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  #301  
Old 09-07-2015, 01:03 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.
Pretty much agree with you. Here's what I wrote in my personal movie review log back in June:

“John Wick” – Keanu Reeves as a retired hit-man who is drawn back for "one last kill" for personal reasons. Fairly forgettable, but it did have some nice violence, both of the hand to hand variety and the explosives variety. also a lot more high-priced actors than necessary for such a forgettable movie, including Willem Dafoe, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, and Dean “Mayhem” Winters.
  #302  
Old 09-07-2015, 09:22 AM
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We rewatched Blazing Saddles for a lark.

Good: Some of the actors were great: Harvey Korman, Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder especially. Top of their game.

Bad:

The staginess of the filming. Looked like a bad 50s film in set, lighting, etc. at times. I don't think it was all part of the old Western spoof concept.

The racist stuff was quite uncomfortable at times. Some worked well. But a lot was ... eeeegh.

And the ending. Breaking the fourth (and fifth and sixth) wall. Funny idea. But it doesn't work with this film.
  #303  
Old 09-07-2015, 10:54 AM
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"You said rape twice."
"I like rape!"
"Sign here."
  #304  
Old 09-07-2015, 11:18 AM
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Wanda Nevada, a curious 1979 film starring Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields. Shields, obviously 14 and underage, constantly gets hit on by every man except Peter Fonda, making for a very confusing movie.

When this movie came out, my to-be wife was constantly getting stopped, saying she looked like Shields's character in the movie.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-07-2015 at 11:18 AM.
  #305  
Old 09-07-2015, 07:55 PM
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My husband and I saw A Walk in the Woods today. I liked it but it seems to be missing some scenes. There's a build-up when
SPOILER:
Bryson is stuck in the mud while going to KMart
that we never see resolved and the
SPOILER:
obnoxious female hiker is never seen again
though you expect just that. Also the movie seemed to end kind of abruptly.
SPOILER:
Wanna go home? Yup.

Last edited by NotherYinzer; 09-07-2015 at 07:57 PM.
  #306  
Old 09-08-2015, 07:01 AM
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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.
Paul Reubens got in all sorts of trouble. Just a heads up.
  #307  
Old 09-08-2015, 10:48 PM
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Finally watched Going Clear, the documentary about Scientology. Holy shit.
Ayep, and it just scratched the surface. For those not wanting to wade into my thread about the movie, it's still playing on HBO in the US (including, I believe, HBO On Demand), it's now playing on HBO Canada, it will soon be playing on Sky in the UK, it will be playing in several US theaters starting Sept. 25, released on DVD in the US on, I think, October 6, and on VOD in the US at the end of October.
  #308  
Old 09-21-2015, 05:03 PM
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Kevin Bacon's film Cop Car. Came out more-or-less direct to VOD in August. Shame.

This is a riveting film. Two 10 year olds steal a cop car and Kevin Bacon desperately wants it back. Sort of a chase film.

The tension just builds and builds. Very edge of the seat by the end.

One technique used in the film is long shots on basically nothing. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Here it is done just right. It enhances the tension.

Also has small roles by Camryn Manheim and Shea Whigham (Eli Thompson).

The two kids did a pretty good job, especially James Freedson-Jackson. They played basically the dumbest 10 year olds you've ever seen.

The biggest downside is it suffers from the Twister Effect. Something is damaged/marked in some way and in the next shot it's back to the way it was.
  #309  
Old 09-21-2015, 06:00 PM
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Ayep, and it just scratched the surface. For those not wanting to wade into my thread about the movie, it's still playing on HBO in the US (including, I believe, HBO On Demand), it's now playing on HBO Canada, it will soon be playing on Sky in the UK, it will be playing in several US theaters starting Sept. 25, released on DVD in the US on, I think, October 6, and on VOD in the US at the end of October.
For anyone who has never had any contact or experience with Scientology, I would like to recommend this film for your own safety. You really should get this point of view. Other people may present a different point of view. But, for your own safety, I would think it would be a very good idea to get this point of view - namely that if you get involved with Scientology, there is a real good chance they will empty your bank account and all the bank accounts of all your family members and the money will be gone and will never be able to be recovered.

Talk about a "Heads Up"!
  #310  
Old 09-23-2015, 05:40 PM
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Cross posted. I put this in 'Seethe you in September' thread:

Just watched (and have not yet finished) Divorce Corp on Netflix

It made my soul ache. I was overcome with anger and bitterness at the rampant corruption of the system, the horrible people who make their living at it, and the god-awful behavior of people against those they claim to have loved.

The next person who tries to tell me what a wonderful institution marriage is is gonna get punched. What the fuck is wrong with these....humans?

I was divorced 7 years ago. We were as amicable as we could possibly be, because we still loved each other and didn't want the other to hurt.

But then, neither of us had any real money or property.

So I guess the film was successful.
  #311  
Old 09-30-2015, 01:33 PM
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Recently seen:

The Book of Eli
Denzel Washington stars as a mysterious badass in this post-apocalyptic fable. Appropriately arid and overexposed cinematography, some great gunfights, and no less than three Harry Potter alums!

The King and I
Finally saw this 1956 musical from start to finish. Yul Brynner dominates as the King, but Deborah Kerr is a worthy foil to him. Good song and dance scenes.

Any Given Sunday
Downbeat football movie about a coach (Al Pacino) and quarterback (Dennis Quaid), both near the end of their careers, uneasily realizing that their beloved sport is moving on without them. Jamie Foxx is the hotshot young QB who surprises them both.

Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson's brilliant, charming adaptation of the Jane Austen romance. A great cast and a story that carries you on to a perfect conclusion. Highly recommended.

A Dangerous Method
Thoughtful, well-crafted costume drama about Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein, the beautiful patient who challenged and charmed them both. Great cast - Viggo Mortensen is a standout as Freud; Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley are also quite good as Jung and Spielrein, his patient/colleague/lover.
  #312  
Old 09-30-2015, 02:15 PM
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The Kentuckian from 1955, starring Burt Lancaster, who directed (for the first time).


I never even knew this film existed (I wrote several months back about Films That Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth) -- I never saw it on TV or in a video store or on Netflix. I found out about it when I went to a show of the work of artist Thomas Hart Benton at the Peabody-Essex Museum. He did a poster and several other publicity paintings for this. I was intrigued, folr several reasons, and figured if Benton worked with it, there might be something to it.


Film set in the first half of the 19th century, with Lancaster as the titular Kentuckian, Eli Wakefield, going to Texas with his son, Little Eli (and their dog). Filmed in Cinerama and Technicolor, the film is gorgeous. It also features music by Bernard Herrmann -- one of my favorite film-score composers. I'm surprised I never heard about it because of his connection. It's also the film debut of Walter Matthau, who plays one of the villains. He gets an "Introducing" in the credits.

The film is based on a book called "The Gabriel Horn", and much of it is told from the POV of Little Eli. I get the feeling the book was what we'd call Young Adult these days. The film feels almost like a Disney film -- adventure in the American Wilderness, in the Legendary Past -- Frontiersmen, River Boats, Fightin' -- It has passionate relationships but not a hint of sex. I wonder if the TV (and cinema) success of Disney's Davy Crockett helped this film get funding? They even manage to work some songs in, almost unobtrusively.

The film wraps up in a satisfying fashion, with a happy ending. Matthau gets his comeuppance. An interesting film, although not by any means a great one. You could watch it for the widescreen cinematography alone.
  #313  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:08 PM
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Hey Cal,

Thanks very much for that info. I never heard of The Kentuckian either.

I'm always delighted when someone posts info about a movie that I have never heard of before.

So, thank you again!
  #314  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:13 PM
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Elendil's Hair,

Re "The Book of Eli". Did you like this film?

I saw it and was disappointed. It just didn't seem to be anywhere near the quality of most other of Denzel's films. Most all of his films are great. This one just seemed to struggle to make it past mediocre.

Thanks very much for telling us about Sense & Sensibility.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-30-2015 at 03:18 PM.
  #315  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:16 PM
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Watched "Maleficent" on cable the other day, because the trailer was GORGEOUS. And the film was just as gorgeous. And it didn't have the moralistic simplicity that used to plague Disney films. Sure, there's a happy ending, but but the bad guys are not completely bad (some of them come close) and the good guys are not completely good (far from it, in some cases). And Angelina Jolie just knocks it out of the park as the title character, she's mesmerizing in every scene she's in. She too the whole film up a few notches all by her lonesome. Though the three fairies were good, too.
  #316  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:22 PM
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Elendil's Hair,

Re "The Book of Eli". Did you like this film?

I saw it and was disappointed. It just didn't seem to be anywhere near the quality of most other of Denzel's films. Most all of his films are great. This one just seemed to struggle to make it past mediocre.

Thanks very much for telling us about Sense & Sensibility.
Yes, I did like TBOE, for the reasons I wrote (and it's Heir, not Hair).

Hope you like S&S, too.
  #317  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:26 PM
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Watched "Maleficent" on cable the other day, because the trailer was GORGEOUS. And the film was just as gorgeous. And it didn't have the moralistic simplicity that used to plague Disney films. Sure, there's a happy ending, but but the bad guys are not completely bad (some of them come close) and the good guys are not completely good (far from it, in some cases). And Angelina Jolie just knocks it out of the park as the title character, she's mesmerizing in every scene she's in. She too the whole film up a few notches all by her lonesome. Though the three fairies were good, too.
Hello EC,

Are you certain that you spelled the name of this movie correctly?

I can't find any movies named, "Seethe you in September". But I did find one called, "See you in September". It was from 2010. Could that be the film you intended?

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-30-2015 at 03:28 PM.
  #318  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:29 PM
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Infinitely Polar Bear with Mark Ruffalo. Based on writer/director Maya Forbes' real life story about living with her bipolar dad.

Started okay, got tiresome, then finished well. What happened, in my view, was that the bulk of the movie was just a series of unrelated events showing how weird the father was. Not much holding it together. OTOH, that's sort of the way life in that kind of environment can be.

Ruffalo was quite good. Two reasonable child actors. Zoe Zaldana as the mostly absent mother.

Mrs. FtG liked it quite a bit more than me.
  #319  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:31 PM
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Yes, I did like TBOE, for the reasons I wrote (and it's Heir, not Hair).

Hope you like S&S, too.
Oops. Excuse me. There are few things more insulting that spelling someone's name incorrectly. I hate it when people do that to me IRL.

I promise to be extra careful whenever writing "Elendil's Heir" again.

But, while I am writing to you, I want to tell you that I have always enjoyed your posts. You give the members here some excellent info and IMO, we all owe you a big THANK YOU!
  #320  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:34 PM
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Wanda Nevada, a curious 1979 film starring Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields. Shields, obviously 14 and underage, constantly gets hit on by every man except Peter Fonda, making for a very confusing movie.

When this movie came out, my to-be wife was constantly getting stopped, saying she looked like Shields's character in the movie.
Fonda made a few very strange movies in the 1970s.

I will never forget one great big turkey called "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" or "Crazy Mary and Dirty Larry" or something like that. I can never remember the title and it was so bad that I can never be bothered to look it up.

The worst thing about this film, IMO, is that it was rated 6.7 by IMDB. What an outrage! It should never have been rated any higher than about 3.0. It was one film that should be in the 2's or 3's. I can't understand why someone would ever give it a 6.7. That is just B.S.!!!

I'm sorry to say, but I think the reason he made so many bizarre and bad films was due to his drug use.

Poor boy.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-30-2015 at 03:37 PM.
  #321  
Old 09-30-2015, 03:35 PM
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Hello EC,

Are you certain that you spelled the name of this movie correctly?

I can't find any movies named, "Seethe you in September". But I did find one called, "See you in September". It was from 2010. Could that be the film you intended?
I haven't posted anything about Seethe You in September" or "See You In September" that I know of. If you are talking about "Maleficent," yep, I spelled that right. Typo Negative posted about Seethe You In September.
  #322  
Old 09-30-2015, 04:46 PM
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Evil Captor,

OK. My mistake. Sorry.

I meant to address that to "Typo Negative".

I think he/she was posting about "Divorce Corp". So, that is another of my mistakes. I thought he/she was referring to a movie called "Seethe you in September". I just woke up a little while ago and I'm feeling groggy.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 09-30-2015 at 04:49 PM.
  #323  
Old 10-04-2015, 02:40 PM
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I just watched another old movie that I messed. I stumbled across a DVD set of biblical epics, and finally got a chance to see John Huston's The Bible....In the Beginning, which came out ion 1966. I remember the TV ads for it, and even had a copy of the published script once. But I never saw it until now.

It's much better than you'd think. Unlike other epics, like The Ten Commandments (which is mainly pageant, with special effects), or more recent films like Noah or Exodus; Gods and Kings (special effects-fests, with dark characters), this plays it straight and had limited and subtle effects. It certainly helps that award-winning playwright Christopher Fry wrote the screenplay, which is very well done.


The opening section, with the creation of the world and of Adam and Eve, wasn't hugely impressive. Beautifully photographed, but I thought they botched it when they open on flashing lights -- it should have been completely dark until God says "Let there be light!" Adam and Eve look too Clean, White, Northern European to me, even for the 1960s.*

But the film really comes into its own in the following scenes, which follow the book of Gnesis up through Abraham's sacrifice. I'm surprised at the "name" stars who show up in this. Richard Harris is Cain. Stephen Boyd, who played Bad Guy Masala in Ben Hur, is Nimrod, who builds the Tower of Babel. Peter O'Toole plays three angels who appear to Lot. George C. Scott does a wonderful extended turn as the patriarch Abraham.


Peter O'Toole's part is interesting. He plays the three angels who visit Lot in Sodom. His house is then beset by his neighbors, who want the men to come out. It's possible that you may not be familiar with this part of Lot's story unless you've read Genesis on your own, or in a college course. This part tends to be glossed over in religion classes and Sunday schools. Heinlein made a point of including it in Stranger in a Strange Land. The people of Sodom want the angels to come out because they want to have sex with them (one reason they generally skip this). Lot offers the crowd his daughters instead. (Another reason they skip this.) I suspect at the time, it appeared that Lot was making a great sacrifice of his own "property" to save his guests, but to modern sensibilities, hi action in offering his daughters to a crowd for clearly sexual purposes seems monstrous

To their credit, Fry and Huston leave this scvene in -- they don't censor the Bible. What's even more interesting is that O'Toole's angel smites the Sodomites with a glance. It's all the more interesting because O'Toole's first big role was as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, whose character is transformed after his captivity by the Turks in Deraa. The film, from 1964, was restained in its depiction ofg the events, showing Lawrence being beaten, but the implication is clearly that he was raped. This role, with O'Toole smiting his would-be rapists with a look, feels like a necessary comeback. Hustyon can't have been unaware of the connection.




The film has no credits at the beginning, and somewhat lengthy end redits. It occurs to me that it resembles 2001: A Space Odyssey in this, and that Star Wars also follows this. I've often said that Star Wars is the first film I can recall with REALLY long end credits, of the kind that have become standard these days, with lengthy recessional music and credits tat seem to thank every conceivable contributor to the film. It seems to me now that Star Wars' contribution was to take an existing practice (no opening credits/ longer end credits) and make it really long.








. *(If you really want to see a nifty interpretation of the Creation story from Genesis, look up Will Vinton's The Creation, done in clay "painting" and narrated (from a poem) by James Earl Jones in the style of a southern preacher. It was nominated for an Academy Award)
  #324  
Old 10-05-2015, 05:46 AM
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Two sci-fi flicks.

My favorite:

"Under The Skin" - Jonathan Glazer directs this fascinating nightmarish dreamscape. An alien takes over the body of Scarlett Johansson and prowls the streets of Glasgow every night in a special van in search of prey - seducing unsuspecting young men who fall under her spell. (Their fate took me to a disturbing place, about how we treat our fellow creatures.) Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery. Does she start to develop human emotions?

The Scottish accents may be too thick for some, but I had no trouble following the plot; besides, it's not dialogue driven ...mostly images and music, excellent cinematography. This film held me spellbound from start to finish ... couldn't shake it for days.

Next:

"Ex Machina" - "After winning a chance to spend a week at his boss's Alaskan compound, tech whiz Caleb Smith finds he's been selected to help evaluate a sentient humanoid dubbed Ava -- whose feminine wiles prove more formidable than expected." (Netflix)

Another intelligent, stylish art-housey film with the theme of what it is to be human, adding the ethic of artificial intelligence. A little slow sometimes, a little long maybe, but definetly worth my while. The only way I found peace with the unsettling, chilling ending was to hope for a power surge.
  #325  
Old 10-05-2015, 04:39 PM
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Not a true movie, but close enough. An Inspector Calls, a new BBC version of the J.B. Priestley play.

Written in the early 40s, set in 1912. A police inspector calls on a well-to-do family to inquire about the circumstances leading up to a woman's death. Most of it is a standard period single-room police piece. But near the end ... things get really interesting. Wow, oh, wow.

Unlike the play, and apparently like an earlier movie, they break out of the dining room and show the girl and her activities before her death. I think this helps the story a lot.

The main cast member I know is Miranda Richardson. Not really used much and poorly fleshed out which I ascribe to the era in which it was written. It also has Sophie Rundle as the girl doing a fine job. Much better role than as the oddly named stalker of Matt LeBlanc on Episodes.

Watching this makes me more interested in seeing Peaky Blinders due to cast overlap.
  #326  
Old 10-06-2015, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
I just watched another old movie that I messed. I stumbled across a DVD set of biblical epics, and finally got a chance to see John Huston's The Bible....In the Beginning, which came out ion 1966. I remember the TV ads for it, and even had a copy of the published script once. But I never saw it until now.

It's much better than you'd think. Unlike other epics, like The Ten Commandments (which is mainly pageant, with special effects), or more recent films like Noah or Exodus; Gods and Kings (special effects-fests, with dark characters), this plays it straight and had limited and subtle effects. It certainly helps that award-winning playwright Christopher Fry wrote the screenplay, which is very well done.


The opening section, with the creation of the world and of Adam and Eve, wasn't hugely impressive. Beautifully photographed, but I thought they botched it when they open on flashing lights -- it should have been completely dark until God says "Let there be light!" Adam and Eve look too Clean, White, Northern European to me, even for the 1960s.*

But the film really comes into its own in the following scenes, which follow the book of Gnesis up through Abraham's sacrifice. I'm surprised at the "name" stars who show up in this. Richard Harris is Cain. Stephen Boyd, who played Bad Guy Masala in Ben Hur, is Nimrod, who builds the Tower of Babel. Peter O'Toole plays three angels who appear to Lot. George C. Scott does a wonderful extended turn as the patriarch Abraham.


Peter O'Toole's part is interesting. He plays the three angels who visit Lot in Sodom. His house is then beset by his neighbors, who want the men to come out. It's possible that you may not be familiar with this part of Lot's story unless you've read Genesis on your own, or in a college course. This part tends to be glossed over in religion classes and Sunday schools. Heinlein made a point of including it in Stranger in a Strange Land. The people of Sodom want the angels to come out because they want to have sex with them (one reason they generally skip this). Lot offers the crowd his daughters instead. (Another reason they skip this.) I suspect at the time, it appeared that Lot was making a great sacrifice of his own "property" to save his guests, but to modern sensibilities, hi action in offering his daughters to a crowd for clearly sexual purposes seems monstrous

To their credit, Fry and Huston leave this scvene in -- they don't censor the Bible. What's even more interesting is that O'Toole's angel smites the Sodomites with a glance. It's all the more interesting because O'Toole's first big role was as T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, whose character is transformed after his captivity by the Turks in Deraa. The film, from 1964, was restained in its depiction ofg the events, showing Lawrence being beaten, but the implication is clearly that he was raped. This role, with O'Toole smiting his would-be rapists with a look, feels like a necessary comeback. Hustyon can't have been unaware of the connection.




The film has no credits at the beginning, and somewhat lengthy end redits. It occurs to me that it resembles 2001: A Space Odyssey in this, and that Star Wars also follows this. I've often said that Star Wars is the first film I can recall with REALLY long end credits, of the kind that have become standard these days, with lengthy recessional music and credits tat seem to thank every conceivable contributor to the film. It seems to me now that Star Wars' contribution was to take an existing practice (no opening credits/ longer end credits) and make it really long.








. *(If you really want to see a nifty interpretation of the Creation story from Genesis, look up Will Vinton's The Creation, done in clay "painting" and narrated (from a poem) by James Earl Jones in the style of a southern preacher. It was nominated for an Academy Award)


Wow. Those descriptions sound excellent! I will def get two of those films and watch them. Thanks very much.
  #327  
Old 10-06-2015, 06:49 AM
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Wow. Those descriptions sound excellent! I will def get two of those films and watch them. Thanks very much.
I was puzzled by your reference to two films., then realized that you probably meant the Will Vinton Claymation Creation.

I looked for it on YouTube, but couldn't find it there. If you want to watch it, you can find it on Will Vinton's The Best of the Festival of Claymation. To the best of my knowledge,m this was released once, 19 years ago, on VHS. You can find it on eBay as low as $10:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/sis.html?_nk...e+Clay+Age+VHS

Amazon lists it for an outrageous $200:

http://www.amazon.com/Will-Vintons-F.../dp/B00030EQCK

It's "The Best of.." because they couldn't release all of Will Vinton's Festival of Clayumation (which was released theatrically, to art movie houses) in 1987. Apparently they couldn't get legal permission to use their commercials for The California Raisins and for Domino's Pizza's "The Noid". Or, sadly, for the music video John Fogerty's Vantz Can't Dance. If you want, you can fgind most of these on Youtube now. Vantz Can't Dance is definitely worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjpAYfCFmJ4


But The Creation, very sadly, doesn't seem to be available, and it really deserves to be seen.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 10-06-2015 at 06:49 AM.
  #328  
Old 10-20-2015, 11:20 AM
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...I want to tell you that I have always enjoyed your posts. You give the members here some excellent info and IMO, we all owe you a big THANK YOU!
Glad to, and thank you!

Recently seen:

Abraham Lincoln
D.W. Griffith's 1930 biopic doesn't hold up well, alas. The acting is melodramatic and the production values almost laughable by modern standards. Walter Huston was praised for his performance in the title role at the time, but just seems oafish to me - totally lacking Lincoln's wit and political shrewdness. The film also has the President give a short speech to the crowd at Ford's Theatre before taking his seat, and that just didn't happen.

Caddyshack
Believe it or not, I'd never seen this golf comedy in its entirety before. Had some laughs, some good lines, but it wasn't all that great IMHO.

Greed
A 1924 Erich von Stroheim adaption of the Frank Norris novel McTeague, about a failed dentist in 1890s San Francisco whose wife wins the lottery. She turns pathologically miserly, they quarrel, and things go from bad to worse. Interesting camera work but not an especially gripping film.

The Martian
Outstanding sf drama, about an American astronaut who has to survive against all the odds after being accidentally left behind on Mars. A funny, absorbing tale of grit, determination and ingenuity.

Captain Phillips
A powerful, effective movie, based on a true story, about a captain dealing with the takeover of his container ship by ragtag Somali pirates in 2009. Paul Greengrass, the director, makes you feel like you're right there, and Tom Hanks is very good in the title role. The last scene almost made me cry - a near-perfect ending to the film.
  #329  
Old 10-21-2015, 05:00 AM
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I just sat through most of Vice with Bruce Willis.

It's so bad. Bruce must have owed someone a favor.
  #330  
Old 10-22-2015, 07:09 AM
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The Man Who Wasn't There - 2001 Coen Bros. - B&W

I'm rewatching Coen Bros. films, and don't know how I missed this very stylish film noir gem, a tale of infidelity and murder, crime and punishment. Exquisitely lit and superbly shot, it takes place in the 1940's in a small CA town.

The brilliant Billy Bob Thornton plays a brooding barber unhappy with his dull job and dreadful life. His unfaithful wife, flawlessly played by Frances McDormand, unwittingly gives him an idea for blackmail, which he thinks will change his life ... until it all starts to unravel ....

The twisty plot mesmerized me from start to end, and get a load of the rest of the cast - Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini, Katherine Borowitz, Richard Jenkins, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Polito, Tony Shalhoub, etc.
  #331  
Old 10-22-2015, 07:20 AM
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The Man Who Wasn't There - 2001 Coen Bros. - B&W
Yes! The scene with him shaving his wife's legs/smoking a cigarette was brilliant. I've lent out my DVD to several people, none of whom enjoyed the film on my level, though.
  #332  
Old 10-22-2015, 09:20 AM
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The Man Who Wasn't There underwhelmed me. Looked noir-good but just didn't seem to have much substance, I thought. Not the Coen Bros.'s best by a long shot, IMHO.
  #333  
Old 10-22-2015, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
The Man Who Wasn't There underwhelmed me. Looked noir-good but just didn't seem to have much substance, I thought. Not the Coen Bros.'s best by a long shot, IMHO.
You take that back! Billy Bob Thornton is an acting god!

We finally got around to watching [I]Wild[I], with Reese Witherspoon. An excellent film, and I'm not really a big fan of hers. For some reason I didn't realize that it was based on a true story until the end. She must have taken quite a beating in the filming of this thing, as many scenes were clearly not being done by a stunt double.
  #334  
Old 10-22-2015, 01:34 PM
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Billy Bob is very good indeed (see last season's Fargo) - it just wasn't his best movie.
  #335  
Old 10-22-2015, 04:59 PM
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Last weekend, Mr. Holmes. Ian McKellen as an elderly, long retired Sherlock Holmes trying to recall why he retired. (He's having memory issues, but that would seem to be kinda important.)

This is one of those "on the one hand - on the other hand" movies. Great acting by McKellen. Well filmed, etc. But the premise is bad and goes south.

It really isn't a Sherlock Holmes type story. It could have basically been about anyone.

It has this feel of a Hollywood passed around script. Someone had an idea for the next Lethal Weapon movie, someone else decided it would make a good Die Hard movie. Someone else came along and said "Hey, let's make John McClane into Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is hot now and we can get McKellen for a lot less than Willis!", etc.

The most telling script-in-a-blender part is the random add on of a Japanese sub plot that relates to nothing and goes nowhere.

Like I said, good acting, especially on the part of the kid that plays the son of the housekeeper. The housekeeper, played by Laura Linney is a problem. Could hardly tell she was supposed to have a British accent. And this was set in rural England shortly after WWII. Why does her son have a stronger accent than her?

Before that, we watched Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. (Do I really need to provide a link for this.) We recently watched the PBS special on Walt Disney, got to talking, etc. It was the first movie Mrs. FtG saw in a theater.

Parts are excellent. The quality of the animation at times is just amazing. Good humor with the dwarfs, etc.

Downsides are the music. The "tinny" horns and poor quality make the songs a major distraction. The sexism is unfortunate, but even modern Disney does a poor job here.
  #336  
Old 10-22-2015, 10:14 PM
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I just saw Sicario (2015) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3397884/

It's about an FBI agent who joins some kind of strike team and they go to Mexico to try and take down the head of a drug cartel.

It was very exciting but I didn't understand it very well. I feel the need to watch it again.

The movie opens with an FBI strike team raiding a house in Phoenix and things go very bad for the FBI. They find an entrance to some compartment in a tool shed outside. It's locked and they call for bolt cutters. Well, it turns out to be a huge booby trap designed especially for an FBI strike team and there is a huge explosion and there are several dead FBI agents - all blowed up into little pieces.

You should be warned if you don't like murder and mayhem. This movie is not for you. But if you don't mind that kind of stuff, this movie is very exciting and it moves right along.

It got an 8.1 rating on IMDB which is very high. All in all, I would recommend it. I thought it was a lot of fun. Lots of action. I just sure do wish I understood it better.

At the beginning, the lead character asks someone from the Mexican team to explain to her what is going on. He tells her, "You are asking me to explain to you how a watch works. For now, just pay attention to the time."

I thought that was a great line and it kind of sums up this whole move.
  #337  
Old 10-23-2015, 04:09 AM
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Terminator Genisys Arnie's back! Apart from the obvious use of a stunt double, the way they made him look so young was incredible.

Southpaw Corny as hell but I really enjoyed it.

Jurassic World Not convinced it was worth bring back the franchise

Last Shift It was contrived, stupid and pretty boring

Spy Very funny, some originality, spoof-like

Sunshine Superman One of the better documentaries about adrenalin sports

Bessie A good soundtrack but the plot has been done many times before

Little Boy A gut-wrenchingly cute story with a hugely talented child as the lead actor
  #338  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:06 AM
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Hey Justin!

I have a suggestion for you. If you have not yet seen "The Walk" (2015) ...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3488710/

It's about high-wire artist Philippe Petit who in 1974 recruits a team of people to help him walk between the World Trade Center towers.

I just caught a glimpse of a preview and it is rated very high at IMDB (7.8). It looks like it might be real good and I'm guessing that if you liked Southpaw and Sunshine Superman, you might really enjoy this one.

I saw Southpaw and I really liked it. I'm going to check out Sunshine Superman now thanks to your post.

Thank You!


Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 10-23-2015 at 06:08 AM.
  #339  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:13 AM
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Hey Justin,

I just re-read your post and saw what you said about Last Shift.

You might really like a much better cop film called End of Watch (2012).

It is another one of Jake Gyllenhall's films. I'm a sucker for him. I really like most all his films.

Anyway, this one is packed full of action and I'm guessing people might really like it because it's a very high quality film.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1855199/

It's rated 7.7 which is very good and it has some great action and a surprise ending that will leave you scratching your head and saying, "Whaaaa .... ???"

But it's great.

It's about cops vs. gangs in LA. Jake Gyllenhall plays an LAPD cop.
  #340  
Old 10-23-2015, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Last weekend, Mr. Holmes. Ian McKellen as an elderly, long retired Sherlock Holmes trying to recall why he retired. (He's having memory issues, but that would seem to be kinda important.)

This is one of those "on the one hand - on the other hand" movies. Great acting by McKellen. Well filmed, etc. But the premise is bad and goes south.

It really isn't a Sherlock Holmes type story. It could have basically been about anyone.

It has this feel of a Hollywood passed around script. Someone had an idea for the next Lethal Weapon movie, someone else decided it would make a good Die Hard movie. Someone else came along and said "Hey, let's make John McClane into Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is hot now and we can get McKellen for a lot less than Willis!", etc.

The most telling script-in-a-blender part is the random add on of a Japanese sub plot that relates to nothing and goes nowhere.

Like I said, good acting, especially on the part of the kid that plays the son of the housekeeper. The housekeeper, played by Laura Linney is a problem. Could hardly tell she was supposed to have a British accent. And this was set in rural England shortly after WWII. Why does her son have a stronger accent than her?

Before that, we watched Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. (Do I really need to provide a link for this.) We recently watched the PBS special on Walt Disney, got to talking, etc. It was the first movie Mrs. FtG saw in a theater.

Parts are excellent. The quality of the animation at times is just amazing. Good humor with the dwarfs, etc.

Downsides are the music. The "tinny" horns and poor quality make the songs a major distraction. The sexism is unfortunate, but even modern Disney does a poor job here.
I saw this several weeks back, and generally liked it, although I thought it was REALLY a stretch in the Holmes pastiche department. Holmes traveling to Japan after the end of WWII? Another of those dreary attempts to humanize Holmes by showing his poor showing the human elements of a case? I've seen it before, and wasn't impressed.

so imagine my surprise to learn that the book this is based on is highly regarded -- Mitch Cullins' A Slight Trick of the Mind. In the first place, books about Sherlock Holmes, while well-liked, are rarely highly regarded in mainstream fiction. In the second place, it didn't feel to me like really good Holmes. (Nor did it to you, evidently). There are claims that the writing is very good, but I haven't read any of Cullins' stuff yet.
  #341  
Old 10-23-2015, 08:32 AM
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Finally saw the original Spanish-language version of The Orphanage. It was very good, and the twist at the end was one of the most satisfying — in a sickening, gut-punching sort of way — of any movie I've seen.
  #342  
Old 10-23-2015, 09:10 AM
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Billy Bob is very good indeed (see last season's Fargo) - it just wasn't his best movie.
Not to beat this one to death, as everybody has different tastes. I talked my wife into watching it last night, and she enjoyed it. It was beautifully filmed in noir style, with a classic noir plot. The movie was nominated for a cinematography Oscar. Thornton's taciturn performance was brilliant, given that he was limited to minimum dialog and very little action. He truly "wasn't there" in a big way, and his performance garnered rave reviews. It was an odd film, surely, but that's usually a given for the Coen brothers.
  #343  
Old 10-26-2015, 06:05 PM
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Watched Brighton Rock (1947 version), starring a young Richard Attenborough and Hermione Baddeley, as a pathological thug and a good time girl, respectively. This is another movie based on a Graham Greene novel, with all the elements that you expect from Greene, including references to faith and the Catholic Church. I'm afraid I fell asleep a few times, but don't feel like I missed much. Because of the British slang, it was difficult to understand WTH they were talking about, even with subtitles.
  #344  
Old 10-26-2015, 07:21 PM
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Just saw Insidious 3 on pay-per-view

I want my 5 dollars back. Awful. Boredom, then standard 'jump out at you' scares, then stupid. And then some more stupid.
  #345  
Old 12-29-2015, 11:50 AM
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Recently seen:

Bad Day at Black Rock
A 1955 crime drama, with Spencer Tracy as a crusty, disabled World War II vet arriving in an isolated, boss-controlled desert town for reasons that are only gradually revealed. Very atmospheric but didn't grab me, all in all.

Spectre
The latest James Bond movie. Daniel Craig is excellent as always as 007, and there's a great opening sequence set during Mexico City's Day of the Dead festivities, but also some amazingly implausible action scenes (even for a Bond film!) and a so-so plot. Overall just not as good as it might have been.

Back to the Future
Saw this 1985 sf comedy classic on the big screen again for the first time in many years, with the score played live - and very well - by the Cleveland Orchestra. Just as funny, upbeat and clever as I remembered.

A Little Princess
A pretty good 1995 adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett children's classic. Beautiful cinematography and a farfetched but heartwarming story.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A highly derivative plot (the Rebels must destroy yet another superweapon), true, but lots of shoutouts to earlier SW movies, a welcome return of the original cast, and two charismatic, appealing new stars - a conscience-stricken former stormtrooper and a beautiful, plucky young woman who is strong in the Force. Despite some nitpicks, I really enjoyed it.
  #346  
Old 12-29-2015, 12:31 PM
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I've seen a few movies recently and would just like to offer my opinions of them:

. The Walk (2015) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3488710/

This is the story of high wire artist Philippe Petit who strung up a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center in NYC in 1974 and walked back and forth between the two towers a few times. It was rated 7.6 on IMDB which is usually considered to be Very Good to Excellent. But I thought it was a bore. I'm sorry to say that IMHO, there was very little that was excellent about this movie. He had a love interest but there was little or no love affair. There was nothing to applaud in this film. It was just very pedestrian. Just a very average story.

. The Hateful Eight (2015) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3460252

This is one of the finest films I've ever seen. It was directed by Quentin Tarantino and it starred many of the same actors who have appeared in his films in the past. They include Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Groggins and Bruce Dern. It got an 8.2 rating at IMDB which I think is fairly well deserved. It was a very "gripping" move from start to end. Never once did I feel like fast forwarding through some parts. It was extremely violent. But the violence was woven through the plot and well placed. It was extremely entertaining. I can't recommend this movie enough if you like this sort of thing.


. The Salvation (2014) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2720680/

IMO, this was a cheesy rip-off of The Hateful Eight. Many similarities. Both films begin with a stage coach ride through the snowy wintery West. Both films are full of violence. But there is one huge difference. The Hateful Eight is extremely entertaining but The Salvation is just violence with no associate entertainment. I thought it was just awful.

. Kidnapping Mr. Heinecken (2015) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2917388/

This is the story based on the kidnapping of the billionaire head of Heinecken Breweries. It was not particularly exciting or entertaining. It was a tiny bit interesting due to the method these punks employed to kidnap the man. But most of the rest of the film was highly predicable and boring. The action was piss poor. The interaction among the characters was piss poor. There was on very striking fact about this film. The part of Mr. Heinecken was played by Anthony Hopkins and I had never before ever seen him play a part in a bad film that his acting could not rescue. But this was the exception. His part was piss poor and boring. I def would not recommended this film. It sucks.

. Pixels http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2120120/

A stupid film starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James. I have seen other films starring these two bufoons but usually at least one of them is somewhat entertaining. Not this time. Just listen to how stupid the plot is:

In 1982 there is a competetion for the world's champion video game player. A record is made of the event and shot out into outer space in the hope of contacting an alien race. Well, it works. They contact an alien race who believes this recorded record is a declaration of war. That is the last interesting thing about this movie. The rest of it is just awful. I don't think it will appeal even to young kids. Why? Because young kids are not interested in ancient video games that seem like dinosaurs today. This film even manages to make Michelle Monaghan look bad and makes her acting appear to be bad. I don't know how they ever managed to do that because she is truly a beautiful and talented lady.

Oh well, stay away from this turkey. I have to go out now but I may post some more later today.
  #347  
Old 12-29-2015, 01:08 PM
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Re A Little Princess, which I liked a lot too. I know you know, but some might not, that was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who went on to make Y Tu Mama Tambien (which brought Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna to a wider audience), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men, and Gravity, which won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cuarón.

It was based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which was also the basis for the 1939 Shirley Temple tearjerker. The cinematographer for A Little Princess was Emmanuel Lubezki, who was nominated for an Oscar for it, his first of 7 nominations so far (he's won twice, for Gravity and last year for Birdman). He'll probably be nominated again this year for his work on The Revenant.

Lest anyone think it's "just a kid's movie" it has a pretty great pedigree.
  #348  
Old 12-29-2015, 01:18 PM
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Gravity didn't win B. Picture, 12 Years a Slave won that year. His Birdman won last year.
  #349  
Old 12-29-2015, 01:52 PM
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"A girl walks home alone at night" is the last notable movie I have watched. Sinister atmosphere, just will worth a punt
  #350  
Old 12-29-2015, 04:22 PM
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Re-watched Inside Out with FtGKid1 the other night. Kind of odd watching a kid's movie with a "kid" again after all these years. At least we were at home so I could do crosswords during the boring parts (and there were quite a few of those). It's not at all like The Incredibles which I find attention grabbing no matter how many times I've seen it.

OTOH, Phyllis Smith is still remarkable.

MrsFtG suggested watching The Big Lebowski recently which we did. I think I'm in love.

One of the lesser known recent movies we've watched lately is Mistress America with Greta Gerwig. By Noah Baumbach. Seems to have sat on the shelf a while. Not sure why. It's a fairly decent film with lots of yuks, semi-deep conversation and little sad bits. (See the IMDb quote page for it for a taste.)

Good thing the plot was basically irrelevant. You knew how it was going to end.
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