Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1554474 times)

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Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12435 on: February 25, 2013, 04:02:47 PM »
I loved Killer Joe, just pure trash.  I just wish people would stop dumping on Matt M.  I think he's proven himself to be a good actor this year.

Watched An American Werewolf in London.  Had never seen it, believe it or not.

The special effects are awesome, especially considering this came out in the 80's.  And it was funny in a dark, disturbing way.  Although the end made me super sad.
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Offline Starman!

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12436 on: February 25, 2013, 04:56:50 PM »
I liked Argo just fine... Not so sure it's Best Picture material... but I don't think I've yet seen any of the other films that were nominated. The only part of the movie that really made me roll my eyes was...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

But yea... past that... I thought it all worked fine... and it made me go read the real accounts of what happened... so there is that as well. Affleck isn't anything to write home about, but he didn't win best actor.

Yeah that was kind of bad.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12437 on: February 25, 2013, 05:26:11 PM »
And the way you've put it, essentially every single time travel film ever made doesn't count as sci-fi, what with that being a scientific field that doesn't really exist or ever will (something that would also likely include any space movie featuring faster-than-light travel or something similar).

As I said, if you are going to make up science for a movie keep it consistent, there are good time travel movies not because time travel is real, but because they pick a set of rules and stick with them.   Same with FTL travel or any other technology that doesn't exist.

There are plenty of web sites with lists of the various plot holes and inconsistencies, most of witch I agree with or could add to, a few of witch I don't think are a big deal, I'm really not interested in going over them here.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12438 on: February 25, 2013, 08:08:35 PM »
I was kind of interested in Looper until I found out that it had some kind of link to Primer, which I hated.

First I've heard that - What's the link? (I've seen both and have no clue)
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12439 on: February 25, 2013, 08:14:57 PM »
I'll never quite understand folks hating on Argo fabricating plot points for its once-true story (you'd think they never did that in movies before).

I hate any movie that claims to be historical and is in fact 90% BS - Don't worry, that's not limited to Argo.

I actually find it almost upsetting when actual historical events are reformed to be inaccurate as that is what people are going to remember is true.

If your true story is too boring to make an interesting movie out of, maybe make a different movie?

And Affleck played a quiet role quietly. He did a fine enough job, but because he has the misfortune of being Ben Affleck, people hate on him more for it.

You mean Affleck played Affleck? What makes you think it was a 'quiet role?' I think it's problematic from the get-go that he cast himself in a role playing a man who was Mexican.
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12440 on: February 25, 2013, 08:15:51 PM »
I was kind of interested in Looper until I found out that it had some kind of link to Primer, which I hated.

First I've heard that - What's the link? (I've seen both and have no clue)

Wasn't the Primer guy a "time travel consultant" on Looper?

Possibly - Like I say, first I've heard of it. I don't think it would flavour your viewing of Looper if that's all it was.
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Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12441 on: February 26, 2013, 01:00:02 AM »
From what I understand, the Primer dude consulted on the script late in the game to iron out the kinks (and mainly because he and the Looper writer/director are friends). The two films don't have much similarity, though, although Looper is big on Primer's whole "last change counts" time travel aspect.

Anyway, I still believe that the ideas in Looper are well-founded and interesting as can be, as well as explainable for its weirder aspects. Don't seem to be winning any support in that area at the moment, but then, I still love Argo (the history major in me learns about the true story while the film fan deals with the movie A-OK), so perhaps that's just me ;)


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12442 on: February 26, 2013, 01:55:34 AM »
You mean Affleck played Affleck? What makes you think it was a 'quiet role?' I think it's problematic from the get-go that he cast himself in a role playing a man who was Mexican.

I haven't seen the film, so I can't comment on Affleck's acting in it, but I did listen to an interview with him where he said that it was tough playing a character who was so withdrawn and quiet.


Offline Kete

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12443 on: February 26, 2013, 06:23:11 AM »
I dunno where I heard it--I thought it was here?--and it was being touted as the reason that Looper's science was "so awesome" and I thought, "oh god, more Primer?"

Yeah, it was from me, probably. I loved both movies.


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12444 on: February 26, 2013, 10:40:58 PM »
If its IMDB rating--currently at 4.8 out of 10--is any indication, John Carpenter's fanboys don't much like Ghosts of Mars (2001). Certainly, the film has been trampled by people who actually appeared in it (Ice Cube calls it "unwatchable") and it sent its director into a decade long retirement. So, yeah, it's a debacle. But is it any good? Well, I don't know that I'd go quite that far, but it's not as bad as all that. It's certainly a return to form of a type, given that its basic plot returns Carpenter to Assault on Precinct 13 and, ultimately, Rio Bravo.

The plot of the film finds badass cop Melanie Ballard dispatched with her team to escort accused murderer "Desolation" Williams to stand trial for his crimes. Melanie is actually second in command. Her superior on the team is Commander Helena Braddock. She's also paired with Sgt. Jericho Butler, a fellow badass. The other team members are rookies. Williams himself is being held at a remote mining outpost where scientists have made some kind of "significant" find. That find turns out to be the "ghosts" of Mars, who are completely hostile to alien invaders. They possess unfortunate humans and drive them into a homicidal frenzy. Our heroes must make common cause with the prisoners in order to defend their position, then fight their way to safety...

Yeah. Same old shit from Carpenter. This is, what? His third or fourth version of this same story? Carpenter is a classic auteur in this regard, because he likes examining this narrative from different perspectives each time he makes it. This one has unusual flourishes. First: it's a science fiction movie. Being science fiction, Carpenter permits himself to change the basic conditions of the Rio Bravo scenario. The society this film postulates is a matriarchy, so the "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" ethos of the Hawks original is upended somewhat.  The matriarchal nature of the film also marginalizes the male cops, and adds a certain amount of comedy to the way Ballard deals with Williams and his accomplices, who play at being badasses while she's the real deal. Second: Pam Grier's Braddock is openly gay, while Kinkaid, one of the rookies played by Clea DuVall, seems to, well, to be played by Clea Duvall. Third: it lets Carpenter add shadings to Ballard that might not play in a contemporary setting. Ballard is addicted to some science fictional drug, which makes her more like the Dean Martin character in Rio Bravo than the John Wayne character. It's a character flaw that comes in handy later in the movie, when it plays into the plot. Also new to this film, and something I'm sure that Carpenter has been dying to film forever, is a train sequence. The train may look futuristic, but the action is pure wild west. So is the movie, for that matter.

The structure of the movie is adventurous for Carpenter. It's assembled from nested flashbacks as Ballard tells a tribunal what happened to her team, and within this flashback narrative, Carpenter plays with the film's chronology. It's an expert piece of film editing, and what could be a narrative mishmash in other hands plays as a crystal clear narrative in which all the signposts agree with each other. Carpenter never lost his knack for composing the film frame even in his direst movies, and this is as expertly composed as any of those. At a basic level of formal film craft, this is pretty well-made. But formal film craft is only half the story.

This falters on two fronts. The first is production design, and here, you're seeing money tell the tale. This was a relatively cheap production and for all of Carpenter's savvy with the camera and in the editing room, it still somehow manages to look like an Empire Pictures direct-to-video cheapie from the 1980s. Carpenter has always managed to make attractive films within his (usually) low budgets, but this is a film that really needs an infusion of CGI or something. This is a movie that cries out for special effects, particularly on its beasties (who are mostly just smoke). The setting defeats the director. The other main problem is the cast. Natasha Henstridge is the lead, and she's okay for coming onto the movie a week before it lensed. She's always been more model than actress, but she has some action chops that make her credible in the action scenes. That's more than I can say for Ice Cube, who for all his complaints about Carpenter's handling of the movie doesn't help his case by being an essentially inert presence. You want someone named "Desolation Williams" to be a lot more menacing than what you get here. Mr. Cube comes off as a lost puppy. Still, I suppose it's hard to blame Carpenter for this, given that Ice Cube was brought into the film for his supposed "bankability" and plays a part written for Jason Statham (which goes to show that producers often have zero foresight). Statham is still in the movie, mind you, playing the second lead and reminding everyone who watches it how much better he would have been as a character named "Desolation." There are tons of interesting actors in the background, but being in the background, they aren't allowed to seize the spotlight. Joanna Cassidy is terrific as the scientist, but her role is almost solely to provide exposition. Pam Grier makes an early exit before being allowed to do much of anything except come on to Natasha Henstridge. Clea DuVall is a red shirt. A great deal of this was out of the director's hands, it should be noted, and it's no wonder that Carpenter walked away from movies after this film.

I didn't much like Ghosts of Mars when I first saw it, but I was pretty down on Carpenter by then. I may have been letting a decade of disappointment color my perspective on the film, because it plays better to my eyes ten years later than it did at the time. Maybe I'm in a forgiving mood, but I don't think so. I think it's more a matter of perspective. I had no expectations this time, and I could see what was good in the movie. In the end, I don't know that the good overcomes the bad, but I think John Carpenter has made worse films. That's something.
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12445 on: February 26, 2013, 10:42:54 PM »
Did you manage to watch The Ward?
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Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12446 on: February 26, 2013, 10:50:07 PM »
As a matter of fact, I watched it last night right after Ghosts of Mars. I liked it, especially Carpenter's work in it. I have a ton of notes, so hopefully I'll have something finished in a few days.
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12447 on: February 26, 2013, 11:05:09 PM »
Fair enough - I think those are the two worst Carpenter movies (though I haven't brought myself to rewatch Vampires yet, and I remember that being pretty bad too)
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Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12448 on: February 26, 2013, 11:15:46 PM »
Maybe I was in a forgiving mood. Since he was a mercenary for hire on The Ward it was easier for me to focus on his work, which was much better than the script.

I probably like it better than anything he's done in 20 years, though I admit that's a low bar.
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Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12449 on: February 27, 2013, 11:18:28 AM »
Carpenter's last truly great film was In the Mouth of Madness (although there's plenty of enjoyment to be gotten out of Escape from L.A.), and I say that as someone who loves that guy to pieces. I'd be all for him coming back with another genre classic, but we may have reached a point that so many aging directors do where that just isn't in the cards. Luckily he's still got the-entire-decade-that-was-the-80s (plus some odds and ends before and after) to cement his legacy, so I'm not too concerned.

Going back to the top of the page and speaking of Primer...

Upstream Color. Shane Carruth's latest is... something. Definitely something, and I mean that in a good way. Much like Primer, the film opens with the introduction of some very strange concepts (in this case, mind-controlling worms) before spiraling off into an exploration on people dealing with their lives when they start to lose control of them. Also like Primer, it's not too difficult to understand the exact layout of the plot proper (in a purely rudimentary sense), but getting a grasp of the mechanics and underlying meanings... that's trickier. However, this movie trades off Primer's cryptic narration in favor of some gorgeous visual imagery and an extremely affecting score to help you get swept away with what's going on. It all concludes with a movie that I know I didn't quite "get", but still really, really liked (and, unlike Tree of Life, this one doesn't feel like it's talking down to you the whole time. I just make the comparison because it seems to come up a lot).

Also, re: Shane Carruth and Looper: he was at my screening last night for a Q&A, and I asked him about his involvement. Apparently it didn't mount up to much at all. Johnson's a friend of his (like I said above), and was interested in some of the effects concept work that Carruth was doing for his now-defunct project A Topiary. Things involving characters being eclipsed by a fog of gravel (as it were) and vanishing, to be used in Looper to represent people from alternate timelines disappearing in a character's mind. Ultimately, though, the schedule and ideas couldn't be hammered out quite right, and Johnson didn't include that stuff in the movie. So most everything related to the actual time travel elements of Looper, and all other script whatnots, received no involvement from Carruth.

In other words, Im, it's safe for you to watch it.