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 Posted:   Jun 29, 2014 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Thanks, Ron. I'll google this writer to learn more.

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 11:51 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Today, July 4th, I started watching an HD marathon of "John Adams" on HBO, never dreaming that I would watch it all, but except for missing a bit at the start of the first episode, I watched the entire series, unable to pull myself away. I'm not a huge fan of Paul Giamatti, but he's quite good in this, and Laura Linney is wonderful as long suffering Abigail Adams. Without Adams and some of the other Founding Fathers, the U.S. might have been a lot different than it is today.

Incidentally, this mini-series sure made me appreciate modern dentistry!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2014 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

The Wolverine. 'Salright. 6.5-to-7/10.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2014 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Stupid double posting.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2014 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Grand Piano 4/10

This film represents what I hate in a movie more than anything else... wasted potential. A simple, yet complex concept, with good actors wasted on a director who simply does not know how to take the material to the next level. Many critics are comparing this director to Brian De Palma because of the set pieces and long takes. But one could only wish De Palma had a crack at this film.

Great concept, ruined by a silly script, and contrived execution.

Skip it, it will just frustrate you at what could have been.

I don't want to waste time describing the plot, so here's the trailer:

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2014 - 5:19 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO RON HARDCASTLE- Just wondering, you didn't say good or bad when you said AMERICA would be different?

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 12:34 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

TO RON HARDCASTLE- Just wondering, you didn't say good or bad when you said AMERICA would be different?

dan: I don't think it would have been better, especially during the 1800s. But it's kinda like asking if Germany had won WWII would or wouldn't the world have been better? In THAT case, the sort of institutionalized barbarism of the Nazi concentration camps would have continued, and you wouldn't have seen any freedom of speech. In the case of our war with England, we would have continued under their colonial rule, and they may have steamrolled over France and Spain. But no one can say for sure. I'm just glad we had some very smart people fighting for our independence, and it's interesting to discover that Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves and had a slave mistress originally tried to end slavery, until it became obvious that the southern Colonies would never have ratified the Constitution.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Today, Saturday, I finished re-watching all of Showtime's excellent "Masters of Sex" series about sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, which I had really liked when it was first broadcast last year. But as much as I liked it, I never got around to watching the last 4 episodes, so with Showtime's 2-day marathon of the entire series, I decided that it would not only be a good time to finish it, but also a good time to re-watch all of it, which I did. Very very good!

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

I saw 2 films this weekend mainly because I have liked the directors previous efforts. One does OK on this outing, the other though has a total misfire.

Snowpiercer

From the director who made one of the best monster films ever, "The Host", comes an entertaining if totally implausible and even a bit gonzo apocalyptic sci-fi action film set on a train that traverses the earth carrying the last of humanity after an erroneous attempt to halt global warming creates instead a devastating ice age that all but wipes out humanity. It has a very good and eclectic cast that includesChris Evans , Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton(almost unrecognizable thanks to her hideous hairdo and choppers), Octavia Spencer and Song Kang-ho, also from "The Host".

All of the aforementioned with the exception of Swinton, on are on the back of this vehicle, for the great unwashed masses, the poor if you will. They live in squalor, are mistreated and beaten and eat what look like blocks of black liquorish. Chris's character has had enough of this crazy train and wants to put an end to the brutality and squalor they have endured and which the front trains do not, carrying the elite and all the good stuff, like food. He stages a revolt and they head to the front, one car at a time.

The CGI is OK over all, sometimes obvious and sometimes quite good. The pacing is brisk and there are some interesting surprises and developments that go along, particularly the ending. The story line though reads like another SyFy channel Saturday night movie. It however you can buy into the story and let it carry you, it's decent escapist fare with some heavy brutal action scenes. Marco Beltrami did the score and it has his signature style for this sort of fare.

*** out of 5

Deliver Us from Evil

Director Scott Erickson had some success with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and to even more extent with "Sinister", one of the better horror offerings in recent years. He tries his hand at yet another "based on true events" story centering on the supernatural occurrences experienced by New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana). The problem with the film is that we have seen this over, and over, and over. Basically its just another possession film. You see the scares coming at every corner and the movie jumps all over the place with the story. It's really a disappointing snooze fest. Avoid.

* of out 5

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, aka Doppleganger.

Love the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson stuff, and hadn't seen this in ages, so I got it for a fiver from Amazon. Loved every Anderson cliche, and Barry Gray's typically wonderful music score, but ultimately it's a disappointing piece. Mainly because the ending is muddled.

The model work is sometimes standard Thunderbirds, and at others so outstanding it could be spliced into any film now. And how cool is Anderson sf meets Roy Thinnes? Like, UFO meets The Invaders, two approaches to the same idea.

If you want to wallow in Anderson made sf, it's great. Otherwise it could leave you cold.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Uncle Buck 1-5

Is this supposed to be a comedy? It has no energy whatsoever. Most of the characters are miserable and unlikeable. Why should I care for these people? Cheap tacked on happy ending and some really sloppy film editing wraps up this film in a nutshell.


Angry Red Planet 2-5

Classic SciFi that really has nothing going for it. Felt like an Outer Limits episode, except Outer Limits did it better. Characters are not engaging. Very sexist movie as well. The giant Rat/Bat/Lobster alien goes down in history as one of the most unique creature designs, but one scene can't save a whole film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 5:18 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Uncle Buck 1-5

Is this supposed to be a comedy? It has no energy whatsoever. Most of the characters are miserable and unlikeable. Why should I care for these people? Cheap tacked on happy ending and some really sloppy film editing wraps up this film in a nutshell.


Agreed. I did not like this film at all, and I don't understand why so many do. A lot of mean spirited humor passed-off as "endearing" or "heart warming" comedy. I wished I had passed on this one way back when....

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

This afternoon I watched my Blu-ray of Michael Bay's The Island, which is a wonderful movie for showing off one's big screen and sound system. In fact, I think it's THE movie to shock people with its staggering soundscape! I've only bought a handful of cues from Steve Jablonsky's soundtrack, starting with the closing theme, "My Name Is Lincoln," which ends the movie, and they are very effective. If you have a great surround system and want to show it off, you can't go wrong with this movie! There's also about 34 minutes of special behind-the-scenes features, which seem much more than just that, and one of these days I'd also like to re-watch the movie with Bay's own audio commentary.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Uncle Buck 1-5

Is this supposed to be a comedy? It has no energy whatsoever. Most of the characters are miserable and unlikeable. Why should I care for these people? Cheap tacked on happy ending and some really sloppy film editing wraps up this film in a nutshell.


Agreed. I did not like this film at all, and I don't understand why so many do. A lot of mean spirited humor passed-off as "endearing" or "heart warming" comedy. I wished I had passed on this one way back when....


Another thing dawned on me. It's a dimly lit movie. The whole movie is "grey" and depressing. JC was far more endearing in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Some recent viewings:

Playing God (1997) 7/10
Pay it Forward (2000) 7/10
Transcendence (2014) 6/10
Star Trek ID 3D (2013) 8/10
Bad Neighbours (2014) 4/10
Rob the Mob (2014) 7/10
Paranorman 3D (2012) 7/10
Halloween 35th anniversary ed (1978) 9/10

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Fantastic Voyage 4-5

This film rises above the ordinary "B" movie camp of the 50's and 60's and proudly sits next to the best in scifi classics. They took the material straight and serious. The production values are marvelous for the time. In fact some shots of the miniature sub traveling through the patients body are remarkable even today. (I would say a lot of the traveling shots of the Enterprise through V'ger in STTMP seemed to be inspired by this film.)

There's some unintentional camp, and it should have been quite obvious to our hero whom the villain was. The most famous scene I guess was when Raquel Welch's character was attacked by anitbodies. The part that follows where the men are grouping at her body in an attempt to pull them off, was bizarre to say the least! But the science, set pieces and effects are marvelous. For example when they are in the ear drum they accurately replicated the tiny bone structure inside the ear. Also back then who saw us actually using lasers for surgery?!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Ted: Unrated. Most of the scenes cut or different (like the scene with the four prostitutes) from the cinema release aren't exactly essential - although at least one person here will be pleased to know there's some extra Laura Vandervoort footage in this version (when Lori throws the bouquet at the end, Tanya (Vandervoort) catches it and prompts Tammy Lynn to have a fistfight with her) - but on the whole it's just as enjoyable as the regular version. 9/10.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 10:42 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Is that the Mark Wahlberg movie about the talking teddy bear? Can't think of a movie I have LESS interest in right now. But I'm glad you seem to like it, and I'm sure that you're not alone.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

The June round-up, a little late because I've been busy:



Some notes:

- Watched a Devils of Loudun double feature of two excellent yet stylistically worlds-apart films, Ken Russell's incredible The Devils (1971) and Jerzy Kawalerowicz's disturbing, minimalist Mother Joan of the Angels, which takes place shortly after the Grandier affair but was made a decade earlier.

- Watched Jonathan Glazer's first two films, Sexy Beast (2000) (on the Twilight Time BD) and Birth (2004). The first of the two was a much more compelling film; the second, despite a propulsive score from Desplat, doesn't quite work for me.

- Watched a Magdalene Laundry double feature of Peter Mullan's devastating The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Stephen Frears' more feel-good Philomena (2013).

- Followed up with a Stephen Frears double feature of Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), both of which I liked a lot.

- Started my Brian-Tyler-thon with his two earliest available movies, Final Justice and Six-String Samurai.

- Watched The Grand Budapest Hotel, the best movie of the year so far.

- Edge of Tomorrow was the least bad summer blockbuster type of the year so far.

- Extracted is a solid low-budget science fiction affair.

- Tim's Vermeer is a good documentary with some very interesting ideas and with a fine Conrad Pope score.

- In TV, watched the second season of Breaking Bad (2009), which was fun, and the second season of Arrow (2013-2014), which despite substantively addressing the biggest problem in the first season was a less compelling season with multiple problems in its narrative.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2014 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

The Fault In Our Stars. I must admit it was good to see a movie with no stereoscopic personnel in its credits, and it must have been a nice change for Temple Hill Productions to do something relatively restrained and grounded after the Twilight movies and Revenge. Though presumably less effective than the book it's based on (it certainly seemed a bit second-generation Robert Cormier), it's emotional without going all Michael Landon and extremely well-acted by Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and the rest of the cast. You can't exactly enjoy something about teenagers with terminal cancer, but it's good. 8/10.

 
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