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Thread: Omnibus movies Q&A thread including trivia

  1. #51
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Haven't watched many "movies" lately, certainly not those which have particular questions which want answers about.

    But today, just figuratively spanking it killing some time, I found out about the 2010 documentary *Lemmy* -- you know, from back in the day, in my wild years, I guess, I had a buddy who was all about the Lemmy (and the Nugent and ...here's actually a good one, the Rev. Billy G), but it never hit for me, sounded kind of weak on record.

    Well, good guy, I guess.

    More importantly, he seems one of the musicians who seems to understand that doing rock is the same as being rock is the same as being a great performer.

    Had the same thought multiple times over the past few weeks, just inadvertently drinking a lot of coffee, and getting out the door with a lot of Chuck Berry on the hifi, and just, you know, waiting for water to boil like "yeah fuck yeah" and you know one time it's like "Cherokee" fast do the jazz thing, and other times it's hit some blues stuff and then...help me now! Got to boogie!

    Takes a lot of energy to keep that up, especially just solo screwing around, but still trying to make it sound good -- because if it doesn't sound good, why do it at all?

    Oh yeah, so I did have like a trivia question. Here's one. What in the fuck is the deal with all that Nazi bullshit? Weird. I've known one guy, a pretty mediocre musician, low-education, but lots of enthusiasm and plenty artistic in a blue-collar way, born and raised, who was into tattoos and history and books and stuff, who some of my grad student friends called "creepy ____", to distinguish him from someone else with the same surname.

    So, like, what's the deal?

    As I get a bit older old, I do even more into some kind of cultural identifcation, but I would still never buy a German car except as a joke. And, AFAIK, there isn't really any Jew in my family. Kind of murky history there, but it's not something I was born in, but it's something I was invited into by this woman and being very very close with her extremely Jewy family for however many years -- they became my family, and so, whatever. I don't know the history in my family on that side, but nobody does, so whatever. Still, would not have a German car.

    So, what the hell is the deal with all this Nazi war crap?

  2. #52
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    Oh yeah so I'd been meaning for a few whatever be get a copy of *My blue heaven* -- that Steve Martin joint about a crooked guy informant who has to do witness protection.

    Yes, I'm not happy about why that is, because I was raised in the country and lived out here when I was a kid, but the more I realize, is the more I think it's not really that good a thing acting regular now that coming back to a small towns like Portland, so wanted to see that movie again and see if I was a caracature in peopl'e eyes, because whatever.

    You know, I love a lot of SM's stuff, but this is one where I think he really hit it, because he didn't even seem like acting. That just is the way you go along in some hillbilly towns once you're used to doing things the regular way. You know? Not exaggerated, just like, hey, I'm walking, you can walk to, so no problem.

  3. #53
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    My favorite Steve Martin movies are Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Roxanne and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He also was great in Little Shop of Horrors, although he wasn't the lead in that.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel last night and loved it. Whodathunk Ralph Fiennes had such a comic flair?

  4. #54
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    Yeah, those are good ones. *Plaid* is a pretty funny movie, as is *DRS* (*Bedtime Story*, the original one it was remade from, is pretty funny also, in a weird meta kind of way, but no Steve Martin). *The Jerk*.

    But kind of cancelled out in recent memory by things like the Pink Panther remake, the Outoftowners remake (I think that was him in that). But partially redeemed by him playing some pretty music. But partially cancelled out by his little "serious" "writing."

    Complex person, I suppose.

    Fiennes? Star of *Quiz Show* -- yeah, he's pretty funny. Scofield was the comic surprise for me in that one -- he's someone I genuinely thought was above humor. "Thank you, Charlie! My robes open..." Well he didn't say that in the movie, but, you know, it's still funny.

  5. #55
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    Actual bona fide question. More ethnology or sociology or something. Is there evidence that people, like not the types you'd expect, given the pop culture status of the flick, actually think *Scarface* (the Pacino one) is a pretty good flick? Saw it last night for some reason. It wasn't as cheesy as I remember it. Kind of a cute little movie.

  6. #56
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    Never saw Scarface, either the original or the Pacino remake, in their entirety. Not into gangster movies generally.

    I saw Notorious, my favorite Hitchcock movie, again over the weekend with my sister and her family. Still a classic. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman are great together.

  7. #57
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    It's a good one. *Stromboli* is the best movie with Ingrid Bergman in it, though. Bunch of pantywaists getting all "zomg she's a homewrecker! what is the meaning of this!" back in the day. I like the footage with the spearing of tuna in it.

    OK, since this is trivia, I am a big Cary Grant fan (*Only Angels Have Wings* is my favorite, probably), and also of Randolph Scott (I suppose you'll say "I don't like Westerns!" next too.......different.... opinion, but, you're entitled to it....different....). (True story, I almost wrote "Robert Randolph," one of the great sanctified steel guitarists doing young kid music nowadays).

    Did they ever get into that man-love thing or whatever they call it? I know Grant was a big LSD aficionado in his later years, and obviously that makes you gay (...other people, not me), but for some reason I heard something somewhere, and I need to some fresh ammunition for the several times a year some old timer starts drunkenly mouthing off about how Duke Wayne, Mitch Mitchum, Cary Grant, all my favorite actors were closet cases.

    I don't care, but I do like to be right when I'm equally drunkenly mouthing off in some dive bar to some crusty old guy in the middle of the afternoon.

  8. #58
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    I like Cary Grant a lot. I don't think I'd know Randolph Scott if he walked through the door right now (although he's dead by now, I assume, right?). I am actually neutral as to Westerns - I neither love nor hate them. The last good one I saw was Appaloosa with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, and it was very good.

  9. #59
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    Randolph Scott is great. I bet most people who are young skateborder punks just know him from that line in *Blazing Saddles*, but he's cool. Some might call him a cut-rate Coop, but all the Boetticher westerns (lower budget from the 1950s, mostly, I think) are solid.

    I think Budd Boetticher was a bullfighter or something in Mexico for some reason, or maybe he just was interested in it. He did an OK movie about that. *Bullfighter and the Lady* unless I'm confusing that one with someone else.

    Cary Grant maybe should have done some more serious movies, like *Only Angels Have Wings* -- not that I don't like the comedies, but maybe having that cast and Hawks's touch kind of was not something to have been repeated.

  10. #60
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    Hot damned. speaking of Cary Grant, I was talking with my mother about a week ago, just chatting, and she has some little hen party and something about "funny-looking" walking, I think there's some walking race locally, I don't know. I said "I bet that's race-walking they're taking about -- not like power-walkers, but it's a real thing."

    I have known about this movie forever, but never found a copy, and always thought it was Sean Connery. No, it's Cary Grant, in *Walk, Don't Run* -- about racewalking.

    Got a hot tip on it finally so hope to see it tonite.

    Also recently seen, *Twilight: Eclipse* and multiple episodes of *The Mechanical Universe* ("educational" series of Physics films, by some guys at Cal, I think -- kind of more history of, e.g., famous stuff like Young's experiment and Michaelson-Morley, so fluffy, but pretty good. What's funny is there's hardly any actual physics in these, but every so often they'll have some graphic with solving some differential equation. [I only know diffE from just working problems in Physics, and basically trial and error, but it seems funny that the only fancy graphics is like ....blip....bloop....change some terms....tada! Don't know why it's funny -- it's not hard math, just is funny to me is all!]). Oh yeah, re-saw *Gator* not too long ago. Actually, I might even change my mind and not only is it better than I remember, I might like it better than *White Lightning* -- for some reason, I don't want to compare, because I feel like I know everything that happens in *WL*, so go with my gut on that one.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    I don't think I'd know Randolph Scott if he walked through the door right now (although he's dead by now, I assume, right?). I am actually neutral as to Westerns - I neither love nor hate them. The last good one I saw was Appaloosa with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, and it was very good.
    I'm going far on a limb and say, yep, Randolph Scott is dead as...fucking dead. He was pretty old, like at least well into his forties, when he was doing the B-pictures that people like from the 1950s. I think he was, by that time, kind of a walking relic from a bunch of, I guess, lost movies from even into the silent era. Not going to look it up, but I'm guessing.

    I did look up *Appaloosa* on wiki a few days ago -- Ed Harris actually directed that. It's on my list of movies to watch and pay attention to, so thanks for that. I'm indifferent to Viggo -- "canh walkh, canh hump, mang!" -- but I've always been a fan of Mister Clean Marine (even though I didn't care for *Pollock* [I think it was called that -- about the painter. More a Rothko guy myself, anyway! And *Life Lessons* is the best movie about abstract expressionism anyway.... maybe....not....well, whatever, I've always liked that one.]). Thanks yet again for a good tip.

  12. #62
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    *The China Syndrome* is an amazing movie. Draws parallels i guess to other tense control-room movies of that rough vintage like *Taking of Pelham* but Jack Lemmon was amazing -- not just a slack-jawed light-comedy guy after all.

    I now respect JL a great deal as a sensitive thespian. Not to knock *Mister Roberts* but he really brought the whole movie just down to the ground. Powerful. Maybe that was the fruit of some mid-life soul-searching on his part. Don't know, obviously, but he really brought the house down. If by house one means me sitting drinking whiskey alone and being flabbergastered entirely by what I expected to be kind of a cheesy movie.

  13. #63
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    OH holy shit I recall it took me until the end credits to recognize ol' Jane. She's kind of a mistress of disguise. Maybe it's a tribute to how well she had inhabited her roles up til then. Sc. apostrophe, somewhere. Whatever. Obviously, she had that old horse's mane of hair, but somehow she just kind of slipped in and did her usual amazing job.

    And no I don't want to start a thing about Hanoi Jane -- but even anyone will admit she brought it as far as *Cat Balou* (sp?) and *Soldier Blue.*ETA well fine I thought it was. I was wrong, so blow me, stupid hippies.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 11 Jun 2014 at 03:58 AM.

  14. #64
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    OK I got one. What exactly is Ed Harris's deal? *Appaloosa* was a pretty good oater. Is EH trying to not be mister clean marine? I never understood or felt any passion behind Pollock or whatever, but he 's always been a major actor in my view.

    Credit for *Appaloosa* -- he must have called in some favors, and had something going on, bc he got even lost children like Irons to call in a good performance, and Viggo, about whom I know basically nothing, was standout. ,Perfct casting.

    *Cheyenne Autumn* it was not, though -- was this Ed Harris's farewell picture? I hope not. So what is Ed's deal?

  15. #65
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    for some reason I don't remember watching *Appaloosa* before so I watched it again. I agree with everything I said. Don't know why Viggo hasn't been on my radar -- he was remarkable. Maybe it was the clumsy direction (nope) or the writing (eh....) probably just a good sense of inhabitation of character. Or however you say it.

    That was that Zellweger woman as the bad woman....didn't check that until the final credits.

    I think I know what Irons's deal is -- he has just always made mostly crappy movies. But for some reason this was his great movie. He transcended being a cut-rate Malkovich, just as Ed Harris tried and failed to be a cut-rate .... damned, I had a good one. But forgot. Wait....the good one....Bob Duvall.

    I get the feeling Ed Harris has always been trying to be better than *The Right Stuff* but didn't have the resources. In that way he reminds me of me -- damned it, just try, and follow some kind of dream. I like that guy -- he works hard, and didn't quite make it.

    Still not sure what he was going for in *Appaloosa* -- I had the same thought as earlier, viz. it's no *Cheyenne Autumn*.

    I'd like to know what his deal is, because I think he, as a permanent place in recent film history, is worth exploring.

  16. #66
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    Been a while since I checked in. Of course, I saw *Jaws* for like the whateverth time just before the fourth, which is a big old holiday in the US. Apparently, I was convinced that Robert Vaughan was the mayor, but my uncle convinced me it was indeed Murray Hamilton. Well, they look kind of similar Haven't double-checked the credits, but I believe him. Also he hipped me to a neat camera shot of the sherriff on the beach, kind of two-second snapshot of paranoia. Neat. Never noticed that before.

    Oh yeah so here's my trivia question. Who exactly watches Wes Anderson movies? I guess this makes me a bad man, but I couldn't make it beyond ten minutes or so of *Budapest Grand Hotel*. I love F Murray Abraham. I love St. Zweig. But something about this, and all other movies by this director, makes my fist become rigid and I start wanting to, and sometimes failing to conceal my desire to, start beating these hipster morons really hard in the neck, taking their women, and setting fire to the entire pile after I've finished.

    Is it just me? I know somebody likes this stuff. I just want to know who. I'm taking names.

  17. #67
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    *Training Day* was a fucked up movie.

    I now understand why people are all like "Oh, Denzel, Denzel!" Always thought he was boring -- like in the (the big remake, not the one with the mexican) of *Pelham*, or that one jewel heist movie with the guy from .... *Croupier*. No, he was good.

    And also that white hipster dude -- I didn't know he was supposed to be a real actor dude, just a '90s pinup-and-wannabe-beatnik bullshitter.

    Also, in other news *Smokey and the Bandit* -- Jackie Gleason.

    Also, the Leslie Nielson *McGoo* was kind of good for a stupid kid movie. Ernie Hudson and Stephen Tobolowsky were standouts. Kelly Lynch is nice, probably see some more of her, I guess.

    Also, I need an opinion on if Rambo 3 or 4 is the better sequel, because, like whatever, or something.

  18. #68
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    THIS IS QUESTION

    Yeah, so like I was watching a few weeks ago *Quiz Show* for about the million trillionth time. I've always accepted this, kind of, as just part of the movie, or whatever, but what the fuck, enough already with the "Van Doren Van Doren!" "fucking Van Doren?" I cannot accept that people who even know the name or work of Mark Van Doren was any greater among non-intellectuals then as now. He was an OK poet, I guess, but his main contribution was as a scholar of American literature. People don't care about Hawthorne then or now, and certainly don't know people scholars who wrote the occasional monograph.

    This is NOT a nitpick, it's just one of those bizarreries, like the funny little conceit of *Californication*, that some hack non-genre novelist is recognized and worshipped by many, many random people.

    Meh, I could be wrong, maybe your average office drone really did know the secondary literature.

    Oh yeah THIS IS NOT A QUESTION

    So, my thoughts on *Transformers III* were probably clouded by not having seen the fine *Transformers I* and *Transformers II*. Well, they were not fine, but I think they included some important back story. However, given that some rendering problems with the large hi-def compressed *T1* led me to merely listen to the soundtrack, I preferred the more visually clear *T2*.

    Also, *The Tin Star* is as good as I remember, and *The Reign of Terror* (aka *Black Book*) was quite a tour-de-force, even visually, which I usually ignore.

    And, finally, *The Magnificent Ambersons* is, more profoundly than I recall, a vicious, hateful attack on the gadget fetishization of the products of the American automobile industry.

    And, it is therefore the finest movie ever made. Until someone does a good one with as fine a cast and photography that is equally contemptuous of bicycle fetishization, and then the assessment will be shared, since the diptych of the mechanization of mankind will have then been completed.

  19. #69
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    Oh yeah, and *Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore* -- I guess I have seen it, when I was like 10, and, not surprisingly, didn't really like it. It is a fine movie. "I'm just like this [shows knife] don't mess with it, it won't mess with you. Mess with it, and it will kill you." Kid was kind of annoying, though. Interesting camera work on Ellen Burstyn's hands while she's picking some piano. And nice use of the Wurlitzer electric piano in that one audition scene.

    And *Raging Bull* has gone up in estimation. In addition to being cool as fuck, it's also kind of profound, or whatever.

    And speaking of fat, there's no way Bale only gained 20 lbs for *American Hustle* -- that dude's gut was pretty damned big. Good job. Amy Adams! I didn't really know she was like an actress, or whatever, but holy shit! Ditto Jennifer Lawrence! Nice.

  20. #70
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    OK, apparently there is some movie I will not sit through. For example, *Paranormal Activity*. Gah. It's like watching Tommy Wiseau's *The Room* on repeat, without being the least bit amusing.

    I hate everything about that movie, what fifteen minutes I sat through of it.

  21. #71
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    It's official.

    *Cloverfield* is a movie that *Paranormal Activity* will never be or have been.

    Also *House of Games* is kind of a stupid movie.

    QUESTION: is it the general idea that David Mamet is an enormous douche who has a small knack for dialogue and little else?

    RESOLVED: yep. by me. he's an idiot.

  22. #72
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    Yeah, I'd pretty much agree with your take on David Mamet. Overrated, I'd say.

    Saw Grand Budapest Hotel a few months back and loved it.

    Just saw Gone Girl and thought it was a great adaptation of the Gillian Flynn book - perfect mix of director, cast, screenplay (also by Flynn), cinematography and score.

    Saw Rush, Ron Howard's based-on-a-true-story movie about duelling race-car drivers in the 1970s, and it was all right. Didn't blow me away, though. Likewise Margin Call, a Wall Street drama with an all-star cast. Reviews were gushing; I thought it wasn't all that.

    Finally saw Gone with the Wind from start to finish, having only seen clips here and there before now. A little too melodramatic, and a little too besotted with Lost Cause mythology, but still a pretty good piece of moviemaking. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable both nailed their parts.

  23. #73
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    Still haven't seen *GWTW* -- but I did recently see *Mutiny on the Bounty* with Gable and Charles Laughton.

  24. #74
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    The only extant AFAIK print with audio of Welles's *Don Quixote* is an embarassing abomination. It is unwatchable.

    On the bright side, *Alceste a' bicyclette* is one of the most charming, thoughtful movies I have seen made in recent years. Francophobes who, like me, struggle with 1940s-1950s French gangster slang, should rejoice that the entire film is verbally intact, and accessible without subtitles to anyone who has some basic schoolboy French.

    Beautiful picture, and marvelously staged.

    It deserves all the accolades.

    It did not receive,.

  25. #75
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    I want to see Fury (tanks at the end of WWII), Interstellar (Christopher Nolan's sf drama) and Birdman (Michael Keaton spoofs his turn as Batman), all now in theaters, but haven't yet. Too damn busy.

  26. #76
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    Good to know -- I like to keep up with what the kids are seeing, with their fancy 3D theaters. I don't have interest in searching these out right now, although can always make time to just have something playing in the background while I'm doing some busywork.

    Did anyone else like *Wolf of Wall Street*? I thought it was pretty engaging, slick, and with some amusing dialogue. OTOH, I suspect Marty has some investment troubles of his own -- aside from *Hugo* and *The Aviator* in relatively recent years, he's really been cranking a lot of kind of humdrum movies out, including *Departed*, which was fun but whatever. This one was amusing in a kind of meta-*Goodfellas* way.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 15 Nov 2014 at 06:33 PM.

  27. #77
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    Haven't seen Wolf of Wall Street, although my teenage son did, and said it was pretty good. I was underwhelmed by both Hugo and The Aviator.

    Just saw on DVD both Centurion (a pretty good Roman action flick, starring the always-good Michael Fassbender) and Moon Over Parador (so-so Eighties banana-republic political comedy starring Richard Dreyfuss).

  28. #78
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    What? I've never even *heard* of those.

    A pal told me on the phone the other night that pretty much all of the Criterion collection is up on Hulu, for like 8USD a month. I don't know how much of his investments are in related shares, so he might have just been baiting me to drive up his shares, directly or indirectly. All of the Criterion collection! Available now at your local public library! (Lame counter-proposal).

    I do enjoy the 1960s J-P Melville crime movies, though. Saw yet again the other night *The red circle* and *un flic* (I don't know what the english title is -- "a cop"? maybe?). I noticed the scenes in the former where women shamelessly throw themselves at Alain Delon -- I admit, if I had to "face-off" I'd go for his (including, of course, the moustache), but it was kind of ridiculous -- I think it was supposed to be a spoof on the vanity of celebrity and the adoration of the public. At least that's how I get by going to sleep still thinking Melville is a great director.

    Pretty odd guy, IRL, as I understand it, but kind of an Ida Lupino-esque figure relative to the industry in France. One of these days, I should read more about him.

    TNP loves *Au hasard Balthazar* (nyah nyah EH!)

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    Don't know what that means.

    Here's more on the movies I mentioned earlier:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Over_Parador
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_(film)

    Last night saw Big Hero 6, the new Disney robot-adventure movie, which was pretty good. I'd give it a B, due to some plot holes and technological implausibilities; it also tries too hard to be heart-warming but doesn't quite hit the mark. Heavily influenced by Japanimation, and set in the city of "San Fransokyo"; both the Transamerica Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge have pagoda-like design features!
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 17 Nov 2014 at 05:30 PM.

  30. #80
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    B seems like a good grade for Big Hero 6. I saw in Sunday.

    I watched Catching Fire last night on Netflix and I guess I'll give it a 4 of 10 or a C-. Slow, very stupid and poorly plotted.

  31. #81
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    I saw the third Dungeons and Dragons movie over the weekend. This surprised me for three reasons:

    1. I hadn't even realised there was a third movie.
    2. Ithilids don't look like that. Where are the tentacles?
    3. It was still better than the first two.

    Maybe if there is a fourth movie - we can actually have something decent.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  32. #82
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    Don't know what that means.

    Here's more on the movies I mentioned earlier:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Over_Parador
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centurion_(film)
    Well, I assume the "nyah nyah" went over yr head. I was just spoofing a recent post by you joking with me about my putting "TNP" in an inappropriate place.

    Thanks for the links -- obviously, i know how to google it, but it's awesome to not have any excuse to open up a new browser tab and manually search.

    The....hardest working....man at mello....let's give a big Apollo Theater welcome to....EH!

    (For disambiguation, obviously I'm going to have to start spelling out Edmund Husserl rather than use my usual shorthand for him -- you win the pot EH!)

  33. #83
    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Anybody seen *The Imitation Game*? I was all excited after having received what turned out to be basically a junk email from the UG advisor at CS dept. for "free passes to advance screening."

    Apparently that's been out for a while now. And, being involved in the ML/DL side of the KR branch of AI of CS, I like my Turing and Church. That's what you get for not flipping on the tube regularly -- you get surprised every now and then by things in the ads.

    Also, people should see *I Don't Know Jack*, about the actor Jack Nance. It's free on youtube. I don't know if that's a legit distribution, or whatever, or who gets whatever monies, but it's a damned good, old-school documentary, like a BBC/PBS-type kind of thing, not one of those fancy biopics and whatever.

  34. #84
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    December's been a busy month for movies for me....

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    Great sfx, but frantically busy, with 'way too many fights and not nearly enough focus on Bilbo. I look forward to someone squeezing down all three bloated movies to something approaching Tolkien's book.

    Intacto
    A 2002 Spanish thriller about a subculture of very, very lucky people who bet in different games against each other, sometimes lethally. Not perfect, but worth a look.

    Interstellar
    Despite some plot holes, a very-well-acted, clever, tense space-travel thriller. Two thumbs up.

    The Imitation Game
    Not entirely accurate historically, to say the least, but a very engaging movie about British codebreaking during WWII. Benedict Cumberpatch is great as Alan Turing, as is Keira Knightley as his associate and (briefly) fiancee.

    Mockingjay, Part 1
    Meh. Disappointing. Only for Hunger Games diehard fans.

    The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
    The reviews were mixed of this spoof of glitzy Vegas stage magicians, but I thought it was pretty funny. Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde and Jim Carrey are all good, but Alan Arkin steals the show as a crotchety old magician.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 31 Dec 2014 at 01:56 PM.

  35. #85
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    Thanks for the detailed graph, EH.

    Hey, so here's a legit question: I don't read the newspaper or watch TV, and I'm really out of the loop except for some TV shows I am already "into," and especially movies (I honestly have no idea what's in theaters and stuff, except by random accidentally hearing about something IRL or online).

    So, like, there should be a big, single-html-file page that has all new releases and TV things. Like a big TV Guide, where you could spend a few minutes every month glancing at the master list and see what's what.

    I never would have heard about *The Imitation Game* were it not for some freebie tickets sent in e-mail. Cumberbatch and Knightley. Sounds OK. Yeah, I wouldn't expect great detail in a life of Turing (I am not particularly knowledgeable about his life, just the basics -- and Avital Ronell was right to criticize in print Hofstadter's perverse mishandling of the facts of AT's little tragedy -- and certainly not adept to understand more than the very basics of his work in cryptography). Well, there's always that faithful documentary *The Oxford Murders* to keep on the shelf.

    Bah, there probably is such a web-based instrument already. But if so, it should be more well-known!

    Last week I watched *Twin Peaks* again, and followed it up with the movie -- for as many times as I've seen the flick, the memories of *TP* was faint. I guess I understood it differently this time. Yesterday: *My Cousin Vinnie* *Superbad* *Lost Highway* and, as the evening got later and I got more beer, *Mr Dynamite*. All repeats for me, but I'm easily amused.

  36. #86
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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    ...So, like, there should be a big, single-html-file page that has all new releases and TV things. Like a big TV Guide, where you could spend a few minutes every month glancing at the master list and see what's what....
    Sounds like you should be reading Entertainment Weekly. It's just what you need: http://www.ew.com/ew/

  37. #87
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    Well, I thank you for the idea. The thing is, though, I just don't like "hot" media (in the McLuhan sense) -- I can hardly stomach reading an encylopedia at night because of all the little drawings of key figures. Maps are OK, I guess, but barely.

    Now, if those *EW* people did a plain-text single-page html-file updated monthly, I agree that would be just the thing.

  38. #88
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    Oh, and I just finally saw *Gone Girl* the other day. What did you think, EH? I found it boring, confusing, grim, and dull. And Carrie Coon didn't have anything (or anyone) to do in the flick. Whatever. Some stupid movie about an illiterate housewife who goes all manic-panic on a henpecked husband. Snooze.

  39. #89
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    All right, so it seems *ew* does have a website.

    Bah, it's still too much colors and pictures to wade through.

    And I disagree that *GG*'s photography was compelling. It was murky, dim, and confused.

    It was like watching *Casino*, that least of pictures.

  40. #90
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    As to Gone Girl, see post 72. I guess we disagree.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 02 Jan 2015 at 11:30 AM.

  41. #91
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    I did notice that earlier -- that's why I doubled back and included my little pre'cis. OK, we can disagree. Maybe it was seeing it pretty drunk, and well after all the hype had built it up for me.

    I did see last week *On The Air*, a Lynch-and-somebody-else produced short-run TV sitcom. It kind of sucked.

  42. #92
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    Already a big month for movies for me:

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Watched with my son, 15, who's as into sf and fantasy as I am. He enjoyed it and had lots of questions. The movie still holds up very well today - deservedly a classic.

    2010: The Year We Make Contact
    When he heard there was a sequel, he wanted to see it, too. I warned him it wasn't as good as the original, and was very different in tone, but he was still game. It's not a bad sf adventure movie; it just suffers by comparison with Kubrick's masterpiece.

    The Theory of Everything
    Saw this new Stephen Hawking tragic romance/biopic with a friend. Excellent acting, a very evocative look at Sixties Britain, but dragged a bit in the middle.

    Bad Santa
    Billy Bob Thornton steals every scene as an alcoholic sex maniac with a skill for robbing the department stores where he finds seasonal work as a Santa. Had its moments, but not as funny as it might've been. Lauren Graham plays a bartender with a Santa fetish who falls for him - hard to believe she did the movie on a break from Gibson Girls!

  43. #93
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    Nice. The only time I saw *2001* in a theater was in a little revival house in Paris -- lots of students and stuff. The small room reeked of pot, but I think that was the first time I saw the movie uncut and in its glory. Even straight as a pin (maybe contact high?) the whole star babby thing blew me away.

    I still like *2010* -- it's a cute movie, good for a few guffaws.

    Some I forgot about over the past week or so: *Under the skin*. Trippy. The remake of ........ the one with DustinH and SuzYork....*Straw Dogs*. I wasn't really conscious for most of that one.

    But here's the treat, from last night. Finally got around to seeing *A Dangerous Method*. OK, now I see why all you people are perving out over Keira Knightley. I guess this was the first thing I've seen her in. Beautiful, obviously, and her acting was kind of....reminded me of a HS drama, but I think she did well with what she may have had to work with.

  44. #94
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    As big a KK fan as I am, I actually haven't seen A Dangerous Method yet. From the trailer, it looked as if they were making her look as strung-out and unattractive as possible (which I understand is true to the character, but still...). My favorite KK films are Pride & Prejudice, Love Actually, Atonement and the first Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Seen since my last post:

    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
    Pretty good spy flick - Brad Bird's first turn as a live-action director. Tom Cruise is getting juuuuust a little too old for this kind of thing, but he and the rest of the cast do well. Nice mix of action, gunplay, tricks and jokes.

    Thor: The Dark World
    Another fun Marvel superhero flick, although not nearly on the level of Iron Man or The Avengers. Had not one but two nice twists about Loki that made me smile.

    The Limey
    A British ex-con is out for revenge in sunny L.A. after he learns his estranged daughter died under maybe-suspicious circumstances. Terrence Stamp is mesmerizing in the lead. The film has funky back-and-forth, nonsequential editing of scenes and dialogue that might have been annoying, but actually works well. Also, the director used scenes from a 1967 film featuring Stamp to show his character in flashbacks - very clever.

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    As big a KK fan as I am, I actually haven't seen A Dangerous Method yet. From the trailer, it looked as if they were making her look as strung-out and unattractive as possible (which I understand is true to the character, but still...).
    Well (a) you should go see it. pretty good movie. and (b) I don't know about "strung out and unattractive" more like "acting a poorly-characterized stereotype of a slavo-Jewish intellectual in the twilight of the dual monarchy"

  46. #96
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    I saw about half of *Imitation Game* this morning. Damned if Cumberbatch and Knightley and the rest aren't pretty damned good.

    Kind of a ridiculous movie, from what I saw. Some lame detective story frames Turing's interesting career and life.

    I know for a fact that Turing was (a) a brilliant theoretician (b) a brilliant engineer (c) had some unorthodox life choices (d) was politically persecuted for his private beliefs (e) (d) led to some very bad outcomes for AT.

    The movie doesn't do those facts, however. Instead AT is some kind of freak surrounded by morons, whose achievements are not mentioned.

  47. #97
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    If you watch the whole movie, you'll see that AT was vital to the British codebreaking success but that it was a team effort. There has been some criticism (probably valid, but that's Hollywood) of the movie for historical inaccuracies.

  48. #98
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    Yeah I did finish the movie a while ago. Very impressive acting. I think the Polish logicians got one off-hand mention, and not one word about Turing's massive contributions to theoretical computer science/applied logic, except a short interchange about the Turing test. Ridiculous detective story, but it was well done, I suppose. I don't care too much about artistic license, I was just looking forward to the movie and hearing about Turing machines, AI, and stuff, so I was disappointed.

    Now, *Birdman*, OTOH. Kind of a cross between Cassavetes's *Opening Night* and the Bob Fosse movie with Roy Scheider. Far better than *Black Swan*. Also, a bizarre, heavy movie that I liked quite a bit.

  49. #99
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    I've had friends who loved Birdman, and some who've hated it. I suspect I'll fall into the former category, but just haven't had a chance to see it yet.

  50. #100
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    Birdman has been getting some seriously over the top good reviews, but some critics I respect hate, hate, hate it. Doesn't really sound like my kind of thing.
    Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing "The Duke of Burgundy", but I generally only get a chance to go to movies with my kid, and am sure not taking him to that.

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