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Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1527482 times)

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Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16755 on: April 25, 2016, 07:15:31 AM »
Jonah Hex ( 2010 )
here is a movie that got a lot of bad reviews. I was expecting crap. But instead, I liked it. It is by no means great, but it is entertaining. And with an hour and twenty minute running time, it is over long before you can get fed up with it. Also, it is yet another film that has Megan Fox dressing up as a slut every time she is on screen, so you got that too. My only complaint is that the origin part in the beginning is cartoon stills. 


Tentacles ( 1977 )
This is simply a dull Italian Jaws ( 1975 ) ripoff with an Octopus. But with an amazing cast of Academy award winning actors. Academy Award winning actor/director John Huston. Two time Academy Award winning actress Shelly Winters. Academy, Tony, Grammy & Golden Globe winner Henrey Fonda. If only the film had a script worthy of it's cast.

It is a curiously pointless film. Isn't the purpose of a horror movie to elicit fear?  But this film makes almost no attempt to scare the audience. Take the movie Jaws. The scene where the first victim is eaten, there is a slow buildup where you can see the shark's POV while the girl swims above, and then as it gradually approaches her. The next shot is of the girl above water, looking towards the shoreline when she is briefly pulled under, then yanked down again. And before she has a chance to realize what is happening is violently dragged across the waters surface, screaming in pain. She is able to grab onto a buoy, and for a brief moment had the chance to pull herself out of the water, but then the shark grabs her again, thrashing her back and fourth before finally dragging her under the surface for good. That scene alone shook audience members up so much that they left the theater without watching the rest of the movie. Now compare that to the first victim in Tentacles, a baby in a carriage on a promenade next to the shore. The mother leaves the baby alone to talk to a friend across the street. As the mother talks to her friend we can still see the baby carriage next to the shore across the street with the occasional car passing by. A bus passes by, after which the carriage is no longer there. This is how you stage a scene where a spy vanishes, not one designed to build the suspense of a victim getting killed.

The next killing happens off camera. A man with a wooden leg is washing his boat. His friend leaves him for a minute to grab a sandwich, then after the sounds of a splash returns to find the boat empty. Once again, no attempt to build suspense or fear. Even the music is inappropriate. Jaws had that memorable menacing theme during every shark attack. Tentacles plays a few notes of harpsichord music, and only after a victim has disappeared. Only a couple of attacks in the film are shown. Most likely because showing an actor or actress with octopus legs wrapped around them was too complicated to film. None of them bother to build any suspense.

But this is a Jaws ripoff, and what most film makers believed made Jaws a success was the gore. In other words, animal attacks, blood squirts out and body parts left behind. But with exception to one bloated corpse found in the water, this film has no gore at all. The Octopus kills without spilling a single drop of blood. So the question is, if there is no attempt at fear or suspense, and there is no gore, then what is the purpose of the film?

The one thing I do give it credit for is the original way the Octopus is eventually killed. Most Jaws ripoffs ( and most of it's sequels ) ended with the killer animal being blown up. In Tentacles the oceanographers tasked with killing the Octopus do so by releasing aquarium killer whales into the ocean and asking them to kill it. At first the killer whales do exactly what would happen in real life. They swim away to their freedom, forcing the oceanographers to put on scuba gear and go after the Octopus themselves armed only with spear guns. When the oceanographers prove ineffective against the beast ( and why not. The Octopus had already destroyed two yacht during the film, so what is two tiny men to it? ) and find themselves under attack, the killer whales suddenly return. Or, at least, two killer whale puppets return, and begin eating what was most likely a real dead octopus bought from a local fish market. The killer whales pull the octopus apart, and then willingly return to captivity.  At this point in the movie I could barely stay awake. This was mostly due to the late hour I was watching the movie, but having watched a dull film for 90 minutes did not help. I kept nodding off during what was suppose to be the most exciting part of the movie, and kept having to rewind the scene over and over again until I was able to watch it entirely without falling asleep. I didn't fall asleep during the coda that followed ( the oceanographers wondering if the whales would return so they could bring them back to the aquarium, and talking about forgetting about the whales and taking the boat to South America. I didn't nod off during that pointless time padding scene, which means it was more exciting than the climatic battle.


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16756 on: April 25, 2016, 07:15:56 AM »
Countdown:  A direct to video WWE film staring Dolph Ziggler as a cop with a dark past and a tendency to disregard the rules.

That's a weird subtitle for a movie.


Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16757 on: April 25, 2016, 08:07:22 PM »
Fargo

Nice to watch this one again.  So much I forgot about in it and both thrilling and blackly comic.  That Carter Burwell score is amazing.


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16758 on: April 27, 2016, 03:06:37 PM »
FINALLY got around to seeing Ant-Man. Fucking wonderful. It made me understand why people like Paul Rudd.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16759 on: April 27, 2016, 05:24:48 PM »
FINALLY got around to seeing Ant-Man. Fucking wonderful. It made me understand why people like Paul Rudd.

Have you seen Role Models?
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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16760 on: April 28, 2016, 09:06:18 AM »
FINALLY got around to seeing Ant-Man. Fucking wonderful. It made me understand why people like Paul Rudd.

Have you seen Role Models?
Did you know that dinosaurs aren't extinct?


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16761 on: April 30, 2016, 12:10:10 PM »
FINALLY got around to seeing Ant-Man. Fucking wonderful. It made me understand why people like Paul Rudd.

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Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16762 on: April 30, 2016, 06:36:47 PM »
Safety Last

Rewatched this one.  It's still a lot of fun and the actual building climbing is funny and suspenseful.  Stubbs always looks amazing to me, as he looks like a perfect living caricature of a snooty guy.  Looks like he just wandered out of a comic panel.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16763 on: May 01, 2016, 10:17:50 PM »
From Beijing With Love ( 1994 )   
When I purchase the DVD from Amazon it was called Jet Li 5 Film Collection. Actually, it was Dragon Dynasty Five Film Collection featuring Jet Li with four Jet Li films and one Stephen Chow movie. In the past couple of decades Dragon Dynasty had amassed the home video distribution rights to dozens of Asian films, but only released about a third of them before seemingly ceasing any new releases. In the past few years the only new releases from Dragon Dynasty has been double features and four movie sets re-releasing their past released films in budget sets for K-Mart, Best Buy and Target. Perhaps The Five Film collection at leas shows that they finally have begun burning off their backlog of unreleased movies. Hopefully they will get to the unreleased Shaw Brothers films they had been witholding from America. In the meantime, here I was with a Stephen Chow movie I never intended to buy.

Years ago I had been warned off Stephen Chow, a Hong Kong comedian who made a number of films that most fans of Asian movies did not think were funny at all. But then came such films as  Shaolin Soccer ( 2001 )  and Kung Fu Hustle ( 2004 ) which at the least had brilliantly choreographed martial arts scenes, and got critical acclaim when released in this country. It would seem that Stephen Chow had improved. I had planned to some day watch his better films, but had ( and still have ) a lot of other movies I would rather get to first. So my first exposure to Stephen Chow was not his better films from the 00s, but one of those earlier films from the 90s I had been warned about. From Beijing With Love is what I would call the opposite of funny. It is a parody of a James Bond movie, only without actually parodying James Bond. There are no extensive chase scenes, no doomsday machine for the hero to stop, no humongous base of operation for the villain complete with an army of henchmen, no globe trotting to exotic locations and no gadget rigged car. The only thing this film does parody from the Bond films is Q division, which in this movie offers Chow such useless gadgets as a solar powered flashlight that only works in daylight and a cell phone that is actually an electric razor. A fossilized dinosaurs head has been hijacked on the way to the museum and the head of China's secret service decides to assign Chow to the case, a reserve agent who had not been activated since he joined the service ten years ago, and who's file was about to be thrown out. At this point Chow should have portrayed a bumbling spy similar to Maxwell Smart, but instead the film can't make up it's mind if Chow is incompetent or a super spy. In one scene he can't even shoot straight, while in the next he can throw a knife at it's intended target with deadly accuracy. Another thing the movie can't make up its mind about is if it is a zany comedy or dark comedy. In one scene Chow accidentally stumbles onto a jewelry heist in a mall, where a father is mercilessly gunned down in front of his ten year old son, along with other random innocent bystanders who are also ruthlessly executed. The movie also lacks any decent action scenes. There are no car chases and no martial arts. The only action is poorly staged gun fights. The majority of the film involves no action or adventure. You spend more than the first hour of this 90 minute film waiting for agent Chow to finally get around to his mission. Fans of Chow have actually given this movie decent reviews. But in my opinion, it is a failed comedy with nothing to laugh at, and a failure of an action movie.


The Green Lantern Extended Cut ( 2011 )
A month ago when Batman Vs Superman was released and got mostly negative reviews, I asked the question in this thread http://forum.rifftrax.com/index.php?topic=32104.0 as to why the Marvel MCU was able to release one positively reviewed movie after another, while Warner Bros. seemed to consistently screw up their franchises. With exception to the Dark Knight trilogy, movies based on DC comics are not well received. Case in point, The Green Lantern, which was suppose to be part of DC's own cinematic universe, leading up to a Justice League movie next year. That was before the movie got bad reviews, and DC decided that the Green Lantern that would eventually join Justice League would not be Ryan Renolds, and the whole Green lantern franchise would be rebooted at a later date. The good news is that DCs decision to jettison Renolds freed him up to rejoin the 20th Century FOX X-Men cinematic universe with the semi spin off film Deadpool, and a possibility that the XCU will one day be retroactively combined with the MCU, allowing Deadpool to appear in other Marvel films. But was Warner Bros. decision to reboot The Green Lantern a mistake?

I did not think this was a bad film. Perhaps because I was watching an extended cut which fleshed out the characters as children allowed me to enjoy the movie more than those who saw it in the theaters. But I found this movie more entertaining than the best superhero films from the 80s and 90s. Have we really became so jaded with the genre that we can not accept anything that does not rise to the level of Marvel's Avengers ( 2012 ) or The Dark Knight ( 2008 )? Have we forgotten what a bad comic book film really looks like? Forgotten Batman & Robin ( 1997 ), The Return of Swamp Thing ( 1989) or Howard the Duck ( 1986 )? The only problem I could find with The Green Lantern was that it was obviously paced to be the first episode of a franchise. Characters from the comic books were either not introduced, or not given much to do. Sinestro was still one of the good guys, suggesting the director was planning a three movie story arc before Sinestro became the lantern's arch nemesis. As such The Green Lantern is a run of the mill origin movie, where much of the film is about the hero getting his powers, and his motivation to use those powers to become a superhero. While this made the movie average, it still set the groundwork for better films in the future. And since the Green lantern reboot will essentially be the same exact characters with the same costumes and same powers, then why not keep the version already established?


Empire of the Ants ( 1977 )
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« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 10:20:34 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16764 on: May 02, 2016, 12:03:18 AM »
I like movies that take a swing at the fences, movies that have ambition. Usually, this means that I like movies that examine the unbearable lightness of being human, but it also equates to an appetite for movies that examine humankind's place in the grand scheme of things. Some of my favorite movies--particularly those by Ingmar Bergman--examine humanity's relationship with god (or gods). The ones I like best are the ones about the downward spiral, whether that movie is Nightmare Alley or Unforgiven. Tales of the fall, if you will. This may seem a perverse appetite for an atheist, particularly one who is a pure existentialist, and you're probably right. I say all of this because it explains the impact that Chang-dong Lee's Secret Sunshine (2007) had on me. It takes a swing at the fences and it's a tale of the fall.

Secret Sunshine is in three acts. In the first, single mother Lee Shin-ae relocates to her late husband's hometown in order to start over. She opens a piano school, takes on students, and strikes up an awkward friendship with Kim Jong-Chan, the mechanic who repaired her car when it was stuck on the road into town. The early part of the movie is a kind of slice of life melodrama, but there are hints of what's to come. Her son is unruly and likes to vanish from her supervision when she's distracted. This trait leads the film into its second act, which is a suspense thriller. Shin-ae's son is kidnapped. The kidnapper has mistaken Shin-ae for a land speculator and when the amount of money she is able to raise for the ransom doesn't meet his expectations, he kills the boy. The third act is where the movie blindsided me. In the third act, Shin-ae, presented earlier in the film as an atheist, finds god in her grief and becomes a member of an evangelical Christian church. In trying to live up to the tenets of her newfound faith, Shin-ae vows to forgive the murderer of her son and dutifully makes an appointment to see him in prison. The murderer has also found god, and claims that god has forgiven him. This comes as a blow to Shin-ae, and she begins to question what kind of god would forgive such a man. In her rage and grief, she becomes an active enemy of god, and begins a campaign of mischief against god's agents on Earth. "I won't lose to you, mother fucker," she rages at her adversary, as she spirals into madness.

This is an atheist's movie, I think, though for a long chunk of its running time, I wasn't really sure of this. I'll admit to becoming irritated with the religiosity of the back end of the movie. Fortunately, this doesn't have an evangelical bent. Indeed, it seems to be an argument for a silent, indifferent god, or a non-existent one in the first place. I wonder if this theme is what delayed the film from getting an American release for so long. I wouldn't doubt it. I'm of two minds about Shin-ae's campaign against god. On the one hand, it seems a bit modest. I describe the film as taking a swing at the fences, but in this regard, it's playing small ball. Shin-ae's acts of mischief seem fairly inconsequential. For a national cinema known for outre vengeance scenarios, this kind of surprises me. Fortunately, Jeon Do-yeon sells the whole thing as Shin-ae. When she looks up at god near the end of the movie and asks him, "Are you watching? Can you see?", the movie radiates a dark chill. The light of madness in her eyes is an image that followed me, and I can't shake it even now, a couple of days after I saw the film.

Director Chang-dong Lee handles each of the movie's mood swings with an assured hand. Lee has dialed down his usual love of misfits here and long stretches of the film have the blankfaced deadpan of an art movie. It's beautifully filmed, but that's so common in Korean film these days that it scarcely bears mentioning anymore. If I want to see the state of the art in moviemaking craft, I turn to Korea.

Lee has the luxury of having two of the best actors in Asia in his cast. Jeon Do-yeon, as I've already mentioned, is astonishing. As it was with Hye-ja Kim in Mother, Secret Sunshine is an essential film for anyone who cares about the art of acting. Song Kang-ho adds another amiable doofus to his repertoire here. If I hadn't seen him as the rich man in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, I'd suspect that he was mainly playing himself a la Cary Grant or John Wayne. This is a different shade of doofus for the actor, though, and he's the anchor that keeps the movie from spiraling into nihilism. He's a portrait of unrequited romantic devotion.

Lee appoints the movie with wonderful small flourishes that pay off down the line. When Shin-ae tells her neighbor that she should paint the interior of her shop with a brighter color near the beginning of the film, it's an awkward scene that speaks to the fact that Shin-ae is a fish out of water. Lee revisits this conversation twice: once in a beauty parlor, where Shin-ae overhears her neighbor snarking about her, and then at the end when her neighbor offers her some measure of vindication. Lee does something similar with the scene where Shin-ae goes to Kim's garage to ask him to help her after her son is kidnapped. She's brought up short to see him singing karaoke alone. She turns away from him and flees. Later, this forms a part of the worst dinner date ever. Most of the small elements become the equivalent of chess pieces for the director, and he arranges them in ever more strategic configurations as the movie progresses. It should be noted, however, that Lee isn't drawing any conclusions. So if it's a chess game you want, prepare for a match with no endgame. Lee doesn't provide any tidy summations. He doesn't come down on any particular side--though I rather think he has a dim view of religion. Prepare to take away from this film what you bring to it. For myself, I bring my own atheism to it, and lo and behold, that's what stares back at me when I look at it. Your mileage may vary.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16765 on: May 02, 2016, 02:38:26 AM »
The Deer Hunter

I never saw this one before.  I think I was avoiding this one for a while since I thought of it as a famously long movie, but really it's only three hours (though it is a movie that takes its time).  Still, I get why, since the first third is relatively quiet character stuff.  And I admit, it is my least favourite part of the movie.  Nothing wrong with it, but despite the fact that I new they were probably going to be damaged in Vietnam and taking time with the set up allows us to make us realize how bad it will be when the war takes its toll, but I simply wasn't that interested in the characters.  I appreciate that the time was taken but it just didn't do it for me.

But I loved the other two thirds of the movie, the second being time spent in Vietnam, which has been parodied so much and yet the actual Russian roulette scene loses none of its intensity and suspense.  It's incredibly effective and when we return to the town, we get to see the real tragedy play out.  The melodrama plays out very well (nice to see De Niro in a non-scenery chewy role when it would have been easy to do just that) and the fact that there's very few actual tears shed make the sadness that much heavier.  It makes me want to see Heaven's Gate, which (as I understand it) has been getting re-evaluated in recent years.

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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16766 on: May 07, 2016, 11:07:14 PM »
A couple of bad time travel movies.

Paradox  Mostly terrible dialog, mostly bad acting, but most of the time travel makes sense, except the very beginning of the film that doesn't fit in with anything else that happens.  There is a murder mystery aspect that kind of keeps you interested enough to keep watching.


Project Almanac  This one is completely shot as if it were filmed by the characters on their phones or using camcorders, that aspect gets quite annoying.  Dialog and acting are mediocre.  This one the ending is all wrong as far as the time travel aspect.


Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16767 on: May 07, 2016, 11:23:34 PM »
Watched Persona last night.  It was my first time seeing any of Bergman's movies and... it was very well made, but I don't know if he is for me.  My reaction after immediately seeing it was that it was extremely well made but not for me, but thinking back on it now, I like it more and more.  I think I was more taken with the technical decisions than the actual story.  It is a really amazing looking movie and makes all the right decisions.  But the story, while not bad by any means, didn't speak to me.  I could easily see myself turning around on it later on, though.  I also like that it feels a bit like a horror thriller despite the fact that nothing really happens in that regard outside generally emotional cruelty and some (perhaps) magical realism elements it is really more of a bleak psychodrama.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16768 on: May 08, 2016, 12:29:22 AM »
Watched Persona last night.  It was my first time seeing any of Bergman's movies and... it was very well made, but I don't know if he is for me.

Nooo! You started with one of the worst picks for a first Bergman's I can think of!
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Online Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16769 on: May 08, 2016, 01:27:53 AM »
That's interesting.  Is that a comment on it's quality or accessibility (or both or neither).