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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1763197 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #15990 on: April 19, 2016, 10:00:48 AM »

Ghost World - 7.5/10 - One of the better alienated teen dramas. Thora Birch is much more appealing than in American Beauty; teenaged Scarlett Johansson plays her gal pal; Steve Buschemi a weird Thora likes. Worth checking out.

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« Reply #15991 on: April 19, 2016, 10:59:02 AM »

Ghost World - 7.5/10 - One of the better alienated teen dramas. Thora Birch is much more appealing than in American Beauty; teenaged Scarlett Johansson plays her gal pal; Steve Buschemi a weird Thora likes. Worth checking out.
I like a lot of things about this. For one, the characters are completely believable. Second, the two girls are different enough to develop totally separate character arcs. The Johansson girl is the one who gets a real job and begins accommodating herself to the world in which she finds herself. Thora Birch is the one who refuses to compromise and so, finally, leaves town. They drift apart, and not for any of the usual convenient reasons dramas usually impose. They remain friends, it's just that life gets in the way.

Another point: this is one of the best-looking films to come out of the period in which it was shot. I have it on Blu and its image is a marvel to behold.

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« Reply #15992 on: April 19, 2016, 01:55:55 PM »

The Night Manager (2016) Episodes 1-3. 10/10. Loki (apparently banished to Earth and with his powers withdrawn by All Father Odin) is working in a Cairo hotel as . . . (you'll never guess) . . . the night manager! He gets involved with an Egyptian woman who is mistress to a man who is part of the family who owns the hotel. One night the woman asks Loki to photocopy a secret document--Loki notices it has to do with an arms deal. She asks him to keep the copy in the hotel safe and turn it over to the British government in the event of her untimely death. Loki instead turns it over to an intelligence man he knows in the embassy the very next day. The papers are forwarded to London. Very soon after that, the woman is murdered . . . So begins the latest le Carre. It's a lot of fun, with Hugh Laurie as the charming villain, and lots of intelligence agency infighting, and great locations like Zematt and Mallorca, and a score that sounds like something in the John Barry vein.

Interesting.

The novel was underwhelming, one of his weaker thrillers.

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« Reply #15993 on: April 19, 2016, 02:01:16 PM »

I like a lot of things about this. For one, the characters are completely believable. Second, the two girls are different enough to develop totally separate character arcs. The Johansson girl is the one who gets a real job and begins accommodating herself to the world in which she finds herself. Thora Birch is the one who refuses to compromise and so, finally, leaves town. They drift apart, and not for any of the usual convenient reasons dramas usually impose. They remain friends, it's just that life gets in the way.

Nailed it. Afro Also that the film doesn't glorify snark and alienation as ends unto themselves, failures common to many similar movies.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #15994 on: April 19, 2016, 02:31:40 PM »

The novel was underwhelming, one of his weaker thrillers.
Well, I'm only half way through. I'll spin episodes 4-6 tonight and see how it develops.

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« Reply #15995 on: April 20, 2016, 06:02:08 AM »

Well, I'm only half way through. I'll spin episodes 4-6 tonight and see how it develops.

The series can be great. It is wiser anyway to film weak novels with potential, as you can improve the stuff.

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« Reply #15996 on: April 20, 2016, 06:20:38 AM »

Well, stanton was right. I watched the final 3 episodes last night and, although the storytelling remains strong for parts 4 (which includes a trip to Istanbul) and 5 (highlighted by a live-fire demo that concludes with a burst of napalm), in episode 6 the whole thing runs out of steam long before the end. The biggest problem is that things are too easy for the protagonist. Initially he has to find a way to be taken in by the bad guy and become part of his inner circle. He accomplishes that, by devious means, by the end of episode 3. Then, for reasons the series doesn't make clear, the guy, in episode 4, is made the lead in the baddy's current evil scheme. There's another character in the inner circle who objects, and has his suspicions about the hero, but this character is quickly sidelined and then even killed off. There's one hiccup after that, but other than that it's all smooth sailing for our hero. The villain (Hugh Laurie in charming swine mode) never cottons to the fact that his protégé is setting him up--incredible! I kept waiting for some twist involving the villain leading the hero on, but it never came. I also expected a twist from the hero--maybe an additional agenda that British intelligence doesn't realize. Nope, nothing there either. So the final wind up is pretty much a going-through-the-motions exercise. No twists, no surprises, everything plays out as expected. Rather disappointing. Ultimately I give the series overall a 7/10. The promise of the earlier episodes is not fulfilled.

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« Reply #15997 on: April 22, 2016, 12:42:11 AM »

The Twelve Chairs (1970) - 7/10

The Brooks' movie I always kinda avoided: it is somewhat different in style since it has an original story to follow - which works very well for me now,  but didn't when I was a kid. Memorable performances from Moody and Langella don't hurt either. Nice little comedy.

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« Reply #15998 on: April 22, 2016, 11:59:07 AM »

The Last American Hero - 8/10 - Jeff Bridges is a moonshiner who becomes a stock car driver. I enjoyed it.

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« Reply #15999 on: April 22, 2016, 04:21:44 PM »

Also caught the later part of the new Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson (his reactions to Barry Goldwater, the Black Power movement, his son's decline, etc.). About what you'd expect from Burns.

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« Reply #16000 on: April 22, 2016, 09:01:26 PM »

we were discussing Bridge of Spies a little while ago; I mentioned that I had  a problem with the script and would elaborate later on when I had the time. That's now:

This post will contain spoilers:

My problem is that in the second half of the movie, nothing seems to happen. (The problem exists cuz this is a true story, and they have to stick to the truth). Hanks is sent to negotiate for the prisoner exchange, and he negotiates it and they make the exchange. Okay, a minor point that he insist on 2 for 1, playing the East Germans off the Russians, but there really are no twists here at all. This is really straightforward: they send him to do the prisoner exchange, he does it, and that's all. Okay, the set design and costumes and cinematography evoke the era nicely, but there really is nothing exciting in the story. I was waiting for some big twist, something, which I'd expect for a spy movie, but there really was none of that.

so, they negotiate the prisoner exchange, they make the prisoner exchange, and everyone (at least the Americans) live happily ever after. Not very interesting.

It isn't a spy movie. It's a negotiation movie. You have to like it (or not) for what it is.

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« Reply #16001 on: April 23, 2016, 11:40:58 AM »

And Then There Were None (1945) 7/10. This Agatha Christie chestnut is presented with a lighter touch than usual. The deaths keep on coming, but also the laughs. The cast includes Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Roland Young, Barry Fitzgerald, even C. Aubrey Smith. The female talent is supplied by June Duprez, but then, you can't have everything.
And Then There Were None (2015) - 7/10. British TV version, in 3 parts. The cast contains some of my favorites: Charles Dance (as the judge), Sam Neil, Miranda Richardson. There are also a number of young faces who were new to me. According to the filmmakers they went back to Christie's book and closely followed it. Well, yes and no. The action is set in 1939, the basic plot remains intact, including the original bleak ending. However, because they had three hours to tell the story, the filmmakers decided to do a lot of flashbacks, so we don't merely hear about the characters committing their supposed crimes, we actually see them at it. For the most part this is unnecessary padding, but in the case of the main female character it actually provides some added interest. For the other characters we see their flashbacks once each, but her flashback keeps returning, and, Leone-like, supplying us with more details until, at the point of dying, we get the whole story. And that story includes an homage to Leave Her To Heaven! Another bit I enjoyed: because there are three separate parts, there's a separate credit sequence for each. And because characters keep getting killed off, each subsequent list of credits is always shorter than the previous one. Gave me a chuckle.

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« Reply #16002 on: April 23, 2016, 08:47:36 PM »

The Jungle Book - 7/10 - Entertaining if slight Disney flick, closer to Kipling than their previous adaptations. Great animation and effects, cool action scenes, an excellent voice cast - I enjoyed Bill Murray's stoner bear and Christopher Walken playing King Louie as a simian Colonel Kurtz. I wasn't impressed by the kid though.

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« Reply #16003 on: April 25, 2016, 04:31:12 AM »

City By The Sea (2002) Director: Michael Caton-Jones, stars, Robert De Niro, James Franco, Frances McDormand. Estranged cop's junkie son kills his dealer and bring his life into the crapper. 7/10.

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« Reply #16004 on: April 26, 2016, 11:11:10 AM »

Steve Jobs (2015) 8.5/10
Great writing. Probably Sorkin's finest work, especially on structure. It's a shame Fincher wasn't around this time to refocus the film on Jobs' achievements and actual work rather than on his family issues. I was never a fan of Boyle, but the guy is inventive and really managed to add emotion to that cold huis-clos.

Just saw the movie (on blu-ray).

I agree with you, this is enjoyable as a movie, as a drama, though when we're discussing the man who is one of the greatest tech innovators of all time (no matter what that idiot n_l says) I'd rather focus more on how he developed his groundbreaking (yes, n_l, groundbreaking) products rather than his family squabbling.

I guess that with famous people, people like to know "what's he really like," the story of his life, his personality, etc. Sure, some of that is important for a movie, but this movie seems to be all like that. I mean, we hardly ever actually see the development of a product (except a few brief flashbacks to young Jobs and Wozniak in the garage). Perhaps the filmmakers figured that for the average (non-tech-nerd) viewer, it's hard to show the actual making of a product in an interesting way, so they chose to just use the product-launch events to discuss the product - and much more than that, the squabbling - than the actual development.

I've always used Apple products – I am typing this on a MacBook; though these days I check the site more and more on my iPhone; often while listening to my iPad nano – but I've never read about Jobs; all I knew about him, besides the famous product launches, were from brief pieces mentioned in newspaper articles. After seeing the movie I went to his wikipedia page and scanned it; it seems like just about everything that is mentioned in the movie indeed really happened! (except, presumably, the blowups that conveniently occur just before every product launch!) Oh, just one thing - in 1998, people weren't using Walkman anymore; they were using Discman.

So ... while I would have liked to see more about the development of the products, this is the movie that was made, and as a drama it works very well. I agree with n_l's rating. Even though he neglected to mention the acting, one of the amazing parts of the movie. Fassbender is very good (although he doesn't have that major "IT," he seems more like a regular guy); Winslet, Rogen, and Daniels are incredible. Winslet captured Hoffman's slight European accent so well. She's amazing.

And btw, best scene is the blowup between Jobs and Sculley (Daniels), intercut with the flashbacks to the night Jobs was fired from Apple.

Oh, one more thing – why end with the 1998 launch? why not mention Apple's dominating years? The 2000's. With the iPod (which is briefly referenced in the last scene when Jobs's daughter is walking around with a Walkman) and later the MacBook, and the industry-dominating iPhone ... the 2000's were Apple's best years, the cachet of an Apple product was never higher, the stock soared, they were the most valuable company in the world. No mention of that?
Do you say you wanna focus on the earlier, turbulent years cuz everyone knows the later years? Jobs was known as a mercurial executive; I'm sure there are plenty of interesting things to show from the last decade of his life – which, after all, were probably his and Apple's best years. The wars with "I'm a Mac," "I'm a PC," etc.
But hey, I guess they gotta save something for the sequel. I'd definitely pay to see that  Afro

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