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 Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh

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Erica Ambler
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:12 pm

Salomé wrote:
I am increasingly liking James McAvoy as an actor, after initially finding him largely unimpressive.
He has charisma, which is surprising in someone so physically unprepossessing.

Saw Escape from LA again last night. Made way back in 1996, it’s set in 2013 arse-wipe America that is much less scary than the world we live in. Machine-gun toting dykes, trannies, Koreans, Mexicans and earthquakes hardly compare to the lifeless horrors of the unelected EU drones and global elite.

In this new born-again backwater, LA is a dumping ground for whores, gays, degenerates and ethnic minorities – perhaps fittingly, ‘Escape from LA’ contains possibly Hollywood’s last sympathetic portrayal of a Muslim. Kurt Russell, the poor man’s Clint Eastwood (running joke: ‘Snake Plissken … I thought you’d be taller'), leads a fine supporting cast of Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Steve Buscemi, Michelle Forbes, Staecy Keach and Cliff Robertson. However, it adds up to nothing much.

The plot is the usual videogame nonsense - find the treasure and overcome obstacles/set-pieces along the way – but the script parodies Hollywood amusingly enough. I particularly like the part where the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills cups a woman’s breasts and exclaims, “My God, they’re real!” Unfortunately, despite a tour of wrecked LA landmarks such as Universal Studios, the Capitol Records Building and the Queen Mary, the sets are the most disappointing part of the film. They look like shit yet cost a fortune to make. And an eight-figure b-movie somewhat defies the point.

This was one of the many misfires that ended John Carpenter’s mainstream career. Yet like all his films, even his disappointing later efforts, there’s always something that draws me in. In ‘Escape from LA’, I particularly like this little act of libertarian sedition at the end:

“The United States is a non-smoking nation.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No women – unless, of course, you’re married.
No guns.
No foul language.
No red meat."

Land of the free. Who ever thought the new fascism would come from the so-called Liberal Left?
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Blunt Instrument
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:40 pm

Isn't there some CGI surfing in that which is even dodgier-looking than Die Another Day's?

On the 'satirising a puritanical future' front, I wonder how much a rewatch of Stallone's Demolition Man would show what it got right.
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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:08 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
I am increasingly liking James McAvoy as an actor, after initially finding him largely unimpressive.
He has charisma, which is surprising in someone so physically unprepossessing.

Saw Escape from LA again last night. Made way back in 1996, it’s set in 2013 arse-wipe America that is much less scary than the world we live in. Machine-gun toting dykes, trannies, Koreans, Mexicans and earthquakes hardly compare to the lifeless horrors of the unelected EU drones and global elite.

In this new born-again backwater, LA is a dumping ground for whores, gays, degenerates and ethnic minorities – perhaps fittingly, ‘Escape from LA’ contains possibly Hollywood’s last sympathetic portrayal of a Muslim. Kurt Russell, the poor man’s Clint Eastwood (running joke: ‘Snake Plissken … I thought you’d be taller'), leads a fine supporting cast of Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Steve Buscemi, Michelle Forbes, Staecy Keach and Cliff Robertson. However, it adds up to nothing much.

The plot is the usual videogame nonsense - find the treasure and overcome obstacles/set-pieces along the way – but the script parodies Hollywood amusingly enough. I particularly like the part where the Surgeon General of Beverly Hills cups a woman’s breasts and exclaims, “My God, they’re real!” Unfortunately, despite a tour of wrecked LA landmarks such as Universal Studios, the Capitol Records Building and the Queen Mary, the sets are the most disappointing part of the film. They look like shit yet cost a fortune to make. And an eight-figure b-movie somewhat defies the point.

This was one of the many misfires that ended John Carpenter’s mainstream career. Yet like all his films, even his disappointing later efforts, there’s always something that draws me in. In ‘Escape from LA’, I particularly like this little act of libertarian sedition at the end:

“The United States is a non-smoking nation.
No smoking.
No drinking.
No drugs.
No women – unless, of course, you’re married.
No guns.
No foul language.
No red meat."

Land of the free. Who ever thought the new fascism would come from the so-called Liberal Left?

I see John Carpenter did some uncredited work on "Stranger Things" season 2. For the soundtrack, specifically. Though I'm guessing it's just a recycling of earlier work.

In terms of the latter part of his career, I think the best thing he made is "Cigarette Burns". Though I have to admit I haven't yet seen "The Ward".
Really should get around to that.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:25 am

Murder On The Orient Express - not having seen the other adaptations of Agatha Christie's classic murder-mystery I can't compare, but I quite enjoyed this. Kenneth Branagh toplines a stellar cast as a magnificently 'tached Poirot, and also directs.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:07 am

House of the Long Shadows (1983)

Twisty and enjoyable old dark house fun with a great line-up of horror legends. Desi Arnaz Jr. plays a wise-cracking, somewhat obnoxious novelist who takes a bet he can write a book in 24 hours at what was to be an abandoned old mansion in Wales but finds his night of writing cut short by many unexpected visitors played by Christopher Lee, John Carradine, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. The plot took a few surprisingly unexpected turns and of course by the thirty minute mark when the four horror legends are onscreen together it essentially becomes their film making every second of their screentime memorable. A blast for fans of the actors and the genre.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:33 am

Blunt Instrument wrote:
Murder On The Orient Express - not having seen the other adaptations of Agatha Christie's classic murder-mystery I can't compare, but I quite enjoyed this. Kenneth Branagh toplines a stellar cast as a magnificently 'tached Poirot, and also directs.

I'll see it soon, but I recall when the trailer was released, it looked solid until I saw Branagh's stache. A little OTT and very distracting. laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:10 am

Christie described it as 'the most magnificent moustache in all of England'.

Seems like Branagh took the description and ran with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:22 am

He sure did.

TSWLM was also touted as the biggest Bond ever. Didn't mean it was the best decision they ever made. wink
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:47 pm

I honestly think the David Suchet adaptation had the superior cast, which is ironic considering it was made for TV.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:33 am

The Way Ahead

classic propaganda piece but stirring in its way. A fine, fine cast full of British names of the time -Niv aside, Raymond Huntley, John Laurie, Trevor Howard (in a very small role) and William Hartnell (credited as 'Billy' Hartnell). Remember writing about this in my essay at university (British Cinema and its role in something or other). Yes, it's full of stiff uppers, we're all in this together etc but it does the job. Peter Ustinov features (co-writer of the film with Ambler). The highlight scene is the torpedoing of the troop ship. From the moment the soldiers panic and is rapidly stilled by Niven, through to their calm (maddeningly calm) efforts to free trapped vehicles and each other (ignore the rather polite, rather calm, omnipresent voice of the rescuing destroyer's skipper) to the abandon ship.
The end, for those who care, was parodied by Dad's Army on its end credits.

Dam Busters

Little to be said that I've not over time. It's amazing on the quiet all the faces in this film that go on to bigger and brighter things, Patrick MacGoohan, Robert Shaw, George Baker and there's plenty to be going with. The effects are quite something for the era and trivially, you see just how much George Lucas 'borrowed' from this, 633 Squadron, Battle of Britain et al.
A moving moment, always, is Richard Todd at the end. Dismissing Wallis' suggestion of going to the party or having drinks, instead choosing to write to the families of those who never came home. Something Todd always teared up about in interviews.

Good German

saw this in the cinema when it came out and the mood remains unchanged. Stylish, looks good to a point but just lacks in most departments. Clooney is middling, Maguire irritating (but then his character's bit of a shit anyway), Blanchett does her bit but falls shy...etc, etc, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:49 pm

The likes of The Way Ahead must've been what Hartnell was referring to when he said that before Doctor Who, he'd been mostly typecast as either servicemen or thugs 'but now, I get to play a character who's a cross between Father Christmas and The Wizard Of Oz'.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:21 am

Blunt Instrument wrote:
The likes of The Way Ahead must've been what Hartnell was referring to when he said that before Doctor Who, he'd been mostly typecast as either servicemen or thugs 'but now, I get to play a character who's a cross between Father Christmas and The Wizard Of Oz'.  

More than likely though I think the Way Ahead was fairly early in his repertoire of soldiers (bridge ended by Carry On Sergeant). I haven't seen much of his other roles (non-servicemen), I think Hell Drivers might be one exception. There's a film with a cast: MacGoohan, Connery, McCallum, Murcell, Lom and Hartnell amongst a few others.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:42 am

I've been curious to watch Good German for some time, but I'm not hearing good things. I always opt for something else.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:29 pm

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Very stylish spy thriller with solid performances all around and a hell of a good soundtrack. As others have mentioned the plot is a bit obvious but the film was so much an entertaining watch with heaps of neon lighting, spy theatrics, sex, and action it's hard for me to say I cared if the plot didn't add up as much in the end. While the action scenes weren't as sharply directed as his work in John Wick I still thought David Leitch's directing here was still very good and makes him a talent I will probably keep an eye out for in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:53 pm

Hilly KCMG wrote:
Blunt Instrument wrote:
The likes of The Way Ahead must've been what Hartnell was referring to when he said that before Doctor Who, he'd been mostly typecast as either servicemen or thugs 'but now, I get to play a character who's a cross between Father Christmas and The Wizard Of Oz'.  

More than likely though I think the Way Ahead was fairly early in his repertoire of soldiers (bridge ended by Carry On Sergeant). I haven't seen much of his other roles (non-servicemen), I think Hell Drivers might be one exception. There's a film with a cast: MacGoohan, Connery, McCallum, Murcell, Lom and Hartnell amongst a few others.

Yes, I saw Hell Drivers for the first time relatively recently on Talking Pictures TV. Hell of a cast, indeed ... struck me also as a film very much straining against the sensibilities of its time; if it had been made after the late 50s I don't doubt the language between the drivers would've been an lot earthier and there'd almost certainly have been female nudity.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:42 pm

Strangways&Quarrel wrote:
Atomic Blonde (2017)

Very stylish spy thriller with solid performances all around and a hell of a good soundtrack. As others have mentioned the plot is a bit obvious but the film was so much an entertaining watch with heaps of neon lighting, spy theatrics, sex, and action it's hard for me to say I cared if the plot didn't add up as much in the end. While the action scenes weren't as sharply directed as his work in John Wick I still thought David Leitch's directing here was still very good and makes him a talent I will probably keep an eye out for in the future.

A more articulate post about how I feel about the film. I wonder if Leitch will be approached for Bond?
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:40 pm

Who was it on here that said the story is that Babs hates him so he will never get the gig?
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:26 am

Gorky Park (1983)

Has aged quite well and made for decent entertainment despite some distracting casting choices and a decidedly odd William Hurt 'performance' in the central role. Forgot it was Michael Apted but I think he does gift the film with an appropriate style and tone while delivering a couple of inventive sequences.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:53 am

The Bourne Legacy - once this 'sidequel' gets the business of establishing that it exists within the 'Bourneverse' out of the way, it's on with the action. Which mostly doesn't disappoint.

Idiocracy - Mike 'Beavis and Butthead' Judge's satirical future-com about where 'dumbing down' could ultimately lead the world is a funny (and depressingly accurate) watch ... Terry Crews' porn star/wrestler President actually only seems marginally less likely than Trump.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:40 am

Salomé wrote:
Who was it on here that said the story is that Babs hates him so he will never get the gig?

From memory, I believe Ambler said Babs hates Matthew Vaughn.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:59 am

Blunt Instrument wrote:
Hilly KCMG wrote:
Blunt Instrument wrote:
The likes of The Way Ahead must've been what Hartnell was referring to when he said that before Doctor Who, he'd been mostly typecast as either servicemen or thugs 'but now, I get to play a character who's a cross between Father Christmas and The Wizard Of Oz'.  

More than likely though I think the Way Ahead was fairly early in his repertoire of soldiers (bridge ended by Carry On Sergeant). I haven't seen much of his other roles (non-servicemen), I think Hell Drivers might be one exception. There's a film with a cast: MacGoohan, Connery, McCallum, Murcell, Lom and Hartnell amongst a few others.

Yes, I saw Hell Drivers for the first time relatively recently on Talking Pictures TV. Hell of a cast, indeed ... struck me also as a film very much straining against the sensibilities of its time; if it had been made after the late 50s I don't doubt the language between the drivers would've been an lot earthier and there'd almost certainly have been female nudity.  

I think you're right. Had it been done late sixties, day, Olly Reed in the lead (either the MacGoohan or Baker role), nudity and language that would have Mary Whitehouse reaching for the phone.

I think it's a good movie but as you say, could've been of a later time.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:42 pm

Not a 'last film I watched', but this from the Times review of Justice League amused me - 'Like spending two hours with an incredibly stupid goth'.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Yesterday at 9:06 pm

Logan Lucky

Not bad. A comedy heist film that's actually decently funny and still works as a caper.
Seeing this might make you angrier at how Daniel Craig sleepwalked through Spectre, since he is pretty good and quite funny as Joe Bang.

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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Yesterday at 10:23 pm

Is Logan Lucky's box office failure the reason Craig is back as Bond?

Has Craig had a hit outside Bond? Not that I can recall.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Movie You Watched? the Eleventh   Today at 12:32 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Is Logan Lucky's box office failure the reason Craig is back as Bond?

Has Craig had a hit outside Bond? Not that I can recall.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was a modest hit, I suppose?
It made 232 million worldwide.
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