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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Europa Report (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2051879/
As a fan of science fiction, I sought this out based on a thread topic from mrguinness. This is an excellent "hard sci-fi" story about a group of astronauts who attempt to explore Jupiter's 6th Moon (and 4th largest) Europa - an ice world that Nasa believes has liquid water below the surface and the tantalising real possibility of extra-terrestrial life that that brings. This film feels genuinely realistic - there is no technology on display that we don't already have today. Europa Report is definitely not an action film (like Danny Boyle's Sunshine devolves into), and there are no villains. Rather the tension arises in an Apollo 13 fashion - in this case from mishaps caused by the hostile unforgiving environment of both space and the Europa surface (there is one other major plot element, but I won't spoil it). In both tone and execution Europa Report reminded me of Stephen Baxter's novel "Titan". The acting, directing and screenplay are of high quality, and it's obvious that scientists were consulted (and listened to), because the whole thing seems very believable - no laws of nature are broken. Highly recommended, and a must see for lovers of hard science fiction.
9/10.


Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Circus is probably the least well-known of Chaplin's silent features. It's not as good as Modern Times, The Gold Rush and City Lights, but few films are. I do like it better than The Great Dictator and much better than The Kid. The film has a soundtrack composed by Chaplin in the 60s, and he sings a song over the opening credits.

The Little Tramp here chances into a job as a circus performer, the joke being that he's only really funny when he's not trying to be funny. He befriends the ringmaster's mistreated stepdaughter. Among other things, the ringmaster starves her when she performs badly, and also beats her until the Tramp steps in. Since the circus is failing, they really need the Tramp, so for once he has some pull.

There are some really great scenes here, such as a chase through a mirror maze, Chaplin pretending to be an automaton, Chaplin in a lion cage with a real lion (which has impressive fangs), and best of all, Chaplin on a tightrope with monkeys swarming over him and no apparent net. I'm sure there's some fancy camerawork and matte work going on, but Chaplin really did learn to walk a tightrope for this sequence, and, being Chaplin, did it in a couple of hundred tapes. There's also a poignant ending. Several of them, actually.

This was originally nominated for Picture, Director (Comedy--there were two direction categories that year), Actor and Screenplay, but it was taken out of the competitive categories and Chaplin given a special award. Looking at the list of winners, I have to think Chaplin stood a good chance at Actor and Screenplay, and almost certainly would have won director. (7.5 of 10)

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Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:21 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
That makes me wonder. The Circus is by no means an obscure film, is shown on TCM reasonably often, and is available for streaming on Huluplus.

But a while back I decided to see as many of the first nominees for Academy Awards that I could. Some of these--(Wings, Sunrise, The Last Command, The Circus, even 7th Heaven) aren't that difficult to find. Emil Janning, who won the first best actor award for The Last Command, also won for The Way of All Flesh, which is a lost film, so I've never seen it.

Janet Gaynor won a richly deserved Best Actress award for 7th Heaven, Sunrise and Street Angel, and I've seen all three. In terms of quality of film, it's obviously Sunrise>7th Heaven>Street Angel. In terms of Janet Gaynor performances, it's Street Angel>7th Heaven>Sunrise. But how many people have even seen Street Angel? I got it through an obsolete web site that since has folded.

Is there a point of reviewing Street Angel, even though it's worth seeing, when it's almost impossible to find?

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Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:03 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Is there a point of reviewing Street Angel, even though it's worth seeing, when it's almost impossible to find?

While I don't condone piracy whatsoever, a quick Google search reveals it can readily be found on torrent networks. Is a 1928 film still under copyright in any case?


Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:57 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
nitrium wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
Is there a point of reviewing Street Angel, even though it's worth seeing, when it's almost impossible to find?

While I don't condone piracy whatsoever, a quick Google search reveals it can readily be found on torrent networks. Is a 1928 film still under copyright in any case?


Nope, it's public domain. The now-defunct web site specialized in movies for which the copyright had expired.

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Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
nitrium wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
Is there a point of reviewing Street Angel, even though it's worth seeing, when it's almost impossible to find?

While I don't condone piracy whatsoever, a quick Google search reveals it can readily be found on torrent networks. Is a 1928 film still under copyright in any case?


Nope, it's public domain. The now-defunct web site specialized in movies for which the copyright had expired.

Well in that case, for those interested here's a link I found:
http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/8101817/ ... ngel_(1928)
Get it while you can.


Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Isn't it against the site rules to post links to torrents?


Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:18 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Isn't it against the site rules to post links to torrents?


Not all torrents have illegal things in them


Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Isn't it against the site rules to post links to torrents?

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10
I don't see anything there that prohibits linking to a legal file - assuming it is indeed in the public domain. I can't find a link to Reelviews' "Terms and Conditions" anywhere (maybe I'm blind). In any case if that link does indeed breach the rules, I'll obviously remove it immediately (or a moderator can simply nuke the post). I posted the link only because Syd Henderson stated the film was almost impossible to locate anywhere and was in the public domain. A greater travesty imo would be if films such as these are effectively lost, never to be seen again, simply because money can no longer be made from them. Some definitive clarity regarding posting of links to torrents/files of films that are in the public domain would be useful.


Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:40 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm a librarian, and I have some knowledge of copyright law. If a film is PD, you can do pretty much whatever with it; you can make your own copies, sell your own copies, trade it over the internet, use clips from it freely, pretty much anything. Public domain basically removes all copyright restrictions.

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Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
L'Atalante is one of those films that does well in the Sight & Sound polls, which mystifies me since the story is pretty lightweight. It does have innovative camerawork that is very influential, and fine performances by Dita Parlo and Michel Simon (famous for playing Boudu in Boudu Saved from Drowning, which I don't like, but I do like him here). Parlo is a country girl who marries the staid captain (Jean Dasté) of a canal barge, and their lifestyles don't fit, and the captain has a nasty streak of jealousy. The basic plot is boy gets girl, boy loses girl, Michel Simon brings girl back.

Director Jean Vigo died at the age of 29 a few months after completing the film, but the version we have isn't complete. The film was widely panned at the time. (If I understand correctly, Simon goes looking for the girl in Le Havre and finds her, although as near as I can tell, she's still in Paris.) Frankly, a story of the making of this film would be more interesting than the film itself. The film is still pleasant to watch, but its masterpiece standing eludes me.

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Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:38 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
L'Atalante is one of those films that does well in the Sight & Sound polls, which mystifies me since the story is pretty lightweight. It does have innovative camerawork that is very influential, and fine performances by Dita Parlo and Michel Simon (famous for playing Boudu in Boudu Saved from Drowning, which I don't like, but I do like him here). Parlo is a country girl who marries the staid captain (Jean Dasté) of a canal barge, and their lifestyles don't fit, and the captain has a nasty streak of jealousy. The basic plot is boy gets girl, boy loses girl, Michel Simon brings girl back.

Director Jean Vigo died at the age of 29 a few months after completing the film, but the version we have isn't complete. The film was widely panned at the time. (If I understand correctly, Simon goes looking for the girl in Le Havre and finds her, although as near as I can tell, she's still in Paris.) Frankly, a story of the making of this film would be more interesting than the film itself. The film is still pleasant to watch, but its masterpiece standing eludes me.


Interesting write up. After reading this I might be able to avoid forever confusing it with Les Enfants du Paradis, which I have a constant problem with.

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Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:01 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)

A body-switching romantic comedy starring Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, and Sydney Walker. I was a bit turned off by the weird pacing, dialogues, and character beats in the beginning, but not long I came to appreciate the brisk and dreamy nature of the narrative. The story still felt too thin when all was said and done, but with its drifting pacing and light charactes, I was able to view it more as a simple, charming fable. The ending even felt like a classic Disney, especially Beauty and the Beast. All the leads are charming and well-acted, but Sydney Walker is especially great and poignant. 7.5/10

Oblivion

A movie that felt weirdly overstuffed and slow-paced at the same time. It really could benefit more from a bit of tightening. That said, all the three leads did good job, and as the romance developed, so did the movie's momentum, culminating in a pretty satisfying last one-third. The themes are very strong too, albeit almost echoing two well-known, better sci-fi films too closely for me:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Moon and Sunshine (the latter for the ending).
8/10

Mama

Not surprised to learn that it's based on a short, because the middle section was repetitive and meandering. But it has a very solid emotional undercurrent, helped by good actings from Chastain and the kids. And when it set to horror imagery it was creepy. Some complained that it showed "Mama" too much, and I agreed to an extent, but she was so otherworldly for me that it's not a problem, and the sequence at Chastain's house near the end, when all hell breaks loose is pretty great. The last scene however almost ruined it with the full-blown fantasy that doesn't gel with the whole movie. 7/10 (btw, between this and Oblivion, Jaime Lannister is getting a lot of roles)

Fast & Furious 6

Slighly disappointed that it's not as good as Fast 5, due to the more scattershot and generic plot that shouldn't have taken over 2 hours, and to less good character beats. Fast 5's focus and characters feel sharper, which helps building its momentum to the end, whereas this one comes alive in fits and starts, especially in the first half. On the plus side, it has even better action than the previous one, which I didn't think is possible. The fight scenes are energetic and more varied, but the two big scenes are outstanding: the bridge scene and the airport runway. Sure, the movie doesn't follow earth's gravity, but it still follows a certain Road Runner cartoon logic that it sets out, and when the movie goes really over the top, it knows itself enough to semi-wink at the audience. And that credit scene at the end is the best one yet, promising even better things to come. 7.5/10


Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:40 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The House of the Devil

A college student takes a babysitting job and then learns she's signed up for a lot more than what she bargained for. The House of the Devil has a pretty basic setup, but director Ti West makes a lot of it. Drawing on the 1970s and 1980s for inspiration, this film has the look, tone, and eerie atmosphere of films from that era like The Omen and The Amityville Horror.

So why can't I give this a full-bodied recommendation? The main problem with this film is that it's all setup with a very short payoff. I felt like too much was left unanswered. I admire what West tried to do, and taking influence from Rosemary's Baby is never a bad thing, but this is one of those films that could have been a bit more.

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Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:35 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Oblivion
A movie that felt weirdly overstuffed and slow-paced at the same time. It really could benefit more from a bit of tightening. That said, all the three leads did good job, and as the romance developed, so did the movie's momentum, culminating in a pretty satisfying last one-third. The themes are very strong too, albeit almost echoing two well-known, better sci-fi films too closely for me:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Moon and Sunshine (the latter for the ending).
8/10

My biggest issue with Oblivion is:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the alien Tet intelligence has the incredible resources needed to clone 1000's of Tom Cruises IN SPACE in order to repair drones ON EARTH, but somehow can't just make new drones (i.e. even though the Tet has all of Earth's resources at its disposal to create as many drones as it could ever need, it makes Tom Cruises in space instead - that makes no sense whatsoever to me


Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Chinatown

I hadn't seen this in a long time, so I watched it last night. Just as good as ever; if you haven't seen this you should. Suffice to say it is one of the greatest American films ever made.

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Chinatown

I hadn't seen this in a long time, so I watched it last night. Just as good as ever; if you haven't seen this you should. Suffice to say it is one of the greatest American films ever made.


+1 my friend. +1

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Chinatown

I hadn't seen this in a long time, so I watched it last night. Just as good as ever; if you haven't seen this you should. Suffice to say it is one of the greatest American films ever made.


One of my favorites. Jack Nicholson is great in a subtle performance, unlike the ones he's gotten used to now; and John Huston is one of the most despicably disgusting antagonists on film.

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:12 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Recent watches...

Deadfall Little known film about a pair of sibling thieves (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) trying to reach the Canadian border after a heist. They end up separated with Bana fending off state troopers and local police and her sister pairing up with an ex-boxer that just got out of jail who might drive her to their destiny. Not a masterpiece, but still pretty solid. Some clichéd and forced turns here and there, but still an enjoyable watch. It also features some good supporting roles from Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek, Treat Williams, and Kate Mara. Grade: B or B-

Left to Die An interesting story that perhaps deserved a better treatment. The film follows the arrest of American Sandra Chase (Barbara Hershey) in an airport in Ecuador for allegedly drug-smuggling. She is thrown into a filthy prison to wait for trial, while her daughter (Rachel Leigh Cook) struggles to help her from the States. Although the real life events are interesting enough, the quality of the film falls mostly on the cheap side, with some bad performances, predictable plot, clichés, and really, everything that we've already seen on any other film about someone imprisoned on a foreign country. Grade: C

Star Trek (2009) Pretty good action/sci-fi film. For someone who isn't that familiar with the franchise and that hasn't seen any of the past films, I enjoyed it a lot. Good performances, particularly from Kirk and Spock. I also enjoyed the banter between Kirk and McCoy in the first half. Some good action sequences, great direction, and the film really went like a breeze. Liked it a lot. Grade: A-

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hulk Ang Lee version

After having recently watched Superman Returns, all I'm going to say is that I really, reallly wish that comic book fans would stop reacting so negatively to thoughtful, character driven super hero tales and going gaga over mediocre action driven crap like the Avengers. Actually, I don't think Avengers was that bad, but I would gladly trade a dozen movies like the Avengers for something as half as thoughtful and well made as Hulk or Superman Returns.

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