Movies you've seen recently

I came home from work the other day and wanted to avoid election coverage so instead I watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople on Netflix. I’d heard, here and elsewhere, that it was a good movie, and I was happy to find that yes it is.

Ricky: Why do you reckon he calls himself Psycho Sam?
Sam: Here you go. Put these on. Stop the Government from tracking you.
Ricky: Never mind

We watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things over the weekend. It was worth the time, even though I saw part of the reveal (that the “young woman” character is a figment of Jake’s imagination) coming about a third of the way through.

It gets very mind-screwy and I can definitely say it’s not for everyone. If you’ve ever seen a Charlie Kaufman film and responded with anything short of admiration for his storytelling, skip it. I understand that the book it’s based on is much darker, but possibly more straightforward in its finale.

Mission of Honor on Netflix. Based on real events, it’s the story of how the remnants of the Polish Air Force, having been overwhelmed by the Luftwaffe because of relic aircraft and poor supply lines, moved to England and fought with honor and skill for the RAF in the Battle of Britain. Specifically, the movie is about the famed 303 Squadron, one of the two in the BoB, whose pilots shot down more aircraft than any other RAF squadron. Eventually, 16 Polish squadrons fought for the Allies during the course of the war. Josef František, with 17 kills, was the leading ace for the allies during the BoB.

I had a friend who wanted to escape election coverage, too, so he watched The Godfather 2.

I noted that one is about an aging criminal facing his inevitable loss of power, while the other is a movie.

Hard Day’s Night (HBO Max). I don’t think I’ve seen it in 50 years – it holds up remarkably well; it seems like it could’ve been made this year. Brilliant. Of course, it helps if you like the music. :slight_smile:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

I totally loved this movie! :slight_smile:

I watched His House the other day on Netflix and really enjoyed it. Not only was it really creepy, but it was sad too. Got the whole range of emotions from the movie.

The Last Descent: Okay, I didn’t actually watch it, because as the guy started crawling deeper and deeper into the cave system, and since the (true) story is that he gets stuck, it started to freak me out. But the first ten minutes were okay.

Oh my god! A days of real bad movies. The Captive. Dumb, dismal and … dumb. Canadian, of course. Not a damn thing made sense in this piece of shit. Avoid!!

Some movie with Bruce Willis and ‘50 Cent’. Dumbest, most pointless hour and a half I’ve spent in a long time. I can’t even start with how bad it was.

Saw on oldie that reminded me of Donald Trump…if he had been born poor.

It was A Face in the Crowd starring Andy Griffith (wonderful) as a mean and amoral grifter\drifter who gets catapulted into celebrity. He becomes the darling of a national audience he can control but cannot stand. Until a woman he wronged leaves his TV microphone ‘hot’ and the audience can hear what he really thinks of them.

We also saw "Detective Story’ and learned that the Williams Shatner’s and Al Pacino’s overacting style was actually invented by Kirk Douglas. His ‘tortured’ day seems ridiculous in today’s world when he learns that his loyal and loving wife was a whore how had…slept with another man before she met him. :scream: His self-righteousness is al the more maddening when he we see how has no qualms at all about beating a suspect.

Lastly was Witness for the Prosecution. Charles Laughton was magnificent, Tyrone Power was great and Marlene Dietrich was stunning. A must-see.

I’m convinced that Detective Story was part of the inspiration for the TV series Barney Miller. In the parts not involving Kirk Douglas’ character, you get a picture of life in a police precinct where everything is low-key and skews weirdly humorous, probably the way it seemed in Real Life to the cops who worked there. It probably came as a surprising change and revelation to the people who saw it first as a stage play and later as a movie. It’s so completely removed from the hard-edged police dramas and shoot-em-ups that were standard fare.
In one episode of Barney Miller that involves a bunch of actors, some even calls them “Detective Story rejects”,. I’ll bet most people missed this reference to this particular play/movie, and thought they were referring to the genre itself.

I saw Cats on Friday night. It disappeared from the theaters before I had a chance to see it, and then COVID came along. The movie has gotten a severe thrashing by critics and the public. It won both Worst Picture and Worst Director in the Razzies.

I liked it. I’ve seen the show on stage twice, once during its original Broadway run and the Winter Garden theater. For years people have talked about how difficult it would be to film, and at one point they were going to do it as an animated film. I think that the blend of live actors and CGI elements (chiefly the cats’ ears and tails) freaked too many people out. It wasn’t really “uncanny valley” territory, but it was close enough to make too many people uneasy simply because of the appearance.

There’s a lot I didn’t like. I hated director Tom Hooper’s love of looking directly into bright lights. I didn’t much care for Jennifer Hudson’s rendition(s) of the signature song “Memory” They made changes in the plot and script. But, overall, a well-done interpretation. My chief complaints are really complaints about the original stage show.

I got more from reading the Wikipedia page and the IMDB “Trivia” page. I wondered why, for the first time I know, Old Deuteronomy was played by a female actor – Judi Dench – and learned that she had been in the very first London company that performed the show. Was sought out for it, in fact. Ian McKellen had been in the cast of Six Degrees of Separation, where the characters discussed how it would be very difficult to make a film version of Cats, and his said he wouldn’t mind being an extra in it. I completely missed the fact that Taylor Swift’s Bombalurina riding on a crescent moon and distributing catnip was an homage to the logo of a Woman in the Moon sprinkling cocaine used by Studio 54 in its heyday.

One thing I did catch on my own was a lit-up sign in the background that at first reads “Moriarty” before changing to “Macavity”. As devoted Sherlock Holmes fans know, poet T.S. Eliot (on whose collection of poems Cats is based) was a Holmes fan himself (His poetic play Murder in the Cathedral , about the murder of Thomas Becket, contains lines lifted from the Holmes story The Musgrave Ritual. From the ritual itself, in fact.). His description of Macavity is taken directly from Doyle’s description of Professor Moriarty, and both are called “The Napoleon of CRime”.

Ultimately, it seems to go on a little too long, and is at times a little too silly. But I certainly don’t think it was bad.

I saw Mike Flanagans Before I Wake, which is exclusive to Netflix.

Good, but surprisingly cheesy for a Mike Flanagan movie. This is the guy who has directed Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, Haunting of Hill House, and others that are a lot more grim.

This movie was scary in a few parts, but it was mostly a positive experience. I liked it, but think Doctor Sleep has become the movie he will have working hard to beat for the rest of his career.

I watched The Gentlemen today. Figured the spoiler in less then a minute. Otherwise, violent and somewhat amusing. Typical drug gang nonsense.

I give it one fin up.

It is good. Now I encourage you to see a more recent remake, which focuses on the defendant’s solicitor and not his barrister. Darkly clever and quite a bit different from the Laughton version:

I watched Non-Stop starring Liam Neeson last night. A movie set on a transatlantic flight where Neeson’s character, a sunken Federal Air Marshall, receives anonymous messages from someone on board demanding a ransom or somebody will be killed every 20 minutes.

I do love these one set location movies. Closed environment, nobody can get out, characters having to work out who each other is not knowing whether to believe it, figure out what the hell is going on and then working out how to survive.

I spent a significant amount of time in this movie asking how the hell he’s getting cell reception up there at 39000 feet…

Last week we saw the new family drama / revenge fantasy Let Him Go, which was pretty good, actually. It would make a good double feature with the 2001 film In the Bedroom, but explaining why might get too spoilery.

Over the weekend we watched Don’t Look Now (1973) and Julia (1977). They were both meh.

Last weekend was the first weekend that cinemas reopened, so my wife and I went to see The New Mutants
It was okay, but definitely kind of unfocused. Could have used a nudge toward the horror side, I think. Still, it was good enough, and grand to see a movie on the big screen.

Love & Friendship” on Hulu. It’s the Brian Wilson biopic, and it’s pretty good for a period piece. John Cusack plays the older Wilson, and Paul Giamatti is very good as the evil Dr. Landy.

You mean Love and Mercy. That’s the Brian Wilson movie. Love and Friendship is a different movie.