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  #1101  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:34 AM
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Not an actual "movie" movie but funny and interesting none-the-less.

Bathtubs Over Broadway.

A documentary featuring Steve Young, long time writer for Letterman. He was in charge of rounding up the music for the "Dave's Music Collection" bit. Stuff like Shatner singing, stereo test records, etc. But he started coming upon albums of music for corporate shows. Put on for the benefit of sales folk, distributers, etc. Some of them quite complex with Broadway quality music and production. Some cost millions of dollars to put back in the 60s.

And wow, these are just ... weird. Ballads to bathrooms and tractors.

Young's journey is interesting. Starting from making fun of them to being in love with them to obsession.

Has appearances by performers and writers, fellow collectors, etc.

Shows nice things like his last days on the Late Show. What do you do if you haven't had to search for work in 25 years?

A good source of trivia like "Name a film that has Florence Henderson and Jello Biafra in it."

One odd thing: Near the end Young "discovers" that there are still a few industrial musicals being made. Why didn't he know this all along?

Give it 3.5 plungers.
  #1102  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:39 PM
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ftg, did you see this piece in Cracked.com?:

https://www.cracked.com/blog/the-wei...nded-musicals/
  #1103  
Old 06-25-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
ftg, did you see this piece in Cracked.com?:

https://www.cracked.com/blog/the-wei...nded-musicals/
No, but looking at reminds me why I haven't regularly visited Cracked in quite some time.
  #1104  
Old 06-25-2019, 07:58 AM
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O.K., but are the branded musicals similar to the corporate shows?
  #1105  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:35 PM
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Maiden
A documentary about the voyage of the first all-female crewed ship to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race (6 legs totaling more than 30,000 nmi). Less a tale of feminism than of desperation on the part of sailors with the passion, will, and skill to participate in this grueling contest, but arbitrarily excluded from competing as part of any "regular" crew strictly based on their gender (the journalists covering the race bet that they wouldn't even make out of sight of land).

Despite that frankly heroic nature of what these women did (particularly the skipper), the documentary manages to portray the individuals in a warts and all fashion, with the deep character strengths and flaws.

If this documentary were turned into a dramatic sports movie, it would probably be panned as unrealistic and cliched, with an ending that could only be described as "over the top and unrealistic". (if you want to be spoiled, Wikipedia has what you want)

On my absolutely recommended list (which is up to 10 half way through the year). It's going to be on the lists of the year's best documentaries going into Oscar season, so see it now and save time.
  #1106  
Old 07-01-2019, 12:38 AM
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Just saw the new Spider-Man: Far From Home. I'm sure someone will start a proper spoiler thread once it's out in the US, but until then:

It's fantastic fun. Really thrilling, a lot of laughs, a lot of clever twists, and the secondary characters get a great showing too. Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, JB Smoove, and Jacob Batalon are brilliant, as well as top work from the big names, Jon Favreau and Marisa Tomei in particular.

Also there is a surprise character addition I did not see coming.

No spoilers, but stay till the end, the post-credits clips are potentially important.
  #1107  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:04 AM
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To Dust.

A Hasidic cantor (Géza Röhrig) is worried about what happens to his late wife after her death. And not in the spiritual sense. This leads him to a local CC Biology teacher played by Matthew Broderick. Rotten stuff ensues. (Some scenes are not at all for the squeamish.)

A bit of comedy, a bit of drama, a whole lot of stupid stuff.

It's interesting to consider Broderick's character and acting. The guy mispronounces everything. Is this harder to do than regular acting? If he blows a line by mangling a word, do they just let it go? Does pronouncing something right mean a retake?

Basically a two person movie. Both actors are better than this. If you want to see Broderick as a teacher, watch Election instead. Son of Saul for the other guy.

Give it two buried pigs.
  #1108  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:41 AM
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Yesterday. I like Richard Curtis' work (Four Weddings & a Funeral, Love Actually) and I like The Beatles, so I had high expectations for this. And I wasn't disappointed. Loved it.
  #1109  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:00 PM
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Watched Unlocked yesterday.

CIA\Terrorist film. I was expecting same old, same old.

It was actually very engaging, and I shouted at the screen a number of times. (Usually 'Shoot Him!!!)

I recommend it!
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Last edited by Typo Negative; 07-01-2019 at 03:04 PM.
  #1110  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:13 PM
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Ralph Breaks the Internet. I'm not a big fan of sequels in general. Sometimes you get a winner, but for the most part they smack me as afterthought cash grabs and this one smacked me around but good. It was funny and I suppose the plot made a bit of sense, but I really didn't see how they were going to do THE INTERNET justice as the did to old school video games in the first movie. And they didn't. It was just a very PG-13 version of an analogous internet. The first thing I thought of was how they were going to address porn. They just didn't. I mean, it'd be like making a movie about a retirement home and not mentioning death.

I understand that it was geared to a younger audience so I wasn't expecting to see choke-porn over in the corner or anything, but I just couldn't get myself to buy into it enough to enjoy it when even the spam was represented by just a funny guy who actually does help you make money after all.

Chuckle worthy, probably better lines than the first one, but serving a boring story, if you ask me.
  #1111  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Just watched Limitless, which was an entertaining bit of improbability.
One of my favorite movies of the 2000s! I think Cooper should've at least been nominated for an Oscar, as his character goes very convincingly from writer schlub to Wall Street genius to junkie in withdrawal to US Senate candidate. Here's the SDMB thread on the movie: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=601289
  #1112  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:29 AM
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My latest five:

Captain Marvel
A U.S. Air Force pilot becomes a superheroine after being trained and empowered by aliens with an agenda of their own. Pretty good if not great MCU flick.

Avengers: Endgame
A fitting conclusion (or is it?) to the MCU series, with some nice character moments, occasional laughs and great action sequences.

An American in Paris
Classic, bouncy, color-saturated musical from the early Fifties. A wide-ranging Gershwin score, beautiful Paris setting and Gene Kelly as the star - all terrific.

Toy Story 4
I would just as soon they'd stopped at a trilogy, I have to admit, but this is still a worthy addition to the Pixar collection. Fun, funny and bittersweet, with a gazillion Easter eggs hidden in the antiques-shop scenes (IMDB has a good list of them). Great to see Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep and the others one more time.

Hostiles
Christian Bale is outstanding as a worn-down US Cavalry officer assigned in 1892 to escort a former Indian foe (the always-good Wes Studi) to his Montana homelands to die. A fine recent Western.
  #1113  
Old 07-03-2019, 02:41 PM
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Watched two on Netflix yesterday.

The Spy Who Dumped Me
Pretty standard fare, but still enjoyable. Kate McKinnon is funny and Mila Kunis is just adorable.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Really good. Not so much for the animation, but for excellent script, banter between characters and sight gags.
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  #1114  
Old 07-03-2019, 04:31 PM
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I started to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but I kept drowsing (long day at work) so I lost the thread. I'm eager to catch up. In the meantime, I'd forgotten that back on Father's Day I went to the movies with my kids and we saw Dark Phoenix. It was horrible. There's a reason I'd forgotten about it. I seriously can't remember the plot. Something about Jean Grey gets blasted by some gooey space-jizz and becomes really powerful and then some stuff happens. She's mean and then she's nice again and then the movie ends. It was a waste of time and potentially one of the portents of the death of the superhero genre. If we're lucky.
  #1115  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:33 AM
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MotW: Rocketman. Review in the thread for that here.
  #1116  
Old 07-14-2019, 04:33 PM
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MotW: Dirty God. (Warning: Again the IMDb page has spoilers.)

A woman is released from hospital after suffering a horrific injury. She then tries to put her life somewhat back together. There's her daughter, her problematic mother, a friend and her friend's boyfriend, a new friend from work, etc.

A classic tale of a person who innately knows how to make bad decisions.

Note that it drifts at time into the issue of a young, disfigured, woman trying to get fulfilled in the sex department. Some hard-R stuff.

So, pretty much a downer but there's some interesting aspects to it. In particular, the star Vicky Knight has only this credit on IMDb. (The rest barely have any either.) Here's the reason:

SPOILER:
She was horribly burned at age 8. That's not makeup.

I'd say her performance is worthy of award consideration.

Give it 3.5 headsets.
  #1117  
Old 07-21-2019, 06:54 AM
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When Long Shot was coming out and I saw that it had Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron as a pairing I thought: "This is going to suck."

But the reviews are quite positive. Many of them basically raves.

So ... gave it a chance. And it is in fact a really nice movie.

Classify it as a romance but I wouldn't call it a rom-com. It does have some comedy in it but also some drama. The focus is the romance.

Great cast. (Bob Odenkirk as the President. Andy Serkis as a slimeball billionaire. Alexander Skarsgård as the weirdest Canadian PM ever.) Reasonable story arc. Good dialogue. An a remarkably eclectic soundtrack: Blondie, Moon River, Mozart, Boyz II Men (in person), The Crystals, Big Boi, etc.

There is one major unforgivable sin, however: June Diane Raphael with dark hair. Nooooo!

Give it 3.5 track suits.
  #1118  
Old 07-22-2019, 06:43 AM
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Purple Noon - 7.5/10
Le Cercle Rouge - 8/10
Two Men In Town - 8/10
Lola - 7.5/10
Hiroshima Mon Amour - 7/10
Lo Chiameremo Andrea - 6/10
The Battle of Algiers - 10/10
Gas Food Lodging - 6/10
The Killer Elite - 5.5/10
Written On The Wind - 7.5/10
Charlie Bubbles - 6.5/10
Viridiana - 7/10
Room For Rent - 7.5/10
Opening Night - 8/10
Christiane F. - 6/10
The Fire Within - 7.5/10
O Lucky Man! - 6/10
Los Olvidados - 7.5/10
Festen - 7/10
Capernaum - 8/10
Shoplifters - 7.5/10
A Wedding - 7.5/10
The Furies - 7/10
Giudizio Universale 7/10
  #1119  
Old 07-22-2019, 01:56 PM
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I watched First Man on HBO last night. I loved it!

I was a little guarded going in as I'd heard some negative reviews and I was buying into them for a little while; it's a very slow moving, artistically shot, well performed movie that takes a bit of effort to get into. As a character piece I thought it was outstanding and Gosling does a fantastic job as the stoic, cool as a cucumber, egg-headed, sympathetic hero Armstrong. What I liked most about the film is how rickety and dangerous they made space travel seem. No other movie about space travel has given me such a sense of the claustrophobia they had to deal with. The problem-solving on the fly in the middle of seat-of-your pants action came off as so real, rather than the, "I've solved the problem!" Dudley-Do-Right reaction you'd get from a lesser movie.

I do wonder why they turned Buzz Aldrin into such a dick, though.
  #1120  
Old 07-23-2019, 10:54 AM
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I was disappointed in First Man, as I've posted before. Too often it felt like a better title would've been Neil Armstrong's Emotionally-Barren Marriage. But the portrayal of Aldrin wasn't too far off the mark, from all I've read.

My latest five:

Buckaroo Banzai
Rewatched this favorite of mine, a hip, very funny Eighties sf spoof with oddball characters (John Lithgow really should've gotten an Oscar for his scenery-chewing as Dr. Emilio Lizardo), an exuberantly silly plot and lots of throwaway gags.

Yesterday
A young British street musician has a bike accident and wakes up to find that he's the only man in the world who remembers the Beatles. Some nice moments, but not nearly as good as it could have been.

True Lies
Another favorite, with superspy Ahnuld taking on terrorists with nukes at the same time as he tries to save his marriage. A near-perfect blend of action, comedy and romance.

For All Mankind
Oscar-nominated documentary about the Apollo Program. Beautiful space imagery and narration by many of the NASA astronauts.

Hannibal
Grisly, chilling, pretty good but not perfect sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, with Special Agent Starling's FBI career in the dumps and Dr. Lecter hiding out in Florence, Italy. Julianne Moore does well in the Starling role, replacing Jody Foster, and Gary Oldman is unrecognizable but spooky as the Lecter-mutilated billionaire who really wants to catch him.
  #1121  
Old 07-28-2019, 09:04 AM
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And now a disappointment.

The Souvenir. Honor Swinton Byrne is a young woman with issues. She's flopping around in film school and she starts seeing a man. And the man is a really poor choice for a companion. ("Lover"/etc. doesn't really fit this guy.)

Base on the writer/director's real life experience as a film school student, etc. in early 80s London. Weirdly retro.

Note the middle name of the actress. Daughter of Tilda. Who plays the mother in the film. (And Tilda's two dogs appear in the film as well.) Martin Scorsese is somehow attached to it.

Seems like it has possibilities. But, no. It just plods along. The actors speak too slowly. Things drag on. The poor woman just semi-fails at everything. Very depressing. In short: Some people make bad choices that have crappy results. Nothing new to see here, move along.

Like other films we've watched recently, it does have a nice, eclectic soundtrack however. But the clips from the better songs are surprisingly short.

Give it 1.5 landline phones.
  #1122  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:18 PM
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Echo in the Canyon. A documentary on the mid-60s Los Angeles music scene, when the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Mamas and the Papas and the Beach Boys were all next-door neighbors in LA's Laurel Canyon. It mixes vintage film performances with current interviews of many of the principals (plus Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Tom Petty) plus performance of the music by Jakob Dylan, Regina Spektor, Beck, and more.

This is the music of my youth so I loved that...but also the interviews were fascinating and the modern performances excellent. Plus: it's short, < 90 minutes. I can't remember the last time a movie ended and I was caught by surprise. "That's it? It's over already??"
  #1123  
Old 08-04-2019, 09:49 AM
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Another "Oh, well." this week.

Always Be My Maybe (2019, Netflix).

A pair of childhood friends who lost contact with each other meet again. Movie ensues. Supposedly a romcom.

The good news. Mostly a great cast. The leads Ali Wong and Randall Park are top notch. James Saito as Park's dad and Michelle Buteau as Wong's assistant/pal are notable.

The bad news. With one exception, the storyline is just generic. (Almost) nothing surprising happens. Boring.

The exception:
SPOILER:
Keanu
But even then while it's not predictable, it doesn't really work, story-wise.

A note on the over used "wacky" character. Yeah, it has one of those. There's wacky and then there's "wacky". In this case it means someone who is just weird for weirdness sake. Suppose to be comic relief. But no actual humor is introduced. Okay, so they say dumb things. But dumb does not always mean funny.

Contrast with the character Allison on Grace and Frankie. It's not just that she says odd things out of left field, it's the absurdity of those things. Stuff that just makes you go "Wow!". Often quite original.

Give it 2 Gooby/GUBI chairs. Whatever those are. Just for the main cast.
  #1124  
Old 08-04-2019, 11:46 AM
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Are any of you users of Letterboxd? I'd love to add/follow some of you to see what you are watching and read any reviews you post.

I'm here if any of you want to do the same.
  #1125  
Old 08-04-2019, 12:05 PM
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Re: Always Be My Maybe.

And ... another thing.

The great Charlyne Yi is in it. Does comedy and drama well. She barely had more lines in it than I do. What a waste of an actor.
  #1126  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:05 PM
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My latest five:

Glory
Saw the 30th anniversary theatrical re-release of this great Civil War film, my favorite of them all. A terrific cast (Denzel Washington got an Oscar playing a rebellious escaped-slave-turned-soldier), exciting battle scenes and a deeply moving story.

Crisis
A Robert Drew-directed 1963 documentary about JFK's confrontation with Gov. George Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama. A remarkable you-are-there look at a key moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
A fun 1950s Disney quasi-steampunk film adaptation of the Jules Verne novel. James Mason is great as Capt. Nemo, but Kirk Douglas steals every scene as a rowdy sailor.

Super Troopers
Raunchy, raucous, very funny comedy about prankster Vermont cops who from time to time actually do their jobs.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino's latest, about an aging TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) coming to realize he's past his prime, and his tough stuntman pal (Brad Pitt), getting caught up on the fringes of Charles Manson's cult in 1969 Tinsel Town. The ending is a bit over the top, but I really enjoyed it.
  #1127  
Old 08-11-2019, 11:44 AM
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MotW: Plus One (2019). Two friends agree to be each other's date for a lot of weddings.

(We're going to a wedding real soon, so this was "research". Hope the speeches there are a lot better than most of the ones shown in the movie.)

The guy is Jack Quaid. Son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. Don't know him. Does an okay job. His character has Daddy and commitment issues. Pretty much a loser. (So it's When Harry Met Sally/A lot more than Four Weddings and no Funeral or some such?)

The gal is Maya Erskine. Daughter of jazz drummer Peter Erskine. Does a fairly good job. Her character is a crazy, alcoholic type. The kind even a loser would know to stay away from. So their relationship is problematic.

The guy's dad is Ed Begley, Jr. Son of ..., well duh. I guess you had to be the child of a performer to star in this. Fun fact: only one of these parents has won an Oscar. Guess which one?

There there is an immense cast due to the necessity of having little to no intersection between weddings. Amazing they could pull this off.

Anyway. Sort of well acted and all that. Funny at times. Borderline psychotic at others. Don't see the love that gives it a 89% RT score.

Give it 3 dying flowers. (And that's a bit generous.)
  #1128  
Old 08-15-2019, 09:18 AM
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The Big Hack, on Netflix. A sobering look at Cambridge Analytica's criminal shenanigans, the willingness of politicians to be complicit in it, and at just how vulnerable we all are to data theft.
  #1129  
Old 08-23-2019, 01:50 PM
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My latest five:

Jackie Brown
Quentin Tarantino's only book adaptation, about an aging stewardess trying to outmaneuver a ruthless gun-runner with the help of a bail bondsman who's got a thing for her. Great cast, great script, lots of twists and turns, funny and violent.

Super Troopers 2
Semi-competent, prankster Vermont state troopers have to win over the locals after a boundary adjustment brings a Canadian town into the state. Not as funny as the first movie, but it has its moments.

The Terminal
Pretty good Tom Hanks tragicomedy about a foreigner stranded for months in an NYC airport after a revolution in his home country leaves him stateless.

Mad Max
The original, which I hadn't seen since college - painfully low-budget and almost quaint. Not really worth seeing again.

Manhunter
One of the first serial killer/profiler films, with a stylish, very Miami Vice vibe. The film marks the screen debut of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played well by Brian Cox, but quite a bit differently from Anthony Hopkins's iconic performance).
  #1130  
Old 08-23-2019, 02:44 PM
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Was travelling last weekend. On the plane we watched two films.

Going: Young Frankenstein. Still just absolutely great after all these years. Except for that scene with the Boyle and Kahn. I don't care if it's 1974 or 1794, that's not something to joke about.

Given how much older Cloris Leachman looks than the other cast members, you'd figure she'd be long dead. But she wasn't even 50 yet.

I loved the "Abbie Normal" bit so much that I had named my phone years ago this since it was assembled from various parts.

Coming back: Big. Yeah, this is still good, too. In particular, I had forgotten what a great job Elizabeth Perkins. At times harsh, serious, soft, funny, etc.

So Josh's friend leaves him that first night at the flophouse at night in a terrible neighborhood and somehow gets home safely? Without any parental concern? How?

And it had a perfectly nice, expected ending.

"Blucher"
  #1131  
Old 08-23-2019, 04:12 PM
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Watched "Rumble" a couple of days ago. A really good documentary about the history of Native Americans in the music industry. "Rumble", of course, refers to the ground-breaking song by Shawnee musician Link Wray. Today, it doesn't sound all that unusual, but back then nobody had even heard of a power chord. The film covers artists from the early part of the 20th century through recent times. Groups like Redbone, artists like Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, drummer Robby Robertson, Randy Castillo, etc. See the trailer here.
  #1132  
Old 08-23-2019, 04:36 PM
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The Mule - Clint Eastwood plays a horrible husband/father/grandfather who stumbles his way into money by running drugs for a Mexican cartel. Bradley Cooper pays the fed trying track the shipments and nail the cartel, playing unwitting cat and mouse with his prey Eastwood. Along the way they both learn an important lesson about connecting with one's family. And Clint Eastwood has two three-ways with four different gorgeous women.

Here's the thing, the majority of the movie is just "look how cool it is to run drugs for a cartel when you're an old fart like Clint Eastwood," at least until all the shit hits all the fans, with the "connecting with one's family bit" just sort of shoe-horned in in a few spots.

I'll probably watch it again, but it's no great shakes.
  #1133  
Old 08-30-2019, 05:14 PM
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The Other Side of Hope - 8/10 - Very good, touching movie. I wish it would have went on a little longer, because it was good, but also for resolve.
Lights in the Dusk - 6.5/10 - Kaurismaki usually has a positive to all the conflict, so this was quite a departure, and hence, probably my least favorite drama out of the 15 I've seen of his.
Le Havre - 7.5/10 - I wish there was more connecting, between Marcel/wife, and Marcel/Idrissa, but I loved the inner warmth, and the warmth to those around them, even if it wasn't "professional" (I hate that word so much - which is usually a euphemism and an excuse to be "do-nothing" type of person)
Man Without A Past - 7.5/10
Drifting Clouds - 7.5/10
  #1134  
Old 09-01-2019, 08:42 AM
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As usual, I've watched a ton of movies lately, but I can only remember a couple of them. I recently clipped my YouTubeTV (streaming, basically a straight up replacement for a cable package) so now my daily streaming service is PlutoTV (free on Roku/PS4/otheres), and I have Netflix, Hulu and I'm the middle of a month free of Amazon Prime.

With that, the movies I can recall watching in the last week are:

Stir Crazy
, with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, a really weird movie, rated R that feels like a TV sitcom somehow. "That's right, that's right ... we bad ..." I love it.

And yesterday, for some reason I had an urge to watch Star Trek: First Contact. I was never that big of a STNG fan, but I'd seen this one years before and I remembered enjoying it, so I fired it up. I enjoyed it again. I like seeing the origin stories of the warp drive and contact with the Vulcans. Fun movie with requisite amount of pathos to keep you biting your fingernails.

Oh yeah, I just remembered, I watched Dumb and Dumber (at least most of it) last night as well. I was futzing around online and I wanted to just have something on that I'd seen before and since I was on a 90's kick, I plucked this one. Holy shit, that's funny goddamned movie.
  #1135  
Old 09-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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Last night watched Woodstock or Bust. Big mistake. Even 5 minutes in I was thinking this wasn't going to go well. I had to search around for reviews and found some that were generally quite good even if they seemed to have small reservations. No, this is a crappy movie.

Two idiot teens ( who have time-traveled from 2019 to 1969 ) go on a road trip from Portland to Woodstock. "Events" ensue.

Terrible script, terrible direction, terrible acting (mostly). Just the fact that these teens act and talk just like today's teens is a big issue. No one did any research for the script or their roles??? Girls in 1969 Portland did not talk that way. The script and acting would be out of place for 2009 Portland. Egad.

All overwrought and cheaply done. Since it's a low budget period road trip film you know the rule: No shots of major highways like interstates. So lots of travel on remote two lane roads. Avoiding I-80N (as it was known then) while traveling across a good chunk of Oregon to get to New York in a hurry is the smart thing to do! Plus a lot of up-angle shots of people so that the modern stuff around won't be seen.

The whole 1969 and Woodstock thing was irrelevant to the movie. They could have set the whole thing in the present day and saved trouble. The Viet Nam references included were childishly written so dropping them would be a plus.

There was one small bright spot. Teddy Van Ee who plays a teen that joins them for some of the latter part of the film. He clearly knows how to act and to play a character. (Or is that more than one character?)

And just for him and the Oregon scenery, I'll give it one toe.

A week ago we watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time in a while. Now this is a classic movie. It was a smart choice picking a lot of classic tunes for the soundtrack. That helps make it immortal.
  #1136  
Old 09-02-2019, 07:16 PM
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Tigers Are Not Afraid (95% RT)
A 12 year old girl goes on a quest through a dystopian landscape in the slums of Mexico City. One of the year's best. It's a mix of the magical and horrific (but warning: it's subtitled). I think if you are a fan of Pan's Labyrinth, you'll be a fan of this film, but yes-
SPOILER:
Small children are murdered
just as in Del Toro's film. This is on my highly recommended list.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (92% RT)
I went into this documentary only knowing a little bit about this man. The film reveals a truly protean, driven talent who was unable to overcome the demons that drove him to drugs and domestic abuse. The documentary's details of his foundational contributions to what jazz, funk, and hip-hop are today are truly astounding. The self destructive thread that weaves through his story is not papered over. A fascinating look at an important artist.

Official Secrets (No RT Rating)
A well acted whistleblower drama. Keira Knightley gives a particularly good performance as the young woman who, as the film states, places protecting her country above protecting the government. I saw it on the Westside, so it wasn't surprising that there was loud applause as the credits rolled. Trigger warning:
SPOILER:
For conservatives: Facts have a liberal bias, and as far as I can tell from some Wikipedia research, this film is completely factual, including the depiction of a frantic dash to save her husband from sudden deportation shortly after she is arrested

Give Me Liberty (91% RT)
A little film with a big heart. A young man copes with his extended family as he tries to work his job transporting disabled folks to various appointments and events. In the end, it becomes a specific tale illuminating the human experience that crosses all cultures, ethnicities, and races. Another one that makes my highly recommended list, but not likely to be around long in the theaters and then only in the art houses.

Before You Know It (83% RT)
A nice little picture set in the artsy New York setting, but really well acted and with a central relationship between two sisters really well drawn. It's not a surprising film and if you don't like the indie genre of New Yorkers living New York lives, this one won't be something you will enjoy. Is it worth seeing? The performances, particularly the two sisters, tips it into the worth watching column.
  #1137  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Batty View Post
...And yesterday, for some reason I had an urge to watch Star Trek: First Contact. I was never that big of a STNG fan, but I'd seen this one years before and I remembered enjoying it, so I fired it up. I enjoyed it again. I like seeing the origin stories of the warp drive and contact with the Vulcans. Fun movie with requisite amount of pathos to keep you biting your fingernails.

Oh yeah, I just remembered, I watched Dumb and Dumber (at least most of it) last night as well. I was futzing around online and I wanted to just have something on that I'd seen before and since I was on a 90's kick, I plucked this one. Holy shit, that's funny goddamned movie.
First Contact is actually my favorite ST movie. I'd give it a slight edge over Wrath of Khan, which is my personal runner-up.

My favorite moment in Dumb and Dumber - a very funny movie indeed - is when they're trying to drink from squeeze bottles in the diner, with the streams of ketchup and mustard going up in mid-air, to deal with the hot peppers they've just eaten. The first time I saw that I thought I just might wet my pants, I was laughing so hard.

My latest five:

Batman
The 1989 Michael Keaton version, which I saw with the soaring Danny Elfman orchestral score performed live. Haven't seen it in years but it holds up pretty well, other than some iffy sfx.

The Road Warrior
Mel Gibson's second outing as Mad Max, with the worn-down Australian ex-cop trying to help an embattled desert colony. Hokey but with great action sequences.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Gibson's third and final time in the role, taking on Tina Turner's scheming queen of Bartertown. Definitely sillier than the others and with something of a third-act letdown, but still worth a look.

Paris is Burning
Interesting 1990 documentary on the NYC drag/vogue/ballroom subculture of the late Eighties, overshadowed by AIDS and homophobia but still defiant and feisty.

Red Dragon
Scary, well-crafted prequel to Silence of the Lambs, including a prologue showing how Dr. Hannibal Lecter got caught by the FBI. Much better, I'd say, than the earlier adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel, Manhunter.
  #1138  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:20 PM
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On a round trip airline flight:

The latest Avengers movie.

Shazaam!

Pet Sematary (the new one)
  #1139  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:43 PM
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I watched one of two Harvey Weinstein documentaries on HULU

Untouchable

Engrossing but not all that surprising. But a good study of how a bunch of people can become complicit in criminal behavior.
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  #1140  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:20 PM
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On a round trip airline flight:

The latest Avengers movie.

Shazaam!

Pet Sematary (the new one)
About which you thought...?
  #1141  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:30 AM
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About which you thought...?
I'm not an Avengers fan, although I've watched several of them. It was 3 hours plus, which ate up the entire flight. As those CGI films go, it was entertaining.

Shazaam! was like Big, but with superheroes. Not particularly well done, but somewhat amusing.

The new Pet Sematary was better than the first one, but there was nothing new in the horror genre there. Lithgow was solid, as usual. The story followed a pretty predictable path.
  #1142  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:34 PM
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Thanks!
  #1143  
Old 09-05-2019, 08:21 AM
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I just saw Contact. Yes, I know it came out in '97, but I didn't run across it on TV until now and that's pretty much the only way I ever see movies. I hope it's okay to not spoiler anything I might say about this 22 year old movie.


So, I liked most of it. Frankly I just like to look at Jodie Foster; even though I am a straight woman, I just find her so beautiful. I also liked that her character was an unabashed atheist. When Matthew McConaughey space-blocked her for that I was completely pissed.


I thought the portrayal of everyone acting like loons because of the message from Vega was good, though I'm sure it would be even crazier than that in reality. (How the hell did that preacher dude get on the launch pad with Tom Skerritt though??)

Jodie was so brave during the countdown I almost cried. "Okay to go! Okay to go!" I have a hard time getting on freaking airplanes. Dang, I love that woman.

What actually happened in space was a bit of a letdown, but how could it not be? I didn't mind it, though it didn't bring me to tears as it was obviously supposed to. I was more worried that the movie would end with Jodie finding belief in god. I think it ended decently, but would have been improved by a scene in which Jodie Foster kicked Matthew McConaughey to death. ("You kept me from fulfilling my lifelong dream, and this historic moment for the human race, because you loved me?! Uh! Uh! Uh!")
  #1144  
Old 09-05-2019, 11:30 AM
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I enjoyed Contact when I saw it at the time it came out, and have been meaning to go back and take another look at it. I particularly remember the great panning shot across the Solar System and interstellar space at the beginning, and the clever zoom when Ellie is responding to her father's heart attack.
  #1145  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:03 PM
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Ah, Contact...

I've rewatched it recently enough to post here, I suppose. A truly rare SF film that captures the main ideas of the Carl Sagan (yes) novel, which in turn reflect many of the themes he very publically worried about. Like, superstition having a firmer root in most peoples' minds than fact-based scientific knowledge and reasoning.

The ending was, for me, really fulfilling. As her space pod falls through that weird portal that nobody really understands, she is whisked away into the hands of higher beings who have the power to curate her experience, making it gentle and emotionally meaningful to her. And IIRC, the "being" that communicates with her isn't able to answer very many of her questions, but reassures her that "the only thing we (the aliens) have found to make the emptiness bearable, is each other." That there are some feelings that transcend humanity and apply to any being in the universe. That we are not actually alone.

And that's it...that's all we get to have, as a takeaway, on this, our first step outside of our home. But, it's huge. It is quite possible the best case "first contact" story imaginable. No doubt, this was the scenario Carl Sagan dreamed would happen some day.

Last edited by Limmin; 09-05-2019 at 12:06 PM.
  #1146  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:31 PM
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Movie Night with the wife last night.

First we tried 'Can you ever forgive me?'.

About 30 minutes in, she asked 'Is this supposed to be interesting?' It wasn't. McCarthy plays yet another character who equates being unpleasant with being 'real'. And her unpleasantness was just plain dull.

Then we switched to Annihilation . It was interesting, beautifully filmed, but is seemed like they sedated the entire cast before filming.
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  #1147  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:36 PM
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I recently watched Happy Death Day, a 2017 slasher film with a Groundhog Day premise. A self-absorbed sorority girl gets murdered by someone in a creepy mask, but she wakes up back at the beginning of that same day. She tries to avoid her fate, but keeps getting murdered and reliving the day over and over. She must find out who is killing her and how to stop them.

It was silly, but a lot of fun and clever at times. The lead actress is very good. You kinda hate her character at first, but she changes and grows and totally wins you over by the end.

There is a sequel that came out earlier this year. I will definitely check it out.
  #1148  
Old 09-05-2019, 03:41 PM
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I watched Mortal Engines last night. I know it's based on a novel, but I'm not its demographic, so I never read it. It all looked a little too stupid for me, for some reason and I didn't really think I'd like it but I really enjoyed it. I'm not much of a steam-punk fan but I've played a little Bio-Shock and a little Dishonored - I can dig it.

I thought it looked great - of course, way over the top, but ... mobile cities that eat other cities ... what do you expect. The story made sense for the most part and it certainly was action packed. It pretty much kept me riveted and I had a lot of fun watching it. I can't really figure out why Act II had to be Terminator IV, but I'll watch it again.
  #1149  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:50 PM
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Ah, Contact...

...And that's it...that's all we get to have, as a takeaway, on this, our first step outside of our home. But, it's huge. It is quite possible the best case "first contact" story imaginable. No doubt, this was the scenario Carl Sagan dreamed would happen some day.
It's actually one of the few movies on my list that's quite a bit better than the book it's based on.
  #1150  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:35 PM
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I actually went to a theater to watch The Art of Racing in the Rain a couple of weeks ago.

First off, it is not about racing, not really. Racing is incidental to the plot. That said, what racing they show is accurately portrayed, a huge selling point to me.

Second, it's not really about the dog, it's about a family in crisis as viewed by the family dog. I thought it was quite well done. It is based on a book of the same title. They had to drop some plot details and simplify a couple of things for the big screen or the movie would have been way too long, but they actually stayed pretty close to the plot. I thought it was well acted, not overdone. It is not an action film, despite the name, it's drama.

Finally, the key/lesson to the movie (and book) is stated upfront, early in the show but it's easy to forget it until the end.

I enjoyed it. I need to watch movies more often.
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