Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1582154 times)

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Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18810 on: September 06, 2019, 10:45:44 AM »
I saw It Chapter 2 last night. I thought it was pretty good. I continue to be surprised by the scares in this movie, there are quite a few jump scares but to this movie's credit... the creature design is EXCELLENT. The monsters are scary AF. These actors portraying grown-up versions of the kids from It absolutely nail it, they convince me 100% that they were once the kids we know. Also, just because this is a horror movie doesn't mean there can't be nice moments. Just like in It, there are some fun and emotional moments.

There has been a lot more criticism leveled at this movie than It, some of it revolving around the 2 hour, 45 minute run time. Honestly... I didn't feel like this was an almost three hour movie. I felt lots of tension, lots of suspense, a lot of the thought of "What's going to happen next?". I'm familiar with the events in the It TV series so I'm pretty sure all the frights, tension, violence and grittiness virtually doesn't exist in the TV series. During the movie, the horror I was feeling was more on a sympathetic level, because there were moments in this movie where Pennywise was luring children so he could basically eat them. I felt less horror and more sorrow and sadness. That was a very unique emotion for me to feel during a horror movie.

As far as offensive content goes... there's lots of dirty jokes, some swearing, plenty of blood... some gore but this movie is at least in my opinion pretty far from being a gore-fest. A lot of the horror comes from the aforementioned creature design and the horror that comes from deep in your sympathetic nervous system. Just like Chapter 1 though, apart from Dirty jokes, there was virtually zero sexual content in this film at all.

What I really loved at the end of the movie
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There was also a cameo from
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Anyway I highly recommend It Chapter 2. There have been some fairly solid film adaptations of Steven King movies over the years, but this one is IMHO the best one because it covers so much ground given that even though it's a horror movie it still feels like so much more.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18811 on: September 08, 2019, 08:45:02 PM »
Dragon Inn ( a.k.a. Dragon Gate Inn )( 1967 )
Wow. I use to buy at least four martial arts films a month to watch on Saturday afternoons. Back in May of 2018 I stopped for what I thought would only be a couple of months so I could use the money for box sets of Marx Brothers films and hard to get OOP superhero films that needed to be bought before they were gone for good.  It also gave me a chance to rewatch the films I already owned. Then last month when some Criterion DVDs went on sale, including this week's film, I realized I hadn't bought a martial arts film since May of 2018.

King Hu left Shaw Brothers shortly after directing Come Drink With Me, and shortly after founded the Union Film Company in Taiwan. Dragon Inn was the first film he made for the company, becoming another instant classic. Like most Hong Kong martial arts films made around this time, the fight choreography was lackluster compared to what would follow a few years later. Directors had just gone from the theatrical fight choreography imported from the stage that had been the standard in films since the silent era, to realistic fight choreography. The problem being that A) realistically no one has the strength and stamina to do the fighting seen in later films. They would be worn out within a minute, and many of the moves are either unrealistic or impossible. Jumping I the air and doing a double kick against an enemy may seem awesome, but even if a fighter manages to land a second kick without the aid of a wire, the second kick would be ineffective as the first kick would have used up all his forward momentum. Similarly, the fast paced sword fights of later films would have worn out the fighters and for the most part, been ineffective in damaging the enemy. So basically, the martial arts films of the late 60s were as realistic as fighting got, and would only grow more unrealistic with each year as action stars tried to outdo each other.

What makes Dragon Inn such a classic is it's timeless story. A ruthless advisor to the Emperor has sized power by having all other government officials who oppose him framed for crimes and executed. The children of one of the ministers he has executed have been exiled, and are being transported by court officers out of the country. But the advisor wants the children killed because he fears they will grow up and take revenge. So he sends his secret police to intercept and assassinate  them at Dragon Inn, the only hotel and restaurant in the middle of a wasteland they will need to pass through. The army of killers show up at the Dragon Inn and take the place over, forbidding the staff to allow any more guests. But wouldn't you know it, heroic swordsmen show up demanding rooms. They uncover the plot to assonate the children, and soon both groups are facing off against each other in the desolate wasteland. It is a compelling film, even if the action is less than exciting. Well worth watching as classic foreign cinema. 


I, Frankenstein ( 2014 )
As mentioned in past weeks, to make sure I had every American Superhero film ever released on home video, I used the list on Wikipedia. I, Frankenstein was recently added to their list, and being a compleatist, I got it. However, this is very far from being a Superhero film. It is based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, one of the cocreators  of the Underworld franchise. So, not only is it not based on a comic book, but the graphic novel was released digitally and not in book form. I probably would have taken a pass at this had I not been a fan of the Frankenstein Monster. Of course, that would be the original Universal monster and not the Hammer or later adaptions.

So what is the film like? It's basically the same thing as any Underworld film. Grevioux is not that imaginative, is he? Instead of vampires fighting werewolves, this film has an age long war between demons and gargoyles. Caught in the middle is the Frankenstein Monster, who the demons want because  his body has no soul. And demons in Hell can only return to Earth by possessing bodies with no souls. Furthermore, the demons would like to examine the monster so they can replicate Doctor Frankenstein's experiment and create more monsters without souls so they can have an army large enough to wipe out the gargoyles, and after that, enslave mankind.  So basically almost the same plot from the first Underworld film. only replacing the hybrid with the Frankenstein Monster. So basically, if you like the Underworld films, then here is something like it. And if you like Frankenstein, well then your screwed. Because the monster in this film looks nothing like the Frankenstein monster nor acts like him. 



Nightveil: Witchwar ( 2005 )
Like I said, I am trying to collect every live action American superhero movie ever released on DVD/Blu-ray. The Wikipedia list had a couple of films I couldn't find on Amazon, and after a little more research discovered one was actually a documentary that included scenes from the other. Apparently there is a comic book company called AC that specializes in reprinting public domain superhero comic books from the 40s, many of which had female superheroes created in response to Wonder Woman. I then discovered that AC made a lot of direct to video female superhero films which didn't appear on the Wikipedia list. And they all look like they were shot on a shoestring budget. So I am going to try to get through them all as quickly as possible.

My biggest fear is that these films will be just as bad as the TomCat superhero films. And while this first one was another shot on video cheapie with bad effects, bad acting, bad directing, bad  editing, bad writing and bad costumes, it managed not to be the deep hurt that I got from the TomCat and other bad superhero films. Specifically because they at least got the pacing right. Some of these films are listed as only 20 minutes. This one was only 52 minutes. There is no padding. Nothing is on screen long enough to get bored with. And occasionally something is incompetent enough to generate an unearned laugh. The plot: A couple of hillbillies are in the everglades poaching stock footage of a cougar ( yep. Literally a cage is super imposed over stock footage of a mountain lion. ) when a female hillbilly runs out of the swamp to warn them both that the witch Nightveil, who lives in a floating house, is protecting the animals of the swamp. The poachers ignore her, and a short time later their cage is empty. Searching for the missing cougar, they spot a floating house, and are soon being attacked by a woman in a pink cloak.

The film then goes into a flashback of Nightveil's origin. Before she was Nightveil, she was another superhero called The Blue Bulleteer, who's powers are...um... shooting people with guns I guess. Anyway, Blue Bulleteer goes after some jewelry thieves, and they beat the crap out of her. But suddenly a floating piece of square fur with a giant eye in it attacks the criminals. It seems the jewel they stole was the Prima Gem, a magical stone originally from a mystic planet. The eye teleports Blue Bulleteer to that planet where the wizard that was controlling it decides to train her in the mystic arts. And pretty much doesn't give Blue Bulleteer a choice. Once her forced training is completed, she emerges as a new superhero called Nightveil. She is then given the Prima Gem as her source of magical powers. Back to the present and we find out the poachers were sent into the swamp by another sorcerer who was after the Prima Gem, and once Nightveil is lured into the open there is a magic fight. Doctor Strange watch out, because this magic battle is using some of the worst video effects I have ever seen.

Like I said, the film moves along before anything gets boring. So at least it has that.


The Fighting Kentuckian ( 1949 )
I am still planning to buy Stan and Ollie, however, I would prefer getting it on Blu-ray, and for some reason Amazon was redirecting to a PAL release of the Blu-ray. You got to be careful about that. Many a bad review on Amazon is about customers accidentally buying a PAL or region locked movie. Perhaps they will fix this bug by the next time I order from them. In the meantime, another film I couldn't find on Amazon was The Fighting Kentuckian which always went to copies released buy budget companies using poor quality masters from the original VHS release. Recently George-2.0 mention that Olive had released a legit print of the film. I found it on Amazon by putting in "Fighting Kentuckian+Olive" in the search bar. Sometimes you have to do that. There were a bunch of movies released by Shout! Factory that didn't appear in the search unless you included "+Shout Factory". Instead you were redirected to earlier releases of the same movies. However, I am sure that even if I had found the Olive release in the past, I would have not known it, because all the reviews are for the bootleg releases. Nice going lumping all the reviews together Amazon.

I realize there isn't much I can say about this film without spoiling the villain's scheme. So let's just go as far as the setup, which takes place in Alabama of all places. John Wayne and Oliver Hardy are two soldiers in a militia from Kentucky marching home after fighting in the war of 1812. While in Alabama Wayne meets and falls in love with a French girl and decides to stay behind to court her, with Hardy deciding to stay behind to help him. Unfortunately the girl has been promised to another man, who happens to be the richest businessman in the territory.

If you were expecting the comedy team of Wayne and Hardy to be anywhere as good as Laurel and Hardy, forget it. The gags in this film are too forced to be funny. Hardy does come off as a suitable sidekick. And the film gives a hint of what his career would have been had he not been teamed up with Laurel. As a Western, it is passable. Wayne has done a lot better, and a lot worse. But beside being based on a little known historic event, ot is basically another formula Western blown up to a near epic. Worth watching, but only if you are either a John Wayne or Oliver Hardy fan.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18812 on: September 09, 2019, 05:25:32 AM »
I watched several movies over the past day or two so bear with me guys.
Black Dynamite - In short... this was a LOT of fun. I laughed my ass off at several moments during this movie. I highly recommend it.



I threw that before I came in!

Watching more on Criterion Channel: 24 Frames is an absolutely beautiful non-narrative art film. It's not for me but that doesn't take away from the extremely impressive achievement. The film is much more of an art installation: the director took 24 beautiful photos and edited and and filmed/animated the events happening prior or after the picture. And they are quite beautiful. Some do have what could be loosely described as a narrative (one with a deer is essentially the last moments of a deer's life and it sets up the idea of a deer's world, constant loud noises and paranoia and fear). Most of the photos also draw the action to a single point in the photo for much of it, which makes for some interesting visuals. It really is a meditative film and while its not the kind of film I'm interested in seeking out, I am glad I watched it.

21 Days is much more my kind of film, a 1930s melodrama about a man who murders his girlfriend's husband in self-defence and hides the body instead of going to the police. His brother, concerned for the main character but mostly concerned for how it will impact his career, advises his brother not to turn himself in, a fact that is complicated when an innocent vagrant is picked up for his crime. Strangely, though the vagrant never confesses to the crime, he feels so guilty about other stuff he's done (mostly alcoholism and stealing from a corpse) that he decides not to fight the charge so much as calmly deny it and confess to all his other stuff. The main character then makes a decision: if the old man is found guilty, he'll confess and save him. If he is let go, he won't. With things looking grim for the old man, our hero decides to squeeze in some joy before he turns himself in. It's a pretty enjoyable film, though the deus ex machina "happy" ending is a something to chew on (especially as a pre-code film). I definitely recommend it.


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18813 on: September 09, 2019, 06:56:11 AM »
Split ( 2016 )
....
with such a bad reputation, it is surprising to see that M Night Shyamalan is still capable of writing and directing a good film, leading one to question what the f&%k he was doing the 15 years in between.

The answer, as he says himself, is that he was writing movies for his kids. Lady In the Water was a bedtime story he would tell them. It's also the first time Disney said "no way" to him. Everything up until The Visit was for his kids. He decided to basically start from scratch with Split and even put up his own money to make it. Certainly explains that awful dry spell to me.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18814 on: September 09, 2019, 07:19:29 AM »
Oh, also saw the Deadwood movie.  So much of the original plot has been forgotten (they give us some helpful reminders) but it wasn't hard to follow.  Still great and a good farewell to the show.  The climax feels very much like a classic Twilight Zone and encapsulates what the show wants to say about civilization and its value.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18815 on: September 09, 2019, 07:41:37 AM »
I saw Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark over the weekend. It was really good. I was impressed that it didn't have as many jump scares as I expected. There are a few, but they don't overdo it. The creature design is great, and you really get to see them a lot which I like. I feels like a much more mature version of the Goosebumps movie.



Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18816 on: September 09, 2019, 08:04:13 AM »
I saw Booksmart on Saturday.  I was not a fan.  It was advertised as a teen coming of age movie that broke the mold, but really it just flipped a couples tropes and was otherwise very formulaic and predictable.  It also was floating in the uncanny valley between realism and farce, where events didn't feel plausible or real, but were not exaggerated enough to be making a larger comment or joke on a cliche or norm.  All that, plus the performances by the leads were not endearing enough to ignore the rest. 

The one thing I did like was the fact that the one female lead was just a lesbian.  It didn't deal with her coming out story, or pressure from other classmates to not be gay, or her being closeted around her parents.  She was just a lesbian, and that was accepted by the entire world of the movie.  While telling coming out stories and oppression stories is important, it's also important to have stories where being gay is just normal. 


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18817 on: September 13, 2019, 06:24:05 PM »
I watched Footloose for the first time in a VERY long time. I'm serious I don't think I've watched this film since sometime in the 90's. Anyways it was a lot of fun. For a huge chunk of the movie there doesn't feel like there's much of a story going in a certain direction. I feel however between Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and John Lithgow's excellent performances, not to mention the kick-ass soundtrack, Footloose is still an amazing mandatory slice of 80's nostalgia.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18818 on: September 13, 2019, 08:40:50 PM »
Itsy Bitsy (2019) - This was pretty good! It looked like a theatrical movie, even though it was apparently a Kickstarter project. The special effects were excellent, and looked mostly practical. I also liked that while the spider was bigger than normal
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
And depsite the name and the fact it's about a big spider, this is not a horror comedy by any means. This movie has tension in spades and could definitely freak you out if you have arachnophobia.
The acting is mostly excellent, with the daughter only occasionally being a little stiff. The themes of motherhood and the challenges of parenting made this feel like a believable family.
The exact nature of the spider is left unclear. It behaves, reproduces, and is mortal like a normal spider. But we are given a supernatural backstory of it being some kind of deity.
I would definitely recommend this.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18819 on: September 14, 2019, 07:19:36 AM »
The 39 Steps

Rewatched this again recently and liked it even more this time around.  Certainly not my favourite Hitchcock movie (simply because he has so many good ones) but a rollicking, often funny ride.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18820 on: September 14, 2019, 05:46:13 PM »
Nightmare Cinema (2018) - This was disappointing. Anthology movies are often hit or miss, but this was mostly miss. Surprising since they are all directed by experienced horror directors Joe Dante, Mick Garris, David Slade, Ryuhei Kitamura, Alejandro Brugu├ęs. The first segment is probably the best, but even that is just a cliche slasher flick until it goes into alien invasion twist that really just detracts from it. The worst is the black and white segment about a mother who sees things differently, it just seems pointless and makes no sense.
The wraparound "story" is barely there and makes no sense.
Oh, and that cool demon creature on the poster art? He's only in one segment, a lame Catholic school possession story, and he's barely in it.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18821 on: September 15, 2019, 06:17:26 AM »
He's the real "Ghoulie on a toilet" of that movie.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18822 on: September 15, 2019, 07:39:35 AM »
Has anyone seen the new Banana Splits movie? Just wondering if it's worth getting.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18823 on: September 15, 2019, 02:42:59 PM »
IT chapter 2 (2019) - This was...looooooong. Way too long. Individually the scenes are good, and the acting is excellent. But overall it feels too stretched and Pennywise scaring them gets repetitive. The creature design is great.
I was surprised that they
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I would recommend it if you liked the first half. But given it's length, maybe renting it is a better way to see it. So you can watch it in more manageable chunks at home.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18824 on: September 15, 2019, 11:52:40 PM »
A Touch Of Zen ( 1971 )
The second of the restored King Hu films released by Criterion. There comes a point in every successful directors career to go crazy and blow all of his studio's money on a single film.  Hu spent four years filming A Touch Of Zen, to the point where his studio was forced to release half of the film as a "Part One" to keep from going bankrupt. Although considered Hu's masterpiece and one of the greatest martial arts movies ever made, it probably wouldn't work well with modern audiences. In this three hour epic, there is no action for the entire first hour. The first act of the movie revolves around a scholar who observes the odd  activates of a stranger that has just arrived in town, and the even odder activities of some of the other townsfolk to the stranger. The second act reveals who the stranger is, and just who the good guys and villains are. Once the scholar knows what is going on, he offers to help the good guys with an elaborate plot to trap the villains. The third act is the plot to entrap the villains being enacted. And then comes the fourth act. Yep, this film is so long that there is a forth act.   Despite having been the protagonist since the first reel, the scholar is written out of the film. Instead the fourth act is about a conflict between the surviving good guys and the Buddhist abbot who took them in to his temple,  and a brand new villain. It is almost as if a sequel was made with whoever they could from the first film to return, and then this sequel was edited onto the ending of the first film. It is one of those movies I respect more than like.

I Am Number Four ( 2011 )
Damn it! I was so sure this week I was finished with all the non Marvel/DC superhero films up till 2019. And then Wikipedia added more to their list. Now they are saying Robin Hood, Lara Croft and The Transformers are superheroes? Maybe a case can be made for The Transformers as early on when the toys were sold, they had Marvel doing comic books for promotion. Lara Croft is just an adventurer at best, like Indiana Jones. And Robin Hood is just a f&%king thief. They did add one legit direct-to-video superhero film I had never heard of. But then Pacific Rim? A few other adds... Lucy and Higher Power have characters gaining powers, so falls into the technical superhero category. Kin, is very iffy. It has a kid finding a space gun. Sort of an updated version of Laser Blast. Not exactly sure that counts. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has a girl who's power is she can see aliens? Bleeding Steel was also added, which I was going to get anyway because it's a Jackie Chan film. But Braven? Okay, basically this is a Steven Seagal film, but instead of Seagal it stars Jason Momoa. Not a superhero in any way, even with Momoa. I am sure some of these films will eventually be removed after the moderators debate them.

The original plan was to finish off al the superhero films ( not including the 2019 releases ) and then save the remaining X-Men, MCU and DC Whataverse  films for last, with the AC cheapo films watched as extras.  New plans: next week I watch the first of the three X-Men films, then when they are done I begin watching the films Wikipedia added to the Superhero list. I will have to decide if I want the Transformers, Tomb Rader or Robin Hood films to be included. This will give me more time to hold off buying Justice League, just in case DC decides to release the first directors cut or any extended versions. Ill probably throw in the 2019 independent Superhero films, and then it is the year and a half worth of MCU films I haven't seen yet, and I can finally say I have own every superhero film released on DVD so far. But lets get to this week's film.

DreamWorks won a bidding war for the rights to the Lorien Legacies book series at a time when only the first book was published. The first novel, I Am Number Four, was a best seller, so every studio assumed it would be the next Twilight ( 2008 ). And with six more installments in the book series, DreamWorks hoped for a seven film franchise. ( Let's face it, an eight film franchise. You just know DreamWorks would have split the final film into two parts. ) However, the film adaption didn't do well, and the franchise ended at a single film.  So why am I watching this failed teen novel film? Because Wikipedia insists it qualifies as a superhero movie. Okay, I can see why it sort of counts. It has teenagers with extraordinary powers. The only thing missing is the costumes.

Much like The Darkest Minds, this is another film I should have hated, but for some reason ended up enjoying. Also like Darkest Minds, it sets up a franchise that never happened. The film leaves off with the teenage heroes united and on their way to locate others with powers  like them to battle the alien race poised to conquer Earth. I suppose I could read the novels to find out what happens after the first film, but I am probably not going to do that. I remember back in the 80s the BBC did a science fiction series based on the Tri-Pod novels, but never did the third season. I was told to read the third book to find out what happens, but so far have never bothered to track down the third book. And I don't see myself reading the six additional books in the Lorien Legacies series. 

Blue Bulleteer Captured By The Cloak ( 2007 )
Like I said last week, I found out there were a lot of direct to video live action movies based on superheroes from AC Comics. And I am learning a little bit more about them every week. Basically AC Comics began by reprinting old public domain comic books from the 1940s, then began publishing new comic books featuring both public domain characters from those 40s books, and semi-original characters. Their most successful title is Femforce, an all female superhero team.  . The founder and owner of AC Comics is Bill Black, who was also an aspiring film director. Apparently he had shot a number of small films, but each time ran out of budget and could not complete the film. He later discovered the digital camera and editing footage on video tape. He decided to make a series of shot on video films featuring Femforce characters, both in solo films and as a team. He had created an AC Cinematic Universe three years before Marvel's Iron Man began the MCU. Only on a cheap budget and shot on video tape. In this movie Blue Bulleteer has abandoned her Nightveil persona ( because having god-like magic powers was too dangerous? )and returned to her Blue Buleteer persona. Nothing much happens in his film. The first half has Blue Bulleteer running around catching criminals. While catching burglars robbing a warehouse, a masked villain called The Cloak comes up from behind her and chloroforms her. The next half of the film is The Cloak's fiendish plot, to sell Blue Bulleteer on the internet to the highest bidder. But she escapes and captures the henchmen while The Cloak makes his escape. It's a really dumb film that at the least  is only 40 minutes long.

Planet Of The Damned ( 2007 )
The DVD had a double feature which included this film. An ultracheap sci-fi film using hot on film footage for one of Bill Black's unfinished movies combined with new shot on video footage and cheap special effects. As bad as this film was, it actually had a very decent plot. An alien crash lands on a desolate planet only to discover the only other lifeform is a giant woman out to kill him. He soon discovers the planet's dark secret. If I had seen this story printed out as a short story, I may have enjoyed it. But the movie is just badly made. At least it is also only 40 minutes long.