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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4170352 )
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« #15990 : April 23, 2016, 07:47:36 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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« #15991 : April 25, 2016, 03:31:12 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.

« : April 25, 2016, 04:47:28 AM cigar joe »

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« #15992 : April 26, 2016, 10:11:10 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  O0

« : April 27, 2016, 07:06:48 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #15993 : April 26, 2016, 02:37:28 PM »

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) - 9/10
Film of the year so far! Dick Linklater's been on a roll his last four movies. Will see again, and again. One of his best works.

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« #15994 : April 27, 2016, 05:30:12 AM »

Homo Faber / Voyager (1991) - 9/10. Volker Schlöndorff's adaptation of Max Frish's interesting 1957 novel. The novel is interesting because it conflates certain classical myths--Oedipus and Orpheus primarily--and places them in a modern setting. This is done so well that discussions about determinism and free will arise without seeming awkward. The film follows Frish closely, but adds shooting locations in Germany, Mexico, New York City, Paris, and Umbria. Sam Shepard, looking very good in Armani suits and frequently wearing a hat, plays Walter Faber, a no-nonsense engineer working for UNESCO. Julie Delpy, at 20, just looks good. The period clothes and cars are fun to watch. Everybody smokes. I've had to put up with the indifferently produced U.S. DVD, but now I've acquired a German Blu-ray that looks marvelous.



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« #15995 : April 27, 2016, 04:34:49 PM »

The Cincinnati Kid - 7/10 - Steve McQueen as New Orleans card shark, Edward G. Robinson as his archnemesis, Karl Malden and Rip Torn as heels, Tuesday Weld and Ann-Margaret as eye candy. Modestly entertaining.



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« #15996 : April 27, 2016, 08:57:16 PM »

The Cincinnati Kid - 7/10 - Steve McQueen as New Orleans card shark, Edward G. Robinson as his archnemesis, Karl Malden and Rip Torn as heels, Tuesday Weld and Ann-Margaret as eye candy. Modestly entertaining.

It's a shame we never got to see what Sam Peckinpah could have done with this. Apparently it was originally envisioned as a take on the Western - hence the Western sounding name of "The Cincinnati Kid" and the idea to have Peckinpah at the helm. At least Peckinpah was able to work with Steve McQueen on two other films.

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« #15997 : April 27, 2016, 10:54:10 PM »

Because They're Young (1960) 7.5/10 (TCM)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Because_They%27re_Young

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0053641/

Dick Clark plays a teacher who loves and believes in his students and sticks his neck out to help them, even when it means getting himself into hot water with his principal.

For Leone fans, Tuesday Weld is in this one, she plays one of Clark's students.

An actress named Victoria Shaw plays a woman who works at the school and falls is love with Clark. I have never heard of Victoria Shaw before; she is a pretty woman  O0

« : April 28, 2016, 08:31:28 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #15998 : April 28, 2016, 07:43:22 AM »

It's a shame we never got to see what Sam Peckinpah could have done with this. Apparently it was originally envisioned as a take on the Western - hence the Western sounding name of "The Cincinnati Kid" and the idea to have Peckinpah at the helm. At least Peckinpah was able to work with Steve McQueen on two other films.

I believe Peckinpah shot a few scenes but Columbia scrapped them and made Norman Jewison start from scratch. Does anyone (Mike perhaps?) know what was shot and if there's any surviving footage?



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« #15999 : April 28, 2016, 01:26:47 PM »

The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) 7/10

I recently read Bill Bryson's terrific book "One Summer: America, 1927" http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7648.msg182570#msg182570

A book about the many incredible things that happened during that memorable summer. The biggest item discussed in the book is aviation, specifically Charles Lindbergh's historic solo flight from New York to Paris in a little plane made in San Diego, the Spirit of St. Louis. Shortly after I read the book, the 1957 movie The Spirit of St. Louis played TCM, so I watched it (first viewing).

James Stewart plays Lindbergh; Billy Wilder directed.

In a nutshell, the movie is not great, if you know about Lindbergh's historic flight, the movie's interesting enough so that you'll wanna see it once.

This movie has problems, which Billy Wilder discussed with Cameron Crowe. Previously, when I discussed Crowe's book "Conversations with Wilder," http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7648.msg168811#msg168811 I mentioned some of the things Wilder says about this movie and Lindbergh.

I'll cut and paste those pieces here again:

Quote
(everything in yellow is a direct quote from the book)

8 )  pp. 88-89: RE: The Spirit of St Louis, Wilder bemoans the fact that,
"I could not get in a little deeper, into Lindbergh's character. There was a wall there. We were friends, but there were many things I could not talk to him about. It was understood – the picture had to follow the book. The book was immaculate. It had to be about the flight only. Not about his family, about the daughter, the Hauptmann thing, what happened after the flight... just the flight itself." I'm surprised Wilder, a Jew who lost 3/4 of his family in Auschwitz, was friends with the Nazi-loving Lindbergh.
As one example of a story Wilder could not put into the movie, Wilder confided that he heard a story from newspapermen who were in Long Island with Lindbergh the night before he was to take off on his famous flight. The newspapermen "told me a little episode that happened there, and that would have been enough to make this a real picture.
The episode was that Lindbergh was waiting for the clouds to disappear - the rain and the weather had to be perfect before he took off. There was a waitress in a little restaurant there. She was young, and she was very pretty. And they come to her and said, "Look, this young guy there, Lindbergh, sweet, you know, handsome.... (His plane is) going to be a flying coffin, full of gas, and he's not going to make it. But we come to you for the following reason. The guy has never been laid. Would you do us a favor, please. Just knock on the door, because the guy cannot sleep...."
So she does it. And then, at the very end of the picture, when there's the parade down Fifth Avenue, millions of people, and there is the girl standing there in the crowd. She's waving at him. And he doesn't see her. She waves her hand at him, during the ticker-tape parade, the confetti raining down. He never sees her. He's God now. This would be, this alone would be, enough to make the picture. Would have been a good scene. That's right – would have been a good scene. But I could not even suggest it to him.


[Wilder mentioned several times throughout the book how he would have loved to put that episode in the movie, eg. p. 90: ... And just that girl, who we'd see again at the very end. And you fade out on that [Wistfully:] That would have made the whole picture.

After Wilder said there's no way he could have even mentioned asked Lindbergh about filming this episode, Crowe asks, "Couldn't you have had your producer bring it up?"

 Wilder responds:

No. Absolutely not. They would have withdrawn the book or something. "There you go, Hollywood, out of here!" I don't know - very tough guy, very tough guy. I know, because I pulled jokes on him. One day when we were flying to Washington, Charles Lindbergh and I, we were going to the Smithsonian Institution to see the real Spirit of St. Louis, which we had duplicated. Hanging off the ceiling, it's there. And we were in a plane flying to Washington, and it's very very rough, so I turned to him and I said, "Charles, wouldn't it be fun if this plane now crashed, can you see the headlines? – LUCKY LINDY IN CRASH WITH JEWISH FRIEND!" And he said, Oh, no no no, don't talk like this!"



As Wilder mentions, the movie is just about the flight - and during the flight, we see flashbacks to Lindbergh's earlier career as an airmail/barnstorming pilot, and to the making of the Spirit of St. Louis and preparation of the historic flight. But there is nothing about the man himself. I don't need every movie about someone to be an intensive character study – I just saw Steve Jobs (2015) and mentioned here how I'd have wished that movie woulda been more about his products and less about the character/family squabbling – but with this movie, there is nothing at all about the man; as Wilder says, he wasn't allowed to do any of that stuff.

Two issues with that: Firstly, while the flight itself was amazing and historic, Lindbergh's tour around America afterward may have been equally so. In the movie, we see Lindbergh mobbed upon arriving at Le Bourget airfield in Paris, then a brief shot of his massive parade – 4 MILLION PEOPLE – upon returning to New York, but that's all. I certainly wish we could have seen that in the movie.

Also, with Lindbergh, of course, though in 1927 he may have been America's – and the world's – biggest hero, now we know all the Nazi stuff about him and it's just hard to see a movie about just his flight and forget about about the Nazi stuff. It would be like a movie about Henry Ford mentioning only the heroic stuff about the Model T and the assembly line and not mentioning any of the racial stuff.

Finally, the biggest problem with making a movie that focuses on one person's flight, in order to show what he's thinking, they have constant voiceovers of Lindbergh's thoughts, or show him talking to himself. There's no other way to let us know his thoughts, but that doesn't make for very interesting viewing.

But hey, it's nice to see a re-creation of the legendary plane; based on the pics I've seen, the models used in the movie look great. The real plane is in the Smithsonian. And to know that that the movie is based on Lindbergh's book and that Lindbergh was involved in the making of the movie, yeah, I get the feeling it's a pretty good re-creation.

So, not great, but for someone familiar with and interested in this story, decent enough to watch once; catch the movie next time it plays TCM, or rent it.


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« #16000 : April 28, 2016, 01:38:34 PM »

Just saw the Criterion dvd, "The Complete Jean Vigo."

Consists of four films:

-- L'Atalante (1934)
This is a good movie, I give it a 7.5/10. I can see going a little higher, but I certainly don't see how people can consider this among the greatest movies of all time.
Criterion restored this as best they could, 89 minutes; there's still quite a bit of damage in the film.

-- Zero de Conduite ("Zero for Conduct") (1933)

44 minutes long – I guess that would be considered a feature, albeit a short one? – about kids rebelling at a boarding school. I listened to a few minutes of commentary on several of the films. The commentator – some British Vigo scholar – says he thinks this is the prototypical Vigo film in that it displays his characteristics, of anarchy, whatever. Honestly, this doesn't interest me much.

-- Taris (1931)

a short (10-minute running time) showing French champion swimmer Jean Taris in a pool, demonstrating various swim strokes. Whatever.


-- A Propos de Nice (1930)

This short has a 22-minute running time, but I shut it off after like 8 minutes. A bunch of scenes of people in the seaside town of Nice – no dialogue, just music. According to the synopsis on IMDB, "What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants." Whatever. After 8 minutes of scenes in a town of people vacationing or boating or eating at a cafe or whatever, I had enough.

« : April 28, 2016, 01:46:16 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #16001 : April 28, 2016, 03:00:16 PM »

The Hustler - 8/10 - First viewing, or I hadn't seen it in years. This is a great example of a relatively simple story done remarkably well: Robert Rossen places the big pool game up front, allowing it to develop the characters while working as a set piece in its own right. Paul Newman's Fast Eddie is a wonderful role, a good precursor to later antihero parts like Hud, Cool Hand Luke and Hombre; Jackie Gleason, cast drastically against type, holds up his end of the movie. George C. Scott, Piper Laurie and Murray Hamilton have supporting roles.

« : April 28, 2016, 04:41:03 PM Groggy »


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« #16002 : April 29, 2016, 03:17:43 AM »

So I just spent 2 weeks of vacation in Thailand and as usual I used the extended flight time to watch the films I have missed over the past year:

The Big Short - cool, great acting, populist, but not everybody can be Fincher/Scorsese 6/10
Deadpool - fun, sometimes boring 6/10
Spectre - I don't get why everybody was disappointed, it's more or less like Skyfall although the humor and the action sequences are better done 6/10
Steve jobs - (second viewing) still 8.5/10, I'll buy the BD as soon as possible
Creed - well done, some good characters and a few surprisingly effective scenes, terrible main character 5/10
Trumbo - pointless but professionally done 5/10
Spotlight - amazing acting (mark Ruffalo's best work so far?), good dialogues, interesting story, I really don't like the direction 6.5/10


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« #16003 : April 29, 2016, 06:20:15 PM »

So I just spent 2 weeks of vacation in Thailand and as usual I used the extended flight time to watch the films I have missed over the past year:

The Big Short - cool, great acting, populist, but not everybody can be Fincher/Scorsese 6/10
Deadpool - fun, sometimes boring 6/10
Spectre - I don't get why everybody was disappointed, it's more or less like Skyfall although the humor and the action sequences are better done 6/10
Steve jobs - (second viewing) still 8.5/10, I'll buy the BD as soon as possible
Creed - well done, some good characters and a few surprisingly effective scenes, terrible main character 5/10
Trumbo - pointless but professionally done 5/10
Spotlight - amazing acting (mark Ruffalo's best work so far?), good dialogues, interesting story, I really don't like the direction 6.5/10

Higher.
Higher.
Stay.
Lower.
Higher.
Higher.
Lower.

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« #16004 : April 30, 2016, 12:38:54 AM »

Higher.
Higher.
Stay.
Lower.
Higher.
Higher.
Lower.

If I go higher on The Big Short that puts half of Marty's filmography over 10/10. Also, if they had made this film in 1995, I would have found most of their storytelling tricks inventive. In 2015 it's way too cliché for such a in your face style. Also, the style isn't mastered/precise at all.

Deadpool could have been higher if they had bothered writing a second draft of the script.

You didn't get Steve Jobs. I'm still looking for a film with more intelligent dialogues and I don't think it exists.

I thought I was pretty generous with Creed. It's still a bad film nobody will ever mention or even vaguely remember 2 years from now. I'll keep the motorcycle scene, 2 fights and the female lead.

Trumbo  higher? But why/how?

I'm not discussing spotlight there really isn't much to say on the movie.


« : April 30, 2016, 12:49:06 AM noodles_leone »

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