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 Posted:   Jun 6, 2009 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Licence To Kill - again - 9/10

The last of the really great JB007 films.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 6, 2009 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

ONE MILLION YEARS BC (1966): 7/10

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this after seeing it umpteen times as a kid and being rather bored. My general impression of films with Ray Harryhausen special effects is that they're great when the effects are on screen, but dull when they're not. On my recent viewing, I loved the Harryhausen animation, of course, but I was also strangely caught up in the (some would say ridiculous) surrounding story. What a great love story! Unfortunately, my DVD is the American version, which cuts out ten minutes of footage. Anyway, I liked it a lot, and the Mario Nascimbene score is absolutely wonderful, from the appropriately "rock-clacking" and "chalk on blackboard" percussion for the uncivilized Rock People to the sumptious love wailings of the more developed (indeed) tribe led by Raquel Welch.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2009 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

Dreams With Sharp Teeth (2007) 8/10.

Documentary on writer Harlan Ellison. Until someone writes a biography on Ellison, this will be the best you can get. Of course any autobiography Ellison writes will either be full of hyperbole, never get finished or both. And if anyone tries to write a biography of Ellison, he'll probably bite their head off, no matter whether it's an authorized or unauthorized biography.

That said, it was a very interesting look at what makes Ellison tick, with commentary from friends (he has/had a lot, including Robin Williams, Steve McQueen, and a ton of fairly famous people). Plus a lot of footage of Ellison himself from lectures, TV interviews, and cameras following him around.

The one thing I would have liked more depth on was his famous battles over his involvement in various TV series, including the rewriting of his Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever" (which is documented in a book published by Ellison in the 90's); The Starlost; and so on. We do get a few good anecdotes from Ellison, but given Ellison, we don't know how true they are - the other party is not given a chance to tell their side.

 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2009 - 1:04 PM   
 By:   raffster   (Member)

Meet the Robinsons - 8/10 - Good fun here. Starts out good, gets a little muddy in the middle with some lackluster character designs and crazy antics just for the sake of it, but once the third act kicks into gear it only gets better and ends great. It's a wonderful message and a nice tip to Disney's Carousel of Progress. You can really tell where John Lasseter stepped in and steered the creative reigns here for something better than it was going to be. I wonder how much more fun this would have been with traditional animation..

Land of the Lost - 6.5-7/10 - Great fun poking at sci-fi/fantasy craziness, but the humor is hit and miss. Great effects and quite a bit off-kilter. However, the wife would have given it a 1/10 and said it was for 12 year old boys who enjoy booby jokes. Take that as you will!

 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2009 - 1:19 PM   
 By:   raffster   (Member)

As an addendum to my post above, my viewing of Meet the Robinsons was the start of a Summer effort to watch all of Disney Animation's movies in reverse chronology with my wife (building to the Blu-ray release of Snow White this fall and the subsequent release of Princess and the Frog). We skipped Bolt because we just watched it over a month ago. If this process interests anyone, I would have also given Bolt 8/10. It was a big step up for DA's CG animation abilities, though still pales compared to Pixar. The film's small cast has some standouts, though oddly Rhino (most people's favorite part of the movie) didn't work for me as much as I thought he would. The first 10 minutes, though, almost matches parts of The Incredibles for it's great action and references to animals as heroes TV shows. The message of the film, however, didn't ring as true for me as that of Robinsons'.

 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2009 - 5:48 PM   
 By:   DOGBELLE   (Member)

UP
IS A WONDERFULL FLIM
IN 3D IT'S GREAT.

 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2009 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

You were just five syllables short of a haiku there, dogbelle!

 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2009 - 7:44 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Ben-Hur (1959) - 10/10
Foul Play (1978) - 8/10
Eragon (2006) - 4/10

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 3/10.

David Fincher makes certain kinds of movies very well. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. Can you say interminable? It took me almost four hours to get through this.

It seems like most of the movie was a gimmick, with Brad Pitt being mostly a special effect throughout. Mostly, I felt bored and unable to connect with this movie. I kept watching it, hoping it would get better, and being a Best Movie nominee, I felt that I should give it a chance. But no love here.

I gave it a 3, mainly for Alexandre Desplat's gorgeous score, and for the final ten or so minutes, when Daisy moves into the old folks home and takes care of the "aging" Benjamin.

BTW, what was the point of setting the present day scenes during Hurrican Katrina? It was as if they were trying to give it some sort of subtext, but then it's never explained.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 12:26 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)



BTW, what was the point of setting the present day scenes during Hurrican Katrina? It was as if they were trying to give it some sort of subtext, but then it's never explained.



Ah, question answered, from IMDB:

The original setting for the film was to be Baltimore. David Fincher and Eric Roth changed the location to New Orleans when the studio requested they film there to take advantage of the state's filming discount.


So much for subtext... frown

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Flags Of Our Fathers - 2/10 ... Incoherent mess. Had the story been told in a straightforward way (a la 1950s or 1960s) then it could have been very effective but I felt nothing for the protagonists.

I'm not sure I can be bothered to watch the companion film, now.

Quantum Of Solace - again - 5/10 ...
4th viewing, I keep wanting to like this but it fails on so many levels. Having recently watched Licence To Kill only emphasises this latest JB007 film's faults. I think I shall now leave it a couple of years or more before viewing again.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Flags Of Our Fathers - 2/10 ... Incoherent mess. Had the story been told in a straightforward way (a la 1950s or 1960s) then it could have been very effective but I felt nothing for the protagonists. I'm not sure I can be bothered to watch the companion film, now.

By coincidence, I just saw FLAGS myself and I more or less agree. There were memorable combat scenes and the some brilliant expressions of post-traumatic memories. But the decision to break the narrative into three separate time frames, using mostly unrecognizable nonstar actors was highly unfortunate. Half the time, I couldn't even identify the characters.

However, I urge you not to miss LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. It's a more straightforward film and a deeply touching one. Even with the subtitles, you will have no trouble entering into the world of the pitiful defenders.

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   workingwithknives   (Member)

"Alice Doesen't Live Here Anymore" on TCM last night. I'd give it 8 out of 10 stars.

The realism of life in a restaurant / kitchen was lost in a lot of ways. It gets a hell of a lot crazier in those places than the film depicts. I didn't see sweat and grease and grime on the aprons of the kitchen cooks. The kitchen itself looked much too clean for such a high volume place during breakfast rush.

If you've ever worked in one of those shitholes, you'll know where I'm coming from.

The restaurant in the film reminds me of a place I once worked at except this joint was much worse and plum fuckin' insane.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2009 - 5:06 PM   
 By:   JonJon   (Member)

Cyrano de Bergerac - 1950

10 - Absolutely Phenomenal! Brilliant acting by all, but especially Ferrer who won the Academy Award for best actor. One of the greatest stories ever penned! Marvelous film score.

José Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince, Morris Casrnovsky among others

Directed by Michael Gordon
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Book by Edmond Rostand

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 2:03 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

...
However, I urge you not to miss LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. It's a more straightforward film and a deeply touching one. Even with the subtitles, you will have no trouble entering into the world of the pitiful defenders.


Thank you for the advice ... give me a few weeks and perhaps I (we) shall try the second film. You summed up the first film perfectly!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 9:03 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

"Open Range" last night, what a great western! 10

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 10:18 AM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

"Open Range" last night, what a great western! 10

Agreed.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

"Open Range" last night, what a great western! 10

Agreed.


I made a similar posting last year when I watched it: one of the best films I've seen in a long time. No spoliers: it really made you care for the characters ... you so wanted the heroes to survive and yet you knew one of them had to die ...

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Urs Lesse   (Member)

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON 6/10

I could not help but eventually feeling I was watching Forrest Gump for the 5th or 6th time. To me it seemed like they had a really good idea (i.e. Fitzgerald's), but then got on a rather technical and uninspired path to elaborate it. Idea good, implementation lacking any surprises. I often deliberately go for long movies, but this one was too long.

- On a different note, I strongly second what has been said above about Flags/Iwo Jima. Letters from Iwo Jima is clearly the better movie of the two. Part of the reason why might be that there is a clear lead actor in it (Ken Watanabe).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2009 - 11:06 AM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON 6/10

I could not help but eventually feeling I was watching Forrest Gump for the 5th or 6th time. To me it seemed like they had a really good idea (i.e. Fitzgerald's), but then got on a rather technical and uninspired path to elaborate it. Idea good, implementation lacking any surprises. I often deliberately go for long movies, but this one was too long.


Agreed on both points.

I've already seen Forrest Gump, and didn't particularly like that one either.

As far as length, see my previous comments.

But you were being very generous with your score.

 
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