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Thread: Omnibus movies Q&A thread including trivia

  1. #1051
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Three I've been trying to get through in the past day or so:

    *Between Two Ferns The Movie*: cute little expansion of the brief absurd interviews between comedian Zach Galifianakis and various A-list celebrities.

    *Le Mans*. Kind of a grim little movie about the "24 Hours of Le Mans" race. Steve McQueen vehicle plus some female eye candy, I guess. This one I did finish, but to be honest, it's kind of boring IMHO.

    *Steve McQueen : The Man and *Le Mans**. Somewhat interesting little documentary about the so-called King of Cool. Probably not for everybody, but it has its moments of interest.

  2. #1052
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    Meh. Not a big fan of Zach G. What little I've seen of him other than in The Hangover has underwhelmed me.

    I have to confess, I don't think I've seen any complete Steve McQueen movie other than The Towering Inferno. The Great Escape has been on my list for awhile, though. And did you know about this movie?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Steve

    My latest five:

    Nuremberg: Its Lessons For Today
    A restoration of a post-WW2 US government film, intended to highlight Nazi atrocities and warn against the dangers of political extremism, racism and anti-Semitism. Some harrowing concentration-camp imagery.

    Filmmakers for the Prosecution
    Documentary about the making of that film, drawing upon German archival and propaganda footage, which also supported the Allied prosecution of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. Mostly interesting.

    Brazil
    Hadn't seen this 1985 Terry Gilliam neo-Orwellian sf dark comedy in awhile, but it still holds up really well. My favorite bit: Robert De Niro, totally badass, as a commando plumber.

    Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story
    Documentary biopic about a black theologian, teacher and mystic who mentored MLK, among others.

    Good Night Oppy
    Documentary about the Mars rovers and how amazingly well they did, and kept on doing, long after they were expected to fail. The filmmakers shamelessly anthropomorphize the machines, but by the end you can hardly blame 'em. Worth seeing for any fan of space exploration, Mars, robotics or science generally.

  3. #1053
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    Here we go. My most recent five:

    In the Loop
    A British political satire loosely based on the runup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Not enough laughs, although Peter Capaldi is very good as an unprincipled, abusive, hard-charging spin doctor.

    The Spy Who Loved Me
    Arguably Roger Moore's best James Bond movie. Hadn't seen it in years, and it was fun. Barbara Bach is quite yummy as a Soviet spy; the white Lotus Esprit which turns into a missile-armed mini-submarine is awesome. I noticed, though, that the captured Soviet nuclear submarine crew is never seen - only the American and the British crews are. Hmmm. Wonder what happened to them...?

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    A young author visits Guernsey island soon after WWII and discovers that a folksy book club there is hiding a secret which, of course, she feels bound to uncover. A good-looking and feel-good film.

    Gangs of New York
    Martin Scorsese's film about NYC street gangs before and during the Civil War. Well-produced and a fine cast, but much too long, and it badly downplays the racist roots of the July 1863 draft riots. Not sure I can recommend this movie.

    Trailblazing Women in Ohio Politics
    Pretty good new documentary with a self-explanatory title. Worth a look for anyone interested in women in politics generally.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 24 Mar 2023 at 12:41 PM.

  4. #1054
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    The White Lotus. Initially amusing, but ultimately execrable HBO TV show.

    Sam Peckinpah Man of Iron. Read the book. This movie is way too long.

    Barry. Somewhat entertaining HBO TV show.

    The Beastie Boys Story. Stage show disguised as a documentary.

    Milius. Outstanding portrait of one of Hollywood's unfortunates. Full of surprisingly candid remarks from his many peers and collaborators.

    Ain't In It For My Health: A film about Levon Helm. Funny. Good in companionship to Levon's autobiography.

    Kate. An outstanding Netflix movie starring the very good Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead role as an action hero.

    Jen Kirkland "Just Keep Livin'", "I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)." Two Netflix stand-up shows by Jen Kirkland, known by some from *Drunk History*. Exceptionally funny stuff, from the perspective of a middle aged woman who doesn't mind blue language.

  5. #1055
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    Thanks, Jizz. You may know that the Walter character in The Big Lebowski is loosely based on John Milius.

    My latest five:

    We're No Angels
    A 1989 remake of the 1955 Bogart movie, costarring Robert De Niro and Sean Penn as two escaped convicts in upstate Depression-era New York, pretending to be priests and trying to blend into small-town life before they can make their escape across the border to Canada. Never quite took off. Meh.

    Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
    Pretty good Shrek spinoff with Antonio Banderas returning as the titular feline. Impressive animation, good cast and some very funny bits.

    Boston Strangler
    Keira Knightley (with the first American accent I've ever heard from her, and doing it pretty well) and Carrie Coon play spunky reporters in Sixties Boston, trying to catch a killer who seems just a bit too clever for the cops. Some plot holes and too many unanswered questions, but still worth a look.

    Tetris
    Lighthearted, based-on-a-true-story account of how the insanely popular videogame made its way from the Gorbachev-era USSR to the rest of the world. Taron Egerton is quite good as the businessman who jumps through a million implausible hoops to win the rights to distribute the game abroad.

    Being Mary Tyler Moore
    Affectionate documentary about the beloved sitcom and movie actress, who died in 2017. I learned quite a bit about her and, although the biopic acknowledges some of her shortcomings and failings, I like her even more now.

  6. #1056
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    Tried to watch the recent-ish movie *Her*, but I couldn't understand any of it. Something about some nerds and some robot ladies. Dunno.

    However, I was recently surprised by the recent *Marlowe*: I find Neeson's Marlowe compelling and pretty similar to how I imagine the character as Chandler wrote him. Maybe a little too tall, but, I'm amused.

    That was a follow up to a rewatch of the 1970s Elliott Gould vehicle, *The Long Goodbye*. Eh. There is such a thing as too much Gould, and this is it, despite some very sharp dialogue and some terribly dated photography/set design.

    OOOHHHH OOOOH! Tks! I *must* watch *Boston Strangler*! I love both Coon and Knightley to death as actors. I do not love the "Boston Strangler," (you know, the real one!), to my credit, but I like those two capable actresses very much.

    A week or two ago, *La fille seule*: a very angsty, very French movie following then-young-"it"-girl of French movies Virginie Ledoyen through a day in the life. Captivating, artful, with superb control on the part of the filmmakers and actors, but a bit of an experience, especially for a relatively short feature film.

    Also a slew of new-to-me movies featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who I find is not just a pretty face (and bod) but a very serious, capable actress. *Smashed* was astonishing. *Final Destination 3*. Winstead was compelling even in that popcorn thriller franchise. Even *Die Hard 4*, I guess....well, that was just some movie....but meh....it delivered, I guess.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 01 Jun 2023 at 07:05 PM.

  7. #1057
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    I liked Her, and although it was weird, it was worth it for ScarJo's voice. She has the sexiest voice ever in that movie.

    Winstead is very good in the third season of Fargo, if you get the chance to see it.

    The local cinematheque is showing a series of early IMAX shorts, adapted for the smaller screen. My latest five:

    To Fly!
    This is the film that's been shown for many years at the National Air and Space Museum. A bit dated now, but still worth seeing, with some exhilarating moments.

    Great Barrier Reef
    An interesting underwater tour of the natural wonder off the eastern Australian coast, with some encouraging info on what's being done to save it.

    Great Bear Rainforest
    Ryan Reynolds, of all people, narrates this short film about a wildlife preserve on the west coast of Canada, with quite a bit about the bears and fish there.

    Living Sea
    Meryl Streep narrates and Sting provides the music for this lush, beautiful film about the ocean and all its teeming life.

    Everest
    The IMAX film crew intended this to be about several spunky climbers of the tallest mountain, but they got caught up in the 1996 disaster in which eight other climbers died when they were caught in a blizzard, too high to be rescued. They helped out and still gathered enough footage for a remarkable film.

  8. #1058
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    My latest five:

    The 39 Steps
    Classic B&W Hitchcock thriller - great plot, dialogue, cast, settings, etc. One of those movies where I spot something new just about every time. There's one major plot hole, I've always thought, but the movie's so good I'm willing to overlook it.

    Dolphins
    An uplifting, beautiful McGillivray Freeman film, originally made for IMAX.

    Van Gogh: Brush with Genius
    Likewise, obviously on a very different topic. Worth a look for any fan of the extraordinarily talented but doomed artist.

    The Big Boss
    1971 Hong Kong martial arts film, with Bruce Lee in his first lead role. Goofy plot and absolutely terrible acting, but some good fight scenes.

    The In-Laws
    A very, very funny 1979 slapstick comedy with Peter Falk as a devil-may-care, maybe-retired CIA agent and Alan Arkin as the uptight dentist dad of Falk's son's fiancee. Zany hijinks ensue. James Hong's in-flight safety lecture, given entirely in Mandarin Chinese, is alone worth the price of admission.

  9. #1059
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    And more:

    32 Sounds
    A documentary about the dynamic impact of sound and how it shapes our lives - interesting segments on noise in the womb, a tree crashing in a forest (and there is someone to hear, and record, it), a cat purring, and a Foley artist at work.

    Sabrina
    Charming Fifties NYC romcom about a May-December romance between the adorable Audrey Hepburn and the game (if arguably miscast) Humphrey Bogart.

    Oppenheimer
    Remarkable, powerful, engrossing biopic about the Manhattan Project director; Cillian Murphy is terrific in the title role and really ought to get an Oscar. A lengthy movie but it moves right along. A continuity error that jumped out at me, I have to admit: people at a 1945 Los Alamos V-J celebration are waving small 50-star flags, just 14 years too soon.

    The Fabelmans
    Self-indulgent, very thinly-veiled autobio by Steven Spielberg. An adoring portrait of his troubled mom, in particular, but by the end I have to admit I found her more irritating than sympathetic.

    Barbie
    Silly and fun, with a serious if candy-coated feminist message. Didn't see it as a double feature with Oppenheimer, as seems to have been the fad this summer.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 28 Aug 2023 at 11:32 AM.

  10. #1060
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    The Junkman (1982)

    A sort of sequel to the classic film Gone in 60 Seconds

    Deadline Auto Theft (1983)

    And kind of officially recognized as the final film of the Halicki trilogy. (Although, be forearmed, there's a bunch of Hoyt Axton on this last...take it or leave it).

    Both very good if one enjoys period soundtracks full of Rhodes pianos, and lots and lots of car wrecks (on purpose). Of course the first Halicki film, Gone in 60 Seconds is possible the gold standard of all car movies, but these latter two stand up, and contain their share of flaws that make the first one indelible in memory.

  11. #1061
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    My latest five:

    The League
    Very interesting, upbeat baseball documentary about the Negro Leagues. I really enjoyed it.

    Robot Monster
    A terrible, just terrible 1953 low-budget sf movie. The alien is played by a guy in a gorilla suit with a fishbowl helmet. It's not even so bad it's good, it's just bad. There. Now I can say I've seen it, and never, ever have to see it again, thank God.

    She Said
    Tense, well-crafted drama about two NYT reporters breaking down the Hollywood wall of silence and exposing Harvey Weinstein as a serial sex offender. Its tone reminded me quite a bit of All the President's Men and Spotlight, and although I'd say it's not quite as good as them, it's still worth a look.

    Ghostbusters: Afterlife
    A worthy sequel to the original Ghostbusters, bringing the story into the present day, with lots of in-jokes and nods to the first movie. Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd are both hilarious. Be sure to wait for the two stingers at the end!

    Amadeus
    Saw it yet again (at least my fourth time), but with the score performed live by the Cleveland Orchestra. Glorious. This has long been one of my favorite historical dramas; F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce are terrific as Salieri and Mozart. Great music, script, costumes, sets, etc.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 29 Sep 2023 at 03:29 PM.

  12. #1062
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    Yet again, my latest five:

    Planet of the Apes
    This 1968 sf thriller starring Charlton Heston is a bit creaky now, a bit dated, but it works pretty well. The final scene on the beach - you know the one! - is still haunting.

    Time Bomb Y2K
    An interesting documentary about all the hoopla and near-hysteria about the Y2K Bug, and the concern that computers everywhere would fail and civilization would come screeching to a halt... or something like that. The movie makes good use of archival footage (hey, that's Leonard Nimoy! And Bill Clinton!) and interviews to show what people were thinking in 1998-99. It persuasively argues that, had it not been for how seriously the U.S. Government and Big Business took the threat, and put some serious money, time and attention into fixing it, things could've been a lot worse.

    Radical Wolfe
    A very entertaining documentary about the life and times of Tom Wolfe, a pioneer of New Journalism and later a best-selling novelist. I learned a lot and really enjoyed this film.

    My Neighbor Totoro
    Finally got around to seeing this 1988 Hayao Miyazaki animated kids' film. Beautifully drawn, with a charming story. Recommended.

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Saw this terrific animated superhero movie again for the first time since it came out in 2018, this time with the score performed by a live band. Great story, graphics, cast, etc. Funny, clever and exciting at all the right points.

  13. #1063
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    My latest five:

    Castle in the Sky
    Still my all-time favorite Studio Ghibli film, with a kidnapped princess, a spunky mechanic, nefarious secret agents and rollicking sky pirates all seeking a mysterious hidden city.

    Coraline
    Creepy, well-crafted stop-motion film about an unhappy girl and her escape to another world... from which she soon has every reason to want to escape.

    The Weird and Wonderful World of Industrial Musicals
    Saw this documentary in a screening hosted by its director, Steve Young. The film certainly lived up to its title, and is often very funny.

    Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
    Another good stop-motion film, this one a worthy and well-done sequel. Be sure to look carefully in the very last scene for an unexpected cameo by a character from another Aardman film.

    Napoleon
    Ridley Scott's epic biopic of the French emperor. Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby are quite good as Napoleon and his first wife, Josephine, although I still haven't quite figured out their very odd relationship. A long movie, but an interesting overview of Napoleon's rise to power, his military glories and his eventual downfall. Worth a look for any history geek like me.

  14. #1064
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    And five more:

    The Big Sleep
    1946 noir with Bogie and Bacall, with a sometimes-bafflingly-complicated plot but both style and atmosphere to burn. Hadn't seen it in quite awhile, but enjoyed it all over again.

    Laurel & Hardy: Year One
    A collection of shorts by the classic comedy duo. The best, I thought, was Putting Pants on Philip, with Laurel as a kilted Scotsman recently arrived in America, and Hardy as his uncle, exasperatingly trying to get him to wear pants, dammit.

    Sergeant Rutledge
    One of John Ford's remarkable Westerns, about a black U.S. Cavalry trooper trying to clear his name in a court-martial for a crime he insists he didn't commit. A bit melodramatic, and anvilicious in its message that racism is bad, but worth a look.

    I Went to the Dance
    An engaging 1989 documentary about the roots, significance and then-stars of Louisiana Cajun music.

    Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    Believe it or not, I'd never seen this film before, about hardscrabble gold miners in the lawless mountains of 1925 Mexico. Not as great as the reviews, but still very good, with Bogie as a somewhat sympathetic bad guy.

  15. #1065
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    My latest six:

    The Philadelphia Eleven
    An interesting documentary about the first eleven women ordained as Episcopal priests in 1974, just two years before the church's rules were changed to permit it. I understand their impatience and admire their courage and zeal, but couldn't help but think that the church might have been better served if they'd waited just a little longer, rather than causing such division and controversy.

    Top Secret!
    I'd never seen this ZAZ spy spoof before in its entirety, just a few scenes here and there. Very funny. Not quite as good as Airplane!, but still very much worth a look. My favorite bit: the band of French Resistance fighters, all with silly names, hiding in Cold War East Germany, and the bad guy with his rubber stamp, "FIND HIM AND KILL HIM."

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
    Also good fun, with Leslie Nielsen reprising his role as the dumb but well-meaning detective from the short-lived TV cop-spoof series.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    My middle son had never seen the Capt. Jack Sparrow movies, so I was glad to introduce him to the first and best. Exciting, funny, clever, well-produced and with a great cast - Keira Knightley particularly shines, of course.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
    On we went to the next. Not nearly as good as the first IMHO, but with a laugh or two and some great action sequences. Bill Nighy (under a lot of CGI "makeup") is quite good as Davy Jones.

    Ennio
    Engaging, heartwarming documentary about the late, great Italian film score composer Ennio Morricone, who gave such a distinctive sound to A Fistful of Dollars, The Mission, Days of Heaven, The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso, among many other great films. It includes interviews with John Williams, Clint Eastwood, Hans Zimmer, Bruce Springsteen, Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone and others. Any fan of movie music really should see it.

  16. #1066
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    And now my latest five:

    F for Fake
    A self-indulgent, late-career Orson Welles movie, prominently featuring him. A meandering tale of art forgery and the blurry line between illusion and reality. Meh.

    Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
    Silly, adventurous fun, and a must-see for anyone who's ever played D&D. Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Hugh Grant lead the cast; Justice Smith is a standout as an aspiring wizard with low self-esteem. Two thumbs up.

    Dune: Part Two
    An exciting and worthwhile sequel, moving Paul Atreides, his mother, her unborn child and the Fremen of Arrakis ever closer to their shared destiny.

    Sakamoto: Opus
    In-studio recital movie featuring the late Japanese movie-music composer Ryuichi Sakamoto playing his works on solo piano. Very little dialogue; quite a lot of beautiful music.

    A Night to Remember
    A 1958 British epic about the RMS Titanic disaster. I didn't like it as much as the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster; it's melodramatic and sometimes the sfx are obviously fake, but it's still a pretty good movie about the sinking.

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