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


Mr. Breathmask
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Batman Returns

 

Even though I find it polarizing, Michelle Pfeiffer is fucking mesmerizing as Catwoman and makes the film worthwhile. But her performance just seems to be at odds with the rest of the film, which is more gonzo than the previous film. Why didn't Burton use the pre-existing sets in England rather than relocating the production to California? 

 

Still ambivalent on Danny DeVito's Penguin and Christopher Walken's Schreck characters.

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A blaxplotation / neo-noir from the early that 70's that has aged surprisingly well and has a badass soundtrack. Super pleasantly surprised with the performances and the direction, almost like an early Scorsese or Spielberg. Fantastic all around.

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Watching Tomorrow Never Dies right now. 

I had no recollection of Elliot Carver being such a terrible villain. Boy is he terrible. 

 

However, it's amazing how fun the film is compared to just 10 years later. Just fun. No psychology, no walking on social eggshells, no brooding anonymous music, FUN. 

 

These days, Bond seems like an unwanted guest in his own movie, and it appears the only man on the planet that doesn't want to be James Bond is the guy on screen. 

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Us

 

I liked it up until the point where everything started to scale outward. As a claustrophobic thriller it hit all the right notes; not so as a grander plot. The expository dump at the end was some pretty lazy writing, I thought.

 

As for its function as a satire/commentary, it was fine.  

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The ending wasn't good. But anyway, at that point I didn't really care anymore, the film's 'comedy' tendencies disappointed me. It turned Us into something of a mixed bag. 

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Quantum of solace.

 

Urgh, Judi Dench again? Bond is rather insane in this one (and I’ve watched Licence to Kill). The villains are boring, but Gemma Arterton is great. The same can’t be said for Olga Kurylenko and the short running time, as welcome as it might be, can’t save the movie either.

The score is really excellent, though, and I loved the opera sequence, but one of the themes sounds an awful lot like Dom and Mal’s theme from Inception (obviously not David Arnold’s fault). Also, the Bond songs seem to be getting worse every time. Great sound mix.

 

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The Reef - a group of young Aussies, a capsized boat and a prowling Great White ... eep. Jaws will always be the 'daddy' of shark movies, but this one manages to generate a fair amount of tension.

The 6th Day - Ahnult cloning-based sci-fi actioner that rattles along well enough, despite the at-times overly twisty plot machinations. With Robert Duvall, Tony Goldwyn, and Michaels Rapaport and Rooker.

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Watching The Lord of the Rings again with another new audience. Not as much is made of The Two Towers as the other two films, but it's a goddamn miracle of movie in its own right - and with the traditional foibles of difficult middle sections stacked against it. But it's just so well-made, I can't help but be absorbed and impressed by its strong filmic vigour - confidently independent that it is of both Fellowship and King.

 

Seeing these movies with viewing companions who haven't watched the trilogy before, it feels special as fuck. Almost like they're new.

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People tend to take for granted how good that movie is because we do have the trilogy and we know the whole thing begins and ends well. I'm guilty of that kind of lazy thinking where Two Towers is the movie that just "stays good" and maintains quality in the middle. It's easy to forget what a revelation it was at the time and still is, that it generated just as many classic movie moments and popular memes and quotes etc as the other two. Gollum and Helm's Deep alone put it in the hall of fame. Not to mention its subtleties as drama and that it's just an insanely watchable 3 hours. 

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36 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Watching The Lord of the Rings again with another new audience. Not as much is made of The Two Towers as the other two films, but it's a goddamn miracle of movie in its own right - and with the traditional foibles of difficult middle sections stacked against it. But it's just so well-made, I can't help but be absorbed and impressed by its strong filmic vigour - confidently independent that it is of both Fellowship and King.

Seeing these movies with viewing companions who haven't watched the trilogy before, it feels special as fuck. Almost like they're new.

Agreed, Lee. I enjoy watching the watchers, as much as I enjoy watching the film.

T.T.T. has always been the "difficult second album", but, you're right; it holds up, remarkably. Treabeard might just be my favourite character, in the entire trilogy.

Btw: T.V.s, or E.E.s? 

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We're splitting them all in half as we go, so in six instalments total. In the case of TTT, we began with the theatrical cut. We'll carry on with the EE from Helm's Deep onwards though. I have my reasons for this approach.

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4 hours ago, Quintus said:

Seeing these movies with viewing companions who haven't watched the trilogy before, it feels special as fuck. Almost like they're new.

 

Amen. Also just finished TTT, and the way that Gollum scene holds a room...just brilliant!

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toni_erdmann_movie-poster_Bay-Theatre-Su

 

One of the most bizarre movies I've seen in a very long time. Everything in this prize catch feels ultra realistic except for ... Toni Erdmann. Had to watch it in two sittings, because it's a 3-hour movie. 

 

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Pergőtűz [Drumfire] (1982)

 

The local film archive has made a good load of items freely available on Youtube, so I'm playing catch-up with stuff I've never seen before. This is an excellent harrowing WWII documentary about the "battles" around the bend of the Don in Russia, on the Eastern front with immense losses (140.000 dead from 200.000 - "the Don's Bend" is an iconic instantly recogniseable mythic war place for us, something like Verdun or Normandy might be but for entirely negative reasons) and an unlikely retreat through the Russian winter with the German leadership ordering the Hungarian army to basically stay behind as a bullet-shield to cover their own escape, originally shot and assembled as a 25-part TV series (controversial, cut off and bannedmidwa its first airing), here edited down into 5 roughly 1.5 hour long episodes. Mostly made up of just veterans and a couple of widows telling their stories on camera (the larger sweeps left to you to piece together with only occasional "help" and dramatisation, like the telling of the catastrophe moment, the push when everything fell, cutting quickly between the speakers with some sound effects too), the doom and gloom interrupted from time to time with heavily propagandistic newsreels from home.

 

Stories/images (figure of speech, none of these were shown) that stay with me are: the one who, before it all fell apart, met the love of his life in a Ukranian village while the others had their way with others, but then never found her again; a beloved poet's (whom I knew from his children's poems, never knew he was in the war) torture in a labour camp; the hospital with every imaginable bodily fluid trickling and pooling down the main hall steps; another labour camp inmate's daring filmic escape to the Russian side across barbed wire and flying parts of his friends when he was around 45kg; everyone crying together at Christmas; a horse with a rider frozen solid in the field, with the horse's meat mostly already having been cut off and carried away/consumed; the little man on crutches who waddled across the snowy plains to the field hospital with his feet already completely frozen off; the pleading back and forth with Hitler and others to be able to order a retreat; or the colonel general who decried every survivor and fallen as cowards and traitors to their homeland for retreating from the meatgrinder, then suddenly became the biggest supporter of them (to higher orders) when they all returned.

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That'll Be The Day - late 50s/early 60s-set coming-of-age tale in which bright, young rock-n-roll obsessed Jim Maclaine (David Essex) ditches a promising university career for deckchair attendant/fairground/holiday camp work, all while chasing as many girls as possible and dreaming of rock stardom.

The likes of Ringo Starr, Billy Fury and Keith Moon feature in the cast and the soundtrack is stuffed with rock-n-roll classics. A nice slice of simpler-times nostalgia, sort of like a less angry Quadrophenia.

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8 minutes ago, Koray Savas said:

Is there a reason why everyone is suddenly watching The Two Towers?

Because it's a good film?

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

That'll Be The Day - late 50s/early 60s-set coming-of-age tale in which bright, young rock-n-roll obsessed Jim Maclaine (David Essex) ditches a promising university career for deckchair attendant/fairground/holiday camp work, all while chasing as many girls as possible and dreaming of rock stardom.
The likes of Ringo Starr, Billy Fury and Keith Moon feature in the cast and the soundtrack is stuffed with rock-n-roll classics. A nice slice of simpler-times nostalgia, sort of like a less angry Quadrophenia.

Nice one, Sweep. Although, for me, STARDUST just edges out THAT'LL BE THE DAY, the latter is still a damn good film.

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30 minutes ago, Koray Savas said:

Is there a reason why everyone is suddenly watching The Two Towers?

 

In the case of KK and myself, it's a happy coincidence. I stayed away from that trilogy for nigh on fifteen years, but returned to it just recently when I finally introduced my kids to it. And I've been vigorously bumming it again ever since. During lockdown, I reckon I must have watched Fellowship of the Ring about six times.

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It is moody actually, I noticed this very much this week. There's a prevailing sense of gloom over proceedings (punctuated by an absolutely marvellous feeling of pace in the first half) which I hadn't especially noticed before. Fellowship is adventurous and at times rather light-footed, but Two Towers suddenly feels like shit is getting real - for more than just the Shirelings. A gathering storm for all of Middle-Earth. It's fucking brilliant.

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

 

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It's an older flick, sir, but it checks out. I've always liked this one even if it isn't really anything special. It's a Friday night popcorn slasher flick with a fairly decent cast, especially Sarah Michelle Gellar. You're a natural, sis! There are fairly erotic scenes of her puffing on cigarettes and even opening up a can of Diet Coke and pouring it in a glass. Yow. These 90s slasher flicks sure did like killing Buffy. Very effective music score as well. There isn't really much in the way of good suspense or action and that's probably its downfall. It can get kinda boring! The feminine eye candy keeps this one afloat at those times. Oh and Freddie Prince Jr. is one lucky guy and terrible actor.

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2 hours ago, crocodile said:

Jaws. This thing just never gets old.

 

The thing that does get old is Quint's sinking ship story. It's good when you hear it for the first time, but it was no longer interesting when I last saw the movie. I admit, I've never been a fan of movie characters telling stories to each other. It's something you often see in bad TV shows to give so-called depth to the characters. Yes, it's not the same here, but still, to me it's like a friend telling the same story each time you meat him. 

 

JWFan in chorus: "But it's the best part of the movie!"

Alexcremers: "Sigh ..."

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19 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

 

 

Nice one, Sweep. Although, for me, STARDUST just edges out THAT'LL BE THE DAY, the latter is still a damn good film.

 

Talking Pictures TV are currently reshowing a Quatermass series from '79 with John Mills on Tuesday nights and I've been watching it ... when That'll Be The Day followed it this week, I thought 'Why not, eh?'. Hopefully they'll screen Stardust at some stage too. 

And in total contrast - 

 Kong : Skull Island - Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Sam L Jackson, John Goodman and John C Reilly gamely try to distract themselves from the thought that most people are probably gonna turn up to see a giant gorilla duke it out with 'copters and various CGI nasties, rather than them.

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I just looked up The Changes. From its Wiki page - 

'The Changes posits a Britain where a sudden enveloping noise emanating from all machinery and technology causes the population to destroy them. The resulting upheaval displaces many people and reverts society to a pre-industrial age where there is a deep suspicion of anyone who may be harbouring machinery. Even the words for technology are taboo. The remnants of modern technology that escape destruction (such as electricity pylons) produce a physical and sometimes violent repulsion among those left in Britain.

The Changes are seen through the eyes of teenage schoolgirl Nicky Gore (Victoria Williams), and the 10-part series, originally broadcast every Monday from 6 January to 10 March 1975, traces Nicky's quest to reunite with her parents and solve the mystery.'

Now ... I do have a faint memory of seeing a TV programme when I was young (I turned 4 in '75) with some sort of freaky lighting effect when somebody looked at a pylon. I wonder was that it?  


 

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Marnie.

 

The women sounded rather weird again. Interestingly, Sean Connery doesn’t have any problems pronouncing his s’s here, but his character is disturbingly strange. The badly paced and poorly written script don’t help him either and when Marnie finally cracked, the bad acting and sound effects ruined it all. Take it. I said, take it!

Some parts of the score sounded an awful lot like the love theme from Vertigo. It also calls too much attention to itself, though that’s partly because they weren’t able to record orchestras with more subtlety back then. Nevertheless, some cues are too dramatic and others are senselessly romantic. Still, nice music.

 

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The Great Beauty

 

That was insufferable. Using Fellini-esque tropes, Sorrentino presents the tired old cliché of the navel-gazing, tortured artist to string together some half-baked ideas on life and pretty shots of Rome. And it might have passed for "art" (or something) if it wasn't all so much. The film is so after excess and beauty, that whatever few thoughts it has to offer stinks of artifice. With its music choices (Lang, Tavener, Gorecki, Preisner, etc), swooning frames and lofty narration, you might mistakenly start drawing Malick comparisons, just without any of the visual or oral poetry...but even that's putting it kindly. This is Euro-poser filmmaking, of the worst kind. Youth is a much better film, with more discipline and integrity, even if it's a bit on the vanilla side. Every now and then, there is a pretty shot though. And Toni Servillo is immensely watchable. But nothing here moves me. It all reeks of falsity. 

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2 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

That's one heck of a shot though!

 

Great shots does not a great movie make!

 

1 hour ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Don't hold back, @KK, what do you really think?

 

Give it an Oscar already!! Oh wait...

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I can't remember this very well, other than that it looked pretty, but wasn't this artifice exactly the point?

 

Karol

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It's "critique" of artifice is what reeks of artifice. It ponders without saying anything and offers only half-hearted gestures to suggest some "profundity".

 

Antonioni, the master of bourgeois ennui, said so much more, with so much less.

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Dolores Claiborne.

 

This was a re-watch. My first and only time was six and a half years ago and I vowed never to watch it again because it had been much too harrowing, but I absolutely wanted to write something about it. Most of the actors are fantastic. I didn’t know any of them back then, but Bates’ accent was still a bit annoying and Leigh became rather unconvincing in the finale. Judy Parfitt had some really bad moments and dialogue too. This time I was prepared for David Strathairn’s character as well. That didn’t make him any less disgusting, but at least it wasn’t as unbearable as I thought it would be, or maybe that’s because I’ve also seen Room now. Dolores is such a great character, but it was kind of far-fetched for her and Selena to have so many enemies on the streets and they made Selena just a little too impressive a writer.

The score is as harrowing as the story. Without a doubt, one of Elfman’s very best. It’s just unthinkable that the man behind Spider-Man just made those violins protest so weakly and pleadingly during the ferry scene.

 

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Slow West

 

Really bad, in almost all respects. The only point of relief was that it was 80 minutes long.

 

Poor writing, acting, cinematography, editing... just, baffling in its student level of quality. 

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