Last Movie Watched.... The Xenforo Edition

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by Val1, May 4, 2012.

  1. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    My loose rule about the plot details I divulge in my write-ups tends to be that I don't reveal anything that happens beyond the first act.
     
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  2. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    Garner was a great driver in real life, so much so that the story goes they eventually let go of all the stunt drivers on "The Rockford Files" since Garner himself was able to do everything himself, often times better than the pro drivers.
     
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  3. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
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    A young Jessica Walter! I've seen her in an episode of Route 66 a few years earlier: it was interesting to see the Bluth family matriarch as a young woman
     
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  4. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    #7179 spejic, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
    I think I didn't do this correctly - when I said
    I meant I was metaphorically putting my fingers in my ears and talking loudly not to hear you, not that you said anything wrong in detail or shouldn't be posting stuff. I'm always glad when people that don't regularly post here post here, and I'm always looking forward to people's comments on movies and I will usually rep them.
     
  5. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    Hotel Mumbai (2018)
    Dir. Anthony Maras

    [​IMG]

    Ten terrorists attack various locations in Mumbai, with the aim to make as many victims as possible. The armed assailants are focusing primarily on Westerners and eventually most of the violence centers itself in the Taj Mahal hotel. Guests and staff members alike have to fight for their survival. After the initial assault, many of the hotel staff decide to stay and try and save as many guests as possible instead of fleeing through the then still available staff entrances.

    A dramatized depiction of the real-life 2008 terrorist attacks in India. I can't say with a straight face that this wasn't a tense and well made thriller yet I can't be the only one who has a weird feeling about movies devoted to real-life tragedies that are still very recent in our collective memories. Which in a weird kind of way is a peculiar sentiment, since this issue is far less present when it comes to dramatizations of older disasters, even though they too cost the lives of many real people.

    The cast is a bit of an eclectic bunch of Indian actors and a more western cast. Dev Patel is always a pleasant screen presence, whilst I do think he will have had more challenging roles than this one. Armie Hammer isn't really given enough to do to really shine. Jason Isaacs is a bit type-cast as a smarmy Russian. I did enjoy the work of some of the Indian actors, most notably Anupam Kher who plays a heroic chef.
     
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  6. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    Yeah, there is some balance between the ability of the filmmaker to educate/entertain and the respect we pay people who actually lived those things and the balance shifts as those people fade away. I usually prefer to see history in documentary-style rather than dramatization, although I'm pretty sure you can point at some level of entertainment and exploitation in, for example, the Second From Disaster portrayal of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    You can run into the same problem with certain events in the past that were very well documented - Titanic had an issue with its portrayal of one of the Titanic's crew.
     
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  7. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    #7182 spejic, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    [​IMG]

    Proud Mary (2018)

    Mary is a super-assassin for a Boston crime family. We open on her murdering someone behind on their bets and then finding out there was a kid in the next room. One year later she looks for him and finds out he is now a street runner for a rival crime family. She tries to free him from the abusive occupation, but ends up killing his boss instead. No one knows she did it, but as there are only two crime families around suspicions turn to the obvious direction. With a mob war looming, Mary has to figure out her loyalties.

    Good use of 1970's hits (including the obvious John Fogerty song), and Taraji Henson was exceptional, especially when bantering with the boy. But even though super-assassin stories in a world without cops is easy mode for screenwriters, I felt a little let down by this. The film tries to be a little deeper than its genre compatriots, but they should have done more to show her motherly side and show some sort of internal realization of the destination her actions were taking her to.

    There was some cool gun-fu in the middle gunfight, but the end fight was just ridiculous. You don't raise the stakes by killing two dozen people in the style of a video game - you get more from killing one person and really meaning it.
     
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  8. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    [​IMG]

    McCanick (2013)

    I admit I mostly watched this movie just so I could say I watched McCanick, The Mechanic, The Mechanic, The Mechanik, and Mechanic: Resurrection. I also wanted to see it because it features Cory Monteith, famous for twice appearing on Stargate SG-1 (or maybe that Glee show), in his final role before succumbing to his heroin addiction. Cory is absolutely brilliant as a street hustler and the target of a gritty, violent cop for some reason. You can have a story with a mystery if you are following along with a person who is also ignorant, but this movie gets rid of that character fairly early to set up some sort of bad detective situation. So all you have is a wildman doing wild things for no clear motive and it isn't believable and it isn't novel and it isn't interesting. The only effective scene is one of the flashbacks which made you wish this whole thing was reformulated into a Boulevard-type psychological movie.
     
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  9. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    [​IMG]

    Cobweb [战·无双, aka Ninja Masters] (2009)

    Slight and short Yi Yi may be a martial arts master, but when she falls on hard time she has to take a lowly night watchman job. Where she was lucky enough to run into Skinny, a former childhood friend. He works for the wealthy Mr. Him, and will be able to get her a job bodyguarding Him's wife. On her first night on the job, Mr. and Mrs. Him are kidnapped by seven hoods that suspiciously use only martial arts - not weapons. Yi Yi is desperate to find them, but there is no ransom. She is only directed to more places to fight more martial artists. Someone is clearly playing a game. But Yi Yi is one tough cookie. You know who else is a tough cookie? The son of the legend himself, Kane Kosugi!

    A throwback to 90's Jet Li-style martial arts movies with an emphasis on acrobatics and an aversion to brutality. You better like seeing a small woman wail on a bunch of men while doing parcour because the plot is paper thin and totally falls apart at the end. It turns out seeing a small woman wail on a bunch of men while doing parcour is my jam.
     
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  10. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    The Snake Pit (1948)
    Dir. Anatole Litvak

    [​IMG]

    Virginia is a confused young woman who is forced to come to the realization that she finds herself inside of a mental institute, even though she cannot recall how or when she arrived there. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that she had a nervous breakdown shortly after getting married and before that she had episodes where she was confused and hostile towards her husband. Dr. Kik, the man treating her, suspects that her disorder is linked to a trauma from her childhood, but he struggles to find a way in when it comes to having Virginia open up to him. All the while, Virginia's behavior wavers enough to send her up and down the echelon of wards within the institute and thus also across the full spectrum of neuroatypical people who are patients there.

    This was a very good drama, arguably somewhat ahead of its time. From the cold open, during which we are just as confused as the protagonist about her whereabouts and discover the truth along with her all through the way Litvak portrays moments of madness on the screen (the hydrotherapy scene!) as well as other creative flourishes (the panning out that concludes the scene in Ward 33 and the way the singer is framed during the dance scene) kept this a delightful watch throughout. It is truly carried however by the quality of the performances, with Olivia de Havilland as the stand-out among a very good cast. All of the women who portray the patients of the institute truly shine in this, right down to the day players who are in a single scene. In some ways, this felt like a "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" avant la lettre, only with a largely female cast. Warmly recommended.
     
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  11. Belgian guy

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    Confession of Murder (2012)
    Dir. Byung-gil Jung

    [​IMG]

    In 1990, we follow Lt. Choi, a police detective who is hot on the trail of a serial killer. After a pursuit in which he briefly seems to get the upper hand, he is left wounded and empty-handed as his target disappears into the dark of night. Fifteen years later, the case is still unsolved as the serial killer went dormant. Until one day, a man claiming to be the killer releases a book detailing his crimes and including facts that only the killer could have known. In spite of the tome, Choi remains skeptical. He perceives this confession as a cynical ploy by a charlatan who wants to get rich off the killer's notoriety. Due to the statute of limitation on the crimes having expired, the supposed killer-turned-author cannot be arrested. This does not mean that the families of the victims don't have more personal notions of justice in mind. But are they even targeting the right man?

    A completely bonkers Korean action thriller that is fun ride from start to finish. The opening eight minute chase scene is a terrific feat of action film-making and there are other set-pieces later on in the film that almost match it in quality. The central mystery is less interesting than the dynamic between the two protagonists, ably played by Jae-yeong Jeong and Shi-hoo Park. Obviously requires a great deal of suspension of disbelief but the film never allows you a moment to even contemplate the absurdity of what you are watching.
     
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  12. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    That last one sounds really good.

    [​IMG]

    Confession of Murder [내가 살인범이다](2012)

    The statute of limitations for murder is 15 years in South Korea, and 15 years after a brutal spree a man comes forward to confess in the most public way possible - a soon-to-be best selling book detailing the crime and a televised public relations tour. The detective on this case since its beginning, Lt. Choi, is outraged, but his nature won't let him be convinced just yet. The families of the victims are planing more direct action.

    Bonkers is right. I've never seen the like. It will be deeply dramatic and emotional, and then undercut it with something ridiculous or bizarre. The opening chase scene does a good job of preparing you for a slight level of unreality while also being suspenseful and exciting. This movie is completely brutal towards the television industry, book publishers, public relations people, business owners, academia, and most of all the public, all of whom take this pretty, well spoken, humble man to further an interest from their own limited worldview. That's the point of the movie's style - it might be funny for a moment, or a stunt fest for a moment, or just regular life for a moment but it always comes back to this: there are 11 women that are dead.
     
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  13. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    What did you make of the smiling tableau of survivors/bereaved at the very end?
    I thought that moment was strangely moving but I couldn't really properly articulate why that was so...
     
  14. Belgian guy

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    The Violent Men (1955)
    Dir. Rudolph Maté

    [​IMG]

    John Parrish is a rancher who came out West to recover from a gunshot wound he sustained during the war. He has no particular love for either his new place of residence or the business of ranching and once his health has been fully restored, he intends to return back East. There is only one man he can sell to: Lew Wilkison, the owner of the biggest ranch, Anchor, and the employer of the largest outfit in the entire valley. He is a man who commands more fear than respect and who has a history of using threats and violence to force other ranchers to sell to him. When Parrish approaches him to sell his own ranch, he is offended by the low price he is offered and then angered when he is further intimidated through the cold-blooded murder of one of his ranch hands. Instead of selling to Wilkison, he decides to stay and fight, using the tactics he learned as a Union Cavalry captain to overcome the fact that his side is badly outnumbered.

    A decent western that nevertheless doesn't quite live up to the quality of its principal cast of Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson. The third act feels a bit rushed, meaning that all of the build-up short of fizzles out after one last underwhelming showdown. Stanwyck is reliably good as a scheming wife and Robinson makes a good foil as the ultimately overmatched patriarch.
     
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  15. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    I thought it was a little strange too. You could interpret their smiles as forced, but the mother did change her clothes from black to white, so I think that means her acceptance and moving on are real.

    It does look like they are posing for a picture. Maybe they are just saying "this is us as we are right now".
     
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  16. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    The Screaming Skull (1958)
    Dir. Alex Nicol

    [​IMG]

    Eric is a widower whose first wife Marianne died in a tragic accident. He has remarried and plans to move into the home he shared with his first wife, a place which has been empty since his bereavement. His new wife Jenni finds the place somewhat ominous, feeling a sense of doom from almost the first moment she arrives. In the knowledge that his new wife spent some time in a sanatorium, Eric blames her feelings on her former mental illness. Until other things start to occur that are not so easily explained away.

    This was a B-movie horror-thriller that was alright for the most part. It felt like an inferior, American version of "The Innocents". The cast is essentially limited to just five players, with Peggy Webber as the stand-out amongst them.
     
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  17. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
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    My wife recorded this the other night because she likes Leslie Mann (the film, in case the image is missing, is "Blockers"). I had no desire to watch it but found myself sitting there with her and laughing repeatedly.

    [​IMG]

    Three friends decide to lose their virginity at the after party for senior prom; their parents (one each) decide it is their duty to stop them. Both the trio of parents (Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz) and the three girlfriends (Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Aldan, and Kathryn Newton) play well off of one another; I was unfamiliar with any of the young actors and was impressed, especially with Viswanathan.

    And I laughed. A lot. Didn't expect too, but it was a kick.
     
  18. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC He said to only look up -- Guster

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    what a wonderful plot. nothing like adolescent hi-jinx to brighten an evening.

    the best part is that it's three girls. why did they wait til their senior year? wasn't there some boy in junior high that would accommodate each girl's wishes?
     
  19. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
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    Interestingly,
    Show Spoiler
    two of the three decide not to.
     
  20. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC He said to only look up -- Guster

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    #7195 StiltonFC, Jun 13, 2019 at 3:37 PM
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 3:45 PM
    refreshing.

    Show Spoiler
    which girl?


    ne'er mind...i did the research...
     
  21. LastBoyscout

    LastBoyscout Member+

    Mar 6, 2013
    Am I the only one that finds those statutes of limitations for murder ridiculous?
     
  22. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC He said to only look up -- Guster

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    upload_2019-6-13_17-15-1.jpeg

    Michael Caine is a journalist in pre-war Saigon, working for The London Times. He has a beautiful, young Vietnamese lover. Enter Brendan Fraser as a Medical Team point man. He falls for the girl.

    And so on...

    Overall, a bit odd for me. I don't remember whether I read the Graham Greene novel way back when. The film garnered many award nominations and the female lead, Hai Yen, won a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress.
     
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  23. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    No. It might have made sense long ago - you generally either found the killer right away or never. But with DNA evidence you never know when you can come across something that breaks a case.

    South Korea did expand the statute of limitations for murder from 15 years to 25 years in 2007 (about the time the majority of the movie is set, and something that happens in the movie too), and in 2015 it was removed altogether.

    The movie was remade in Japan. I wonder how they deal with this issue. I will search the tubes for it.
     
  24. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

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    [​IMG]

    Molly (2017)

    Life was great. Until the apocalypse. There were nuclear bombs and some kind of zombie situation and a few years later a young woman is scrounging decayed bodies for canned dog food Fallout style. But this is no regular girl. Before the bombs Molly was being experimented on to explore her real but uncontrolled telepathic powers. Now Deacon, who runs a thunderdome-type deal where he gives the participants zombie drugs to get them face-ripping mad, wants to capture this legendary woman to be his new star attraction.

    Broadly similar to Six String Samurai, in that it has little story, characters, or worldbuilding and mostly exists to absorb the viewer in its atmosphere - in this case pretty much the atmosphere of Fallout 4. I liked that the fighting was rough and looked unplanned, but there was an awful lot of one party holding back their strike until the other party was ready for it, and it made the whole exercise unbelievable. The climax was 30-minutes done in the style of an unbroken cut, which was kinda cool, if overlong. The best part of this movie were the filters they used to give the movie the colorful but other-worldly look.
     
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  25. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

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    Yeah, it's probably not the movie for you if that bothers you. :p
     

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