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bartist
Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:29 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6629 Location: Black Hills
And Edward Platt was The Chief, of that catchphrase which along with a couple of other catchphrases made my parents regret allowing the kids to watch Get Smart. Once in a while I still encounter a person in late middle age or older who will still use that phrase.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
Re-watched Fight Club.
I forgot how much it was Edward Norton's film. And how much voice over there is. It's a bit frenetic at times. And very self-consciously a guy film. It mostly holds up. But very much a product of its time.

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20546 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
Re-watched Fight Club.
I forgot how much it was Edward Norton's film. And how much voice over there is. It's a bit frenetic at times. And very self-consciously a guy film. It mostly holds up. But very much a product of its time.


I thought Brad Pitt stole it from Norton. One of Pitt's best performances--his best, IMO, until "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood."
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gromit
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
Pitt does a terrific job. While I thought Norton's performance wobbles at times.
I think smartly they limit Pitt's scenes so he can keep up his ultra-cool persona.
But the film is written so that Pitt has the flashier, more impressive role.
Norton is one of those actors who borderline annoys me. I think it's his semi-whiny voice mainly.

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20546 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
Pitt does a terrific job. While I thought Norton's performance wobbles at times.
I think smartly they limit Pitt's scenes so he can keep up his ultra-cool persona.
But the film is written so that Pitt has the flashier, more impressive role.
Norton is one of those actors who borderline annoys me. I think it's his semi-whiny voice mainly.


Norton was fantastic in his breakthrough role in "Primal Fear," and followed it up with another stellar appearance in "American History X." From there it was all downhill IMO, until "Birdman," in which by all accounts he played a fictional version of himself. He does not have, shall we say, the greatest of reputations personally. IOW he's considered something of a major a-hole.
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gromit
Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
Enjoyed The Blind Side again.
It's a good story and hits some proper tearjerker notes.
Sandra Bullock is terrific, really creates and nails a character, but even all of the small reactions and gestures are perfect. And it's a terrific role.
Good casting all around. Even the smaller roles are solid and feel real.

I noticed a few things that I either missed first time or forgot. For instance, I wasn't much interested in the Thanksgiving scene, but then realized that the happy family was rather taking themselves and their situation for granted. And Michael helps them rally as a family, drop the televised football game and eat dinner together and realize they have much to be thankful for, and Michael even more.

I like how they left the speech smacking down the drug dealer for close to the end. At first it appears the word 'bitch" sets Lee Ann off and gets her to return and confront the thug. And when she calls him a bitch, the audience is fully on her side and ready for the smackdown. But what you realize is she's doing it to protect Michael and the threat to her family, and in that way she's just like Michael the protector who will do anything to keep family safe. So that speech is a fine fun rousing moment, but also links Lee Ann and Michael together. And shows how they are similar people in a way.

I could quibble here and there. A few scenes seem rather satisfied with their endings. Some moments are a little pat or predictable.

But overall it really packs a punch and is effective. I'm a bit of a sucker for emotional sports films, especially combined with overcoming racial prejudice. But this really is a heartwarming story, and putting sports aside, there's a message that given the opportunity plenty of kids who are given up on can succeed academically, emotionally, family-wise, etc. That no one is irredeemable. That there's a lot of tragic waste of human capital and lives, etc.

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carrobin
Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7744 Location: NYC
A few days ago, TCM showed "The Man in the White Suit," a film I've always wanted to see. And it was a charmer, with the always elegant Alec Guinness as the title character, a scientist who discovers a formula that makes clothing permanently immaculate. And like so many films, TV shows, and books these days, it reminded me of Trump. When the perfect white suit is introduced, everyone is fascinated and amazed; then the battle ensues, between those who want to market it and those who know that it will make their products obsolete; and then, after much fear and fury, and a chase through the night streets--lovely cinematography, with Guinness in the disputed suit always the outstanding figure on screen--it's discovered that the miraculous formula is actually a worthless disappointment. It's a movie well worth seeing, though.
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Syd
Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:32 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12636 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
That's one of those movies that I can watch over and over. I love the way he unites workers and bosses against him.

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billyweeds
Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20546 Location: New York City
Syd wrote:
That's one of those movies that I can watch over and over. I love the way he unites workers and bosses against him.


Pocketa pocketa queep pocketa queep...
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gromit
Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
Digging through my cache of dvd's I pulled out Mel Gibson's payback and John Hughes Sweet 16. Didn't think I had seen a=either of them, but figured maybe once I got viewing they'd be familiar.
Nope, never saw either, despite having the Dvd's for circa 15 years.

Payback isn't my kind of film and kind of a dumb cliched premise. One lone guy is going to take on the mob. Oddly, he's much more upset that his money was stolen than the attempted murder on his very person that left him for dead or that his wife and partner did that to him. Even the film plays on the silliness of the situation with everyone questioning why this guy is going nutso-suicidal over $70K, complete with a running joke where everybody gets the amount wrong and thinks he's risking his life for a measly $130K.

It's very much a Schwarzenegger role/film with Gibson in the lead.
I don't think you can expect too much logic in such a film, but you'd figure with all the effort Gibson goes through, not to mention the beatings and near-fatal encounters, that not only would he agree it's $130K, but might decide to up his figure to a lot more, since he has kidnapped the top mob boss' kid.

It's also easy to notice that the Chinese gang has the prior claim to the money since Mel stole the $70K from them. By his own logic, repeated many times, the money is theirs not his. Hell, the mob got it more legit than Mel did, as it was given to them as payment for a debt. And with all the effort and danger Mel puts into getting his $70K he could have stolen much more elsewhere, with less danger. Okay, so none of it makes any sense. Who cares?

We have Mel Gibson going around as an urban Rambo with three sets of gangsters after him (the Mob; the Chinese gang; and the crooked cops).
I like how you're never sure which group of henchmen have gotten him for a few seconds, as options abound.

Mel is both super-slick (he pickpockets folks with ease throughout) and a bit of a sad sack goof -- eerybody catches up to him and nearly kills him. Occasionally the film goes into neo-noir mode. I liked one bit of hard-boiled dialogue when Gibson says disgustedly of his new pair of antagonists:
"Crooked cops ... is there any other kind?
If was a little dumber I could have joined the force."
I assume that's the Donald Westlake dialogue from the book, as would be the opening talk of gunshot wounds.

The pace is good, Mel basically pulls off a regular tough guy superbadass role. Some humor is worked in, but not distractingly. I thought one clever bit of plotting was when Mel sends the gang boss and henchmen to a specific wrong address, where the mob had earlier planted a bomb attached to the phone to get rid of Mel. It's easy for the viewer to have forgotten about that bomb, and they reintegrate it well. Of course it requires that the crime boss goes with the henchmen, that Mel is left alone in the trunk of the car, where he is able to escape through the back seat (a fun visual) and get to a phone in time.
So it's preposterous and unlikely as all get out, but thrilling and fun. For whatever reason -- good visuals? -- the bomb intended to kill one man in a small room is large enough to destroy the entire building.

Anyway, for a stupid lone-wolf revenge film with lots of action and violence, this was entirely okay and watchable. I bet it even has genuine fans. Lucy Liu is good in a ridiculous and unnecessary screenwriter-fantasy role. I didn't realize that was Kris Kristofferson as the tough crime overlord.


Last edited by gromit on Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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gromit
Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:18 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
I found Sixteen Candles hard to like.
There was just no "in" point for me in the film.
So we're rooting for newly 16 Molly Ringwald to hook up with the rich, good-looking 18 year old senior? Who somehow has everything including the shallow blonde hottie girlfriend, but he's really a mature, nice guy? A rather unbelievable character.

Nothing was funny, nothing was remotely believable. Sure a 16 year old hands over her panties to some freshman who is annoying her so he can score points with his geeky friends. That'll work out well and never come back to haunt anyone ...

I couldn't get anywhere with the film. And much of the humor felt forced. Especially the wedding. (and sure the parents would be fine with the younger daughter blowing off her sister's wedding reception to go with some guy they never heard of -- it would have made much more sense if she simply invited him to the reception).

I think the only thing I liked was the wise-ass little brother. His quips were okay, though I didn't like the kid that was cast. This film put me in mind of Better Off Dead, a much better film with more offbeat characters and actually funny scenes.

One thing that seemed odd is early in the film, Molly says "I can't believe they fucking forgot my birthday. And then there's a brief scene of the prom queen girl naked in the shower. That didn't seem to fit the tone of the rest of the film. Like they tried to be edgy for a minute and then quickly gave up for sweet and goofy.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:02 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6629 Location: Black Hills
It's hard to ruin a Richard Stark/Donald Westlake story. As I recall, the "Parker" books are usually better than the film adaptations. I'd have to see Point Blank again, though, to say that with certainty.

As you probably know, both Payback and PB were based on The Hunter.

I'd enjoy seeing an adaptation of one of Westlake's Dortmunder novels. Should look around and see if anything is out there. ("What's the Worst that could Happen" is a loose adaptation, and sucks, so I don't count it)

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gromit
Posted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
Never read a Westlake book.
Didn't know that Parker was a recurring protag.

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gromit
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8792 Location: Shanghai
https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/gallery/50-best-movies-youve-never-seen/ss-AAHDxdZ#image=1

More or less interesting clickbait.
A bit hard for me to judge since I've probably seen 25-30 of them.
Some have been put out by Criterion, etc.
But they're probably right the average casual viewer probably hasn't seen many.

The brief descriptions range from almost okay to uselessly talking about tomatometer and maybe box office without telling what the film is about at all.

I was glad to see they have A Face in the Crowd and Bigger than Life on there.
Probably should add Night of the Hunter and Ace in the Hole.

They have a number of Sydney Potier films, along with a few directed by Frankenheimer and Lumet.

But there's maybe a dozen I'd never heard seen and a few I never heard of.
The Breadwinner an animated film about a girl in post 9/11 Afghanistan who disguises as a boy to earn money and find her jailed father. By the same folks who made Secret of the Kells, which i didn't like, but which was praised a lot and t least had a distinctive look.

I've never seen Kazan's Baby Doll, but have heard of it.

Hope and Glory (1987) -- I have a vague notion of this.

Richard III (1995)
Directed by: Richard Loncraine
Starring: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Christopher Bowen
This Shakespeare adaptation imagines a fascist England in the 1930s.

Fat City (1972)
Directed by: John Huston
Starring: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
director John Huston's unsparing, unsentimental look at the career fate of two boxers and their seedy world they inhabit.

The Tale (2018)
Directed by: Jennifer Fox
Starring: Elizabeth Debicki, Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Advise & Consent (1962)
Directed by: Otto Preminger
Starring: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda
a gripping political drama

Wake in Fright (1971)
Directed by: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty
Genre: Drama, Thriller
This film about the darker side of Australia floated in obscurity for years -- the movie's negative was lost following a successful screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The print was rediscovered years later and restored in 2009.

The Rider (2017)
Directed by: Chloé Zhao
Genre: Drama, Western

I've been hearing a lot of good things about Chloe Zhao. She has a new film out which was anticipated on the festival circuit before that got short-circuited.

Well, you can flip through yourself.

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Syd
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:22 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12636 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
The people who did The Secret of Kells and The Breadwinner also did Song of the Sea, which I liked a lot. The animation style works better there.

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