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What Is The Last Film You Watched? (Older Films)


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I think that's a very good call.

DreamTheater, curious what you think about my thoughts on the film.

Pretty much the same things I mentioned. You either dig De Palma's style or not.

For the same reasons that Mission to Mars is primarily regarded as horrible. Sure it's flawed, but it's also severely underrated and visually breathtaking.

With the music I had a strong Jon Brion vibe (Magnolia), but only the beginning, after that the sad strings took over and it kept my attention throughout.

With the man it's style over substance, but his style is just brilliant (if you dig that sort of thing). Carlito's Way being my favourite.

Just saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it's a good sequel. Much better than the one for Thor or The Amazing Spider-Man. Action was very tightly edited but not Bay-style overdone. Some nice surprises and totally fun action sequences, and the Stan Lee cameo was hilarious. The Hayley Atwell sequence simply didn't work (because of a similar problem as with Prometheus). You'll know what I mean when you see the film. Makes me wonder why they didn't just cut it, because it adds nothing to the storyline.

Jackman's score is serviceable and and mostly drowned out by sound effects. But I don't think I was missing much standout moments here. The moments I did hear aren't horrible, but forgettable all the same.

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With the music I had a strong Jon Brion vibe (Magnolia), but only the beginning, after that the sad strings took over and it kept my attention throughout.

If you like the "sad strings", you should listen to Dressed to Kill.

With the man it's style over substance, but his style is just brilliant (if you dig that sort of thing). Carlito's Way being my favourite.

I keep putting it this way: De Palma's substance is his style. In many (not all*) cases, the plot can be thin at times, but it's usually sufficient to carry what De Palma makes of it.

*) Carlito's Way is an example where the source material is first rate, and the result may indeed be his best film. Casualties of War is another case (this was supposed to come out on Blu this fall, but now I can't find any info on it anymore?)

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ALIENS

The first 15 to 20 minutes are quality, but once the marines are introduced, the film takes a nosedive into an abyss (get it?) of walking cardboard cutouts (am I only the only who roots for the xenos when they massacre the marines in the cooling tower?), dated special fx (there's some awful optical printing and back projection - plus the laughable APC model looks like something out of THUNDERBIRDS), bland dialogue, military hardware porn, bland high-key cinematography (never been a fan of Adrian Biddle), and as the icing on the cake: James Horner's rushed, bludgeoning, autopilot score. Should have gone with Brad Fiedel.

Paul Reiser was miscast. They film needed an actor with more bite and wit. Someone like Charles Grodin, Dan Akryod or Earl Boen.

The strongest points are the editing, the relationship between Ripply and Newt (the only other human character in the film), the facehugger setpiece, and the finale with the queen.

**/*****

:down:

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I agree with a lot of your points Sharky, especially about the cardboard characters. Never understood why it was considered such a beloved film.

It does have some strong action setpieces though, and Horner's score does service it well (despite the rehash it is). But it lacks everything that made the original Alien so great. It Hollywood-ized the concept, and not in a way I found particularly entertaining.

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I agree with a lot of your points Sharky, especially about the cardboard characters. Never understood why it was considered such a beloved film.

It does have some strong action setpieces though, and Horner's score does service it well (despite the rehash it is). But it lacks everything that made the original Alien so great. It Hollywood-ized the concept, and not in a way I found particularly entertaining.

GAME OVER MAN!

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The Thin Red Line

I'd like to know more about Terrence Malick. I feel like I've really missed out on something by not happening to know him personally.

?

But it lacks everything that made the original Alien so great. It Hollywood-ized the concept, and not in a way I found particularly entertaining.

Yes, it's more of a thrilling action ride which makes it more akin to the typical blockbuster movie. Even though Aliens was very different to the first film, I thought it worked very well back in 1986. It was still fun in the '90s but the once so exciting 'ride' (the film's best card) is getting long in the tooth.

About the characters and their so-called cardboardness, Cameron didn't want to repeat things, and so instead of normal people, we get to see testosterone-packed macho 'gung ho' marines. For the work they are doing, you need to switch off your emotions. To them, displaying a sensitive personality that is made of flesh and blood is a weakness. They are war machines. To be honest, compared to the Avatar soldiers, they are still very human. Remember, at first they were "oh yeah, let's kick some ass" but not much later they all peed their pants. In 1986, the POV from a bunch of 'mercenaries' in space was kind of new too.

Alex

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ALIENS

The first 15 to 20 minutes are quality, but once the marines are introduced, the film takes a nosedive into an abyss (get it?) of walking cardboard cutouts (am I only the only who roots for the xenos when they massacre the marines in the cooling tower?), dated special fx (there's some awful optical printing and back projection - plus the laughable APC model looks like something out of THUNDERBIRDS), bland dialogue, military hardware porn, bland high-key cinematography (never been a fan of Adrian Biddle), and as the icing on the cake: James Horner's rushed, bludgeoning, autopilot score. Should have gone with Brad Fiedel.

Paul Reiser was miscast. They film needed an actor with more bite and wit. Someone like Charles Grodin, Dan Akryod or Earl Boen.

The strongest points are the editing, the relationship between Ripply and Newt (the only other human character in the film), the facehugger setpiece, and the finale with the queen.

**/*****

:down:

You just posted that my favourite ever film sucks... Bad form !!!!!! :(

Dated FX ? It was made mid 80s, it has that vintage 80s FX look. I love it. The Alien queen is my favourite animatronic puppet. A genius Stan Winston creation.

The marines are cardboard cutouts ? Most definitely not. Hudson is 200 % awesomeness... so is Vasquez... Hicks gets his moments to shine. Bishop knows when to make his mark. Even Gorman, I have to feel for at some point. The Ripley-Newt dynamic is excellent. Real character development here.

Horner's score rushed ? This is the second best rush-job I've ever heard (Lost in Space is my fave). It's the score that turned me into the score-nut I'm today. Horner blew me away with his action motifs and super exciting finale and that score still rocks my world today.

The film was awesome in the day... it has only improved with age, especially when I compare it to all these soulless action extravaganza's I've watched in recent years. Cameron never ignored the character side in his films and that's why his films are (remain) great.

Aliens gets 8 out of 5. :D

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The Thin Red Line

I'd like to know more about Terrence Malick. I feel like I've really missed out on something by not happening to know him personally.

This is one of my favourite films!

Saw it recently again, for the first time on Bluray.

Have you seen other Mallick films?

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The film is supposed to be a dumb actioner. I don't think the movie claimsit pretends to be anything else than that. Why do people expect more than just cardboard characters in a dumb actioner? You're supposed to expect great action, and that's exactly what you get with Aliens. It's a well-made dumb actioner.

Completely disagree. Just the technical expertise on show alone tells me it's anything but "dumb". Cameron showcased a masterclass in visceral action horror. To me, his precision when amping up the tension and raising the stakes is astounding. The craftsmanship of Aliens far, far outclasses that of modern action blockbusters such as The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Hobbits. I think they're the dumb you're looking for.

This is as clear case as ever of the youngster's on the board distinguishing themselves from the older guys.

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Bishop is just a likable robot. He's Data. The only interesting character moment in Aliens is the commander who lost it in a panic situation. That was unexpected and shows how easily it would be for the group to fall apart. Luckily for them, they got Ripley, a woman to lead the crying macho men through hell.

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You misunderstood what I meant by dumb actioner. I was referring to the story and characters (minus Ripley and Newt). That is what I used the word "dumb" for. Let's not pretend the characters are well-developed or that the story is profound or anything. At the end of the day, the movie is a shoot-them-up, nothing more. But that's not to say that the tension or atmosphere are lacking. Cameron is a great action director, I wouldn't argue with that. That's why I said "a well-made dumb actioner".

Sorry Blood, I still disagree. I think partly because I don't necessarily consider a lack of character/ensemble development to automatically equate to "dumb" characterisation or writing. I'd challenge you on the latter anyway.

But Cameron's band of soldiers were clearly designed to be a gung ho possy of out of their depth fools, so their characterisation is true in that regard. I mean, were you expecting The Thin Red Line in space instead?

Perhaps you've been spoiled by Jacko's idea of character 'depth' by way of superfluous subplotting and shovelled on exposition?

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But Cameron's band of soldiers were clearly designed to be a gung ho possy of out of their depth fools, so their characterisation is true in that regard. I mean, were you expecting The Thin Red Line in space instead?

No. As I said, I never expected that, since the movie never pretends to be that anyway, and that's why I'm perfectly fine with it. You should rather ask that question to Sharky.

Perhaps you've been spoiled by Jacko's idea of character 'depth' by way of superfluous subplotting and shovelled on exposition?

I'm sorry, what?

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Dated FX ? It was made mid 80s, it has that vintage 80s FX look. I love it. The Alien queen is my favourite animatronic puppet. A genius Stan Winston creation.

No question about the alien queen or face huggers, but don't you agree that the drop ship and APC shots look dodgy? I wasn't measuring the FX by today's standards, but comparing them to films at the time. Also, the alien 'hive' in the complex looks nowhere near as threatening as the interior of the derelict in ALIEN. Overlit and poorly shot - looks like Santa's grotto. Same for the (non-rainy) exterior scenes, you can tell it's just a set.

The marines are cardboard cutouts ? Most definitely not. Hudson is 200 % awesomeness... so is Vasquez... Hicks gets his moments to shine. Bishop knows when to make his mark. Even Gorman, I have to feel for at some point. The Ripley-Newt dynamic is excellent. Real character development here.

Gorman is the only remotely interesting marine for the reasons Alex stated. He was the one who should've made it to the end, not Hicks. Vasquez is the stereotypical mestiza bull-dyke, Hudson is the redneck comic relief, Bishop is the friendly robot, Burke is the two-faced yuppie, and so on. if they're not stereotypes, they're archetypes.

Horner's score rushed ? This is the second best rush-job I've ever heard (Lost in Space is my fave). It's the score that turned me into the score-nut I'm today. Horner blew me away with his action motifs and super exciting finale and that score still rocks my world today.

Compare to Goldsmith's score, it just sounds small, cheap and half-arsed. Like a 40 piece orchestra. The avant-garde and electronic stuff is alright, but the theme that sounds like it's from a 50s sci-fi B movie (the WOLFEN one, with the low brass in octaves) is just cringe-worthy, as is the militaristic snare drum and anvil material.

Perhaps you've been spoiled by Jacko's idea of character 'depth' by way of superfluous subplotting and shovelled on exposition?

No, just prefer a sharper screenplay and more naturalistic dialogue.

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I watched The Da Vinci Code and either I'm delerious or, you know, it's not that bad.

Howard is a much better storyteller than Brown. As such, the movie is much better than the book, which has an interesting story but is so poorly written and structured that I didn't have any hope for it.

In the end, the movie ends up being a passable thriller and mildly entertaining.

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A Bridge Too Far

both through the coming 70th anniversary of the actual event and with Lord Attenborough's passing comes the seemingly annual viewing of this, an epic in the old sense. Recently debated by such luminaries as Dan Snow and Al Murray as perhaps the greatest British war film, it remains a classic in this reporters book.
The key roles for me remain Sean Connery, Hardy Kruger, Anthony Hopkins and Gene Hackman. Connery gets to play someone for whom his accent doesn't matter or would be noticed (Untouchables, Red October etc), Major General Roy Urquhart. Urquhart seemed pleased with the job Connery did remarking on his build (Urquhart was no shorty put it one way) and indeed, to me, Connery was quite good -especially in moments as the battle turns but assuredly versus Browning at the end looking somewhat jaded and shattered (Urquhart's post-battle trauma was deep and prolonged).
Hardy Kruger purely for seemingly quite cool and unattached based upon SS General Harzer who was determined to blow Nijmegen even if Model wouldn't. The key moment is when of course XXX Corps blaze across and he watches stunned.
Anthony Hopkins as Frost is quietly remarkable, Frost was no pushover it must be said Hopkins' portrayal perhaps lesser than the actual man but no less good. Frost's men held for five-six days to the two-three they were expected. A force of around 700 whittled down to less than half.
And Gene Hackman, perhaps the best performance in the film as Sosabowski who'd been used as a scapegoat afterwards amongst others. Mocked by Murray for his accent, Hackman does the job and then so conveying the cynicism and disbelief in Market-Garden ("The Germans, General, the Germans!"/ "God bless Field Marshal Mont-gom-ery!"), the expression on his face when the messenger comes to get the Poles over the river and then after the massacre of his men. "One day men said, let's play a war game."
If they had done around the same time a film based on Sosabowski's memoirs, Hackman would surely have done well.
Can only wonder what Hackman thought of the film. Michael Caine for example appears...disinterested like in Battle of Britain probably a film to plug the gaps and build the house. True of many of the cast members (only perhaps Connery and Hopkins appear for the majority) like Caan and Redford who are mere cameos.

Dickie Attenborough did a good job. Brave perhaps to do a film where for the Allies it goes balls up. Where effectively, the Germans win (Allied casualties double that of D-Day). Yet can't help but wonder what if there had been seperate directors for the respective nations like in the Longest Day or Tora Tora Tora. Or a different composer. John Addison's score I quite like and always have done but sometimes depending on my mood it doesn't feel right for certain scenes or scenes go without music that perhaps a touch of music would do.

Anyway, gang, it's a fine film with some flaws yes but fine film all the same.

Here's to Dickie.

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I should probably watch A Bridge Too Far one of these days, Hilly/Strangways. Watched that Al Murray prog you referred to, very entertaining.

The Spy Who Loved Me - by way of tribute to Richard Kiel. One of my favourite 3 Moore Bonds (the others being Live And Let Die and For Your Eyes Only), this is 'silly' Bond done utterly right, IMHO (Moonraker blows it by going too far OTT) ... a big, fast, hugely entertaining romp with still-impressive stuntwork (the pre-credits ski/parachute jump) and blending of 'full-size' action and modelwork (the underwater Lotus, the Liparus ship, the Atlantis base).

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I should probably watch A Bridge Too Far one of these days, Hilly/Strangways. Watched that Al Murray prog you referred to, very entertaining.

not too bad indeed, especially the pilloring of Escape to Victory which I've only ever seen the end of and features Rent-a-German (to borrow an Ed Bishop phrase and para-that phrase) Anton Diffring.

I should...change my username, Blunters :)

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The Five -Year Engagement:

TheFive-YearEngagement2012_zpscb5181fb.j

Comedy that starts off being not so funny, then after 50 minutes it becomes very funny, only to end with all the clichés in the book. It must be said, the two leading actors have a pretty good chemistry together. Enjoyable. 6/10

hr_The_Five-Year_Engagement_34_zps48a6ee

BTW, what's up with this Jason Segel guy? He's in every comedy I see these days.

Alex

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