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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1767438 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #10470 on: May 03, 2012, 09:54:45 PM »

Iron Man - 8/10 - 2nd viewing. Still had the same problems as my first viewing, but definitely liked it more on a rewatch. Afro

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« Reply #10471 on: May 04, 2012, 08:07:13 PM »

Grizzly - 4/10 - 2nd viewing. A shot-for-shot ripoff of Jaws, only with a bear. And stupid. Worth watching for the finale where Christopher George incinerates the titular bruin with a bazooka. You don't see that every day.

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« Reply #10472 on: May 06, 2012, 05:48:52 AM »

Ransom! (1956) 8.5/10

TCM has been showing a whole bunch of Glenn Ford movies over the weekend, and I just saw this beauty, starring Ford, Donna Reed and, Leslie Nielsen http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049656/

---------------------

PLOT SUMMARY: Dave and Edith Stannard (Ford and Reed) are a wealthy suburban couple whose son is kidnapped and held for $500,000 ransom.  They prepare to pay the ransom; but when Dave -- who is a pillar of strength while his wife crumbles under the stress  -- realizes that paying won't guarantee his son's safe return, he decides to turn the tables on the kidnappers.

Dave goes on live television with the cash on the table in front of him, and announces to the kidnappers, "You will get no closer to this money than you are right now": if they immediately return his son safely then they'll be fine; but if they hurt or kill his son, then Stannard will offer the money as a bounty on their heads.

-------


The acting is absolutely wonderful  Afro

This movie was re-made in 1996, directed by Ron Howard and starring Mel Gibson in the lead role (that movie has the same title, minus the exclamation point). I saw that version about ten years ago, but this is the first time I have seen the original. As far as I can recall, pretty much the only part that is similar between the two movies is the main plot point, of Dave's turning the tables on the kidnappers on TV.

The 1956 movie is not available on Region 1 dvd (I read one critic who guessed that it is "perhaps due to lingering rights issues from Ron Howard's 1956 remake http://www.kqek.com/dvd_reviews/p2r/3541_Ransom1956.htm ).
So if you can catch it next time it plays on TCM, take a look  Afro


--------------------------------------------------

SPOILER ALERT

RE: the ending, I will quote the same critic, whom I agree with here:

"Perhaps the story’s only lingering flaw is the happy ending, which feels like a tacked on relief for TV and film audiences; they may have been furious at being left with seeing a broken family, and never knowing whether the child was ever returned alive. Dramatically, though, the script progresses towards stripping a family to its bones, and the most sensible ending would’ve been an inconclusive finale."

Having seen the 1996 version, I knew there would be the happy ending, so it didn't bother me all that much; I am unsure how I would have felt about it had I not known that it would happen.

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« Reply #10473 on: May 06, 2012, 07:51:13 PM »

The Avengers - 9/10 - This is the most fun I've had in theaters in ages. No ponderous bore like Nolan's Batman flicks, it's nonstop, unpretentious fun from beginning to end. This movie could have gone wrong in so many ways but Joss Whedon manages to get everything right. The heroes are balanced perfectly (even with tertiary characters like Black Widow and Nick Fury crammed in), the action scenes excellent, a lot of welcome humor too. The whole cast is good; Mark Ruffalo's arguably the standout, since his Bruce Banner is infinitely better than his predecessors. Harry Dean Stanton has a hilarious cameo. The rating may be hyperbolic but what the hell.

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« Reply #10474 on: May 10, 2012, 09:38:23 AM »

The Angels Wash Their Faces (1939) 3/10

So what do you do if you are Warner Brothers, and have made a huge hit with the great Angels With Dirty Faces? Why of course -- you make an awful movie the following year using some of the same actors, give it a title that'll make audiences believe they are getting a sequel, and voila  -- you cash in twice! Well, I guess the joke is on me, cuz I fell for it  Embarrassed

TAWTF has Ann Sheridan and The Dead End Kids, but no Cagney, Bogie, or Pat O'Brien. The first half is enjoyable and you're thinking, hey, this seems like a pretty good film; but the second half is one of the most excruciating cinematic experiences I've endured in a loooong time. From the moment that the leader of the gang wins the "election," this movie becomes unbearable, to be kind.

Ronald Reagan is decent, the Dead End Kids are alright, and Ann Sheridan is as lovely as lovely can be (though she inexplicably disappears for a huge chunk of time, starting with that "election" victory). But the material is awful.

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« Reply #10475 on: May 10, 2012, 08:40:43 PM »

Scorpio - 4/10 - Burt Lancaster is a CIA Agent whom the Company wants dead for some reason; buddy Alain Delon gets shanghaied into killing him. Pedestrian Cold War thriller has lots of twists but never makes much sense, nor inspires interest thanks to Michael Winner's turgid direction. Lancaster and Delon play boring ciphers with no discernable motivation. Paul Scofield periodically enlivens things as a cultured Russkie.

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« Reply #10476 on: May 13, 2012, 03:04:55 AM »

PAGE 700, HERE WE COME....

--------------------------------------------------

The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)



This movie is supposedly about setting the record straight and clearing the name of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was convicted of conspiring with John Wilkes Boothe to kill President Lincoln. But the movie is so historically inaccurate, I shut it off after about half an hour.

(To be sure, I generally do not concern myself with historical accuracy (in fact, I just made a post in the thread of The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid about how I just enjoyed the movie for its own sake and I could care less about historical accuracy, cuz I just assume every Westerns is historically bullshit). But in the case of The Prisoner of Shark Island,in which the stated point of the movie is to supposedly set the record straight, historical accuracy is vital).

After shooting Lincoln in the presidential box of the Ford Theater and jumping down onto the stage, Boothe  -- an actor who performed in that theater -- broke his leg; he escaped into Maryland and went to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated him. Boothe was ultimately killed 12 days later in a shootout with soldiers, and many people were eventually arrested for conspiring with Boothe. In what was likely a shameful, hysterical response to the tragic assassination of Lincoln, 8 civilians who had at one point or another had contact with Boothe were ultimately tried and convicted by a military commission: four were executed, Mudd and two others were given life imprisonment, and one was given 6 years imprisonment. Of the 4 who were imprisoned, one died 2 years later of yellow fever,  and Mudd and the other two were pardoned by President Andrew Johnson after 4 years in prison.

Now, I am no historian and have no idea whether or not Mudd was guilty, but I know that the movie was bullshit. It changes so many important facts about the story (eg. Mudd and Boothe had actually met on several prior occasions; but in the movie, Mudd didn't know who Boothe was, he had merely seem him perform on stage a few times, and did not recognize him when he came to his home to be treated). There are so many basic facts that this movie blatantly misrepresents (I won't get into all of 'em cuz then this post will be even longer than it already is), but the movie is simply not worth watching, and I shut this piece of shit off very quickly.

Again, I have no idea whether or not Mudd had anything to do with the assassination of Lincoln, or whether he had tried to cover up for Boothe, or whether he was indeed completely innocent as this movie believes. I will make no attempt to settle an issue that historians have debated for generations. But there are so many undisputed facts that the movie gets wrong, and in a movie whose stated purpose is to tell the truth about an episode in history to clear an innocent man's name, there is nothing more important than historical accuracy, which we get none of here.

------------------------

p.s. I watched a few minutes of the dvd commentary. It is really bad, by a Brit whose name I (happily) forget, and I only saw a few minutes of it. But this piece of shit tries to talk about how there are parallels with the current day, comparing the treatment and trials of the terror-suspect detainees at Guanrtanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with that of Dr. Mudd and his co-defendants! Without getting into any legal shit here, or any opinion on the absolute treatment of detainees today, the fact is that there is ZERO legitimate comparison, legal and/or moral, between the appropriateness of their treatment and the appropriateness of those military commissions in 1865. Such comparison is nothing short of comical. Not that this commentator is interesting otherwise; I shut him off pretty damn quickly too. But hey, it's only appropriate to have a shitty commentator for a shitty movie Roll Eyes

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« Reply #10477 on: May 13, 2012, 05:57:55 AM »

Chopper (2001) 8/10

Great performance by Eric Bana

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« Reply #10478 on: May 13, 2012, 07:28:54 AM »

The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)

This movie is supposedly about setting the record straight and clearing the name of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was convicted of conspiring with John Wilkes Boothe to kill President Lincoln.

Advancing from a false premise I see? I tuned out of your review after one sentence.

Quote
(To be sure, I generally do not concern myself with historical accuracy

Yeah, sure.

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« Reply #10479 on: May 13, 2012, 08:21:38 AM »

Advancing from a false premise I see? I tuned out of your review after one sentence.


Well, that's your choice. And probably a wise one.


But the fact remains that there are very important elements of the story that this movie gets wrong. It twists facts  in order to favor Mudd -- particularly  the facts related to Mudd's association with Boothe.
I would be happy to take back my statement if you can show me otherwise, but I am pretty damn near certain that the way many things are portrayed in the movie is nothing more than a cinematic "version" of events that is not backed up by a single historical source, including the many sources that believe that Mudd was 100% innocent.

Mudd had met Boothe on several prior occasions. And he knew that the patient he was treating was John Wilkes Boothe. Those are just 2 very important facts that the movie lies about; according to the movie, the only times he had ever seen Boothe was when the latter was performing on stage, and he did not recognize that the patient he was treating was Boothe.
And that scene where the head of the commission instructs the members of the Commission to disregard due process and reasonable doubt is like a cartoon. I wasn't in the room, but I have never heard any assertion that that instruction ever took place. (At best, it may be the screenwriter's guess at the conversation that took place among the Commission, but making an assertion like that  in a movie that claims to tell the true story is absolutely despicable unless it is clear that that instruction did take place).

Again, A) I am certainly no historian, and B) I have absolutely no opinion as to whether or not Mudd was guilty.

But the fact is that The Prisoner of Shark Island depicts many of the elements of the story of Mudd/Boothe and the Lincoln Asassination, about as accurately as My Darling Clementine depicts many of the elements of Wyatt/Doc and the gunfight at the ok corral.

Honestly, I would be very happy to recant my statements if you can show me any historical that backs up the movie's version of those events.

--------------------------------------

This is supposed to be a very serious movie to clear the historical record; it should not be screwed around with in the way that eg. the tales of Wyatt/Doc, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid are. There are certain stories that have to be told accurately. Samuel Mudd knew who John Wilkes Boothe was. The Mossad agents who killed the terrorists who planned the Munich Massacre didn't agonize over it, nor did they have flashbacks to the attacks while having sex with their wives. And Anne Frank and the others hiding in the attic did not risk their lives by having a cat with them. Certain stories are just plain wrong to screw around with. Wyatt Earp and Jesse James are basically cartoon characters by now, and nobody expects the stories about them to be true. But there are other stories that shouldn't be messed with.


« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 08:32:50 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #10480 on: May 13, 2012, 08:31:52 AM »

Quote
This is supposed to be a very serious movie to clear the historical record; it should not be fuck around with in the way that eg. the tales of Wyatt/Doc, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid are.

What gives you THAT idea? John Ford never cared much for accuracy in ANY of his films. Shark Island is no less a piece of myth than his Westerns.

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« Reply #10481 on: May 13, 2012, 08:45:29 AM »

What gives you THAT idea? John Ford never cared much for accuracy in ANY of his films. Shark Island is no less a piece of myth than his Westerns.

I agree with you that John Ford did not care for historical accuracy. But what bothers me is that this particular movie gives the indication that it does care about accuracy. The movie is very clear that it's goal is to clear Mudd's name; the movie opens with a letter from a U.S. Senator from Maryland with some flowery words to the effect of that now with this movie, Mudd, who be says is one of the most courageous or greatest men in American history or something like that, will finally be cleared of the injustice to his memory.
 I think that a movie whose stated purpose is setting the record straight about Mudd should try its best to get the facts straight. the purpose of clearing Mudd is so that future generations should know the TRUTH.  It doesn't make much sense to basically say, For the sake of truth we have to clear Mudd's name and tell his story, but we can try to clear his name by telling a story that isn't true. That doesn't make sense, and actually hurts the very purpose of the movie! Why should we believe what the movie wants us to believe -- that Mudd was innocent -- if the movie's depiction of facts isn't honest?

So I am not saying that John Ford ever declared "everything in this movie is 100% truth." But considering that the purpose is to set the record straight, it makes no sense that it wouldn't try to set it straight across the board, by telling the REAL story. And besides, by minimizing the evidence against Mudd, Ford is wrongfully besmirching those who were involved in his conviction! Why should he be so concerned with clearing the name of one innocent man, but unconcerned about besmirching the names of others? if he is so convinced of Mudd's innocence, why does he feel the need to minimize the evidence against Mudd? You can certainly argue that Mudd was innocent, and the victim of either bad luck and/or an overzealous system of "justice," without distorting the evidence against him.

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« Reply #10482 on: May 13, 2012, 08:49:45 AM »

There's also the reasonable question: what was known (or common knowledge anyway) about Mudd when the movie was released?

I don't see the title card as any more incriminating than Ford loudly proclaiming My Darling Clementine was authentic because he knew Wyatt Earp. In any case it would hardly be the first or last time a director had his head up his ass.

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« Reply #10483 on: May 13, 2012, 09:05:46 AM »

There's also the reasonable question: what was known (or common knowledge anyway) about Mudd when the movie was released?

I don't see the title card as any more incriminating than Ford loudly proclaiming My Darling Clementine was authentic because he knew Wyatt Earp.

--- Yes, if Ford truly believed his depiction to be correct, then I have no problem with it. But these facts I am talking about were exposed at Mudd's trial, and it has been pretty clear all along.

--- I can accept that Ford was never pretending to be accurate in the depiction of any detail besides for the one main point of Mudd's being innocent. then my problem is that Ford should have tried to show the story accurately; I think he was wrong for trying to make one important point -- that Mudd's name should be cleared -- without giving a damn about how many inaccuracies it took for people to believe it. So he is wrong not for pretending to be accurate, but for not attempting to be accurate. Besides, it A) restores one man's reputation by besmirching others' more than they deserve to be besmirched; and B) it hurts Ford's own cause, cuz it seems as if the belief that Mudd is innocent can't stand up to the real evidence.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 09:17:54 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #10484 on: May 13, 2012, 03:03:08 PM »

The Hunger Games - 7/10 - 2nd viewing. Brother wanted to see it and I didn't hate it the first time around.

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