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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 2159802 )
dave jenkins
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« #8025 : May 29, 2010, 10:06:18 AM »

Iron Man - 7/10 (First Blu-ray viewing)

Iron Man 2 - 8/10 (Second IMAX digital viewing)

Those who think the second film doesn't live up to the first need to watch these back-to-back. The original was over-lauded because it so exceeded everyone's expectations; the second was dissed because, with expectations raised high, the sequel merely delivered on what was promised and no more. But a quick comparison makes it clear which film is superior: the first has Jeff Bridges as the villain (excellent); the second has Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell as the villains (excellence X 2); the first has Pepper Potts; the second has PP and The Black Widow (double babe-a-thon). The first has some gormless drip playing the black side-kick; the second has Don Cheadle (and as Steven Soderbergh has famously opined: "If you can get Don Cheadle in your movie, get Don Cheadle in your movie").

And of course, the first film is an origin film, and even when such things are done well, they're never as interesting as a "regular issue" in the series. Also, characters from the first recur in the second, deepening our appreciation of them (the journalist-hooker from Vanity Fair, for example, and the SHIELD agent Colson). There's even a huge pay-off with the developing relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper, my favorite movie couple since Nick and Nora Charles. Then there are the new characters that have been introduced and who will likely return in Iron Man 3D: Gary Shandling as Senator Stern and, certainly,  Rockwell's weasily Justin Hammer. The first Iron Man just came to an end; the second, although it works as a self-contained episode, gives a sense of a series building to ever greater things.

Will Tony propose to Pepper in the next one? Will the Mandarin be the foe? And which dessicated old fart will Stan Lee impersonate in 3D? The wait for May 2012 is likely to be difficult. And you have to hand it to Marvel: I never thought much of Iron Man in the comics. The interesting titles were the FF, Spidey, and Thor, and then later, the X-Men. Iron Man was always something to read after you'd finished all the good stuff AND there were no Hulk or Dr. Strange mags around. Suddenly the Iron Man franchise is their #1 property. I guess it just goes to show that, in the long run, execution counts for more than inspiration. Excelsior!



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« #8026 : May 29, 2010, 08:08:51 PM »

Iron Man - 7/10 (First Blu-ray viewing)

Iron Man 2 - 8/10 (Second IMAX digital viewing)

Those who think the second film doesn't live up to the first need to watch these back-to-back. The original was over-lauded because it so exceeded everyone's expectations; the second was dissed because, with expectations raised high, the sequel merely delivered on what was promised and no more. But a quick comparison makes it clear which film is superior: the first has Jeff Bridges as the villain (excellent); the second has Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell as the villains (excellence X 2); the first has Pepper Potts; the second has PP and The Black Widow (double babe-a-thon). The first has some gormless drip playing the black side-kick; the second has Don Cheadle (and as Steven Soderbergh has famously opined: "If you can get Don Cheadle in your movie, get Don Cheadle in your movie").

And of course, the first film is an origin film, and even when such things are done well, they're never as interesting as a "regular issue" in the series. Also, characters from the first recur in the second, deepening our appreciation of them (the journalist-hooker from Vanity Fair, for example, and the SHIELD agent Colson). There's even a huge pay-off with the developing relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper, my favorite movie couple since Nick and Nora Charles. Then there are the new characters that have been introduced and who will likely return in Iron Man 3D: Gary Shandling as Senator Stern and, certainly,  Rockwell's weasily Justin Hammer. The first Iron Man just came to an end; the second, although it works as a self-contained episode, gives a sense of a series building to ever greater things.

Will Tony propose to Pepper in the next one? Will the Mandarin be the foe? And which dessicated old fart will Stan Lee impersonate in 3D? The wait for May 2012 is likely to be difficult. And you have to hand it to Marvel: I never thought much of Iron Man in the comics. The interesting titles were the FF, Spidey, and Thor, and then later, the X-Men. Iron Man was always something to read after you'd finished all the good stuff AND there were no Hulk or Dr. Strange mags around. Suddenly the Iron Man franchise is their #1 property. I guess it just goes to show that, in the long run, execution counts for more than inspiration. Excelsior!

Jenkins, you are 100% right on both films. I don't think the original Iron Man would have worked but for Downey, and even as it is it's pretty bland; the second one, however, can stand on its own as a good movie, rather than just a good performance. O0



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« #8027 : May 29, 2010, 08:13:35 PM »

The Best Years of Our Lives - 9/10 - 2nd viewing.



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« #8028 : May 30, 2010, 11:10:13 AM »

The Battle of Algiers - 9/10 - 4th viewing.



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« #8029 : May 31, 2010, 05:33:48 AM »

Death Proof (2007) - 7/10
The 114 min version. I think I'll watch Planet Terror tonight. I was all set up to hate the movie, which, I think, is the perfect way to watch Tarantino's post-90s stuff (expecting another Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction would ruin an average but fun action no-brainer), but was pleasantly surprised. The dialogue works for the most part, the sexism is too over the top to get upset about and the CGI-free chase scene is refreshing. Tarantino has understood that making a meta film is a great way to dodge all criticism: "Bad editing? It's supposed to be bad!"


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« #8030 : May 31, 2010, 08:38:26 AM »

Death Proof (2007) - 7/10
the CGI-free chase scene is refreshing. 
It's not completely CGI-free: they used computer manipulation to remove wires and harnesses and whatnot from the images. But that's a great way to use CGI, to enhance practical special effects. More films should take this approach.



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« #8031 : May 31, 2010, 02:06:02 PM »

Well didn't have time to watch Planet Terror after all. I spent my evening watching episodes of The Dekalogue and True Blood instead. I can't explain even to myself why I watch True Blood but The Dekalogue is a masterpiece (or a collection of masterpieces).


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« #8032 : May 31, 2010, 02:28:29 PM »

Hang 'Em High - 6/10 - 3rd viewing. I liked it a bit more than I remembered, which isn't saying much, but it's still pretty darn mediocre. Too much talking (and not interesting talk either), too much trying to teach us some sort of lesson, only it can't quite decide what lesson it is. Pat Hingle is the best member of the cast. Inger Stevens is useless. Nice score though.

« : May 31, 2010, 02:29:35 PM Groggy »


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« #8033 : May 31, 2010, 06:02:44 PM »

The Dekalogue is a masterpiece (or a collection of masterpieces).
Individual episodes are very good; but there are weak ones as well.



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« #8034 : May 31, 2010, 07:29:24 PM »

Kelly's Heroes - 7/10 - Silly, irreverent fun.



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« #8035 : June 01, 2010, 10:58:13 AM »

Rollerball (1975) This has aged badly. I saw it in a theatre and I found it good. But there's little to be liked. The plot built around the 3 matches is flimsy and with no credibility. The matches have no particular quality. 5\10


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« #8036 : June 02, 2010, 05:29:10 AM »

Kelly's Heroes (1970) 9.5/10. One of the greatest casts ever assembled: Eastwood AND Savalas AND Rickles AND O'Connor AND "Dean Stanton". And given the nature of the material, there was no reason to expect attention to detail, but nonetheless, the producers did a great job making the equipment seem authentic. Those aren't really Tigers, for example, but they sold me on 'em anyway. And the good news is: this film looks fabulous on Blu. Still got to dock it half a point for that awful "Burning Bridges" song, but then, that's what the Mute button is for.



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« #8037 : June 02, 2010, 09:16:44 AM »

Harper (1966) Plot too complicated and too long, Newman hamming it too much. The only good things are Pamela Tiffin (in spite of her haircut) and Shelley Winters performance. 5\10 


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« #8038 : June 02, 2010, 09:21:32 AM »

The Mackintosh Man (1973)  The plot is sometime moronic (we are made to believe that a secret agent could make 15 years of jail as a start of his mission; I also don't understand how Newman can be sure that his escape will coincide with that of his prey). Still it has a good rhythm and some scenes (the chase in the Ireland's roads with the Mercedes falling down) are memorable. I also liked the finale. 7\10 


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« #8039 : June 02, 2010, 09:23:59 AM »

The Drowning Pool (1975) This is very good, thanks to the screenplayers Sample and Hill. Newman does a good job of playing Lew Archer, though Melanie Griffith still has to learn the toold of her trade. But the movie is good from start to end and the pool scene makes me give it a 8\10.


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