RA Movie Thread (Read 5584 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    Watched a few recently...

     

    Mud (2012)  Enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would.  Matthew McConaughey does a great job (even if his accent is more Texas than Arkansas Delta, but whatever), and the kids are convincing, too.  Did not realize going in that Reese Witherspoon was in it, but she's kind of milquetoast - which I think is probably deliberate, given the role of her character in the story.  I have a theory that, metaphorically speaking, the character of Mud is actually dead (that's definitely not a spoiler - I'm probably reading too much into it), and if so, that adds a fun new layer to the film.

     

    Thelma and Louise (long enough ago that I should have seen it by now)  This flick sure holds up.  Holds up better than Harvey Keitel's Southern accent, anyway! *rimshot*  Seriously, they should have just let him be the cop version of Mr. White - would have been less distracting.  Heck, they even had Mr. Blonde right there!  Dang shame they didn't have a scene together.  Anyway, otherwise lived up to my expectations...beautifully shot; even though I've never been to Arizona, I really felt like it captured the feeling of driving across that landscape (then again, I've since learned that what I actually experienced was the feeling of driving across California and Utah).  Really well-plotted character development - I came away feeling like the transformation of the pair (and the role-reversal of the two leads) was justified, and I didn't feel like there were any major leaps to get them where they ended up.

     

    Galaxy Quest (1999)  Holy cats, I love this movie.  From the tongue-in-cheek jabs Sigourney takes at the genre that launched her career, to Tony Shalhoub...being Tony Shalhoub, to Sam Rockwell, to...there's just not much I don't like about this one.  If you have any love of sci-fi...or, I suppose, if you harbor disdain for Trekkies (or both, I suppose), you should really check this one out.  Yeah, I know Tim Allen plays the lead, and that scares some people away, but trust me, he's perfect for this one.

     

    Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)  Just got back from this one.  Wow, what fun!  Not a heck of a lot that a drama professor would find to separate it from many, many other space adventures, but they do a great job of adding just enough jokes to keep it from getting too ponderous.  The script doesn't quite crackle like a Joss Whedon joint, but then again, the title characters' exposition isn't quite as...front-loaded (as I believe I heard them call it on Pop Culture Happy Hour) as it was in, say, The Avengers.  With the exception of "Star Lord," the others are pretty much introduced by a display of what's cool about them, and their backstories (some of which are fairly heavy) are doled out along the way.  The raccoon and talking tree aren't as ridiculous as you (or at least I) would think - they are functionally Han and Chewbacca - though I hope they didn't pay Vin Diesel as much as they did any of the other leads (or even secondary characters) - he literally has one line (well, technically two) that he delivers with slightly varying inflection.  The best things his character does are nonverbal expressions and gestures, and I've not read anything to indicate they Serkised him up for this one.  If I'm wrong about that, then he gets my applause, after all.

     

    On the other side of that coin, Zoe Saldana is AMAZING.  From this point forward, I'll try to make it a point to see her in whatever she's in, no matter what color she's painted (though I admit to being a little worried about this Avatar 2, 3, 4 business, for reasons completely unrelated to her).  That Bautista guy did really well, too.  What's with these pro wrestlers turning into such good actors?  It's not like they've had any acting experience previously...

     

    Everybody already seems to be going nuts over Chris Pratt, and rightfully so, so I won't say much about him.  Not seeing a heck of a lot of love for my man John C. Reilly, though...and he deserves it.  He's a funny guy, but I always like him in a straight role like he has in this one.

     

    Anyway, well worth watching, in whatever format you like best...as much as I liked it, I can't honestly say anyone HAS to see this on the big screen, or in 3D or IMAX (we saw it in 2D).

    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

      I really liked Mud as well, mab411.

       

       

      During my glorious travels and adventures around the internet, I stumbled across a Groupon sale for the Blu-ray set of The Vincent Price Collection a few weeks back, and instantly pulled the trigger on the half-price deal.  I spent several fun days going through these six movies and watching all of the extra features.  Here's my quick summary of the films...

       

      The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)

       

      Vincent Price exudes just the right blend of menace and inner torment to the the character of Roderick Usher for his first role in an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation.  The Fall of the House of Usher is the best cinematic representation of Poe's literature that I have seen, in terms of capturing the aesthetic of the author's prose on screen. This movie is not entirely faithful to the source, but it brings the tone of Poe's storytelling to the visual medium in a wonderful way. This film is true gothic cinema in every sense.  As a fan of the story might expect, the house is a villain in its own right.

       

      The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

       

      Vincent Price excels in his second role in a Poe adaptation, and he gets the chance to shine with some true villainy in the last half.   The final 15 minutes of Pit and the Pendulum are just glorious. This has one of the better payoffs of any horror film that I've seen in recent memory. The pendulum blade is depicted so intensely, and the movie, despite the plot enhancements, effectively captures the spirit of the Poe story.

       

      The Haunted Palace (1963)

       

      Vincent Price plays the role of Charles Dexter Ward, a man who travels with his wife to the town of Arkham to take charge of a mansion that he has inherited, and gets more than he bargained for when the ghostly past of the mansion catches up to him.  Price plays two roles here, and succeeds both as a protagonist and as a chilling sociopathic figure.  The Haunted Palace is actually an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, but the studio inserted lines from Poe's The Haunted Palace to capitalize on the success of the Poe adaptations so far that had starred Price.

       

      The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

       

      Vincent Price plays the Satan-worshipping Prince Prospero, who invites several other figures of nobility to his palace as a shelter from a horrific plague that is sweeping through the outlying villages.  "The Masque of the Red Death" is my favorite Edgar Allan Poe story, and this movie adaptation is a winner across the board with wonderful color cinematography, great acting from Price and company, and some of the more haunting visuals that I've seen in a horror film.

       

      Witchfinder General (Conqueror Worm) (1968)

       

      Vincent Price stars as the real-life monster, Matthew Hopkins, who roamed 1640s England to accuse women of being witches while taking bribes from local communities, reportedly being responsible for the executions of 300 or so women.  Price is brilliant in the role, because he was pushed by the director to eschew the mannerisms that served him well in Roger Corman's Poe adaptations by portraying a truly evil character who does not wink at the audience in any way.  Witchfinder General is not as outright violent as the many exploitation films that followed in its path, but it is still an unnerving viewing even today.

       

      The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

       

      Vincent Price plays the title character, Dr. Phibes, and he is definitely abominable in his creative murder schemes that replicate the Biblical plagues.  The locust murder is the one that really stuck out in my mind.  *shudders*   The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a truly otherworldly film as far as visuals are concerned, and it still packs an awesome punch.  The only downside is that Vincent Price's greatest cinematic asset, his voice, is not a factor here, since Dr. Phibes speaks with a robotic voice for reasons that become apparent during the story.

       

       

      These Blu-rays are a lot of fun, thanks largely to the fact that Vincent Price's iconic introductions and afterwords that he recorded for these movies for cable network syndication during the 1980s are included as supplements that can be watched along with the movies themselves.


      Menace to Sobriety

        If you like Price, check out "Last Man on Earth". It's a pretty good adapation of Matheson's "I am Legend",even if it is a bit low tech.

         

        I really liked Mud as well, mab411.

         

         

        During my glorious travels and adventures around the internet, I stumbled across a Groupon sale for the Blu-ray set of The Vincent Price Collection a few weeks back, and instantly pulled the trigger on the half-price deal.  I spent several fun days going through these six movies and watching all of the extra features.  Here's my quick summary of the films...

         

        Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.

          If you like Price, check out "Last Man on Earth". It's a pretty good adapation of Matheson's "I am Legend",even if it is a bit low tech.

           

           The Last Man on Earth is actually my favorite Vincent Price film!   It's also my favorite adaptation of Matheson's I Am Legend, although I have strong childhood nostalgia ties to The Omega Man.

           

          I believe that The Last Man on Earth is being released on the upcoming second volume of The Vincent Price Collection in a few months.  I'll probably snatch up that set as well when the price drops.   I've got a public domain DVD of The Last Man on Earth somewhere in my closet, but it's got a terrible picture transfer.

           

          I'm also a big fan of The Fly and House of Wax, both of which starred Price.

           

          Outside of the horror realm, Vincent Price starred in quite a few film noirs.  Laura is a fantastic movie.


          Interval Junkie --Nobby

            Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - Probably the most beautiful space film I've seen.  The orange and blue themes were somehow particularly nice.  Chris Pratt (Star Lord) does a good job being funny w/o hamming it up.  Though, for my taste I think the show is stolen by Groot.  This is a fun film.  You will probably enjoy it.  It's not a "check your brain at the door Summer movie", but it isn't Freshman Lit, either.  In all, I think the film suffered from lazy writing.  There are a few too many lazy tropes like, "But that's a suicide mission!"  "Yeah, but we're friends now."  "Oh, okay."  Even the dialog response to Groot's single phrase, where Rocket understand what "I am Groot" means in context, are poorly written such that Rocket just repeats like a bad 80s phone-dialog, "So you think I should steal Bob's Nintendo and sell it for Garbage Pail Kids?"   Come'on, people.  Yes, you have a great concept here, and a wonderful platform to have a lot of fun.  But that doesn't mean the writers can just phone it in.

            Except for StarLord, Rocket and Groot (oddly), the characters are pretty 2D.  "Yes, I just tried to kill you, but really I'm not working for EvilBad(tm), I'm actually betraying him."  "Oh, okay!".

             

            My favorite parts of the film are mostly in the beginning: where StarLord goes from ostensible loser to gadget wielding bad-ass pretty quickly.  It's like the opposite of Han Solo, who is completely cool but is immediately cut low by everything going wrong for him, to StarLord, who looks like a joke (complete with hokey adolescent nickname), but has everything go right for him in a few battles.  It's a good and believable transition for a rogue.  It sells the role and the film.  Well, that and Groot.

             

            (3/5) - but much more than I expect from a summer comic book movie.

            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

              My all-time favorite movie in the world finally came out on Blu-ray this week, and it was waiting for me in the mail when I arrived home.  I know what I'll be doing this evening when I get back from my run.

               

                 

                Guardians of the Galaxy was a little too much of a sensory overload for my tastes, and I feel an urge to go for a quiet trail run after seeing it. A sensory overload is just what the doctor ordered sometimes, though, and this movie is fun in the same oddly cathartic way that roller coasters and water parks are fun. I was initially hesitant to venture out to the theater for this one, because the commercial trailers full of walking trees, green people, raccoons with machine guns, and 1970s music had led me to believe that the people at Marvel Studios had tripped out on LSD one too many times, but the enthusiastic recommendations of several friends and the glowing reviews from many trusted sources finally compelled me to check out the excitement for myself.

                 

                In a way, Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be exactly what I expected from the trailers. If the rest of the Marvel superhero films are stately and prestigious fraternity houses on a college campus, then this movie is the Animal House, with toga parties, blow-up dolls, and random objects flying out of the upstairs windows. I was taken by surprise, however, by the likability of Peter Quill and the motley crew of alien characters who reluctantly take his side against forces of evil. Each of the Guardian characters is given a few moments of emotionally resonant screen time to shed some light on background details, and, in the end, I wanted to give everyone a high-five. My favorite aspect of Guardians of the Galaxy, though, is that it emphasizes the importance that music can have on a person's life, by way of Quill's "Awesome Mix" cassette tape that he has treasured for the 26 years since he was abducted by aliens during his childhood. This premise makes me want to compile my own "Awesome Mix" soon.

                 

                Once again, Marvel Studios spares no expense with regard to the special effects, and I am glad that the age of decent computer-generated images has finally arrived. The digital effects, as always, come with a price, because the result is somewhat cartoonish, and, at no point during this movie did I feel that any of the characters were in real danger. Guardians of the Galaxy uses this carefree vibe to its advantage, though, and I had fun rolling along through all of the explosions.

                 

                I was probably one of the last people in the world to see this movie, but I'll give it a thumbs-up just the same for those of you who may not have seen it yet.


                Interval Junkie --Nobby

                  Red Dawn (2011) - You know what's missing in this film?  The soul of the 1980s film.  Almost weird to think of anything produced in the neon plastic 1980s as having a real soul to it.  The original was celebratory fist pumping American coldwar propaganda undercut by tragedy, loss and mental anguish.  It's been a while, but if I remember right, one girl was so traumatized by events she couldn't speak.  Another boy goes from innocence to liking the violence a bit too much.  One of the hero girls asks for a grenade to lay on to make her dying body into a booby trap.  And finally, the brothers part as one bleeds out on a wintery park-bench.  I haven't seen the movie since the theater in the 1980s, but I've carried the above with me for the last 30 or so years.  The new version is just an action film.  Not a bad one.  But that's all it is. (2/5)

                  2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

                    Red Dawn (2011) - You know what's missing in this film?  The soul of the 1980s film.  Almost weird to think of anything produced in the neon plastic 1980s as having a real soul to it.  The original was celebratory fist pumping American coldwar propaganda undercut by tragedy, loss and mental anguish.  It's been a while, but if I remember right, one girl was so traumatized by events she couldn't speak.  Another boy goes from innocence to liking the violence a bit too much.  One of the hero girls asks for a grenade to lay on to make her dying body into a booby trap.  And finally, the brothers part as one bleeds out on a wintery park-bench.  I haven't seen the movie since the theater in the 1980s, but I've carried the above with me for the last 30 or so years.  The new version is just an action film.  Not a bad one.  But that's all it is. (2/5)

                     

                    What I loved about the original 1984 version of Red Dawn was that the paratroopers invaded during a school day and started shooting up the school.  I always felt that, if this happened in my town, then it would obviously be tragic and horrific, but it would at least get me out of a day of school.  

                    In the new version, the paratroopers invade early on a Saturday morning when everyone is asleep.  Screw that.

                    mab411


                    Proboscis Colossus

                       

                      What I loved about the original 1984 version of Red Dawn was that the paratroopers invaded during a school day and started shooting up the school.  I always felt that, if this happened in my town, then it would obviously be tragic and horrific, but it would at least get me out of a day of school.  

                      In the new version, the paratroopers invade early on a Saturday morning when everyone is asleep.  Screw that.

                       

                      Not to accuse modern collaborative movie production of having "taste," but I'm guessing they figured a scene of a school getting shot up would be even more disastrous than...well, a ham-fisted remake of a beloved 80's film.

                      "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


                      Interval Junkie --Nobby

                         

                        What I loved about the original 1984 version of Red Dawn was that the paratroopers invaded during a school day and started shooting up the school.  I always felt that, if this happened in my town, then it would obviously be tragic and horrific, but it would at least get me out of a day of school.  

                        In the new version, the paratroopers invade early on a Saturday morning when everyone is asleep.  Screw that.

                         

                        Yeah, oddly I also felt that was really significant.

                         

                        Another change for the worse, the original was set in the middle of nowhere.  The bleak northern midwest winters added to the feeling that these kids were alone.  The new one is more urban (Yeah, Spokane, that bustling metropolis), which means while the kids are living out in the woods, supplies and resistance-minded adults are easily accessible.

                         

                        Furthermore, the lead (Thor) being a battle-hardened USMC vet did the movie no favors in my view.  In the original it was only the kids hunting skills and what I always assumed were tactics borrowed from the same Vietnam TV shows I was watching at the time.  They were really piecing it together as they went along.

                         

                        The original is certainly no film masterpiece.  I think it's best known for holding the  body-count/minute record until Saving Private Ryan.  But there was something in that movie that tapped into being a kid in the 80s that's almost on par with The Breakfast Club.

                         

                        I can't believe I find myself celebrating Red Dawn.

                        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

                          The original is certainly no film masterpiece.  I think it's best known for holding the  body-count/minute record until Saving Private Ryan.  But there was something in that movie that tapped into being a kid in the 80s that's almost on par with The Breakfast Club.

                           

                          There are a great many 1980s movies that are not "masterpieces", but I nonetheless hold them up on a pedestal because they struck a chord with me when I was younger...  Red Dawn, Flash Gordon, Scanners, Clash of the Titans, Night of the Comet, Blue Thunder, The Legend of Billie Jean, Near Dark, Lifeforce, and so on.  In fact, I could go on and on...

                          FSocks


                          Gramps

                            The best thing about Red Dawn. A father locking up his daughters waiting for the savior teenage boys to come rescue them. I never could and I still can't get past that part of the movie.  He reminds me of the original Batman series with the Kapow! And Bam!  Too much cheese.

                            Running is dumb. 

                            Capt Awesome


                              I just saw a movie called Boyhood starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and 2 no-name kids, directed by Richard Linklater. I saw it on XBMC so it may not even be in the movies yet, I'm not sure, but it was an amazing concept. Basically this movie was filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years. It was really something special to be able to see these kids grow up over the years and before our eyes. Watching the main character grow from a 6 year old boy until he goes away to college, visiting them for day to day life as well as significant events, holidays, etc. really captured what it was like growing up. I highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance.

                                I just saw a movie called Boyhood starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and 2 no-name kids, directed by Richard Linklater. I saw it on XBMC so it may not even be in the movies yet, I'm not sure, but it was an amazing concept. Basically this movie was filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years. It was really something special to be able to see these kids grow up over the years and before our eyes. Watching the main character grow from a 6 year old boy until he goes away to college, visiting them for day to day life as well as significant events, holidays, etc. really captured what it was like growing up. I highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance.

                                 

                                Saw this yesterday. I was a little unsure that I would like this movie given the hype, the fact that Ethan Hawke is in it, and the what I thought might just be a gimmick of filming over the course of twelve years. This turned out to be a really really excellent film. Ethan Hawke won me over and then some. And it's not just the coming of age of the boy that got to me. Linklater captured so many truths about adulthood as well. How we may change in some ways but also how something at our core stays the same, how we create the same patterns over and over, and how sad and beautiful that can be. I would suggest not reading anything else about this movie and just get out there and see it. Wow.