Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1586356 times)

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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13005 on: July 30, 2013, 03:26:43 AM »
You guys are crazy.  Arena is a terrible, terrible movie.  It's perfect for a Rifftrax actually, considering some of the really dumb stuff that goes on.  Especially the big rubber monster fights.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13006 on: July 30, 2013, 05:55:09 AM »
You guys are crazy.  Arena is a terrible, terrible movie.  It's perfect for a Rifftrax actually, considering some of the really dumb stuff that goes on.  Especially the big rubber monster fights.
See, I liked the big rubber monster fights, because that's why I wanted to watch the movie in the first place. And it gave me plenty of them, throughout the movie, and many different types of monster designs. I didn't have to wait till the very end to get less than five minutes of one crappy monster suit, like in so many other low budget flicks like this.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13007 on: July 30, 2013, 06:34:23 AM »
Blood Simple

That leaves me with only 1 unwatched Coen Brothers movie, not counting their as yet unreleased movies (they have 2 coming out this year).  I love the way this movie plays out, because it's one of those stories where you really don't know where it is going to go.  There are points where you really start to think "so where does it go from here?" and never disappoints.  And also, though it is definitely a Coens movie, it isn't quite as quirky as a lot of their works (although they almost always make the quirks work) and feels like a really stripped down story.  It's funny, because despite it having so many twists and coincidences, it feels very, very lean.  Also, Frances MacDormand should have become a Sigorney Weaver-type icon (though she sort of does, in her way, as Marge Gunderson).

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Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13008 on: July 30, 2013, 12:58:37 PM »
Two Coen brothers movies this year?  What's the one besides Inside Llywen Davis?


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13009 on: July 30, 2013, 02:14:53 PM »
Two Coen brothers movies this year?  What's the one besides Inside Llywen Davis?

Yeah, that's the only one I've heard of coming out (and the only one I see listed on IMDB).


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13010 on: July 30, 2013, 02:23:15 PM »
What's your other unseen Coen Bros movie?

As for two this year, I don't think Suburbicon has a date yet, does it? They are working on a TV series - Harve Karbo - But I haven't even heard if that's shooting yet or been picked up.
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Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13011 on: July 30, 2013, 07:00:45 PM »
I watched Only God Forgives over the weekend. I enjoyed it immensely, but my opinions do differ drastically from others sometimes.

Ryan Gosling is a drug runner all around bad guy. Well he is a redeemable bad guy. His brother is much worse. The brother does something bad, he gets murdered, Gosling (directed by his overbearing mother played by Kristin Scott Thomas) starts a string of retaliation and vengeance killings, leading up to the climax when a main character is killed.

This movie has a lot of symbolism, and I found that part very enjoyable. I though Gosling did some great acting even though he didn't say much. The killings were symbolic and creepy, I had to close my eyes for one scene, but they added to the overall artistic feel of the film.

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Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13012 on: July 31, 2013, 07:26:41 PM »
The Fountainhead (1949, King Vidor) is a didactic, hypocritical piece of filmmaking with all the fascination of a train wreck. Based on Ayn Rand's novel, it propagates individualism and a rejection of compromise to extreme, black-and-white ends. It suggests a world in which the slightest compromise is a betrayal of oneself, where creation by committee is inherently mediocre and urges its audience to embrace bold, singular visions. To an extent, that's a laudable goal, especially when seen in the context of art, as it is here. One need not name the many examples of masterpieces disfigured by meddling hands. But there is a huge disconnect between the content and the style of this film. For a story so passionately in favor of unique, personal visions, it is completely wrong for it to be filmed in the conventional, invisible style of Hollywood filmmaking. Were this movie a building, it would be one of the humdrum, overly familiar buildings that everyone but our self-realized hero, Howard Roark (Gary Cooper), seems to design.

Furthermore, for a story so adamant about thinking for oneself, it doesn't do justice to any alternative viewpoints to its own, and in fact demonizes them. It circumvents our thinking for ourselves by propagating its own perspective upon us. The best example of this is at the movie's climax, when Roark, defending himself in court, delivers a speech summarizing Rand's objectivist views, after which he is exonerated and everyone who was against him now cheers for him (because once again, like us, they've been told what to think). It encapsulates the self-serving quality of the narrative, which does the very opposite of what it claims to believe in: telling you what to think, instead of provoking you to think for yourself. On a related note, its treatment of media propaganda (of which it is a shining example) is ambivalent, rightfully pointing out the way in which newspapers and the like mold the opinions of the masses, but later doubling back on itself and absurdly suggesting the opposite. In spite of all that, it's very watchable, but riddled with hypocrisies and a rather brutal philosophy.

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Vera Cruz (1954, Robert Aldrich) is a violent western adventure about post-Civil War Americans trying to get rich in Mexico, where a people's rebellion against the imperial rulers is being waged. Gary Cooper plays an honorable, cunning southern general who cautiously befriends a sadistic slob played by Burt Lancaster; the opening scene shows them poised to draw guns on each other, and you know that, in the end, they're bound to finish what they've started. It's a pretty daring film, even going so far as to equate the Mexican people's uprising against imperialism with the American South's (failed) battle to achieve independence from the USA. It's also daring for its violence, which has a sadism and excess calling to mind Peckinpah or Tarantino. And when Charles Bronson pops up playing on his harmonica, its influence on Leone is just as apparent (if it hadn't been already from the sweeping 360-degree panoramas). It's a film that pushes the envelope, both with its politics and its violence.

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It's funny, the things you think about after you watch a movie. Sometimes, they don't have anything to do with how good or bad the experience was. For instance: when I finished watching Source Code (2011, Duncan Jones) the other night, my first thought was: "When did Jeffrey Wright start to turn into Orson Welles? I mean, he has the vocal intonations down, and he has the forehead. I can hear him saying, "We will sell no wine before its time," in my head. Then, as I was driving to work the next day, it occurred to me that the movie demonstrates the limits of the Bechdel test. It has the requisite number of women in the cast, both playing characters who have names, one of whom is not the hero's girlfriend, but these two characters don't talk to each other, so it fails. Vera Farmiga's part, in particular, is a pretty juicy one that doesn't require her to be a sex object or a victim. She's almost a hero. Michelle Monaghan gets the more traditional hero's girlfriend role, but she's pretty central to the movie, and not just eye candy. Anyway, these are just random impressions. Your mileage may vary.

The movie itself is a pretty clever sci-fi thriller that has an intriguing premise and a punchy delivery. The idea is that when someone dies, their consciousness has an afterglow like a light bulb going out, or, if you want, before the wave form collapses. This is a movie about quantum mechanics, after all. This afterglow lasts for eight minutes, and during that eight minutes, it can be examined with the right person and the right scientific geegaws. The practical effect of this is that it throws the consciousness of the examiner into the mind of the person who has died. This can happen in the past. It's not time travel, per se, so much as it's time forensics. That's the movie's big idea, and it's not bad as sci-fi premises go. Very John Varley-ish. The movie explains all of this with admirable economy, too, then dismisses it all as unimportant to the story, which, ultimately, it is. There's another big idea here, too, and that's the important one. I won't spoil that one, though. Best you discover that for yourself.

The story it builds around this premise is that a secret government program sends its agent into the mind of a man who was on a train destroyed by a terrorist attack. They want to know what happened and, more importantly, who planted the bomb. Their agent is Captain Coulter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), a helicopter pilot from the Afghan theater who has the right physical profile to do the job. The process causes him some disorientation, and he doesn't know what's happening to him at first. At the beginning of the movie, he wakes up in the body of another man, a teacher named Sean Fentress, and he doesn't know how he got there or why he's now someone else. He's on the train, and he's talking to a girl. Around him are the suspects. He has eight minutes to find out what he needs. The movie sends him back into Fentress repeatedly, and the plot resembles an action movie version of Groundhog Day. What good is eight minutes? Well, that's what the movie examines. Interestingly, though, every time Stevens travels back into Fentress's consciousness, things change slightly. Stevens begins to suspect that he can change the past, but his handlers, Colleen Goodwin (Farmiga) and Dr. Rutledge (Wright) tell him that that's not possible. He's only in a simulation of the past, an after-image of the past, and what he does will not change things. Also, Stevens begins to wonder where he actually is, because he has no memory of signing up for this project. As events unfold, he begins more and more to suspect that his reality isn't what it seems.

The thing that drives this movie beyond its sci-fi premise and its action movie imperatives is an unusually close attention to characters. Most characters in this kind of movie are mannequins running through the plot--think of movies like Paycheck or Impostor if you want examples--but not here. The movie is less interested in what happens than in what its events mean for its characters, and this is where the movie sucks the audience in. In this, it shares its concerns with Duncan Jones's other movie, Moon, which was similarly structured around a man who didn't know what was happening to him or how he got there. Jones is using genre as a speculum to examine the existential plight of his heroes and it marks this movie as distinctively his own. Jones is fortunate in his cast, too. The four principles are played by superior actors, none of whom is a conventional action star. The production looks to have paid its actors at the expense of some level of production value (not much, but enough that the set pieces are a shade off the state of the art), and it pays dividends. It also develops its characters at the expense of a big action climax, too, and I can't say that I miss that. The movie ends not on a bang--the resolution of the action plot is something of a fizzle, actually--but on a moral dilemma between what is pragmatic (a position taken by Wright's Rutledge) and what's humane (a position taken by Farmiga's Goodwin). The resolution of this dilemma has a surprisingly emotional kick, a kick amplified by the gruesome revelation of Stevens's actual lot in life.

It's been a while since a legitimate auteur showed up in the sci-fi genre. Most of the filmmakers who work the genre these days are obsessed with the fanboyish insistence on "awesomeness," rather than on ideas or stories. The spectacle is enough for them. Not for Jones. Both of his movies so far are introspective. His futures are inhabited by human beings, and how those human beings react to the challenges of those futures is more interesting than all the hardware and whiz bang action. Jones apparently knows this. I hope he never forgets it.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13013 on: August 01, 2013, 03:59:19 AM »
The other one is called the Gambit and is a comedy remake.  Unless it already got released and I didn't notice.

The one I haven't seen is the divisive Burn After Reading.


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13014 on: August 01, 2013, 06:36:47 AM »
The other one is called the Gambit and is a comedy remake.  Unless it already got released and I didn't notice.

The one I haven't seen is the divisive Burn After Reading.

They wrote Gambit, but didn't direct it.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13015 on: August 01, 2013, 01:09:40 PM »
The other one is called the Gambit and is a comedy remake.  Unless it already got released and I didn't notice.

The one I haven't seen is the divisive Burn After Reading.

They wrote Gambit, but didn't direct it.

And it came out in 2012, and I found it unwatchable. Doubt we made it 30 minutes in. :/
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13016 on: August 01, 2013, 01:10:43 PM »
Oh, and Burn After Reading is light and fun. Not one of their best, but good enough. (But then, I like Intolerable Cruelty...)
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Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13017 on: August 01, 2013, 01:42:07 PM »
Oh, and Burn After Reading is light and fun. Not one of their best, but good enough. (But then, I like Intolerable Cruelty...)
Intolerable Cruelty is a lark that gets entirely too much grief for being said lark.

And Burn After Reading was excellent, if a bit dry at first (but once it picks up, it's hysterical).


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13018 on: August 01, 2013, 09:02:56 PM »
I didn't like Intolerable Cruelty, but later, after watching Lover Come Back, in which our two romantic leads emotionally abuse and torment each other and we are supposed to find it delightful, I realized it's supposed to be a callback to those morally questionable romantic comedies.  Still don't care for it, but it allows me to get that they very willfully made their protagonists repugnant.

Watched Amazon Women on the Moon last night for our local bar's movie night, followed by a painfully unfunny Star Wars re-edit that I just wanted to slap to death.  The former was also bad, but I will say there were some occasional good jokes (and I feel some of the sketch premises are funny and interesting, but played in a disappointingly lifeless way.

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Offline Hebs

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #13019 on: August 02, 2013, 06:01:07 AM »
I saw "Hospitality" 2010 (Japanese title: Kantai) yesterday



This movie probably will sting a bit but I think it's worth it.  It gives you no answers and presents no real metaphors even though you'll want to search for them.
Sad film, but done really well.

and "Farewell My Concubine" 1994?



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