Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1584883 times)

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Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17730 on: December 26, 2017, 05:38:31 PM »
Murder on the Orient Express. Wasn't familiar with the story or character ahead of time. I was faintly aware of a detective with a big mustache, but that was about it. I really enjoyed it. It was shot beautifully, the story was fascinating (I guess there's a reason Agatha Christie was such a success) and the cast was great. I'd be interested to see a series of Poirot movies going forward, and I'm curious about the other versions now.
For theatrical movies the 1974 Murder on the Orient Express with Albert Finney as Poirot and a lot of big name stars as the passengers is the best, there have been a few other theatrical releases after that but none really match the quality.
I prefer Evil Under the Sun and Death on the Nile with Peter Ustinov as Poirot. They both had fantastic casts and pretty good budgets. After Evil Under the Sun they went the tv movie route - except for 1988's Appointment with Death - and the lower budgets are pretty obvious in the locations, sets and casting.

I liked Finney as a better Poirot than Ustinov, Death on the Nile was good but I like Orient Express more.  Probably because I saw it in the theater as a kid and loved it.

Suchet is the ultimate Poirot, he did tons of research and poured himself into that role. 
Finney is excellent, closer to the character as written, I just like Ustinov a little bit more. Either way, I think Finney's film and Ustinov's first two are more than worth a look, while the quality makes a pretty sharp drop after that.

I agree that Suchet's Poirot and the productions overall are pretty great.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17731 on: December 26, 2017, 06:24:41 PM »
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Hey, Henry Cavill can actually be fun in the right role.  I rather liked this.  I understand why it was received only lukewarmly, since the actual plot isn't actually that interesting, but the two leads are a lot of fun and the film does have a some great set pieces and some stand out fun scenes.  Guy Ritchie might not have been hitting out of the park in recent years, but he really can inject a lot of energy into the proceedings and the cast is making it a lot more fun.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17732 on: December 30, 2017, 06:37:32 PM »
The Shape Of Water - This movie was FANTASTIC! Gorgeous design, and wonderful performances all around.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17733 on: December 31, 2017, 05:00:01 AM »
Watched Raising Arizona with my folks (who had seen it, but probably forgot a lot of it) and my Aunt and Uncle (who haven't).  They liked it and the movie is still great.  If we ever do a list of crap for top 50 tear-jerking movie moments, that ending will be up there for me.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17734 on: December 31, 2017, 11:15:38 PM »
I love about 3/4 of RA, but always find it loses me late in the movie.

I am probably due to revisit the Coen catalogue this year though.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17735 on: January 01, 2018, 05:26:03 AM »
Finding Dory

Good movie, but as Pixar films go, this one feels pretty slight.  That said, I feel like this is a mostly successful movie tackling the subject of living with disabilities (both physical and mental) and how we can help each other and hamper them.  Pretty good stuff, pretty good movie, but I'll be revisiting this one a lot less than a lot of the Pixar canon.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17736 on: January 01, 2018, 06:39:50 AM »
Finding Dory

Good movie, but as Pixar films go, this one feels pretty slight.  That said, I feel like this is a mostly successful movie tackling the subject of living with disabilities (both physical and mental) and how we can help each other and hamper them.  Pretty good stuff, pretty good movie, but I'll be revisiting this one a lot less than a lot of the Pixar canon.

I agree. But it's worth it for the addition of Hank the octopus. I would love them to do a spinoff of this starring Hank in a spy movie.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17737 on: January 01, 2018, 06:43:35 AM »
Finding Dory

Good movie, but as Pixar films go, this one feels pretty slight.  That said, I feel like this is a mostly successful movie tackling the subject of living with disabilities (both physical and mental) and how we can help each other and hamper them.  Pretty good stuff, pretty good movie, but I'll be revisiting this one a lot less than a lot of the Pixar canon.

I agree. But it's worth it for the addition of Hank the octopus. I would love them to do a spinoff of this starring Hank in a spy movie.

Visually, Hank is a lot of fun.  It also reminds me to look up more videos of Octopi in disguise, because that shit is amazing.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17738 on: January 01, 2018, 07:01:26 AM »
Last week I tried to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. I got about a half hour in and gave up. I just don't care for Wes Anderson's style, I guess. And unlike Life Aquatic this didn't even have Bill Murray to keep my attention.
Apparently this movie also has Owen Wilson in it. If I hadn't turned it off already, I certainly would have when he showed up.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17739 on: January 01, 2018, 07:07:14 AM »
Last week I tried to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. I got about a half hour in and gave up. I just don't care for Wes Anderson's style, I guess. And unlike Life Aquatic this didn't even have Bill Murray to keep my attention.
Apparently this movie also has Owen Wilson in it. If I hadn't turned it off already, I certainly would have when he showed up.

I think it's a pretty brief appearance.  In fact, it's about as brief as Bill Murray's appearance in the movie, if memory serves


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17740 on: January 01, 2018, 05:20:56 PM »
The Sorcerer and the White Snake ( 2011 )
Stunt coordinator turned director Siu Tung Ching became an international success with A Chinese Ghost Story ( 1987 ). Naturally there were sequels, both directed by Siu and all produced by Tsui Hark. There was never a fourth installment. Instead producer Tsui Hark directed a film called Green Snake ( 1993 ) adapted from the novel of the same name which in turn was based on an ancient Chinese legend called Madame White Snake The legend told of two snake demons who take on the form of women. White Snake falls in love with a human man and marries him, while her sister Green Snake attempts to but fails to find a human lover of her own. Attempts to seduce a young Buddhist monk only alert his Abbot that there are snake demons, and he in turn attempts to send them back to the underworld. Failing this he kidnaps White Snake's husband, believing that he is saving the man. Enraged, both White Snake and Green Snake attack the temple the husband is being held in, eventually causing a flood. The snake demons are eventually thwarted, but in the process the flood kills hundreds, causing the Abbot to realize his interference in the matter was the cause of their deaths. While the legend had White Snake as the protagonist, the novel Green Snake retold the legend from her sister Green Snake's point of view. As far as Tsui Hark was concerned, Green Snake was very similar to the plots of the Chinese Ghost Story films, where young men fall in love with beautiful ghosts, and Buddhist monks interfere in their relationships determined to exorcise the ghosts. So basically, Green Snake was a ripoff of A Chinese Ghost Story, even though A Chinese Ghost Story was basically inspired by the legend Madame White Snake.

Nearly two decades later Siu Tung Ching finally got to direct his own adaption of the Madame White Snake legend in a film called The Sorcerer and the White Snake. Since Green Snake was among the laserdiscs I bought way back in the 90s, comparing both movies is unavoidable. Both films are erotic, but Green Snake is by far the more erotic film. Joey Wong and Maggie Cheung from Green Snake are far more attractive than Shengyi Huang and Charlene Choi playing the same characters in The Sorcerer and the White Snake. Green Snake has by far the better love theme, called Life Is Like This. It is an earworm that has stuck with me to this day. Every time I see the movie Green Snake in a catalog, a IMDb filmography, is mentioned in an article or it is brought up on a forum, the song instantly returns to my head and haunts me for the next couple of days. It is one of the best songs written specifically for a sex scene, the only one better being Tangerine Dream's Sex on a Train for the movie Risky Business. Even most of the lyrics of Life Is Like This has stuck with me, or at least the translation of the lyrics in the subtitles. Meanwhile Sorcerer and the White Snake's love theme, Promise, is a generic Disneyish theme, the vocals which are not on the soundtrack until the ending credits. While both films were basically the same story, I enjoyed the adaption in Green Snake much more. You felt for the characters in that film. Not so much in this film.

So what is better about Sorcerer and the White Snake? Well, Green Snake was made prior to CGI effects being used in Chinese films. So basically it was whatever the most advanced special effects were in 1993. It was still impressive, but has since dated. Sorcerer and the White Snake is full of some of the most impressive CGI effects I have ever seen on film, allowing much more magic, monsters and mayhem than could be done in Green Snake. However, Siu did go over the line by introducing some Disney like characters. A CGI rabbit, rat and turtle who walks on his hind legs, all taliking in voices ( both on the English and Chinese soundtracks ) you would expect from a children's film. While the turtle and rabbit ( who I assume are also demons ) are not in the movie beyond that scene, the rat shows up frequently to talk with White Snake. At least the rat does have a purpose later in the film, but the rabbit and turtle momentarily dragged this film into children's film territory. Also, this movie has Jet Li as the Abbot, who is the sorcerer of the film's title, going around the countryside capturing and imprisoning demons. The only problem is that all Jet fights in this film are CGI effects, which is nowhere as exciting as when he fights real human opponents. The Sorcerer and the White Snake is an impressive CGI showcase with a decent story for once, and well worth seeking out. But the dated effects driven Green Snake is by far the better of the two, and if you have to watch only one, then it should be Green Snake

Captain Battle: Legacy War ( 2013 )
Brought to you by Tomcat Productions, the same direct to video company responsible for Avenging Force: The Scarab. And much like that film, Tomcat realized that there were superheroes from the 1940s who have since fallen into the public domain. A good thing considering Tomcat seems to specialize in zero budget films, and could never afford the licencing fee of any copyrighted superhero. In this case we have a double Marvel ripoff.  Captain Battle debuted only a couple of months after Captain America debuted and had an identical blue shirt with giant white star as part of his costume.  Tomcat takes the Marvel ripoff a step further by introducing a Red Skull type character. In this case, the reanimated corpse of Heinrich Himmler, who for some reason has a red face. The movie was directed by David Palmieri, a grip from the series Lucifer who has been moonlighting as a director for Tomcat on at least 14 of what they call films.

So here is the basic story. Obviously Tomcat could not afford to do a period film, so forget about Captain Battle having his origin during the 40s, or fighting in the Second World War. Instead Battle's origin takes place in Northern Iraq, or at least whatever area the director thought would pass for Iran. Sam Battle is a soldier for the United States. Or at least I assume he is, as no one in the army wears uniforms. While on patrol his unit is attacked by jihadists. Sam is stabbed in the gut, just before the jihadists blow themselves up. He is rushed back to his base ( which is only a tent ) where it's doctor decides there is nothing he can do for him. Or is there? The commander knows the doctor has been working on a secret serum for the army that give the person injected with it the power to instantly heal any wound, and is even capable of bring the dead back to life.  Wait a second! The Army sends the one guy capable of creating a miracle serum to the front lines of a war where he could be killed or captured? Anyway, Sam is injected and completely cured of his stab wound. And then even though he is completely healthy, he is sent home. Three month later the doctor drops by Sam's house to see how he is doing. He invites Sam back to his hotel room where he is keeping all his notes on the experimental elixir. The Doctor's sister, who is a reporter, drops by, and they all start drinking. The sister becomes too drunk, and Sam drives her back home. During the ride home the sister begins talking about Sam's father, and how she thinks the accident he died in was a cover up for him being murdered. The next day she takes Sam to his father's best friend who tells him that his father was actually a vigilante who wore a costume. He gives Sam the costume, telling him it is now his. Meanwhile the doctor has been kidnapped by a Nio-Nazi group who want to resurrect Hitler and take over the United States. They need the doctor's elixir, but he refuses to help them. So they send some thugs to kidnap the sister. Sam is there, but they easily beat him up. With his sister now captive, the doctor helps them by reviving Heinrich Himmler who in turn begins to train the vast Neo-Nazi army ( which in this film consists of only three people. ) When the police refuse to help find Sam's kidnapped friends, he puts on his father's costume, complete with an unnecessary eyepatch which thanks to no one in charge of continuity, switches from the left to right eye and back throughout the film. Exactly why Sam needs to wear the eyepatch is a mystery. The Captain Battle from the comic books didn't have the ability to heal, and got the injury during the first World War. The version of Captain Battle in this story would heal any eye wound instantly, so the eye patch only makes fighting crime for him more difficult.

Okay, so finally we get Sam becoming Captain Battle, and we only had to wait an hour into a 90 minute film for it to happen. But even with a superhero costume and the ability to heal ( which I assume counts as a superpower? ) Sam is useless. He finds and attacks the three Neo-Nazis in Himmler's new army to find out where his friends are being held, but is easily knocked out by Himmler himself. Later figuring out that Sam Battle is really Captain Battle, they break into his apartment while he is sleeping and easily kidnap him. While being held captive the leader of the Neo-Nazis brags about how she has just cloned Hitler using the doctor's elixir, and how she has soldiers all across America, and a few sleeper agents embedded in the government itself. While she is talking, Sam is able to untie his hands. He then knocks her out, and returns home to get his Captain Battle costume so he can return and rescue his friends. Exactly why makes no sense, as everyone already knows he is Captain Battle. Meanwhile a bunch of prostitutes that the Nio-Nazis have been keeping prisoner as sex slaves decide to revolt and knock out the entire three man army, while at the same time the police finally show up and begin shooting at the hideout's guards. Even the doctor is able to escape and free his sister. So basically, when Captain Battle finally returns in his costume, all that is left for him to do is try to stop the leader of the group from leaving with Hitler's body. But once again he is beaten up by Himmler. Captain Battle is finally able to beat him by grabbing a sharp piece of wood while lying on the ground and stabbing Himmler through the heart. But since the leader and a yet to be reanimated Hitler escape, Sam decides that he must continue to dress as Captain Battle so he can track both of them down. An obvious setup for a sequel that thankfully never happened. Wow this is bad. Maybe not as bad as the Scarab movie, but still bad. And I still have a bunch more of these direct to video ripoff films to get through yet.



Law of the Jungle ( 1942 )
Since this Saturday was another off week for Saturday Night Live, I had time enough for a second movie. Unfortunately it was another film from my Sons of Kong collection. As you may remember, is a collection of old public domain films that came in this box...
...and is suppose to be films about gorillas. Well, while the first movie in this collection, White Pongo, was definitely about an ape, the next two were not. As with last week's film, Law of the Jungle has a brief scene with a gorilla. A single 3 minute scene where someone in a  gorilla costume shows up out of the jungle to attack the hero, and is shot to death. The movie stars Arline Judge, a B movie actress who's greatest claim to fame was her record of marrying and divorcing  husbands ( about 8 of them ) a record she shared with Lana Turner. The male lead is John King, who made several B westerns for Monogram Pictures as the same character called Dusty. About the only notable cast member is African American character actor Mantan Moreland, and you can guess what kind of character he played. Today he is best remembered from the Charlie Chan film series as Chan's chauffeur Birmingham Brown. The film's director was Jean Yarbrough, who actually had a decent career after moving to Universal. Not only did he direct She-Wolf of London ( 1946 ) but would go on to direct the Abbott & Costello films In Society ( 1944 ), Here Come the Co-eds ( 1945 ), The Naughty Nineties ( 1945 ) and Lost in Alaska ( 1952 ). They got on with him so well that they invited him to direct their independently produced Jack and the Beanstalk ( 1952 ) as well as become the director for all 52 episodes of The Abbott and Costello Show, after which he began a second more successful career as a television director, with a resume that included multiple episodes for The Addams Family, McHale's Navy, My Favorite Martian, Petticoat Junction and Adam 12.

In this movie Arline Judge is a lounge singer who was abandoned in Africa by her agent without a passport, and is forced to sing for her room and board in a lounge in a hotel located in the middle of an African jungle. There she meets John King, a paleontologist looking for the bones of the missing link, and his man servant Mantan Moreland. She asks him for money so she can return to America, but he assumes she is just a con artist and turns her down. The hotel is secretly being run by German agents who want to incite the natives to revolt against the English. Okay, while the first three films in this collection just barely all have apes, the one thing they all have plenty of is German villains. One night a British agent visits the hotel and identifies the German agents. He is shortly after murdered in the lounge by a waiter, who steals documents from him, and while the other guests are running around in panic, hides the stolen documents in Arline's coat jacket. Arline gets scared and decides it is time to leave the hotel, money or not. She grabs her jacket and heads out into the jungle, eventually ending up in John King's camp. John, who believes a woman has no place in an expedition, plans to send her back first thing in the morning. However, he decides to have her stick around after the German agents searching for her visit the camp with a story that she is an escaped mental patient with amnesia. Not believing them, he has his men throw the Germans out of camp. The Germans then convince a local tribe to hunt down the expedition and capture the girl. John, Arline and Mantan manage to escape and find a hiding place in a cave. There they discover the stolen documents hidden in Arline's coat, which detail how the hotel is run by German agents who are attempting an uprising among the natives. They decide to hide the document in the cave, but soon after are captured by the tribe and the Germans. Fortunately the chief of the tribe returns, who happens to have been educated at Oxford and speaks fluent English. When John tells him about the Germans, he sets them free and has his tribe members capture the Germans. Even though there had been zero chemistry and very little interaction between Arline and John throughout the movie, it does end with the two of them suddenly falling in love kissing.

By comparison to the Captain Battle movie, Law of the Jungle is not bad. But it is nothing worth seeking out. The story is predictable. You could almost imagine Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall doing a much better version of this plot in a much better film. It ends anticlimatically, even with one of the Germans pulling a gun on John and John punching him out. And it is suppose to be a comedy, but is not really funny. Neither John King nor Arline Judge are very good at being comedians.  Mantan Moreland is a good comedian, but unfortunately given a lot of broken English racial humor that ranges between being afraid of stuff, to cheating at dice. Sadly, this is the film I end 2017 with.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 05:24:23 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17741 on: January 02, 2018, 05:43:55 PM »
Finding Dory

Good movie, but as Pixar films go, this one feels pretty slight.  That said, I feel like this is a mostly successful movie tackling the subject of living with disabilities (both physical and mental) and how we can help each other and hamper them.  Pretty good stuff, pretty good movie, but I'll be revisiting this one a lot less than a lot of the Pixar canon.

I agree. But it's worth it for the addition of Hank the octopus. I would love them to do a spinoff of this starring Hank in a spy movie.

So you're proposing they 'Cars 2' the Finding Nemo universe?
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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17742 on: January 02, 2018, 07:59:46 PM »
Finding Dory

Good movie, but as Pixar films go, this one feels pretty slight.  That said, I feel like this is a mostly successful movie tackling the subject of living with disabilities (both physical and mental) and how we can help each other and hamper them.  Pretty good stuff, pretty good movie, but I'll be revisiting this one a lot less than a lot of the Pixar canon.

I agree. But it's worth it for the addition of Hank the octopus. I would love them to do a spinoff of this starring Hank in a spy movie.

So you're proposing they 'Cars 2' the Finding Nemo universe?
Hopefully with better writing than Cars 2. And at least Hank wasn't just an annoying unfunny comic relief character.



Offline BathTub

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17743 on: January 06, 2018, 08:27:53 PM »
The Disaster Artist. Honestly, was pretty disappointed. This is one of those cases where the film just can't do justice to the book and they simplified the story way too much. It jumped around, shortened things up, cut things out. Franco does a great Tommy, but the film itself was meh. Perhaps if I had seen it before reading the book I might have enjoyed it more.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17744 on: January 07, 2018, 04:35:05 PM »
Jumanji (2018) - This was really good! Very funny and well done action. The acting is all good, from the kids as well as the adults. Everyone is likeable, too. I thought Kevin Heart would just be annoying (and he is a little at the beginning), but he grew on me. And I thought Jack Black playing a stereotypical teenage girl would be annoying, but it was always funny. The standout was Dwayne Johnson, though. The Rock playing as a kid in an adult body definitely feels very Captain Marvel, and he sells every bit of it.
The movie plays with video game conventions very well. It has the advantage of being a video game movie, so it can have fun with the style, but not tied down to any one game's lore or characters to limit it. The only thing that felt a little off is when one character gives another one of their lives. I'm not that knowledgeable, but that doesn't seem like something a video game would allow you to do. Especially since it's based on games from the 90s and earlier.