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Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Dr Zaius, Sep 12, 2016.
Just watched District 9. I give it 9/10.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My Netflix score is 3/5. Overall, visually attractive with some good performances, but ultimately just a disappointing reboot of A New Hope. Yawn. Still awaiting that fresh SW adventure I have craved for so long.
Just watched U-571. Excellent WWII story. 5 Stars!!
Wife picked last night, we watched Disney's 'The Princess Diaries". She fell asleep, I thought it was better than expected. I could see the director's influence (Garry Marshall), and Julie Andrews was terrific.
3 out of 5? Inconceivable!
Not to be a confused with 'The Princess Bride" which gets a 4/5
London has Fallen
Another Man's Poison. I found this movie very reminiscent of the classic film noir, The Letter. As with that film, here we have Bette Davis playing a cold, conniving woman who uses and discards the people in her life like disposable playthings. But here we have the plot twist of a fleeing criminal who blackmails Davis into allowing him to take on the identity of her husband after he discovers she murdered him earlier in the day. Hence, "another man's poison." Not as good as the classic The Letter, it was nonetheless a solid drama well worth watching. 4/5
The Big Short 9/10
Citizen Soldier ( Documentary )
Last night I watched the "B" noir, 5 Against the House. This was a fun noir where four college students - two being Korean War vets going on the GI Bill - get involved in a casino heist when one of their number, a brainy rich guy, comes up with a heist plan just to see if he could outsmart the security. While the heist is the motivator for the story, the real story is about the mental injuries Korean vets suffered in the war. Here, the great Brian Keith stole the show as a vet suffering from what we would now call PTSD, something that causes him to take the heist much too seriously. Good stuff. Like all good noirs, it had a lot of zippy witticisms with my favorite being, "Everybody has a headache today. It is the Age of Aspirin." My score: B for a B noir.
The poster art was much better back during the Golden Age of cinema.
Looks like I can add another film to my short list of film noirs fit for Halloween. In addition to October Man and Ministry of Fear, Seance on a Wet Afternoon is one of those films noir (well, it is really a neo-noir seeing its 1964 date) that blends crime with horror perfectly. The movie is kinda/sorta like Misery, but here we have a kidnap plan designed to make a local medium famous. All in all, the story itself is rather unremarkable. However, what absolutely elevates this movie to another level are the fantastic performances by the great Richard Attenborough and Kim Stanley. In modern parlance, these two dysfunctional people are trapped in a toxic, co-dependent relationship. Attenborough is a sickly, hen-pecked man who depends on his wife for structure in his life, while the wife (Stanley) is a mentally unstable women who depends on her husband for constant affirmation of her supposed superiority. Together, Attenborough and Stanley create one of the most interesting dramatic couples I have seen in a long time. Take that wonderful exercise in character study, add in the spooky element of Stanley's seances (which are the motivation for the crime in more than one way), and some wonderfully creepy cinematography, and you get a solid if overlooked neo-noir. Highly recommended!
Best of all, you can watch it for free here!
That Citizen Soldier is awesome.
During October I went on a Universal monster and Hammer film watchathon of all the classic horror moves, primarily Dracula and Frankenstein, I loved as a kid. The last one I watched is my favorite of all time, 1941's The Wolf Man.
For a film which generated a ton of buzz and which won an Academy Award, I expected something a big more compelling. It was somewhat interesting, and I liked the gritty portrayal of life on the frontier in the north. I also liked that it didn't devolve into fake, moralistic drivel like Dances with Wolves. You'll find no good guys here, not even among the local Indians, who're for the most portrayed as being just as stinky, savage, and self-interested as everyone else.
There's lots of action and some great cinematography at various points throughout the film. However, if you've seen the trailer you've already seen some of the key moments of the film. The action is generally expertly choreographed and passes the smell test.
Still, the whole story seemed to bog down a bit and by the end had turned into a bit of a grind. Not sure why I felt that way as I usually like long movies crafted by directors who aren't afraid to milk a scene for all its worth and take their time to tell a story properly. Perhaps the characters just weren't likable enough or interesting enough to make the audience really care about them.
An unusual film for Hollywood, to be sure. Long, slow, violent, no female characters or love sub-plots, and very little in the way of heroes to root for. Just a lot of suffering, clawing, stinking, and freezing in order to stay alive. It's not quite as grim as Valhala Rising, and it certainly has more of coherent story, but it does share some of that film's nihilistic flair.
1959's Hound of the Baskervilles starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Still holds up and I love Cushing's Holmes. 8/10.
Rogue One 11 out of 10
1933's The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains. A classic. 10/10.