Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1583539 times)

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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16800 on: May 28, 2016, 06:31:24 PM »
Our Man in Havana - Watched this last night.  A very fun comedy-thriller that actually has some real thrills and intrigue (as well as some real sadness).  I actually like Alec Guinness and the rest of the cast tremendously.  Burl Ives is especially good and the character becomes surprisingly tragic as the film goes on.  I'll definitely have to watch more Carol Reed films, because between this and the Third Man, the guy is great at mixing genuine thrills with actually funny gags.  My favourite in the Third Man is when the lead ends up at the speech he totally forgot he was supposed to give.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16801 on: May 28, 2016, 06:45:11 PM »
Our Man in Havana - Watched this last night.  A very fun comedy-thriller that actually has some real thrills and intrigue (as well as some real sadness).  I actually like Alec Guinness and the rest of the cast tremendously.  Burl Ives is especially good and the character becomes surprisingly tragic as the film goes on.  I'll definitely have to watch more Carol Reed films, because between this and the Third Man, the guy is great at mixing genuine thrills with actually funny gags.  My favourite in the Third Man is when the lead ends up at the speech he totally forgot he was supposed to give.

Make sure Odd Man Out is on the list soon! Night Train to Munich isn't bad - It's a sequel to The Lady Vanishes.

The Fallen Idol was recently released on blu ray, and I'm keen to get it, but they had to recall it due to a pressing error.
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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16802 on: May 28, 2016, 07:35:07 PM »
X-Men: Apocalypse - Eh, I wasn't that impressed. I think we've been really spoiled with the Marvel movies since 2008. This movie would have felt much more impressive in 2003 after X-Men 2. But overall I just got really tired with all the superpowers that were floating particle effects. And Apocalypse was just my problem with Scarlet Witch dialed up to 11. He can do whatever he needs to according to the plot. And while I get that that's the idea with his character, that he has all these accumulated powers, but it did make you wonder why he needed the four horsemen at all. Or why specifically only 4.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16803 on: May 29, 2016, 03:01:03 PM »
Street Fighter ( 1994 )
What a disappointing film. I mean, I should not have expected much from a movie adaption of a video game. But even for an adaption of a fighter game this is a disappointment. Especially considering the talent that went into it. Written and directed by Steven E. de Souza who had previously written Die Hard ( 1988 )? This amateur crap? Perhaps I should have checked him out on IMDb first. This was one of the few films he actually directed, and his resume of scripts included Hudson Hawk ( 1991 ), Judge Dredd ( 1995 ) and Knock-Off ( 1998 ). The good scripts he had been credited for including Die Hard and 48 Hrs. ( 1982 ) he had only co-written. The fight scenes were choreographed by Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, who was previously one of the combatants in one of the 80's best screen fights, Wheels on Meals ( a.k.a. Spartan X  1984 ). Then again, it was Jackie Chan who had choreographed that fight. What fighting we do get in Street Fighter is the lame stuff you would expect on one of those 90s first run syndication action series like Thunder in Paradise. Who knows how much of this was Urquidez's fault, and how much it was due to most of the cast having no formal martial arts training and the tight schedule Universal gave for the film to be completed.

Which leads to the biggest problem this movie has. Even though it is based on a fighting game, the movie itself has barely any fighting. The movie goes to the trouble of introducing every character from the video game, but then gives them nothing to do. For example, a major sub plot has M. Bison turning a prisoner ( Robert Mamone ) into the monster Blanka. But once Blanka is created he does no more than throw a few guards around in the lab. He has no one-on-one fight with any of the other characters. The scene where he meets Guile he backs off fighting him when he remembers he was once Guile's friend. Why even bother going to the trouble of having an origin for Blanka when you are not even going to use the character? Other characters are either given no more to do than to kick a few of M. Bison's henchmen, or handed a gun so they can shoot them. In fact, most of the fights in this movie are with guns rather than fists. The character Dee Jay neither shoots nor fights anyone in the whole film. Perhaps the best example of how this film avoids fight scenes happens early in the movie. Ryu ( Byron Mann ) is forced into a cage match with Vega ( Jay Tavare ). Both men are in the ring waiting for a clock to count down for the fight to begin. The clock reaches zero and both combatants rush each other. And then a tank comes crashing through the arena wall and smashes the cage, forcing both combatants to jump out. It is the Allied Nations forces who have been liberating the nation of Shadaloo from M. Bison, and they are enforcing martial law over the territory they have liberated. A ten minute build up to a fight between Ryu and Vega leads to nothing.

Guile is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme with a bad hair dye job. He is the commander of the Allied Nations forces and is tasked with finding M. Bison's hidden base, along with the 100 hostages that had been kidnapped.  This was one of the first films for actress Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li, and the very last film for Raul Julia who's last acting job was hamming it up as the dictator M. Bison.  Another notable cast member was Kylie Minogue as Cammy. I can recall when this movie first came out how disappointed I was with her role. For one thing, I was a Kylie Minogue fan, not for her music, but from the sexy pictures I would see of her in the music magazines. Entertainment Tonight would regularly feature her in reports, showing clips from her latest music videos. In the 90s she was actually bigger than Madonna everywhere on the planet, except for America where radio stations labled her as a one hit 80s artist ( for her cover of The Locomotion ) and refused to play any of her new singles. I remember how frustrating it was to know that here was this singer releasing incredibly sexy music videos, and MTV was not airing them. Street Fighter was my only opportunity to see Kylie outside of still photos and her Locomotion video re-airing on VH1's The Big 80s. In addition, Cammy just happened to be my favorite character in the game Street Fighter. Mostly because if she won a fight she would show you her butt then turn around and smile at you, which was pretty sexy for video games back then. ( The only other female fighter, Chun-Li, would just laugh while jumping up and down which was annoying rather than sexy. ) So here was Kylie Minogue, the worlds hottest sex symbol, cast as Cammy, the worlds sexiest video game character. And they give her pants. For most of the movie Cammy is just Guile's lackey, dressed in full uniform. At least she takes her shirt off when the troops assult M. Bison's base, revealing a tight blue top underneath. But it is too little too late. And she keeps those damn baggy pants on. It is as if Souza never even bothered researching the game before he wrote the script, or did research the game and thought it would be funny if Cammy covered up her most famous asset. It's not as if Kylie Minogue insisted on wearing pants. At the time she was releasing music videos where she wore barely anything. Worst of all, Cammy was given barely anything to do. When the Allied Nations forces raid M. Bison's base, Cammy stays outside while Guile goes in.She gets little more to do than kick a few of Bison's henchmen in their heads, and only shows up inside the base after most of the action is over.

Amazingly, the DVD included deleted scenes that included a fight between Cammy ( fully clothed in army fatigues ) and Chun-Li. It was very brief and poorly choreographed, but it did exist. As it was, Cammy had no one-on-one fight with any character in the released film, and all Chun-Li had was a brief fight with M Bison which was interupted after she threw a few punches, allowing M. Bison to trap her and the other characters in a room and gas them. It made no sense that one of the few fights in a movie based on a fighting game would have been deleted. 

The only decent fight ( and by decent, I mean decent in screen time, not decent in choreography ) was the climatic fight between Guile and M. Bison. Reportedly, Capcom insisted that Jean-Claude Van Damme be cast as Guile, and nearly half of the films budget was used to pay his salary. If you are going to go through all the trouble and expense to cast Jean-Claude Van Damme in a movie, then you better use him. And there were a few very brief action scenes early on in the movie where Van Damme got to use his signature helicopter kick, including one where a servant attempts to assassinate Guile during a meeting.  The big fight was reserved for a one on one with Guile and M. Bison at the end of the movie. Unfortunately M Bison was played by Raul Julia who had no martial arts training, and at the time was in very poor health ( possibly stomach cancer ). So basically the climatic fight is M Bison flying around in the air ( on what is obviously wires ) while Guile attempts to helicopter kick him. About halfway through the fight M. Bison suddenly remembers he can shoot electricity from his hands, but the choreography remains the same. Finally Guile kicks M. Bison into a bank of televisions causing an explosion, because they must have been some of those gasoline powered television sets.

Street Fighter had the potential to be a great martial arts film, if only they stuck to the initial concept of it being a tournament.Instead of giving each character their own origin story, and then not bothering to use them, the movie should have had the characters involved in illegal street fights across the world, all financed by M Bison who would then fight the winner of the underground tournament. ( And BTW, not one martial arts fight in this movie takes place on a street. )  The Mortal Kombat movie released a year later sort of got that one right. But for some reason Steven E. de Souza thought that Street Fighter needed to be a war movie, with a lot of firefights and explosions rather than martial arts fights.

International House ( 1933 )
I finally got around to opening my 10 movie set of W. C. Fields movies. I recall having seen a few of his films years ago and finding him very funny. The problem is that the first movie in this set would have to be International House, not a starring vehicle for Fields but one of those ensemble films that 1930s audiences loved and I pretty much don't. The modern equivalent of those films would be the recently released Mother's Day, New Year's Eve ( 2011 ) and 200 Cigarettes ( 1999 ). I had seen the worst of those movies from the 30s, Hollywood Party ( 1934 ), which was only good when Laurel & Hardy had their ten minutes of screen time. The premise behind International House had a bunch of businessmen and investors flocking to the International House Hotel in the Chinese city of Wuhu to meet Dr. Wong ( the non-Asian actor Edmond Breese ) who had just invented the first television set. The running gag here is that Wong wants to demonstrate his television by showing a four day bicycle race, but instead keeps picking up performances by acts such as Cab Calloway and Rudy Vallee. SPOILER: In the four day time frame of the movie Wong makes several failed attempts to find the 4 day race, and when he is finally able to tune into the bicycle race, the announcer says that it has just ended. So much for that joke.

Like most of these films, they are only as good as whoever is on screen at the time. Fields is brilliantly funny, but does not show up until the second half of the movie. He plays Professor Henry R. Quail who is one of the millionairs interested in purchasing the patent to Wong's television. He is seen briefly in the beginning of the film taking off in an Autogyro ( a half plane/half helicopter ) which takes 30 minutes to arrive at the hotel. In the meantime we meet Peggy Hopkins Joyce playing herself. Joyce was a model and actress who had a reputation for going through men similar to Madonna and May West. The joke is that she wants to go to the International House Hotel to land a new millionare boyfriend. She is in most of the scenes, and gets star billing. While getting third billing ( Fields got second billing ), Stuart Erwin is in almost as many scenes as Joyce. He plays a businessman sent by an American company to acquire the television patent. Franklin Pangborn plays the hotel manager. You may remember him as the photographer from the Little Rascals short Wild Poses ( 1933 ) who is unable to take a picture of Spanky. The only other characters to get decent screen time are the hotel doctor and nurse, played by George Burns and Gracie Allen. For some reason many of Burns' lines are given to other actors so they can interact with Allen, while George stands off to the side. I am sure I would have enjoyed Gracie Allen more if she had exclusively interacted with George Burns. After all, her lines were lifted from their stage act they had spent years perfecting. And despite Pangborn and Fields getting the chance to roll their eyes at Allen's comments, no one played the strait man better to her than Burns. The rest of the actors only get limited screen time.

Clearly Fields is the highlight of this film, even though this is not his best material. Fortunately he gets far more screen time than Laurel & Hardy did in Hollywood Party, but much like that film, I was not finding anyone other than Fields funny. Mostly because most of the material is dated, and was most likely already dated back in 1933. For example, the when people mention the name of the city, Wuhu, the person they are talking to always assumes they are saying the slang greeting "yoo hoo" and greet them back in kind. While the jokes may be stale, the film does have some unintentional entertainment value. For one thing, it does give you the chance to see Bela Lugosi playing a character who is neither a mad scientist nor vampire. And it does feature Rose Marie from the Dick Van Dyke Show when she was still a child and was known as Baby Rose Marie, an obvious Shirlie Temple knock-off. And since this was pre-code, you get a lot of material that would not be allowed in films again until the arrival of R movies in the late 1960s. For example, when Peggy Hopkins Joyce complains that she is sitting on something in Field's car seat, he looks down to see it is a cat, and comments while looking in her lap "What a cute little pussy." There are plenty of other dirty puns, and an entire song sung by Cab Calloway called "The Reefer Man".
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 03:18:28 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16804 on: May 29, 2016, 06:57:13 PM »
The Rules of the Game
Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but for whatever reason, this classic didn't really do it for me.  There are things and aspects I like about it, and it is very well shot, but the main story just didn't speak to me.  I did really like the scene where the one guy brings out his giant music machine as part of his show and gets really excited about it.  I'll probably give this another shot down the line (when a film is so beloved, I'm always willing to give it another chance) but I really didn't find it that funny and wasn't too invested in the various love triangles and shenanigans.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16805 on: May 29, 2016, 07:07:36 PM »
ZOOMBIES - An Asylum film about a zombie outbreak that only effects the animals in a zoo. This was a lot of fun. Stupid, as usual for an Asylum film, but fun. And while the effects weren't very good, for an Asylum film they were decent. Also, since there were a lot of different animals effected and different types of attacks, there wasn't the usual recycling of the same CGI shot that plagues most Asylum films. The movie starts up with the mayhem right away, and keeps it pretty constant throughout. I'd recommend it for a fun bad movie night Netflix watch.



Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16806 on: May 29, 2016, 07:26:12 PM »
The Rules of the Game
Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but for whatever reason, this classic didn't really do it for me.  There are things and aspects I like about it, and it is very well shot, but the main story just didn't speak to me.  I did really like the scene where the one guy brings out his giant music machine as part of his show and gets really excited about it.  I'll probably give this another shot down the line (when a film is so beloved, I'm always willing to give it another chance) but I really didn't find it that funny and wasn't too invested in the various love triangles and shenanigans.

Interesting! I just saw a similarly underwhelmed post in the Criterion thread on blu ray.com and have never heard anything but praise for it before. I have it unwatched on blu ray.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16807 on: May 29, 2016, 07:31:15 PM »
It's not like it's a badly made movie from a technical angle, either.  I hear that at the time it was panned, but there are a lot of factors to that, I think, including the views of the public and critics on how the upper classes are depicted (essentially as big stupid babies) and the structure of the story.  Also, the original cut had about 20 minutes cut off of it.  It was much more well received later on.


Offline Kete

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16808 on: May 31, 2016, 01:59:12 PM »
The Nice Guys
It's like a mix between The Big Lebowski and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang in many good ways.  It slows down a bit at the end of the 2nd act, but it seems like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang does the same thing.  Not as quotable or funny as Lebowski, but still pretty funny.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16809 on: June 05, 2016, 12:19:39 AM »
Checked out the new Ninja Turtles flick. It doubled down on the stupid, and I think it actually benefitted  from it. If you're willing to shut the brain down and accept the "because it's awesome. That's why!" Logic, it's a fun time.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16810 on: June 05, 2016, 12:31:47 AM »
Saving Private Ryan

I haven't seen this since it first came out.  I remember a lot of people feeling (myself included) that it has an amazing and exhausting opening scene and the rest pales in comparison.  That's partially true, but I feel the movie is almost all good, it just never tops that opening scene.  It's not quite as sentimental as I remember and tackles some stuff that's a little more complex than I remember and has the characters morality a little more questionable.  I do feel that the last act is well staged but it is exhausting without being quite as brilliant in the first half so the last act isn't my favourite.  Despite this, I'm glad I rewatched it since the movie is mostly quite good throughout.


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16811 on: June 05, 2016, 01:35:27 PM »
Guardians of the Galaxy

Or, at least I tried to watch it.  I got up to 1:21:25 before I had to turn it off.  Just boring, drawn out, incomprehensible bullshit.  I didn't give a shit about ANYONE or ANYTHING in this movie.  This imposter of a movie reminded me why I don't fucking care about the so-called "Marvel Cinematic Universe".   ::)


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16812 on: June 05, 2016, 04:38:37 PM »
Incomprehensible? I didn't think it was too hard to understand. What couldn't you follow?
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16813 on: June 05, 2016, 06:25:35 PM »
Guardians of the Galaxy

Or, at least I tried to watch it.  I got up to 1:21:25 before I had to turn it off.  Just boring, drawn out, incomprehensible bullshit.  I didn't give a shit about ANYONE or ANYTHING in this movie.  This imposter of a movie reminded me why I don't fucking care about the so-called "Marvel Cinematic Universe".   ::)

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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #16814 on: June 05, 2016, 07:27:07 PM »
Incomprehensible? I didn't think it was too hard to understand. What couldn't you follow?

"That's clearly Chris Pratt but everyone calls him Peter Quill.  WHAT'S GOING ON?!?"