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 Posted:   May 19, 2024 - 4:44 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Star Trek 11: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) Good cheesy fun.

After the slow motion mis-fire of The Motion Picture, this much lower budget sequel sort of saved the franchise. It does look cheap, but has a good story & fast pace, & the cast sell it (esp. Ricardo Montalban as the baddie Khan). Next up, The Search For Spock (of course).


I thought Ricardo Montalban was in Star Trek 2?


https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084726/?ref_=hm_rvi_tt_i_1


I know that, but you wrote Star Trek "Eleven".


That was JJ Abrams , wasn't it.

 
 Posted:   May 19, 2024 - 7:05 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Avatar - The Way of Water (James Cameron, 2022) 7/10

When AVATAR hit the screens in 2010, most people would agree that it was a technical milestone and singlehandedly responsible for the 3D-revival in the cinema, but that it’s story was basically just Pocahontas/Dances With Wolves with tall blue aliens. It wasn’t even subtle about it. Nevertheless, it became a huge hit and the most successful movie of all time.
In comes AVATAR - WAY OF WATER, 12 years later a sequel. And once again, it became a big box office hit. Why? It is certainly not because of the story, the cardboard villains or the predictable conflicts. The story is easily told and by the book:
Years after the events of the first film, humans from Earth (the “sky people”) come back to colonize Pandora, since it’s so much nicer there than on Earth. Jake Sully, now fully living live as a Na’vi, is the leader of a resistance fight. When Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who was killed in the first movie, returns as a “recombinant” (Avatars with implanted memories rather than remote controlled), Sully and his family have to flee, because Quartich is out to kill them.
Sully and his family find refuge by natives that are ocean rather than jungle dwellers
Quaritch eventually catches up with them. They fight.

It’s really by the numbers and doesn’t offer many surprises… but wow, was this nevertheless a “good” movie, it was good in that we enjoyed watching it. Not because of the story, not because of the battle scenes, not because of the clichéd characters… but because it had a real sense of awe, a sense of wonder. That’s what’s missing from so many movies these days. I would have loved to move to that ocean village. And just explored the seas and the animals and the plants and just… wow… the movie was over three hours long, but it didn’t feel long at all, because the best part – the middle part – of the movie is ironically when very little happens and we were just immersed in this wonderful ocean world. No doubt, this is a movie that lives from its visuals, from its atmosphere… we watched it on a big OLED screen on 4K Bluray, and it looked marvelous.

Interestingly, these ocean Na’vi people (turquoise instead of blue) reminded me very much of the Zora folk from Nintendo’s THE LEGEND OF ZELDA games… what’s next, Vulcano Na’vi like Zelda’s Gorons? Heck, apparently even yes, I think Cameron said something like this.

But no matter what, count me in for part III… forget the story, just take me to these wonderful places.


 
 Posted:   May 19, 2024 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Godzilla X Kong- 3-5

I was willing to accept a dumb popcorn movie if it was well made and entertaining. I found it to be like any of the Transformers movies, just a huge bore. Nothing of importance happens, never do I feel anyone is in danger or there’s anything at stake.

The movie just crawls along and stretches a 10 minute plot into a two hour movie. Most scenes felt redundant. Monster fight, searching the Hollow Earth, monster fight, searching the Hollow Earth, since and repeat.
The little deaf girl was key to everything and they made her out to be this spiritual princess, except she doesn't do anything.

The CGI was passable but it really looked like a cartoon or video game rather than a live action movie. I can’t think of a single scene or shot that really grabbed my attention. Most of the monster fight scenes are obscured by the elements, water, fire, fog, mist, sand, lens flairs.

The music was dull and uninspiring. Droning sound design with a few “wonder” like statements.

Since most of the film takes place in “Hollow Earth” we really don’t get the size of these monsters. There’s a whole new ape colony underground lead by a “mustache twirling" evil ape and a baby child ape who actually was the best character in the film. He was three dimensional and the only one with a story arc!

I didn’t like how they presented the apes. Probably for ease of motion capture they were very human like in movement, gestures and expressions. They were far more intelligently advanced than they should’ve been. They’re simply not monsters anymore.

They included a new monster for Godzilla and Kong to fight but he was really generic and dull. He shot ice instead of fire yet his “ice beam” glowed like it was white hot. I guess it was supposed to be frost? The CGI for that monster was awful.

The over all moral of the story makes no sense. Godzilla and Kong are supposedly the protectors of earth but they cause far more destruction and death ( to hundreds of thousands if not millions of humans!) in service of defeating the “evil” ape and the ice monster.

Finally, Godzilla was hardly in the film. They actually show him sleeping, at least twice! I never liked his design even though his proportions are better in this new film. This Godzilla is an awful design and there’s no good way to animate his body.

 
 Posted:   May 19, 2024 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Destry Rides Again (1939) ... 7/10

I've not seen it for many years but have always held a fond memory so found myself slightly disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more. James Stewart shows many of the mannerisms which became his style; Marlene Dietrich's performance was OTT but iconic; Brian Donlevy was excellent as the evil land-grabbing boss.

The film wasn't as funny as I'd remembered but there's plenty to smile about. The huge number of extras in many scenes is unusual when compared with many newer films.

Other than the songs (Friedrich Hollaender & Frank Loesser) I can't say I noticed Frank Sinner's score.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2024 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

That's Entertainment! (1974) ... 6/10

I bought the DVD triple pack for my mother more than 15 years ago and have been intending to watch the films for many years ... so, finally, #1. It's a strange film to review because it is simply a compilation of numerous sequences from MGM musicals ... it's unlikely the viewer will like all the clips, be it the singing, dancing or production.

And, yes, for me there were more than a few sequences which did not make me think I'd like to see the films from which they had been taken. Also, he's never been one of my screen favourites but he gets a significant amount of screen time: Gene Kelly.

Most of the sequences are shown in excellent picture and sound, no faults there ... but what lets it down for me are the linking clips of a range of stars talking about the films, lauding praise on their fellow stars. It soon becomes too syrupy-sweet. The talented music writers - composers, lyricists, arrangers, orchestrators, conductors - are finally mentioned in end title lists. I think their contributions should have been more prominent.

Whilst most of the music heard is that from the original productions, there is new music arranged/scored by Henry Mancini in his typical style.

How long before I try #2?

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2024 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

That's Entertainment! (1974) ... 6/10

he's never been one of my screen favourites but he gets a significant amount of screen time: Gene Kelly.


Given that Kelly appeared in 17 musicals for MGM, and a considerable number of their most well-regarded ones, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be prominently featured in a film compiling clips from MGM's musicals.


How long before I try #2?

Kelly appears about a dozen times in PART II and directed the new sequences as well, so you may want to wait a bit.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2024 - 1:16 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

That's Entertainment! (1974) ... 6/10

he's never been one of my screen favourites but he gets a significant amount of screen time: Gene Kelly.


Given that Kelly appeared in 17 musicals for MGM, and a considerable number of their most well-regarded ones, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be prominently featured in a film compiling clips from MGM's musicals.


How long before I try #2?

Kelly appears about a dozen times in PART II and directed the new sequences as well, so you may want to wait a bit.


Thanks for the info - and advice - Bob. I'm afraid my knowledge of musicals in general is lacking and recalling which studio is responsible is challenging. I kept wondering why Doris Day didn't appear then realised that most (all?) of hers were Warner productions (I think!) I hadn't been aware that Bing Crosby hadn't performed for MGM in any major production until High Society (1956) - my all-time favourite musical - but was pleased to see/hear clips from Gigi (1958), another favourite.

As for Gene Kelly, supreme talent without doubt but I often find his dance routines just too acrobatic and much prefer Fred Astaire, albeit I've seen only a few of either's films.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2024 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Fury (2014) ... 5-/10

Great, realistic (at least, to my eye) battle sequences fill out the standard oft-told story of the seasoned guy teaching the young recruit and in so doing learning something about himself. The plot could have been written in ten minutes so the film needed the action and a whole lot of characterisation. In this it was lacking, not helped by almost indecipherable dialogue ... the only words I could hear clearly were the four-letter ones (again: a simple script ... copy line after line) - these rarely included fury.

The ending bloodbath sequence is simply stupid and robs the film of one mark.

Brad Pitt and a couple of other faces I recognised (my fault, watching so few new films), otherwise a cast of unknowns but then most of the support cast were there to be shot, blown-up or otherwise killed.

I listened for the score which was mostly very low key but when it was more prominent, such as towards the end, it was okay, very much in the modern style. I've known the name of composer Steven Price but think I've seen only one other film scored by him (Heart of Stone (2023)).

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2024 - 4:20 AM   
 By:   Kentishsax   (Member)

I watched, via my mobile phone (as the missus was in charge of the TV!), on the Pluto TV website, the 1999 TV movie The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn, starring Sidney Poitier. It was a lovely little, gentle film. Poitier is a carpenter who is loved by all in the nearby small town. He lives alone, without electricity and so on (but he does drive a pickup truck and a very old, possibly 1920s car). A developer is trying to grab his land by any means necessary. One could almost imagine it being a sequel to Lilies of the Field, seeing Poitier's ex-GI handyman Homer Smith in later life.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2024 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

That's Entertainment! (1974) ... 6/10

I bought the DVD triple pack for my mother more than 15 years ago and have been intending to watch the films for many years ... so, finally, #1. It's a strange film to review because it is simply a compilation of numerous sequences from MGM musicals ... it's unlikely the viewer will like all the clips, be it the singing, dancing or production.

And, yes, for me there were more than a few sequences which did not make me think I'd like to see the films from which they had been taken. Also, he's never been one of my screen favourites but he gets a significant amount of screen time: Gene Kelly.

Most of the sequences are shown in excellent picture and sound, no faults there ... but what lets it down for me are the linking clips of a range of stars talking about the films, lauding praise on their fellow stars. It soon becomes too syrupy-sweet. The talented music writers - composers, lyricists, arrangers, orchestrators, conductors - are finally mentioned in end title lists. I think their contributions should have been more prominent.

Whilst most of the music heard is that from the original productions, there is new music arranged/scored by Henry Mancini in his typical style.

How long before I try #2?


THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! was an immense hit and was produced in part to take advantage of the nostalgia fad at the time. 1974 was 20 years before movie channels like TCM were launched, so these musicals were largely unknown by audiences at the time. I saw it during its first run at the sadly departed Cooper theatre in Denver with its 100 ft screen. It became apparent that many of those musicals would be too costly to produce today. MGM's production capabilities during the Golden Age were amazing. That alone makes the film worth watching.

I remember when exiting the theatre a little girl behind me asked her mother "Why don't they make movies like that anymore?"

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2024 - 2:41 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! was an immense hit and was produced in part to take advantage of the nostalgia fad at the time. ... MGM's production capabilities during the Golden Age were amazing. That alone makes the film worth watching.

I remember when exiting the theatre a little girl behind me asked her mother "Why don't they make movies like that anymore?"


I, too, recall the film (this first one) being very successful ... this was my hey-dey of cinema-going and it annoyed me that a compilation of scenes from old films was filling screens to the detriment of new films. I appreciate these older movies (some of them) more now. But my rating for this production reflects how much I enjoyed watching it, not whether it is worth watching.

 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 11:26 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Human Desire (1954) ... 8/10

Superb melodrama/film-noir thanks to a tight script and excellent performances by Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford and a sensational Gloria Grahame. It's not perfect as the story has Buckley/Crawford kill a man who has just done him a favour ... but I suppose that's the point: human desire overrules the brain.

And whilst his wife is the femme fatale I found her retribution meant an unsatisfactory ending.

Ford and Crawford starred together three times and all are great films. I was amused recalling that I used to watch Glenn Ford in Cade's County 50 years ago where his friend/colleague in this film, Edgar Buchanan, repeated the role.

The B&W image is excellent, albeit the back projection shots are clear. There's no suggestion as to where the story is set but there's nothing inviting with much of the story taking place in and around a railroad yard.

Wonderful score (partly diegetic) by Daniele Amfitheatrof which is mostly easy-listening but has some dramatic themes in the style of Bernard Herrmann.

 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 11:41 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Burglars (a.k.a. Le casse) (1971) ... 3/10

Watched via a YouTube w/s download.

Very poor crime drama which is saved only by its stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Sharif who try to put life into what is a dull story. Despite being set in Athens (not mentioned in the script) little is made of the location and the story drifts when Dyan Cannon's character is introduced.

An early car chase is boring to start but does become more fun and Belmondo performs some great stunts.

By the time Azad/Belmondo drives around broadcasting his girlfriend's name so as to find her I'd given up. I recall my parents seeing it on release and not being impressed; I've been wanting to see it partly because of Ennio Morricone's vibrant score but even this was disappointing. After the main theme there is very little dramatic score.

 
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