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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Johnny Larue wrote:
Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery's third outing as Bond is a classic. Here we find James playing cat and mouse with the mysterious Auric Goldfinger who has a penchant for all that is gold. It is unfair to compare this movie to the recent Daniel Craig adventures since the productions are 5 decades apart and movie going sensibilities have changed much in that time (suffice to say what passed for edge of your seat excitement and adventure in the 60's is pretty tame by today's standards). As far as the plot goes, it's pretty good with a nice twist on the heist aspect, but if there's one thing that disturbs me, it's that the ending resolution treads too close to deus ex machine territory for my tastes.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I mean, really. Pussy has an off screen 11th hours change of heart after months of planning due to a daliance with Bond and calls up the authorities? And then the feds are going to "play dead" and let Goldfinger's men go so far as to blow the gates off of Fort Knox instead of busting them on the highway? I know, I know...it's Bond so it's supposed to be kinda playful, but come on!


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Ah, it's even better than that: In the novel (and a wee bit in the movie as well), there are strong hints that Mme. Galore's sexual orientation is actually, well, you know, not that male-centered. But I don't find it implausible at all that she would change her nature and allegiances due to having Her Majesty's finest having made sweet luurve to her. It's happened again and again, just think of hard-as-nails Soviet agent XXX in 'The Spy who loved me', who had ideological as well as personal revenge motives to kill 007. And all was forgotten in the end when the loving skills of James Bond have turned her into a tame kitten, whose most antagonistic statement to MI6's best-dressed agent was to purr 'Oh, James'.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Johnny Larue wrote:
Iron Sky (2012)

It is 2018 and the Nazis who have been hiding on the dark side of the moon since 1945 have been discovered by an American PR mission to our natural satellite. Part spoof, part satire, part sci-fi action movie, this European production suffers from an identity crisis. Starts promising, but then continually misses target after target. Nifty special effects...but that's about it. 1.5 / 4.0

I did like the scene that parodied Hitler's meltdown in Downfall.

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Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Guess I always just assumed that she came to the conclusion that Auric wasn't a reliable business associate. "He's quite mad you know" plus the extermination of investors; and that the Feds couldn't get their act together quite fast enough on short notice. I never really attributed it to Bond's amazing horizontal love skills.


Unke wrote:
Johnny Larue wrote:
Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery's third outing as Bond is a classic. Here we find James playing cat and mouse with the mysterious Auric Goldfinger who has a penchant for all that is gold. It is unfair to compare this movie to the recent Daniel Craig adventures since the productions are 5 decades apart and movie going sensibilities have changed much in that time (suffice to say what passed for edge of your seat excitement and adventure in the 60's is pretty tame by today's standards). As far as the plot goes, it's pretty good with a nice twist on the heist aspect, but if there's one thing that disturbs me, it's that the ending resolution treads too close to deus ex machine territory for my tastes.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I mean, really. Pussy has an off screen 11th hours change of heart after months of planning due to a daliance with Bond and calls up the authorities? And then the feds are going to "play dead" and let Goldfinger's men go so far as to blow the gates off of Fort Knox instead of busting them on the highway? I know, I know...it's Bond so it's supposed to be kinda playful, but come on!


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Ah, it's even better than that: In the novel (and a wee bit in the movie as well), there are strong hints that Mme. Galore's sexual orientation is actually, well, you know, not that male-centered. But I don't find it implausible at all that she would change her nature and allegiances due to having Her Majesty's finest having made sweet luurve to her. It's happened again and again, just think of hard-as-nails Soviet agent XXX in 'The Spy who loved me', who had ideological as well as personal revenge motives to kill 007. And all was forgotten in the end when the loving skills of James Bond have turned her into a tame kitten, whose most antagonistic statement to MI6's best-dressed agent was to purr 'Oh, James'.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
CasualDad wrote:
plus the extermination of investors


That's a kind way of saying "mob bosses". :)


Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Johnny Larue wrote:
Iron Sky (2012)

It is 2018 and the Nazis who have been hiding on the dark side of the moon since 1945 have been discovered by an American PR mission to our natural satellite. Part spoof, part satire, part sci-fi action movie, this European production suffers from an identity crisis. Starts promising, but then continually misses target after target. Nifty special effects...but that's about it. 1.5 / 4.0

I did like the scene that parodied Hitler's meltdown in Downfall.


Yes...that was one bright spot in an otherwise muddled affair.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:36 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Bond's sexual history has become so cartoonish that there's probably some kind of unspoken superpowers involved. But it is an interesting observation that the outcome of Goldfinger hinges upon a chance collision between the rule of story logic and the much looser rule of funny. I'd never thought about it before.

How many times has the Bond franchise used the license granted by the more gag-driven elements of the character to skate around questionable issues regarding the plot?

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Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
To be sure, Bond has swayed his share of the ladies. In some cases the Bond girl is merely an observer (Dr. No), sometimes she's an ally (Quantum of Solace), in others an underling of the bad guy who is otherwise clueless as to the masterplan and has a change of heart upon learning the whole story (Moonraker), but I can't think of too many who were in as deep and as aware of the overall gambit as Pussy Galore was.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I guess you could make an argument that she thought the cannisters attached to the planes were non-lethal but changed her mind when she found out during pillow talk that she was about to comit mass murder, but she seemed a pretty ruthless bitch before then, so I'm guessing she knew what she was doing all along.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Bond's sexual history has become so cartoonish that there's probably some kind of unspoken superpowers involved. But it is an interesting observation that the outcome of Goldfinger hinges upon a chance collision between the rule of story logic and the much looser rule of funny. I'd never thought about it before.

How many times has the Bond franchise used the license granted by the more gag-driven elements of the character to skate around questionable issues regarding the plot?

Connery himself didn't like how the fate of the world rested upon Bond bedding one particular woman.


Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
TRANCE

Movie review: This film is an object lesson in how fine the line is between rewarding and frustrating. It plays similar mind games as movies like Memento and Fight Club, but whereas those movies confused me only to the degree that I still kept faith that it would lead to something worthwhile, Trance crosses the line. It goes just a bit too far, to the point where I was distanced from the material and didn't really care once it all became retroactively clear.

Rosario Dawson review: 10/10, fantastic nudity, would peep again.

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Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:30 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Oblivion (2013) (MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUND!!!)

I hate, hate, hate it when a film screws up this badly after setting up a very interesting premise.

Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria Olsen (Andrea Riseborough) are apparently the last two people on a post-apocalyptic Earth which has been destroyed by war with a race of aliens known as the Scavengers. Their memories have been wiped out for their own protection, and their job is to make sure the huge contraptions sucking our oceans dry are protected from the scavengers by robotic drones. Once their job is done, they'll be able to join the rest of the humans on one of Saturn's moons. But Jack is unsure of himself. He keeps having dreams of his life before the memory wipe and of his relationship with a woman.

Oblivion does a great job of setting up the plot in these initial sequences. We know something's amiss, and we're led to believe that the scavengers are not all they seem. We're in Jack's mind, see what he sees, and believe everything he does. This makes the plot twist which comes right in the middle of the film very effective. However, once the twist occurs, the film stops being about the alien machine and ends up focusing too much unwarranted attention on Jack and Julia's (Olga Kurylenko) romance.

There is also an unnecessarily long battle sequence featuring three drones where the conclusion, and which characters survive the battle, is predetermined. There is no need for this sequence to take up so much running time. And there is absolutely no build up towards the climax, as a result of which the payoff that should've been emotionally satisfying feels relatively muted. I was asking, "Is that it?" when it was all over.

Plus, there are a myriad of unanswered questions and plot holes in the film, obviously a result of what seems like numerous rewrites of the script:

  • The Tet seems to be only a single sentient machine which used an army of clones and drones to defeat the humans. I would've liked to know more about its motives and whether there was a race of organic aliens behind this machine. What motive does it have to destroy an entire planet? It sure as hell isn't going to use all the ocean water for itself.
  • When Jack goes to repair a drone, he finds himself lost in derelict building surrounded by scavengers until a live drone comes to kill all of them. It is later revealed that there are no scavengers and that they're all humans. So were all those people killed by the drone human beings. And why did all of them have orange lights on their heads?
  • In the climax, why would such an intelligent machine let itself be blown apart by simple diversion tactics? (Lifted straight out of Independence Day.) It seems like a funny climax as Jack keeps talking and reciting some lines from a poem before detonating the nuclear device, all the while there are two live drones just standing there and watching him, never blowing him to smithereens. What the fuck??!?!?!

Having said that, the revelation of the original space mission from the flight's recorder which Jack listens to towards the end was great. It was a really poignant sequence and goes a long way to explaining certain things. It also creates a lot of intrigue about the sentient machine as well, which never pays off.

The biggest perk of watching this film is getting to see Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko on screen for much of its running time. Alas! such are the small perks of watching an infuriating film like Oblivion.

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Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:54 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Johnny Larue wrote:
CasualDad wrote:
plus the extermination of investors


That's a kind way of saying "mob bosses". :)


True, but from her perspective they were business partners. I don't know if she (can't remember after all these years) had knowledge of how the "board meeting" ended, but I assumed she did and turned in order to save her own skin. Earlier quotes from Bond that I do remember, although probably not verbatim, led me in that direction of thought. "He (Oddjob) kills little girls" and "He's (Auric) quite mad you know", set thoses thoughts into her mind and the subsequent actions to other partners in crime may have confirmed it. The movie does make it appear that Bond banged the evil out of her though, and perhaps that is what really happened.


Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:40 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
TRANCE

Movie review: This film is an object lesson in how fine the line is between rewarding and frustrating. It plays similar mind games as movies like Memento and Fight Club, but whereas those movies confused me only to the degree that I still kept faith that it would lead to something worthwhile, Trance crosses the line. It goes just a bit too far, to the point where I was distanced from the material and didn't really care once it all became retroactively clear.

Rosario Dawson review: 10/10, fantastic nudity, would peep again.



Please eloborate.

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Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:04 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Imposter might make a point about the tenuous nature of truth that many other documentaries have made, but it's one that's compelling to watch every single time. It's a movie about how far people are willing to go to convince themselves of something, we just aren't ever sure exactly what it is they're convincing themselves of. Or even who is doing the convincing. It's like Caputring the Friedmans but with a story so outlandish and absurd, you'd think it should be a comedy starring Robin Williams dressing up like an elderly woman. A movie that's all kinds of fantastic and something you should go see immediately.

Ruby Sparks is the cinematic offspring of Woody Allen and Nora Ephron. That's not really true, I just thought it sounded cool. It is a lot like a Woody Allen film (the brilliant Deconstructing Harry to be precise). It's not terribly like a Nora Ephron film, but I couldn't think of any other famous rom-com writers.

Anyway, it's another excellent movie that delves into various moral and philosophical issues, as well as the creative process (I hate that term, btw), while still investing itself in character and the central relationship. The ending is a but too cutesy for my taste, but that's easily forgiven for how fearlessly the film sees its premise through (before said cutesy ending, of course). It's a really tough movie to pull off well. The balancing act between the ideas the film is concerned with and the characters/narrative, along with the separate balancing act of constantly changing tones is very rarely done well. The end product is something that's equal parts funny, sad, insightful, smart, dark, and uplifting. A really good film that will make you think and feel in a myriad of different ways.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
Ken wrote:
TRANCE

Movie review: This film is an object lesson in how fine the line is between rewarding and frustrating. It plays similar mind games as movies like Memento and Fight Club, but whereas those movies confused me only to the degree that I still kept faith that it would lead to something worthwhile, Trance crosses the line. It goes just a bit too far, to the point where I was distanced from the material and didn't really care once it all became retroactively clear.

Rosario Dawson review: 10/10, fantastic nudity, would peep again.



Please eloborate.

I will commence by saying that she's already a beautiful woman in the first place and that there is plenty to appreciate about her even with clothes on.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
That said, there is a subplot that occurs in the middle of the movie that involves a series of sexual situations. At first, it appears as though it's all going to be "movie nudity"--in other words, the placement of the objects in the room and the blocking of the actors is such that nothing too scandalous is glanced upon. It's all very PG-13 as far as nudity goes. It happens more than enough that it just seems like it's going to be that kind of movie.

Then KABLAM. Out of nowhere, full frontal, camera tilting from toes up to head, Rosario Dawson. And not a blade of grass on the field.

I don't think I've ever seen that in a mainstream feature before--not just the insouciant display of a woman's hairless pubis, but the treatment of a nude shot as a carefully prepared setpiece rather than a contrived pseudo-tossaway moment.


It's kind of like that part in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony when, after all the development and permutations occur, the Ode To Joy finally explodes into full choral, full orchestral glory.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:03 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Anna Karenina (1935) This is the Greta Garbo version of the oft-filmed tragic tale of a woman who leaves her husband and child for a dashing officer, then loses him, and finally meets a train although she doesn't have a ticket.

Garbo's fine, although she doesn't seem fragile enough. Basil Rathbone's even better as her husband, who becomes ever more cold and self-righteous as jealousy allows him to use society's codes to get back at Anna. However, Frederic March is totally inadequate for his part (Vronsky); he's simply not exciting enough to be the man for whom Anna ruins her life. John Gilbert played the part in the silent and I wish he'd gotten to play it in this one (although they'd have to have filmed it a year or two earlier, since Gilbert was out of films by 1935.) Hell, maybe March and Rathbone should have switched roles.

I hadn't seen any versions of the story or read the book, but it struck me how many of the important scenes in the movie take place involve trains. Not just the final scene and the one before it, but also Anna's first two meetings with Vronsky.

Other stars in the film are Freddie Bartholomew as Anna's son (Garbo and Bartholomew are quite good together), May Robson as Vronsky's mother, Maureen O'Sullivan as Kitty (another woman after Vronsky) and Reginald Denny as Vronsky's fellow officer. (6.5 of 10)

I also have Camille on disk, so I'll be reporting on that in the next few days. My favorite Garbos are Queen Christina and Ninotchka, but, in truth, I haven't seen that many.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:43 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Elevator To The Gallows

Few first features are as assured as Louis Malle's first film. A man commits a murder, gets stuck in an elevator, and winds up a suspect in a series of murders he didn't commit. This is pretty simple plot-wise, but it's got a lot of style to spare, plus a fantastic score by none other than the legendary Miles Davis. I'd recommend this movie just on the music alone, but it's also really damn good.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Elevator To The Gallows

Few first features are as assured as Louis Malle's first film. A man commits a murder, gets stuck in an elevator, and winds up a suspect in a series of murders he didn't commit. This is pretty simple plot-wise, but it's got a lot of style to spare, plus a fantastic score by none other than the legendary Miles Davis. I'd recommend this movie just on the music alone, but it's also really damn good.


Oh I'm a big fan. Louis Malle is still underrated and this one's a darn fine film.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
42

This movie has a big heart and at times crafts an impressive image, but it approaches its subject matter with a very heavy hand and there is seldom a sense that the character has any problems that aren't imposed upon him by the outside world. The film alleges at the beginning that Jackie Robinson has a bad temper, and the best scene in the movie is the one when it finally remembers to make good on that allegation.

One thing that troubled me was the manner in which the racism was presented. The good characters are either progressive or a little racist, to the point where the racism seems like it might wash off with a little soap. The only really racist characters are presented as one-dimensional villains... yet racism was a real thing, and many otherwise good people--including, presumably, the ones cast as villains in this film--were the type to goad Jackie Robinson into a fight or bully him off the field. The movie flat-out bungled this element.

There are a few subplots here and there that never amount to much. Robinson's career leading to his inclusion into Major League Baseball, and the obstacles to that inclusion, are the meat of the movie. That's interesting enough.

As a bonus, this is the first time in a long time that Harrison Ford has approached a role with something more than the curmudgeonly resignation that he's infused most of his roles with since the 1990s.

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Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
It pulls on the heartstrings pretty hard, but I really like Camille, and Garbo really is that good. I found it really believable that Armand (a painfully young Robert Taylor) could fall for Marguerite and vice versa. The supporting cast is generally superb, although the big scene with Armand's father (Lionel Barrymore) was off somehow.

I like Garbo best when she's happy, or at least when her characters are acting happy, and she is a lot here. I especially like the interlude on the farm where she's recuperating, and the farm girl* comes back to the surface, but then there are the city scenes with the somewhat ironically named Prudence, and Olympe and Gaston and the Paris nightclubs and gambling clubs. Directed by George Cukor and it's one of his best films. The film's yanking tears pretty hard toward the end, but hell, it's earned it. (9 of 10)

*She was a country girl who changed her name and style when she became the courtesan Marguerite Gautier, la Dame aux camélias and started spending money like there was no tomorrow, because alas.

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:33 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rewatched The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters last night. Really, really good documentary. Grade: A-

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