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  #551  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:50 AM
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My most recent five:

Nixon
Overlong Oliver Stone-directed biopic of the scandal-ridden President. Anthony Hopkins and Joan Allen are pretty good as Dick and Pat, but James Woods is especially on the mark as H.R. Haldeman. Nice use of newsreel footage, shakycam, and B&W scenes for flashbacks.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Saw the 2011 American remake again. A great cast and a great script, set against a chilly Swedish winter backdrop. One of my favorite recent thrillers.

Deconstructing the Beatles: Revolver
A very entertaining, interesting film of one of historian, musicologist and Beatles expert Scott Freiman's well-researched multimedia lectures. Definitely worth a look for any Beatles fan.

Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's
Ditto, on the group's game-changing 1967 album.

The Hunt for Red October
Despite Sean Connery's bizarre Scots-Russian accent, still a fun, exciting Cold War naval technothriller.
  #552  
Old 07-10-2017, 11:26 AM
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And the next:

The Abyss
Enjoyed this 1989 James Cameron sf first-contact adventure all over again. Great cast, interesting story and remarkable undersea scenes.

The Age of Adaline
A charming sf romance about a woman who doesn't age for decades after being zapped by lightning. Harrison Ford plays a former lover of hers (and the guy who plays a young Harrison Ford is uncannily on the mark).

Deconstructing the Beatles: Rubber Soul
Another well-done Scott Freiman album documentary, although some of the songs get short shrift.

Obit
Very interesting documentary on the NYT obituary staff, striving to write worthy profiles of their recently-deceased subjects on tight deadlines (ahem).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Pretty good Harry Potter prequel, set in NYC in the Roaring Twenties, as British magical-animal wrangler and protector Newt Scamander tracks down several escaped critters and finds his true love along the way.
  #553  
Old 07-10-2017, 11:39 AM
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The Big Sick: absolutely charming and often hilarious rom-com (and a more-or-less true story) about how the writer and his wife met and fell in love, and overcame his Pakistani cultural impediments and her life-threatening illness. Starring that guy from Silicon Valley.

The Women's Balcony: Israeli dramedy about the internal workings of an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem. Fascinating culturally, and wonderfully entertaining. In Hebrew with subtitles -- through which I learned that the Hebrew word for "synagogue" is knesset -- the same as the Israeli parliament.
  #554  
Old 07-10-2017, 02:54 PM
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Bad Santa 2: Full of bitter mean people acting bitter and mean. Quite a few laughs though. Seeing a tatooed Kathy Bates say the filthiest things imaginable was pretty funny.
  #555  
Old 07-26-2017, 11:49 AM
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My latest five:

The Black Hole
For some reason I decided I wanted to see this Disney sf film again - it had been awhile. So-so cast, laughable science, great score, and decent sfx for the time.

Jodorowsky's Dune
Documentary about the trippy, never-made Seventies movie adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. Tentative casting including Salvador Dali as the Emperor, David Carradine as Duke Leto, Mick Jagger as Feyd-Rautha and Orson Welles as Baron Harkonnen. The slightly-mad director could never satisfy the Hollywood suits that he could control either costs or the running time of the movie (at one point he said it might be 10 hours long!), so the project imploded, but still had an impact on a number of later sf films.

Where Eagles Dare
Saw this fun, ultraviolent, wildly over-the-top WWII adventure for the first time. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood play the British and American leaders of a commando squad trying to rescue a captured U.S. general from a wintry Nazi mountaintop castle. Lots of gunplay, chases, double-crosses and 'splosions.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Still the best Terminator movie, I think. Great cast, near-nonstop action, an important message, remarkable cinematography and sfx, and one of the cleverest, scariest movie villains ever.

Dunkirk
Liked but didn't love this WWII drama about the evacuation of British troops from the French beaches. Surprised by all the rapturous gushing it's getting from movie reviewers; not sure it would even make my own Top Ten War Movie list. There's a very implausible scene at the end; you'll know it when you see it.
  #556  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:12 PM
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Jaws on Blu-ray. I watch it every summer.
  #557  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:40 PM
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Wonder Woman I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. It wasn't what I expected and I didn't like a couple of the plot choices, but the action was fantastic. I like conflicted protagonists but once in a while it's nice having a totally good one.
  #558  
Old 08-04-2017, 02:47 PM
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And my latest five:

Into the Night
So-so 1985 crime comedy with Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum. The best thing about the movie is the featured B.B. King song of the same name.

Room Service
Marx Brothers comedy about a theatrical troupe overstaying its welcome at a swanky hotel. Pretty funny. Look for a very young Lucille Ball in an early role.

Interstellar
Rewatched this Christopher Nolan sf epic and enjoyed it all over again. Great cast, interesting story, mind-binding science, very impressive sfx and an uplifting message.

The Bridge Over the River Kwai
Heavily-fictionalized WWII drama about the building of a Japanese military bridge by British POWs. Alec Guinness definitely earned his Oscar as the stubborn, principled British commander who tragically loses sight of his true duty.

Terminator Genisys
The latest installment in the franchise; a virtual reboot via alternate timeline. Worth a look despite mixed reviews, I'd say. Ahnuld is Ahnuld, of course, a little long in the tooth but still game, and Emilia Clarke (best known as the Khaleesi in Game of Thrones) does pretty well as a feisty Sarah Connor. Didn't care much for a major plot element,* but there are some impressive action sequences and good character moments.

*
SPOILER:
John Connor is turned into a villainous robot by Skynet using nanotechnology.
  #559  
Old 08-04-2017, 02:51 PM
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The Lost City of Z, based on the book of the same name. It is pretty much faithful to the real life story of Percy Fawcett, except for some silly native nonsense at the end.
  #560  
Old 08-04-2017, 03:08 PM
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The Lost City of Z, based on the book of the same name. It is pretty much faithful to the real life story of Percy Fawcett, except for some silly native nonsense at the end.
I'm looking forward to that one. I picked up the book on a lark a few years back. In fact, I fully admit I thought it was a fiction and that zombies would show up sooner or later. I mean, I was two chapters in before I realized I was reading a biography. But it hooked me. It was a great read. Like an old time adventure story.
  #561  
Old 08-04-2017, 04:42 PM
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The Hunted (1948) – Obscure, b-movie with little to recommend it. I only watched for Belita, my obscure b-movie ice skating dreamgirl.

Jeff (1969) – French gangster flick with Alain Delon in typical unemotive form. Neither memorable nor particularly good.

Le Marginal (1983) – Cop Jean-Paul Belmondo breaks rules to kick ass on criminal scum. Underwhelming.

Black Lightning (2009) – Russian attempt at a Marvel movie has teen acquiring a flying (Volga) car, then turning to crime-fighting/do-gooding after failing to prevent his father’s murder. The unfamiliar setting aside, this was derivative pablum.

Rapt (1934) – Russian-French co-production set in two villages on opposite sides of a mountain. A dog’s murder leads to a revenge kidnapping and senseless tragedy. Outstanding cinematography in spots, but story and character logic left much to be desired.
  #562  
Old 08-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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I'm looking forward to that one. I picked up the book on a lark a few years back. In fact, I fully admit I thought it was a fiction and that zombies would show up sooner or later. I mean, I was two chapters in before I realized I was reading a biography. But it hooked me. It was a great read. Like an old time adventure story.
The author makes him out to be more heroic or noble than he was in real life, but it was a good read.
  #563  
Old 08-06-2017, 08:41 PM
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Valerian - Pretty, enjoyed the relationship between the couple, but ultimately boring.

Lost City of Z - Pretty good, but could not stand the made-up ending.

Seven Pounds - Loved this movie. Not for everyone, but a sweet tale of redemption.

OJ: Made in America - repeat viewing of one of the best documentaries ever.

Yankee Doodle Dandy - Watch this every 4th of July. Possibly the whitest movie ever made.

Last edited by JohnT; 08-06-2017 at 08:42 PM.
  #564  
Old 08-07-2017, 11:58 AM
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I took some long plane flights recently, and so I saw a lot of movies that I probably wouldn't have, normally.

Their Finest: dramedy set in London during The Blitz, about a film company making patriotic movies. So-so; Bill Nighy is great, as usual. Would make a great double-feature with Dunkirk. (The original title was "Their Finest Hour-and-a-Half" which is a clever mash-up of Churchill's comment and the runtime of their movies. Cutting the title made it totally un-clever.)

Eye in the Sky: riveting drama about drone warfare.

Boss Baby: animated. kinda cute, some laughs.

Life: if you take Alien and remove the horror, the imaginative alien design, and most of the suspense, you'd get Life. I was surprised by the ending, though.
  #565  
Old 08-07-2017, 12:30 PM
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Finally got around to seeing Valerian before our localplex retired it. Interesting. Not as bad as I was expecting, especially from the two leads. lots of eye candy.
  #566  
Old 08-07-2017, 01:15 PM
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My last five:

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring My 13 year old nephew wanted to see this again after having read the books. Happy to accommodate! This is probably my favorite of the trilogy.

Pretty in Pink I was talking to my college-age nieces about 1980s John Hughes movies and they had never seen this one. It was fun because going into the final scene, one of them was rooting for her to choose rich popular kid Blaine and the other was hoping she'd choose friend-zoned Duckie. Next week we'll watch Some Kind of Wonderful where Eric Stoltz makes the opposite choice.

Dunkirk - Great film. Looking forward to seeing this again at some point.

The Big Sick - Utterly charming.

Spider-man: Homecoming - Not the best Marvel flick of the last few years, but the best Spiderman movie and one of the best Marvel villains ever.
  #567  
Old 08-07-2017, 11:03 PM
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I saw Shin Godzilla last weekend--Toho's 2016 reboot of the original. It is a talky movie, a lot of it deals with the authorities debating on what to do. There are some really great Godzilla SMASH! scenes that make up for all the dialog. I liked it much better than the 2014 version.

Last edited by blondebear; 08-07-2017 at 11:03 PM.
  #568  
Old 09-01-2017, 12:44 PM
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My latest five:

There's Something About Mary
Saw this grossout romantic comedy again for the first time since it came out. Weird, raunchy and very funny, just as I remembered.

Blade Runner
Rewatched this sf detective-noir classic so it'd be fresh on my mind when I see the sequel this fall. A flawed cop (Harrison Ford at his best), a beautiful woman with a tragic secret (Sean Young, lovely), and a dark, dangerous city stretching out to the horizon. Still holds up very well.

Tomorrowland
Didn't do well at the box office, but I enjoyed it. George Clooney is quite good in a clever, big-hearted sf adventure that dares us to dream again.

La La Land
Now I understand what all the fuss was about! I'm not much into musicals, but thought this exuberant love letter to L.A. was a lot of fun. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are great as the romantic leads, and J.K. Simmons steals every scene he's in as a grumpy restaurateur. Highly recommended.

The Martian
Rewatched this sf adventure of an American astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded on Mars. Man against nature at its purest, with knockout cinematography and some good laughs along the way.
  #569  
Old 09-01-2017, 05:38 PM
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Went to Dunkirk two nights ago. Had my usual problem with Brit accents (coupled with some hearing loss), so a good portion of the dialog was lost to me. It wasn't a bad movie, but I'm not sure I agree with the 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  #570  
Old 09-01-2017, 06:29 PM
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I watched Creed on Hulu the other night. I thought it was pretty good. Probably the best "Rocky" movie since Rocky II.

Rocky - classic.
Rocky II - decent follow up.
Rocky All The Others - horseshit money grabs.
  #571  
Old 09-01-2017, 09:51 PM
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Atomic Blonde - If you'd ever hoped that Marvel would make a Black Widow movie, this might be the closest you'd ever get to one. It's not an action film with some spy stuff in it, it's a spy film with some action in it. Also, an awesome '80's music soundtrack.

Wind River - Good suspense thriller with two "Avengers" Jeremy Renner & Elizabeth Olson looking to solve a murder mystery. I like that it takes place in an area, Wyoming Indian Reservation, where most people have never been to and it's always good to see Graham Greene.

Ingrid Goes West - A Dark Comedy that covers the over uses and obsessions some have with social media. This may be the best work by Aubrey Plaza showing that she's not a one note actress. Also, it's Elizabeth Olson again playing a character totally opposite than the one she plays in Wind River.
  #572  
Old 09-01-2017, 11:03 PM
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Went to Dunkirk two nights ago. Had my usual problem with Brit accents (coupled with some hearing loss), so a good portion of the dialog was lost to me. It wasn't a bad movie, but I'm not sure I agree with the 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
As I noted upthread, I was underwhelmed. And I rolled my eyes at the scene where
SPOILER:
the gallant RAF pilot actually shot down a German plane while making a lonnnnnnnnnnng deadstick landing.
  #573  
Old 09-05-2017, 04:06 PM
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Batman vs. Superman - After seeing Wonder Woman, which contained Batman vs. Superman spoilers, I knew I needed to see what led up to those spoilers. Based on reviews I went in with low expectations, but I enjoyed BvS a lot more than I expected. The first 2/3 especially were good, although I didn't buy their justification for fighting. I liked Ben Affleck as Batman better than I thought I would, but his Batman just seems like an alternate reality from the Christian Bale Batman. The ending was fairly satisfying.
  #574  
Old 09-05-2017, 04:29 PM
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As I noted upthread, I was underwhelmed. And I rolled my eyes at the scene where
SPOILER:
the gallant RAF pilot actually shot down a German plane while making a lonnnnnnnnnnng deadstick landing.
There was a lot more to the actual Dunkirk situation that this movie didn't address, which was a bit annoying. I guess they were going for a different angle, rather than the usual sort of war movie, but I thought it failed to make clear just how dire the circumstances were and how intense the fighting was.
  #575  
Old 09-08-2017, 11:09 AM
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I don't know if this counts as a movie, but it's on Netflix:

Oh, Hello on Broadway

I'm a mid-level comedy nerd and I've been a fan of both of them for a while now, but I'm rapidly becoming a superfan of Mulaney. He wrote for SNL for six years; his stand up is hilarious and tight as a drum; his improv skills are off the chart. I listened to a Bill Burr podcast recently where he recalled meeting him for the first time some years ago, saying he could tell this kid had the goods. And he does.

I highly recommend.
I love Mulaney and hadn't heard of this. Thanks for the recommendation.
  #576  
Old 09-08-2017, 12:17 PM
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I went to see Valerian this week. Not a horrible movie but it had its flaws. I think its problem was its source material. People who grew up reading the comic book probably went into the movie with positive feelings towards it. But it's pretty much unread outside of France and everyone else is going to go to this with no background. And this movie was not good enough to sell itself.
  #577  
Old 09-08-2017, 01:41 PM
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Saw All Saints in the theaters - A nice little movie that avoids preachiness or proselytizing, and doesn't portray skeptics as evil or potential converts. Actually I don't think it portrays them at all - it's just about a dwindling church about to be closed that suddenly has a big influx of Burmese refugees on its doorstep, and how the two groups help each other.
  #578  
Old 09-08-2017, 04:59 PM
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A Monster Calls - A boy whose life is not very happy is accompanied by a tree-monster who guides him through some tough moments. Nothing new, but nicely done. Very very weepy and quite dark, it's not a very hopeful film even at its conclusion.
I loved that movie because it was kind of a meta-treatise on the power of storytelling. Good one for writer nerds. And Sigourney just tore up that role as grieving Grandma.
  #579  
Old 09-08-2017, 05:50 PM
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Lion (bought the dvd now that it's down to $10). I have never cried during a movie more than I did during this one and I don't often cry at them. Monsoon of tears flowing down my cheeks, mostly approaching the happy ending.
  #580  
Old 09-11-2017, 07:06 PM
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The Specialist (1994) directed by Luis Llosa with Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone.
  #581  
Old 09-12-2017, 12:09 PM
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Last movies I saw: American Assassin. Preview screening on August 15, although the movie doesn't come out for another couple of days. A decent enough movie, but no real surprises. I didn't feel like it was a waste of time or anything.

The Beaver Trilogy. This movie deserves some explaining, even though it's hard movie to explain, but I'll try. It's essentially the same basic story three times, with changes each time. The first is a straight-up unplanned documentary: in the 70s, a TV cameraman is trying out a new camera outside the station and spots a young fella, Gary, taking pictures of the news helicopter. The kid is a real character, and very friendly, and really likes performing. He later invites the cameraman to a talent show in his home town of Beaver, Utah. The talent show is pretty unspectacular, until Gary comes out in full makeup as Olivia Newton-John and does, basically, a drag show, the likes of which Beaver has likely never seen.

The second part is a fictional re-telling of the first, as an early project by the cameraman when he started going to film school. It covers everything in a more straight-forward narrative format. Especially notable: the cameraman was looking around to cast someone in the role of Gary and found this guy named Sean Penn, right before Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released.

The third part is another fictional version of the same story, which I believe he made much later in film school, with some pretty significant changes and fleshing-out of things. Once again, the director fished around for local actors to fill out the parts, and cast this guy named Crispin Glover, right before Back to the Future came out. There are some other recognizable names in it, too; one I noticed was Elizabeth Daily, who sometimes goes by E.G. Daily. I know her best as the voice of Tommy on Rugrats, but she's been in tons of other stuff (Dottie from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, anyone?).

Anyway. I'm glad to have seen it, though I'm sure it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. It's very rarely seen, because really the only way to see it is at special screenings or buying the DVD from the director's website directly. I think there's a lot to talk about with this movie; it's a shame that it doesn't have a wider audience. It should probably be shown in film schools; it's a good example of how the same essential story can be told in different ways. If you want to see more about it, there's actually a documentary about the history and making of the Beaver Trilogy on Netflix, called Beaver Trilogy Part IV.
  #582  
Old 09-29-2017, 06:07 PM
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AARP had a free pre-release showing of Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench. Based on a real story about the queen and a Muslim Indian who became her closest confidante. The cast members emote for all it's worth, but it's a pleasantly amusing film. Eddie Izzard is unrecognizable as Prince Albert.
  #583  
Old 10-10-2017, 03:37 PM
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AARP had a free pre-release showing of Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench. Based on a real story about the queen and a Muslim Indian who became her closest confidante. The cast members emote for all it's worth, but it's a pleasantly amusing film. Eddie Izzard is unrecognizable as Prince Albert.
I've wanted to see that. Izzard is playing the Prince of Wales, not his father the Prince Consort, I assume?

My latest five:

Bridge of Spies
Tom Hanks is very good as the lawyer for a Soviet spy and the negotiator for release of an American pilot during the Cold War. Great European location shooting, especially in Berlin.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Saw this comedy classic again - just as hilariously good as ever, and filled with quotable lines. Ni! Ni!

Concussion
Will Smith plays an African-born Pittsburgh coroner who figures out that retired Steelers have been brain-damaged by repeated head trauma during their careers. He faces off against the NFL, which wants nothing to do with his research. Your average David vs. Goliath movie, all in all.

The Campaign
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis square off against each other for a Congressional seat in this over-the-top political comedy. Not as funny as it could be, but worth a look.

Battleground
A so-so B&W movie about tired, bored, scared, dirty GIs enduring the Battle of the Bulge during WWII.
  #584  
Old 10-10-2017, 04:17 PM
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This last weekend I watched the Tom Petty doc Runnin' Down A Dream along with Hitchcock's The Birds and North By Northwest.

Last edited by blondebear; 10-10-2017 at 04:19 PM.
  #585  
Old 10-11-2017, 04:24 PM
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I've wanted to see that. Izzard is playing the Prince of Wales, not his father the Prince Consort, I assume?
Yup, he plays Bertie.
  #586  
Old 11-08-2017, 11:59 AM
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Thanks. I thought so.

My latest five:

Tim's Vermeer
Very interesting documentary about an inventor and engineer who theorizes that noted Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer used optical gadgets to make his nearly-photographically-accurate paintings. Tim sets out - despite having, by his own admission, zero artistic ability of his own - to duplicate the process and create his own version of a famous Vermeer painting. Penn and Teller directed and produced the movie, and briefly appear.

Kind Hearts and Coronets
A clever 1949 dark comedy, set in Edwardian times, about a cold-blooded aristocratic wannabe who sets out to "prune the family tree" and kill everyone standing between him and a British dukedom. Alec Guinness plays nine (or ten, depending on how you count) roles as the various D'Ascoyne heirs (including a woman), and does them all very well, of course.

Blade Runner 2049
A worthy sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott classic. A fine cast, interesting script, powerful score (although occasionally too loud) and just as detailed and fully-realized a futuristic Los Angeles dystopia. It moves the story forward and deals engagingly with the same important issues of humanity, identity and slavery as the original. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

Alien
Watched this sf classic again; it still holds up well.

Aliens
Ditto. It remains one of my all-time favorite sf action-adventure movies ever. Sigourney Weaver rules the screen.
  #587  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:36 PM
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This weekend I saw...

Thor: Ragnarok
Really I was just happy to see Hulk on-screen again, but I was pretty pleased with this one overall. I especially liked Goldblum being Goldblum and the Thor/Hulk and Thor/Banner exchanges. There were a few problems with it, but overall it's in the upper mid-pack of the MCU movies for me.

Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You!
I saw this one with my kiddo, who loves anything and everything Pokemon right now. I guess it's kind of an alternate origin story for Ash's relationship with Pikachu. It was cute.
  #588  
Old 11-08-2017, 04:37 PM
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I went to see Logan Lucky this week. I highly recommend it. It's basically a heist comedy. Think Ocean's 11 but with hillbillies.

I saw Atomic Blonde a couple of weeks ago. Good performances by Charlize Theron and the rest of the cast. It's an unusual movie to see in 2017: a gritty cold war spy movie. One of those movies where nobody knows which side anyone is really on.
  #589  
Old 11-08-2017, 05:36 PM
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Bloody Shuriken (1965)
Starts as a Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars knock-off, but instead of two clans running the town, there are three. Raiz˘ Ichikawa, a little more animated than Mr. Spock, is the stranger who never runs out of throwing knives while manipulating the clans into slicing and dicing each other out of business. A weak and senseless end marred this otherwise enjoyable sword opera.

The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957)
Cheap Roger Corman flick has Viking women setting off to rescue their dimwitted men held as slaves by some dickwads on an island. The cheesy giant sea serpent puppet is not as cheesy as one expects.

Hollywood on Trial (1976)
Documentary on the Blacklist era, mostly focusing on the Hollywood 10. On the whole, a little on the dull side, but still interesting and reasonably balanced. A HUAC investigator claims there was no blacklist; Ronald Reagan bogusly asserts the blacklist was maintained by “the American people,” not the studios; Dalton Trumbo expresses satisfaction with his conviction for contempt of Congress “because I did hold them in contempt.”

La Fin du Jour (1939)
Classic French film of actors in a retirement home. Well-written, but bitter comedy has a couple unpleasant characters who didn’t get it bad enough, IMO.

Lana: Queen of the Amazons (1964)
Scientist and nephew search for Amazons in South America. Guilty pleasure Brazilian/German co-production features gorgeous scenery, lots of topless Brazilian women and an unrecognizable Catherine Schell (from Space: 1999) as their blonde queen.
  #590  
Old 11-27-2017, 10:18 AM
Elendil's Heir is offline
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My latest five:

Alien 3
Ripley gets marooned on a prison planet. Pretty damn bleak, and not nearly as good as the first two movies in the series. Charles Dance (Tywin on Game of Thrones) has a nice role as the prison doctor, though.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Terrific naval adventure set during the Napoleonic Wars. Quite an immersive experience - you often actually feel as if you're aboard HMS Surprise. Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany are great as the Royal Navy captain and his best friend, the ship's surgeon and amateur naturalist.

Thor: Ragnarok
Action, adventure, more humor than usual for these movies, and lots of fun. Favorite line: "I know him! He's a friend from work!"

The Sting
Finally saw this Depression-era con-artist film from start to finish. A clever plot and fine cast. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are, of course, great together. Robert Shaw plays the scary mobster they try to fleece.

Sense and Sensibility
Having just seen a so-so stage version of the Jane Austen novel, thought I'd go back and rewatch the 1995 adaptation which Emma Thompson both wrote and costarred in. Just as good as ever - a classic romance with a well-earned happy ending.
  #591  
Old 11-27-2017, 02:00 PM
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Kind Hearts and Coronets
A clever 1949 dark comedy, set in Edwardian times, about a cold-blooded aristocratic wannabe who sets out to "prune the family tree" and kill everyone standing between him and a British dukedom. Alec Guinness plays nine (or ten, depending on how you count) roles as the various D'Ascoyne heirs (including a woman), and does them all very well, of course.
Charming little film, isn't it?

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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
The Sting
Finally saw this Depression-era con-artist film from start to finish. A clever plot and fine cast. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are, of course, great together. Robert Shaw plays the scary mobster they try to fleece.
Hope this isn't the first time! If so, what took you so long?

I watched the "Director's Cut" of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Not that good. And too long. And every scene with Bob Dylan could easily be cut. But, boy, did it have a butt-load of name actors!
  #592  
Old 11-27-2017, 02:24 PM
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I was going to search for this thread so I could vent about The Dinner. I had wanted to see it and it only stayed in theaters around here for a week so I kind of forgot about it and then there it was on Netflix.

I'm not sure I can adequately describe how irritating I found this film. Great (if not all that original) premise : two sets of parents meet over dinner to discuss an incident that involves their children. Great cast: Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall. Oh, and a wee part for Chloe Sevigny.

How did I hate this thing? Let me count the ways. . .

Coogan's character was absolutely insufferable. I know, I know ; he's supposed to be. But I would have thought it would have been better to have him possess a scintilla of likeability.

Laura Linney's character was like a mash up of the poor martyred sister in Love Actually and the self aggrandizing wife in Mystic River.

Richard Gere has top billing but really does little until 2/3 of the way through.

Rebecca Hall is always good but often times plays characters I dislike. This is one of those times.

Don't get me started on the children in this movie.
I wished for a moment that everyone remotely responsible for this dreck
SPOILER:
had died in the ATM vestibule fire
  #593  
Old 11-27-2017, 04:32 PM
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Not a big movie-watcher at home or at the cinema, but did see a couple recently worth reporting on.

Big Hero 6 is a Disney animation about family, robots, friendships and growing up. I know, that's basically all Disney movies (maybe without the robots), but it was well-plotted, the characters were fine, the plot twists (even the ones they telegraphed) worked and the ending (and potential for sequels) brought the requisite tears. If you're in the mood for an animated movie and haven't seen this one, try it.

Hidden Figures. Very well done movie about racism and sexism and triumph without beating one over the head and shoulders with it. My niece/nephew were both amazed that things like that ("colored" bathrooms) existed in the "Space Age", and anyone younger than 30 should have to see it. Very well acted, the three parallel stories of the main women characters blended well, and Kevin Costner for once didn't over-do things and hit the mark. If you haven't seen it, try to.
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  #594  
Old 11-27-2017, 06:37 PM
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The Sting
Finally saw this Depression-era con-artist film from start to finish. A clever plot and fine cast. Robert Redford and Paul Newman are, of course, great together. Robert Shaw plays the scary mobster they try to fleece.
Great film that holds up through repeated viewings because the performances are so good. And because of the ending, it's also fun to watch someone watch it for the first time.

Gondorff: Glad to meet you, kid. You're a real horse's ass.
Hooker: Luther said I could learn something from you. I already know how to drink.
  #595  
Old 11-27-2017, 09:54 PM
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After all these years, SWMBO and I finally got around to watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was....less than spectacular, but adequate.

We then watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It was....less than adequate. By a lot.
  #596  
Old 11-27-2017, 10:03 PM
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After all these years, SWMBO and I finally got around to watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was....less than spectacular, but adequate.

We then watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. It was....less than adequate. By a lot.
Follows the Star Trek Movie Pattern: even numbers good; odd numbers stink.
  #597  
Old 11-28-2017, 11:22 AM
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...Hope this isn't the first time! If so, what took you so long? ....
Dunno. I was too young to see it when it came out, and then just never got around to it until now. No excuses.

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Follows the Star Trek Movie Pattern: even numbers good; odd numbers stink.
I know people say that, but I don't buy it. ST III was a perfectly decent movie, and ST Nemesis (#10) was no great shakes.
  #598  
Old 11-28-2017, 05:34 PM
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Finally got around to watching "Thor: The Dark World" after having Tivo'ed it a while back. And even by comic book movie standards, I thought it was a rather sub-par hack job.

a. The movie begins with exposition. In the beginning were the Dark Elves, yadda, yadda, yadda. That seems both lazy and insulting to the movie-goer. Not only that, but the exposition didn't even make any sense. At various times during the movie, the Dark Elves seemed to have existed before the universe was created, or maybe just a few thousand years ago, or maybe even just a few hundred years ago. It was sort of hard to tell.

b. There's a stupid MacGuffin, energy cloud, nano-tech infinity stone thingy that just so happens to crawl into Thor's girlfriend. What are the odds? Apparently the Asgardian notion of "Hide it so no one can ever find it." is not "Encase it in unobtanium and drop it in the sun", but rather, "Put it in a pillar in an unguarded cavern really close to where the pivotal battle was fought and call it a day.".

c. In the exposition, the Asgardians defeated the entire Dark Elf realm by, among other things, using their rainbow bridge dimensional shifter to teleport the Aether away at the critical moment. But it doesn't seem to occur to them to do that again. Even though their victory over the Dark Elves was recorded, you know, books. Which I'm beginning to doubt Asgardians know how to read because...

d. Despite being an advanced race whose technologies are nigh onto magic, the preferred Asgardian battle method is to attack, with swords, the bad guys with the nuclear power-ups and black-hole grenades. I dunno, but if I were effectively immortal except for catastrophic physical damage, I'd try inventing battle techniques that didn't involve getting whacked by mutants with clubs.

On the same note, the Dark Elves have been in limbo for somewhere between a couple of thousand and 8 billion years. And the Asgardians still haven't figured out how to deal with their technology. *One* ship is enough to fling them into a full panic. That's just not time well spent.

e. Which brings up another point -- how tough are Dark Elves and Asgardians? It seems inconsistent. Thor and the Boss Dark Elf fling each other through walls and land punches that would take out battle tanks but do no apparent damage (Thor gets a couple of picturesque forehead gashes.) But a couple of Dark Elves have a car dropped on them, and it's all she wrote.

f. The cinematography was murky and depressing and green.

g. Loose ends? Lots. Aether still out there. Odin? Loki? What the hell?
  #599  
Old 11-28-2017, 08:09 PM
missouri65 is offline
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I was going to search for this thread so I could vent about The Dinner.
I tried this one last weekend, and was angry no one I knew had seen it. I wanted to yell at someone about it. It is the worst.

It makes no sense that someone in Gere's position would have that conversation in public, but I could forgive that in a better movie. I waited about a year of my life for something relevant to happen. I got to the part where the kids arrived at the scene, realized what was going to happen generally, and decided that there was nothing in this movie that justified me having to see that. I turned it off, looked up spoilers, and have no regrets.

I too found the premise interesting. Great cast. But I spent the whole time thinking, "Why am I watching this?" Until I decided to stop.
  #600  
Old 11-29-2017, 10:32 AM
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Atomic Blonde
War for the Planet of the Apes
Alien: Covenant
Ghost in the Shell
Kong: Skull Island
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