Heaven: At the Movies

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  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Oh, I've heard about Kedi and meant to watch it.
  • I do recommend it. I saw it at a college theater and then came home and immediately downloaded it off of iTunes. It is beautiful on several levels.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    Boss Baby

    Stunt casting, based on a famous movie cameo from 25 years ago. Pretty much a gimmick, but it is always kinda cool to know you're in on the joke.

    The story works better in the early scenes when, like Inside Out, it uses the fantasy scenario as a simple analogy for everyday life(newborns tend to be the "boss" of the family's attention), rather than when they start elaborating on how
    the baby is literally the boss of BabyCorp. which is fighting a battle against PuppyCorp. for the affection of humans.
    I actually sorta lost interest in the story at that point.

    I was probably more impressed than I should be with the animation, given that I don't see a lot of contemporary cartoons. If you like this sort of thing, recommended.


  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Just saw The Shape of Water and
    ,fucking Guillermo del Toro just cannot have a pure, unabiguously happy ending,
    it is very Guillermo del Toro. Essentially a very GdT remake of the The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
    Not so much a reworking of the original script, but a reworking of the concept.
    I enjoyed it, but it was very GdT. I don’t think one necessarily has to be a fan of his to like the film; but if you are, you will.

    I also got a Jeunet vibe off of it. Specifically, it really reminded me strongly of Delicatessen.
    Cinema is an incestuous, thieving business. Yes, one can see the influences here.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've been to the cinema twice in a week, which is very unusual for me.
    The first film was Peterloo, the story of a peaceful meeting which turned into a massacre in 1819. I kind of had to watch this, as a Mancunian, and I thought it was done very well indeed, though I did have a little chuckle when they talked about Kersal Moor, and cut to a moor which was obviously nothing like Kersal Moor! (Impossible to film on the real one, though, as there's been far too much modern encroachment).
    The second film was Bohemian Rhapsody - the actor playing Freddie Mercury looked uncannily like him (and the actor playing Brian May was spot on, too). I was singing along, but when Freddie sang the beginning of Bohemian Rhapsody at the Live Aid concert, I was almost in tears. Again, very well done.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Eigon wrote: »
    the actor playing Freddie Mercury looked uncannily like him
    Does Farrokh Bulsara start out thinking Freddy Mercury is real, and only later realises that Freddy is actually a hallucination?

  • Fish Tank

    Gritty offering from the UK about a teenaged girl growing up in a dysfunctional home on what I assume is the living environment known as a council estate, featuring a pre-Hollywood Michal Fassbender in the cast(I did not recognize him, but he never really looks the same to me).

    As a fan of bleak realism, I came away fairly impressed, even though, after teasing us with the hint of
    a very dark wrap-up, the film finishes off with a hopeful(if not outright happy) ending.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    Okay, this is about the tenth time I've tried to save a rough draft of the films I want to review, and pressed "save comment" by mistake, so I'm just going to review all of them right now...


  • Molly's Game

    Been a couple of months since I've seen this, so the memories might not be fresh. Sorkin-written and directed film about the rise and fall of an unlikely gambling tycoon. The script is pretty much what you would expect from Sorkin, though(again, going by relatively distant memory here) the direction, while certainly servciable, isn't anything particularly outstanding.

    Like other projects involving Sorkin, it seems to be focusing on giving an explanation to events that are not normally the sort of thing that the public would pay much attention to. Which I do find interesting.

    The 15:17 To Paris

    About a group of young Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack in Paris.

    Clint Eastwood continues his subtle off-centring of the American hero mythos, with knowing references to European skepticism about American triumphs
    eg. a German tour guide telling the guys that the Americans, in fact, were not the ones who made it to Hitler's bunker, followed by the same guide breaking into a mocking rendition of Springtime For Hitler
    but ultimately ending up with the heroes doing everything we expect them to do(based on reading the news, if nothing else).

    As usual, Eastwood breaks little artistic ground(a friend of mine once compared his films to high-quality made-for-TV movies, which isn't a bad description), but thematically interesting in relation to his other recent pieces, or for anyone who just likes movies about current events.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Daughter-Unit and I went to a showing of Fantastic Beasts- The Crimes of Grindelwald on Tuesday. It was a lovely movie to look at, nice special effects. But, goodness, there's a lot I didn't really know what they were going on about!
    Is there a book? If there is, should I have read that first?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    jedijudy wrote: »
    Is there a book? If there is, should I have read that first?

    As far as I can tell, no. Apparently, it's a spinoff of the Harry Potter FILMS, so they just skipped over the "book" stage of the evolution for these ones.

    But there has been an earlier Fantastic Beasts film. Maybe watching that would be helpful? Can't say myself, since I haven't seen anything of them.

  • There's a book of the screen play for the Fantastic Beasts of Grindlewald - having just walked past it in the supermarket.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    stetson wrote: »
    But there has been an earlier Fantastic Beasts film. Maybe watching that would be helpful? Can't say myself, since I haven't seen anything of them.

    Daughter-Unit and I saw that one, too. I think I got some of that one figured out. You're right! I probably should have watched it again to remind me of things!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    King Kong (1976)

    I usually like my nostalgic popcorn movies with a bit of sociopolitical period colour, and while I went into this one somewhat pessimistic on that score, it did not entirely disappoint.

    This time around, the expedition is an oil crew working for a shady company with illicit high-level political connections called Petrox(try saying that aloud broken into two syllables), looking for an edge against the competition by searching for an oil deposit in the south Pacific. Jeff Bridges is your typical, shaggy-looking 1970s Ivy League scientist, stowing away on the boat.

    Follows the basic template of the original movie, with Jessica Lange providing the blondeness, in this case, an actress shipwrecked from a B-movie crew. After Bridges threatens that killing the ape will lead to mass attacks on Petrox gas stations by environmenatlists, the creature is brought to New York as a prop for an ad campaign, explicity stated as competition for Exxon's real-life "Tiger In Your Tank". I think you all know how that works out.

    I suppose it says something about the innocent hubris of the writers that they thought they needed to surpass, rather than tribute, the original movie by having Kong climb the World Trade Center instead of the you-know-what. I remember reading an article about this movie when it first came out, and someone connected with it said "Since the WTC is now the tallest building in New York, we used that one instead". Guess history had the last laugh on that score.


  • Stetson, as a bit of trivia about that version of King Kong, did you know that the elderly woman who is the first person in the crowd to scream when Kong breaks loose, was a cameo by the original Kong girl, Fay Wray?
  • Darn, just checked that on IMDB.com and it appears not to be true. She was offered a cameo in the remake but turned it down. Poo.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    Thanks anyway. It's the thought that counts!

    And, actually, the connection to Fay Wray is maintained in the remake, by having the blonde actress a survivor of a capsized film-crew ship, seemingly an allusion to the film-crew in the original, who are actually the ones who find King Kong. And the exploitation of nubile towheads by the film industry, which is just hinted at in the original, is given fuller form in the remake, when Lange reveals that just before the ship was hit, the producer had been trying to get her to watch Deep Throat. (More 70s colour.)

    It was also interesting to see Jeff Bridges, who is pretty much all over the place in films these days, in an early role.
  • I was Fantastic Beasts II and, as I was watching it, I wondered a bit about the strongly negative reviews. Not that it was as magical a creation as the world it is set in, of course, but it wasn’t so horrible to watch. However, thinking about it afterwards, the flaws grew larger in my mind. Suffice to say, if you enjoyed the first, you will enjoy this one and if you didn’t, this one will not win you over.
    So, what dawned on me after that didn’t earlier was the character development. There isn’t any, really. But this is a complaint about the first one, so I didn’t really notice at first. I only cared about Newt because he was doing good, not because Redmayne drew me to do so. And I think I could say that about all the characters save Jacob and Queenie, but that is because their characters are likeable, not because they have much charisma. Even the redoubtable Jude Law didn’t create any reason to connect with the younger version of a beloved character. And Depp’s performance was more makeup and wardrobe than anything else. It was too long and too predictable. Even a little tighter editing would have made much improvement. For all that, I did enjoy it, but it could have so easily been so much better.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    D-U and I saw Ralph Breaks the Internet and despite some weary reviews, she and I laughed so hard tears were streaming out of our eyes!
    Some of the things we loved:
    Vanellope's Disney Princess song
    The Princesses
    Tweets flying around
    and of course
    Storm Troopers being threatening to our heroes.

    It's a cute movie, like the first Wreck-It Ralph. Has it really been six years since the first one? Anyhow, D-U and I enjoyed it very much!
  • Tully

    Low-key psychological thriller(for lack of a better phrase) about a harried young couple who are gifted a mysterious nanny to care for their newborn at night. If a yuppie domestic drama with just the slightest overlay of menace sounds like something that would be up your alley, this might be for you.

    The ending revealed...
    It's got the same plot-twist as Fight Club. I'm tempted to say it was fairly obvious, but I did not in fact see it coming, since the script takes pains to throw us off the scent.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    edited November 2018
    I forgot to mention the most poignant guest star in the Ralph movie:
    Stan Lee
    :cry:
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    Overlord

    Hey, don't judge me!

    It is a zombie Nazi film, so the only question is whether it is good, bad or deliciously terrible. It is the first, though I was sort of rooting for the third option.
    The basic plot is that WWII American airborne troops must destroy a communications tower so that Allied planes can be safer in the D-day invasion. But, dun dun duuuun, they encounter zombies! Not a spoiler as that is literally the point of seeing this film.
    It is J.J. Abrams¹ take on a classic b-movie trope. And kinda what you would expect from that, a polished, better than average effort with all the inconsistencies inherent in the genre and premise.
    But it is a zombie Nazi film, if you are questioning its quality, then it is not for you.
    Non-spolier summery is that it is fun and well made. The horror is at the level you'd expect from a scifi film maker and not at the serious horror film level.
    I mean, its a zombie Nazi film by J.J. Abrams, what am I spoiling? You know the good guys are winning, you know the Nazis are evil and you know there are zombies. The acting was solid, even the overly broad characters fit into the genre, the CG was not egregious and the horror/action balance was good. It was a by-the-numbers plot, but then that really isn't the point. Because zombie Nazi film

    ¹O.M.G.! I don't remember a single lens flare! But...it's J.J. "LensFlareforLife!" Abrams...so how can there not be? My world crumbles...
    Just watched the trailer, and there are lens flares. My faith in the universe is restored
  • I went to a screening of "Mary Queen of Scots" this morning. Oy.

    The actors playing Mary and Elizabeth I were excellent, but too many liberties were taken with the facts (no one can ever make a film about those two without throwing in a fictional meeting), and I know too much about that period. (And if you don't know much about the people and the history, there's too much information flung about without explanation.) The scenery was stunning; the script was horrible. And too much of it just didn't make sense, like having Mary ride to war. Seriously?

    I did like the bit of Byrd in the soundtrack...

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I've always thought that Mary, Queen of Scots was an idiot. I don't think I could get past that belief to see her as any kind of heroine, as much as I like Elizabethan era drama.
  • Felony

    2013 dirty-cop drama, written and directed by Joel Edgerton(who for me will always be Gordo The Weirdo), about a Sydney police officer who hits and seriously injures a child while drunk driving.

    Some of the comments I've read say stuff along the lines of "cliched story, but redeemed by stylish approach", and I'd agree, though I think the redemption is less through visual style(which is mostly unremarkable), and more through the fairly well-written script.

    That is, until about halfway through, at which point we get slightly sidetracked by
    coincidence-based plot developments, romantic tangents, a subplot involving violent pedophiles(to show the contrast in the cops' mind between their corrupt brethren and the "real" criminals), and the requisite thin-blue-line monologues.
    All of which does indeed land us in the general vicintiy of genre cliche.

    I'd still give it about a 7.5, and probably higher if it hadn't veered off course with the aforementioned cocktail-napkin stuff. The presence of the ever-watchable Tom Wilkinson is, by itself, usually good for at least one point.
  • Been meaning to post this for a while. If Widows is still on at a cinema near you: go see it. Lots of the PR for it has concentrated on the raft of good actors (Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya) and the director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) which is a fair enough reason to see it, but without saying that it's just a really good suspenseful and satisfying heist film. Best film I've seen for ages.

    Had a bit of a Rocky film obsession as a child, despite having no particular interest in boxing. I went to see Rocky IV with my Dad at the cinema, aged 9 or 10 so we're off to see Creed II next week, which apparently deals with some of the same plot points (such as they were). Finger crossed.
  • Lyda wrote: »
    I've always thought that Mary, Queen of Scots was an idiot. I don't think I could get past that belief to see her as any kind of heroine, as much as I like Elizabethan era drama.
    Oh, absolutely; any reputation for nobility she has acquired is purely the result of the ministrations of Roman Catholic propagandists (much as in the case of Sir Thomas More). She had a hard life in many respects, and one can sympathize with that, but I'm hard put to think of a single major decision she ever made that went well. Her taste in men was particularly execrable.



  • ... If Widows is still on at a cinema near you: go see it. ...

    I cannot agree with that assessment. I found it one of the worst movies I've seen in years. But then, it is a matter of taste, and this one didn't do it for me. Of the 12 people in the theatre, 2 left quite early. I would have as well, but the other option for a Friday evening was watching tv alone.

    Glad I got the senior discount.
  • The Girl In The Spider's Web

    I think this is the second American Lisbeth Salander film. The plot...
    Lisbeth's evil sister, who has inherited their incestuous father's criminal enterprise, teams up with a bunch of Russian gangsters and Swedish intelligence-agents to steal a computer program capable of launching all the nukes in the world(or something), from the Americans.

    And, of course, Lisbeth has to stop them. Once again she is joined by her white-knight, journalistic comrade Blomkvist, though this time around
    he does manage to stay out of her pants.

    In case it's not obvious, I am fairly cynical about this series of films, and their feminist pretensions(I mean, female action heroes do NOT qualify as cutting-edge gender subversion in the year 2018). And turning the story into an extension of
    Lisbeth's effed-up childhood
    just clutters everything up.

    5.5/10. It probably does fulfill most of the requirements of a garden-variety action film, if you don't demand anything else from it.
  • stetson wrote: »

    In case it's not obvious, I am fairly cynical about this series of films, and their feminist pretensions(I mean, female action heroes do NOT qualify as cutting-edge gender subversion in the year 2018).
    I haven't seen this film nor any of the GWtDT films, however feminist strides are not only about genre but also about how women are treated within those genres. How their characters are written and how they are referred to. Sometimes it is small.
    Brie Larson on feminism in Captain Marvel. (specifically on having female writers and directors):
    The difference this made wasn't always dramatic—Larson offered, as a hypothetical example, a line of dialogue using "woman" instead of "girl"—but they had a cumulative impact on her. "They're just slight things, and I realized it changed the way I viewed myself," she said.
    Sometimes the genre makes the feminism more significant. The action and super-hero genres have been dominated by repressed adolescent fantasy. Even when they have been the main characters, women have been subjective to that fantasy, little more that tits and arse in spandex.
    Black Widow, the entire female cast of Black Panther, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel not only empower women, but speak to those who are part of the suppression of women, even if only passively.
    So, fuck yes, female action heroes can be cutting edge gender subversion.
  • That defense is probably more applicable to the first film, in which Lisbeth does indeed take on violent misogynists. I think Spider's Web is more just a standard action flick, though, with the partial exception of the stuff about her childhood.

    As for women being subject to "adolescent fantasy", well, it has always stuck in my craw that Stieg Larson pretty clearly wrote himself into the story as one of the "good men"(my term), who doesn't abuse Lisbeth, but couldn't resist the temptation to make the character into her occassional bed partner. (I'm assuming the film follows the novels, which I haven't read, in this regard.) Granted, if most feminists fans of the film don't take issue with that, I'm not really in a position to judge.
  • stetson wrote: »
    That defense is probably more applicable to the first film, in which Lisbeth does indeed take on violent misogynists. I think Spider's Web is more just a standard action flick, though, with the partial exception of the stuff about her childhood.

    As for women being subject to "adolescent fantasy", well, it has always stuck in my craw that Stieg Larson pretty clearly wrote himself into the story as one of the "good men"(my term), who doesn't abuse Lisbeth, but couldn't resist the temptation to make the character into her occassional bed partner. (I'm assuming the film follows the novels, which I haven't read, in this regard.) Granted, if most feminists fans of the film don't take issue with that, I'm not really in a position to judge.
    I haven't seen the films nor read the books. I did read a couple of papers and an interview on them and, IMO, they are a mixed bag. As is feminism, so I can see them being viewed as positive or in my not-having-yet-read-or-watched-them opinion positivish. The main issue being that there are so few popular books, or mainstream films at all, that have feminist characters that a little can be seen as more than it is.

  • My turn for The Death of Stalin.

    Loved it. Dark humour. Black comedy. The absurd yet deadly nature of the USSR under Stalin and after.

    My favourite bits were Jason Isaac's gruff no nonsense Zhukov and the scene where Michael Palin's Molotov is trying to work out the right thing to do during a vote and his to-ing and fro-ing results in voting hands going up and down like yoyos.
  • The Fabulous Baker Boys

    Okay, I know. "What the hell decade are you living in, Stetson? If you're gonna watch something from the 80s, at least make it a classic like The Princess Bride." Well, in answer to that, I don't download, so I buy my movies as they come along.

    I knew almost nothing about this before I watched it, besides that it was about two brothers who are musicians, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it deals with the low-end of the entertainment industry ie. aging piano-players and their hardscrabble chanteuse working dive bars and kitschy hotels in a rendition of backstreets Seattle that doesn't even feel itself obligated to show the Space Needle.
    I especially enjoyed the scene where they play the dreary, depressing telethon, that turns out to be for a dubious cause, with the skeezy host glaringly asking the audience for help in "keeping kids off the street and in the gym where they belong".

    One thing, for anyone whose seen this film. Is it ever explained why Frank is able to afford a house and family in the suburbs, whereas Jack is living in a decrepit walk-up? They were both doing basically the same job, so I'm wondering if Jack was being sizably underpaid for some reason, or was maybe either blowing or hoarding his money?
  • I think you're supposed to infer that Jack is a flakey commitment-phobe chancer against Frank's settled family man. He doesn't want to settle because the brother's piano act isn't really the life he wants.
  • I think you're supposed to infer that Jack is a flakey commitment-phobe chancer against Frank's settled family man. He doesn't want to settle because the brother's piano act isn't really the life he wants.

    Yeah, I realize he's a commitment-phobic eternal bachelor type. But why doesn't he at least spend his money on buying some nice stuff for himself, instead of living in a dump?



  • Cos that's too close to making a commitment/admitting that the apartment is a home? TBF, it's a long time since I've seen the film. I really enjoy the soundtrack.
  • Once Upon a Deadpool
    A "family friendly"* recut of Deadpool 2 with the framing device of a kidnapped Fred Savage being read the story in his The Princess Bride bedroom. And $1 of each ticket sale went to the charity Fuck Cancer. (Temporarily renamed to Fudge Cancer to coincide with this campaign)
    Too late to see it, I'm afraid, Only a one day release in the UK and I think the US week long release is over as well.
    I won't say too much, but I though the frame device was worth the retelling, especially as it was for charity. If a streaming or Disc version is released, and the charity still benefits, and you like Deadpool and Fred Savage, see it.

    *Interesting note: OUaD got its lowered rating in the US, but not the UK. Americans, or her censors at least, think sex and potty mouths are icky, but OTT violence is lovely for the kiddies.
  • My turn for The Death of Stalin.

    Loved it. Dark humour. Black comedy. The absurd yet deadly nature of the USSR under Stalin and after.

    My favourite bits were Jason Isaac's gruff no nonsense Zhukov and the scene where Michael Palin's Molotov is trying to work out the right thing to do during a vote and his to-ing and fro-ing results in voting hands going up and down like yoyos.

    Excellent film. My favourite bit was Steve Buscemi as very frustrated and nervous Khrushchev, something along the lines of "I'm commissar of transportation, and now I'm a fucking funeral director!"
  • Aquaman and Mortal Engines

    Firstly, the second:
    I mean, yeah, its kinda what one would expect. It ain't great and anyone who thought it might be is a fool. The only question is whether or not it would be fun. And it is. For the most part. One should go into it with low expectations as far as plot and writing and originality. But if you like the post apocalyptic genre and the steampunk aesthetic, it is worth a go. It was fairly much what I expected but what I was disappointed in was
    the sexism and racism. Not that it was horrible, just bog standard. Despite their being badass women, it is of course, a man who does the final rescue. Despite the whole plot being kicked off by and following a woman. The minorities, of which one is supremely kickass, are mainly there as background or to die valiantly in furtherance of the white male, I mean plot. And though the white, male protagonist is fairly inept, he still saves the day. I mean, fuck. The tough, balls to the wall heroine suddenly is delicate and frail and unwilling to risk a slightly dangerous jump to freedom whilst facing almost certain death by not jumping. Just to allow the introduction of the token effective minority to, temporarily, save the day. I mean, even forgetting the isms, it was spectacularly lazy writing. Not that this was the only bit of lazy writing, there was loads of that.
    Actually, after writing the spoiler bits, I am not so enthused by what there was. And I really do like Hugo Weaving.

    Secondly, the first:
    Aquaman is like a DC film where they paid attention to what makes Marvel films good. It keeps a DC feel whilst still managing to be good, And James Wan either convinced DC to buy a few lightbulbs or he brought his own, because it is bright and colourful. Without spoiling anything, it takes a different path to DC's other really good film, Wonder Woman. As one reviewer put it, Aquaman had no business being good, but it was. It was
    OTT as fuck, nicely done serious bits and loads of fast and loose action, plot and tons of exposition, but it just works. A few moments were OOTT, like a giant octopus playing war drums. And DC totally stole a couple of steps from Black Panther with a nuanced bad guy. Though Black Manta is not quite as righteously motivated as Erik Killmonger was. And the women were unapologetically badass. Of course Aquaman himself would do the ultimate saving, it is his film, but he would not have got there if it were not for the women. I'm not calling this a feminist film, just that it doesn't fall down on its face like it so easily could have. Going to have to see it again just to ascertain if it met a reasonable bar or I set them too low.
  • A Simple Favor

    Directed by Paul Feig, who helmed the groundbreaking "homance" Bridesmaids, this could probably be considered a hybrid homance-comedy-thriller. The plot revolves around a suburban vlogger who searches for her missing high-society friend.

    I'd like to say it's entertaining, but merely a week away from viewing, I'm finding it a challenge to recall details. I will say that it somewhat falls into artificiality by
    resolving the mystery of a reappearing dead woman by pulling from its sleeve the existence of a previously unknown twin sister. That's pretty much the equivalent of saving the life of the dying child by announcing there was a mix-up in the lab results.
  • The Party (2018, not the 1960s Peter Sellers comedy)

    Acerbic drawing-room farce, probably not as original as it might imagine itself to be. If you've seen The Exterminating Angel, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Don's Party(I think, never saw that one) etc, you know the basic set-up, ie. highbrow social gathering devolves into an orgy of vicious conflict and shocking revelations.

    This time around, the backdrop is left-wing British politics, with the characters each seeming to represent a particular "type" common to that milieu, eg. the careerist politician of dubious principles, the streetfighting anti-parliamentarian, the professional secularist, the New Agey anti-rationalist, the po-mo identity-politics academic etc.

    The opening music, a stylized arrangement of Jerusalem, lays it on a bit thick, much like Bronx-boy Kubrick using Land Of Hope And Glory to announce the presence of an artistocratic cabinet minister in Clockwork Orange.

    I'm still gonna give this a 7/10, because it pretty much succeeds at what it sets out to do, however templated that may be, and left-wing politics is at least as worthy a theme as the trials and tribulations of Aquaman. Also, clocking in at 70 minutes, it laudably resists the temptation to insufferably beat us over the head with its gravitas.

  • Michael Collins (1996)

    Great to see that Hollywood can make a positive portrayal of a real-life Palestinian guerilla, who allies himself wth the mortal enemies of Israel and orders the backstreet killigs of collaborationist civilians, but still manage to portray him as an admirable statesman, even suggesting that he was a moderating influence by the standards of the time.

    Okay, okay. Snark about Hollywood double-standards aside, this was actually pretty good, rising somewhat above the level of the quickie biopic and giving us a nice feel for the time and place. My only real quibble was that they didn't finish the film with a blurb explaining what happened to all the other characters, which would have told us, among other things, that the two warring republican factions are today the most respectable political parties in Ireland.
  • It's A Wonderful Life

    Some Christmas thing from the 1940s. Suicidal guy sees what his life would be like if he had never lived.
    Seriously, though. Am I the only one who noticed that the central dilemna(Uncle Billy loses the money) and the resolution(the whole town agrees to chip in to replace the lost cash) are both pretty much deus ex machina? I also thought it sets up a bit of a strawman, ie. Bailey's idea that his life wasn't worth living, since he WAS, by most standards, a pretty remarkable individual. An unmarried guy with no family who hadn't already given homes to dozens of people and prevented the town from being taken over by a predatory robber-baron would have provided the angel with a more interesting challenge.

    And I could probably make a joke about Potter's alternate-reality Bedford as a giant red-light district being a more interesting place than what Bailey built, but that just wouldn't be in the holiday spirit.

    And yeah, it was my first ever viewing, even though I have actually recommended the film to someone in the past(a Korean who liked Jimmy Stewart's other stuff, but had never heard of this). I'm also guessing that I am one of the few people who has made it to his early 50s without seeing IAWL, while having watched at least one other Capra movie.



  • I have never cared for It's a Wonderful Life. (I realize I'm in a minority.)
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I have never cared for It's a Wonderful Life. (I realize I'm in a minority.)

    The more I think about it, the more it's really just the same motifs and message of A Christmas Carol(spirits showing an alternate reality; capitalism needs to be tempered with humanitarianism), albeit with a different story line, and a postwar American setting.

    I also had kind of an "ick" moment when, upon entering the potterized drinking establishment, the first thing we see is a grinning "negro" piano player, just to make sure we know that the place has truly gone downhill.

    Yes yes, different time and place. But still, for a film to contain that sort of thing and still to this day get hailed as a "family holdiday classic"...

  • Belisarius wrote: »

    Heh. Thanks.

    So, I assume it was Dana Carvey who also played Jimmy Stewart in Ronald Reagan, Mastermind? (I've never followed SNL that closely.)

  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Yes indeed. Also, when Jimmy Stewart's book of poetry came out, they had a skit where Carvey pretended Stewart had written it in a Kerouac-like haze of drugs and sex.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Thanks for the details.

    And speaking of family holiday classics...

    Rated X (2000)

    Stunt-casted TV biopic about the Mitchell Brothers and their San Francisco-based porn empire, during the genre's Golden Age and after.

    With the usual caveat about my being a sucker for period-pieces set in the 1970s and thereabouts, this one is pretty good. Great performances from Estevez and Sheen(the latter being unrecognizable), as well as a straightforward script that neither demonizes nor romanticizes the subject matter, just pulls you along to its awful conclusion(no spoiler alerts: the Mitchells' story is a matter of public record).

    I'll admit to a certain cynicism about how everyone involved in the 1970s porn industry apparently seems to warrant their own movie, but Rated X stands pretty much on its own two feet. It's got a good "you are there" sense to its portrayal of the mileu, better than a similar effort in Lovelace. And it touches on the sometimes incongruous intersection between the scuzzy, dirty-old-man aspects of the porn industry, and the free-wheeling counterculture of the era.

    I'll give it an 8. I'm tempted to go a little higher, but it does get somewhat bogged down in the details of the brothers' drug and party-fueled lifestyle. Though that's arguably an essential component in explaining how it all ended up.
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