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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17955 on: March 30, 2018, 08:02:51 PM »
Saw Pacific Rim 2. It was a good time. The robot fights were fun, the character drama was interesting, and there was a wonderful sense that everyone was having fun behind the scenes.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17956 on: April 01, 2018, 03:39:44 PM »
Muppet Guys Talking - This was heartwarming. Just a ton of fun watching Frank Oz and several of the long time muppeteers reminiscing about everything from how they make characters to memories of Jim Henson. The only downside is that you can only get it at their website, and it costs $9.97 for only 65 minutes. But I still found it worth it.



Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17957 on: April 01, 2018, 04:21:08 PM »
Casino Royale (1967)

Wow.  I heard this was not a good movie, but I assumed that this was like watchably bad.  It's just... really really bad. That said, while I wouldn't call it completely "unwatchable", that's largely because it is a very curious film at time.  But you know a movie is bad when David Niven scenes are completely unfun.  Tonally, it can't seem to decide what it wants to be for most of the film.  Mostly it's talky exposition and then there is suddenly a very broad gag that interrupts it.  It's mostly painful.  Strangely, it comes alive when Peter Sellers shows up despite the fact that his character is supposed to be a square (though, inexplicably, he occasionally does characters and accents in a painful Mike Myers way) and the less he tries to be funny, the more interesting the film gets.  Like, what if it was a low key farce where a really good card player was shanghaied into the Casino Royale plot.  That's potentially interesting.

But the film, which is bad to begin with, gets increasingly unwatchable as it goes on.  After spending much of the film being boring, it tries to switch things up in the last half hour (by the way, the movie is OVER 2 HOURS LONG!) and get crazy and surreal in ways done much better in things like The Prisoner and while it is occasionally visually interesting, the nonsense quotient rises and I become convinced that the editor just didn't care about making a coherent story or there was little for the editor to work with.  Why are James Bond and Co. trapped in a room with... cushions?  And they blow up the room with... some sort of gas that was also pumped into the room?  If there's any kind of sense to be made, I couldn't find it.

I will say that as the first Bond film for theatres, it seems like a lot of stuff that I often attributed to the Bond films seemed to have been in place before hand, so at times, that made it a slightly interesting watch.  Other than that, NOT GOOD.

Oh, one weird moment I liked in an otherwise too over-the-top scene that tried WAY to hard to be hip and stylish, was when Orson Welles character died.  As a gag it isn't funny, but it came across as a weird, striking visual.


Online stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17958 on: April 02, 2018, 12:08:05 AM »
Casino Royale (1967)

Wow.  I heard this was not a good movie, but I assumed that this was like watchably bad.  It's just... really really bad. That said, while I wouldn't call it completely "unwatchable", that's largely because it is a very curious film at time.  But you know a movie is bad when David Niven scenes are completely unfun.  Tonally, it can't seem to decide what it wants to be for most of the film.  Mostly it's talky exposition and then there is suddenly a very broad gag that interrupts it.  It's mostly painful.  Strangely, it comes alive when Peter Sellers shows up despite the fact that his character is supposed to be a square (though, inexplicably, he occasionally does characters and accents in a painful Mike Myers way) and the less he tries to be funny, the more interesting the film gets.  Like, what if it was a low key farce where a really good card player was shanghaied into the Casino Royale plot.  That's potentially interesting.

But the film, which is bad to begin with, gets increasingly unwatchable as it goes on.  After spending much of the film being boring, it tries to switch things up in the last half hour (by the way, the movie is OVER 2 HOURS LONG!) and get crazy and surreal in ways done much better in things like The Prisoner and while it is occasionally visually interesting, the nonsense quotient rises and I become convinced that the editor just didn't care about making a coherent story or there was little for the editor to work with.  Why are James Bond and Co. trapped in a room with... cushions?  And they blow up the room with... some sort of gas that was also pumped into the room?  If there's any kind of sense to be made, I couldn't find it.

I will say that as the first Bond film for theatres, it seems like a lot of stuff that I often attributed to the Bond films seemed to have been in place before hand, so at times, that made it a slightly interesting watch.  Other than that, NOT GOOD.

Oh, one weird moment I liked in an otherwise too over-the-top scene that tried WAY to hard to be hip and stylish, was when Orson Welles character died.  As a gag it isn't funny, but it came across as a weird, striking visual.

There had ben at leas four James Bond movies prior to this one. Producers Broccoli and Saltzman exclusively owned the rights to every James Bond novel as well as the exclusive film rights to any original James Bond story. There were only two exceptions. Thunderball began as a script that Ian Fleming wrote with Kevin McClory  and Jack Whittingham  as an original story to be pitched as a James Bond film. He had already pitched his other existing Bond novels and they were all turned down as not exciting enough. The studios turned down Thunderball as well, so Fleming decided to publish the plot and title as his next Bond novel. This lead to a lawsuit by McClory and Whittingham who claimed they had written most of the script, and were the ones who invented Spectre and it's leader Blofeld. An eventual out of court settlement resulted in McClory owning the rights to the story and its characters, with Fleming needing to pay McClory royalties every time he used Spectre or Blofeld in one of his novels. ( which is why the Broccoli films stopped using Spectre or Blofeld in their movies and never referred to Blofeld by name in For Your Eyes Only, because they had run through all the novels with Spectre and could no longer get Mclory's permission to use the characters.

McClory attempted to produce his own film adaption of Thunderball, but was turned down by every studio because he could not get Sean Connery to star in it. Eventually he agreed to co-produce Thunderball with Broccoli and Saltzman. They wer in pre-production of Goldfinger at the time and put that film on hiatus immediately realizing that McClory could change his mind once another studio agreed to produce the film. McClory retained the rights, and produced a second version of Thunderball two decades later called Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery agreeing to reprise the role of James Bond. More recently the Broccolis bought the rights to Thunderball to make sure no other competing Bond film could ever be produced.

The other Bond book they did not own was Casino Royal. This was the first James Bond novel and the rights were bought by a producer who used it for a live television production. That adaption changed Bond to Jimmy Bond of the CIA, and Felix Leiter into a British agent. Years later M.G.M. purchased the right from the television producer and attempted to sign Sean Connery as Bond. But just like with Thunderball, he refused out of loyalty to Broccoli and Saltzman. Deciding they could not make a regular Bond film without Connery, they decided to make it a comedy instead. I cant tell you exactly what happened after that, but something went terribly wrong during the films production. Peter Sellers was originally cast as Bond, and had completed about half of the film when he quit. They came up with an elaborate script that would incorporate the existing Sellers footage while using several other actors to portray Bond. Each was to be shot by different directors, each of which shot way too much footage. The finished film ran for nearly five hours and needed to be cut down to it's two hour running time. Unable to get Sellers back to shoot a few scenes, hey needed to use trick photography to put his character in a couple of scenes, while a lot of his other footage could not be used because it could not be linked into the final edit. The end result was a mess which M.G.M. hoped could be passed off as a wacky comedy.

The rights to Casino Royal eventually ended up with Quentin Tarantino who attempted to get Pierce Brosnan as the star. Brosnan asked Barbara Broccoli for her blessing to do the film. Big mistake. It had always been a sore point with the Broccolis that there were two James Bond properties they did not own and competing Bond films could be produced. ( Never Say Never Again was released the same year as Octopussy and directly competed against it in many countries. ) Barbara was the one who campaigned her father to cast Brosnan as Bond when he wanted the part to go to Timothy Dalton, who he had been trying to sign as Bond since the 60s. Her father originally gave in, but then NBC refused to release Brosnan from his contract and decided to produce Remington Steel telemovies even thought the series was cancelled. The part went to Dalton, but them M.G.M./UA put the franchise on hiatus and Dalton's contract ran out. Barbara again campaigned her father to sign Brosnan, which was on of the last things he did before his death. When Brosnan told her he wanted to play Bond in Tarantino's film, she felt betrayed and immediately fired him as Bond. A deal was then made to buy the rights for Casino Royal for her production company, and it was produced by Barbara Broccoli without Tarantino directing and with a brand new actor playing Bond.


Online stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17959 on: April 02, 2018, 12:17:31 AM »
Fatal Contact (2006 )
After a couple of memorable martial arts films playing a villain, Wu Jing was given top billing as a hero. Fatal Contact is basically a potboiler. A familiar story that has been done many times before about a poor martial artists who ends up fighting in illegal underground matches. As usual with these stories, the hero does well, making a lot of money he never had before and living in wealth for the first time in his life. But as usual, something goes wrong in the third actthat has him looking for revenge against the gangsters he was working for. I won't say what his grievance with them is, because it is a spoiler, but needless to say we get the predictable ending where Wu Jing storms the gangsters clubhouse with he intent of killing his bosses. When this happened in a Shaw Brothers film, or any number of classic old school martial arts films, the hero's assult would have lasted for 20 or more minutes while he fought his way through an army of gangsters before reaching the big boss, usually getting mortally wounded on the way so he is just barely still alive when he confronts the boss. ( I just want to point out that in almost all of the Shaw Brothers films, the boss had no fighting skills himself and relied on his army of killers to protect him. Hence the barely alive hero living just long enough to get the job done. Bruce Lee influenced a change in this formula with the movie The Big Boss ( 1971 ) where the gangster boss was a martial arts master. Although with The Way of the Dragon ( 1972 ) he reverted back to a crime boss without any martial arts skills. But by the mid 70s on up the head bad guy was the toughest fighter in the film. ) In Fatal Contact the takedown of the gangsters takes about two minutes, and lasts that long only because one of his bosses runs away ans has to be chased. The handful of gangsters guarding the bosses are killed of with very little effort. A very anticlimatic ending.

In fact, the film's biggest problem is how little fighting there actually is. The fighting matches are far apart and brief as most of the film follows the characters down time between the fights. You would think there would be a lot more to showcase Wu Jing's skills. But director Dennis Law as more interested in making a drama. The film is decent as a drama, but that's not what Wu Jing's fans were looking for. It was because of Wu Jing that Dragon Dynasty acquired the North American rights to this film, perhaps even before they even watched a print of the film.


X-Men Apocalypse ( 2016 )
There is an annoying trend that has recently taken over film franchises. The alternate timeline reboot. This happens when a character in the franchise travels back in time and does something to cause the time line to change, erasing story lines and even negating the death of characters. While timeline reboots are more common on television, on shows as varied as The Flash and Fringe, there have been major offenders on movie franchises. Star Trek, for example, with a franchise that spans both movies and television, was dramatically altered by J J Abrams when angry Romulans time travel into the past, killing Kirk's father and destroying Spock's home planet Vulcan. The end result was an altered time line where such events as the Enterprises first encounter with Khan never happened, allowing alternative versions of those stories to happen.

Timeline reboots are a way for studios to have their cake and eat it too. To reboot a franchises they are not happy with and start fresh, while at the same time being able to claim it is the original franchise. As far as I am concerned, a timeline reboot is no different than any reboot. The canon has been voided. The early films no longer count. In the case of the X-Men franchise, a reboot was necessary because the first three films were written as a trilogy with a beginning, middle and end, where major characters were killed off. he plan was that if there were to be any future X-Men films then they would all be prequels, but as solo films under the banner of X-Men Origins. The only X-Men Origins film to be made was for Wolverine. What followed were two other solo Wolverine films, but no other X-Men solo films. ( Deadpool does not count because he was a villain in the franchis before becoming an antihero in a film series that is neither canon with the original films nor the timeline reboot. ) X-Men: First Class was greenlit as a reboot of the franchise. But then came X-Men: Days of Future Past which established that the X-Men Trilogy was indeed part of the First Class timeline. In it Wolverine travels back in time to prevent the events that lead to the creation of the Sentinels, eventually teaming up with the X-Men of the past. He succeeds, but then returns to an altered timeline where characters killed off in the previous X-Men trilogy are still alive. So basically X-Men Apocalypse is the first film to take place in the altered timeline, with one of the alterations being some characters who were villains in the past X-Men films now being established as heroes. So basically, the first three X-Men films never happened.

I guess this is all a moot point. We all know that the current X-Men franchise is as good as dead once the X-Men move into the MCU. The second adaption of the Dark Phoenix Saga ( which completely contradicts the ending of X-Men: Days of Future Pat ) had already been filmed before Disney bought 20th Century Fox, so should still be released. But with exception to the Deadpool movies which are too popular to end and can still continue within their own alternate universe, it is very likely that none of the planned X-Men sequels and spin-offs will ever see the light of day, and from this point on all plans will be for a new X-Men canon that takes place in the MCU.

Having said that, the latest X-Men film is still entertaining.

The Ape ( 1940 )
Saturday Night Live is on a break again this week, although for a good reason this time, Easter. Which means once again I have time for a third movie and can take another crack at the Son's of Kong set. Normally I set my expectations for crap, considering these are mostly old public domain B pictures from poverty row studios. But this week's film has some promise. First off, it was made by Monogram, which along with Republic Pictures were the poverty row studios that came the closest to transitioning into a major studio. ( The only poverty row studio to pull that one off was Columbia. ) Monogram was capable of producing quality films, such as the Bowery Boys/East Side Kids series that ran for 48 films, still the record for the longest running American feature film franchise. ( The only other franchise to beat that record was Mexico's Santo series which ran for 52 films, one which ended up being an experiment on MST3K. )
The script was based on the play of the same name, written by Adam Shirk, who is infamous for writing the script for Ingagi ( 1930 ), the fake documentary that claimed to show footage of an African cult that sacrificed women to gorillas. The success of that film lead to RKO giving the green light to King Kong, simply because it also featured a tribe that sacrificed women to gorillas, ( or at least one big gorilla. ) Critics once accused the play The Gorilla of ripping off the play The Ape. ( The adaption of The Gorilla starring The Ritz Brothers is in the same Sons of Kong collection, and was reviewed a month ago. ) Monogram bought the film rights in 1934, making an adaption called House of Mystery.

The reason for the second adaption only six years later was that they had Boris Karloff signed to a nine picture deal. This was to be the final film in the contract, and the studio decided they wanted his last film to be a top tier production. ( Their slang for movies given a bigger budget than usual. ) The Ape was their hottest property, and apparently a great fit for one of the best known actors from the horror genre. Monogram hired Curt Siodmak to write a new script. As said last week, Siodmak would go on to write the Wolfman movies for Universal, and at the time was writing scripts for the Invisible Man franchise. He also wrote and directed last week's movie Bride of the Gorilla, a film that was only hurt by cheap production, including the decision to change the half human/half cat monster Siodmak created for the film into a guy in a rented gorilla costume. Helping Siodmak as a co-writer was Richard Carroll, who was simultaneously pinching up the script for the W.C. Fields classic The Bank Dick. Directing was William Nigh, who also directed House of Mystery. For me the movie that stands out in his filmography is The Fire Brigade ( 1926 ), a silent disaster movie I have been trying to see for the past 30 years after seeing a clip from it on Kevin Brownlow's documentary Hollywood. The rest of the cast is your standard skid row B movie actors, the only notable one being costar Maris Wrixton who would be the star of White Pongo five years later. Otherwise, it looked as if Monogram made every effort to produce a film of the same quality as the Universal horror films.

So basically Monogram had everything they needed for a classic horror film. But what we get instead is  mediocre. Boris Karloff plays a doctor who has devoted his life to finding a cure for paralysis. His motivation, that both his wife and daughter were hit with a disease that paralyzed them, eventually killing them both, and he had been unable to save them. He has so far perfected a treatment that works on both Guinea pigs and dogs. Moving to a town with a large number of paralysis victims, he opens up a practice, but is soon labled by the townsfolk as a mad scientist. However, he has managed to find one patient, a young woman who he is attempting to cure of her paralyses. It turns out his cure involves removing the spinal fluid of the freshly dead. He gets his first opportunity when a visiting circus brings in a mauled trainer. The trainer had been torturing the circus gorilla when the ape had enough, broke out of his cage and attacked him. In the process the trainer's lit cigarette falls into a pile of hay and sets the circus ablaze. In all the confusion the gorilla runs off. The trainer was rushed to the doctor, but with no hope of saving him, the doctor removed his spinal fluid and injected it into his paralyses patient, resulting in her ability to slightly move one of her legs. Meanwhile the gorilla has been roaming around town, and has even killed one of the townsfolk. One night it crashes through the window of the doctors house and attacks him. But the doctor has a syringe of something that causes the gorilla to fall to the floor. The next night the gorilla is on the loose again and kills another victim, who the doctor examins, removing his spinal fluid during the autopsy. Once again his patient is injected, and this time can just barely move both her feet. The doctor frets that his cure is not working fully yet, and desperately needs more spinal fluid. Meanwhile the sheriff and his men have been searching for the killer gorilla. The bloodhounds keep tracking it's trail back to the doctor's house, but buy the doctors explanation that it keeps returning there because it is looking for the trainer it had mauled. When the sheriff and his men finally do corner the gorilla.... well, that is all I will say as to not spoil the suprise ending. However, it was an ending I easily guessed.

It's not a bad film. But not very interesting. The bar had been set higher by the Universal films. Both Karloff's doctor and the gorilla make bad monsters/villains as you feel sympathy for both. The gorilla acts the way he had been after being abused and tortured by humans it's entire life. And the doctor was only trying to find a cure to a terrible medical condition, and in the process help a paralyzed girl walk again. The way he s treated by the townsfolk (even the towns kids who vandalize his house every day )  makes you feel less sympathy towards them when they begin to become victims of the gorilla. This is not your normal Karloff film where he plays a decent villain you want to root against. Amazingly the one responsible here is the most talented name attached to the film. Curt Siodmak later explained in interviews that he basically gutted the original play and wrote an original story. The character of the doctor and the entire plot involving the need for the spinal fluid was his idea. The original play was a classic old dark house story. A group of people who invested in an expedition years earlier gather in a mansion owned by the explorer in that expedition. There he had discovered a fortune in treasure in a temple. The investors are entitled to a share. However, the explorer explains to them that by stealing the treasure, he has brought back a curse where a killer ape will murder those who claim the treasure one by one. He then makes a demand that any investor who wants his share of the treasure must stay in his mansion for a week. Predictably, one by one an investor is killed off very night by an ape that seems to appear from nowhere. House of Mystery followed this plot. Siodmak got rid of it, substituting it with his own original story.  Amazingly House of Mystery is not included in the Sons of Kong set, even though it is public domain and they could have easily obtained a print online, as they appeared to have done with their other films. To think they padded out this set to ten films with Law of the Jungle that only has an ape in it for a couple of minutes when the set could have had House of Mystery instead.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17960 on: April 02, 2018, 03:03:25 AM »
A-Haunting We Will Go

A Laurel and Hardy picture where they become magician's assistants.  I am deeply confused by the title, as there is no Haunting.  Also, the opening credits imply there is a ghost they will run from, but that never happens.  I watched the trailer to make sure and they aren't trying to trick us into thinking there's any supernatural shenanigans there, so I really have no idea why the title was decided upon.

Oh, the movie was... not bad but not good, either.  The last thirty seconds are a weird bit of business that plays like a child's nightmare.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17961 on: April 02, 2018, 03:17:27 AM »
I've never really watched any L&H. Was just eyeing a blu ray of one of their films last week.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17962 on: April 02, 2018, 05:29:02 AM »
Having watched it... I don't particularly get the appeal.  Nothing terrible about them, but they weren't terribly interesting to me, either.  But I could see them working better in silent films.

As for Casino Royale... why did I brainfart so hard I think that was the first one?  By then, everything Bond was more or less locked into place.  I suppose I must have conflated it with other weird trivia about the movie (such as the weird star-studded cast).


Offline kunedog

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17963 on: April 02, 2018, 06:58:43 AM »
It's the first book.


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17964 on: April 02, 2018, 08:03:38 AM »

The Death of Stalin 2017
★★★★
Watched Mar 31, 2018

What a great satire. Uses comedy effectively to show the ridiculousness of a subject, as all great satires do. Reminds me a lot of The Life Of Brian, and not only because Michael Palin is back giving another excellent performance. 

Another hint that you’re dealing with a great satire is that it is banned by those it offends, as The Life Of Brian was banned, and this was banned in Russia. Oh, on second thought I guess The Interview was banned in North Korea, so perhaps greatness isn’t necessarily a given


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17965 on: April 02, 2018, 08:08:57 AM »
A-Haunting We Will Go

A Laurel and Hardy picture where they become magician's assistants.  I am deeply confused by the title, as there is no Haunting.  Also, the opening credits imply there is a ghost they will run from, but that never happens.  I watched the trailer to make sure and they aren't trying to trick us into thinking there's any supernatural shenanigans there, so I really have no idea why the title was decided upon.

Oh, the movie was... not bad but not good, either.  The last thirty seconds are a weird bit of business that plays like a child's nightmare.
I love Laurel and Hardy, but have only seen a few of their full length films. They seem to work better in shorts.



Online stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17966 on: April 02, 2018, 09:18:15 AM »
I believe Casino Royal was the first James Bond novel, and if you count the live television adaption as a tv movie, then it was the first Bond movie. But the 1967 version was made after the first few Bond films had been released. I have seen some articles and television news stories ( including a profile on Entertainment Tonight ) where they mistakenly called the 1967 version of Casino Royal the first Bond film, so that misinformation is out there.

A Haunting We Will Go? Looks like you have stumbled onto one of Laurel and Hardy's 20th Century Fox films. Most L&H fans despise these films. Stan Laurel himself disowned them.  In 1940 L&H left Half Roach Studio and accepted a non exclusive multi picture contract with 20th Century Fox. But unlike at Roach where they had creative control over their own films, Fox let them know that they were only actors, and their scripts and all the comedy in them would be written by someone other than them. They later found out the only reason Fox signed them was that Abbott and Costello had become the latest sensation, and Fox wanted their own version of Abbott and Costello. Since A&C's film Buck Privates was then the most successful comedy of all time, Fox had L&H do their own service comedy Great Guns. A&C had a box office hit with the film Hold That Ghost, and Fox responded by digging into their pile of unfilmed scripts and pulling out a murder mystery to be adapted into a L&H comedy, later to be retitled A-Haunting We Will Go. They found a director who specialized in murder mysteries who had no idea how to film comedy. He in turn approved of a shooting script that wrote L&H out for the last few reels ( excluding the closing gag ) so the rest of the cast could solve the murder.

If you are looking to watch the film's of L&H, I would not star with anything made after 1939. And if it has to be one of their feature films, then the ones to watch are Way out west, Son's of the Desert or Blockheads. The other feature films made at Hal Roach have their great moments, but way too much padding. Their shorts, including their silent shorts, are among their best work.



« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 09:21:39 AM by stethacantus »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17967 on: April 02, 2018, 04:56:57 PM »
Having watched it... I don't particularly get the appeal.  Nothing terrible about them, but they weren't terribly interesting to me, either.  But I could see them working better in silent films.

A quick look around seems to show it is one of their least liked films. Was it your first?
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Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17968 on: April 02, 2018, 05:10:04 PM »
If I'm juggling two movies in my hands, then between X-men Apocalypse and Justice League... I'm afraid X-men Apocalypse wins. Maybe because I like Quicksilver better than the Flash? I dunno but I think I had more fun watching Apocalypse because James Mcavoy is just so damn good as Professor X. It's certainly not a good movie by any means, but it's at least better than X-men: The Last Stand... for whatever that's worth.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #17969 on: April 02, 2018, 05:12:41 PM »
Having watched it... I don't particularly get the appeal.  Nothing terrible about them, but they weren't terribly interesting to me, either.  But I could see them working better in silent films.

A quick look around seems to show it is one of their least liked films. Was it your first?

Yep.