Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1452223 times)

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Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18330 on: November 25, 2018, 07:15:04 AM »
Could be, but there are a lot of stories of bands recording albums out in the middle of nowhere-often as an attempt to keep a member or members with substance abuse problems clean and away from temptation.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18331 on: November 25, 2018, 07:54:36 PM »
I saw the 40th Anniversary of Superman at my local theater. I did have one issue, the volume was for some reason kinda low. I love that movie so much though that I still had an absolute blast.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18332 on: November 25, 2018, 11:24:39 PM »
Human Lanterns ( 1982 )
Wanted to watch this one for Halloween, ended up watching it for Thanksgiving weekend. It's basically a martial arts film, but the first two thirds are a horror film. Two of an unspecified town's richest men are always competing against each other, usually in an annual lantern festival where the best lantern submitted wins. Both men are martial arts experts, one who once defeated a foe, scaring the foe's face for life. He then finds out this former foe is the town's master lantern maker, and hires him to make him a winning lantern. However, not only hasn't the foe forgiven him for being defeated and scared, but that incident turned him insane. So while he agrees to make the lantern, secretly he kidnaps the women who live with both rich men, strips them of their skin while they are still alive, and uses it to make lanterns. Both rich men assume the other is the kidnapper and are soon ready to fight each other, not realizing they are both being manipulated in an elaborate revenge plot. This is actually one of Shaw Brothers better films which only reach cult status here due to it's violent nature. Amazingly, even though American studios we're pumping out slasher films on a weekly basis in the early 80s, a lot of the Hong Kong horror films saw little to no distribution of their English dub prints in North America. Their cult status coming years later via bootlegged VHS tapes from Asia.

Don Q, Son of Zorro ( 1925 )
You can't do a sequel to Zorro. The original novel ends with Don Diego revealing to everyone that he is Zorro, then retiring as a hero due to the fact that Zorro succeeded in driving off the corrupt government officials running California. With no one else to fight and his identity revealed, Zorro was finished. Similarly, Douglas Fairbanks The Mark of Zorro ended with him revealing his identity and retiring as Zorro. It was a one shot story and that was that. But then the movie made the character famous. The original novel, The Curse of the Capistrano became a best seller. Author Johnston McCulley was pressured into writing sequels. So he did. And pretty much nullified the final two chapters of the first novel in the process. For some reason no one knows Don Diego is Zorro. If they did, then running around in a costume and mask and giving yourself an alternate identity would be a bit ridiculous if every knew who you were. But having Don Diego running around fighting injustice wasn't as fun. So pretending the last two chapters never happened was the only option.

The Mark of Zorro was the first blockbuster for Douglas Fairbanks, which is why he wanted to follow it up with similar films. He bought the rights to McCulley's sequel novel so he could do his own Zorro sequel, but then realized he couldn't just ignore the end of his own film. Meanwhile Fairbanks had bought the rights to another novel, Don Q's Love Story which told the origin of the Don Q character. Fairbanks was looking for another character similar to Zorro, and found it in the bandit Don Q. Then came the idea of combining Don Q with Zorro, making the Don Q character Don Diego's son.

This film is just barely a sequel to The Mark of Zorro. Fairbanks plays both the now 60 year old Don Diego and his son Cesar. While most of the plot to Don Q's Love Story was retained, the Don Q character was ultimately eliminated. Only in one scene does a fugitive Cesar call himself Don Q when asked his name, and that is it for the rest of the film. The plot, Don Cesar is in Spain where he and a rival are both in love with the same girl. When the rival murders a visiting prince, he decides to frame Don Cesar. Facing execution, Don Cesar fakes his death which allows him to go on the lamb long enough to find the evidence to prove his innocence. In the final ten minutes there is a confrontation between Don Cesar and the rival and his men. That is when Don Diego shows up ( in split screen ) in his old Zorro costume to lend Don Cesar a hand.

Basically this is a good film. But it was sold as both a Zorro sequel and Don Q film. Zorro is barely in it, and you have to wait until the last ten minutes to see Zorro. And for fans of the character Don Q ( which there are not many fans of today, but there were a lot of back in the 1920s when the character was still popular ) this movie was a complete ripoff.

Sally of the Sawdust ( 1925 )
Shocking but true, WC Fields was originally a silent film star. Well, actually he was a stage star who was cast in a few silent movies with moderate success and didn't have his breakthrough success until the sound era. Since almost all the comedy in a WC Fields film came from his one liners, it is hard to imagine how good he could have been in a film where he was unable to use his voice. So far every Fields film I have ever seen has been sound, so this would be a first for me.

Sally of the Sawdust was directed by the master of silent cinema, D.W. Griffith. It was an adaption of the musical Poppy of which Fields co-wrote and starred in on Broadway. But with the plot altered for screen and the name of the girl changed from Poppy to Sally. The alterations to the plot made so that the story was closer to the type of melodrama Griffith usually directed. Also, because the musical elements could not be used in a silent film. The story becomes more of a drama than comedy. Just as I thought, Fields is hardly funny without his one liners. He is barely given any opportunity to use slapstick. And even though Griffith was a master of silent film, he knew nothing about directing comedy. The only part I laughed at was a gag where Sally nearly beans someone with a small rock. Fields stops her and seems to chastise her, but then hands her a large rock. Other than that, none of the other comedy seemed to work. As a drama the film was very effective. But with WC Fields as the star, you want the film to be funny. Fortunately another version of Poppy would be made a decade later with sound, and this time you heard all of Fields one liners in all their glory.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 08:36:23 AM by stethacantus »


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18333 on: November 26, 2018, 06:56:11 AM »
Watched The Inspector General starring Danny Kaye for the first time. I scoffed at the movie so many times before, because it’s always in those discount $1 dvd bins. And the little-to-no quality preservation doesn’t help matters. It's quite good! Better than Secret Life of Walter Mitty but not quite Wonder Man. And, unlike Hans Christian Andersen, no slow parts to kill the pacing. The songs are almost too silly (and ubiquitous), but that’s also where Danny Kaye’s talent (among his many others) really shines. Glad IMDb pulled through (6.8 rating!), otherwise, I wouldn’t have given it a chance. It’s a must-watch for any Danny Kaye fan. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime for anyone interested.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 07:13:47 AM by stansimpson »


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18334 on: December 02, 2018, 10:46:00 PM »
Disciples of Shaolin ( a.k.a. Invincible One ) ( 1975 )
The title is misleading. Made during Chang Cheh's Shaolin Cycle where any film involving the Shaolin Temple or the Kung Fu masters from Shaolin was popular, this film had absolutely nothing to do with Shaolin. The Manchurian who run a textile millions want to drive the only other textile millions in town out of business, mostly by beating up the rival's employees. Alexander Fu Sheng is a poor martial arts experts who ends up becoming the foreman of the other textile millions when he defends them from the manchurians. Basically another one of Chang Cheh's gangster films, but set further back in the past, and one of Fu Sheng's best films.

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 ( 2003 )
This week was supposed to be the final Zorro film. Actually, I wanted to end the Zorro films with the Fairbanks films. But there was one film I had ordered months ago which never arrived, because the seller didn't have it in stock, and instead of admitting it, attempted to back order it from his distributor, finally sending me a refund over a month later. So I reordered it, this time directly from Amazon, and now they are telling me it won't arrive until January. So I will move to the next film on the list. And close out the Zorro films some other time.

Talking about closing out, I was so sure I had closed out every kids superhero film, at least the ones aimed at grade schoolers. Then among the suggested films on Amazon, this popped up. A superhero film not even on Wikipedia's list. And damnit, it is this film! Let me explain. Baby Geniuses, a film with babies who appear to be talking due to CGI effects, is on practically every all time worst movie list, usually in the top 10. Well, critics say the sequel was worse. I never knew there were any sequels until Amazon suggested this. Turns out there were a bunch of direct to video sequels and a television series.

The first sequel was made for theatrical release, but SONY chose to release it full screen. Although released on DVD in 2005, SONY was still releasing fill screen movies on DVD. Anyone who accidentally bought a full screen Spiderman film could tell you that. Just before the opening credits the screen shrinks to letterbox. This is what full screen films usually did to prevent the credits from being cropped. But then for no reason the letteboxing ends before the credits begin. During this time a character, who is emerging from a secret door, is almost entirely cropped off the screen. This makes zero sense until you read the box, which says "Family Edition" and on the back in a fine print disclaimer "...has been slightly edited for content from the original theatrical release." I did a little research and discovered all the edits were made to remove any image of one of the villains holding a gun. The abrupt ending of the letterboxing appears to be an optical close up, which means they first decided to release this film full frame, then put it in letterbox so the title screen during the opening credits, then changed that to an optical close up so you couldn't see one of the bad guys holding a gun.  BTW, the only Region 1 version I could find were "family" edits in full screen. No uncensored nor widescreen version of this film has ever been released on home video.

The plot: what I assume are the talking babies from the first film meet Kahuna, a world traveling super spy baby who, thanks to accidentally ingesting a secret formula back in the 1940s, is forever stuck as a toddler despite growing an adult brain, and has super strength. Kahuna travels the world freeing children trapped in bad orphanages and finding them new parents. But he is also constantly fighting his arch enemy, a German mad scientist called Biscane ( played by Jon Voight, who got his granddaughter, actresses Skyler Shaye into the film as well. )  When a CD Biscane needs for his latest world domination plan accidentally ends up in the baby geniuses carriage, they find themselves on the run from Biscane's minions. Kahuna rescues them and brings them to his secret underground base. There he shows them a machine that can turn each into costumed superheroes. Inevitably Biscane and his minions attacks the base and the baby superheroes help defend it.

Sounds horrible, right? Well, amazing it wasn't. While definitely not a good film, it was nowhere as bad as most of the other kids films I had seen. And it is momentarily nice in the climax when actresses Vanessa Angel  and Skyler Shaye, who are some of the adults who run the daycare center ( or possibly orphanage? ) where the baby geniuses hang out, decide to help defend Kahuna's base, and suddenly show up wearing leather outfits. I say momentarily because the outfits, consisting of black leather pants and jacket, turn out to be baggy. And then Scott Baio shows up in the same outfit. Oh yeah, that's right. Scott Baio is in this movie too. And Whoopee Goldberg and the group O Town make brief cameos appearances. ( Anyone vaguely  remember the band called O Town? ) So basically I didn't have a horrible time watching this film. But it is still something you'd want to avoid at all costs.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 10:49:46 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18335 on: December 05, 2018, 10:53:49 AM »
So I snagged a couple of those Amazon Prime Only tickets to see Aquaman early on the 15th. It's a gamble for sure, but the night was right for a date night, and Tyrant and I seem to possess the rare ability to enjoy DC movies, so we're going for it. Kind of neat to see a movie before most of the rest of the world.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18336 on: December 07, 2018, 02:13:43 PM »
So I snagged a couple of those Amazon Prime Only tickets to see Aquaman early on the 15th. It's a gamble for sure, but the night was right for a date night, and Tyrant and I seem to possess the rare ability to enjoy DC movies, so we're going for it. Kind of neat to see a movie before most of the rest of the world.
Lucky. I'm not all that interested in seeing Aquaman but I'm glad you two can get enjoyment out of DC films. Make sure and let us know what you thought of the movie... unless of course there's an embargo on reviews until closer to the relase date.