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carrobin
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7690 Location: NYC
Better anecdote: My friend David and I were visiting the Tate Museum in London, which has a lovely restaurant, and we were hungry. It was the height of lunch hour and the place was packed, but there was a space at the end of a banquette. Instead of leading us there, the woman in charge led us to a small table near the drinks service area in back. David objected, and said we'd prefer the banquette table; she told us that it was reserved, but--on second thought--the reservation was for an hour ago, and the person probably wasn't going to show up, so we got lucky. We were having our appetizer when a handsome fellow came in and was led to the table we refused, spoke with the woman briefly, then sat down; he was soon joined by a lady friend. When the woman passed our table, David asked her, Isn't that Adam Faith? She smiled and said yes, this was supposed to be his table, but he quite likes that one.

David had been at our film class's screening of "Stardust," in which Adam Faith impressed us both (and I had seen him onstage as well). He and his lady had left before we were done with dessert, though, so we didn't follow through with the urge to say hello.
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Syd
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:21 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12535 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Downton Abbey has great art direction and a very large cast many of whom I kept confusing, most of whom have too little time to make an impact. I suspect I might have appreciated them more if I'd ever seen the series. There are also too many plots for a two-hour running time, but the basic one is that the King and Queen* to dinner, the King's servants start running roughshod over the Abbey staff, and the staff revolts. Rather fun, and lightweight, and I thought the film had ended fifteen minutes before it actually did. The film has Maggie Smith and Imelda Staunton, and Imelda does get some good scenes, but not enough. I suspect the movie will play better to fans of the series than to a confused Syd Henderson.

*who I found out from the credits were George V and Mary of Teck, though I sort of guessed that from the hair styles and the daughter being Princess Mary**. The other possibility was Edward VII and his wife, though the cars seemed pretty advanced.

**Who never got to sing "Mary (It's a Grand Old Name)", though it would have been appropriate when you think of the lyrics.

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carrobin
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:30 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7690 Location: NYC
Congratulations on sorting out the Downton Abbey characters without having seen the series--it took me several episodes to get them all straight. But I loved the show, and I have a super-fan cousin who just emailed me a rave after seeing the film. I'll probably wait for it to hit Amazon Prime or Netflix, though.
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Syd
Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:55 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12535 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
No, never did get them all straight. It doesn't help that there is a Lady Mary, Princess Mary and Queen Mary (who is fortunately referred to as "The Queen") and several people who look just alike.

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billyweeds
Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:26 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20412 Location: New York City
Renee Zellweger delivers a bravura performance as down-on-her-heels late-in-life Judy Garland in the new biopic "Judy." The movie itself is never less than interesting and often riveting as it details a sometimes excruciating mental breakdown fueled by alcoholism and drug addiction, and Zellweger is brilliant. I have never felt such utter sympathy for Judy Garland as I did watching this movie.

I don't expect many people not of my generation to remember Kim Stanley playing a thinly disguised version of Marilyn Monroe in the 1958 Paddy Chayefsky-scripted "The Goddess," but "Judy" more than once reminded me of that rather one-note but memorable film. "Judy" is likewise slightly monotonous as it depicts Garland's travails, but whenever things get too morose, Zellweger comes to the rescue with an unpredictable acting choice that lights up the screen. Oh, and did I mention her singing? "Awesome" may be an overused adjective, but her singing? Awesome.

Among the excellent supporting cast, Andy Nyman stands out as a non-stereotypically gay fan. His scenes with Zellweger show Judy's feeling for and bond with her gay fan base in an unexpectedly moving manner.

This is far from a "great" movie. It's too by-the-numbers and single-focused for that. But Renee Zellweger gives a "great" performance, and I hope she'll be rewarded with the top prize she's been denied for too long.
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gromit
Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8595 Location: Shanghai
Good to hear.
I've always liked Zellweger.

Hope I can get a copy.
I'm not even sure where a dvd store is anymore.
A few days ago I was headed to basketball and noticed my last remaining dvd shop was emptying bins and packing up.

The other 2 shops near me closed back in April.
So I need to keep an eye out for any Dvd shops when I'm biking around the city.

Pretty drastic change. For the longest time, Shanghai was a dvd paradise. Huge selection, cheap prices, dvd shops all over.
There was even a period where a fair number of small clothing shops would sell a dozen or so of the newest titles. I think part of the idea was to get people to stop and look at the store. But it also was a small money generator. And I completely forgot about the Dvd street sellers. They had the lowest prices but also the poorest quality.
There was a mall in East Shanghai that had over a dozen dvd shops on one floor. Every now and then I'd make a special trip to load up. Hard to remember when that was, probably circa 2005 -2009.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6439
Ad Astra is that rare gem in the sci-fi genre that succeeds as a psychological drama and doesn't get lost in its tech gadgets. Minor science gaffes didn't hurt it much, though the antimatter jabber reminded me of the fake science jabber on those old Next Gen episodes.

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Befade
Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
I will watch Joaquin Phoenix in anything. In the case of Joker critics are on a wave length I don’t get. This was a brilliant performance. Mesmerizing, unpredictable, transforming, etc, etc, etc. it was a psychological study not a Batman spinoff. Phoenix plays a character who exists. Exists in the persona of an autistic individual. How can you not feel for someone suffering that kind of alienation? Up until his coworker gives him a gun he is a clueless outcast. What happens next is another subject.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8595 Location: Shanghai
I have so little interest in Joker, I don't even want to know what it's about. How's that for hardcore non-particpation?

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gromit
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8595 Location: Shanghai
...


Last edited by gromit on Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Befade
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
Double that Chacun a Son Gout.

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carrobin
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7690 Location: NYC
I must admit that I find the "Joker" reviews intriguing, but grim-- if I manage to tear myself away from the TV news, I'll probably go for "Downton Abbey."
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bartist
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6439
If you followed the Masterpiece series, then D Abbey is an enjoyable visit with the Crawleys et al. It ties up a few strings dangling at the end of the series, in entirely predictable and fairly tepid ways, and has about a dozen final lines instead of the standard one. Like the series, it is more fantasy than anything else (Upstairs Downstairs was somewhat more real, as I recall) and, at times, a sticky sweet love letter to the class system. My big problem with the series was that they killed Sybil. They could have killed Edith at any time and it would have been fine with me.

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carrobin
Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7690 Location: NYC
bartist wrote:
If you followed the Masterpiece series, then D Abbey is an enjoyable visit with the Crawleys et al. It ties up a few strings dangling at the end of the series, in entirely predictable and fairly tepid ways, and has about a dozen final lines instead of the standard one. Like the series, it is more fantasy than anything else (Upstairs Downstairs was somewhat more real, as I recall) and, at times, a sticky sweet love letter to the class system. My big problem with the series was that they killed Sybil. They could have killed Edith at any time and it would have been fine with me.


Sounds like just what I need—some classy British accents but nobody talking about Brexit.
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billyweeds
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20412 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Ad Astra is that rare gem in the sci-fi genre that succeeds as a psychological drama and doesn't get lost in its tech gadgets. Minor science gaffes didn't hurt it much, though the antimatter jabber reminded me of the fake science jabber on those old Next Gen episodes.


Hated it a lot. Like a meditation with Brad Pitt as the facilitator. "Picture yourself on a beach...." I had a nice snooze.
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