Movies you've seen recently

Yor, Hunter from the Future

A classic “bad” movie, but I gotta tell you…I kind of liked it. Unfairly maligned, it actually has a really nice Blu-ray copy now that is cleaned all up. I think it is a silly, sometimes laughable movie that gives away all of its twists in the title. However, it is actually really well made and I found it to be quite charming.

I would actually recommend this movie if you are looking for something cute. You can even watch it with the family.

Watched “Spider Baby” for the first time this morning-that movie definitely earned its reputation.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

This was a really fun movie and I think I liked it more than the first one. This has to be one of the shorter major releases I’ve seen lately. It went to credits at 85 minutes and I was kind of stunned. Having said that, how long does a Venom movie really need to be? I’m glad I am not a huge Venom comic fan. This movie was mostly comedic and Venom is now just an Odd Couple variation with Eddie Brock.

Anyway, very fun movie and I actually hope they make a Venom 3.

This is one of my all time favorites. It’s one of those that even after watching it for the 10th time, I still find something I hadn’t noticed before. A LOT of little clues as to what’s going on that you really only “get” after additional viewings. That first shot of Trevor showing off his physique to Stevie still takes my breath away. :astonished:

I watched The Machinist because of comments here. It was fine, and Bale is always watchable. So who the hell was Igor or Ivan or whatever his name was?

I saw The Power of the Dog at the theater yesterday. It’ll be available on Netflix next week. New movie by Jane Campion (The Piano) starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It was excellent. Kind of slow paced, lots of gorgeous scenery, and a tense story. If Cumberbatch isn’t nominated for an Oscar, I’ll be shocked. It’s about 2 rancher brothers in the 1920’s. I had no idea where the movie was headed. Not until it was over did I realize what had actually taken place.

Sadly, the sound quality in the theater was a little muffled and I missed some important dialogue. I’ll have to watch it closed captioned on Netflix in case there’s more that I missed.

I guess he represents his guilt? Or something? It’s not clear to me.

I’m so glad to hear this- I read the book in anticipation of the movie and it was excellent.

I’d say it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time. (I can certainly see where it wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea, though.) For anybody who hasn’t read the book, try not to read reviews ahead of time in case of spoilers.

I’ve been thinking about the movie all day long.

Couple of films that I didn’t like but found interesting for different reasons.

Soldier in the Rain, starring Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen and Tuesday Weld. Directed by Ralph Nelson and released in 1963 (delayed five days due to JFK’s assasination, so tomorrow’s date 58 years ago). I’ve known about it for some time (WTF, Gleason and McQueen?) and had somewhat high hopes but didn’t care for most of it. It’s a fun look back at clothing, haircuts, cars, etc. and even sensitivities and approaches to filmaking, but I found the rest of it to be grating. Steve McQueen is fun to watch in almost anything, and his unconditional fans will probably enjoy the opportunity to see him in his prime. But IMO the film suffers from stilted dialogue which is made even worse by McQueen’s unconvincing southern accent and some facial gestures that border on histrionic. The story has interesting potential, as Gleason’s character is painfully aware that he’s middle-aged, overweight, unattractive and facing an uncertain future, but I found it clumsy and mawkish. To end this on a positive note, I’m still enjoying the soundtrack by Henry Mancini. Very cool theme song that’s been stuck in my head for the last few days.

Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton. Directed by George Tillman Jr. and released in 2010. Although I generally like the starring actors and enjoy some action films, this didn’t do much more than disappoint me after getting my hopes up. I fell asleep about two-thirds of the way through, but that’s on me, because it was on late. While I won’t hesitate to call parts of it stupid, I have to say that others are very well done and that I found the whole to be a disconcerting mix of brilliant and dumb. The acting is generally solid (e.g.: a look of concern or disappointment that washes over an actor’s face), as is the photography, and it looked like the story was going to be a fun ride, but the plot twisted in ways that ruined it for me. Like I said: disconcerting. I’d like to read other opinions, if anyone has anything to say about it.

Woke up at 4am today, unable to sleep. Turned on the TV and looked for something, anything to watch. Runaway Train was just starting, so I figured, oh hell, why not?

Jeebus Frackin’ Crikes this movie is BAD! Bad acting, bad story, comically bad at times. Unbelieavable how something this bad could get made, let alone released. I had heard that Kurosawa was going to shoot a film with this story in the 60’s but it got shelved. I wonder what the hell he had in mind. Certainly not the dreck that I watched. Again, stunningly bad.

Watched Mr. Brooks the night before. Also BAD. A total mish-mash of garbage storylines circling in a backed-up toilet ready to overflow.

Just watched The Green Knight AKA Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight. I’d been looking forward to this. I’ve long thought that the poem of Sir Gawaine and the Grene Knight – which I’ve read in several translations, including J.R.R. Tolkien’s – would make one helluva great art flick, if done right. I’ve filmed it in my head several times, as I’d make it if I were a director.

In case you are unfamiliar with the poem, it has an incredible hook. The titular Greene Knight comes into King Arthur’s Court one Christmas and challenges another knight to a strange duel. Each will deal one blow, and must receive as good as he got. He even offers to let one of King Arthur’s knights go first, with the understanding that he must bring himself to the Green Knight’s chapel in one year to receive the return blow. The headstrong Sir Gawaine accepts and promptly cuts off the Green Knight’s head. So much for that kind of arrogance. But the Green Knight’s headless body then stands up, picks cup its head, turns to Gawaine, and says, in effect. “Right. Next Christmas it’s my turn.” And rides off.

There was a version in 1984 entitled Sword of the Valiant that showed some promise, but it was funded by Golan and Globus, which is the Kiss of Death for any sort of artistic integrity. It had Trevor Howard and Peter Cushing and – as the Greene Knight himself – Sean Connery (!!!).

The director wanted Mark Hamill as Sir Gawain, which might have helped enormously. I can hear you sniggering out there – but Hamill would certainly have been better than the choice Golan forced on them – Miles and Miles O’Keeffe. Yep – the forgotten Tarzan from the Bo Derek version. Ator the Fighting Eagle himself. It didn’t help at all that they put him in a stupid blonde Dutch Boy paint wig. It was impossible to take him seriously. (THe same director had evidently filmed a version a decade earlier, but I’ve never seen that film.)

So I figured this version couldn’t be that bad. It got some good reviews.

I have mixed feelings. Some of it is filmed exactly the way I would have done it. Dev Patel (I seem to be watching films starring him lately) makes a surprisingly good Sir Gawaine. .The look is very good. Lots of scenes shot through mist. The Green Knight’s head – or possibly his mask – looks like the head of the classic “Green Man” used in architecture.

So far, so good, but
1.) The film moves with glacial slowness. If I saw this in the theater I could go for a bathroom break and not miss anything.
2.) A lot of what’s going on isn’t at all clear. I confess that some of this didn’t make sense until I read the Wikipedia synopsis later. This is because
3.) They changed the freakin’ story and added whole lumps of stuff out of nowhere. On the other hand, they kept returning to the story as in the poem. Granted that you need to flesh out a story to movie length (glacial slowness enough ain’t gonna do it), but wholesale invention isn’t the way to do it.*
4.) They made the ending ambiguous. I hate when they do this, especially when the original isn’t. It bugged me with Carpenter’s The Thing and it bugs me here.

Some added and invented things:

  1. Gawaine isn’t a knight. He still aspiring
  2. Gawaine’s mother is a sorceress. Some descriptions identify her as Morgan le Fay, although the movie doesn’t say so. And that identification is at odds with the traditional relationships. But, in any case, Gawaine’s mom wasn’t a witch.
  3. Gawaine starts out in a brothel. His mom scolds him for it and promptly casts a spell, which suggests that the whole plot is Gawaine’s punishment for playing with the Bad Girls.
  4. Gawaine gets robbed in the woods by a band of thieves. The director apparently liked the Captain Feeney sequence from Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and decided to work it in here.
  5. The whole Ghost Lady whose head was cut off and Gawain has to fetch it. Nothing like this in the poem.
  6. The Talking fox
  7. The Valley of Wandering GIants. WTF???
  8. The “Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge” escape sequence at the climax. But it was only a fantasy. Gimme a break. At least when I fantasize to escape a situation it’s not deterimental to me.
  9. The aforementioned ambiguous ending.

So there’s the film. I later learned that the director also did The Witch, and I can see the similarities. That one, too, moved with incredible slowness.

I remember wanting to see this when it came out. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars! Somehow I never got around to it, then promptly forgot that it existed.

I’m tempted to check it out to see if I agree with you or Roger.

Gotta disagree with you here. I really liked Runaway Train. If Kurasawa had made it, it would’ve been pretty similar. I have to agree with Roger Ebert. Nor are we alone. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a critic score of 83%, and an audience score of 76%.It’s true that the critics from the New York Times and the WAshington Post didn’t like it, but you’re clearly in the minority

Wikipedia notes:

It was nominated for three Academy Awards and Jon Voight won a Golden Globe award for his performance.

Ebert must have been out of his mind. My God, that movie was bad.

Last night we watched Tick Tick Boom, Andrew Garfield is Jonathan Larson, the person who wrote the musical Rent.
It is a sort of musical itself , directed by Lin Manuel Miranda about Larson trying to get his first musical off the ground.

Very enjoyable, Garfield can sing, bit of an all star cast, with Bradley Whitford playing Stephen Sondheim, recommended for an easy viewing night.

As always, the only response is De Gustibus Non Disputandem Est.

As I observed, it’s not just Ebert, by a long shot Critics overwhelmingly liked Runaway Train.

I say we let Wheelz settle it! :laughing:

You were warned!

It! The Terror from Beyond Space 1958

The movie is a early inspiration for Alien. TCM aired it first and scheduled Alien afterwards.

I like 1950’s Sci-fi. I hadn’t seen this movie. It features a creature from Mars that kills the crew of the first Mars exploration. The rescue ship accidentally brings the creature back. The crew is hunted during the trip home. Alien borrows heavily from the plot.

Alien will air in a few minutes. I’ve seen it several times. What the heck, I’ll watch again.

Thanksgivings night we watched

Then binged S 1 of