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Thread: Omnibus movies Q&A thread including trivia

  1. #1001
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    I'm a little surprised to learn you wanted to see Highlander II. It's so notoriously awful, many fans of the first movie flat-out pretend the second doesn't exist.

    Yes, seeing some of the earlier MCU movies would definitely help you understand Avengers: Endgame. I can easily imagine it might be juuuuuuust a bit confusing otherwise.

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    My latest five:

    The Departed
    Jack Nicholson chews the scenery with great gusto as an erratic, violent Boston crime boss; Leonardo DiCaprio is a troubled undercover cop trying to take him down, and Matt Damon is the crooked cop he's got on the inside. A violent but engaging movie, with some very dark humor.

    Graceland
    A short comedy film about Grace, a little girl who is convinced - sneer, pompadour and all - that she's the reincarnation of Elvis Presley. Her puzzled parents try to be supportive in the leadup to her school's talent show. Meh; could have been better than it was.

    Silvertop
    A lighthearted short documentary about a very cool, ultramodern L.A. house designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protege, as narrated by a French dog. Yes, that's right, a French dog. Funny and well worth a look for those who love architecture, interior design and the urban landscape.

    Lily Topples the World
    Charming, sometimes mind-blowing documentary about Lily Hevesh, aka Hevesh5, a young ace domino artist who builds those massive, elaborate domino arrangements you've probably seen at museums, art galleries, store openings etc. Recommended.

    No Ordinary Man
    Documentary about Billy Tipton, the semi-famous jazz musician who was discovered, not long before he died after refusing medical treatment, to have been a woman. Fascinating topic but a disappointing movie, I thought, with too much screentime given to trans people interpreting Tipton's story and not nearly enough to Tipton himself, his career and family.

  3. #1003
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    I've been watching a lot of movies lately, some via streaming from the local film festival. My latest five:

    I Can Change
    A very funny short sf comedy about an offbeat slacker who, the day before he's supposed to get married, not only becomes immortal but acquires the ability to stop time. After he misses his wedding rehearsal, however, convincing his pissed-off and very skeptical fiancee of all this... takes some doing.

    Masel Tov Cocktail
    Dark comedy short film about a German Jewish kid who pushes back against others' expectations of him as he just tries to live his own damn life.

    Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power
    Uplifting documentary about the California Congresswoman: her childhood, early life, political courage, unapologetic liberalism and hard work for a better future for our country. AOC and the late John Lewis are among those shown praising her.

    Back to the Future
    Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are as good as ever in this corny, very funny time-travel comedy classic. It really holds up well. Love it!

    Back to the Future 2
    Not as good as the first, but better than I remember, taking Marty's and Doc Brown's story in some interesting new directions while slyly evoking - and even working itself into - the first.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 18 Apr 2021 at 07:12 PM.

  4. #1004
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    All right, like EH, I've been watching a lot of movies.

    I'm just going to drop a list, with minimal comments. I'm way behind on reporting, but I am leaving off most of the true Z-level movies, because most of them are shite.

    Actually, most of all movies are Jimmy "The Bollocks" Shite, but what can I say?

    MANK: Dialogue was shit. Still, I suppose worth a look for Oldman's acting.

    LA BOUM
    LA BOUM II : No, stupid early-mid 1980s French comedies.

    KARATE KID III. Saw again with a better print. Meh.

    OMEGA MAN. Fucking great. Never saw it before.

    THE PROFESSIONALS. Underwhelmed.

    SCREWED. No.

    Kubrick's Odyssey Secrets Hidden in the films of Stanley Kubrick. No.

    STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Well, it's really boring, so there's that.

    EARTH ANGEL. No,

    THE GRUDGE. No.

    THE BOURNE IDENTITY. No. But, as I recall correctly, Julia Stiles is a standout.

    FAST AND FURIOUS (2009). No. Ridiculous.

    WEIRD SCIENCE. Never saw it before. Somewhat amusing.

    THE REAL INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. Yeah, sure. Needs a strong stomach.

    HOT ROD. Completely ridiculous, but impressive as a dumbass comedy.

    GERALD'S GAME. No. But, not as tedious as I expected.

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    My latest five:

    The 8th
    Interesting, uplifting documentary about the 2018 grassroots effort, largely led by women, to repeal Ireland's stringent anti-abortion law.

    Still Home
    Short documentary about the corrosive effects of poverty and opioid abuse in the small, struggling river town of East Liverpool, Ohio. Pretty bleak but with a faint ray of hope by the end.

    Apart
    Very good documentary about women in an Ohio prison struggling to survive inside, and then succeed upon release, with a particular focus on the difficulties their families have in trying to support and encourage them.

    For Madmen Only
    So-so documentary about the acerbic, messed-up Second City improv guru Del Close and his largely-unappreciated role in American comedy over several decades (his pupils have included John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Poehler, George Wendt and many others).

    Voodoo Macbeth
    Not a documentary, but a disappointing behind-the-scenes fictionalization of the 1936 Federal Theatre Project production of Shakespeare's play in New York City, with a mostly amateur, all-black cast directed by the young Orson Welles. The movie never quite took off, and the actor playing Welles looked nothing like him.

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    Aaaand my latest five:

    Back to the Future 3
    Doc Brown and Marty McFly try to survive in, and get back to 1985 from, the Wild West. Better than I remembered, but not nearly as good as the first.

    A Close Shave
    A terrific Wallace and Gromit short. Romance, window-washing, a wrongful conviction, a malfunctioning porridge cannon and lots and lots of hungry sheep, as W&G learn that a winsome yarn saleswoman and her sullen dog are not quite what they seem to be.

    The Fugitive
    Haven't seen this Harrison Ford chase movie since it first came out, I think; it still holds up well. Tommy Lee Jones steals every scene (and definitely earned his Oscar) as the deputy U.S. marshal relentlessly pursuing the wrongly-convicted Dr. Richard Kimble. Great Chicago setting, too.

    The Quiet Man
    A 1952 John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara movie about an American man wooing a fiery Irish woman. Every possible Irish stereotype is trotted out for laughs, and the march of feminism has clearly not yet reached the wee town of Innisfree, but it's still fun.

    Get Shorty
    A Florida loan shark decides he'd rather be making movies in Hollywood, and zany hijinks ensue in this Elmore Leonard adaptation. Great cast (including John Travolta, Rene Russo, Delroy Lindo, Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito, with James Gandolfini in an early role) and an enjoyable ride.

  7. #1007
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    Pumping Iron from 1977. I think I might be the last person in the world who had never seen this yet. Yeah, well, I suppose it may be any movie to all people.

    Pretty good, technically, as a documentary film. Good film stock, I guess, good editing, great DP work. As good as This Is Spinal Tap? Maybe, maybe not.

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    I haven't seen it, either, so you beat me to it.

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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    I haven't seen it, either, so you beat me to it.
    It's only about 67 minutes long or so....but, man, it feels like an eternity!

    I like physical fitness as much as the next person, but this is a bit excessive....and really is more about the pageantry of the business these people chose.

  10. #1010
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    Wonder Woman 1984. I'm sorry to any super-fans, I found this pretty stupefyingly boring. It is a good looking movie, though.

    Wet Hot American Summer. Didn't laugh once. Not funny. Not edgy. No.

    Screwed. A Norm Macdonald/Dave Chappelle comic vehicle. Somewhat amusing, sort of.

    McBain. I have no idea WTH that was supposed to be.

  11. #1011
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    Wonder Woman 1984 was a terrible movie.

    I just gave up on Army of the Dead which at 2:28 minutes is far too long for the subject and as slow as only Snyder can achieve.

    Recently saw low budget German film, The Strange House. Also crappy and with terrible dubbing.

  12. #1012
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    Run, don't walk, and see Nobody. Bob Odenkirk is great as usual, and Chris Lloyd has a terrific role. Maybe not a great, great movie, but it's a tidy action-thriller that, while somewhat predictable, delivers on what it promises.

  13. #1013
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    Thanks for the tip!

    My latest five:

    A Beautiful Planet
    IMAX movie filmed in space by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, including Terry Virts, whose very good book How to Astronaut I recently read. Stunning orbital footage and an important message about human-driven environmental threats to the only planet we can all live on.

    Hearts of Darkness
    Interesting, harrowing, sometimes funny documentary about the filming of Apocalypse Now, drawing heavily on behind-the-scenes footage shot at the time by director Francis Ford Coppola's wife Eleanor. Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong during the very long shoot in the Philippines. As Coppola later said at the Cannes Film Festival, much like the U.S. military during the Vietnam War itself, "We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane."

    What's Up, Doc?
    One of my favorite slapstick comedies, just as good as ever. Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal and Madeline Kahn are all outstanding. The climactic car chase is particularly funny.

    Zulu
    Epic British war movie about the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879. A bit dated now, and clearly no one is actually getting hurt in the combat scenes, but it's worth a look. Michael Caine is pretty good as a haughty young infantry officer.

    Doctor No
    The first James Bond movie starring Sean Connery. 007 investigates the disappearances of two MI6 agents in Jamaica and discovers a fiendish plot against the US space program. Not a bad spy movie, all in all, but rather quaint now.

  14. #1014
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    Thanks for the tip!

    My latest five:

    ...
    What's Up, Doc?
    One of my favorite slapstick comedies, just as good as ever. Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal and Madeline Kahn are all outstanding. The climactic car chase is particularly funny.

    ...

    Doctor No
    The first James Bond movie starring Sean Connery. 007 investigates the disappearances of two MI6 agents in Jamaica and discovers a fiendish plot against the US space program. Not a bad spy movie, all in all, but rather quaint now.
    What's Up, Doc? is inspired by and a Homage to the best screwball comedy, "Bringing up Baby" with Hepburn and Cary Grant. I love both movies.

    My favorite Bond movie actually as it is the least campy of all of them.

  15. #1015
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    The later Roger Moore movies were lamentably campy, but many others aren't IMHO. The Daniel Craig movies aren't campy at all.

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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    The later Roger Moore movies were lamentably campy, but many others aren't IMHO. The Daniel Craig movies aren't campy at all.
    I've never made it through a Daniel Craig Bond movie. Not for me I guess. The Roger Moore movies went from a little Camp to over-the-top camp and maybe more silly than the Austin Powers movies. (I'm looking at you Moonraker).

    I like the Sean Connery movies, Live and Let Die and the Pierce Brosnan ones were silly but entertaining enough.

  17. #1017
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    Next. One sees all aspects of Nic Cage's bag of tricks. It's a dubious movie, at best, but it's, I suppose, not terrible. Jessica Biehl is the breakout star of this one.

    Fat City. A rewatch for me, but if you ever want to see a definition of "downbeat," it's worth a watch.

    The Boxer (1997). Among movies about boxing? I don't know. Pretty high on the scorecard. I somewhat think there may have been some political motivations behind this one. (LOL). However, it's a moderately effective movie, I suppose.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 06 Jun 2021 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Biel, not Biehl, apparently.

  18. #1018
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    My latest five:

    The Godfather
    Watched this Mafia classic with my youngest son, 18, with him seeing it for the first time. Still deservedly a classic; Al Pacino is terrific as the dutiful son and WWII Marine hero who turns into a monster.

    Paper Moon
    Long a favorite comedy of mine. Understatedly funny, with a terrific cast, gorgeous B&W cinematography out on the American Plains, and a great story.

    Infernal Affairs
    This Hong Kong cop thriller was remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed. He did it better. The HK original is marred by bad acting and awkward directing.

    Moonraker
    Clearly the silliest and most farfetched James Bond movie ever. What can I say? Sorry, WE; it's a guilty pleasure; I loved it as a sf-mad kid and it actually still is pretty fun. The speedboat chase on the Amazon is maybe the best 007 waterborne action sequence ever.

    Limitless
    Still on my short list of the best movies of this century - a clever, well-crafted, genre-savvy thriller about a pill that can unlock your brain's full potential (but of course there's a catch). Bradley Cooper is terrific in the lead role, and Robert De Niro steals all his scenes as a hard-nosed Wall Street tycoon.

  19. #1019
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    All right, here's the deal.

    I didn't want to, but RiffTrax released their commentary to:

    (i) Face/Off. No. Even with a commentary. This is one of the most disgusting, incompetent piles of shit I've ever seen committed to celluloid.

    (ii) Con Air. Kind of cool little picture.

    (iii) The Rock. I saved the best for last: this is an awesome movie! Ed fucking Harris. Fucking everybody including Nicolas Cage and the Highlander! Great fucking movie!

    I think they call these three the holy trinity of Cage movies. I disagree, but now I've completed my task.

    No, RiffTrax only did Face/Off, not the other two, but as much as I despised that movie beginning to end, Mike, Kevin, and Bill inspired me to view this trilogy.

  20. #1020
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    Oh, and sorry not sorry for the 2x post, but I just started watching the movie Twelve Monkeys.

    That's fucking spooky, coming off seeing The Rock: the common link? Actor David Morse.

    Yeah. Same fucking guy!

    Yeah, I about pissed myself.

    The more you know!

  21. #1021
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    And, also, I think Twelve Monkeys is one of the dumbest movies I've ever seen.

    Trust me, I've seen a lot of bad movies.

    This one is extra special. And in other news, I also thought Brazil was a hack patch-job. So I know whom to blame.

    But Madeleine Stowe is a terrific actress capable of tremendous heights and depths. Cf. The Two Jakes.

  22. #1022
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    Rocketman, the recent biopic about Elton John. I'm not a scholar of EJ's music, although I've learned a few of his earlier tunes on piano off the records. I didn't learn much new from this movie, but I thought it was a pretty moving, restrained biopic.

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    I remember being very underwhelmed by Face/Off, having seen it when it was first released, and I've never seen it again. I liked Con Air a bit more, but also only saw it once. I confess to never having seen The Rock, but it's been on my list since forever!

    Dave Morse is a very talented actor. I first noticed him on St. Elsewhere back in the Eighties, and particularly liked him as George Washington in the HBO John Adams miniseries.

    Twelve Monkeys is baffling but I enjoyed it; Rocketman is not baffling in the least, but I also enjoyed it!

    My latest five:

    Knives Out
    A clever, twisty-turny whodunnit. Very good fun, with a great cast and fiendishly complicated script. I'm glad to have recently learned that it'll be the first of a trilogy, with Daniel Craig returning as the self-assured Southern gentleman detective.

    Sphere
    Disappointing and often nonsensical underwater sf drama/adventure. The cast (Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharon Stone and others) do their best, but all in vain. Some of the sfx are pretty damn cheesy, too. The Abyss covers much of the same (wet) ground, but much, much better.

    Never Surrender
    An affectionate documentary about the making of Galaxy Quest and an exploration of its goofy, enduring appeal, with interviews with much of the cast and some nifty behind-the-scenes details. Recommended for any fan.

    Galaxy Quest
    Having seen the documentary, naturally I just had to see the original movie again. Still one of the best sf comedies ever - great cast, great script, impressive sfx and endlessly quotable.

    At Eternity's Gate
    An engrossing, beautifully-crafted biopic about the last few years of Vincent van Gogh's life. Willem Dafoe is, of course and as expected, simply outstanding in the lead role, and Rupert Friend as his brother Theo and Oscar Isaac as his fellow painter/frenemy Paul Gauguin also shine. The camera work is occasionally just a bit too jumpy, and the music a bit too intrusive, but these are minor flaws. Any van Gogh fan should see the film.

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    Knives Out was pretty good with a great cast.
    Never Surrender was a much better than average Movie doc.
    I did the same thing and watched Galaxy Quest the next day. Really is one of my favorite movies and to me the #2 Star Trek movie.

    I think I gave up on Sphere part way through it or I watched the whole mess and forgot most of it. I agree Abyss did it right.

  25. #1025
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    The Mountain (1956). Another very good recommendation from a barfly. One of the more personal (to me, natch) performances of Spencer Tracy, because the unidentified location somewhere between SwitzerFrance reminds my of my paternal grandfather and his costaud mien, although a bit south of the paternal lands along the same geographical lines.

    A young Robert Wagner acquited himself fairly, I suppose.

    It is, however, a fairly exciting movie if one enjoys rustic living and some rather detailed attempts at recreating mountaineering. Rather good, in terms of suspense: it's no Wages of Fear, but it is on a smaller scale comparable, I suppose.

    Near Dark. Sort of amusing Vampire-Western hybrid directed by the infamous auteur of Point Break, among other perishables. A cute divertissement.

    Commando. How much Arnold? Really, all of the Arnold. There is no counter-example among A-pictures to the extravagance of this ludicrous spectacle.

    Cobra. Well. One might have seen it before on TV or something. Best to let this one go. Terrible music.

    Vampire's Kiss. That's a personal choice, and may god have mercy on your soul. There is no Nic Cage that goes unexplored. Really a deep dive.

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    My latest five:

    Ikarie XB1
    A Czech sf movie from 1963, about an Earth starship on a long voyage to another planet. It's said to have partly inspired Kubrick and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I could see some design similarities. Very different and somewhat nonsensical plot, though, and all in all not nearly as good as 2001.

    Annihilation
    A good, creepy sf movie starring Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Oscar Isaac, with a fine supporting cast. An armed, all-female team of scientists attempts to enter and study a disorienting, very unsettling - and growing - zone of alien influence on the Louisiana coast. There's a strong Lovecraftian vibe and the movie will really get you thinking.

    Beverly Hills Cop
    Hadn't seen this Eddie Murphy comedy since it first came out. Wildly implausible but a lot of fun; the contrast between gritty Detroit and swanky Beverly Hills couldn't be better done.

    Long Shot
    A political satire/romcom. Charlize Theron is the beautiful young Secretary of State running for President and Seth Rogen is a childhood friend who once had a crush on her and much later becomes her speechwriter. Unlikely romantic sparks fly. Not a bad movie, but not a great one either.

    Zombieland
    Rewatched this zombie action/comedy and enjoyed it again. Great cast and lots of dark, blood-flecked humor.

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    And again:

    Memories of Murder
    A South Korean serial-killer mystery, loosely based on a true story and cowritten and directed by Bong Joon-ho (Parasite). Very disappointing - the cops are stupid and corrupt, young women in the small town keep walking in the woods after dark even after several high-profile unsolved murders there, and the movie just drags.

    The Green Knight
    An interesting version of the tale of Sir Gawaine which takes some major liberties with Arthurian legend but mostly held my interest. Visually stunning but also, unfortunately, overlong.

    Chariots of Fire
    I finally saw this Oscar-winning 1981 historical drama, about British runners at the 1924 Olympics. It was good but not great, I'd say. The Vangelis score is certainly iconic.

    State Funeral
    Plodding documentary about Josef Stalin's elaborate 1953 funeral in Moscow, drawn from Kremlin newsreel archives and also showing grieving citizens across the Soviet Union. For all the praise heaped upon Stalin at the time by party officials, I was glad to see a postscript at the end of the movie about his crimes and the many millions who died under his paranoid misrule.

    Boys State
    Pretty good documentary about teenage Texans assembling in Austin to learn about democracy and government, focusing on the choosing of a boy governor in a mini-election that is, just like the real thing, an uneasy mix of idealism, cynicism, public-spiritedness, pandering, sound bites and dirty tricks.

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    And once again:

    Trading Places
    Long a favorite comedy of mine, with Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and a helluva supporting cast. An artifact of the Reagan Eighties to some extent, but still very funny.

    The Hidden
    One of the best sf B-movies ever, in my book, with an LA homicide cop and an FBI agent (or is he?) hunting down a violent, thrill-seeking alien criminal who can change bodies at will. Farfetched, violent and often surprisingly funny.

    Pale Flower
    A 1964 Japanese noir film about a Yakuza badass just released from prison on a murder rap who falls for a beautiful, dissolute young gambler with more money than sense. It's got style to burn, but really not much of a story, and the ending just sort of peters out.

    Wonder Woman
    Takes some liberties with World War I history, to put it mildly, but not a bad DC superhero movie. Israeli actress Gal Gadot is convincing, dominant and beautiful in the lead role.

    The Birdcage
    Hadn't seen this 1996 comedy with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest since it first came out. As funny as I remembered, with an understated but still-important message about love, loyalty and acceptance.

  29. #1029
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    You guessed it! My latest five:

    Shadowlands
    Well-acted tearjerker about a prim, bookish C.S. Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) falling, much to his own surprise, for a feisty American woman (Debra Winger) who's a fan of his work. She later struggles with cancer even as they try to build a life together. A nicely-realized Oxford setting.

    8 1/2
    Fellini's surreal comedy-romance-drama about an aging film director in early Sixties Italy who's unable to focus on his next big picture because of his midlife crisis, writer's block and wandering eye for the ladies. Got great reviews but just not my cup of tea, er, cappuccino.

    Zombieland: Double Tap
    A pretty good sequel to Zombieland, with all four of the main cast returning and a funny and on-target cameo at the very end by a former SNL star you'll recognize at once. If you like zomcoms, this one's for you.

    Dune
    Saw the new version and mostly liked it although, as others have noted, it does end somewhat abruptly. Some great action sequences and impressive visuals (the ornithopters are particularly well-done); the cast is excellent but I'm not quite convinced the young actor playing Paul was up to the challenge. Still, I really hope they film the second movie and tell the entire tale.

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    Another worthwhile sequel that's a lot of fun, with two particularly good action sequences: Rocket Raccoon takes on a bunch o' bad guys in a forest at night, and Yondu busts out of confinement on a starship, taking no prisoners.

  30. #1030
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    :: taps mic ::

    Is this on?

    My latest five:

    Murder on the Orient Express
    Hadn't seen this in years, but enjoyed it all over again. From 1974, with an all-star cast, all of whom are quite good, including Albert Finney as the clever, diligent and meticulously-groomed Hercule Poirot.

    Only Lovers Left Alive
    Two ancient, jaded, world-weary vampires, one in Detroit and one in Tangier, reconnect after many years apart. A very slow-moving, almost dreamlike movie, with just the right ending following an unexpected but memorable musical interlude.

    Wife of a Spy
    Very disappointing Japanese WWII drama; I literally fell asleep. Two American actors in it are also distractingly, almost comically, bad.

    Azor
    Moody, kinda creepy movie about a Swiss private banker trying to figure out what happened to his predecessor in junta-ruled Seventies Argentina. Good acting and cinematography.

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    Fun, action-packed 2015 adaptation of the TV spy show, with a fine cast and very good Sixties sets, costumes and music. The director makes deft use of mini-flashbacks to show us what we might have earlier overlooked or what had actually been withheld from us, and the villain meets one of the most satisfying ends I've seen in a long time. I kinda wish this had been the start of a franchise, but that seems very unlikely now.

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    Aaaaaand my latest five:

    That Thing You Do!
    A garage band from Erie, Pa. has a hit record and then copes with sudden Sixties fame. Sweet and very funny. Written, directed by and costarring Tom Hanks, who plays their manager.

    The Wild Bunch
    Finally saw this 1969 epic Western. Good, for its time, but not IMHO the jaw-droppingly-amazing classic I'd always heard it was.

    No Time to Die
    The latest James Bond movie, with Daniel Craig still excellent as 007 and showing a bit more emotion and humor than in previous outings. Overlong but still worthwhile, with some great action sequences. Léa Seydoux returns (rare for a Bond Girl) as the British agent's conflicted sweetheart, and Ana de Armas is great as a beautiful, badass CIA agent.

    Home Alone
    Rewatched this family Christmas classic. Goofy and funny. Joe Pesci is a standout as a burglar who thinks he's smarter than he really is.

    The Eagle Has Landed
    A pretty good WWII adventure yarn (although not nearly as a good as the book), with German paratroopers plotting to snatch Winston Churchill from the Norfolk country estate he's visiting. Michael Caine and Robert Duvall do well in their roles as a paratrooper colonel and the Abwehr planner of the mission, and Donald Pleasence is fittingly reptilian as Himmler.

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    And again:

    It's a Wonderful Life
    Probably the tenth time or so I've seen it since I first did in college, and it's just as wonderful as ever.

    The Bishop's Wife
    I've always heard this 1947 Cary Grant film described as a Christmas classic, but my family was underwhelmed, to say the least. The story is, a NYC bishop focuses too much on his work and neglects his family; a handsome angel shows him a better way. Some superficial similarities to It's a Wonderful Life, but not nearly as engaging, good or fun a film.

    Ecstasy of Order
    An interesting documentary about the Russian videogame Tetris (which I've been playing for many years): how the game was created, how it's played, the geeky subculture of its top players and the mixed-up lives of at least some of them.

    Murder on the Orient Express
    I saw the 2017 remake, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. Like its 1974 predecessor, it has an all-star cast, of which Daisy Ridley is a particular standout. However, it tries to punch up the story with pointless action sequences (and dodgy CGI) that just aren't what the 1934 Agatha Christie novel is about. I far prefer the 1974 version, in part because Albert Finney was just so much better in the role of Poirot.

    Donnie Brasco
    A powerful 1997 crime drama about a deep-undercover FBI agent working his way up the Mafia hierarchy in Seventies New York, even as his neglected marriage starts to fall apart. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, long before they became virtual parodies of themselves, are both terrific as an aging gangster and the FBI agent who becomes like a son to him.

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    And yet again:

    Defending Your Life
    Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep costar as recently-dead people in a sort of Purgatory, trying to win the right to proceed to Heaven and falling in love as they do. A rather dry comedy, but I liked it.

    Cocoon
    Old farts in a Florida retirement home get a new lease on life when friendly aliens move in next door. Charming, bittersweet and often funny.

    Ratatouille
    A Parisian rat with ambitions of becoming a great French chef teams up with a hapless kitchen assistant, and both end up the better for it. Amazing Pixar animation and a pretty good story. Watch for quick, clever callbacks to both The Incredibles and Up.

    Rushmore
    A brainy but academically-lackluster teenager at a prep school falls for a winsome teacher and finds himself kinda sorta locked in a romantic triangle with a self-loathing local businessman (Bill Murray, rarely better); zany hijinks ensue to a terrific soundtrack. Still one of my favorite Wes Anderson movies; I actually think it's close to a masterpiece..

    Splash
    Tom Hanks plays an unlucky-in-love New Yorker who falls for a beautiful, mysterious young woman who's actually (wait for it) a mermaid. A very Eighties romcom but definitely still worth a look.

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    Five more, you say? Well, if you insist:

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Often funny, sometimes cringeworthy romcom. I think they used just about every Greek and/or immigrant joke ever written.

    The Courier
    Benedict Cumberpatch is terrific in this based-on-a-true-story Cold War drama about a British businessman drawn into high-stakes espionage leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Merab Ninidze, a Georgian actor, is also quite good as his Soviet contact. Highly recommended.

    The French Dispatch
    Wes Anderson comedy about a New Yorker-esque magazine in Sixties and Seventies France. Underwhelming, all in all, although it has its moments.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    I rewatched the 2011 David Fincher version and was struck again by its icy precision, Nordic style and relentless drive. A great cast and a great story filled with memorable moments. It's become one of my all-time favorite murder mysteries.

    Hart's War
    It got so-so reviews when it came out in 2002, but I enjoyed this WWII courtroom drama set in a German POW camp. There are some great twists and turns, and Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell actually turn in subtle, controlled performances.

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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    Five more, you say? Well, if you insist:

    The French Dispatch
    Wes Anderson comedy about a New Yorker-esque magazine in Sixties and Seventies France. Underwhelming, all in all, although it has its moments.
    I was really disappointed in this movie. It wasn't bad but underwhelming is a good description.

    So I saw Spider-Man: No Way Home two weeks ago. It was the best Spiderman movie so far and best superhero movie I've seen in quite awhile.

    I watched Oceans Eleven today. The original Rat Pack version still holds up. Not a great movie but a fun movie with a lot of real life friends having fun making the movie.

    I still struggling to get through Nightmare Alley, great cast but not a great movie.

    I watched the Tom Hanks movie Greyhound. Really excellent, I think his best movie in quite a while. He's a Destroy captain making his first crossing on convoy duty during WWII.

    I also watched Finch by Tom Hanks. This was very disappointing. Like News of the World, basically a snooze-fest.

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    Thanks for that, WE.

    My latest five:

    What We Left Behind
    A crowdfunded documentary about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Good interviews with the cast, top production brass, tech folks, studio poobahs etc. A highlight was a reunion of several key writers, talking through the first episode of a hypothetical new season of the show. Highly recommended for any fan.

    Noises Off
    Unfunny comedy about a no-tal theater company trying to put on a show and failing miserably, both on stage and off. Meh.

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    A 1949 Disney cartoon retelling of the tale of Ichabod Crane and his spooky rendezvous with destiny in the form of the Headless Horseman. Disappointing.

    The 39 Steps
    Having just seen a comic stage adaptation of the 1935 Hitchcock spy thriller, which I first saw in college, I decided to see it again - exciting, clever, well-crafted and funny as always.

    The Three Musketeers
    Saw the 1973 version - with Michael York, Oliver Reed, a stunning Raquel Welch and a surprisingly well-cast Charlton Heston as Cardinal Richelieu - for the first time since it was released. Still good swashbuckling fun.

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    And again, my most recent five:

    The Four Musketeers
    A fun if relatively mindless (and definitely historically-inaccurate) sequel to the swashbucker The Three Musketeers, with all of the cast returning. As before, Charlton Heston is surprisingly good as a scheming but courtly Cardinal Richelieu.

    Operation Mincemeat
    So-so World War II drama, based on a true story, about a British espionage operation which tried to misdirect the Germans as to an upcoming invasion site. Good cast but the movie just never quite took off, I'd say.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    Also underwhelming, a comedy about humans and toons mixing it up in Golden Age Hollywood. I hadn't seen it since its first release in 1988, and meh, I can't say it's improved much in the meantime.

    Pompeii
    A 2014 swords-and-sandals epic about the volcano-doomed Roman seacoast town, told through the eyes of a surly gladiator and the young highborn woman who falls for him. Nice to look at but just not a very compelling story, although it tries.

    All is True
    Terrific movie about Shakespeare after he retires from the theatrical world, leaves London and returns to Stratford to reunite with his wife and daughters, to whom he is, by then, almost a stranger. Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench lead a great cast. This is a quiet, often funny movie that really draws you in, with lots of clever references to longstanding controversies about the Bard. A minor quibble; there is, I would say, one dramatic revelation too many, given the arc of the film. Best scene: Shakespeare gives an unwelcome fanboy a not-entirely-polite brushoff.

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    I've seen so many movies since I last checked in, I don't know where to start.

    And, no, I really don't see that many movies quod week.

    I will mention this oddity, called *The Love Witch* from....sometime recent, but not that recent. Beautiful photography, capturing 3-strip Technicolor, gritty 1970s Don Siegel-directed fare, and many points in between. Beautifully acted. Er....it's a good idea.

    But I'm more excited these days about TV I'd never seen, such as *McCloud*, *Baretta*, and, well, I guess just those two. I'll get to *Mannix* one of these days, but probably just the first season.

    Oh yeah, and *Kolchak The Night Stalker* is one I've been enjoying. The "origin" was two made-for-TV movies starring Darren McGavin as "Kolchak" and spun off into a one-season TV series. True fact! Kolchak was a terrible journalist, and not a very good night stalker, but I enjoy it.

    Well, there you go! (As Marshall Sam McCloud, played by Dennis Weaver, was fond of saying.)

    /* eta Thks EH, for the *three/four* musketeers tips! I've read a bunch of Dumas, including, of course, the Musketeers novels, and I look forward to seeing how Chuck Heston could have played Richelieu! Sounds intriguing! */
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 10 Jul 2022 at 07:22 PM.

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    Glad to!

    My latest five:

    Weird Science
    This is one of those movies I should've seen when I was a kid, but didn't, so I went back and finally saw it. Even as a teenager, I'd like to think I would've recognized that it sucks. Some funny moments but otherwise almost a complete waste of time.

    The Man with the Golden Gun
    Not the best James Bond movie, not by a long shot, but it was still pretty much as silly and fun as I remember it. Christopher Lee is more interesting as the bad guy, the master assassin Scaramanga, than Roger Moore is as 007.

    Top Gun: Maverick
    A worthy successor to the 1986 original, I'd say. Tom Cruise plays the hotshot Navy fighter jockey once more, now older and (somewhat) wiser, trying to train a bunch of much younger hotshot Navy fighter jockeys for a very dangerous mission. Jennifer Connelly is a great addition to the cast as his not-so-old flame.

    Long Walk to Finchley
    A Margaret Thatcher biopic that shows her, early in her career, overcoming sexism, scheming and sneers on her way to the top of the British political heap. Andrea Riseborough is terrific in the lead role. The movie would be a good double feature with Meryl Streep's The Iron Lady.

    In the Line of Fire
    One of my all-time favorite action/psychological thrillers. Clint Eastwood plays an aging Secret Service agent, still haunted by his failure to save JFK, facing off against a clever, shadowy assassin played by John Malkovich. Despite some nits I have to pick, really a great movie all around, with a near-perfect ending.

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    And again:

    Ghostbusters
    The original - still funny, clever and endlessly quotable.

    Lightyear
    The new movie based on the Toy Story character, presented as if it were the movie which inspired the toy in the first movie. A bit overlong, and it has some plot holes that left me wondering, but I'd say it's worth a look for any fan - and the Space Ranger's robotic cat adorably steals every scene it's in.

    Toy Story 2
    Also a deserved classic, with Woody, Buzz and their friends fighting a thieving toy-store owner. By turns funny and heartbreaking (you know the song I'm talking about).

    Pride & Prejudice
    Keira Knightley at her spunky, luminous best, in this beautiful 2005 adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. A great cast and a deft mix of romance and humor. The English countryside never looked so good, and the score more than earned its Oscar nomination.

    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    I introduced a friend to this Ruritanian comedy from 2014, which is my favorite film directed by Wes Anderson (edging out Rushmore). It was my friend's first time seeing it (maybe my fourth), and he liked it a lot, as I hoped he would.

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