On Screen Now! The 2019 Movie Thread

124

Comments

  • Trudy wrote: »
    ...I have trouble recognizing actors in different roles even within a year or two of each other, if their hair colour or costuming or anything is changed at all (I have very poor facial recognition skills, and rely a lot on cues like hair, clothing, etc, which means every role for an actor is a fresh new surprise to me)....
    You're my wife's transatlantic twin - her facial recognition software desperately needs upgrading too!

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited June 24
    ^ Make that triplets. I have a lot of difficulty telling actors apart, at least until I get familiar with them.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that there is a Hollywood "type", especially for male actors: average height, medium weight, brown hair, clean shaven. This especially seemed to be a thing with 80s actors. If Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, and Matt Dillon ever did a film together, I doubt I would have been able to follow who was doing what in the plot.

    By way of contrast, I am not likely to mistake Philip Seymour Hoffman for anyone else. Probably not a coincidence that he usually didn't get cast as the lead; Hollywood seems to favour "conventionally handsome" for those parts.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I"m constantly amazed that my husband and daughter can do things like watch a movie and say, "Oh, that actress is the girl who was in that one episode of Doctor Who we watched five years ago" (especially as said actress was in modern dress for Doctor Who and is dressed Regency costume in the movie, with a completely different hairstyle). How do people DO that?

    I have the problem in real life too -- when I'm teaching I always ask students not to radically change their hair colour or style of dress, if possible, in the first couple of weeks of the term, till I figure out some identifying feature. Nearly everyone has two eyes, a nose and a mouth -- faces are just not as distinctive as people seem to think they are!
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    ^ Make that triplets. I have a lot of difficulty telling actors apart, at least until I get familiar with them.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that there is a Hollywood "type", especially for male actors: average height, medium weight, brown hair, clean shaven. This especially seemed to be a thing with 80s actors. If Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, and Matt Dillon ever did a film together, I doubt I would have been able to follow who was doing what in the plot.
    Whilst they are of a type, they are far from identical. Especially dillon
    stetson wrote: »
    By way of contrast, I am not likely to mistake Philip Seymour Hoffman for anyone else. Probably not a coincidence that he usually didn't get cast as the lead; Hollywood seems to favour "conventionally handsome" for those parts.
    Conventionally attractive is conventional in part because it appeals to a greater audience. Regular features, symmetry, etc. This works across culture.
    And if a person is bankable, expect similar looking people to rise in prominence, hence the Hollywood Chris'.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Whilst they are of a type, they are far from identical. Especially dillon

    But "of a type" is exactly the problem for those of us with poor facial recognition. If I am trying to differentiate people in a group (or actors in a movie!) from one another, the very things I have to look for are things like
    stetson wrote: »
    average height, medium weight, brown hair, clean shaven.

    Since all the faces look alike to me, I'm always trying to rely on those other cues.

    There's a famous image of a bunch of (mostly) female Fox News personalities in the US which is often shared to highlight the network's lack of racial diversity. While I can see the problem, my immediate reaction whenever I see it is, "Are all these blond white women supposed to be different people? How would anyone possibly know that?"

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Trudy wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Whilst they are of a type, they are far from identical. Especially dillon

    But "of a type" is exactly the problem for those of us with poor facial recognition. If I am trying to differentiate people in a group (or actors in a movie!) from one another, the very things I have to look for are things like
    I do get that and I should have thought about that when replying.
    To be fair to you, they have more in common than they do in difference.
  • Have just watched MAQUIA - when the promised flower blooms in Japanese (With English Subtitles ). It is an excellent film. Waiting now for MIRAI. And hopefully within the next year OKKOS Inn. I learn about these and other Anime from sources like Gkids website and Emails I receive. they also review English language Anime like the breadwinner and Song of the sea.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited June 30
    Greta

    In Korea, this Neil Jordan thriller is being marketed under the untranslated title "Madame Psycho", which sounds like one of those straight-to-video horror flicks you used to be able to rent at 7-11 back in the day.

    Probably not an intentional effect on the distributor's part, but not entirely inappropriate either. Because apart from the cache director and star, this is basically just a campy throwback to to late 80s/early 90s heyday or urban-paranoia thrillers like Fatal Attraction and Single White Female, the latter of which it somewhat resembles in setting and plot, though not character alignment.

    It's no injustice to the complexity of the storyline to report that it is about a young waiteress in Manhattan stalked by a lonely older woman, without much more plot adornment than that, beyond the usual genre standbys like menaced pets and mid-film revelations about the psycho's dark and lonely past.

    I suppose I was a little disappointed to see this coming from Jordan, though now that I think about it, he hasn't exactly had an unbroken run of staying away from pedestrian material. Still kind of puzzled that he'd choose to write and direct something so obviously stuck in the parameters of a bygone era, without it obviously being tribute or parody.

    All that said, taken on its own terms, this is a stylish thriller that pretty much does what it sets out to do. And while it is not a sex thriller per se, the connection between the stalker and the stalked being entirely platonic, there's enough of an exploitative sapphic ambience to keep the dirty-old-men happy. I'll give it a 7/10.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Chorister wrote: »
    The Pop-Up community cinema showed 'The Children Act' recently, very moving account of a JW boy refusing a blood transfusion.

    Just saw it in the theatre a couple of days ago. Yeah, it was pretty good. Speaking as someone with a short-attention span, I appreciate that it told it's story in an economical fashion, sticking to its main point without meandering all over the place. A few points, though...

    I'd slightly correct your description about "a JW boy refusing a blood transufion". More accurately, it's about
    a Jehovah's Witness boy being forced to have a blood transfusion, and the personal aftermath of that, for the boy and the judge who ordered the procedure.

    In regards to the portrayal of religion in the film, I appreciate that they made an effort to get JWs right, although there's one line which, without clarification, might lead viewers to think that JWs are forbidden from drinking alcohol, which is not true.

    Sticking with religion, I also thought that the one lawyer's courtroom tirade against "bronze age" religions sounded like something you'd hear at a Richard Dawkins lecture, rather than in a reasoned legal argument. I gather Ian MacEwan is associated with New Atheism and allied movements, so maybe that's the connection.
    And I'm not sure if the script ever provided a proper explanation for why the judge decided to visit the boy in the hospital, since, as a couple of the other characters point out, her eventual decision was just a strict reading of the law anyway.

    Were we supposed to assume that she just wanted to meet a young man for her own pleasure? Maybe connected to feelings of inadequacy related to her husband's departure? Still seems like a bit of a stretch, though that does also explain why the state of her marriage was made an issue to begin with. Otherwise, her domestic state doesn't seem to have much to do with how she handles the case.

    Or is it her childlessness that compelled her to take a personal interest in the boy?

    I did like the inherent emotional logic of the boy's post-transfusion actions: he seems to be expecting that the judge who gave him life will give him "a life". Which is somewhat understandable, given how cloistered his parents would have kept him, and the judge was the first worldly, person he had probably had any connection with in a long time, and a pretty intense connection it would be.

    On a minor point, I don't think that Yeats is the kind of poet that someone is gonna take a shine to, without having the explanatory background to know what's going on in the poems. You'd need to do a bit of reading about history to know, for example, what Sailing To Byzantium is really about. I think something like Dylan would have been a more plausible artist for the guy's sudden conversion to the world of secular lyric.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Just saw the new Spiderman movie, Far From Home. It's really cute, and fun.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    I saw it, too, NicoleMR!! It was a fun film. Did you stay for the two extra scenes?
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Oh yes. When seeing a move nowadays I always stay til the end of the credits cause you never know now who will have extra scenes.
  • Eigon wrote: »
    I picked up Paddington 2 a while ago, and was saving it for when I fancied something light and fluffy to watch.
    Last night was the night - and I was in floods of tears!
    I knew the bit where Paddington opens the pop-up book and imagines his Aunt Lucy coming to visit would be a bit emotional, but I wasn't prepared for the heart warming ending at all.
    In between the sobs, I thought it was a very cleverly constructed film, with each member of the Brown family having something established about them that is important in the climactic chase (Mrs Brown is training to swim the Channel, Mr Brown is very good at throwing balls at a coconut shy, Jonathan Brown really likes steam trains....).
    There was also a wonderful sequence which referenced The Pit and The Pendulum and Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, and another sequence modelled after Hoffnung's monologue about the labourer and the barrel full of bricks.

    Absolutely love this fikm.


    Just watched “Your Name” & wow!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 20
    Long Shot

    Rom-com with the trappings of a bromance(minus any significant bro), about a hardscrabble, left-leaning journalist, played by Seth Rogen, who gets hired by, and eventually falls in love with, the Secretary Of State, played by Charlize Theron. (The SoC spends most of the film plotting a White House bid, and generally acting presidential, thus making the basic set-up pretty much a knock-off of The American President.)

    Judging by the reviews and rankings on wikipedia, a lot of other people liked this film more than I did. It basically seems as if the writers figured that simply having Rogen in the film would automatically make it a recognizable raunch comedy, and Theron would do the same for the romantic aspects, so they could just leave it at that and not worry about coming up with too many jokes.

    Some critic on wiki described the film as "super woke", but enlightened pretensions aside, the writers still can't resist using "ass fucking" as a metaphor for "getting seriously harmed by someone", though I guess we're supposed to forgive this because at one point, the journalist criticizes a right-winger for saying that gay marriage causes typhoons.

    Somewhat interesting portrayal of a barely-disguised Justin Trudeau character as a narcisstic skeeze.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 21
    One small detail about Long Shot I should mention is that, when the SoS is looking browsing through Rogen's old articles, one of his opinion pieces is called Fuck Exxon, a viewpoint meant to be taken as sympathetic by the audience. Somewhat edgy for a major film to implicitly address a named corporation that way, especially given that this is distributed by a major studio(Lionsgate).

    A political implausibility is that it is implied that the SoS is working for a Republican president, yet she is portrayed as going around the world trying to sign everyone up for radical action on climate change. Even given that
    the story eventually has her plans vetoed by the president,
    it is highly doubtful that a GOP State chief would be doing that for even a short period of time.

    (And the journalist's interest in environmental issues is another parallel with The American President.)
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    ^ Interestingly, Long Shot is not so woke that it feels obligated to observe any embargo against the music of Phil Spector. There is a nice scene near the end scored to And Then He Kissed Me.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited August 10
    An Education

    Hollywood regulars Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, and Emma Thompson doing the opposite of slumming it(poshing it? uptowning it?) in a BBC coming-of-age drama set in the early 1960s, about a teenaged girl(Carey Mulligan) studying to attend Oxford, while dating an older man of somewhat indeterminate but ultimately
    dubious moral character.

    This was pretty good, with a fairly believable characterizations of the girl, her friends, family, and boyfriend, possibly aided by the fact that it is based on someone's actual memoir, rather than just some screenwriter's imagination.

    The film also functions as an engaging period-piece, set in a pre-Swinging but still fairly lively London. One quibble: the characterization of one of the boyfriends female friends as a "dumb-blonde" type seemed a little overboard, eg. at one point, the girl tells the blonde that she is going to
    "read English at Oxford" and the blonde replies with something like "Oh, you mean the books you read are going to be in English?" I would have assumed it's generally known in the UK that "read" is a term for "study", though perhaps I could be wrong about that.

    Overall, I quite like this, and I'll give it an 8/10.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot

    Gus Van Sant's biographical film about John Callahan, the late cartoonist, and his struggles with disability and alcoholism.

    Gvien the generally negative portrayal of the recovery movement in films(going back at least twenty years to Fight Club), it's interesting to see a movie that takes it pretty much on its own terms, respectfully detailing the protagonist's struggle to manage his life within its strictures.

    I was also pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't frame Callahan as a lovable misanthrope, which I was sort of expecting to see given my knowledge of his work, but rather as someone working through genuine issues, not always in total control of things, and not entirely lacking in personal responsibility for the problems he faced. (Nothing against lovable misanthropes, as anyone who knows me off-line can attest, but as a cultural archetype, it's been wearing thin for a while now.)

    And if you're a general fan of Gus Van Sant, this film pretty much delivers the requisite goods: socially marginalized characters, back-street setting, etc. But I'd recommend it for anyone.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I have just come back from my annual trip to a movie festival, Capitolfest, held in Rome, NY: 28 films--16 feature films & 12 shorts. As always, the focus is on silent films and early talkies, with live organ accompaniment for the silent features. Being able to play appropriate organ music for silent features is a distinct skill set and I am always impressed by the expertise of the players. This year featured the talents of Ben Model, Dr. Philip Carli and Avery Tunningley. All did an excellent job.

    The movies this year ranged from 1916 (Ben Blair) to 1945 (The Unseen). The latter is a little “recent” for this festival (which only occasionally goes outside the 1930s for “early talkies”) but it starred Joel McCrea who, along with his wife, Frances Dee, were the two featured stars of the festival. The McCreas' son, Peter, was present at the festival to talk a little about his parents. Even more impressive was another special guest. We had a viewing of The Strange Case of Clara Deane (1932). The story involves a woman (Clara) who is separated from her daughter when Clara and her husband are sent to prison (the husband did the crime...and Clara was deemed an accomplice although we know that, in fact, she knew nothing about it). Released from prison after 15 years, Clara tries to find out what happened to her daughter. In the early part of the movie the young 4-year-old daughter is played very well by child actress Cora Sue Collins (while her 19-year-old version of the daughter was played by Frances Dee). Well, Cora Sue Collins is now 90 years old, but she is still with us. She came and did a Q&A about the film and her career. That was very special! I would be remiss if I didn’t also compliment Wynne Gibson, who played the role of Clara Deane. For the later part of the film, she had to play her character 15 years older, and she did an excellent job “acting old.” It helps that her make-up was not over-done (as so often happens when a young star is made up to look old). She conveyed age more by her acting than her make-up. I confess that I was not familiar with her name, but IMDB shows that she has a good number of film credits. I will happily check her other films out. She has talent.

    As always, the festival features restorations of old films, many done under the auspices of the Library of Congress, and often we get to be some of the few people to see the film in a public airing since the movie was first released. This year we saw a restoration of the 1924 version of Captain Blood starring J. Warren Kerrigan and Jean Paige. This film has been available for years in an edited format missing many key action scenes. A rumor started that, when the movie was re-made in 1935 (with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland), they re-used those action shots and incorporated them into the 1935 print. As part of its restoration efforts, LoC was able to establish that this is a myth--no film from the 1924 version was used in the 1935 version. LoC was able to locate and restore the missing footage from a variety of sources, to make the 1924 version complete once again. And, yes, it is a fine swashbuckler.

    Another very good and interesting film was a short (26 minutes) that formed Chapter One of a serial about the life of Abraham Lincoln made in 1917. The full serial was ten chapters long, although two chapters (both dealing with slavery) are missing. The serial was essentially the life work of Benjamin Chapin. He dedicated his life to studying Lincoln and portraying Lincoln in a series of monologues on stage. He was also the creative force and primary actor in this “Lincoln Cycle,” although in chapter one he portrays Lincoln only briefly at the start--as the adult Lincoln reflects on his childhood--and Charles “Charlie” Jackson does an impressive job of portraying Lincoln as a young boy. Jackson would only appear in a small handful of films, with his last credited role being in 1922.

    We were also treated to the very first “Dr. Kildare” movie, Internes Can’t Take Money (1937). Although, when the Kildare series of films would take off, Lew Ayres would play the role, in this very first film the part was played by Joel McCrea with Barbara Stanwyck as the female lead (as a woman looking for her daughter, lost when she was sent to prison...rather a lot of that going around). McCrea did a decent job as young Dr. Kildare, but this film was made by Paramount, while the series of films was from MGM. When the character switched studios, the actor playing the part switched as well!

    An oddity was the film Kentucky Pride (1925). It tells the story of a horse--from the horse’s point of view! The narrator (well, the title cards--it is a silent film) are written as if the horse is telling us the story. The film is a curiosity for including clips of real race horses of the day, even the legendary Man O’War. And, keeping with the sub-theme of the festival, the lead horse (named “Virginia’s Future”) spends part of the film looking for her daughter, “Confederacy.” They were separated when the stable they were at went into bankruptcy. Virginia’s Future gets bought to be a work horse pulling a junk wagon--which I guess is the horse equivalent of prison!

    The films for this festival were selected months ago. I say that because there was no way that the organizers could have known about the shooting in El Paso. One film, Legion of Terror (1936), starts with a senator receiving a bomb in the mail. The investigation leads to a town were a bunch of hooded white people have taken control (so that nobody can even get a job unless they belong to the Legion). Aided and abetted by false new reports from a newspaper whose editor is the head of the Legion. Anyway, at the end of the movie, the Legion has been broken up but the detectives admit they still did not know exactly who sent the bomb. This lead sone to speculate “it was probably just some guy who took the hate-filled rhetoric seriously and tried to act directly on somebody the leaders indicated were enemies.” I’m paraphrasing, but that was basically the statement. Reading reports that the El Paso shooter was motivated to shoot “invaders” from Mexico, this movie cut a little too close to current events to be pleasant.

    But, IMHO, far and away the best film of the weekend was Caught! (1931). I would happily buy a copy of this one. It stars Louise Dresser as Calamity Jane. Richard Arlen plays the male lead, but honesty Dresser simply steals the film--everybody else in it (including Frances Dee) feels like they just have bit parts. Calamity Jane has been played by a number of actresses over the years, usually attractive Hollywood types such as Jean Arthur, Yvonne de Carlo, Doris Day, Jane Russell and Angelica Huston. Louise Dresser is more along the lines of Marie Dressler or Margaret Rutherford. Dresser portrays Calamity as a smart, tough, domineering, rowdy saloon owner (and cattle rustler), more than a match for any man. And she is an utter delight to watch! It really is her movie, even if Arlen got top billing as the Army Lieutenant sent to capture her. The writing is deceptively intricate, expertly weaving drama and comedy. Seriously, keep an eye out for this one. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have made it to YouTube (yet).

    They have announced the featured stars for next year’s Capitolfest will be sisters: Constance & Joan Bennett.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited August 13
    Gosh! I may have to see if I can find some of those. Thanks so much for sharing, and especially your wonderful descriptions, Hedgehog. I love the idea of a film festival for that era. Perhaps I need to start saving for a visit in a few years for a major birthday as a treat. :smile:

    We have a far more modern International Film Festival coming into town later this month. Looks to be some interesting fare.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I just rented We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The novel by Shirley Jackson is an all time favorite of mine so I was afraid the film would be disappointing, but I loved it. The casting was perfect, just as I had imagined the two leads, and the story, while not as intensely creepy as the book, was still compelling. I watched it a second time before returning it to RedBox just to get another look at the cinematography.

    I noticed the IMBD reviews tended to be love it or hate it with the haters having expected a horror movie. It's not, it's a drama with frightening undertones.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Thanks, Twilight. I'm also a fan of the book. I will look for the film.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Yesterday
    A failure to launch musician wakes up from being hit by a bus during a world-wide power outage to find he is the only person on earth to remember the Beatles.
    Sweet film, well written and worth watching, even though it'll never be a classic. It is good enough to add to one's film collection, though. Nicely balanced travel through the musician's journey.
    Kate McKinnon is perfect in this.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Giving thought to Yesterday today. It is a better crafted film¹ the longer I think about it, which is the opposite of most films. Not without imperfections² and it will never make a serious, top one hundred films list, but still well done.
    ²The most difficult thing to tackle is how to show the impact of the Beatles. And here is the film's biggest weakness. The musical landscape would be different without the Beatles and exploring how it might have developed would be interesting. Well, to a few music nerds and would be difficult to create an interesting story for a larger audience. They do make the obvious joke of Oasis not existing because the Beatles didn't, but what would truly bi different is not really addressed. The Beach Boys would certainly have existed and Brian Wilson would certainly have written great songs. But Pet Sounds, specifically, was directly influenced by Rubber Soul. There would have been pop music and there would have been experimentation. But what would it look like?

    ¹However, the film does take Jack's dilemmas, fame vs love and the guilt of creating a name from stolen songs, and resolve them in a satisfying way.
  • Has anyone seen An Interview with God?

    I usually run a mile from Christian movies, but some of the reviews for this one caught my eye, and it's coming to French cinemas (no doubt for a really short run) soon.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited September 1
    Cyrus

    Something of a cross-genre hybrid, with elements of drama, romatic comedy, and psychological thriller.

    John C. Reilly plays a depressed divorced guy who begins dating a woman(Marisa Tomei) with a son(Jonah Hill) who is somewhat, shall we say, possessive. The storyline
    keeps us guessing until relatively late in the film about just how far it is going to go into Norman Bates territory.

    I gather there was some critical chatter about this having a fake-indie feel, and that's true, but these days, I think it's safe to say that "indie" has now passed from being a description of the business model behind a film, to being just a type of style, irrespective of who backed it and how much money was involved.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited September 1
    delete
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited September 1
    Anna

    Paint-by-numbers Cold War thriller about a kick-ass female assassin. Luc Besson revisits the same territory as La Femme Nikita, with this film being set during the same time period that the early film was made. Hard to disagree with people who are saying that Besson seems stuck in his salad days.
  • We just rented the DVD of The Professor and the Madman. I had read the book and couldn't imagine how it could be filmed, but I think they did a fine job. Sean Penn's sometimes over the top acting was perfect for this role which required some psychotic episodes interspersed with a sensitive portrayal of a brilliant, guilt ridden man trying to keep his paranoia at bay through hard work and dedication to his project. Mel Gibson and really the entire supporting cast were also good.

    It gets some terrible reviews, but I'm not sure why. I was never bored and it brought me to tears several times while being ultimately hopeful and uplifting.

    Who would have thought Hollywood would ever produce a film where psychiatrists, judges and asylum wardens were all portrayed as gentle, understanding people? Truth must sometimes be kinder than fiction.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Has anyone seen An Interview with God?

    I usually run a mile from Christian movies, but some of the reviews for this one caught my eye, and it's coming to French cinemas (no doubt for a really short run) soon.

    I've found it on YouTube. Much better than the usual cheesy Christian movies and has David Strathairn in it, one of my favourite actors.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Wild

    The Men Who Stare At Goats
    Twilight wrote: »
    We just rented the DVD of The Professor and the Madman.

    Oh, wow. The director of that film is the son-in-law of Gerald Regan.

    No guilt-by-association intended at all, but that is an interesting relative to have, to say the least.

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    To roughly quote one critic; the film is good, depending on how much work you wish to put into it.
    The film is a ostensibly a buddy film about an ageing actor and his stuntman with fading careers in the late 1960's. With a Manson Family tie-in. It's not about Manson, says Tarantino, but about the loss of innocence...
    It's about Manson. Many adults buy toys from their childhood,Tarantino is buying his childhood fantasies*. He's murdered Hitler, killed slavery and now he gets to stop the Manson murders. Interestingly, he doesn't kill Manson, just a few of his followers.
    The main characters, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, are likeable, but not perfectly. Tarantino plays with their sins as well.
    DiCaprio's character, as written, is a little flat. DiCaprio himself adds dimension. Whilst Pitt's character has a little more depth, his portrayal doesn't add any. A good performance, but the character does not vary, even during an acid trip.
    The story. Ageing actor only getting guest appearances and his stuntman buddy who acts as his chauffeur/odd-jobber as he cannot get work after killing his wife which was ruled an accident, but many think he did on purpose. DiCaprio's next door neighbours happen to be Roman Polanksi and Sharon Tate.
    Long story short, chance encounters change the Manson family murder plans and they try to kill our heroes who kill them in typical Tarantino gratuitous fashion including smashing a woman's face to pulp against a mantle and table and barbecuing another with flamethrower. yea.
    But the violence is OK, because they were baddies.
    In the middle of the film, DiCaprio's character Rick muses that could maybe get work from the currently hot Polanksi, seeing as they are neighbours. The film ends with Rick hanging out with the now not gruesomely ,murdered Tate and her friends. Happy days.
    I know that makes the film sound awful, but it is actually good, unless one hated Tarantino's films.

    *Well, we are buying it for him.
    It is a good film, if one likes Tarantino. It is loooooong. Tarantino likes Tarantino, that is certain.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Wild

    The Men Who Stare At Goats
    Twilight wrote: »
    We just rented the DVD of The Professor and the Madman.

    Oh, wow. The director of that film is the son-in-law of Gerald Regan.

    No guilt-by-association intended at all, but that is an interesting relative to have, to say the least.

    "Oh wow," over someone connected with the movie, having an outside connection with someone who has done bad things?

    Before I'd play the five degrees of separation over everyone in the cast and credits, I'd look for more direct contributors, like for example, Kevin Spacey as one of the stars of, "The Men Who Stare at Goats."



  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Wild

    The Men Who Stare At Goats
    Twilight wrote: »
    We just rented the DVD of The Professor and the Madman.

    Oh, wow. The director of that film is the son-in-law of Gerald Regan.

    No guilt-by-association intended at all, but that is an interesting relative to have, to say the least.

    "Oh wow," over someone connected with the movie, having an outside connection with someone who has done bad things?

    Before I'd play the five degrees of separation over everyone in the cast and credits, I'd look for more direct contributors, like for example, Kevin Spacey as one of the stars of, "The Men Who Stare at Goats."



    Nuance can get lost in writing. The "Oh wow" was meant to express surprise at seeing an infamously familiar name in an unexpected context(ie. outside of Canadian news), not shock or outrage. More of a raised eyebrow than a gaping mouth, as it were.

    As for the Kevin Spacey comparison, it's WIDELY KNOWN that he was in The Men Who Stare At Goats, and even if it wasn't, he has had such a long and varied career, it's not really gonna make anyone do a double-take if it turns out he was in some film that gets mentioned on a movie-review thread.

    Now, if you told me that the premier of Nova Scotia was going to get married, and it turned out that his fiancee was Kevin Spacey's sister, I might have a similar reaction. Not that I think people should be judged by their in-laws, just that, well, it's probably gonna make the family reunions more awkward than usual.

  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Did anyone else see Blinded by the Light? I feel like they made a movie specifically geared towards my interests.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've finally got round to seeing Avengers: Endgame, which I really enjoyed. It was nice to see some quiet character moments alongside the more exciting bits, and there were so many little nods to earlier films that I think I'm going to have to do a lot of re-watching now.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The "Downton Abbey" movie (seen at a press screening) isn't deep, but it's highly entertaining. It helps to have watched the TV series, I think; I'm not sure what a newbie would make of the film. Most of the old characters are back, along with some interesting new ones. Lady Violet still gets more than her share of the good lines. Isabel is still her excellent foil, and makes a notable discovery. Tom is the star of this one, but most of the old leads get their moments.

    Given the time constraints of a two-hour film, as compared to a multi-week series, though, we aren't even given the names of a few characters. Screenwriter (with, as ever, too many verbal anachronisms)/creative overseer (who does get all the flatware and costumes right) Julian Fellowes has come up with enough new story lines to fuel at least another few seasons of the old series. It's fun. If you liked the series, be sure to see it.

  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Daughter-Unit and I have our tickets for an advance showing on Thursday! I can hardly wait!!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    The Man

    1972 made-for-TV movie(housed on You Tube) featuring James Earl Jones as a black politician who becomes president via a series of freak events within the chain-of-command.

    Based on a novel by Irving Wallace(the Book Of Lists guy) and scripted by Rod Serling(of Twilight Zone fame), this seems like an attempt to deal with issues coming out of the 1960s, by people whose sensibilities were formed prior to that decade.

    Which is not, in itself, a bad thing, but does lead to some telling lacuna, eg. there is no mention at all of the Vietnam War, even though the USA was still involved in that conflict when the flim was released. The civil-rights movement plays a larger role, for obvious reasons, but is represented mostly by the president's politicized daughter, whose radicalism is more talked about than actually seen. There are also few shots of street demos, fairly sedate by the standards of the era.

    The main plot-dilemma is the president deciding whether or not to extradite an African American youth accused of murdering a South African politician, and the screenplay evinces admirable familiarity with the internal politics of that country. At the same time, however, it does seem a little confused about what the exact procedures in the US itself would be, eg. at one point, the president says he can't decide whether to turn the extradition over to Justice, State, or make the decision himself, whereas I doubt the various offices are that interchangable in terms of the authority they'd have.

    As you might expect, James Earl Jones is pretty good, though I'd give top place to Burgess Meredith as a conniving southern dixiecrat(the president's party is never explictly stated, but given that it appeals to both blacks and white southerners, we can assume it's the Democrats of the early 70s.)

    Nothing spectacular, but pretty good by TV standards. Recommended mostly for fans of political cinema.
  • I'll have to wait for the DVD of Downton Abbey the Movie but I'm in "can't wait" status, too. Good to know Rossweisse gives a thumbs up!
  • Is anyone else thinking that the trailers for the new Rambo movie ("Last Blood") make it look like Home Alone for Grown-Ups.
    I wonder if he'll get a chance to say
    "Do you guys give up, or are you thristy for more?"
  • Someone need to do a mashup of that, that is hilarious.
  • Mrs Lowry and son. Superb acting from Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall. Time and place beautifully portrayed. Perfect ending.
  • gizziegizzie Shipmate
    Yes, @Trudy, I saw 'Blinded by the Light' when it first came out in London. Didn't really know what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Recommended even if peeps aren't massive Springsteen fans, it's a feel good, coming of age film set within the context of racism and culture clash in 80s Luton, UK.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Daughter-Unit and I saw Downton Abbey last night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!!!

    This was a special showing eight days before the regular opening, and I was really surprised that the theater was not packed.

    One of the fun things about being there was that we were in the company of other folks who had enjoyed the TV series, so everyone knew who the characters were, and were in on all the jokes!! Anyone who didn't know the backstory would have been very confused at the howling laughter that filled the room!

    It was a real romp, and full of humor and fun. I have to say that some of the big reveals were telegraphed from way before they were stated on the screen. (Shocking!! Gasp!!) It was still fun!

    There were also tears toward the end, and we were not surprised, but still sad.

    All in all, a good time and even more so being able to enjoy the movie with my daughter!
  • Trudy wrote: »
    Did anyone else see Blinded by the Light? I feel like they made a movie specifically geared towards my interests.

    I just saw it a couple of hours ago. Yeah, it was good, but somewhat predictable, as a cominh-of-age film. It sort of reminded me of Son Of Rambo, in terms of its being about a young person marginalized both within his family and within the wider British culture, finding escape through interaction with an iconic American pop-culture figure of the 1980s.



  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited September 18
    Downton Abbey and, as JJ says above, it is wonderful.

    Just as they got it spot on at the end of the television series (apparently Phyllis Logan said if they were going to sing Auld lang syne they would pronounce it properly, with the correct words, or not at all, so no "zines") so it is with the film, so it really is the King's Troop, RHA you see on screen, not actors, Harewood House really is the place (outside and in) and it all looks terrific.

    The costumes are, for the most part, lovely - although I didn't take to one particular dress; and for once someone has bothered to get court evening dress right so the men in the ballroom scene are properly attired, plus the cast members manage to dance properly without looking as if they're trying to remember the 4th Law of Thermodynamics - look at Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot) if you want to know what I mean.

    The two-hander scenes between the Dowager and Isabel (Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton) are pure gold with Julian Fellowes rising to even greater heights with the Dowager's put-downs and bon mots and they've left enough of a cliff-hanger to make another film (or two) not only possible but probable.

    Pure escapism? Maybe, but in a world far too full of Br**it a trip or two to see Downton could be just what the doctor ordered.

    (I'm going again, if only to smugly bask in the knowledge that one of the cast is a relative. :smirk: )
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Which one, @TheOrganist?
  • Ah, that would be telling. I'd love to say but he guards family life and privacy, as must I.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Understood.
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