RA Movie Thread (Read 5832 times)

    For the month of July, the Plaza Theatre, the oldest movie theatre in the city of Atlanta, is showing all 23 of the James Bond movies in order.  It's not practical for me to make the trip into midtown Atlanta 23 nights in a row, even for an über-Bond fan like me, but there were a couple of showings that I've been compelled to hit on general principle.


    Since I have never seen one of the Sean Connery Bond films on the big screen, and since the first two are my favorites, my choice was made...


    Jason's Dr. No report, Monday, July 1 (copied from my post on Facebook)


    Last night, I fulfilled another wish on my cinematic bucket list by seeing Dr. No, my favorite James Bond movie and one of my all-time top five movies across the board, on the big screen at the Plaza Theatre in midtown Atlanta. The awesomeness of this theatrical showing exceeded my expectations, and watching this 1962 film in Atlanta's oldest theatre added to the effect. 

    Most fans of the Sean Connery Bond films name the third entry, Goldfinger, as their favorite. I'm an enthusiastic fan of Goldfinger as well, but I prefer the comparably rough-around-the-edges feel of the first two movies, Dr. No and From Russia with Love. It was a treat to see Dr. No on the big screen at long last, because of its crude lived-in vibe with the Caribbean island settings and the iconic scenes that introduced the movie incarnation of Ian Fleming's James Bond character to the world.

    I love the scene when Professor Dent storms into the bedroom and empties six bullets into the bed, thinking that Bond is under the covers. Bond, who is seated against the wall by the door, confronts and questions Dent. When Dent suddenly grabs his dropped gun and attempts to shoot Bond, he realizes that his gun is empty. Bond tells him, "That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six.", before shooting him. Sean Connery's James Bond was definitely one cold and ruthless customer.

    The scene where Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) emerges from the sea in her bikini speaks for itself, of course, and you could have heard a pin drop in the theater last night during that moment.
    James Bond: "Don't worry. I'm not supposed to be here either."
    Honey Ryder: "Are you looking for shells too?"
    James Bond: "No, I'm just looking."

    Jason's From Russia with Love report, Tuesday, July 2 (copied from my post on Facebook)


    After yesterday's appointment with the running doctor and a return to the massage and icing routines, I decided to treat myself to another trip to the Plaza Theatre in midtown Atlanta to join some friends at a big screen presentation of the the second James Bond movie, From Russia with Love, since this is another favorite of mine alongside Dr. No, which I saw at Plaza Theatre on Monday night. For the showing of this 1963 movie, Plaza Theatre used their largest screen, complete with a brilliant new sound system, to accommodate more viewers after the sellout showing of Dr. No, and the results were exemplary. Seeing these old Technicolor movies at a theater is really something else.

    From Russia with Love was the first film of the Bond series to feature John Barry as the soundtrack composer, and his iconic Bond score came across with glorious volume on the Plaza Theatre setup. From Russia with Love was also the first film of the Bond series to introduce several conventions that became essential in subsequent films, such as a pre-title sequence, a secret gadget presented to Bond by Q (Desmond Llewelyn), the Blofeld villain character, a theme song with lyrics, and, finally, the "James Bond will return..." teaser in the final credits. 

    The pre-title sequence of From Russia with Love is quite memorable, as we see James Bond (Sean Connery) silently sneaking alongside mansion hedges in his tuxedo, only to be killed by an assassin who strangles him with razor-wire. This scenario is then revealed to be an elaborate training exercise for the assassin, and we see the Bond mask removed from the dead man, who was simply a nameless agent playing the role of James Bond for the exercise. 
    Every time I see this particular sequence, I cannot help wondering how the unfortunate dead agent was recruited to wear a James Bond mask and be killed as a part of a routine training exercise. I'd like to imagine that it played out like this...
    "It's your turn now. Here's your James Bond mask. Hope you have better luck than the others did."
    "No way! Count me out! I'm not going out there dressed as Bond just to get killed."
    "Are you sure? We wish that you would reconsider."
    "NO! I'm not going to do it."
    "We have cookies."
    "Hmmm. Oh... Alright... I'll do it."

    It's always difficult to choose the most beautiful Bond girl from the series, but my vote goes to the Russian clerk, Tatiana Romanova, who seduces James Bond in From Russia with Love. Tatiana Romanova was played by Daniela Bianchi, who was actually an Italian actress, a former Miss Rome, and 1960 runner-up for Miss Universe. Seeing this actress on a massive theater screen was yet another incentive to venture out to Plaza Theatre.

    I will miss out on the Plaza Theatre showing of Goldfinger tonight, since I am waking up early to run Peachtree Road Race the following morning, and, in fact, I will likely miss the rest of the James Bond showings at Plaza theatre this month, since making the trip from Smyrna to the midtown Atlanta area on a nightly basis is not practical. There is a possibility that I might catch my favorite Roger Moore Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, on July 12, since that's a Friday night, and I might see Goldfinger late in July if Plaza Theatre includes it as one of the matinee encore presentations. For now, though, I am quite content simply to have seen these two favorite Sean Connery films (Dr. No and From Russia with Love) on the big screen at long last. 




      Last night, I watched Star Trek 3: Search For Spock on Netflix. I had watched Wrath Of Khan (#2) a few months back (still good). THis one though....I found myself laughing and tearing it apart for its lack of logic, instead of enjoying it. Doesn't hold up.


      The last week or two I committed myself to watching the first 6 Star Trek movies. I have only #6 (Undiscovered Country) left to watch and I will probably watch it today. They are a lot different than the new JJ Abrams movies but they still are cool to watch and get a blast from the past, uhhh I mean future.

        5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

      10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

      Half Marathon = 1:38.53  Summer Sizzle 7/13/14

      Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

      Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

      Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34

         They are a lot different than the new JJ Abrams movies but they still are cool to watch 



          Check out Restrepo (on Netflix). Very good.


          Proboscis Colossus

            Watching 21 Jump Street, the movie.  Pretty formulaic, but also pretty funny.  Fun to see Ice Cube cut loose with the (self-proclaimed in the script) "angry black captain" stereotype, which he's a natural for.  Kind of a neat tie-in to the original series at the end.


            Watched Rat Race earlier.  I'm such a fan of that movie.  Pretty blatant rip of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (did I get enough "Mads" in there?), I think it was even stated as such in one of the DVD extras, but it's such great physical comedy.  You got John Cleese with a ridiculous dental prosthetic, Rowan Atkinson in a hilarious speaking role, Dave Thomas being Dave Thomas, Jon Lovitz and Cuba Gooding Jr. doing slapstick, which they're actually pretty good at, and Seth Green, who...I dunno, I've just always liked Seth Green in movies.  Writing is pretty tight, too...of course, it's pretty easy to keep the pacing lively when you've got six storylines going at once, but they do a good job of separating them and then slowly weaving them back together.  One caveat, though, I highly recommend stopping the movie after Dave Thomas drives off with the hooker.  The ending they came up with is highly, highly contrived.

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

            Interval Junkie --Nobby

              Check out Restrepo (on Netflix). Very good.


              Seconded.  Also, for a "Rolling Stone" magazine-style look at Iraq, check out HBO's

              Generation Kill.  Good series.

              2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                I saw The Heat with the wife last weekend.  Female buddy cop movie starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.  It was your pretty typical predictable buddy cop movie, but it made me laugh a lot.  Melissa McCarthy cracks me up and just has a filthy mouth in this movie.  It's not just cursing, but it's the creative use of it that had me laughing.  Language laughs aside, McCarthy and Bullock seem to have a pretty good on screen chemistry.  Lots of laughs in this one, although it's probably more of a renter rather than paying $11 at the movies.


                I was coming to post my review on the movie and this is pretty much what I was going to say. Melissa McCarthy is the queen of comedic timing. She was amazing. Bullock played a great straight man for her to play off of it. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did and was more than pleasantly surprised.


                Also saw Man of Steel awhile back. Again, hate to just copy off of other reviews, and unfortunately I don't know how to do that double quote-y thing...but I echo FSocks opinion. I think the "flashbacks" were the strongest parts of the film and could have used more...the action was pretty weak and I had my own issues with the mass destruction (not really Superman's MO, but, whatevs). He was pretty hot, so that helped (I struggled with this just because to me, Christopher Reeve IS Superman).


                I would recommend both films.

                Princess Cancer Pants

                  We saw Despicable Me 2 yesterday...and loved it every bit as much as the first one.  There was a great World War Z homage towards the end of the film that cracked me up, especially since both films are currently on the big screen.


                  And I want my own minion...or maybe a half-dozen of them.  Seriously.

                  '17 Goals:

                  • Chemo

                  • Chemo-Radiation

                  • Surgery

                  • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


                  She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

                  ~ Unknown



                    We saw Despicable Me 2 yesterday...and loved it every bit as much as the first one.  There was a great World War Z homage towards the end of the film that cracked me up, especially since both films are currently on the big screen.


                    And I want my own minion...or maybe a half-dozen of them.  Seriously.


                    I agree with everything in this post.  Good, fun movie.

                    You people, have issues.


                      We saw Despicable Me 2 yesterday...and loved it every bit as much as the first one.  


                      +1. Lots of good laughs for everyone in this movie.

                      "He conquers who endures" - Persius
                      "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel



                      Proboscis Colossus

                        The wife and I checked out The Lone Ranger yesterday.


                        Okay, first a note about the venue.  It bills itself as the oldest continuously-running theater in Texas, which I have no way of verifying, but it's got a historic register plaque, so okay.  It's a small town, so the atmosphere inside is really interesting...since it's the only "respectable" thing for the kids to do in town, there is always a solid block of seats that they occupy...which is right next to all the older folks in town that still enjoy going out to the talkies and are there no matter what's playing...mixed in with the (slightly) younger folks like my wife and I.  So, even though there are a ton of junior high and high school kids there on dates and whatnot in this tiny theater, they're always very well-behaved, since even if their parents aren't there (which they often are), there's probably someone there who knows their parents, and will either narc on them or walk over and jerk them up by the ear themselves.


                        When we first moved here, the picture and especially the sound were terrible, but last night I was really struck by how far they've come.  Digital projection and sound, still not quite as breathtaking as the latest/greatest multiplexes have, but still a really sharp, vibrant picture and actual surround sound with some thump to it, as opposed to what appeared to be an overhead projector and a mono speaker behind the screen when we got here.  And since it's such a small room, the system doesn't have to be that powerful.  And as a bonus, there are never any advertisements before the film starts, and rarely more than one or two previews.  Promptly at 7:30, the lights go down, everyone cheers, there's a preview, and boom - movie begins.  All for $6 for an adult ticket on a Saturday night.  Ten if you want popcorn and a drink.


                        Okay, on to the movie:  tons of fun.  It was more or less Pirates of the Caribbean in an Old West setting, but I tell you...not a bad thing (and it was the first Pirates movie, so no flow chart needed).  Johnny Depp did a great job...trying to think if his Tonto was too similar to any of his other wild characterizations, but I'm not coming up with much.  Maybe it's the Bruckheimer/Verbinski connection, but I guess the costuming smacked pretty closely of Captain Jack Sparrow...but without the batpoop-crazy verbosity. And Tonto has a lot more backstory to play off of, which helped give the character some heft.  There's even an emotional reason for the bird on his head - at one point, it gets damaged, and I actually caught myself gasping with concern.  MTA: Johnny Depp based the look of the character on a painting, the name and artist of which escape me for the moment.


                        I felt like Armie Hammer could have done a little more...thinking about it afterward, I never quite bought into his desire for vengeance, as insidious as the antagonist certainly was.  His motivation seemed to sort of teeter between desire for "justice" and revenge, and somewhere in there were his feelings for the love interest (which he never seemed that interested in - or did he?)...maybe this was supposed to come across as complexity, but none of it ever seemed to gel for me.


                        Story was good, though it dragged on a bit in the second act.  Picked up pretty quick in the third, though.  If the completely impossible physics and stunts of the Pirates movies bothered you, fair warning: there's even more of it here, only some of which is shown in the trailers.  But, it sure was fun to watch, and toward the end, during a "triumphant entry"-type moment for the Lone Ranger, the William Tell Overture cranks up, and it's tough not to get swept away, even though 90% of what happens for the next 20 mins. is completely impossible.


                        That last bit ties into something about the movie that may have been unique to the setting I watched it in, which is why I brought it up at the beginning of this review: though I certainly didn't take a poll, I bet a lot of my fellow audience members had watched the old Lone Ranger serials in that very theater as kids, and let me tell you, they were thrilled with the remake.  Lots of whooping and cheering and gasps, like I suspect they did when they were kids.  And the theater staff (of I think about three) helped set the stage by dressing up as the characters.


                        Other random critiques:


                        • I mentioned the playing of the William Tell Overture earlier...as a music educator, I was pleased that it seemed to be (as best I could tell under all the gunfire and trains) JUST the William Tell Overture, played in its entirety, not modified or re-orchestrated to fit the action.  It's been awhile since I've heard it in its entirety, so I can't be sure, but it sure sounded good AND supported the action just fine
                        • my wife looked it up when we got home, and according to Wikipedia, the plot of the movie is actually the original Lone Ranger origin story.
                        • even Silver got a hint of a backstory, which I guess would explain somewhat some of the more..."imaginative"...feats he (she?) was able to pull off
                        • ***spoiler alert***  I was a little put off by one of the traits of the antagonist, a fondness for eating human hearts.  I mean, I guess that certainly ups his status as an evil mofo, but it seemed artificial and unnecessary, and if I were a parent deciding whether to allow my young one to watch, it would certainly push me toward "no."  I mean, they don't actually show him chowing down, except in a very indistinct reflection, but it's implied strongly enough through a stabbing/cutting motion and a bloody hand that I don't think I'd want my kid seeing it.  Some of the gun violence was a little stronger than I expected, too.
                        • Hey, Helena Bonham Carter can pull off a Western accent.  Mostly.

                        Anyway, I certainly didn't regret paying either the time or the money to check it out on the big screen, and it might even be worth owning at some point, though I might wait until the inevitable sequels are out and get the boxed set.

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


                          We saw Despicable Me 2 yesterday...and loved it every bit as much as the first one.  There was a great World War Z homage towards the end of the film that cracked me up, especially since both films are currently on the big screen.


                          And I want my own minion...or maybe a half-dozen of them.  Seriously.


                          I liked DM2 a lot.  Minions stole the show!  (The singing had me on the ground! Big grin)


                          I have to admit though, the Latino stereotypes made me wince a bit...

                          Oh roo roooo!

                            mab411, don't know that I have an interest in actually seeing "The Lone Ranger", but if I did, I can't imagine I'd enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed your post about the movie and where you saw it!  Thanks, that was cool.

                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              Upstream Color - Weird and cerebral.  The narrative only really holds once you have the whole story before you.  The rest of the time you spend going, "huh?"  But then it all gels at the end making it pretty satisfying.  This is a challenging movie to watch, rather than a popcorner. The director is asking you to keep-up, but suspend your need to make conclusions.  I enjoyed this film more 6hrs after watching it than when the credits rolled by.  (4/5)

                              2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                                Charade (1963)


                                I watched Charade for the first time last night, and fell head over heels in love with the movie.  It's probably the best Hitchcock film that Alfred Hitchcock never directed, and Audrey Hepburn's plight as an innocent woman suddenly caught up in the middle of murderous conspiracies shares similarities with the plight of her co-star, Cary Grant, in Hitchcock's North by Northwest.


                                Charade is comedic even by today's standards, and the quips and one-liners kept a smile on my face the whole time.  The movie also has an awesome dark twist, though, and a few of the corpse encounters along the way were probably pretty graphic at the time of the movie's release.  It's an oddball of a macabre comedy, but it really works.


                                Highly recommended!