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Thread: Omnibus movies Q&A thread including trivia

  1. #751
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Well, trying to "get it up" to go to "work" this AM, the opening party scene of Nichols' The Graduate is about...it's well-written, but Nichols' or his cameraman had it about perfect.

    This is a stage play filmed with the sensibility of a director.

    I still think the opening party scene is a motherfucker.

    I suspect that many people with degrees on paper can relate to Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman).

  2. #752
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    The "movie" The Rum Diary, based off a bit of juvenalia of Hunter S. T(can't remember how to spell his last name, anyway, the justly famous writer and thinker).

    Oh, God.

    I've seen this a few times, but never before have I seen the seams of the tapestry laid so bare.

    And this is one time I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong.

    It doesn't mean it's a bad movie, but when you can tell what order in which scene or scenes were filmed...to me, it's distracting.

    I don't know anything about the above-the-line budget or whatever, but I think the editor gets a bad thumbs down.

    The heart and the acting, though, I still like. To me, many parts of the narrative are like things very familiar. AFAIC the parts I can see are very true to a kind of romantic idea.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't put together all that good.

    ETA IOW, it was a good movie, but it was wrecked by the Movieola. They had all the film, some of the sound, but not much of the craft in the small back room.

    EETA And, yes, the tapestry metaphor is meant to refer the reader to Sartre's Qu'est-ce que la littérature? I won't call it facile, but that's IME how one could call seeing the "art" behind the seams. No, I'm not going to look up a nice quote — it's an idea, not a quote.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 30 Nov 2018 at 10:59 PM.

  3. #753
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    Ah. Good old favorite, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

    Yeah, I don't really have much of a comment, except when the photographer enters the hotel room about twenty-one minutes or so.

    No, I never saw the movie while under any influence except some wine and tobacco, but nothing like a good acid flashback.

    Shit. I always thought that was just an urban legend housewives told their teenage kids.

    Yeah, well, just....don't do drugs.

    I think that's the point of the movie.

    Maybe the book too.

    ETA Oh no. I can't watch any more of this. It's not a movie for watching, unless you like hallucinating bugs in your hair....no. Can't be watched, unless you're in that state of mind. For the one thing, it's REALLY loud. Terrible sound mixer.

    What's better now to watch?

    Shit, I don't know. Maybe a Joel-era MST3K.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 01 Dec 2018 at 03:37 AM.

  4. #754
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    Try these on for size. My latest five:

    Limitless
    Rewatched this Bradley Cooper/Robert De Niro technothriller and enjoyed it all over again. Smart, well-acted, engaging, suspenseful and with some subtle but very effective sfx. One of my favorite movies of this century.

    Hello, Dolly!
    Having just seen a touring company of the show, I decided to check out the movie. A bit stale but fun. Barbra Streisand carries the film and sings her heart out; Walter Matthau is his usual imperious, grumpy self.

    Needful Things
    So-so adaptation of the Stephen King book, about an evil, scheming shopkeeper who turns the people of a small Maine town murderously against each other.

    The Nice Guys
    Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are pretty good as a pair of mismatched private eyes in Seventies L.A., looking for the missing daughter of a top Justice Department official (Kim Basinger). Could've been better, but worth a look.

    Deadpool
    Rewatched this ultraviolent, very funny, super raunchy, fourth-wall-breaking anti-superhero action movie. Really good stuff.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 04 Dec 2018 at 03:49 PM.

  5. #755
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    Its been a while since I contributed.

    Bought and watched Incredibles 2: not as good as the first, but the first was a perfect movie, this was a very good movie.

    Watched Miracle on 34th Street the other night. I love this movie. It is my favorite Christmas movie

    The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. A good movie, Cary Grant was stretching out of his more common screwball comedy lead in this one. James Gleason is also in it and is great as always. One of the great old character actors.

    The Light Between Oceans 2016 was pretty meh. It is not bad, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  6. #756
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    My latest five:

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
    A 1949 John Wayne movie about an aging cavalry officer on his last mission (or is it?) in the 1870s American West, trying to avert a new war with the Indians. Another of his problems is that two of his young officers are both wooing the same spunky Western gal. Recommended to me by a friend; it was OK but not great.

    Good Bye, Lenin!
    Comedy about a young East German man who goes to great lengths to keep his mother, who was in a coma when the Berlin Wall fell, from learning that communism has failed and the Soviet bloc has collapsed. Funny and oddly touching.

    The Bad News Bears
    The 1976 original, with Walter Matthau as the grumpy, alcoholic coach of a struggling Little League team and Tatum O'Neal as his star pitcher. A sports comedy which has its moments but just hasn't aged well.

    The Wolverine
    Logan goes to Japan to say goodbye to the former Japanese officer, now a wealthy industrialist, whom he saved during WWII. Interesting plot, fine cast, and some great action sequences.

    Dave
    Probably my all-time favorite political comedy! Kevin Kline is terrific as a look-alike for the President who has to pretend to be him, and discovers that he kind of likes the job; Sigourney Weaver is equally good as the First Lady who starts to realize that all is not as it seems. Frank Langella steals every scene he's in and really should've won an Oscar as the hard-nosed, power-hungry White House chief of staff. Charles Grodin is also great as the CPA whom the fake President brings in to balance the Federal budget. Highly recommended.

  7. #757
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    Just re-watched little known Christmas Heist movie Fitzwilly (1967) starring Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Feldon (agent 99) and Dame Edith Evans.

    It is a fun, well paced comedy. The stars are great in their roles and Dick Van Dyke shows off his "Worst English Accent ever" briefly again.

  8. #758
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    Killing time before going to work, I put on All That Jazz — you know, I've seen this a few times but I forgot or didn't notice the Lenny Bruce material near the beginning.

    Obviously, Bob Fosse and Lenny (sp?) Bruce had some connection, you know, with the docudrama (which I don't remember, I think I saw Fosse's movie when I was twelve, rented from the library).

    Yeah, to me this is a kind of Christmas movie, I suppose, although I don't have time to watch the whole movie again.

    Roy Scheider, like Dustin Hoffman, sort of great screen icons although you always sort of wonder how they got that "stage presence" in front of the camera.

    Whatever they did (in very distinct careers), they did very well IMHO.

  9. #759
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    I like Roy Scheider as an actor, not great, but very good.

    Dustin Hoffman is mostly Dustin Hoffman and his appeal has worn thin for me.

  10. #760
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
    A 1949 John Wayne movie about an aging cavalry officer on his last mission (or is it?) in the 1870s American West, trying to avert a new war with the Indians. Another of his problems is that two of his young officers are both wooing the same spunky Western gal. Recommended to me by a friend; it was OK but not great.
    Well. That's just like your opinion, man.

    I think in Ford's movies, particularly of the cavalry "trilogy," a lot of the delight is in the disjointed piecing-together of classic "moments."

    Yeah, each individual film of Ford, especially when these are movies in the canon, may not hold together so much in terms of logic or more than a loose plot and many, many indulgences given by Ford to things he liked (actors, lines of dialogue, scenery), but I think that's part of Ford's charm in his movies — he didn't care so much, it seems to me, about making every little thing fit in, like a puzzle.

    He wanted the big picture, so to speak. Such that I don't disbelieve that anecdote of him just yanking random pages out of the script and saying to the production chief, "Hey, that short enough for you?"

    But also the small moments, the little scenes of dialogue with his trusty band of actor accomplices.

    He wasn't a "medium-scale" craftsman like Howard Hawks, IMHO — he had two "speeds." Big and small.

    Cum grano salis should be taken — I haven't read a lot about Ford from "scholars," just my impression.

    ETA
    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin
    Well. That's just like your opinion, man.
    Oh, sorry, that should have been "That's just like your opinion, pilgrim!"
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 25 Dec 2018 at 11:31 AM.

  11. #761
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    For me the masterpieces of John Ford are Mister Roberts, The Quiet Man & The Grapes of Wrath in that order.

  12. #762
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    I did not know Ford directed Mister Roberts — it appears he did indeed, although I see he became ill and had someone take over.

    I guess I'd go for (top three) The Searchers, My Darling Clementine (tied with Young Mr. Lincoln), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

    Grapes of Wrath and Cheyenne Autumn — you know, call me ignorant, but there's something a little depressing about those movies.

  13. #763
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    I did not know Ford directed Mister Roberts — it appears he did indeed, although I see he became ill and had someone take over.

    I guess I'd go for (top three) The Searchers, My Darling Clementine (tied with Young Mr. Lincoln), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

    Grapes of Wrath and Cheyenne Autumn — you know, call me ignorant, but there's something a little depressing about those movies.

  14. #764
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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    And straight-pool, pocketing the head ball (which is lying off somewhere random while the remaining 14 balls are racked up), while breaking up the remaining 14: it's hopeless for me. I can usually get the loose ball, or at least not scratch, but I don't have the knowledge of side-English to break up the remaining 14-ball cluster in the same shot.
    All right, first I have to clear this up. Now I've figured out all the side-English I need (ETA except for clearing up large clusters of balls and doing my mama proud and putting the one I called in the hole), but the ultimate challenge is smoothing out my stroke and controlling the speed.

    I don't mean "speed" like "show/hide your true speed," but getting the exact amount of speed on the cue + object ball to leave it in a nice place to just run out the table.

    I think I understand what some guy I was playing a few months ago was saying — lots of people hit hard on unknown barroom tables because the table's an unknown, so you try to overcome whatever faults there are. Not necessarily machismo thing.

    Oh, Barroom Hustlers is another pool-based movie I saw a long time ago, but I don't remember it as being good at all.

    But I wonder if WE? has any opinion about the modern classic movie The Last Detail.

    For some reason something reminded me of it...oh, it was this little "primer" on US ranks/rates and insignia, and it occurred to me I never remarked what Budowski and Mulhall (sp for both?) were in for as "lifers" and it made me think of movies, and, therefore, this thread.

    Pay in mind I've seen this movie probably as much or more than any other, but it just never occurred to me to look at the two principals' shoulder/sleeve.

    I do like that moment when Budowski is getting called up to meet the XO (?) and he swishes around some Night Train in his mouth and spits it out.

    That's called not giving a fuck, in my book.

    EETA Oh, I gave one of the LOTR movies another chance: The Return of the King. I thought it was an exceptional piece of narrative, and a spectacular piece of film-making. No, beyond seeing the first two movies of the trilogy before, I have very little understanding of the details, but even if I were to have gone in "fresh-faced," I still think it would have engaged me and most anyone.

    It was a complete movie, IMHO, with all the elements in place.

    I say it can be allowed.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 28 Dec 2018 at 12:51 AM.

  15. #765
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    All right, speaking of Dustin Hoffman, I tried to sit through the remake of Straw Dogs a second time.

    No, fucking way.

    That is a fucking horrible movie.

    At least in his prime Dustin Hoffman could sell a movie character — I don't know what happened (although Rain Man is good because his character is easy to impersonate), but this fucking remake is the biggest pile of shit you'd never want to swallow.

    At least the real Straw Dogs had some actual actors in it, and Dustin Hoffman wasn't some pussy little writer, and Susan George was believable as a somewhat toothless bumpkin from Wales, or wherever.

    ETA and Roger Ebert sucks cocks in hell for "preferring" it to the original. That fat fuck.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 28 Dec 2018 at 01:15 AM.

  16. #766
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    [QUOTE=Jizzelbin;321374]
    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    ...

    But I wonder if WE? has any opinion about the modern classic movie The Last Detail.

    For some reason something reminded me of it...oh, it was this little "primer" on US ranks/rates and insignia, and it occurred to me I never remarked what Budowski and Mulhall (sp for both?) were in for as "lifers" and it made me think of movies, and, therefore, this thread.

    Pay in mind I've seen this movie probably as much or more than any other, but it just never occurred to me to look at the two principals' shoulder/sleeve.

    ...

    EETA Oh, I gave one of the LOTR movies another chance: The Return of the King. I thought it was an exceptional piece of narrative, and a spectacular piece of film-making. No, beyond seeing the first two movies of the trilogy before, I have very little understanding of the details, but even if I were to have gone in "fresh-faced," I still think it would have engaged me and most anyone.

    It was a complete movie, IMHO, with all the elements in place.

    I say it can be allowed.
    The Last Detail is a movie I watch once long ago at this point. I don't remember have much of an opinion on it. I looked at some imaged from the film and Jack's character is a signalman based on his sleeve rating. 1st class Petty officer, which usually means at least plans to be a 20 year man.
    I couldn't make out a clear image of his partner's sleeve.

    ROTK is pretty good, suffers a little from too many endings fatigue and I wish the Scouring of the Shire had been filmed.

  17. #767
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    I saw The Last Detail not long ago and thought it was just OK. A downbeat movie about burned-out Navy guys just trying to have a good time on a shitty assignment.

    I agree about ROTK. I think Fellowship is a much better movie, and probably the best of the trilogy, even though each of them have some memorable moments.

    My latest five:

    A Christmas Story
    I'd never actually seen the movie all the way through, so I finally did. A funny, sentimental holiday movie about growing up poor but loved in an oddball family during the Great Depression.

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Coen Brothers' new Western anthology. "The Meal Ticket," about an unusual orator and his rough-hewn impresario, is the best segment, I think, but the whole movie is pretty good - fun, imaginative, and often quirky, violent and dark in that patented CB way. An outstanding ensemble cast including Liam Neeson, James Franco, Stephen Root, Brendan Gleeson and others.

    Die Hard
    Still not a "Christmas movie," dammit, but an exciting, action-packed thriller that just happens to be set at Christmastime. Probably the third or fourth time I've seen it. As great as ever.

    Georgia O'Keeffe
    Biopic with Joan Allen in the title role as the iconoclastic painter, and Jeremy Irons as her lover, promoter and eventual husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. An interesting and engaging portrait of two remarkably talented people and their tumultuous, sometimes love-hate relationship.

    White Christmas
    Hadn't seen this holiday classic before, either. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye put together a big show to save the failing Vermont inn of their former WWII commanding officer. Dated and silly, sometimes even cringeworthy, but has some good songs.

  18. #768
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    I don't know about you guys: to me The Last Detail is an absolute modern classic, with superb acting.

    The editing choices (I assume were made by the director) in certain places of sort of blending together pieces of time into mini-vignettes (that's like a small little vignette, I guess), irritate me, but I don't think any of the three principals ever did anything better. Otis Young, certainly, I don't know him from anything else. And Randy Quaid's only other "quality" role was The Last Picture Show, and it was a minor role. He was perfect in this, though. And while Jack had a number of choice roles in the 1970s, he never did anything better IMHO. As good, but not better.

    Not a real tightly scripted movie, but if you like the voyeuristic experience of seeing some dudes doing some stuff, I'll defend it.

    ROTK, I agree, it does have that ending that just goes on and on, with some little maps and shit, and tying up the framing device. But at least the advantage is I don't have to be committed to the whole "ZOMG Ian Holm and there's that tall guy with the weird pipe" and all the ridiculous antics about finding taverns and inns and stuff.

    I guess it's the movie of the trilogy for people who don't care about the books, and just want a kind of neat action movie.

    So, for me, it works on that level.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 30 Dec 2018 at 04:30 PM.

  19. #769
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    Oh, and thanks WE? for the clarification about ratings/rank and such. Yeah, I got that Jack's character was a signalman, but I wouldn't have been able to figure out 1st class petty officer.

    Buddusky (Jack) looked about to the end of his twenty years, I suppose — say he enlisted at eighteen, and he didn't look a day under thirty-seven in the movie.

    I think from Wikipedia I saw Otis Young's character was a gunner's mate (hey, wasn't that the MOS of ... Chef [or one of them, anyway] from Apocalypse Now? except in the Army in that movie)....Wait a minute, no, that was a Navy boat the Army Capt. was riding on, so same deal.

    I wonder how come the signalman got to be the "honcho" on the "detail" — I'd have guessed the gunner's mate was more skilled or had a higher rank.

    AND is "honcho" a real term from the USN, or just some bit of slang (Robt Towne, I think) invented for the movie? Yes, I know it's a real term in English, but you probably know better than anybody that some terms become terms of art in certain trades and disciplines.

    "Do you know why these men are taking you to the brig? Because they're mean sons of bitches when they want to be, and they always want to be!"
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 30 Dec 2018 at 06:29 PM.

  20. #770
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    Well, aside from all that, I'll still put in a plug for the HBO documentary about James Brown, Mr. Dynamite.

    I believe Jabo the drummer died not too long ago, so I suppose it's not too big a stretch to bring up this, IMO, incredible documentary again. Clyde Stubblefield died a few years ago, so it goes double for him.

    Yeah, for me, when I hear the JBs, and the classics like "Cold Sweat," and so on, it kind of inspires me a bit.

    Maybe Mr. Brown was not a model citizen in all ways, but I think he played his role in a way which inspires. Ruthless, brutal, but also a leader and model for many people, especially in the U.S.

    ETA Also, you all are a bunch of fruits for not liking The Last Detail.

    EETA And Die Hard occurs during Advent, I think. So, technically not Christmas. I can't remember. Anyway, Merry Christmas, since 'tis the season. Pro-tip: greet people with "Merry Christmas" until at least Epiphany — they love it.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 30 Dec 2018 at 09:57 PM.

  21. #771
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    I should clear up, or perhaps ask for clarification on what I mean when I say a movie is "too loud."

    In music audio, that would be the job of the mastering engineer. They're the guys or gals who use very finely-calibrated, usually hardware, compression tools, and maybe use a very precise notch EQ to clean up some oversights of the mixer.

    In film, the only person I know personally is this guy — I've seen his studio, friend of family, and so forth. I could probably ask him, but I don't know him that well and haven't seen him in twenty years.

    But it does seem to me that the term "sound designer" is better suited for the person who should take the blame for irritations in audio in the movie.

    Unless I'm wrong, and I probably am, the sound mixer is analogous to an audio mixer technician/engineer.

    So, I'm going to go ahead and blame the "sound designer" for future aberrations.

    Actually, I might try to "friend" the above on FB and after the usual "how's your mom doing?" see if I can get a better answer. Were it not that my FB page is a mess and I have to carefully exclude people from seeing all my stuff except the basics.

  22. #772
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    ETA No, that's not right. The 5.1/7.1/whatever mixing engineer/technician should have all the responsibility for making the first pass acceptable. The sound designer/mastering engineer should bear some of the fault, since it's the final pass, but sometimes you can't do much when the stems you receive aren't mixed correctly.

    SO. I'm blaming the mixer, and then the director, and then the sound designer, in that order. Most of all the director, then the sound designer for not complaining about the shit audio tracks to the mix/sound engineer, then, reluctantly, the lowly mixer — meh, they can only do so much, and on a quick pace.

  23. #773
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    All right.

    Here's a little lagniappe, called Why Study Industrial Arts?

    You can skip all the robot crap in the beginning, but once the "film" starts playing, it's damned funny, I find.

  24. #774
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    Look for Randy Quaid in small but funny roles in What's Up, Doc? and Paper Moon, too.

    "Honcho" is a Japanese term originally meaning "squad leader": https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honcho

    My latest five:

    Absolute Power
    So-so Clint Eastwood movie about a cat burglar who, while robbing a mansion, sees a woman killed in the President's presence by his Secret Service agents. The burglar decides to expose the crime while dodging assassins.

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture
    Hadn't seen this sf epic in awhile. Still pretty slow-paced, but an interesting story, beautiful score, and it's good to see the crew reunited on a spiffy, rebuilt starship.

    3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    Dark comedy set in rural America, as a redneck mom tries to shame local cops into finding her daughter's killer and rapist. Excellent cast and funny dialogue, with a definite Coen-esque air.

    Six Shooter
    Oscar-winning Irish short film, with the always-great Brendan Gleeson as a grieving husband who takes a train ride he'll never forget.

    Ant-Man and the Wasp
    Another fun MCU superhero movie, and more light-hearted than most. Paul Rudd is again terrific as the everyman guy in the suit. Some fantastic chase sequences in San Francisco.

  25. #775
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    Aaaand my latest five:

    Seven Samurai
    Saw this Kurosawa classic for the first time, a B&W action movie about seven warriors defending a poor village from bandits. Overlong but worth a look.

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Terrific animated superhero movie, as Spider-folk from different universes team up to fight Kingpin and fix an interdimensional rift. Funny and exciting, with a beautiful mix of CGI and old-school animation. Really enjoyed it.

    Misery
    A famous writer, injured in a car crash on a lonely Colorado road, is held prisoner by his "Number One fan" and forced to write a novel bringing back the bodice-ripper heroine he has just recently, with great relief, killed off. Kathy Bates earned her Oscar as the mad, scary, controlling captor; James Caan is pretty good as the writer.

    Juno
    Offbeat comedy about a spunky pregnant teen who decides to give her unwanted baby to a young couple. Not as good as the reviews, I thought, although Ellen Page is adorkable in the lead role.

    The World Before Your Feet
    Very enjoyable documentary about a man who has the goal of walking all eight thousand miles of NYC's streets, boulevards and alleys. The movie takes you to parts of the city that you might never see otherwise, including a surprising number of green and unspoiled places.

  26. #776
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    Wow. Star Wars: Solo.

    That was really. Something.

    Kind of like a first-person shooter except instead of "you" being Solid Snake or Dutch Schwarzenegger. you're just some doughy guy who sort-of knows how to operate machinery and just otherwise has an ordinary day and meets some forgettable people, including some chicks he doesn't bone.

    Yeah, that was pretty...a movie, I guess, pretty much.

    It was pretty short, though, so that was neat.

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    First music cue from Seven Samurai. Never noticed that, I believe it was Dmitri Tiomkin who did the score for [i]Magn.Seven[/], "borrowed" that theme or "motif," as one chooses. Of course that particular motif uses the typically Eastern-Chinese microtonal intervals, but the mind is capable of resolving such pecularities, I find.

    OTOH, maybe I'm hallucinating, but I believe I can see the influence of Ford in the preference for close-quarters "intimate" scenes, as far down as the set design. Of course everyone knows Kurosawa made no bones about being a John Ford enthusiast, but I hadn't noticed such things before.

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    I didn't either, truth be told.

    My latest five:

    The Favourite
    Opulent, offbeat, usually-entertaining costume drama about two ruthless courtiers vying to be Queen Anne's BFF. All three actresses are very good, and the sets and costumes are gorgeous, but the movie's a bit too long, I'd say.

    Blade Runner: The Final Cut
    Ridley Scott's last (for now) editing of his 1982 classic. Still a great sf noir detective movie, set in a fully-realized urban dystopia, with images and scenes that linger in your mind.

    Bad News Bears
    The 2005 remake of the 1976 baseball black comedy. Billy Bob Thornton does pretty well in the Walter Matthau role, as a hard-drinking former MLB player who agrees, against his better judgment, to coach a Little League team that really sucks. (Of course, after some setbacks, he turns the team around in no time flat). Some changes from the original but it's mostly the same movie, just with a different cast.

    Brexit
    Acerbic, documentary-style quasi-satire about the 2016 British referendum to leave the European Union. Benedict Cumberbatch is, as always, terrific in the lead role, this time playing the pro-Leave campaign's brilliant, hard-driving manager.

    Chef Flynn
    So-so documentary about a teenager who becomes a celebrity chef, eventually opening his own restaurant in New York City. Would've benefitted from more background on what got him interested in cooking so young, and some talking heads discussing his cooking, the reaction of foodies to him, and the cutthroat NYC restaurant scene.

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    Aaaand my latest five:

    Midnight Run
    My second time seeing this 1988 road movie. Violent, coarse, lots of laughs, lots of fun. Robert De Niro plays a tough-as-nails bounty hunter and Charles Grodin is a nebbishy Mob accountant he has to take from NYC to LA, no matter how much they get on each other's nerves. Both are great in their roles.

    Heaven Can Wait
    A favorite of mine, a tragicomic love story with a supernatural angle. A pro quarterback, likely bound for the Super Bowl, is taken to Heaven too soon when an angel assumes he'll be killed in a car accident. Then the angel and his supervisor have to fix things, and zany hijinks ensue. A fine cast led by Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and James Mason, in a movie that really sticks with you.

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    B&W Western starring Jimmy Stewart as an idealistic lawyer, John Wayne as a much more cynical rancher, and James Coburn as the local bad guy. OK, but didn't live up to the reviews, I thought.

    All the President's Men
    Introduced my youngest son to this Watergate drama, a classic tale of plucky journalism and political corruption. Really holds up well, and its themes are still unfortunately all too timely.

    The Guilty
    Tense, moody, gripping Danish thriller about a Copenhagen cop, unwillingly assigned to an emergency-dispatch call center, who is drawn deeper and deeper into a kidnapping case. Shortlisted for the 2018 Best Foreign Film Oscar, and soon to be remade with Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Despite some plot holes, highly recommended.

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    I like the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 better than the original sequel. To the extent that I remember the original sequel.

    I find it to be extremely clever — there are more layers there. Sort of like a palimpsest or something, to see how they recut and ADRed the thing.

    No, I don't have them both side-by-side running, but it's a nice idea.

    Of course, it kind of fails, because it's still not a movie I'd want a 13-year old kid to watch, but that's part of its charm. IMHO.

    ETA Then again, my idea of raising children involves them wearing HazMat suits when they become contagions, and rigorous training at chess, classical languages, number theory, and abstract algebra. Yes, while I am the "fathering" kind, biologically, I'd not be a very beloved dad. lol.

    EETA BUT, I was happy to text my nephews' grandmother some choice Gamera movie titles.

    Those, I think, would be ideal for....how old's the middle one?...I don't know, like eight or seven or something. And the eldest is....I don't, like twelve?

    The youngest is just a non-speaking germ-vector. What is so wrong with taking a paper respirator and taping it to "his" face? Geez, he's like two, he wouldn't even remember.

    Oh, yeah, so ..... oh, I was fucking around with Vim plugins so I don't have the list, but long story short, the dubbed *Gamera* series would be excellent for the older kids.

    In fact, I've offered about a giant mound of wrapped fortune cookies from this Chinese joint I go to if one of them can make a funny song about Gamera.

    I guess the loser gets the Soy Sauce packets or plastic forks.



    I am a bad man!

    EEETA

    Yeah, agreed with EH about Midnight Run. Have it on DVD. Haven't seen it in years, but it's great. You're not my accountant.

    Also w/ EH on Liberty Valance — it's kind of the movie that invented the story that the movies were based on, IMHO. So, yeah, it's almost beyond a cliché now. I do recall the tight soundstage being very reminiscent of your apparent new kick, Seven Samurai, but ... well, to each his own, I guess. Not one I rewatch often.
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    OK, yeah, I know, I just have to comment that the Elijah Cook, Jr. lookalike in the first card game of the movie version of The Odd Couple hustled pretty fierce.

    Yeah, I don't play cards or shoot pool for money, but I do play, and have most of my life.

    I think with a character like that it gets to be an instinct — I think we've all met people like that.

    I've got big balls, but I couldn't play that role IRL in a RL game.

    Life lessons.

    To bring it back on track, I wouldn't mind seeing the short film Life Lessons again, were it not that I have it on VHS and I gave my player to my uncle. Anthology movie, you know. The other two I seen better film on teeth.

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    I submit that while many of the women in 1950s sci-fi B-pictures have just darling figures, there can be only one whose combination of brassiere and Ambersons withstands zero gravity with either no aplomb, or great aplomb. Whichever means good, not sure.

    Plus, I bet she can fuck the chrome off a trailer hitch. Or, you know, back in the day.

    That is the phrase, I believe.

    And the name of the actress? One Irene DeMaria, aka Donna Martell, playing Colonel Briteis in the extraordinary motion picture Project Moon Base, based on a Heinlein short story, but who cares about that.

    I shall invent time machine and seduce her to become my phantom bride.

    It appears she did quite a few Westerns back in the day, and I shall attempt to see them all.

    Before I pitch woo to her, that is. I would not like to be unprepared.

    And spare me the "sexist" rant: Martell played a full-bird colonel.

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    Ten Wanted Men. Starring Randolph Scott and costarring Donna Martell and Jocelyn Brando.

    A surprisingly dour, unpleasant movie. Probably the worst of the Ranown Productions of the 1950s — perhaps it was that Boetticher didn't direct.

    Donna Martell reminded me of....whatserface, Jennifer Jones in Duel in the Sun, sort of with the garish makeup to make her look "ethnic," which, as everyone knows, looks crappy and is probably offensive to many people, or at least should be on pure aesthetics.

    Randolph Scott, usually in his stride in the 1950s, even he seemed just grim and going through the motions.

    There is no reason to see this movie.

    Didn't even recognize Dennis Weaver — maybe a big fan of McCloud might get something out of this, but IIRC his character gets iced pretty quick and didn't do too much.

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    My latest five:

    Ex Machina
    Chilling, clever near-future sf drama about artificial intelligence and the threat it might pose to humanity. A terrific cast led by Oscar Isaac, an interesting story, beautiful cinematography, and plenty of things to discuss when it's over.

    Mutiny on the Bounty
    The 1962 version of the classic sea story. Marlon Brando badly misplays Fletcher Christian as a fop, sneering through his lines and chewing the Tahitian scenery with great gusto, while Trevor Howard does his best to hold his own as Capt. Bligh. Overlong, ahistorical and now badly dated.

    Tootsie
    Smart, very funny quasi-feminist comedy about a struggling actor (Dustin Hoffman) who pretends to be a woman to land the sitcom role he desperately needs. Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, Teri Garr and Charles Durning round out a great cast.

    The Bounty
    This 1984 take on the mutiny stars Mel Gibson as Christian and Anthony Hopkins as Bligh. Pretty well done, and much more historically-accurate than its predecessor (although still not perfect), with a memorable score by Vangelis.

    Around India with a Movie Camera
    Interesting documentary of clips from movies and newsreels shot in India during the British Raj, going back to 1899 footage filmed along the banks of the Ganges. Some memorable bits were a Salvation Army film trying to persuade Indians to give up their jewelry to show Christian humility, and a bit of anti-Gandhi propaganda labeling him as a "troublemaker" best avoided by honest, hard-working farmers.

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    Aliens is a bit tough to watch after the umpteenth time. Truly an odd mish-mash of several genres, with, however, some (perhaps) prescient visions of what a military squad might look like in the future.

    I hate to say it, but I wasn't that displeased that Hudson (Wm Paxton) got iced relatively quickly. He was kind of a one-note character. Would have liked to have seen more of Vasquez. And, I'll probably get flambéed for this, but Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) was pretty one-dimensional, or flat, if you prefer, as a character. But then, so was Corporal Hicks — they sort of "matched" each other in competence. I suppose that was the idea.

    I know the movie is justly lauded as an excellent example of military cum corporatist action in a confusing future, but it may be my own fault for not enjoying, generally, the genre of speculative fiction.

    Probably see it again in five years, but I doubt my views will change.

    I'd like to know how many screenwriters went through the script, though: obviously, some very good lines. It does seem as though it was not the product of one pen, or even a handful, but rather a small army of scribes. But that's not a criticism.

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    BUT, a few things I never noticed: Ripley's wanton use of the flamethrower toward the end in her search for Newt. Reckless and insane.

    But Ripley's adept use of duck tape in improvising a double-double "over-under" plasma rifle. Much admirable.

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    ALSO, the film illustrates in at least three scenes why it is important to cultivate massive upper-body strength, and highlights the importance of pull-ups and chin-ups among body-weight exercise enthusiasts.

    Question, though: Yeah, I wonder what was the stunt double to principal actors ratio. "Thinking" more about it, and being a body-weight exercise enthusiast myself, I just have to say "no fucking way" are many (or any) of the actors doing ridiculous things like pulling themselves up a ladder with one hand.

    I don't doubt that the principals put in some time at the gym and probably dropped some water weight and/or fat to look butch or whatever, but I don't buy for a second the many scenes of feats of upper body strength.

    Vasquez — and some of the others doing pull-ups and chin-ups during the early scenes of the movie. Yeah, sure. Not easy, but it's certainly something people can do.

    The rest of the hanging on ladders with one arm and ... no. No fucking way.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 12 Feb 2019 at 11:08 PM.

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    Aliens is one of my favorite sf/action movies, and I've seen it probably a half-dozen times. Great movie, and very quotable.

    Hudson didn't die relatively quickly; he's one of the last to die, as the Colonial Marines' stronghold is overrun near the end. I also disagree that Ripley is one-dimensional - her grief for her previous crew, her survivor's guilt, her nightmares, her frustration with the Company suits and later with Lt. Gorman, her eventual (and justified) rage at Burke, and her motherly bond with Newt all deepen the character. You may know there was a cut scene in which Ripley discovers that her own daughter died while she was in hypersleep after the Nostromo's destruction.

    Dunno about the ratio of actors to stuntpeople. IMDB might have something on that. I do remember, from the DVD special features, that we never see more than four aliens onscreen at a time, because that's how many costumes Cameron could afford!

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    Yeah, point taken about Hudson. And, about Ripley: sure, there are some very poignant moments related to her troubled past (a great understatement), and IMHO Weaver plays the character magnificently, and in a subtle way. I did not know finding out about her daughter was cut from the movie: for some reason I always thought that was part of the movie, but I couldn't say what versions I've seen in the past, or maybe I'm conflating some memories, perhaps from one of the (lesser, but I still liked most of them) future sequels.

    I skimmed through much of the beginning "awakening of Ripley" and her semi-judicial "trial by W-Y" this time, but Ripley for sure does talk about her daughter to Newt in the version/cut I saw.

    I wasn't meaning to criticize in a negative way the film: it's clearly a modern classic that probably a lot of people have seen at least a few times, and I still think it's an outstanding work with more subtlety than most action movies (if that's the right genre — it's really its own genre IMO).

    Another thing I didn't notice in the past is just how well they avoided using the usually overdone "cinematic" instrumental scores in the soundtrack. In fact, the whole design of the sound was noteworthy for its restraint. It would have been a much lesser movie if they had made more traditional choices.

    Of course the set design and weapons work was outstanding, at least in my opinion.

    There's really not a cliché in the movie, compared to other big-action, bug-action, movies with the whole "small squad of élite soldiers and badasses against all odds."

    Burke does get the most awesome death-by-xenomorph scene: they must have used one of the good costumes for that one. I wonder if people came up to Paul Reiser IRL after this movie and threatened to punch him out, just because of his character's nature.
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    Here's an oddity related to Aliens, however.

    Hudson was called a "private" in the Marines, by the no-nonsense Sergeant (I think that's what he was, you know, "I love the Corps! Every meal a banquet, ever paycheck is a fortune!"), and yet he was "short," having only four weeks left in service.

    I wonder if he was busted down for being...well, Paxton, or if there's some history behind that.

    OTOH, I sort of doubt that was a real concern among the film-makers. Just a curiosity that sort of slipped between the cracks.

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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Here's an oddity related to Aliens, however.

    Hudson was called a "private" in the Marines, by the no-nonsense Sergeant (I think that's what he was, you know, "I love the Corps! Every meal a banquet, ever paycheck is a fortune!"), and yet he was "short," having only four weeks left in service.

    I wonder if he was busted down for being...well, Paxton, or if there's some history behind that.

    OTOH, I sort of doubt that was a real concern among the film-makers. Just a curiosity that sort of slipped between the cracks.
    He was a PFC I believe, some guys do their 1 tour and get out without any real advancement. He was short, not near retirement. We don't know if a hitch was 2, 3 or 4 years. If 2 or 3 PFC wouldn't really be abnormal. He didn't strike me as someone who would quickly advance and get glowing reviews.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    He was a PFC I believe, some guys do their 1 tour and get out without any real advancement. He was short, not near retirement. We don't know if a hitch was 2, 3 or 4 years. If 2 or 3 PFC wouldn't really be abnormal. He didn't strike me as someone who would quickly advance and get glowing reviews.
    Sounds about right.

    Not only didn't he appreciate the cornbread, but he could be counted out of just about everything.

    And I don't think that means he was a gourmet cook, or a mathematical specialist in counting/combinatoric problems.

    Of course it's just future fiction, so who knows what their structure was.

    I guess I'd have to read up on present-day ranks: seems like Vasquez would have been a specialist as a sergeant, and maybe corporal Hicks was well on his way to promotion.

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    Well, probably the second time through Prizzi's Honor — I won't have time to finish watching this morning, but this movie annoys me. "Jack"'s tri-state accent (accent of many boroughs! + tunnels) is not too good, and is distracting to me. And, I never quite got the appeal of Kathleen Turner — she never seems like she's acting, she just seems always like a tough broad with a rockin' bod (back in the day), who probably should have done less talking and more acting. But at least in her movies her accent never changed — sort of a fishy blend of NE American accents, which might be her actual speaking voice.

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    Here is question about Alien (the first one): so, this is a civilian crew, sort of like the Merchant Marines? I'm guessing. Otherwise, you have Dallas (Tom Skerritt) as a Marine captain (I think that's an O3), and not a naval Captain (I don't know the rank, but it's pretty damned high). Ripley IIRC is a lieutenant in this movie. The bulk of the rest of the crew (Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean, etc) are civilian contractors, I guess.

    No, I'm not trying to OCD over everything, just mild things I can't help but wonder about in some idle moments — the notions seek me out, rather than the inverse.

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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Here is question about Alien (the first one): so, this is a civilian crew, sort of like the Merchant Marines? I'm guessing. Otherwise, you have Dallas (Tom Skerritt) as a Marine captain (I think that's an O3), and not a naval Captain (I don't know the rank, but it's pretty damned high). Ripley IIRC is a lieutenant in this movie. The bulk of the rest of the crew (Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean, etc) are civilian contractors, I guess.

    No, I'm not trying to OCD over everything, just mild things I can't help but wonder about in some idle moments — the notions seek me out, rather than the inverse.
    I never got the impression they were even merchant marine or quasi military. I thought most worked for the company.

    As to Captains of ships when it is military, tradition is the commander of the ship is called Captain no matter the rank. He could be an Ensign on a small gunboat or PT boat and he would be called Captain by his crew.

    To add to that, if the Marine Detachment on a ship, (usually only Carriers these days) is led by a Captain, as a courtesy and to avoid confusion, he is usually referred to as Major. Well at least 30 years ago that was still true. Might not be true today, I'm getting kind of old and outdated.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Here is question about Alien (the first one): so, this is a civilian crew, sort of like the Merchant Marines? I'm guessing. Otherwise, you have Dallas (Tom Skerritt) as a Marine captain (I think that's an O3), and not a naval Captain (I don't know the rank, but it's pretty damned high). Ripley IIRC is a lieutenant in this movie. The bulk of the rest of the crew (Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean, etc) are civilian contractors, I guess.

    No, I'm not trying to OCD over everything, just mild things I can't help but wonder about in some idle moments — the notions seek me out, rather than the inverse.
    I never got the impression they were even merchant marine or quasi military. I thought most worked for the company.

    As to Captains of ships when it is military, tradition is the commander of the ship is called Captain no matter the rank. He could be an Ensign on a small gunboat or PT boat and he would be called Captain by his crew.

    To add to that, if the Marine Detachment on a ship, (usually only Carriers these days) is led by a Captain, as a courtesy and to avoid confusion, he is usually referred to as Major. Well at least 30 years ago that was still true. Might not be true today, I'm getting kind of old and outdated.
    That is a funny one about the "Major" == "Captain" != Captain thing. That's something I don't think I ever would have heard about, but is a neat bit of lore.

    In an odd way that kind of ties in with Apocalypse Now: the "Chief" aka "Captain" of the PT boat (I don't know his rating in the movie, but surely not a USN Captain), vs the Army Captain (Martin Sheen's character: IRL I think he was about 36 or so, but I think in the movie he was supposed to be in his mid-twenties, probably).

    Thanks!

    I'm content to go along with that in Alien, they were all company people who followed a sort of pseudo-military structure, sort of like civilians in the police or self-styled militia survivalists and people like that.

    It kind of falls apart in the sequel, but then again, these are just movies, and it is, after all, IN FUTURE SPACE!!!!

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    Yes, the crew of the Nostromo worked for the Company (later specified to be Weyland-Yutani, https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Weyland-Yutani) and not the Merchant Marine of their day.

    Here's the cut scene from Aliens about Ripley's daughter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPItoMfPHLQ

    And my latest five:

    Hanna
    An ex-CIA agent raises his daughter in the Finnish wilderness and teaches her to be an assassin to eventually find and kill the murderer of his ex-wife. Zany hijinks ensue. Good to look at, with an interesting fairy-tale subtext and some great chase scenes, but just didn't do much for me.

    They Shall Not Grow Old
    Peter Jackson's first documentary, a remarkable tribute to the common British soldier in World War I on the muddy, desolate battlefields of France. Jackson has done remarkable work in colorizing, digitizing and adding voices and sound effects to contemporary wartime footage. The short making-of documentary that followed the final credits in the version I saw was also very interesting.

    The Silence of the Lambs
    Still a creepy, taut, well-crafted and macabre thriller, with Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster both excellent as an imprisoned cannibalistic serial killer and the FBI trainee who tries to learn from him without losing her soul. Highly recommended.

    Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future
    A new documentary about the great science fiction illustrator. I knew about his many book and magazine covers, and his pre-Mercury work with NASA, but hadn’t realized that he also did matte-painting work on Citizen Kane, and architectural illustrations for the firms which designed the Golden Gate Bridge and the Chrysler Building. A very talented guy, and I learned a lot.

    The Florida Project
    A small-scale film about a homeless young mom and her spunky little daughter staying, for the moment, in a motel near Disney World. It was a good character study, and Willem Dafoe was understated and very good as the motel manager, but the mom’s many bad decisions and self-destructive behavior were just painful to watch.

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    I watched Harvey just now. I love Harvey, it is a perfect movie. Would you rather me oh so smart or oh so kind?

    I tried watching My Chauffeurr again. It has been years since I've seen it. It was unwatchable to me this time. I remember liking the movie but it must have just been watching Deborah Foreman that I liked. She is very pretty but not enough to sustain a terrible movie. Oh, this movie introduced Penn & Teller, give it credit for that. Howard Hessman (Dr. Johnny Fever) has a crappy role in it. Their one seen was interesting but again not as good as I recalled.

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    My most recent five:

    Damage
    A British politician has a reckless and passionate affair with his son's French fiancee, and things, um, do not go well. Not a great movie, but not bad.

    Young Picasso
    Interesting, beautifully-filmed documentary on the painter's family, education, Spanish roots and later Parisian influences.

    Gattaca
    An ambitious young man lives a lie in a world where your social status and opportunities are determined by your genetic profile. Interesting premise and pretty well done. Uma Thurman is lovely.

    Coco
    Heartwarming, visually-stunning Pixar movie about a little Mexican boy whose love of music gets him into trouble on the Dia de Muertos.

    Police Story
    A silly, action-packed 1985 Jackie Chan film about a Hong Kong cop protecting a beautiful young witness from mob retribution as she prepares to testify at trial.

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    Finally got around to seeing Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis aka Welcome To The Sticks. Mildly amusing family-friendly "comedy" done in the French style. Aka not all that funny, but the main dude's wife was pretty good looking. I had never heard the term "Ch'tis" in my life before, and I didn't have subtitles, so it's possible something escaped me, but I don't think so. Just sort of kind of funny.

    Saw again the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yeah, I was a latecomer to this party, but now I'm mildly upset I still only have the first season and not the rest, which I remember finding good TV, along with the spin-off show Angel. I suppose I can prioritize watching the rest again. Also, I don't feel the slightest bit bad about perving on SMG in her role. She is acceptable to me.

    ETA Damage, with Juliette Binoche in her prime????? That was a GREAT movie! Except for all the scenes where she wasn't in it. Well, I was like fourteen or sixteen or something when it came out, so maybe my judgment isn't correct.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 23 Mar 2019 at 07:44 PM.

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