Movies you've seen recently

To possibly repeat a comment about Tenet which I may already have made on the SDMB, I preferred Bill & Ted Face the Music among last year’s movies. The time travel ideas in them are equally ridiculous. Yes, Bill & Ted Face the Music was silly and minor, but Tenet was pretentious.

I’m decades late, but I finally saw John Frankenheimer’s Prophecy, with Talia Shire and Robert Foxworth. It’s bad (regardless of what Stephen King says), really bad. The aerial photography of “Maine” (actually British Columbia) was the only thing going for it. You’ve seen it all before. And better. For less money. Maybe good for laffs?

I love Mr. King’s work, but I don’t take his recommendations.

I’ll cut to the chase: Canadian movies SUCK!

I just watched the English mini-series, The Take, with Tom Hardy. That guy has range.

On Saturday night we started by watching Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It seemed extraordinarily “stagey” (ie, something about the dialog made it obvious that it had started on Broadway and what we were seeing had not been adapted in any way); and when the characters spent 20 minutes arguing over whose arrangement of the title song to use, we bailed. And watched Mitchells vs Machines, as reported above, instead.

"Stowaway" is a sort-of Space Drama taking place on a mission to Mars. The gist: The three people on this two-year journey discover a fourth person on board, a technician who apparently was knocked unconscious and never left the ship. And no one on the ground noticed or took count to make sure everyone had vacated. Apparently there was no buddy system. A plausible explanation is never given as to how this cock-up could possibly have occurred, or how he could have even survived the launch without wearing a space suit, with the G-forces and all. Oh well. He’s a nice guy and they find things for him to do, but then it’s discovered that the ship’s CO2 scrubber, which he inadvertently damaged, is a goner, and there will only be enough oxygen for three, not four. The rest of the movie has a lot of agonizing and very long space walks in an attempt to solve the problem. An obvious question: The CO2 scrubber is about the size of a small suitcase, so why wasn’t there a backup for such a critical piece of equipment in storage? I can’t say I didn’t find it to be a fairly entertaining, even thoughtful diversion for a Saturday evening, but plot loopholes abound. And why is Anna Kendrick a movie star? I’ve seen her in several films and she’s a one-note actress at best, and that note is usually a screech.

Check out Silent Partner with Christopher Plummer and Elliot Gould. Its brilliant and brutal.

In case you don’t know, the basic set-up of Stowaway is very close to that of a famous novelette by Tom Godwin called The Cold Equations.

I tried watching Thunder Force on your comparison with Spy, which I actually enjoyed a lot. But this movie is rather poorer, to my mind, or maybe I’m in a more critical mood. it could have been a great film if the writers had put in more of an effort (or were more talented). Now it is a female version of an Adam Sandler movie.

I fully agree with your assessment. Enjoyable in bits, boring in the long run.

Mitchell’s vs the Machines, on the other hand, is indeed excellent. Thanks to everyone for recommending it.

It’s a great play and there were some great performances in it, but you’re right in that they didn’t really make much effort to adapt it for the screen.

Yeah, that’s fair (although we’re talking “Billy Madison” Adam Sandler, not “Jack and Jill” Adam Sandler). Also, we were disappointed there wasn’t any extra material in the credits as there was in Spy.

For a further (and very interesting) discussion of the movie: Christopher Nolan's Tenet

My latest five:

The 8th
Interesting, uplifting documentary about the 2018 grassroots effort, largely led by women, to repeal Ireland’s stringent anti-abortion law.

Still Home
Short documentary about the corrosive effects of poverty and opioid abuse in the small, struggling river town of East Liverpool, Ohio. Pretty bleak but with a faint ray of hope by the end.

Very good documentary about women in an Ohio prison struggling to survive inside, and then succeed upon release, with a particular focus on the difficulties their families have in trying to support and encourage them.

For Madmen Only
So-so documentary about the acerbic, messed-up Second City improv guru Del Close and his largely-unappreciated role in American comedy over several decades (his pupils have included John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Poehler, George Wendt and many others).

Voodoo Macbeth
Not a documentary, but a disappointing behind-the-scenes fictionalization of the 1936 Federal Theatre Project production of Shakespeare’s play in New York City, with a mostly amateur, all-black cast directed by the young Orson Welles. The movie never quite took off, and the actor playing Welles looked nothing like him.

Freaks, a 2018 film about a young girl living in a house with her father, who forbids her from leaving. Gradually, we learn why. It was pretty good.

Quartet, a film set at a UK retirement home for opera singers and musicians, directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring British actors like Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon. It’s on Netflix until May 10. It’s pretty good, particularly if like me, you’re a sucker for these actors. (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel are also good for seeing those actors.)

Watched Under the Skin last night. What the ever-loving fuck was that? I think it was made to watch while stoned out of your mind. I was not stoned out of my mind, and experienced diminishing returns as time slogged along. What a strange movie.

I attempted to figure out what the hell I just watched and found this quote online, which is in the running for ‘Understatement of the Decade’ : Whereas the novel is explicit that the main character is an alien processing humans for meat, the film is more ambiguous

Oh, I just saw this as well. I thought the opening hour was good, but the final 40 minutes was only OK. I guess I was pretty well hooked with the initial mystery of the situation and didn’t find how it all played out that great.

Not a bad movie, though. Just acceptable.

I just watched a fun little movie called “Raiders Of The Lost Ark.” It’s pretty cool, you should all see it.

Just saw Things Heard and Seen

Decent film about spiritualism and one assholes misdeeds catching up with him. But the ending was unsatisfying.

Shoot 'Em Up, a forgettable satire of gun-fu movies starring Clive Owens and Paul Giamatti. I laughed maybe four times. I kept telling my Uncle he needed to see The Raid but he felt that I needed to see this instead. Tomorrow is Kung-fu Hustle. Wish me luck.

"The Dig." It’s a period piece on Netflix, based on true events, about an archeological discovery in pre-WWII England. Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes are very good. The story as it involves the actual dig is slow-moving but interesting. There’s one glaring flaw, however: The introduction of a sort-of love triangle between a young female archeologist (Lily James), her uptight husband and Mulligan’s dashing cousin, awkwardly shoehorned in about halfway through. That said, I enjoyed the performances of the two leads and the story about the dig, but the film is derailed by an irrelevant subplot.

Jumanji: The Next Level I watched and enjoyed the first one in this iteration (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) so I knew what to expect. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart do a good job portraying the people they are supposed to represent in Jumanji and overall it was a fun adventure with a few heartfelt moments thrown in. It was not a complete re-tread of the previous film, which sequels can be, but added enough new elements to keep it interesting. The mid-credits scene clearly hints to a follow up film that I understand is already in the works.