Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1586503 times)

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Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18195 on: August 28, 2018, 03:47:16 PM »
Today I got two new release movies from Walmart. I doubt I've ever watched two movies so 180 degrees removed from each other in terms of tone in such a short period of time.

Upgrade - I kinda liked it. The idea of getting revenge for a spouse being murdered is hardly something new, but the premise is at least pretty different from the norm. Logan Marshall-Green portrays Grey Trace, a guy who's very sympathetic in his role. He and his wife are driven by their... auto-car(for lack of better word) into the wrong part of town. Grey's wife is shot and killed and he gets paralyzed and is left for dead. Some of the elements are formulaic, like the Law Enforcement having a hard time tracking down the killer, and I found Grey interesting because he is at first not interested in revenge... probably because he's a quadriplegic now. A billionaire "friend"
of his comes to his hospital room and offers something he showed him earlier, an implant called "stem"(Just like Stem cells I guess?).

Anyway Grey accepts the offer and now he's aware of two things: 1) his mobility is back, and 2) He's now hearing the voice of the AI for Stem inside his head. With that realization, Grey finds himself ready to track down the murderers of his wife. The Cop trying to track down the wife's murder though has her suspicions about Grey when he turns up on a surveillance camera on a drone. Yep, apparently the future is drones all over the damn place and now that somehow make's Law Enforcement's job not much easier than it was before.
The ending I did not see coming and honestly... it left me less than satisfied because it just left me feeling kind of empty inside. As much as I liked it, I don't think I can recommend it.

Tag - There's just no getting around it. I think I've said this once, and I'll say it again, I have a total man-crush on Jeremy Renner(but please don't tell anybody because after all this is a place where secrets stay safe forever). That's probably the primary reason I picked up this flick... well, that and I knew that after the grittiness of Upgrade I would probably need a palate cleanser. Anyway, Jeremy Renner is awesome as usual. The problem is and I don't know if it's my inability to get a lot of comedies that come out these days... I just didn't laugh at a good portion of the jokes in this movie. I also had to ask myself whether or not I should actually be laughing at some of the jokes in this movie. There's a scene in which Jerry's(Jeremy Renner) bride-to-be fakes a miscarriage to get out of being tagged by his buddies. I will say one thing for Tag, it has an excellent cast featuring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, John Hamm and of course... Jeremy Renner. I gotta say, some of the musical choices in this movie were just off the wall bizarre to me, one minute we're hearing rap and hip hop music, then "Mother" by Danzig(of all the odd choices) then we're listening to the Crash Test Dummies then some more rap music. I know one or two of you on the forum cannot stand rap so I would recommend staying clear of this movie if it really annoys you that much. Overall, I liked it, but I say give it a rental first to see if you like it enough to buy.

Upgrade is rated R for strong violence, grisly images and language.
Tag is rated R for strong language, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity

Seriously though, these are NOT movies to watch with the whole family. Oh, and one final note... the closing credits of Tag is probably the funniest part of the movie so stay for those.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 05:09:08 PM by Russoguru »


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18196 on: August 31, 2018, 01:42:35 PM »
Wrapping up 5 weeks of paternity leave (saved up every hour of my PTO for it). Figured I would give one-sentence reviews of every movie I've seen so far:     

Clue. I could watch this on repeat for days and love it every time.

Coherence. As a sucker for minimalist sci-fi films, this ranks in my Top 5 films of the past 5 years.

The Little Unicorn (+RiffTrax). Pretty funny; now go and fire your agent, David Warner!

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Forgot how quotable this movie was; pretty funny.

Austin Powers: Goldmember. As a beginning-to-end movie, it's not that good, but it has some of the best bits in the series.

Amy (2015): A documentary about Amy Winehouse that I had very little interest in and wound up loving.

Monty Python & the Holy Grail. What can I say that hasn't already been said?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Wife had never seen it before, so we watched it, and.... it's still pretty good.

King Arthur (2004). Zzzzzz... except for Mads Mikkelson's small role; that was neat.

Big Hero 6. Why did I wait 4 years to watch this? Best action-comedy I've seen in a long time!

The Ice Cream Man (+RiffTrax). "This does to eating ice cream what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean."

Crash (2005). Emotionally powerful film. Fight me.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Why is this movie SO good!?! Love it!

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Silly, stupid, goofy fun.

Temple Grandin. Pretty interesting story, and Claire Danes did a good job. Made me want to watch...

Rain Man. In my Top 10 all-time favorite films; one of the best buddy stories of cinema imo.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. My #1 favorite film; Jimmy Stewart + Frank Capra = cinema gold.

RiffTrax Live: Krull. Overstuffed boring mess of a movie made better with MKB.

Ernest In the Army. Just as dumb as you'd expect it to be with a few good jokes sprinkled here and there.

Lilies of the Field. What every PureFlix movie thinks it is; worthy of its Best Pic nomination.

Muppet Treasure Island. Gave it a second try; sorry, just not doing it for me.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18197 on: September 02, 2018, 10:52:51 PM »
The Crippled Avengers ( a.k.a Mortal Combat, a.k.a. The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms ) (  1978)
Let's start with the title. The American distributor World Northal didn't like it. So they changed it  to Mortal Combat, which on turn inspired the title of the video game Mortal Kombat. Bootleggers began selling the film under the title Return of the Five Deadly Venoms to make it seem like a proper sequel to The Five Deadly Venoms. Years later Dragon Dynasty got Celestial to change the title to The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms because by then the bootleg title was what the film was know by in the United States. Also, because the title Mortal Combat is copyrighted. But since the copyright holder was World Northal and not Shaw Brothers, and World Northal went bankrupt in 1987, no one is sure who holds the copyright to the name. Making things more complicated, the game and movie Mortal Kombat which Dragon Dynasty didn't want their release confused with. So, yeah, Crippled Avengers is now called Return of the Five Deadly Venoms in North America and Europe, and Dragon Dynasty officially owns the copyright to that title.

This is not a sequel to Five Deadly Venoms. There never was a sequel, especially since only one of the Five Venoms was still alive at the end of that film. The film featuring the Venom Mob that followed FDV was Unbeatable Dragon, Crippled Avengers was the second Venom Mob film since FDV, but didn't include Wei Pai in the cast, so was one Venom short.

The story, a martial arts master goes nuts after a rival clan kills his wife and cripples his son by cutting off his arms. The embittered master and his son, who is giving iron arms that shoots projectiles, eventually become evil, terrorizing the nearby town and crippling anyone who they think is making fun of the sons arms. A traveling swordsman runs into three victims, the Blacksmith that the master turned deaf and mute, a traveling merchant the master blinded, and another town resident the master cut the legs off of, all living together. When he hears their story the swordsman decides to go to the masters house himself and bring him to justice. But he is beaten, and as punishment, has his head crushed in a vice so he turns into an idiot. The three other cripples decide the least they can do is bring the swordsman back to his teacher. Once there, the teacher vows to teach all three  martial arts so they can overcome their disabilities and take vengeance against the evil master and his son.

There were a lot of good Venom Mob films. I would put The Kid With the Golden Arms ( 1979 ) and Five Element Ninjas ( 1982 ) above this film, but many Venom Mob fans consider this their best. But this does belong in the top 5.

Super Buddies ( 2013 )
Oh shit. I knew I would eventually have to get to this movie. Unfortunately, it counts as a superhero film. Back in 1994 David Letterman invited what he called "a flying dog" onto his show to perform on his Stupid Pet Tricks segment. Buddy was a golden retriever who not only had the ability to leap through the air, but knock a basketball into a hoop. Letterman made such a big deal about the dog, even promoting his appearance a day before his segment, that Disney noticed. A fictional film was written around the dog called Air Bud about a dog who becomes the star player for a basketball team, because apparently there was nothing in the rule book that says dogs can't play basketball. Shortly after the film was released, Buddy was diagnosed with cancer and has his leg amputated. But the cancer had spread, and soon after Buddy passed away, joining Spuds Mackenzie and the Taco Bell Chihuahua in Doggy Heaven.

If you think a little thing like the death of their star would stop Disney from making a sequel, then you are wrong. Names and likeness laws don't apply to animals. What it came down to was that Disney owned the copyright on the first Air Bud film and could make as many sequels as they wanted. Even as Buddy was on his doggie death bed, Disney had already found lookalike replacement dogs and were training them to leap just as high as Bud had. Four more Air Bud films hit the theaters, each with Bud intruding on a different sport dumb enough not to have a "dogs can't play" rule.

DEVIATION
I am not sure if this is actually legitimate, where you can simply put an animal into a sports game and the referee will allow it because the rule book doesn't prohibit it. And if so, the Air Bud films  are a slap in the face of women, because the "no woman' rule does exist in all sports, forcing women in their own leagues. But let's say it isn't against the rules to put animals in sports. What a winning strategy that would be. Not that I think an animal could be taught how to be a winning athlete. But let's say you put jerseys on a pride of lions and said they were your team. The other team would forfeit rather than face them. And if they are brave enough to play them anyway, well, I bet there is nothing in the rule book saying you can't eat the opposing team.
BACK TO REVIEW

By the time the fifth Air Bud film was released, the series was directed to video. Realizing they had run out of team sports Bud could possibly play, Disney decided to write Bud out of the series and instead have the movies center around Bud's talking puppies. ( Yes, talking ). And thus the series continued as the Air Buddies.

With cute talking puppies, you can tell this film was written for grade schoolers, which is one of the genres of film I like the least. No surprise, the most exciting thing on the DVD was the trailer for Planes, and only because I realized they were using an X-rated Marilyn Manson song as the music bed. The story, the Air Buddies, who are inexplicably still puppies after six films, discover magic dog collars buried in their barn, which are actually some sort of cosmic rings that an evil space overlord has been searching for. The buddies put on the rings, after which they all aquire super powers. So they put on superhero costumes and run around town saving people. Meanwhile the evil overlord, who can possess bodies and shoot  green lightning from his finger tips, arrives on Earth searching for the rings.

I am making this film sound a lot more exciting than it actually is. I can't really call it a bad film. Almost everyone involved did a superb job. Good acting, good direction, good musical score, and visual effects that are way better than a straight to DVD movie deserves to have. Unfortunately the persons who didn't do a good job were the screenwriters. As expected from one of these G rated films, the screen writers got lazy because they assumed children will accept anything as entertainment. I'll give them one bit of praise. The film didn't have a fart joke. That's right, this is the only modern kids film I can think of that does not have a scene involving farting. Remember when farting was considered so vulgar that it was edited out of the original television broadcast of Blazing Saddles? Now you can't find a G rated film without at least one fart scene. Except for this one. The script still sucked though.

This is one of those films that is almost exciting. That just barely qualifies as entertainment. You know, your typical contemporary G film. And I wish I could say this was the last one, but next week I watch the first of two Ben 10 films. Then some time after that comes the Power Rangers films, followed by the more recent Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles films. After that I think I am done with the kids films, unless a couple of other Disney television films gets a DVD release.


Double Dynamite ( 1951 )
Last week was the final Marx Brothers film, this week it is one of Groucho's solo films.  The title was obviously a reference to Jane Russell's tits. Russell, who at the time was R.K.O.s biggest star,  got star billing. Groucho gets second billing above Frank Sinatra who gets third billing, despite being the lead. At the time Sinatra's career was in a slump while Groucho was having a comeback with You Bet Your Life. Despite the title being a crude reference to Jane Russell's boobies, and a misleading movie poster that's artwork had Jane in a dress from The Outlaw standing next to Groucho who's eyes are bugging out as he looks directly at her chest, the character she plays in the film is always conservatively dressed with outfits that button right up to her neck, sometimes all the way to her chin. The lone exception, a shower scene. But you never see her get in or out, and the shower door is tinted for the first few feet so only her head is visible. Yes, R.K.O. had one of America's top pin up models as their star. But they didn't want a repeat of what happened with The Outlaw where the film was held up from distribution for two years because Jane's cleavage was in violation of the production code. Jane would be a bombshell on the posters, but a nun on film. With tricks like that, is it any wonder why this film, and the others Howard Huges produced, bombed.

This film is supposed to be a comedy, but I only chuckled a couple of times, and only at something Groucho said. In this film he doesn't wear his signature grease paint, but instead has a real mustach and eyebrows. And his real hair as the hairpiece he wore in the final Marx Brothers films is replaced with his natural balding head. With exception to his signature Groucho walk, which he occasionally slips into, but ever so slightly, this is not the Groucho from the Marx films. Even the dialogue written for him is nothing like his style. The Marx Brothers films had him talking in rapid fire puns and insults. Here he tells very few jokes, and most of his dialogue is to further the plot.

In the film, bank teller Frank Sinatra saves a guy from a beating in an alley way, only to discover the guy is a gangster. The gangster pays him back by offering him a $1,000 bill. When Frank refuses to take it, the gangster, who is running an illegal betting parlour, puts the money on a horse, and when it wins, on another horse, and those winnings on another horse. Eventually the money balloons into $60,000 which Frank finally gives in and accepts it. He has a relationship with fellow bank teller Jane Russell, but had refused to marry her unless he could get a raise, which the bank refused to give him. Frank returns to the bank with gifts for Jane, and is about to tell her the good news of his winnings when he finds out the bank is short $75,000 and suspects one of the tellers embezzled it. Realizing his sudden wealth will make him look guilty, he hatches a plan with his friend Groucho to hide the money until he can prove his innocence. 

Typically of comedies released around this time, Groucho's character does little more than help  Jane and Frank without having any story arc of his own. While the sex and comedy does fail, the actual plot is mildly entertaining. Also, this counts as a Christmas film. It even has a Santa Claus.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 11:05:35 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18198 on: September 03, 2018, 08:51:06 PM »
Crash (2004) D. Paul Haggis - As I recall this movie won for best picture and also original screenplay. Lots of A list actors in this film including Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser, Don Cheadle and Michael Pena. I kind of have really mixed feelings about this film. It's depiction of racial tensions in Los Angeles is very dramatic. However, it feels at times a little too dramatic for its own good. Also, we get a lot of conflict but not a whole lot in the way of resolution. At the end there is one plot thread that's resolved but to me the movie feels like it's got stories that need something more in the way of closure within the framework of this film but they couldn't find a good way to resolve every plot thread. As a result the movie left me feeling almost like I wasted my time, and maybe that's a little too harsh because some part of me likes this movie at least a little bit, but Crash could have been so much more.


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18199 on: September 03, 2018, 09:20:14 PM »
Crash (2004) D. Paul Haggis - As I recall this movie won for best picture and also original screenplay. Lots of A list actors in this film including Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser, Don Cheadle and Michael Pena. I kind of have really mixed feelings about this film. It's depiction of racial tensions in Los Angeles is very dramatic. However, it feels at times a little too dramatic for its own good. Also, we get a lot of conflict but not a whole lot in the way of resolution. At the end there is one plot thread that's resolved but to me the movie feels like it's got stories that need something more in the way of closure within the framework of this film but they couldn't find a good way to resolve every plot thread. As a result the movie left me feeling almost like I wasted my time, and maybe that's a little too harsh because some part of me likes this movie at least a little bit, but Crash could have been so much more.
You recall correctly. I watched it for maybe the 3rd or 4th time a few weeks ago. I see what you mean about there being no real resolution. But it's never felt like a traditional narrative to me. The opening lines themselves seem like a poem (an ode to L.A., if you will). It feels more like explorations on characters dealing with racism rather than a beginning-middle-end story. If you've ever seen Magnolia, they have a lot in common. Both take place in Los Angeles, and I think those stories are perfect for a place that's been called "72 suburbs in search of a city." They work best as jazz more than rock in that way imo.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18200 on: September 04, 2018, 07:58:10 AM »
Watched Eagle Vs. Shark the other night.  Probably the weakest of the Taika Waititi movies I've seen (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok) but still pretty good.  It's a movie I've avoided for a while because it looked like it was maximum mid-2000's thirst for quirk.  And I can be certainly forgiving of that but after watching the truly atrocious The F Word (in some markets What If) where the attempt to make all the characters dialogue charming results in them sounding like they are speaking in code to make sure they recognize each other as insufferable people.

Eagle Vs. Shark is more successful. On the surface, it is full of indie movie quirk and some of it's attempts to be cutesy charming don't quite work (not even annoying, just kind of... there).  But on the whole, a lot of it does feel like it comes from a real place.  The idea of going with a partner to their home town and then essentially walking into awkward personal drama and being treated by the partner's family better than the partner seems like a thing that happens.  So it does have actual substance to it even when getting lost in it's idiosyncrasies.

But also, it is really quite funny.  There's a very funny reveal at the end and just throughout there are some great jokes.  Jermaine Clement's character is irritating but to a certain extent that is kind of the point.  He's a loser, but not because he's a nerdy weirdo but because he puts all his energy into trying to appear like a cool fictional protagonist on a Quixotic journey and pushes away the people who love him.

It's a movie that won me over by the end but I can understand how someone else might find it off-putting.  But there is some funny shit in it.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cb4Dod6zGD8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cb4Dod6zGD8</a>


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18201 on: September 04, 2018, 05:29:56 PM »
Crash (2004)- haven't seen it since it first hit DVD, but I thought it came across as an educational film- over the top silly and I kept waiting for beeps and "pause film now for discussion" title cards throughout. 


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18202 on: September 04, 2018, 05:36:41 PM »
Why are people suddenly watching Crash? I thought we all agreed to pretend that movie never happened?
FINE


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18203 on: September 05, 2018, 08:59:32 AM »
Why are people suddenly watching Crash? I thought we all agreed to pretend that movie never happened?
Someone forgot to tell Amazon Prime.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18204 on: September 05, 2018, 10:43:42 AM »
Zatracení

A 2002 Czech drama about a man sent to prison for drug smuggling in the fictional South Asian Country in a film that is a mix of straightforward movie with some found footage thrown in.  A reporter finds video tape evidence that seems to indicate the man's story that he was forced to comply with some criminals and an investigation takes years as the man endures hardship in prison.  The movie is... OK.  It's a little troubling that most of the Asian characters are cruel guards and the only two black characters are a criminal who barely appears and another inmate who is essentially talks in "BLARG!" and beats people up.  There's a reveal at the end I liked and a beautiful looking final scene but it's a bit of a snooze.


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18205 on: September 05, 2018, 06:33:17 PM »
Galaxy (1986) aka Battle for the Lost Planet
Quote
After hijacking a space shuttle, a spy finds that the controls are malfunctioning and sees alien battleships approaching Earth. Many years later, when the arc of his flight path returns to earth, he finds the planet under alien domination.

Kind of liked the opening shot of the large plastic model spaceship crashed in the surf (terrible looking plastic model, but I’m forgiving). That lasted about a half a second and then the narration started and killed my willingness to forgive.

Some WTFs (includes spoilers):
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Would make good riffing material, but on its own it’s pretty damn boring. 
 


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18206 on: September 05, 2018, 07:52:00 PM »
Stalker (1979)
Soviet film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky with a screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and based on their novel Roadside Picnic (one of my favorite books).
It’s about a trip to “the zone” by a Stalker (a guide who illegally takes people on trips into the zone) and two clients- a writer and a professor. Lots of differences between the book and the movie but some similarities.
In the book the zones were 6 areas around the world where aliens had briefly visited and left behind all sorts of artifacts, many of which were extremely dangerous to humans. The premise of the book is that aliens might visit earth and humans to them might be no more interesting than ants at a picnic and what they leave behind from that visit might be as incomprehensible to us as the trash that humans leave behind after a picnic is to insects.   
In the movie the zone is more undefined- it’s basically a location that for some unknown reason became dangerous to humans. Scientific and military expeditions into the area disappeared and it is now quarantined.
The book and movie were also the inspiration for the Stalker series of video games.
I have been wanting to see this for a while but have been putting it off due to length (2 hours, 40 minutes) and the fact that the restored Criterion version only has Russian audio with English subtitles (thus requiring a lot of attention on my part). There is an English dubbed version on YouTube (cut into 7 different parts), but the video quality on that version is crap and this is really a movie where the images make the movie- everything (buildings, streets, landscapes) is dirty, grimy, muddy and overgrown. It switches from black and white to color and back throughout and there is no dialog for the first 10 minutes. Then lots of dialog for half an hour and then lots of really, really long shots with no dialog interspersed with scenes with lots of dialog (in other words, it’s slow moving and not an action flick).
There are certain things in the movie that I only understood due to having read the book. But part of the downside of having read the book (which was extremely different in its overall plot) is that I kept wanting to see some of the traps and hazards in the zone that are part of the plot in both but are only alluded to or described in the movie. 
I’m fascinated by modern ruins and all of the scenery and locations shot in Soviet era abandoned cities and factories were amazing (and allegedly led to the later illnesses and deaths of several people involved with the film due to some of the locations being where some environmental disasters occurred that the USSR refused to acknowledge had happened).


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18207 on: September 08, 2018, 09:45:26 AM »
Ex Machina

Finally got around to watching this one, pretty great movie.  Even though most of the plot "twists" were fairly obvious it was so well done it sucks you in and keeps you interested all the way to the end.


TAU (Netflix film)

Another movie involving AI, tries to be a bit of a horror movie but fails in that area.  I guess they told the lead actor to be more of a robot than the AI of the house, that made him one dimensional and drags down the plot.  Also the house AI is so advanced that it makes you wonder what the heck the guy is working on that requires him to be killing all these people for their brain scan data.  I kept waiting for some kind of twist to make it more interesting but none showed up.

There is some good acting by Maika Monroe and some great voice acting by Gary Oldman as TAU (the house AI),  the interaction between them is worth watching and the reason I didn't turn it off.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18208 on: September 09, 2018, 11:26:47 PM »
Bloody Fight ( a.k.a. Bloody Duel: Life And Death ) ( 1972 )
Despite martial arts movies being immensely popular in the early '70s, they had never been shown on television. They had the reputation of being too violent. Even the lame Americans ones. For years the only martial arts to be seen on television was the series Kung Fu with David Carradine, and only because ABC's standards and practices limited the fights to two minutes per half hour. By the late '70s some local stations were airing Chuck Norris films after midnight. Then in 1978 film distributor World Northal negotiated a deal with Shaw Brothers to be their exclusive North American distributor, and they included broadcast rights as part of the deal. So World Northal decided to syndicate the Shaw Brothers films to television, along with martial arts films from other studios, as a series called Black Belt Theater. MetroMedia stations stripped the show's of their opening and bumpers and aired them as part of their Drive-in Movie series.

Black Belt Theater was a huge success. Others began syndicating martial arts films. Tribune had their own less successful syndicated series called Fists of Fury Theater. They never actually aired Fists of Fury or any other Bruce Lee film. They did have two films that credited Bruce Lee as the star. Both were Bruceploitation  films with footage of Bruce Lee from trailers edited into the main body of the film. Another thing I recalled about FoFT was that the film transfers were terrible, often with a strobing effect. They didn't have Shaw Brothers. Instead it was a lot of cheap films from independent productions. Amazingly some of those films would either be recognized as classics years later when released on home video, or become important for being early films by major martial arts stars who didn't achieve notoriety until the 90s. But at the time the film's of FoFT we're only notable for being on FoFT.

Bloody Fight was one of the FoFT films. It's another one of those anti-Japanese films from the 70s. Once again evil Japanese martial arts masters are going around killing Kung Fu teachers and shutting down their schools. This time the evil master knows Judo, which the Kung Fu masters can't beat. That is until they see kids playing with a shuttlecock, and realize if they study it then they can learn to land on their feet after the Judo master throws them.

Like I said, the only notable thing about this film is that it was on FoFT. It's decent enough, but with no memorable fight choreography. And very forgettable. The only reason I picked it this week was because I could not remember what happened in it from the last time I watched it.


Ben 10: A Race Against Time ( 2008 )
Been 10 is a popular animated series on Cartoon Network which I have never once watch. For some reason Cartoon Network decided to make two live action television movies, and since my goal is to collect every superhero film released on home video, then I have no choice but to include these as well. The good news is that these movies are only an hour and ten minutes long. The movies are full of mythos from the series, so you need to have already watched the series to know what is going on. Or instead look it up on Wikipedia. Basically, Been is a 10 year old who gets an alien device attached to his arm that allows him to change into different aliens for 10 minutes. Each alien has it's own super power. Ben and his cousin and grandfather drive around the country searching for evil aliens to battle, because it turns out grandpa belongs to a secret government organization that hunts rogue aliens. Also, everyone believes the different aliens Been turns into are different superheroes. Of course no one knows Ben's secret identity.

Despite a villain that throws balls of energy that alter time, this movie bordered on boring. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I were a fan of the cartoon series. But I am thankful it was over in an hour. Remember the good old days when kids films were entertaining enough for adults? Films like The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are just as entertaining for adults as they are for children. Somewhere in the 80s it all began to go wrong. Now unless a kids film comes from Pixar or DreamWorks, you are most certainly in for a dull and annoying time.

Sensations of 1945 ( 1944 )
I had intended to complete my WC Fields collection this summer. But plans changed when I found out the Marx Brothers MGM film collection was going OOP, and I ended up collecting them instead. In the 1950s Paramount sold most of it's pretty 1940 film library to MCA, believing the old films had no value. That library eventually ended up owned by Universal. It was Universal who released the Marx Brothers Paramount film collection.  A few years back they released two volumes of WC film collections, which they later combined into a single set which retailed for half of what they were charging for a single volume set. The films in these sets we're a combination of both his Paramount films and Universal films. Universe could have released further volumes as they still had a quiet a few unreleased WC Fields films, but instead chose to release them as individuals in their pricy Universal Vault Series. 

However, despite Sensations of 1945 being a Universal film, it was released by a third party company called Reel Vault and not as part of the Universal Vault collection. I have no idea why as this is a high profile Universal film. It was the only starring role Eleanor Powell made outside of MGM, and ended up being her last. ( She only had one minor film role after this back at MGM. ) Not just remembered as her final starring role, it also has her most celebrated dance sequence, where she pretends to be a pinball and dances around the inside of a giant pinball set. It is also the final film appreciate of WC Fields before his death. While not a great film, still one of the essential musicals from the 1940s.

When it comes to musicals, you have five sub-genres. Sub-genres #1, the classic musical where the characters suddenly break out in song and dance, as seen in West Side Story and Grease. Sub-genre #2, the style seen in countless comedies where the story takes a break for a musical number that has nothing to do with the plot. Such as when Abbott and Costello stop to watch The Andrew Sisters perform their latest hit. Sensations of 1945 is sub-genre #3, where the film is almost completely musical numbers with a thin plot linking them together. Such as Our Gang Follies of 1938 where the thin plot is Alfalfa being forced to sing Barber of Seville in the streets to pay off an Opera contract and ending up at Club Spanky. Almost the entire running time of that 30 minute short is musical numbers.  Sub-genre #4 is an actual filmed concert or documentary, and sub-genre #5 is films like Saturday Night Fever where the music is all background instead of being performed.

As I said, Sensations of 1945 falls into sub-genre #3. The thin plot has a Broadway star ( Eleanor Powell )  hired to run an entertainment publicity firm after she pulls off a major publicity stunt on herself that gets her name in the papers. For the rest of the film she pulls off one stunt after another, but much of the film takes place in the various clubs she had promoted as we watch entire acts perform one after another, and occasionally cutting back to see a number from the fictional Broadway musical Powell is starring in.

As I said, the film is not great. The plot that ties everything together is a formula romantic comedy. The musical numbers and Vaudeville acts that make up most of the film are mostly spectacular. Take away the thin plot and you have the equivalent of a good America's Got Talent episode. WC Fields is not at his best here. He plays himself performing a skit on stage which is stolen by two physical comedians playing drunks. But even not at his best Fields delivers a couple of great one liners that had me laughing. He still appeared to be fit and healthy. Had it not been for his alcoholism he could have gone on for at least another 20 years. Perhaps even lasting in movies long enough to get a part in one of those '70s disaster films. Instead he allowed his drinking to reduce him to just small roles, and eventually take his own life. A great talent wasted.


Offline NRRork

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18209 on: September 13, 2018, 02:02:34 PM »
Solo: A Star Wars Story

I felt weird in May having this Star Wars movie out and not going to see it. It's the only one I never saw in theaters... well, actually it was SPECIAL EDITIONS of original trilogy that I saw in theaters, so... that depends on who you ask, I guess.

But it turns out my instincts were right. And it wasn't some stupid boycott that made me not see it, it was because it was clear the movie was gonna be a disaster with all it's production problems and Disney practically apologizing for the movie and advance and trying to JUST stop short of nudging it under the couch...

It had a lot of needless moments where I expected the characters on screen to wink at the camera and shout "GET IT!? See, it's a reference to what will happen in New Hope/Empire/Jedi" Somehow I found that more annoying than all of Rogue One's fanservice... save for Darth Vader's scene in his evil black castle of evil over the waterfall of lava. At least THAT movie's fanservice was right in your face and upfront, they didn't try to get cute about it.

And it was also just poorly paced and boring. I didn't get into it at all. I really liked Rogue One, and I really enjoyed The Force Awakens, and I LOVED The Last Jedi even though that'll get you excommunicated from a sect of the fandom I don't really want to be a part of anymore anyway after seeing all their toddler-like temper tantrums these past nine months.... so this new Star Wars' first miss with me.
I used to have an image here, but Photobucket got cheap about remote linking. I guess I'll have to think of something witty instead. Which I will. Later. It caught me by surprise, in all honesty. It's hard to be clever on command, I mean, YOU try it. Be funny: NOW! See, tough. So, gimme a bit, 'kay?