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


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Deep Sea IMAX

 

Even though the visuals don't have that immersive IMAX pop on the small screen, the underwater footage is stunning and director Howard Hall packs a lot of it in 41 minutes. While I'm not a fan of A-list stars doing narration, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet do pretty well here. Danny Elfman's score, quoting from "Serenada Schizophrenia", along with the foley effects, takes good advantage of the surround mix. Very immersive.

 

An enjoyable little documentary.

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It was a charming adventure that probably didn't need the sequels that it got. As much as I know at least 2 and 3 have their fans, I have no real desire to go through them. I don't really much else to say, besides that actually watching the film highlighted how much parts of the score were based on the temp track. Not just in Gladiator and presumably various other MV scores, but I also caught Wojciech Kilar's Dracula in areas. I still enjoy the music in spite of its heavy derivative nature, but you can feel how patched together it is.

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It's pretty well put together. 2 and 3 have some cool big setpieces and interesting visual ideas with better than expected execution (Davy Jones still looks stunningly unbelievably real in the vast majority of his shots), but the plot is about every single character slowly growing into more and more unlikeable assholes, and random stuff getting pulled out of nowhere despite them being written and shot back to back. I enjoy the score too, a lot more than I enjoyed Gladiator's when I saw it (didn't like the movie much either), but 3 definitely has the best score of the series.

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I like the sequels fine. Put together, the whole thing makes for a nicely cohesive trilogy with a surprisingly poignnat ending. There should never have been a Pirates 4.

 

I suppose part of the reason is that I wasn't too enamored with the first film to begin with. I mean, its a good action-adventure film..and?

 

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10 hours ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

... but the best stuff improves with age. 

 

But how does that apply to Raiders? 

 

And if it was a five star movie upon its release, how much stars does it get today, now that it has improved over the years?

 

 

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I guess that how a film has "improved", depends on different reasons: what's come after it (comparing and contrasting); people's personal circumstances; increased knowledge of the film's history, and place in contemporary (and, for that matter, current) culture; rediscovery of the film following a prolonged absence.

I saw RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK many, many times, in 1981, and upon subsequent reissues, but seeing it in IMAX, in 2012, brought to me a renewed appreciation for the film.

*****/***** then, and definitely *****/***** now. It's one of the supreme achievements in popular cinema, in the last fifty years.

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I appreciated Raiders Of The Lost Ark the most when I first saw it in theatres. When I watch Raiders today, I'm sure there are moments that I won't like as much as I did then.  To me, a movie only gets better with age if I get more out of it than I initially did, or if my enjoyment of them grows. For example, when I was 16, I didn't fully appreciate 2001 or Solyaris, but the older I got, the more I saw them in a different and more interesting daylight.

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3 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

I appreciated Raiders Of The Lost Ark the most when I first saw it in theatres. When I watch Raiders today, I'm sure there are moments that I won't like as much as I did then.  To me, a movie only gets better with age if I get more out of it than I initially did, or if my enjoyment of them grows. For example, when I was 16, I didn't fully appreciate 2001 or Solyaris, but the older I got, the more I saw them in a different and more interesting daylight.

 

You shouldn't watch movies in daylight. It ruins the contrast.

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Screen-Shot-2020-04-20-at-8-39-29-PM.png

 

Cries and Whispers

 

I know it's a cliché to heap praise on Bergman for "elevating film to art", but if any film is a testament to that claim, this might be it. A haunting meditation on death, repression and solitude, brought to life by Nykvist's ghostly cinematography. Although the crimson is hardly subtle by today's standards, the final scene with Agnes is the peak of the artistic faculty of film.

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Groundhog Day

 

Bill Murray is very entertaining. It's rare to watch a comedy so well written, well acted, well directed and even well scored (George Fenton's music works great). 

 

That said, the name of this movie in Portuguese is way better than the original (Feitiço do Tempo = Time's Spell).

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33 minutes ago, KK said:

Although the crimson is hardly subtle by today's standards

 

Something I've always responded to with Bergman, something that I think sets him on a plane above most of the other arthouse filmmakers of the 50s/60s, is that he managed to make films that are both rich with symbolism and come across as very straightforward, almost plain-spoken.

 

Like, if you hadn't actually seen any of his movies but maybe you'd read about him, I wouldn't blame you for thinking he was another impenetrable and oblique artsy fucker, when in fact, outside of the odd The Silence, he was usually very clear and direct.

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33 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

Something I've always responded to with Bergman, something that I think sets him on a plane above most of the other arthouse filmmakers of the 50s/60s, is that he managed to make films that are both rich with symbolism and come across as very straightforward, almost plain-spoken.

 

Like, if you hadn't actually seen any of his movies but maybe you'd read about him, I wouldn't blame you for thinking he was another impenetrable and oblique artsy fucker, when in fact, outside of the odd The Silence, he was usually very clear and direct.

 

Well, I think a big part of that has to do with the fact that Bergman was always writer first, visualist second. There's always been a very literary quality to his films, even as his visual language evolved pre- and post-Persona. It's like watching theatre, with an added dimension.

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1 hour ago, KK said:

 

 

Well, I think a big part of that has to do with the fact that Bergman was always writer first, visualist second. There's always been a very literary quality to his films, even as his visual language evolved pre- and post-Persona. It's like watching theatre, with an added dimension.

 

Yeah he thought of himself as a theatrical artist first, film second for most of his career.  I read his memoir, The Magic Lantern, years ago, but the main thing I remember from it is that he had a serious, chronic issue with nerves-induced diarrhea :D 

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Midnight Run - bounty hunter Robert DeNiro has to bring embezzlin' Mob accountant Charles Grodin from New York to LA, but naturally things don't go smoothly.

I hadn't seen this late 80s buddy action comedy since its VHS release ... still a very entertaining movie, 30+ years on. The 2 leads are a hoot, and the supporting cast includes Yaphet Kotto, Joe Pantoliano and Dennis Farina.

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Star Trek: First Contact

 

When I first saw this years ago, I remembered Alice Krige's Borg Queen and not much else. But this is a top-tier Star Trek movie with an engaging plot, crisp camerawork, and solid performances from the ensemble cast. The VFX by ILM is still solid and Goldsmith's score is his best Trek entry in his filmography (especially the main theme). Jonathan Frakes did pretty well in his directorial debut, shame everything else he did after just didn't come close to this.

 

This puts the J.J. Abrams Trek 2.0 installments to shame.

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1 hour ago, Þekþiþm said:

I love all that warped looking anamorphic photography in those late-90s Paramount movies.

 

 

Frakes' Trek movies have a nice cinematic look without being too showy. Not too glossy either.

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45 minutes ago, Sweeping Strings said:

Sky Witness were showing Sneakers last night and I began to watch it, but I just couldn't cope with the fact that they were showing it in 4:3 and bailed.  

 

It was shot spherical, so it's likely you were seeing more in 4:3 than 1.85:1.

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5 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

Sky Witness were showing Sneakers last night and I began to watch it, but I just couldn't cope with the fact that they were showing it in 4:3 and bailed.  

 

Well, it starts out in 4:3... but if it stays that way then yes, TV's getting too old for this.

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Nightofthedemonposter.jpg

 

Didn't know this well-made Jacques Tourneur horror mystery. The film's storyline concerns an American psychologist who travels to England to investigate a satanic cult suspected in more than one death. The two appearances of a three-story building high demon still is an effective device (producer's request, Tourneur just wanted it to be a big cloudy mist).

 

Tourneur is in top form, he creates a constant, diffuse mood of the threat that seems to come from nowhere, again and again the action is interrupted by scenes of uncertainty: the thunderstorm that destroys a children's festival out of nowhere; a leopard appearing out of nowhere; Andrews, who gets lost in labyrinthine hotel corridors with identical doors, his flickering perception when the the evil parchment that conjures the demon is handed over to him. Even a silly sequence like the seance wins through the voice of the first victim, as he recaps the last seconds of his life: "It's in the trees. It's coming ... ”shouts the voice, a quote that made history (in a Kate Bush song, for instance)..

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5 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

Sky Witness were showing Sneakers last night and I began to watch it, but I just couldn't cope with the fact that they were showing it in 4:3 and bailed.  

 

36 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Well, it starts out in 4:3... but if it stays that way then yes, TV's getting too old for this.

 

Sweep went out for pizza...and then he went to Canada.

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The world is not enough.

 

Most of the actors are great and even Judi Dench wasn’t grating. Pierce Brosnan was excellent, but he does sound American when he shouts. He made it personal too, but unlike Dalton, Brosnan made it credible. Elektra is such a great and original character for the series! Denise Richards became a bit annoying towards the end, but Robbie Coltrane never disappoints. Good story too, though key scenes involving dialogue are a little too fast-paced.

The score is great and the song is fantastic. Very glad the ignorant producers allowed David Arnold’s song to open the movie this time after the Cheryl Cole disaster. The recording quality is magnificent as well. Methinks it’s time to provide La-La Land Records with some financial support again.

 

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The Lost Boys

 

Fuck yeah! Classic late 80s horror comedy. I've always liked this one. The cast is on point. Schumacher basically nailed the feel of central/southern California and the appeal of it. It isn't LA or even the E.T./Poltergeistian suburban heavens, it's this sort of beach town with motorcycles, babes and big houses with killer hi-fis. Even the vampires want to move there. In spite of any retroactive cultish worship that comes with most things, I think it still stands as a solid pulpy popcorn flick.

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Saw the last 35 minutes or so of The Red Pony.

Felt quite awkward, the way they forced Lassie Come Home stuff onto what obviously is darker, more complex source material.  Dialogue was pretty good though.  

 

Oh, and Copland's score is remarkable in how it blends the Hollywood idiom with his harmonic flourishes.  I was reminded strongly of John's Heidi score in places, actually. 

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8 minutes ago, SteveMc said:

Oh, and Copland's score is remarkable in how it blends the Hollywood idiom with his harmonic flourishes.  I was reminded strongly of John's Heidi score in places, actually. 


He was never very comfortable being subservient to the director.  Wyler replacing the main title on The Heiress was seemingly the final straw that stopped him flirting with Hollywood for good.
 

He always enjoyed working with Lewis Milestone, the director of Red Pony, though.  3 of his 5 Hollywood scores were for Milestone.

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On 4/24/2020 at 5:32 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

 

Well, it starts out in 4:3... but if it stays that way then yes, TV's getting too old for this.


Ah crap, maybe I should've waited. Hadn't seen it since its cinema run which was 28 years ago, so I'd forgotten about it starting like that.  

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2 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

Ah crap, maybe I should've waited. Hadn't seen it since its cinema run which was 28 years ago, so I'd forgotten about it starting like that.  

 

It would be pillarboxed I'd imagine, so it can expand horizontally to 1.85:1 for the movie proper. So if was actually fullscreen, it might really have been cropped throughout.

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Loving.

 

Well, that was interesting. It took way too long before the movie made an attempt to make the two lovers interesting. It felt more like a documentary that just happened to need them for the subject matter. At that point, Nick Kroll and Sharon Blackwood were my favourite actors. Then I started to get annoyed by the fact that the husband was so passive throughout most of it. But then I suddenly asked myself: how would I have behaved? And my answer was: exactly the same way. (Well, I would have tried to get re-arrested.) At the end of the film, I finally understood that these two people were victims who just wanted to be left alone and get on with their lives and that’s’s something I can really relate to.

The score is functional, but unnecessarily sparse. The final cue does offer some welcome closure and redemption.

 

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14 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

It would be pillarboxed I'd imagine, so it can expand horizontally to 1.85:1 for the movie proper. So if was actually fullscreen, it might really have been cropped throughout.


They showed it again last night, so I recorded it. So we'll see! 

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The Goonies

 

I remember seeing this when I was a kid and liking it, but it hasn't aged well. Ke Huy Quan plays another variation of Short Round (only more annoying) and all the other kid characters are just as annoying. Having kids shout and fall through stuff for 90 minutes grows old quickly and the villainous Fratellis are pushovers. Kerri Green was pretty cute back in the day though.

 

Are people more favorable to it because Spielberg produced it? Because it just isn't good.

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2 minutes ago, Þekþiþm said:

Why is it often referred to as a Spielberg-produced film instead of a Donner-directed film? Was this another Poltergeist situation?

The movie's marketing heavily emphasized the Spielberg connection, down to his appearing in the music video for Cyndi Lauper's tie-in song (which was also directed by Donner).

 

 

 

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King Solomon's Mines (1985) - Cannon Films strike again, with H. Rider Haggard's classic adventure novel adapted as a cheapjack Indiana Jones rip-off.

'Highlights' include some truly appalling back-projection scenes, the rotor of a helicopter being used for an aerial shot appearing in said shot, part of some sort of crane/frame (that people who are meant to be dangling upside down from jungle vines are clearly dangling from instead) also appearing in shot and a giant spider of such ineptitude that it would've shamed a mid-60s movie, never mind a mid-80s one.

I can only assume that Richard Chamberlain's movie offers were thin on the ground in the 80s ... as for John Rhys-Davies, how he couldn't spot that this was basically Raiders done badly after having been IN Raiders Christ alone knows. The fact that Sharon Stone was cast in this accidentally (producers asked for 'that Stone woman', meaning Kathleen Turner) tells you everything. Still, at least her legs being on show throughout is a minor saving grace.

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