rate the last movie you saw

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Eric Paddon
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3001 Post by Eric Paddon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:48 am

Easter Week viewing continues. Since these titles have been reviewed in years past I'm dispensing with the number ratings and just offering the new insights.

Jesus Of Nazareth (1977)

-After watching it all uncut on the old DVD *maybe* in the future I'll give the Blu-Ray a try but can someone clarify for me which is the right foreign Blu-Ray or foreign DVD that has all the missing material? If I can get hold of that first I might finally give the compromised Shout release a try in the future.

-I think the last couple times I was more aware of the flaws that had crept in to my perceptions over the years of the production and I realized that was because I was always saving it for close to last among the titles I watched after going through other productions that have had some superior moments in certain scenes. By making JON instead one of the *first* things I watched this year, this allowed the strengths to shine more with me this time, especially in the first half which does so much right that has never been equaled in other productions. More of the flaws I think crop up in the second half (they really pack a lot of Jesus's activities into the final week of his life. Almost all of his confrontations with the Pharisees are set after the Palm Sunday entry).

-I also dug out the interesting illustrated book of the production that was written by William Barclay, a minister/Biblical scholar who used the Burgess script to do a general narrative treatment but had it lavishly illustrated with production photographs. The Barclay text along the way reveals some of the material that was cut entirely and never restored, most notably the Temptation sequence which apparently was filmed with Jesus hearing tempting voices in His head. One production photo from this scene is in the book, showing Jesus holding a stone, clearly for the "command that these stones be made bread" scene. Also cut was Jesus telling Simon the Pharisee the Good Samaritan parable just before the entrance of Mary Magdalene. The narrative also indicates that Jesus healing of Peter's mother-in-law in Capernaum may have been filmed and cut as well.

Barabbas (1961)

-This is one of the titles I keep coming back to every year probably because (1) it isn't too long at 137 minutes and (2) there is just an incredible literary quality that defines what a great speculative Biblical fiction story should do that I've often found other films coming up a bit short in.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3002 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:20 am

The Mexican Blu-Ray has the sequence cut from the end of the mini-series attached to it (picture goes into standard def for about 10-15 minutes, then cuts back to HD). I think there's an Australian release which has this same edit but I'm not entirely sure...the HD master ITV provided worldwide is missing this segment. It's not a Shout glitch, it's inherent in the HD master that's available so most Blu-Rays are absent this section.

Looks like this is the only version in print (Amazon US sellers have the prior standalone release jacked up to $50):


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Paul MacLean
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3003 Post by Paul MacLean » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:02 pm

AndyDursin wrote:
Thanks for the tip! Ordered!

Or rather, ¡ordenado!

:mrgreen:

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3004 Post by AndyDursin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:32 am

HIDDEN FIGURES
7/10

Box-office smash tells the true story of three African-American mathematics wizards – Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – who broke not just the color barrier but played a major, mostly unheralded role in the halcyon days of NASA, including the groundbreaking orbit of astronaut John Glenn.

Well-meaning and energetically performed, director Theodore Melfi’s film veers from moving and earnest to contrived and calculated. At times, “Hidden Figures” comes dangerously close to feeling like more of a cinematic concoction than an accurate depiction of time and place, with several grandstanding sequences – like a NASA supervisor (Kevin Costner) ripping down a segregated bathroom, the ladies one-upping a stuffy superior (Jim Parsons), and Katherine delivering a sermon about the inherent injustice involved with their roles – seemingly designed more for audience applause than anything else. Ultimately, the film is an unquestioned crowd-pleaser, but mostly comes off as phony in spite of its strong trio of lead performances.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3005 Post by Monterey Jack » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:59 pm

-The Fast & The Furious (2001): 7/10

-2 Fast 2 Furious (2003): 7/10

-The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006): 7/10

-Fast & Furious (2009): 5/10

-Fast Five (2011): 8.5/10

-Fast & Furious Six (2013): 8/10

-Furious Seven (2015): 8/10

Good lord, I had forgotten how HORRIBLE Jordana Brewster looked in Fast Five...all gaunt and skeletal and with glazed eyes, like Christian Bale in The Machinist. :shock: She looked reasonably healthier in the last two films, but still...she must have hit a REALLY rough patch in-between parts four and five.

Anyways, has ANY franchise in the history of cinema evolved quite as strangely as these movies? From douchey, guilty-pleasure street-racing opuses with the camera clamped directly to every shapely, gyrating female ass in sight to the equivalent of dumping a pile of Matchbox cars out on the living room rug and enacting all of the wildest childhood chase & crash scenarios imaginable (you can practically hear the "vrrrrm, vrrrrm" and "pew-pew!" vocalizations in your head as you watch...if you're not making them involuntarily under your breath :P), every entry since the smashing Fast Five has been the kind of enthusiastic "dumb fun" that most summer movies today are far too gloomy and "gritty" to fully embrace. I avoided these films for ages due to the wan Point Break ripoff of the first and the overall mediocrity of the fourth, but I'm glad I finally went through the lot a few years back right before Furious Seven hit theaters, because the later films are an absolute gas to sit through.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3006 Post by AndyDursin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:26 pm

Loved FAST FIVE. The sixth one was just kind of "meh" but the last one was agreeable.

Looking forward to the new one, but will probably wait until video unless we get a sitter.

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3007 Post by Eric Paddon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:03 pm

Happy Easter to everyone!

This year I watched probably fewer movies in number than I did in previous years (I attribute that more to the sense of how fast a year goes by as one gets older and suddenly it only seems like yesterday since I last watched something) but I still made sure some favorites were watched and this year worked in some new things (though not the first time for them).

Passion Of The Christ (2004)

-I always watch this on Good Friday after services because it is the one night when the film's power I think is most manifest (it would be far inappropriate to watch it on Easter Sunday IMO). I for one will never understand the obsession of some critics in denouncing the violence and using terms like "pornography" because to me "pornography" from a violence standpoint is what my view of a scene like the melting Nazis in "Raiders" represents and not when one is trying to give us with *honesty* a moment that is supposed to make us think. It's not presented to us as popcorn entertainment but its meant to achieve something deeper. Watching it, I see a film that should have gotten Oscar nominations galore yet it got snubbed.


Ben-Hur (1959)

-Because the film ends with the Crucifixion and before the Resurrection, I again prefer to watch it when I do before Sunday. There has never been a more compelling fictional Biblical era narrative ever shown on the screen IMO that the fact that so much of it relies on ignoring historical authenticity (a circus arena in Jerusalem or the fact that Pilate is in office barely days before the trial) is totally immaterial because that plays second to the story of Judah Ben-Hur, Messala etc. This time I also for the first time realized why the only potential narrative gap, which is how Judah doesn't find out about his mother and sister before Messala's deathbed reveal (it always seemed like there should have been ample opportunity for him to learn before that if he was threatening to come back to see Messala after the initial confrontation) is not a narrative gap at all if we realize that when Judah storms out at the end of Act 1, he's going straight to Sheik Ilderim and thus is totally away from the area until the chariot race.


Risen (2016)

-I saw this theatrically with "Young Messiah" a year ago and this season marked my first revisit of both of them. If I found "Young Messiah" marginally better the second go-round, "Risen" is even more better the second viewing for me in that I was accepting the areas that didn't square with history (Pilate worrying about a visit from Tiberius) going in and could focus on the fact that the film's stated purpose of presenting how the Resurrection would have seemed to an outsider. The first time I thought it was good and now I see it as very good with its CSI approach in the first two-thirds. After its key turning point, the movie has the potential to lose steam and does for a couple minutes I felt but then rights itself and finishes strong. It will definitely find more repeat viewing from me in the years to come than those older films that have grown weaker to me over the years like "The Robe".

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3008 Post by mkaroly » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:41 am

Happy belated Easter!

I don't have a lot of time to watch films anymore...too many other things going on. So here are some "quick-hits" of a few films I have seen recently:

THE REVENANT - 4/10. Gorgeous visuals and sound design. It was hard to distinguish between real outdoor environments and enhanced environments. I made the mistake of watching part of the documentary on the Blu-Ray (the most pretentious piece of garbage I have ever seen) - if the director's intention was to portray the racist as not-a-bad-guy-just-ignorant (if I remember what he said on the documentary correctly), he failed miserably in order to put forward his anti-racist/anti-xenophobic message, especially in how the movie ends (which I understand is not historically accurate). Very disappointing on that front (I do not support racism or xenophobia...but if the director's aim was to paint the villain as ignorant and somewhat human, IMO opinion he failed horribly at that which is why I am making the comments I am making).

RASHOMON - 10/10. I have always enjoyed this film, and watching it on Blu-Ray has done nothing to change my mind about it. Kurosawa gets an amazing performance out of Mifune, and though I would have loved to see the forest and temple visuals in color, RASHOMON remains a compelling story that still has punch in our time.

AKIRA KUROSAWA'S DREAMS - 7/10. The Blu-Ray is absolutely fantastic visually - the film is a bit preachy, but at that point in Kurosawa's career, who cares? Some of the stories are a bit slow, but the three that packed the most punch (and made me cry) were The Peach Orchard, The Tunnel, and the final dream. The colors in this film are just hypnotic - the peach tree dance on the hillside is one of those Kurosawa visuals that stick with you long after the film has ended. Kudos to Criterion for putting together a great package for this film.

MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA - 6/10. I had not seen this film in decades; I forgot how badly Godzilla gets his hindquarters whopped by Mothra and her offspring! Goofy film but thoroughly entertaining for what it is.

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3009 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:10 am

Godzilla Vs The Thing is what it was called when I was growing up! That's a good one. I'm also partial to Godzilla Vs The Sea Monster from the golden age of Toho. Had no idea that was supposed to star King Kong and they just inserted Godzilla into the script lol.

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3010 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:43 pm

STILL waiting on a Blu-Ray release of Mothra vs. Godzilla, probably the best of the original run.

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3011 Post by Eric Paddon » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:12 pm

How To Steal A Million (1966) 8 of 10

-Got the TT Blu-Ray and it looks real good. We are thankfully spared a Julie Kirgo commentary though her annoying tendencies are present in her liner notes (she doesn't even bother to mention a critical fact about the production, namely George C. Scott being cast in the role of Leland and getting fired by Wyler after not showing up for the first day of shooting).

-I have never seen a film that better shows off Audrey Hepburn's whole sense of Givenchy style. Peter O'Toole is okay in general but there are moments where you get the vibe that he's not quite at home in this kind of light comedy contemporary role. The Williams score was my first introduction to his 60s comedy scores and remains a favorite of mine from this early phase of his career.

-Probably the funniest moment in the film for me is the slow double-take of Jacques Marin when he sees the statue gone. If EVER they had tried to make an Inspector Clouseau movie with an authentic Frenchman, Marin would have been perfect (He was also in "Charade" but his more comical sounding voice was dubbed).

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3012 Post by Monterey Jack » Mon May 01, 2017 12:03 am

The end credits for Assassin's Creed are FIFTEEN MINUTES long. :shock:

Image

I half expected to see the words "This space for rent", Top Secret!-style, halfway through. :lol:

Seriously...longest end credits for a theatrically-released movie, ever? Even the biggest special-effects blockbusters generally tap out around 12 minutes at the longest these days.

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Paul MacLean
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3013 Post by Paul MacLean » Mon May 01, 2017 12:13 am

Get Out

A riveting thriller / horror flick, with elements of (pardon the pun) black comedy. The story concerns a young black man who accompanies his white girlfriend to her affluent parents' home for the weekend, and finds himself amidst a coterie of wealthy -- and creepy -- suburbanites (who are mostly Caucasian -- though interestingly one of them is Japanese).

Basically it is a re-hash of Stepford Wives / Wicker Man territory, but the race element provides an interesting and fresh twist on the material. Inevitably, some will interpret Get Out an implicit satire of "white privilege" -- and I imagine this was the filmmakers' point on a certain level. But the film's atmosphere of unease, paranoia and ultimately terror is so palpably effective (my heart was racing during much of the third act), and the viewer so completely identifies with lead actor Daniel Kaluuya (who is is excellent in the role), that any racial allusions soon become almost irrelevant.

Michael Abels' score is also very effective, harkening back to the thriller work of Herrmann and Goldsmith, and (shockingly, considering the sorry state of film scoring today) even has traces of melody! A good deal of the film's suspense can attributed to Abels' contribution.

I'm sure some people will view Get Out as "dangerous" and "inflammatory", and others will see it as a "rallying cry" and call to combat racial inequality. Maybe I am "missing the point", but for me, 90% of Get Out's effectiveness is as a thriller. While the race element is an effective plot device, the film's statements about race relations never really go beyond the superficial, and the film's endeavor to be a social commentary isn't fully successful -- but ironically the viewer doesn't notice or care because it is such an effective nail-biter.
Last edited by Paul MacLean on Mon May 01, 2017 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3014 Post by Monterey Jack » Mon May 01, 2017 12:20 am

Yes, I was highly impressed by Get Out...I don't think it's quite a classic (the ending seems tacked-on by a studio exec), but it was nevertheless very well-acted, directed and SCORED. The music definitely had a classic Twilight Zone feel, and you could actually HEAR it for once. Very good film. Looking forward to a re-view for my Halloween movie marathon this October. 8)

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3015 Post by Monterey Jack » Fri May 05, 2017 9:03 am

Introduced the nephew to Phantom Of The Paradise and Robocop last night...he seriously dug both. 8)

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