Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

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Paul MacLean
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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#16 Post by Paul MacLean » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:33 pm

Glad you started this thread, Jack.

It troubles me sometimes when I see kids dismissing things like Raiders of the Lost Ark as "old" and "boring", or lauding Jurassic World as "better than the original!" (as my teenage nieces did after seeing it). :shock:

It's encouraging to see young people showing an appreciation for classics and cult flicks.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#17 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:13 am

Paul MacLean wrote: It troubles me sometimes when I see kids dismissing things like Raiders of the Lost Ark as "old" and "boring", or lauding Jurassic World as "better than the original!" (as my teenage nieces did after seeing it). :shock:
The hell of it is, some critics at the time found movies like Raiders, Die Hard and Top Gun to be slick, soulless and over-the-top, but now they seem as stripped-down and elegant as an Alfred Hitchcock thriller from the 40's must have seemed thirty years ago. It really is a generational thing...I distinctly remember telling my mom that I heard that Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear remake was "based on some old movie" back in the day, a moment that I flashed on ruefully when the Evil Dead remake came out, and I heard an employee use the exact same line as I was leaving. :oops:
It's encouraging to see young people showing an appreciation for classics and cult flicks.
My nephew is awesome...he has a genuine appreciation for "old-school" special effects ("How did they do that?"), and doesn't let "dated" stuff like clothing and hairstyles and filmmaking techniques get in the way of a movie that tells a compelling story. Plus, it's been fun to point out the "young" versions of actors he may be familiar with (like Ian Holm in Alien, who he recognized as Bilbo Baggins from Lord Of The Rings). And I try to arrange "themed" double-features so the movies tie into each other in some way that they support and build on each other. He loved the 80's-tastic Netflix series Stranger Things, so it's been fun to show him stuff from that decade that inspired it in ways big and small (still need to find something with Winona Ryder in it from that period, as I'm sure he only knows her as the mother from that show, which is kind of terrifying to consider :shock: :lol: ). And watching old favorites through a fresh pair of eyes makes them more enjoyable to me as a pleasant side effect...it's always fun to watch a scary movie with someone who has never seen it, just to wait for the good "seat-jumper" moments (like when the Alien's hand pops out at Sigourney Weaver in the escape pod). Really looking forward to sharing Aliens with him, just to show him where half of the cinematic DNA for James Cameron's Avatar came from (a surly Weaver, the technology, the "military gets their asses handed to them by an indigenous species" plot, the scowling butch Latina). I've already warned him that the series took a nosedive in quality with the third and fourth movies, so we'll have to see about those.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#18 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:10 am

Critics were virtually unanimous in their praise for RAIDERS. You'd have to strain to find a single stick in the mud from that time to encounter a dissenting view. TOP GUN though did get a lot of mixed reviews when it opened. And that I understand, it's okay but never been a favorite of mine.

DIE HARD was a different case, most liked it but it had to overcome some prejudice in terms of Willis casting which was a hang up for some people...both from those who didnt know him from TV and those who did. Most reviews though again were really excellent and the film took many by surprise...the early trailers never looked like anything special, just another loud R rated action movie. I remember hating that trailer from how often I saw it and then been surprised it was actually good! Thankfully my dad took me to see it.

It's a good thing you are showing your nephew the good stuff to counter the crap in the theatrical marketplace this summer. Sad doesn't even begin to describe it!

And as far as ALIEN goes that space jockey was best left as a mystery...gaps that never needed to be filled in is how I would describe it.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#19 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:35 am

AndyDursin wrote:Critics were virtually unanimous in their praise for RAIDERS. You'd have to strain to find a single stick in the mud from that time to encounter a dissenting view.
That'd probably be Owen Gleiberman...in his book Movie Freak, he called it, "One-third exciting and two-thirds exhausting" and said that, "It was nothing but a series of peaks, it rushed by but didn't breathe", and pointed out that, even more than Star Wars, it looked forward to the empty, rhythmic sensationalism of the modern-day blockbuster format. Oddly, researching old issues of The Boston Phoenix (where he cut his teeth reviewing films back in the 80's), he ended up putting Temple Of Doom on his top-ten list for 1984! :shock: Hey, I think TOD is awesome and underrated, but how is Raiders more of a series of endless climaxes and setpieces than Doom?
And as far as ALIEN goes that space jockey was best left as a mystery...gaps that never needed to be filled in is how I would describe it.
It wouldn't have been so bad for Scott to explore that concept had he not bungled it so badly in Alien: Covenant, where he literally dropped a nuke on the whole "Engineer" planet and washed his hands of actually explaining who they hell they were! :x Made no sense to me, other that studio pressure to make the film more like a "traditional" Alien movie as opposed to the flawed-yet-compelling Prometheus. In that respect, it's as disappointing a follow-up to Prometheus as Alien 3 was compared to Aliens...a studio stepping on the filmmaker's neck and forcing him to radically alter his "vision" in order to appease what audiences "want to see".

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#20 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:32 am

Given that screenplays are always the weakest part of Scott's work, I hold Scott mostly accountable for COVENANT's woes. He had 5 years to come up with something, and generated a script that felt like a bad '60s STAR TREK episode where the crew beams down to a deserted planet, meets a bad guy pretending to be something he isn't, and then chaos breaks out. While the ALIEN elements felt grafted on, even the PROMETHEUS continuation element was wholly unsatisfying on its own (like you said, it's as bad as ALIEN3), and I can't believe Scott wasn't given all the leeway he needed to take that story in the direction he did. I mean, he alone killed off Blomkamp's ALIENS sequel we all wanted to see. He's also the one who had PROMETHEUS rewritten to have the aliens removed from it! If Fox was so hung up on Aliens running around they'd have never agreed to that stipulation years back.

He could have done so much more with COVENANT. You could have still made an "ALIEN movie" without throwing out where PROMETHEUS went -- but the whole project went down tepid, depressing avenues that I just can't imagine Scott didn't sign off on.

Fox also had to have known what a straight(er) ALIEN movie would bring in commercially -- ALIEN 3 and RESURRECTION certainly didn't light the world on fire. The first ALIEN VS PREDATOR movie did very well but the sequel didn't. PROMETHEUS actually did better than all of those post-ALIENS sequels...and yet COVENANT will end up the least successful of all 5 franchise films (it would be 6 of 7 if you counted the AVP flicks). They likely knew what was coming to some degree given COVENANT's budget was reduced.

I just think Scott can be his own worst enemy, especially where things like narratives are concerned. I'd be surprised if the real problem was Fox giving him too much power in the development of these pictures.
That'd probably be Owen Gleiberman...in his book Movie Freak, he called it, "One-third exciting and two-thirds exhausting" and said that, "It was nothing but a series of peaks, it rushed by but didn't breathe", and pointed out that, even more than Star Wars, it looked forward to the empty, rhythmic sensationalism of the modern-day blockbuster format. Oddly, researching old issues of The Boston Phoenix (where he cut his teeth reviewing films back in the 80's), he ended up putting Temple Of Doom on his top-ten list for 1984! :shock: Hey, I think TOD is awesome and underrated, but how is Raiders more of a series of endless climaxes and setpieces than Doom?
Yeah, that TEMPLE OF DOOM comment is cracked. The movie has serious flaws, it's still fun and I like it, but I don't prefer it to either of the films it's sandwiched between...I'm not sure there are many people alive who would ever criticize RAIDERS for being too exhausting and then prefer TEMPLE OF DOOM over it! lol.

Gleiberman baffles me at times with some of the stuff he raves about. I have always enjoyed reading his reviews from a writing perspective, but his personal tastes I find more confounding than critics I typically am in sync with more frequently.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#21 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:14 pm

AndyDursin wrote:Gleiberman baffles me at times with some of the stuff he raves about. I have always enjoyed reading his reviews from a writing perspective, but his personal tastes I find more confounding than critics I typically am in sync with more frequently.
Dude gave an "A-" to Alien 3. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#22 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:59 pm

Lol I had forgotten that! But that's exactly what I'm talking about, lol...there's got to be more than that too.

Variety's rave of SUPERMAN RETURNS is still the "worst movie review ever" though lol.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#23 Post by mkaroly » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:52 pm

^^^Lol...whenever SUPERMAN RETURNS comes up and Andy makes a comment I always laugh. :lol: I still to this day refuse to acknowledge it is part of the Superman universe of films...I am looking forward to never watching it again!

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#24 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:16 pm

Heh-heh-heh, DeagleDeagleDeagle...! :twisted:



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Took in an 80's monster mash with the nephew and introduced him to the black-comic, Muppet Show anarchy of Gremlins and the kick-ass action thrills of Aliens. He laughed a lot at the former (and winced at the PG-13 inspiring blender and microwave kitchen carnage :shock: ) and got totally pumped up by the latter (and now has an appreciation of how much of it was recycled by James Cameron in Avatar). He was particularly impressed by the articulation of the Alien Queen, and the final King Kong vs. Godzilla showdown between her and Ripley still stands as one of the great movie fight scenes. I essentially spoiled the downbeat plot turns of Alien 3 (with his consent), and even just hearing a quick summary of it, he was all disgusted and wanted nothing to do with it, so I'm teaching the boy well. 8) Too bad we'll never get a "real" sequel to Aliens now that Ridley Scott killed off that Neil Blomkamp project. Maybe I'll lend him the late-80's/early-90's Dark Horse comics some day, which are the proper sequel to Aliens in my opinion.

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#25 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:26 pm

Took in a "sci-fi cityscape" twofer with the Nephew with Blade Runner (theatrical cut) and Dark City (w/muted opening narration).

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As always, Blade Runner leaves me cold as a narrative, but it's undeniable how influential it has been on the last 35 years' worth of sci-fi cinema, and the Nephew seemed pretty engaged by it all. He exclaimed in delight when I told him to imagine Daryl Hannah's Pris with an eyepatch, and he made the connection to Kill Bill. He'd be interested in seeing the forthcoming sequel now.

As for Dark City, I'm sorry, but it's a better movie than Blade Runner. :shock: Despite how the characters are specifically designed to be blank automatons who constantly have their identities and memories swapped around, I still felt more emotion watching Rufus Sewell's protagonist John Murdock suss out just what's going on and make the case that learning what it is to be truly "Human" resides not in the mind, but in the heart. Plus, its pell-mell pacing and visual effects still hold up nearly two decades(!) later, and the film remains a superior piece of beautifully-burnished mind-phuckery.

Plus, Jennifer Connelly is just breathtakingly, heartbreakingly gorgeous in this. It's a CRIME what she did to herself after Requiem For A Dream. :x

Anyways, the nephew enjoyed both, and expressed interest in Starship Troopers for our next go-around. Would He Like To Know More...? :lol:

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Re: Movie Nights w/the Nephew thread

#26 Post by Monterey Jack » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:51 pm

Had a MOST EXCELLENT double-feature with the nephew tonight! First, we time-travelled back to 2011, to watch an awesome movie set in 1979! Super 8, a throwback to bodacious Steven Spielberg movies from our home decade of the 80’s (and setting up more gnarly 80’s nostalgia with the most similar Stranger Things). Then, we travelled to San Dimas, 1988, to enjoy the adventures of…Us! Our journeys through time brought us into most agreeable contact with a variety of historical personages, some savory medieval Princess Babes, and the radical Rufus, who gave us the super-helpful phone booth that allows us to visit any time period we want! It was a most unprecedented expedition, and I hope to enjoy another with my nephew amigo soon! And remember, be excellent to each other, and Party On, Dudes!

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