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Thread: Omnibus movies Q&A thread including trivia

  1. #801
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    My latest five:

    Topsy-Turvy
    Gilbert and Sullivan, in a career slump and more than a little irritated with each other, nevertheless get back together to make their masterpiece, The Mikado. A fun, well-crafted period piece about the creative process and the High Victorian arts and theater scene.

    Dredd
    Karl Urban stars as a stoic dystopic judge, jury and executioner in a decaying, crime-ridden, ultraviolent megacity. Pretty good movie, despite some plot holes.

    The Waldheim Waltz
    So-so documentary about the 1986 Austrian presidential election, as conservative candidate and former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim deals (not very convincingly) with new revelations about his Nazi past. I would like to have seen more about the theories that either the US or USSR knew all about it and had used it as leverage against him in his work at the UN.

    Five Seasons
    Another so-so documentary, this one about Piet Oudolf, the influential Dutch landscape designer. Some beautiful imagery of gardens he's designed at his own rural studio/home, a park in England and the High Line in Manhattan, but hardly anything on his design philosophy. Just not that much there, there.

    GoodFellas
    Finally saw this classic Mob movie. It was good and I suppose I can see what all the fuss has been about, after all these years, but I'm just not a big Mob-movie fan as a rule, and doubt I'll see it again. It was fun to spot all the future Sopranos cast members, though.

  2. #802
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    Aaaaaand my latest five:

    Apollo 11
    Excellent documentary about the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Some amazing footage, including stuff I was surprised not to have seen before (I've watched a lot of Space Race documentaries over the years but never knew that Johnny Carson attended the mission's launch, for instance). And even though you know how it's all going to end, there are still some white-knuckle moments. I was glad to see that JFK is given proper - and moving - credit for having set the national goal of a Moon mission in the first place.

    Warm Bodies
    Clever, funny zombie romance (!) with some not-so-subtle parallels to a certain well-known Shakespeare play.

    Ready Player One
    An sf movie about global VR and the future of the Internet. It's fun to spot the pop culture references (The Shining, The Iron Giant, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Halo, Back to the Future, King Kong and many others) but, for all its frantic action, the movie felt a bit flat to me.

    Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People
    Good but not great documentary about the immigrant-turned-megapublisher and his enduring commitment to muckraking and the free press. Hadn't known before about his feud with Theodore Roosevelt.

    Leonard Soloway's Broadway
    Terrific, very funny documentary about a legendary Broadway producer, now 90 but still sharp as a tack. The movie is nicely divided between stories of his past triumphs and flops, and his present-day efforts - tireless, stubborn and often profane - to turn a musical about tap-dancing into an Off-Broadway hit.

  3. #803
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    I have seen some bad movies. Many of them. I've seen all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes multiple times (except for the new episodes), and have ventured far beyond their lukewarm tastes into the unknown and unwanted of many nations and genres.

    That said, what in the hell was Batman v Superman supposed to be? Like a court case, or something?

    Who could watch that? Somebody with asbestos ass-cheeks, a donut-shaped chair pad, or someone unconscious or captive?

    This cannot be watched.

    The first half can, until one realizes that it is only HALF the running length of the movie.

    No. No. No.

    Benna Fleck was pretty convincing as a guy who wears a business suit and has unkempt hair. The other guy, Dirk Squarejaw or whatever his name is, was good in The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

    A dark, long, confusing mind-fuck of a movie. Like a mildly upsetting ride at a an amusement park, while sitting on a stranger's knee and eating wretched food served by bearded ladies.

    No.

    It cannot be watched.

    I feel so strongly about it I'd consider murdering someone who watched this movie.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 08 Apr 2019 at 11:34 PM.

  4. #804
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    Couldn't make it very far into Ready Player One. The narrator kid with the debilitating speech disorder (excessive vocal creaking, vocal fry, poor diction) should have been overdubbed by an actor. I also wanted to see everyone in the movie killed. Like if they were in a John Waters movie and some fat tranny smears shit on them fresh from the factory and then devours them alive. I'm pretty sure Spielberg has some kind of sexual fetish for unlikeable teenage boys and enjoys speculating about their fantasies. He did that Peter Pan movie, I think. He is a sick fucker who made two outstanding movies: Jaws and Duel. And some good action movies. And some pornography about his secret life as a groper of adolescent disabled boys.

    I did make it through some movie called Reign of Fire. I have no idea what happened during the movie, and I couldn't recognize any of the actors. I have no idea whatsoever what the plot was supposed to be. Something about using machines and weapons or something. At some time in the past or future. For reasons.

  5. #805
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    Couldn't make it very far into Ready Player One. The narrator kid with the debilitating speech disorder (excessive vocal creaking, vocal fry, poor diction) should have been overdubbed by an actor. I also wanted to see everyone in the movie killed. Like if they were in a John Waters movie and some fat tranny smears shit on them fresh from the factory and then devours them alive. I'm pretty sure Spielberg has some kind of sexual fetish for unlikeable teenage boys and enjoys speculating about their fantasies. He did that Peter Pan movie, I think. He is a sick fucker who made two outstanding movies: Jaws and Duel. And some good action movies. And some pornography about his secret life as a groper of adolescent disabled boys.

    I did make it through some movie called Reign of Fire. I have no idea what happened during the movie, and I couldn't recognize any of the actors. I have no idea whatsoever what the plot was supposed to be. Something about using machines and weapons or something. At some time in the past or future. For reasons.

  6. #806
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    Never noticed this before: in the "Stately Xanadu" opening newsreel thing of Citizen Kane, there's a spot where I can't help but imagine the actor doing the voice is on the verge of cracking up with laughter.

    I think it's about when the line is something like "the largest private zoo since Noah" or around there.

    It might have been in one of Bogdanovich's interviews with Welles, but I recall somewhere Welles saying that, prior to the filming, it was a pretty common joke in his circle to imitate the newsreel-style of reporting, and they used to do it all the time. You know, just fooling around making a pastiche of that whole thing.

    So, maybe a carry-over from the good old days of joking around.

    And, yes, no one witnessed the last words of Kane. I don't know what rock some blogger/memer crawled out of who thought that was a real stumper, but give it up. Everyone knows.

    I don't know a single person who can't appreciate a good Everett Sloane impression.

    No, I don't know why I'm watching the opening scene(s) again: just trying to get ready for an impromptu graveyard shift, and what better movie to convince oneself the world is not terrible? Of course.

  7. #807
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    All right, I'll simmer down about the comic game kid Marvel action movie whatever.

    Because Spider-Man 2 (2004) is pretty good. Even the twinky little kid with the bug-eyes sells it. I always thought Kirsten Dunst was more attractive, though. She really is not doing it for me in these movies.

    It could be simply she might not be a very good actress, though. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's a true fact.

  8. #808
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    Gawd. I still have the original DVD of Midnight Run.

    It is such a stupid movie that it defines its own level.

    But. yes, I'd forgotten a good bit of it.

    And of course, Jerry wants Beth to play it with the director's commentary. Unfonrtunately I got rid of my TV with the composite RCA inputs years ago and don't feel like fooling with decryption.

    Still a great movie (except when Grodin flies the plane).

  9. #809
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    I love Midnight Run! The chemistry between De Niro and Grodin is great, and I just like watching them bounce off each other as they make their way across the country. (Kudos for the Rick and Morty reference, BTW).

    My latest five:

    Yojimbo
    Classic B&W Kurosawa film set in 1860s Japan. A ronin comes to a small town torn apart by two criminal gangs, and then plays them against each other. Funny, sly and engrossing. The last line helps make for a perfect ending.

    The American President
    Romantic comedy in which a widowed President falls for a spunky environmental lobbyist. Given all the shared cast, crew and themes, it's almost like a movie-length prequel to The West Wing. Catnip for political junkies like me.

    Witness for the Prosecution
    The original 1957 British courtroom drama, from the works of Agatha Christie, focusing Sir Wilfrid, the ailing, pugnacious, Churchill-esque defense counsel. Good stuff.

    Witness for the Prosecution
    The 2016 remake, focusing Mr. Mayhew, the solicitor who first takes the case. Even better than the original, I'd say - grittier, darker, much more atmospheric.

    Headhunters
    A crazy good Norwegian thriller about an art thief who steals from the wrong rich guy and then has to go on the run. Some twists and turns that just have to be seen to be believed - two thumbs 'way up.

  10. #810
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    All right, I change my mind about Ready Player One. It can be allowed. Except for the hour or more in the middle. But, sure, why not.

    Looking forward to Headhunters — as a fan of the novel The Recognitions as well as the movie F for Fake, that's surely to hit some thematic elements. And, in my view, as well as the view of Welles, one must consider forgery to be a marginalized thematic element in many artworks about the making of art. Doesn't hurt that "The Headhunters" were a keyboard-led funk fusion group with a number of interesting things to say.

    And, no, I didn't mean Midnight Run is a stupid movie. As I said, it's a great movie. It's just incredibly silly, and sui generis. Not my first time at the Grodin/De Niro rodeo, but it's been a few years.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 24 Apr 2019 at 09:26 AM.

  11. #811
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    One thing to watch for in MN R, in the first encounter between De Niro and Yaphet Kotto (Koto?) — nice self-referential parody of De Niro back to his Taxi Driver role.

    Two main ones:

    (i) "Take your hands off me!" with a sort of karate-bullshit pose

    (ii) When he has Yaphet's badge, and is walking down the street, that turn back to the camera and pointing the badge as though it were a weapon.

    Cute.

    I'm going to start wearing that jacket I have that's exactly like "Jack Walsh"'s again more often. Notice he favors a crisp white collared shirt underneath. And my watch is a little temperamental in that the cronograph is sometimes a bit off. Hate to be a living cliché, but I just step out the door and I'm like dressed for Hollywood Halloween.

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    Oh, here's the final decision about Spider-Man 3 (2007).

    First extended scene.

    Kirsten Dunst doing her little play or whatever. First song is the Brancusse-Newley (? pretty sure) tune "They Say It's Wonderful."

    One of my favorite tunes. John Coltrane played the hell out of it. Dr. Lonnie Smith did it on Hammond.

    Great tune. No, I don't know what show or whatever it's from.

    But, Ms. Dunst!!!!! How hard is it to appear to lipsync? What the hell was that????

    I blame the director or whatever, but, still.

    Great, great song. Could have been even a passable scene.

    Why would the director have allowed that appaling spectacle to be shown in public?

    It is not.

    ETA Oh, that's Wm. Alland doing the "News on the March" bit for Kane. I'm pretty sure, anyway. And, yes, my opinion I still stand by: he was probably on the verge of breaking into laughter through the whole narration. Don't ask how I know, I just am pretty sure.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 26 Apr 2019 at 04:39 PM.

  13. #813
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    I saw Tolkien yesterday. It was a bit of a mess and leaves I think much to be desired for learning about the Good Professor's life. Interesting while watching it but not really a movie I would recommend to anyone.

    Also watch Next Gen on Netflix last night, it was OK and a bit like Big Hero 6 meets Iron Giant but not as good as either.

    TCM had Key Largo on two nights back, shocker, this movie is great. I haven't seen it in over a decade, I forgot just how good the 4 principles were in it. Bogart, Bacall, Edward G. Robinson & the great Lionel Barrymore. If you haven't seen it, watch it soon.

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    Hey, I remember you, WE? talking about Key Largo not too long ago! Prompted by your earlier review/recollection I saw it again at that time, and I don't think I'm going to put it in rotation again anytime soon. I do remember Bacall being extremely appealing in that picture, both as an actress and as a "star," in the sense Duke Wayne and others were stars.

    This PM (I have an early morning shift in addition to my regular mid-morning-->early afternoon shift, just for some easy extra cash), even though I need/want to be asleep in about eight minutes, I had a mini-early-1970s (don't argue with me about exact dates! same thing) with, for the umpteenth time Dirty Larry Crazy Mary, which I still find is a wonderfully crafted film, even though it is out of the "Corman files," IIRC.

    Following it up for Easy Rider as I go to sleep.

    Tell me there isn't a cooler few scenes intro than those of Easy Rider...yeah, the graphic design of the title sequence is ridiculous, but once Steppenwolf comes on in the soundtrack, you know it's going to be good.

    RIP Dennis Hopper. You did good.

  15. #815
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    I saw Key Largo a year or so ago and enjoyed it, although Casablanca still takes top prize in my Bogie hall o' fame.

    Sorry Tolkien wasn't so good. The reviews have definitely been mixed. I'm sure I'll see it someday, though.

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    Right up there with Casablanca is African Queen for Bogart's top movie. I also love Sabrina. Those are my top 3 Bogart movies I guess. But we're talking Bogart so have to consider The Caine Mutiny, The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo & The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

    I know Bogart pretty much played the Bogart character, but damn, that Bogart character was awesome.

    Don't forget, "To Have and Have Not" is pretty much Casablanca again and has one of the most famous lines in Hollywood history,
    Quote Originally posted by Slim
    You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow.
    Even if you don't know the movie, you know the line.

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    Well, it was the strawberries, see!

    I continue to be slightly disappointed when I see *Beat the Devil*, but, yes seeing Bogie in a character actor/"actorly" role wouldn't be right.

    He was the man!

  18. #818
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    You know, here's a kind of observation:

    Look closely at the scene in Full Metal Jacket where R. Lee Ermey, Jr. (or...well, whatever his name is...you know, the drill instructor) is inspecting the recruits while they have their hands out.

    You know. "Toe jam!" "Pop that blister!"

    Anyway, I was looking kind of carefully, and I suspect that that (fucking moron) director actually used a composite effect done in the photo lab.

    Particularly in the establishing shot (no, I'm not pretending to be a movie expert, just that seems what it is).

    No fucking way did the dozens of actors, except for the drill instructor, stay as still as mannequins for that particular shot.

    Yeah, I'll stick by that idea.

    Anyway, good movie, as one knows.

  19. #819
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    In oher news, Rocky 3 is about the dumbest movie I've ever seen
    On an eqal wih all that comic book crap.

    Yes, itt did introduce Clubber Lang as an opponent, but Burgess Meredith's absence is missed.

    Sorry, Burt Young, but you're not Burgess Meredith;

  20. #820
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    OTOH, the first hour of The Exorcist is more subtly engaging than I remembered.

    Keep in mind, I'm like a mental patient for The Exorcist movies and prequels.

    So it's not like I haven't seen it before, but it is very low-key, in lighting and in dramatic dialogue. Almost alarmingly underplayed by the editor, the sound editor, Friedkin, and all the cast.

  21. #821
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    Watched Di Palma's classic hommage to Antonioni's Blow Up, which is called Blow Out (no I don't recall if there's supposed to be some hyphens in either title, but I'm sure it doesn't matter).

    Not only a fantastic, tense movie, which I think has earned quite a few fans since it came out in the early 1980s — perhaps more of a cult-classic than a regular modern classic — but I'll be damned if Travolta isn't pretty excellent in it.

    It is funny that his voice, and his repertoire of expressions, as well as his general speech patterns (intonation, primarily), didn't change AFAIC one whit compared to his work on Pulp Fiction.

    It is possible that he is not the world's most super actor ever, but he definitely has a unique look and sound that is, for me, pretty easy to appreciate on the level of craft.

    He really sells his character.

    OTOH, the young woman whom he rescued from a submerged car near the beginning of the movie....the less said the better. Let's just say her Brooklyn accent ... well ... it's not that pleasant to hear over and over again.

  22. #822
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    I saw Blow Up only once, back in college. The Sixties costumes and music were laughably quaint, but it had an air of menace and secrecy about it that really stuck with me. The Conversation, with Gene Hackman, has a similar vibe.

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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    I saw Blow Up only once, back in college. The Sixties costumes and music were laughably quaint, but it had an air of menace and secrecy about it that really stuck with me. The Conversation, with Gene Hackman, has a similar vibe.
    That's true: at least in Blow Out, they do quite a bit with the technical, electrical equipment and the mechanics of isolating audio tracks.

    I hate to say it, but as much as I love Antonioni for his trilogy (plus The Red Desert, although that's a confusing movie, almost as much as The Passenger with Jack Nicholson), I'd give a slight edge to Blow Out over Blow Up.

    Not that Blow Up isn't a very fine movie I've seen quite a few times, but the whole "swinging mod '60s" aspect really doesn't age that well, unless one can really separate the flash and style from the content of the movie.

    It's not as timeless as The Conversation or Blow Out. And, while Vanessa Redgrave is a fine actress, and David Hemming did a fine job, I just don't find the photographer character to be compelling at all, compared to Hackman's or Travolta's characters.

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    Couldn't sleep last night, I ended up watching The Sting. I love this movie, it is nearly perfect. I found something new this time. Luther, whose death kicks off the plot, is played by Robert Earl Jones, actor & ex-boxer and father of James Earl Jones.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    Couldn't sleep last night, I ended up watching The Sting. I love this movie, it is nearly perfect. I found something new this time. Luther, whose death kicks off the plot, is played by Robert Earl Jones, actor & ex-boxer and father of James Earl Jones.
    That's amazing. I also love that movie, and never ever thought anything more about the actor playing than "oh, that guy, he's a pretty good actor, I guess."

    Best movie trivia I've heard in, maybe forever. I'll be stealing that one to try to stump my uncle sometime.

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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    Couldn't sleep last night, I ended up watching The Sting. I love this movie, it is nearly perfect. I found something new this time. Luther, whose death kicks off the plot, is played by Robert Earl Jones, actor & ex-boxer and father of James Earl Jones.
    That's amazing. I also love that movie, and never ever thought anything more about the actor playing than "oh, that guy, he's a pretty good actor, I guess."

    Best movie trivia I've heard in, maybe forever. I'll be stealing that one to try to stump my uncle sometime.
    Added trivia bonus, he was also the sparring partner for Joe Louis; under the name "Battling Bill Stovall".

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    Wow, you guys are on fire bringing the trivia. "Battling Bill Stovall" indeed. That's quite a name.

    I changed my mind about Blow-Up, somewhat. While the Hemmings character is sort of a cypher, and a bit of a bland potato as a character, I can accept that it's not a movie about characters so much, but a framework for the central mystery/intrigue of the plot. Whereas, at least IMHO, The Conversation and Blow Out are, it could be said, as much character studies as anything else.

    But, I still think the tennis-playing hooligan-Dadaists is a stupid pointless little flourish.

    Well, at least it's not Zabriskie Point! I have never been able to watch more than a few minutes of that one, despite the allure of The Pink Floyd's music. And, even Herbie's music for Blow-Up is not really much of a draw.

    I guess Antonioni's personality wasn't so much about the music or controlling it. Think about L'avventura or something from the earlier pictures: there's just silence, or diegetic music. Antonioni worked in silence and images: in a way had he continued to work that way in Blow-Up, it would have been a much more tolerable movie.

    Nice moment when Hemmings induces Redgrave to smoke a joint while listening to a Jimmy Smith tune (I think it was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," or another one from that same album. Definitely Jimmy Smith with the orchestra, at any rate).
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 18 Jun 2019 at 08:28 PM.

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    I made it through Zabriskie Point once and part way through it a second time 15 years later. I still am only vague on what it is about. Student strikes and a stolen private plane. The music is really good though.

    Hell, I like Blues Brothers 2000, but not for the movie, just the music. The final jam battle was awesome.

    You know how hard to follow and retain Zabriskie Point is?
    I can tell you the plot of Zardoz and useless trivia about it, including its relationship to not only the Wizard of Oz but the more tricky the relation to The Lord of the Rings.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    I can tell you the plot of Zardoz and useless trivia about it, including its relationship to not only the Wizard of Oz but the more tricky the relation to The Lord of the Rings.
    I can't let this go without knowing more.

    Yes, like everyone else, I'm .... more familiar than is reasonable with Sean Connery's "costume" and, I guess the plot is something about neutered males and restoration of man's primal genitive capacities.

    That's a guess.

    But you better talk, and talk plenty, boy!

    ETA I think you're the only person I know who's actually made it through Zabriskie Point. I should give it another chance. Maybe with some home-made eye-opening-forcing apparatus à la Clockwork Orange. Toothpicks or something. At one point I thought understood the ending to Red Desert, but now I'm not so sure.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 18 Jun 2019 at 09:14 PM.

  31. #831
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    An episode of Rick and Morty had some in-jokes about Zardoz, including a lookalike of the big flying head.

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    Zardoz Wizard of Oz relations are not obscure. Starting with wiZARD of OZ is the name of the movie. The other major reference is Tabernacle (the AI) is the stand in for the Wizard. This is all made clear though if you make it through the movie as after teaching Zed (Connery) to read, he is given The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to read.

    Now it gets weird. John Boorman was working on a Lord of the Rings movie for The Lord of the Rings, this movie never happened obviously. However for some reason a giant head for the Argonath was already built. This is the flying head in Zardoz, the movie Boorman made cheaply after his LOTR was rejected. More fun notes, part of his script concept for LOTR was used in his great movie Excalibur. Also apparently there was serious talk of Beatles playing the 4 Hobbits.

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    Well, that certainly answers that.

    I had no idea John Boorman directed Zardoz — funny, I was reading an interview with him about the movie Deliverance yesterday, and he never mentioned Zardoz!

    Thanks for the information: I think it turns out I might not need to see the movie after all!

    You have done a great service!

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    I didn't know most of that - thanks, What Exit - but I remember once reading that the elevated wooden walkways among the trees, below which the knights joust in Excalibur, was built as a possible LOTR set (Rivendell or Lothlorien, maybe?).

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    My latest five:

    Captain Marvel
    A U.S. Air Force pilot becomes a superheroine after being trained and empowered by aliens with an agenda of their own. Pretty good if not great MCU flick.

    Avengers: Endgame
    A fitting conclusion (or is it?) to the MCU series, with some nice character moments, occasional laughs and great action sequences.

    An American in Paris
    Classic, bouncy, color-saturated musical from the early Fifties. A wide-ranging Gershwin score, beautiful Paris setting and Gene Kelly as the star - all terrific.

    Toy Story 4
    I would just as soon they'd stopped at a trilogy, I have to admit, but this is still a worthy addition to the Pixar collection. Fun, funny and bittersweet, with a gazillion Easter eggs hidden in the antiques-shop scenes (IMDB has a good list of them). Great to see Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep and the others one more time.

    Hostiles
    Christian Bale is outstanding as a worn-down US Cavalry officer assigned in 1892 to escort a former Indian foe (the always-good Wes Studi) to his Montana homelands to die. A fine recent Western.

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    Dark Star (John Carpenter, 1974) is one strange mammajammer of a movie. I must have seen it before, because I found a copy on a hard drive...somewhere...but I have no recollection of any of it.

    That may because large stretches of the movie are not really comprehensible to me. Well, it's comprehensible as a strange fantasy about a group of very odd astronauts many MANY parsecs from their point of contact.

    The bit about "phenomenology" kind of bothered me, but only in the sense that, you know, words have meanings and stuff, and this particular word has several variant meanings which are quite precise, even if one has strong thoughts about one true accounting of the phenomenological method, in theory and in practice.

    But the Cartesian interlude was kind of amusing, I guess, considering it probably was cooked up on paper by a couple of stoned, though talented, undergraduates.

    I would very surprised if the notion of a kind of talking bomb were not the inspiration for a similar theme in this season's Archer. At least I can think of no other analogous notion, but then again I know only an average amount of sci-fi movies, and still less about fantasy/sci-fi in print.

    I could see ultra-mega-super-fans of this movie quoting it endlessly: some pretty strange dialogue throughout. No, I do not have an example in mind, for I didn't write any down and my memory is not what it could be.

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    I remember Dark Star! A funny little ultra-low-budget sf film. Some definite influences on the Alien films, and yes, I think the recent Archer: 1999 episode was at least partially inspired by it. For some quotables: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069945...ref_=tt_trv_qu

    My latest five:

    Buckaroo Banzai
    Rewatched this favorite of mine, a hip, very funny Eighties sf spoof with oddball characters (John Lithgow really should've gotten an Oscar for his scenery-chewing as Dr. Emilio Lizardo), an exuberantly silly plot and lots of throwaway gags.

    Yesterday
    A young British street musician has a bike accident and wakes up to find that he's the only man in the world who remembers the Beatles. Some nice moments, but not nearly as good as it could have been.

    True Lies
    Another favorite, with superspy Ahnuld taking on terrorists with nukes at the same time as he tries to save his marriage. A near-perfect blend of action, comedy and romance.

    For All Mankind
    Oscar-nominated documentary about the Apollo Program. Beautiful space imagery and narration by many of the NASA astronauts.

    Hannibal
    Grisly, chilling, pretty good but not perfect sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, with Special Agent Starling's FBI career in the dumps and Dr. Lecter hiding out in Florence, Italy. Julianne Moore does well in the Starling role, replacing Jody Foster, and Gary Oldman is unrecognizable but spooky as the Lecter-mutilated billionaire who really wants to catch him.

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    Aaaaand my latest five:

    Glory
    Saw the 30th anniversary theatrical re-release of this great Civil War film, my favorite of them all. A terrific cast (Denzel Washington got an Oscar playing a rebellious escaped-slave-turned-soldier), exciting battle scenes and a deeply moving story.

    Crisis
    A Robert Drew-directed 1963 documentary about JFK's confrontation with Gov. George Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama. A remarkable you-are-there look at a key moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    A fun 1950s Disney quasi-steampunk film adaptation of the Jules Verne novel. James Mason is great as Capt. Nemo, but Kirk Douglas steals every scene as a rowdy sailor.

    Super Troopers
    Raunchy, raucous, very funny comedy about prankster Vermont cops who from time to time actually do their jobs.

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Quentin Tarantino's latest, about an aging TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) coming to realize he's past his prime, and his tough stuntman pal (Brad Pitt), getting caught up on the fringes of Charles Manson's cult in 1969 Tinsel Town. The ending is a bit over the top, but I really enjoyed it.

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    Well, I still am impressed by Robert De Niro (sp?) in Ronin, in the first several scenes, at how well he (or his handlers) modulated his stupid yankee French accent into just chatting with Jean Reno (sp?)'s character. It's, of course, not a real subtle movie, but I still enjoy that little detail.

    I think we all know how to imitate broken-English (for example) speakers in various comedies, but it's pretty hard to do accents in another tongue. Of course, people can and do. Linguists specializing in various things do very well at it. Apparently, actors or other people can also do pretty good.

    It's a nice moment, is what I'm saying, in an OK heist movie, when you hear what De Niro (sp?) is just chatting with the bald guy with the woolen cap, versus his heavily-accented American French.

    OH, and, BTW, Top Gun is indeed a really stupid movie, but Tarantino's character in whatever was right on: it's full-on, assault, guns-firing, against the hegemony of heterosexual coupling. Really. That's the read of the movie that is right on.

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    Oh, Judas Priest.

    I thought it would be somewhat amusing to see Lynch's Dune (extended cut) again.

    You know, all that cool weirding way shit and the hand in the box of shit and whatever.

    No, sorry, that was a terrible idea.

    Granted, I made it thirty seconds into it.

    But, no. I can't have that.

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    Vanishing Point. I think I got it figured out: it's really a story about that comic book character Superman.

    That's it, my final opinion. No I'm not blasted on C, so I am not inclined to do a whole Tarantino-style breakdown, but that's what it is.

    A superhero movie. With cars. And jews. And, importantly, concern for bystanders.

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    I saw Ronin when it first came out and remember liking it, but haven't seen it since. A great car chase IIRC.

    Lynch's Dune is deeply weird but looks great. Did you know there'll be a remake coming out next year?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_(2020_film). The cast lineup is very impressive, and I really like the director's work, including Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.

    Never saw Vanishing Point - someday!

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    My latest five:

    Jackie Brown
    Quentin Tarantino's only book adaptation, about an aging stewardess trying to outmaneuver a ruthless gun-runner with the help of a bail bondsman who's got a thing for her. Great cast, great script, lots of twists and turns, funny and violent.

    Super Troopers 2
    Semi-competent, prankster Vermont state troopers have to win over the locals after a boundary adjustment brings a Canadian town into the state. Not as funny as the first movie, but it has its moments.

    The Terminal
    Pretty good Tom Hanks tragicomedy about a foreigner stranded for months in an NYC airport after a revolution in his home country leaves him stateless.

    Mad Max
    The original, which I hadn't seen since college - painfully low-budget and almost quaint. Not really worth seeing again.

    Manhunter
    One of the first serial killer/profiler films, with a stylish, very Miami Vice vibe. The film marks the screen debut of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played well by Brian Cox, but quite a bit differently from Anthony Hopkins's iconic performance).

  44. #844
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    Well, I still think Yankee Doodle Dandy is the greatest movie about performers yet made.

    I defy anyone to present a better product, suited for the general public, and with better performers, than this classic.

    Yes, I know all about all of the others, but this is still a one-hundred-percent grade-a homerun.

  45. #845
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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Well, I still think Yankee Doodle Dandy is the greatest movie about performers yet made.

    I defy anyone to present a better product, suited for the general public, and with better performers, than this classic.

    Yes, I know all about all of the others, but this is still a one-hundred-percent grade-a homerun.
    The only ones I can think of to compete is Singing in the Rain which is not about actual performers and Funny Girl was pretty awesome and about Fanny Brice. Funny Girl and Yankee Doodle Dandy seem to be close to equal.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    The only ones I can think of to compete is Singing in the Rain which is not about actual performers and Funny Girl was pretty awesome and about Fanny Brice. Funny Girl and Yankee Doodle Dandy seem to be close to equal.
    That's a good call, although I confess Funny Girl is not a favorite. In fact, I don't remember much at all about it, except that some of the tunes from it became minor fodder for jazz musicians. Or at least everyone knows that tune "People," which I'm pretty sure is from that movie.

    I suppose the field of contenders should really include fictional performers as well, and it's such a huge list. Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes, A Star is Born (the real one with James Mason and Judy Garland), All That Jazz (somewhat real-ish, sort of), many, many documentaries, All About Eve. Hell, even The Producers should probably count. The Gold Diggers series of movies deserve a laurel and hearty handshake, most definitely. Top Hat belongs in there among true movie musicals.

    It's making my head hurt trying to think of a bunch of them, but Yankee Doodle Dandy just hit the perfect blend of corn-shucking Americana, goregous visuals, and a nonpareil cast. Not just Cagney, certainly his best role among so many, IMHO but the whole set of principal actors.

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    You're correct about People being from Funny girl I had to look that up. To me the big song is the one that ends up on the tugboat.
    Don't Rain on My Parade.


    To be honest, I don't remember the movie all that well but I know I enjoyed it. It had some funny stuff and the story they weaved worked well enough.

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    Topsy Turvy, about Gilbert & Sullivan creating their comic masterpiece The Mikado, and Shakespeare in Love, a funny but ahistorical explanation of how the Bard wrote Romeo and Juliet, are both very good movies about performers and the creative process.

    My latest five:

    Batman
    The 1989 Michael Keaton version, which I saw with the soaring Danny Elfman orchestral score performed live. Haven't seen it in years but it holds up pretty well, other than some iffy sfx.

    The Road Warrior
    Mel Gibson's second outing as Mad Max, with the worn-down Australian ex-cop trying to help an embattled desert colony. Hokey but with great action sequences.

    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
    Gibson's third and final time in the role, taking on Tina Turner's scheming queen of Bartertown. Definitely sillier than the others and with something of a third-act letdown, but still worth a look.

    Paris is Burning
    Interesting 1990 documentary on the NYC drag/vogue/ballroom subculture of the late Eighties, overshadowed by AIDS and homophobia but still defiant and feisty.

    Red Dragon
    Scary, well-crafted prequel to Silence of the Lambs, including a prologue showing how Dr. Hannibal Lecter got caught by the FBI. Much better, I'd say, than the earlier adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel, Manhunter.

  49. #849
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    I change my mind about the real A Star Is Born. Not that Mason and Garland aren't great actors, but the ridiculous still-photo montage sequences are corny, and, I don't know if it was Garland singing on the soundtrack, but the vibrato in her voice is appalling.

    I mean, that is one style of singing, but I cannot stand it.

    To me it's like being in the opera house in Citizen Kane listening to "Susan Alexander" singing: nails on a chalkboard, hearing that much vibrato. Just bad art.

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    You know, I know a lot of people are big fans of the ealy 1970s silver screen Murder On The Orient Express, which I still haven't yet seen, but plan to.

    However, I find the BBC Suchet TV version satisfies me very much.

    Why?

    Because it is an extraordinary dissertation on the tenets of the Catholic beliefs.

    And, no, I don't care about the novels.

    I don't even know how to read.

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