RA Movie Thread (Read 5576 times)

    The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir (Fearless, Witness, Truman Show). Prisoners escape Russian gulag in 1941 and make their way on foot toward India. Colin Farrell was interesting, as was Ed Harris and Saoirse Ronan. Relaxing, walking movie. I was engrossed. Don't ask for too much more.

     

    The Way Back is a great film, based on a great book (The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz).   When I bought a Blu-ray player in 2012, I quickly upgraded my DVD of this movie to Blu-ray, because I wanted to see the gorgeous scenery in high definition.  Well worth it!

      Movies that I've seen lately...

       

      Gilda (1946)

       

      Most present-day viewers are familiar with Gilda because of the scene reference in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, where the prisoners cheer as Rita Hayworth appears on the screen.  This film noir movie deserves a wider audience these days, because Rita Hayworth's role is still one of the most sensual actress roles to date, and Glenn Ford, who would later play Clark Kent/Superman's father in the 1978 adaptation of Superman, is a great tough guy who becomes embroiled by desires and crime when he crosses paths with Hayworth.

       

      The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

       

      Rita Hayworth shines yet again in this amazing film noir directed by none other than Orson Welles.  Welles plays a wandering sailor who gets more than he bargained for when he rescues Rita Hayworth from muggers in Central Park, and is later recruited by her wealthy husband to work on their yacht during a voyage from New York to San Francisco via the Panama Canal.  Women can get you into trouble, especially in these old film noirs, and Welle's desire for Hayworth quickly lands him over his head in an adventure that concludes brilliantly in a shootout that takes place in an amusement park hall of mirrors.

       

      Criss Cross (1949)

       

      All of the old film noirs had an undercurrent of bleakness, but Criss Cross takes it to a whole new level.  Burt Lancaster finds himself in trouble because of...(drumroll, please)...a woman.  When Lancaster's character tries to explain his involvement in a hoodlum's wife by claiming on the spot that he is seeking partners for an armed car robbery, chaos ensues when the hoodlum takes him at his word and proceeds with the robbery plan.

       

      This Gun for Hire (1942)

       

      This Gun for Hire was one of several early film noirs starring the unforgettable duo of Alan Ladd and the beautiful Veronica Lake.  Alan Ladd plays a professional hitman who enlists in the help of a reluctant Veronica Lake after he is double-crossed by the men who hired him to kill a blackmailer.  In the 1997 movie, L.A Confidential, when Kim Basinger appears as a prostitute made up to look like Veronica Lake, the movie playing on a projector in the background at her place is This Gun for Hire.

      jimmyb


        Good suggestions, Jason.

         

        Tonight, I was looking for an action pic, so I watched Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise. It was fun, but Cruise seemed a bit too subdued, it was like there was no fire. One scene was a direct rip-off of one in An Officer And A Gentleman, though expressed a hair differently—got the testosterone pumping. Not Cruise's best action pic, but not a stinker either.

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        jimmyb


          A double-feature tonight. Sunset Boulevard—my first viewing, a Gloria Swanson tour-de-force, directed by Billy Wilder. Great movie, a must-see if you haven't yet. Followed it up with The Usual Suspects, which I hadn't seen since the 90's. Still holds up, and is even better the second time, knowing what you know from seeing it the first time.

          Log    PRs


          Needs more cowbell!

            The Lego Movie was wonderful…Everything is awesome!!!  DS turned 13 yesterday and has been obsessed with Lego for as long as I can remember -- his dad, too.  So they especially loved it.

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              A double-feature tonight. Sunset Boulevard—my first viewing, a Gloria Swanson tour-de-force, directed by Billy Wilder. Great movie, a must-see if you haven't yet. 

               

              I love Sunset Boulevard.   It's a film noir masterpiece, through and through.

               

              Billy Wilder was in a class all his own.

               

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a comedy, then he would end up directing the best comedies.  (Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch)

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct film noir, then he would end up directing the best film noirs.  (Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Ace in the Hole)

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a war film, then he would end up directing the best war film.  (Stalag 17)

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a romantic comedy, then he would end up directing the best romantic comedies.  (The Apartment, Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon)

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a biographical film, then he would end up directing the best biographical film.  (The Spirit of St. Louis)

              If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a courtroom drama, then he would end up directing the best courtroom drama.  (Witness for the Prosecution)

              ...and so on.

               

              Double Indemnity is probably one of my all-time top ten movies.  The Apartment is close in my rankings as well.

               

              Billy Wilder is probably my second favorite director of all time, behind Alfred Hitchcock.

              jimmyb


                Great response. I liked both The Apartment, Some Like It Hot and Double Indemnity. Your list has inspired a Billy Wilder retrospective to suddenly appear  on my docket. I think several of them are on Netflix streaming. AmazonPrime probably has a few. I remember seeing The Apartment for the first time and seeing Fred McMurray in a role that wasn't My Three Sons or a Disney flick, and thinking he had some chops. After seeing Double Indemnity, I was sold on his abilities. I wonder how he felt ending up on a sitcom. I know back in those days that TV was seen as a major step down for a movie star. These days, it's either a step over or a step up, because of all the high quality shows appearing on cable channels.

                 

                 

                I love Sunset Boulevard.   It's a film noir masterpiece, through and through.

                 

                Billy Wilder was in a class all his own.

                 

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a comedy, then he would end up directing the best comedies.  (Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch)

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct film noir, then he would end up directing the best film noirs.  (Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Ace in the Hole)

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a war film, then he would end up directing the best war film.  (Stalag 17)

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a romantic comedy, then he would end up directing the best romantic comedies.  (The Apartment, Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon)

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a biographical film, then he would end up directing the best biographical film.  (The Spirit of St. Louis)

                If Wilder decided that he wanted to direct a courtroom drama, then he would end up directing the best courtroom drama.  (Witness for the Prosecution)

                ...and so on.

                 

                Double Indemnity is probably one of my all-time top ten movies.  The Apartment is close in my rankings as well.

                 

                Billy Wilder is probably my second favorite director of all time, behind Alfred Hitchcock.

                Log    PRs

                   

                  Crashout is an awesome 1955 film noir that I revisited this past weekend.  After breaking out of a maximum security prison and hiding out in an abandoned mine for a few days, six convicts travel together to retrieve a large stash of money, encountering and causing all sorts of disruption along the way.  This was probably a pretty intense movie back in its day, and it strikes me as an early black-and-white ancestor of "dishonor among thieves" films like Reservoir Dogs.  William Talman always played a great villain, and two of his other film noirs, The Hitch-Hiker (1953) and City That Never Sleeps (1953), are also favorites of mine.


                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    All is Lost (2013) -- Basically Robert Redford revisiting Jeremiah Johnson (1972); your average capable man, alone against the elements. This time Redford is stripped of his youthful optimism and vigor by old age.  The power of the film is seated in the protagonist's constant exhaustion.  The usual format for films is protagonist encounters problem; protagonist works on problem; protagonist resolves problem; protagonist moves on to new problem.  In this film however, which is pleasantly not spoon-feeding you, Redford has a hole in his boat, which fills it with water.  At one point he's starts pumping the water out with a lever.  Later you see him go back into the boat -- which is filled with water still.  As a viewer, you think "oh, there must be another hole he needs to fix, since there's new water."  But later you realize: no, he just got exhausted pumping the water out, which he goes back to later.

                     

                    Anyway, I really enjoyed this film.  I also liked the ending was artful, but not ambiguous. Though, I think the artistic desires for the last scene conflict with the narrative and make the character's final decision oddly timed.  Still (4/5).

                     

                    Ender's Game (2013) -- it a good, if not a little pale, representation of the book up through the final battle.  After that it hits some very odd notes and flubs the punchline.  Kinda worth seeing.  (3/5).

                    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                    Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                      All is Lost (2013) -- Basically Robert Redford revisiting Jeremiah Johnson (1972); your average capable man, alone against the elements. This time Redford is stripped of his youthful optimism and vigor by old age.  The power of the film is seated in the protagonist's constant exhaustion.  The usual format for films is protagonist encounters problem; protagonist works on problem; protagonist resolves problem; protagonist moves on to new problem.  In this film however, which is pleasantly not spoon-feeding you, Redford has a hole in his boat, which fills it with water.  At one point he's starts pumping the water out with a lever.  Later you see him go back into the boat -- which is filled with water still.  As a viewer, you think "oh, there must be another hole he needs to fix, since there's new water."  But later you realize: no, he just got exhausted pumping the water out, which he goes back to later.

                       

                      Anyway, I really enjoyed this film.  I also liked the ending was artful, but not ambiguous. Though, I think the artistic desires for the last scene conflict with the narrative and make the character's final decision oddly timed.  Still (4/5).

                       

                       All Is Lost was my favorite movie of 2013.  I revisited it last week during the snow days here in Atlanta, along with Ridley Scott's The Counselor, which I thought was an underrated and unfairly-maligned movie.

                      jimmyb


                        In continuing my perusing of the Oscar-nominated films of 1950, I watched All About Eve for the 2nd time. It had been 15 years since I've seen it. It won the Oscar for best film over Sunset Boulevard, which I watched last week. Maybe it was my mood, but I thought All About Eve lost a bit of its edge for me on this second trip through. Too much talking about what happened off screen, and not enough of showing it. Still a very good movie, but not great. I also think Eve (Anne Baxter) changed too abruptly at one point. Her performance as a sociopath was beautifully subtle and then she went way over the top. Bette Davis...awesome...as was George Sanders as the sociopathic movie critic. The only scene where I think Eve losing her cool and revealing an over-the-top anger (when she's not in control) worked was when Sanders outplayed her and took control over her. There was a scene where Bette Davis was smoking in bed. At that point, I turned to my wife and said "smoking might be bad for you, but it sure looks great in a film." Smoking is such an effective way to fill the scene. It gives the actor something to do, a way to go into thought or express an emotion. If she didn't light up, she would have just been sitting there thinking.

                         

                        It's always great to see the unique presence and acting of Marilyn Monroe. She wasn't a star just yet in this film. I noticed that when she's in a scene, it's hard not to keep looking at her. There's an aura of some kind (or maybe she's just way too hot, or maybe it's the myth).

                         

                        I think Sunset Boulevard is the better of the two films about aging actresses. I thought it took more chances, and showed everything.

                         

                        Next up, Born Yesterday.

                        Log    PRs

                        jimmyb


                          Well, finally, after 30 years, I watched Footloose. It wasn't horrible. Kevin Bacon was quite good, as was Chris Penn, John Lithgow, and Dianne Wiest. A young Sarah Jessica Parker bops around the film like a pixie. The theme was timeless, if the music wasn't.  LOL. 

                          Log    PRs

                            In continuing my perusing of the Oscar-nominated films of 1950, I watched All About Eve for the 2nd time. It had been 15 years since I've seen it. It won the Oscar for best film over Sunset Boulevard, which I watched last week. Maybe it was my mood, but I thought All About Eve lost a bit of its edge for me on this second trip through. Too much talking about what happened off screen, and not enough of showing it. Still a very good movie, but not great. I also think Eve (Anne Baxter) changed too abruptly at one point. Her performance as a sociopath was beautifully subtle and then she went way over the top. Bette Davis...awesome...as was George Sanders as the sociopathic movie critic. The only scene where I think Eve losing her cool and revealing an over-the-top anger (when she's not in control) worked was when Sanders outplayed her and took control over her. There was a scene where Bette Davis was smoking in bed. At that point, I turned to my wife and said "smoking might be bad for you, but it sure looks great in a film." Smoking is such an effective way to fill the scene. It gives the actor something to do, a way to go into thought or express an emotion. If she didn't light up, she would have just been sitting there thinking.

                             

                            It's always great to see the unique presence and acting of Marilyn Monroe. She wasn't a star just yet in this film. I noticed that when she's in a scene, it's hard not to keep looking at her. There's an aura of some kind (or maybe she's just way too hot, or maybe it's the myth).

                             

                            I think Sunset Boulevard is the better of the two films about aging actresses. I thought it took more chances, and showed everything.

                             

                            I prefer Sunset Boulevard, but I'm also a big fan of All About Eve.  George Sanders starred in so many brilliant films...Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent, Journey to Italy, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, While the City Sleeps, Village of the Damned, and so many others.

                              The Spectacular Now

                               

                              This 2013 movie is one of the best, if not the best, of the high school films that I've seen over the past couple of decades. The Spectacular Now delivers a matter-of-fact and down-to-Earth approach to incidents that would have been overemphasized or used as preachy moments in lesser movies, and it's quite adept at depicting awkwardness and discomfort when it comes to moments in a teenager's life when assertiveness is necessary. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are outstanding in the lead roles, and I also appreciated the presence of Jennifer Jason Leigh, who starred in teen movies back in the 1980s when I was actually part of the target audience for those flicks.

                              On a surface level, I was drawn in by the Athens, Georgia filming location because I've spent a lot of time in that town. When I was in high school back in the 1980s, we used to play the high school in the movie (Clarke Central High School) in football, and I've driven down the main highway stretch in the movie more times than I can count. I realized that the Wuxtry location was a fake location because I've bought music from the real store so many times.

                              ...and, yes, I have been in the Georgia Bar before.

                               

                              Say Anything...

                               

                              After watching The Spectacular Now, I pulled my Blu-ray of Say Anything... off the shelf and took it for another spin.  Such a great double feature night!   I always had a big crush on Lili Taylor's character in this movie.


                              Cool Jump Suit

                                I finally saw All is Lost a couple of weekends ago.  Was excited when I first heard about the film, but didn't like it as much as I thought I would.  Still glad I saw it, everything seemed very realistic.

                                 

                                All is Lost (2013) -- Basically Robert Redford revisiting Jeremiah Johnson (1972); your average capable man, alone against the elements. This time Redford is stripped of his youthful optimism and vigor by old age.  The power of the film is seated in the protagonist's constant exhaustion.  The usual format for films is protagonist encounters problem; protagonist works on problem; protagonist resolves problem; protagonist moves on to new problem.  In this film however, which is pleasantly not spoon-feeding you, Redford has a hole in his boat, which fills it with water.  At one point he's starts pumping the water out with a lever.  Later you see him go back into the boat -- which is filled with water still.  As a viewer, you think "oh, there must be another hole he needs to fix, since there's new water."  But later you realize: no, he just got exhausted pumping the water out, which he goes back to later.

                                 

                                Anyway, I really enjoyed this film.  I also liked the ending was artful, but not ambiguous. Though, I think the artistic desires for the last scene conflict with the narrative and make the character's final decision oddly timed.  Still (4/5).

                                 

                                Ender's Game (2013) -- it a good, if not a little pale, representation of the book up through the final battle.  After that it hits some very odd notes and flubs the punchline.  Kinda worth seeing.  (3/5).

                                The kiss goodnight, it comes with me,
                                Both wrong and right, our memories. 
                                The whispering before we sleep,
                                Just one more thing that you can't keep.

                                Our favorite place we used to go,
                                The warm embrace that no one knows.
                                The lovin' look that's left your eyes,
                                But I know in time we'll find this was no surprise.