rate the last movie you saw

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Eric Paddon
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3091 Post by Eric Paddon » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:27 am

I just sat there wondering when this movie was going to get to the point. To me this film is a comment on why I don't even feel like bothering with movies or TV in general because all it is is visual razzle-dazzle while actors mumble their lines or don't talk coherently for people to figure out what the PLOT of the film is (I got so impatient with that pointless flashback to young Clark leaping over the field endlessly. I wanted some frigging DIALOGUE by this point after having previously endured four minutes of Eva Marie Saint wandering outside). And then it doesn't help when the actors they come up with for Superman and Lois look like they should be doing "Smallville" episodes instead since they are totally lacking in any kind maturity or gravitas whatsoever, and add to that the narcissistic touches of "Hey look at me top the old film!" by giving us that airplane rescue bit ending with Superman's same line to Lois at the end of helicopter rescue scene in the original.

Connecting this film to the Reeve/Salkind films was just a wrongheaded move. I wasn't a big fan of "Lois And Clark" or "Smallville" for that matter but at least they were trying to give us a fresh spin on a character and universe that lends itself to multiple tellings. This one clearly couldn't make up its mind as if it needed the trappings of music and grandeur we associate with the first film but then wanted to be "different" in ways that only highlighted how special the Reeve films were. It reflects a totally unimaginative approach to the subject that just left me totally uninterested in what was to come. Oh, and I'll admit hearing Kevin Spacey utter a line about being "creepy" really comes off as just that now.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3092 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:00 am

[And then it doesn't help when the actors they come up with for Superman and Lois look like they should be doing "Smallville" episodes instead since they are totally lacking in any kind maturity or gravitas whatsoever, and
Please don't insult SMALLVILLE here Eric. Lol seriously I was a fan of that show especially after it moved away from Monsters of the Week type shows. Cast was terrific and Erica Durance was my favorite Lois of them all. Welling would've made for a better Superman than the likes of Routh and Cavill, and I haven't even seen his CGId moustache removal to see that performance in Justice League!

Everything about SUPERMAN RETURNS failed. Singer tried to do fan service to the Reeve films while grafting his own specific agenda (Supes as a creepy deadbeat dad) onto the film. A colossal and also incredibly boring film that misfired on nearly every level.

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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3093 Post by mkaroly » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:19 am

I agree that Warner Bros. dropped the ball with their Superman reboot (twice now). Their big mistake was making Superman a darker character. I am fine with doing that with Batman (as Nolan's films did...which I still like to this day), but as many people on this message board have said in varying ways, Superman is not a dark, depressing, brooding character. I saw both Zach Snyder Superman films, and to me they were both deplorably awful. Superman Returns is very forgettable. It is a shame because Superman is a great character. I will take Superman the Movie as well as its sequels any day over what passes for "Superman" nowadays.

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Paul MacLean
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3094 Post by Paul MacLean » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:25 pm

La La Land

A movie not without appeal; it's "visually dazzling" and has moments that are touching, and ring true. But it is mostly an unremarkable, run-of-the-mill "boy meets girl" romance, and little more than a Lifetime Original Movie dressed up with high production value and nostalgic touches. The song and dance sequences are incredibly contrived, and not at all in sync with the tone of the rest of the film. They are just tacked-on -- it feels like when you're watching TV, and someone comes into the room and changes the channel to a completely different show.

Additionally the film is incredibly tedious and slow-moving. Emma Stone is wonderful (I can't get enough of those those big eyes!), but Ryan Gosling isn't turning out to be an actor whose work I enjoy -- on any level. I can't say he's technically a "bad actor", but I find him a boring, un-charismatic lead balloon, who sucks the energy and appeal out of everything I've seen him in.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3095 Post by AndyDursin » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:33 pm

The music also stinks. Hard to like a musical where you don't like the music!

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Paul MacLean
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3096 Post by Paul MacLean » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:23 am

AndyDursin wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:33 pm
The music also stinks. Hard to like a musical where you don't like the music!
After a while I actually started fast-forwarding over the songs! :lol:

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3097 Post by Monterey Jack » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:55 pm

-The Shape Of Water (2017): 10/10

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WOW. :shock: Hard to describe, yet one of the most queerly sublime movie experiences of the year. For those wanting to see something truly unique and unforgettable, this gets my highest recommendation.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3098 Post by AndyDursin » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:26 am

I cant believe MJ loves a Del Toro movie! :D

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3099 Post by Monterey Jack » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:22 pm

AndyDursin wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:26 am
I cant believe MJ loves a Del Toro movie! :D
Is really is that good, though. Del Toro fans will of course eat it up, but reviews across the board have been glowing, and for good reason. I'm sure the central conceit will get some "bad laughers" in some theaters, but I found it completely captivating, a mixture of romance, gruesome gore, a deep love of classic musicals and unexpected comedy that shouldn't work, but does. I absolutely loved it.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3100 Post by AndyDursin » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:03 pm

I will see it but I find a lot of his work overrated. This looks like he put Splash and Black Lagoon together. Good to see Michael Shannon stretching though playing another "Bad White Guy".

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3101 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:09 pm

DOLORES CLAIBORNE
9/10

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Unquestionably one of the best films adapted from a Stephen King work, DOLORES CLAIBORNE is a rich, compelling film about a hardened Maine housekeeper (Kathy Bates) accused of murdering her long-time boss: a wealthy, elderly socialite whose demise isn’t entirely what it appears to be. Complicating matters, though, is Dolores Claiborne’s involvement in her husband’s death years before – an accident that occurred under a solar eclipse and drew suspicions from a local investigator (Christopher Plummer) who thinks she’s murdered again.

A Castle Rock production that was greeted with strong reviews but only modest box-office, “Dolores Claiborne” has weathered the years and remains one of the best King movies. Its story of everyday – as opposed to supernatural – horrors flourishes under the cinematic touches of director Taylor Hackford and writer Tony Gilroy, whose flashback structure (bathed in bright, primary colors, whereas the present is conveyed in dreary tones) and widescreen cinematography make for a striking piece of cinema that could’ve been handled under predictable conditions by any number of other filmmakers. The film immediately hooks the viewer and sustains interest throughout its ample but never dull 2+ hour running time, while the performances are notably outstanding.

Bates is even better here than she was in her Oscar-winning (though somewhat comparatively one-note) turn in another King adaptation, “Misery,” conveying a protagonist whose plight is believably rendered. Judy Parfitt is superb as Dolores’ wealthy boss, who offers surprising levels of support, while Christopher Plummer eats up his turn as the cool, calculating local detective still pursuing Dolores after several decades. John C. Reilly and David Straithairn also make an impression in early supporting turns, leading only Jennifer Jason Leigh to disappoint as Dolores’ troubled reporter daughter, who reluctantly comes to her side. Leigh is supposed to be strident but she’s too arch in the role, something I noticed more clearly this time around – one could see any number of other actresses being able to inject more sympathy into the part.

It’s not a major issue, though, as “Dolores Claiborne” is still a surprisingly cinematic work that manages to be powerful and eerily poignant in equal measure. A movie that’s long demanded the high-definition treatment, Warner Archive has finally brought the Castle Rock film to Blu-Ray at long last. The Nova Scotia-shot cinematography of Gabriel Beristain is translated to home video far more successfully in a new 1080p (2.41) AVC encoded transfer here than the older DVD master, which had issues with the film’s varied colors. Danny Elfman’s strong dramatic score, meanwhile, is housed in a 5.1 DTS MA mix with the trailer and Hackford’s DVD commentary as its sole extra. Highly recommended.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3102 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:28 pm

Dolores Claiborne is one of the best King adaptations out there, and I'm thrilled to finally have it on Blu (bought it during a recent "4 for $44" sale, but haven't watched it yet). Too bad that it found few takers at the box office at the time, probably because it lacked the garish, slasher-movie thrills of Misery (a very good film, to be sure, but it slides into rote "suddenly dead killer lunging up for one final scare" boilerplate by the end) and wasn't the "kind" of King adaptation that people tended to expect from him (the same fate the befell The Shawshank Redemption the year before, but at least that film went on to a reputation as an overlooked classic, whereas Dolores Claiborne still remains puzzlingly overlooked and underrated). Shame they couldn't dig up some deleted scenes (supposedly there's an alternate version of the final inquest that was re-shot), but nice to have a good home version of this finally.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3103 Post by Monterey Jack » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:58 pm

BTW, Watched the Dolores Claiborne Blu this morning, and was puzzled why the Columbia Pictures logo was totally missing from the beginning. It means that the first twenty seconds of Danny Elfman's score plays to a totally black screen! :shock: Even weirder, because the Columbia logo is still prominently displayed at the tail end of the credits.

Anyways, aside from that odd omission, it's a wonderful transfer, and it's a pleasure to re-visit the movie for the first time since I picked up the crummy DVD...what, a dozen years ago? Elfman's score is also a big plus, one of his best from that mid-90's period where he was beginning to stretch past his Tim Burton and superhero phase from the first half of the decade. It's long overdue for a "Deluxe Edition" treatment on CD, as the Varese album contained less than a third of it (although I still have the promo CD Elfman sent to me gratis back in the day after I praised it in one of my handful of FSM print reviews, which runs over an hour).

One thing Andy failed to mention in his otherwise fine review was the excellent performance by Ellen Muth as the teenage version of Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in the flashback scenes. Not only does she look amazingly similar to Leigh, but it's a very strong performance that anchors both halves of the story, especially when she and Leigh lock eyes in that queasy, wonderfully-staged final flashback on the ferry.

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Paul MacLean
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3104 Post by Paul MacLean » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:21 pm

I decided to port my review over from the Last Jedi thread to here...


Star Wars: The Last Jedi (**)



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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is technically very well made...but far from what I'd call great. In many ways it was a better movie than The Force Awakens, but ironically less entertaining. For starters this is the slowest and most tedious Star Wars film to date. The film is bogged-down by trying to tell three separate story lines -- Rey's encounters with Luke and later Kylo Renn, Finn's and Rose's journey, and the Resistance's flight from the First Order (this third plotline is by far the dullest and could easily have been cut by about 60%).

The action scenes are "spectacular" (and very well-rendered and staged) -- but they're nothing we haven't seen before, and honestly grow tedious after a while. Rey and Luke's scenes also get redundant, with dialog and exposition needlessly drawn-out over several scenes (the script could have used some tightening in this area).

Before seeing The Last Jedi, I wondered if it might be a re-hash of The Empire Strikes Back (as Force Awakens was of A New Hope), but while "re-hash" is perhaps too strong a word to describe this movie, it does have some very Empire-influenced scenes (like Rey's descent into the dark pit), and also cribs from Return of the Jedi. The confrontation between Rey and Snoke is virtually identical to Luke's confrontation with the Emperor (albeit with a different outcome). The climactic chase where the TIE fighters pursue the Millennium Falcon in the caverns on the salt planet is essentially the asteroid chase in Empire, and the Death Star chase in Jedi. Why can't they come up with something new?

I agree with those who feel the humor was out of place. Humor has always been part of Star Wars, but in The Last Jedi, one-liners and near-slapstick gags pop-up in otherwise serious moments, shattering the dramatic tension. In particular, Luke taking the lightsaber from Rey and casually tossing it over his shoulder is a crappy way to resolve the cliffhanger people have been hanging on for the past two years.

Some scenes make no sense, like the ridiculous opening -- seriously, Poe is able to attack a massive star destroyer -- alone in a single X-wing fighter -- and knock-out all of its defenses? Please. Later in the film, Rey and Kylo Ren have a tough time defeating Snoke's bodyguard -- odd, seeing as Yoda easily hurled two such bodyguards against a wall and knocked them out cold in Revenge of the Sith. Those guards are not Jedi or sith, so why are they such powerful opponents? In an earlier scene, Rey easily slices a two foot wide rock in half using a lightsaber, so why is it so difficult to defeat guards who aren't even armed with lightsabers?

Considering the "mystique" built-up around Snoke in The Force Awakens, the unceremonious way he is written out of the story is complete cop-out, even if it does give birth to a "cool" twist. Some sequences are genuinely awful, like the entire casino segment, while the scene where Leia gets sucked out of the ship and draws on the Force to maneuver herself back inside was so badly visualized it made me cringe. And why does Laura Dern have purple hair? :?

I was annoyed by the "arrogant feminist" tone of the film. All the male characters are impulsive, ignorant, stubborn and unable to see "the big picture" -- and thus need to be managed by the wiser, more sober female characters. This isn't like the fun, comedic bickering between Han and Leia in the original films, in which Han was a stubborn and foolhardy maverick, but also bad-ass -- and frequently right. Luke is a sour, jaded old codger who wants the Jedi to die, until Rey "shows him the light". And Poe's insubordinate refusal to obey Laura Dern's commands could have been easily prevented if Dern and Princess Leia had simply informed him of the full details of their plan. :roll:

Further on Poe, as Andy has observed in the past, one of the problems with the preqels was that all the heroes were proper and stoic Jedi -- there wasn't a "Han Solo"-type character. Poe is clear attempt to create a "new" Han Solo, but it just doesn't come off. Despite his maverick tendencies, Poe is still basically a military guy who (despite locking horns with his superiors) shares the same agenda as the rebellion (oh, sorry, I mean "the Resistance") and is fundamentally a team player. Han Solo was anything but a military man or team player. Much of what made Han interesting was that he was initially self-serving, and had a change of heart -- yet even then was wasn't fully committed to the Rebel Alliance until well into Return of the Jedi. (On a related note, I was also struck by how boring a character Princess Leia is without Han Solo to play off of.)

What is a the strategy of the speeders flying toward the First Order forces on the salt planet, and why are they dragging a hooks along the ground?

Laura Dern sacrifices herself (really, the ship has no autopilot?), but who cares? Her character was invented for this film; fans of previous SW films have no vested interest in or attachment to the character (who isn't particularly likeable anyway). It would have made more sense for Leia to have given her life for the Resistance. That would have had enormous impact (and considering how things played-out in real life, would have worked out for the best).

The final scene made me laugh a bit -- because all I could think of was that kid growing up to be Michael Richards in UHF.



I have to say there were some things like I liked a great deal. Some of the humor was genuinely funny (in particular the "steam iron" gag). Yoda's cameo was terrific, and this was "the old Yoda" from The Empire Strikes Back -- mischievous and playful (and funny too -- the humor in his scenes also worked well). I also appreciated that they either used a puppet for the character or created a CGI character that looked and moved like the original puppet did (I suspect it was a combination of puppetry and CGI). Artoo's method to persuade Luke to heed Rey's plea for help was also a nice touch.

And as much as the actors are very good, for me the one who shines the most is actually Kelly Marie Tran, whose performance as Rose Tico is sweet, funny and endearing. In spite of all the scenes which aspire to be "profound" and "iconic", the most emotionally resonant moment is when Rose kisses Finn. (Full disclosure -- Kelly Marie Tran reminds me a lot of someone I am currently crushing on -- but irrespective of that, it is still the film's best moment.)

John Williams' score is effective and triumphant...but (like The Force Awakens) much more strident and staccato and less melodic than any of the old Star Wars scores.

Ultimately, The Last Jedi is not devoid of appeal -- but it is slow, perfunctory and pretty-much the same-old, same-old. Like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi is more a fan fiction "requel" than a sequel in its own right. Even as an exercise in nostalgia it falls short for me -- it has all the cosmetic trappings of a classic Star Wars adventure, but little of the emotional resonance.

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AndyDursin
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Re: rate the last movie you saw

#3105 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:47 pm

HOME ALONE
9/10

Image

This utterly wonderful film remains an enchanting view, possessing -- thanks to director Chris Columbus and cinematographer Julio Macat -- an enduring, timeless look and feel. In fact, I think people lose sight of how beautiful this film is, capturing a snowy midwestern Christmas time, the lights on the trees, the feel of "home" as well as any film in its genre. And unlike producer John Hughes' '80s output, Columbus intentionally designed the film so it does not appear at all like a product of its time -- there aren't many '90s fashions, there's no then-contemporary pop music, there aren't even gadgets that were trendy. It's something that's helped this film age well.

A carryover from that approach is John Williams' score -- and dang, even after repeated viewings, this is one of Williams' best from an era when he was writing one classic score after another. The last shot of the film breaks me down every single time, so poignantly framed by Columbus and elevated by Williams' music to such a large extent that it's impossible to quantify how much Williams helped this movie. Without his music, or just a decent score from any other composer, and I don't think this film becomes the blockbuster hit that it did. Credit goes to Williams for getting involved with the film also (he's an interviewee in the current Blu-Ray's retropsective documentary), as Bruce Broughton was originally supposed to score the film (thankfully for whatever reason he didn't, with all due respect to him, this film wouldn't have worked as well without Williams' score).

The movie is a kids fantasy that remains an understandably replayed Christmas classic for many -- Macaulay Culkin was perfect and likewise elevated what could've been an "obnoxious kid role" into something special. And Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are fun, making the big comic final confrontation amusing. Still, it's the emotional undercurrent that puts the film over the top via Roberts Blossom's role -- an improvised element by Columbus that wasn't in Hughes' script -- and seals the deal in an ending I still tear up at every time I see it.

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