Return of the RECENT VIEWING

..and why not?
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pcqgod
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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?
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Jul 2018, 02:33

PENK wrote: 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?


That's pretty much it. And the two you just watched are better than the first three if memory serves. Bond-lite. Or Bourne-lite if that's your taste.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 29 Jul 2018, 21:18

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My wife really likes this film for some reason. A reasonable update of Rear Window for the MTV generation, but it seems to sag quite a bit in the middle, so you lose interest and suddenly you look up and there's a fight in a dungeon going on, which seems really out of place. Actually spent about half an hour last night pausing the film and looking through Abba videos, to find out what song the 'sinister' incidental music reminded us of. It was the verses to "Money Money Money".
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 31 Jul 2018, 02:17

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A Matter of Life & Death

The Archers' view of life after death is given a stunning transfer in this new Criterion blu of their first post WWll picture. As beautiful as The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, etc. Which is to say among the most spectacular uses of the technicolor lens as you're likely to see. It leaps out at you. It's almost impossible not to be impressed if you're viewing it on a large screen monitor. The story is somewhat hokey, but serviceable. The Britishness of the entire enterprise permeates everything, of course. The American prosecutor in heaven is emblematic of an anti-Britishness which Powell & Pressburger felt threatened by. He's obviously the villain of the piece, and the Frenchman is embarrassingly foppish and every Gallic stereotype you can think of is on display in the screenplay. This doesn't ruin the movie though and it's recommended.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 31 Jul 2018, 16:50

At the same time Massey lists British faults throughout history during the trial. One of my favourite films.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Samoan » 02 Aug 2018, 19:55

The Bunker

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I stumbled upon this on TV one evening, depicting the events surrounding Adolf Hitler's last weeks in and around his underground bunker in Berlin before and during the battle for the city.
Totally and utterly vile and repellent but required viewing.






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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 04 Aug 2018, 09:01

Out with the not quite as wee as he used to be Wee Guy. we saw Ant-Man and The Wasp. Great fun and very enjoyable, doesnt take itself too seriously.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 06 Aug 2018, 09:27

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Modern tinder-era take on Fatal Attraction, where an up and coming ad exec who uses an online dating service for one-night stands meets a girl who won't accept his rejections. Quite short, snappy, and effective, I thought. The twist is fairly obvious, but the film is engaging enough with two particularly convincing lead performances.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 07 Aug 2018, 21:15

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I was quite impressed with this, though I think it walks a fine line between attempting to be an articulate insightful film, and remembering to actually entertain the kids, and sometimes gets the balance wrong. The whole debate about whether laws are moral in and of themselves didn't seem to amuse Tom as much as the baby kicking the shit out of a racoon, for instance. Still, it's definitely a vast improvement on all the Marvel shit that gets vomited onto our screens at the moment.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Aug 2018, 03:57

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Cross of Iron

I just recently got an Oppo 203 disc player and installed the chip to make it region-free. I'm indulging in some region B blus and this is the first one I played. The British blu of Cross of Iron is excellent. A good transfer (though a tad on the greenish side), with decent supplements. I should've gone region free years ago. Peckinpah's last good movie.
John Coan wrote:I've lived in many different countries in Europe and whenever I come home I think 'England is the best'