Return of the RECENT VIEWING

..and why not?
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Snarfyguy
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 20 Jul 2018, 22:41

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I found this oddly underwhelming, even though -- or perhaps because -- I have a great interest in the topic. It may be that

- band starts out; they can't play yet
- band gets good
- band gets great
- band flames out, but then proceeds to become highly influential

just isn't really that compelling a narrative for a story.


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Saw this with my six year-old daughter at an outdoor screening. She'd seen it before, so she was able to alert me when the particularly good parts were coming up. :) It was a decent movie with a strong female lead, so empowering, I would think, for little girls.


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Except it was The Incredibles 2. Brad Bird, (the now-disgraced, apparently) John Lasseter and great acting talent - no-brainer, except they could have shaved half an hour off the thing and I wouldn't have minded.


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I watched this last night but I was half asleep and I already can't remember what happened. Interestingly, all the main characters are women and it seemed to owe a great debt to Tarkovsky's Stalker. Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are both very good in it.
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Matt Wilson
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Jul 2018, 02:07

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Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mazursky's first film and still one of his best. A huge hit in 1969, it was pretty frank in terms of attitudes toward sex. Of course, the four protagonists are twits, but that's sort of the point, no? The acting mostly makes it. I could start a thread on Elliot Gould, who was entering into his great phase here. A hip actor who never would have made it in any previous era but who was perfect for the counter culture (post Hoffman). How many good/great movies did Natalie Wood make, anyway? Her acting is okay, I guess, but you can't take your eyes off of her. There's this, The Searchers, Rebel without a Cause (she's sixteen when she made that film), Love with the Proper Stranger, Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, etc. I can't remember without looking her up. Anyway, I had a good time with this one.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 21 Jul 2018, 05:27

^^^ Counterpoint: I really didn't like that movie. I'm not a "swinger," but this film clearly had a very square agenda for a post-Easy Rider (right?) picture. Anyone who takes that much interest in what other people are getting up to -- even if they're fictional characters -- is a weirdo.

Well there goes Flaubert and Madame Bovary, but come on. It seems like propaganda, like one of those After-School Specials, but for adults. Too preachy and partisan to take seriously.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Jul 2018, 07:28

Snarfyguy wrote:^^^ Counterpoint: I really didn't like that movie. I'm not a "swinger," but this film clearly had a very square agenda for a post-Easy Rider (right?) picture. Anyone who takes that much interest in what other people are getting up to -- even if they're fictional characters -- is a weirdo.

.


It was released two months after Easy Rider, and the people in the movie weren't swingers either. That was the message of the ending when they couldn't go through it.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 21 Jul 2018, 16:31

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This is amazing. The Raid meets Midnight Express.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Samoan » 21 Jul 2018, 18:49

A repeat viewing of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
There's not a minute of superfluous screen time and what a powerful cast.
Magnificent with special mention of the montage finale to the strains of La Mer which is masterly.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Jul 2018, 21:10

Samoan wrote:A repeat viewing of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
There's not a minute of superfluous screen time and what a powerful cast.
Magnificent with special mention of the montage finale to the strains of La Mer which is masterly.

I thought that was entirely forgettable, personally. I'm not familiar with the original novel, but it seemed highly stylised yet completely unengaging.

Different strokes, n' all that.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Samoan » 21 Jul 2018, 21:56

Yes, very different strokes.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 22 Jul 2018, 17:40

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The Endless (2017)

Interesting, Lovecraft-inspired sci-fi/horror movie with many interesting ideas. It gets kind of complex; I had to watch it twice and I'm still not sure I've figured it out entirely.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 22 Jul 2018, 17:42

Snarfyguy wrote:

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I watched this last night but I was half asleep and I already can't remember what happened. Interestingly, all the main characters are women and it seemed to owe a great debt to Tarkovsky's Stalker. Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are both very good in it.


I thought it owed a lot to 'Solaris.'
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 22 Jul 2018, 19:31

pcqgod wrote:I thought it owed a lot to 'Solaris.'

Why not both?
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 22 Jul 2018, 21:13

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Pretty good horror-flick take on Groundhog Day. A college student relives the same day over and over again, being murdered by a masked villain over and over again. Can she figure out who the killer is, so she can move on to the next day? Quite clever in a way, it relies on the formula set by another film, and plays to the preconceptions in quite a witty way. The plot struggles a bit, to be honest, but in some ways it doesn't matter, it's effectively a one-woman tour de force from Jessica Rothe as the repetitive victim, the film hangs on her performance, and she carries it off with some distinction. Lovely stuff.

Also watched Thor:Ragnarok again. It's still shit.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 23 Jul 2018, 09:04

Death of Stalin. Very funny with some great performances.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby PENK » 26 Jul 2018, 01:27

Jeemo wrote:Death of Stalin. Very funny with some great performances.


I wanted to watch that, but couldn't remember the password to rent anything new, so had to go with what's on Netflix.

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So these Mission Impossible films seem to have been getting good reviews, especially the latest one. I'll start with this which is what, number four in the series? Tom Cruise is one of those actors who does the same thing in every film but when the film is specifically written to let him do that, then that's fine. Here, he has to thwart the late Michael Nyqvist - who has a pretty lame part as a villain who doesn't do much except walk around with a briefcase - who wants to start a nuclear war in order to end all other conflict and strife on the planet. Makes sense in a way, I guess.

Cruise is aided by Paula Patton, who does not seem very competent as a secret agent but is at least very attractive, and Simon Pegg, who I must admit I didn't find as attractive, but who does do the 'Q' thing very well, and Jeremy Renner, who is suspiciously beefy and capable for a "chief analyst" and that's not really a spoiler, is it? Because they get the blame for blowing up half of Moscow, they have to go "ghost protocol" which means they have to operate totally undercover with no support, because ordinarily I assume they are doing all their secret agent sneaking and killing and exploding on live Youtube streams or something.

He is hindered by Lea Seydoux, who rivals Patton in attractiveness and seems much more clued up, and a Russian guy called Vladimir Mashkov who I thought was effective and underused as the well-meaning-but-misinformed detective character. And assorted henchmen etc.

The first two thirds of the film, in Moscow and Dubai, are preposterously entertaining, with all the big bangs and car chases and tension you could hope for, and some well-placed humour, largely courtesy of Pegg, although the random Russian guy Cruise springs from prison is a bit of a waste of space. The Burj Khalifa sequence in particular is dynamite: as soon as they mentioned Dubai I expected some kind of mile-high hi-jinks and I was very satisfied with what we got.

After Nyqvist escapes with the nuclear launch codes it suddenly becomes very important - for reasons I could never really work out - that they all go to visit a guy who is some strange cross between Donald Trump, Benny Hill and Omar Sharif, and Jeremy Renner has to fly around in a wind tunnel with - of course! - a big fan with sharp blades (and a spike to boot!) at the bottom, while the others enjoy one of those opulent, slightly patronising parties you get in films like this when they go to another country and get some investment from the local tourist board. Renner and Pegg recognise how ridiculous the situation is and keep the whole thing grounded, but the plot has by this point given up and they can't even come up with a good showdown, which is a shame as the earlier part of the film did deserve a good finish.

Still, much more fun than Spectre. I should point out that I had had a bit to drink before watching this and a bit more during. I expect that someone who does not drink much and only watches films made by Michael Haneke might not enjoy it as much as I did.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 26 Jul 2018, 19:16

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Cinderella Liberty

One of Caan's best roles and Marsha Mason, who was basically an unknown at the time, got an oscar nod. Only in the '70s would you get a film about a sailor and a prostitute with a black son being made by a major studio. It's not delivered in a Disney manner either. The woman is a wreak and the man a saint. An actor's dream and a feast for cineastes.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 26 Jul 2018, 23:14

Red Sparrow, not bad but not as clever as it thinks it is. Looked great.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 27 Jul 2018, 15:04

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Won't You Be My Neighbor (2018)

Some of the reminiscences you hear on this documentary seem too eager to paint Fred Rogers as a holy man...I think the term "the new Christ" even comes up at one point. To its credit, the film does reveal that he had his demons, although in his case channeled to the worthy cause of helping children overcome theirs. The one thing that best comes across is that Mr. Rogers definitely got children and was able to interact with them on their level without condescending. If he came across as an uber square at times, that can be forgiven for his bold attempts to talk to children and help them cope with real-life issues. And even if he wasn't a saint, there was no denying that he could summon up moments of real magic on his program.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 27 Jul 2018, 17:12

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Cinderella Liberty

One of Caan's best roles and Marsha Mason, who was basically an unknown at the time, got an oscar nod. Only in the '70s would you get a film about a sailor and a prostitute with a black son being made by a major studio. It's not delivered in a Disney manner either. The woman is a wreak and the man a saint. An actor's dream and a feast for cineastes.

I'm putting this on my Netflix queue, because while I'm reasonably sure I've seen it, it would have been decades ago and I have no memory of it whatsoever. But I love this kind of gritty 70s American stuff.

Good writeup on the Mission Impossible picture above. I had fun watching that too.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby joklend » 27 Jul 2018, 21:52

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Really great. One of ITV's finest hours.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby PENK » 27 Jul 2018, 22:47

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I enjoyed Ghost Protocol enough to watch the next film in the series, Rogue Nation. Here, Cruise and his team get shut down in time-honoured style by CIA stuffed shirt Alec Baldwin (on autopilot) just when they're trying to find a mystery man who seems linked to a series of large-scale terrorist attacks. So Cruise just goes off on the run instead, being way smarter and having access to better tech than the entire CIA.

Cruise does eventually get help, though: Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are all too happy to leave their new CIA jobs of, respectively, sitting at a desk playing Halo and standing behind Baldwin glowering and poking him with one-liners. Paula Patton has mysteriously vanished in between films, but she gets replaced by Ving Rhames, who was apparently in some of the earlier films. He seems to be a more effective agent, though I think Patton has the edge as eye candy. I wouldn't say that to his face, mind.

There's a good villain in this one: the creepy, twitchy, paper-voiced Sean Harris should be the baddie in every spy film made from this moment on. In fact he's so creepy, that's him as Ian Brady in the post directly above! Rebecca Ferguson is good as his suspiciously helpful underling but they lay on the whose-side-is-she-really-on twists a bit too thick and it gets tiresome in the end.

There's a tense underwater sequence and a good bit at the Vienna opera with Cruise tailing the most Aryan man ever, but overall the stunts and action aren't up to the standard of the last one. Or maybe it's just that with these films, you can't watch them too close together. Because they are all basically the same, aren't they?
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