was very hot and desirable - even though she was only 14. But I'm not a pedophile and so I had to keep my desire in my pants.

In Leon: The Professional, she was portrayed as being a little older and so I figured it was acceptable to make my feelings of desire more evident.

In short, I think she can project a highly desirable young woman and the attraction or lack of attraction was not presented in an overt fashion. But Leon clearly had to pay attention to her.
Not to make you uncomfortable, but Portman was 13 on the year of the release of this, so was probably 12 when filming. I always viewed her as being that age, so young that there's no ambiguity.

It was to me, always about a very young girl pretending to be older. And having a crush for an adult while young enough for desire, but too young to know what reality is like.

Beautiful Girls was two years later.
  #294  
Old 09-04-2015, 08:58 AM
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Not to make you uncomfortable, but Portman was 13 on the year of the release of this, so was probably 12 when filming. I always viewed her as being that age, so young that there's no ambiguity.

It was to me, always about a very young girl pretending to be older. And having a crush for an adult while young enough for desire, but too young to know what reality is like.

Beautiful Girls was two years later.
Yup, she was 12.

In the movie, she claims to Leon that she is 18, but it is pretty clear he doesn't actually believe her (though he tries to pass her off as 18 to his "surrogate father" Tony - and it is very clear Tony doesn't believe it - his response was something like "oh, really? ". At the end of the movie, Tony expressly refers to her as being 12, as in "I don't have a job for a 12 year old").

The heart of the movie, in my opinion at least, is the odd-couple relationships between Leon and Mathilda on the one hand, and Leon and Tony on the other. These are steeped in ambiguity, I think deliberately designed to make the audience uneasy - it drives both the drama and a lot of the black comedy. People have spent a lot of time arguing over their relations.

My own opinion is that Leon/Mathilda is, basically, a platonic romance. Leon has no sexual interest whatsoever in Mathilda; she claims to have such an interest in Leon - but her interest is simply gleaned from the media portrayals of such relations (specifically, her sister's magazines): she has no real idea about the difference between love and sex, being so young and so mentally scarred. In fact, one of the subtexts througout the movie is that these characters form their opinions and actions based on the media and grim surroundings.

From Leon's POV, he starts by simply wanting her gone, but gradually comes to realize that she provides the centre his life lacked. He's not exactly a father-figure, because mentally he's a kid himself - witness his relationship with Tony, who is like an (exploitive) father to Leon.
  #295  
Old 09-05-2015, 02:25 AM
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Shaun the Sheep Movie was quite good, some laugh out loud moments and what you'd expect from the genre

Contagion was also quite good, although a bit far-fetched in places

Insurgent was bad, with terrible fight choreography to boot

Flawless is a masterpiece, great to see P. S. Hoffman throwing himself into a role

The Longest Ride is very good quality cheese

The Man is daft, silly and fun

Mad Dog and Glory was a surprisingly refreshing turn from A-list actors working outside of their comfort zones

Woman in Gold is a new, well-acted, take on a very old story

True Story is about a journalist who inadvertently becomes a part of the story, an 'easy win' as far as storytelling goes

Standby is set in Dublin and the writing is sharp, witty and original.
  #296  
Old 09-05-2015, 07:30 AM
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I watched "John Wicke." I was intrigued by the promos that seemed to promote Wicke as some sort of mythological figure, kind of like Kayser Soze in "The Usual Suspects." I thought Keanu Reaves could do a pretty good job of portraying someone like that. But I was disappointed. The story was a run of the mill violent revenge flick. Reaves' character never obtains mythic stature, he's just a pissed off assassin. Instead of using Reaves' ability to project uber-cool, he was asked to EMOTE. So stupid. Not worth my time, or anyone else's.

Last edited by Evil Captor; 09-05-2015 at 07:32 AM.
  #297  
Old 09-05-2015, 11:33 AM
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I watched "John Wicke." I was intrigued by the promos that seemed to promote Wicke as some sort of mythological figure, kind of like Kayser Soze in "The Usual Suspects." I thought Keanu Reaves could do a pretty good job of portraying someone like that. But I was disappointed. The story was a run of the mill violent revenge flick. Reaves' character never obtains mythic stature, he's just a pissed off assassin. Instead of using Reaves' ability to project uber-cool, he was asked to EMOTE. So stupid. Not worth my time, or anyone else's.
Wick, not Wicke. We enjoyed it, it had the appropriate mix of action and cartoonish violence, plus Theon Greyjoy being metaphorically emasculated. 60% on our personal Metacritic score.
  #298  
Old 09-05-2015, 12:23 PM
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Finally watched Going Clear, the documentary about Scientology. Holy shit.
  #299  
Old 09-06-2015, 06:59 PM
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Decided to do a popcorn movie today and watched Mad Max: Fury Road. Another CGI fest and seemingly endless. I must be getting too old for smash, crash and explosion movies.
  #300  
Old 09-06-2015, 11:08 PM
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Please excuse me for offering an opinion about Leon: The Professional that is a little different than yours.

I think it was a much better film than just "pretty good"....

This film was rated 8.6 by IMDB. For those of you who know how IMDB gives out those ratings to movies and the range these ratings usually take, that is an astounding rating. It's in the same league as films like "The Godfather" and "Shawshank Redemption" and other films you might know....
Funny you should mention The Shawshank Redemption, because I think it's waaaay overrated. Like Leon, IMHO it was a good but not stupendous movie. So having a great IMDB number is, to me at least, no guarantee of any movie being great.
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