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Thread: Watch any good movies lately?

  1. #1121
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    I watch almost everything alone, so calling out at the screen is of limited utility. The 2009 version also suffers if you watch it minus a 3D screen so that the gimmick shots stand out as what they are.
    The Towering Inferno. Why the hell did I watch this? Disaster movies aren't my favorite, and Irwin Allen specialized in this kind of thing.
    Okay, setup. A gigantic skyscraper - the tallest building in the world as of 1974 - is undergoing its inaugural gala tonight in San Francisco. Lots of people will be there, but something's wrong on the 81st floor - it seems a wire from an electric connector came loose and sparked a collection of oily rags inside an isolated room. What will happen?
    Before we continue, let's meet just some of our cast!
    Steve McQueen IS the Chief of the Fire Department in San Francisco who doesn't appear until 43 minutes in!
    Paul Newman IS the architect who designed the building and is not happy about the shortcuts taken in its construction!
    William Holden IS the business magnate who funded the enterprise, and whose son-in-law made the electric system happen!
    Faye Dunaway IS Paul Newman's partner! Want more character traits? You're in the wrong movie.
    Fred Astaire IS a guy who takes a woman to the gala for some reason!
    O.J. Simpson IS the chief of the building's security!
    Robert Vaughn IS a US Senator!
    Plenty of others here too, don't worry!
    Like so many disaster movies, there are just too damn many characters. Some of them are completely useless, and others just serve to pad the running time to the outlandish length of 2:40. That's Transformers-movie timesink level, people. Not to say this is on the level of those helpings of garbage, it's just way way too long. Trimming an hour would have been easy. It's nice to see the shots of fire engines zipping through the streets of San Francisco, but they're unnecessary. Entire characters are unnecessary, come to that. More snipping could eliminate the option of a drinking game whenever an exterior shot of the tower in flames appears. There are a lot of those shots, but the movie is so long that lots of space between them still happens.
    I can praise the work of numerous stunt men, several of whom are on fire for long periods of time. Effects are mostly good, though the rear projection is pretty obvious often. The script is stupid though and the whole thing is way too long. For being the only time a lot of these people shared the screen, it's a lousy way to go. Fans of 70s disaster movies probably still like it.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  2. #1122
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Silent House. Setup: Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) is in upstate New York helping her uncle and father to fix a family-owned house for resale. Uncle leaves for town, and father is in the basement when she starts to hear a thumping from upstairs. Dad is dismissive of it being anything substantive but helps looking around, then when nothing turns up sets Sarah loose at the task of packing up some of her old room's things for removal. Then things start happening that most definitely aren't caused by rodents.
    The central gimmick of this movie (borrowed from its Uruguayan inspiration) is that it appears to unfold in one continuous take captured by a handheld camera. This was of course not how it was made, so looking for spots at which a cut could have been made is easy to do. Being a handheld camera movie, it comes with plenty of parts that feature extremely shaky things that are barely glimpsed before disappearing. Shaky cam stuff doesn't inherently bug me, but it does make a lot of things much harder to see than would happen with another method.
    Elizabeth Olsen is quite good here. She's likable and a strong screen presence, things you want in a horror movie heroine. No one else really makes much of an impression.
    Lots of little things along the way bothered me, but the ride is fairly strong up until the climax, at which point a twist is unveiled that can be easily guessed by anyone trying. Said twist isn't executed terribly well and leaves a LOT of questions in its wake, plus the denouement oddly goes a little longer than would be ideal, covering nothing except some wandering around that is needless.
    I did have a great time watching it, though. A friend and I were the only ones in the theater, and we had a blast with it. Not sure how much more I can say about the movie to people who haven't seen it, but I had a great movie-watching experience from it.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  3. #1123
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Last Summer. A girl named Sandy (Barbara Hershey) is trying to pick up an injured seagull on an Atlantic island beach, and two boys initially start mocking her and eventually condescend to assist: Peter (Richard Thomas) and Dan (Bruce Davison). Their little cabal becomes very close-knit, but a fourth member attempts to enter it when seeing what they do to the seagull. Her name is Rhoda (Catherine Burns), and she doesn't quite fit in with the trio even though Peter is into her and she very much wants to have friends.
    For the most part this is a relatively plotless movie with several unhurried strands that meander along, very much like it was made in 1969 (which it was). The seagull was clearly not monitored by the ASPCA, and its story takes up a little time. The bonding of the trio takes up a little time as they imbibe what Sandy deems 'truth serum' (it's just Heineken) to confess some things in each other's presence. Sandy fills out a falsified entry for a dating service. The three teenagers take in a French-language movie on the mainland and aggravate a trio of local hoodlums outside the theater. They smoke some pot and spontaneously decide to wash each other's hair. Rhoda attempts to join up with them and tells the story of how her mother died. It's all very 60's feeling and unhurried, with no real consequences to anything. Lots of teenagers acting like they did at the time, though thankfully not as bad as some other late-60's movies that just drag.
    Until the final scene. Suddenly the title takes on a much more sinister meaning, as an event happens that is impossible to ignore and jerks the tension level up enormously. Also in keeping with a few other 60s movies, this means there will be no resolution of what happens. The technical flaws in what was happening should make it easy to dismiss, especially when character lighting changes drastically from shot to shot and the audio doesn't sync well with the action. Nevertheless, the meaning of what just occurred refuses to be forgotten.
    Tracking this down means going for an old VHS, as it's never seen DVD release. Most of what occurs on the way just felt like several other movies of the period I've seen, though lovers of that sort of thing should make a beeline. The final scene is much harder to erase from the memory though.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  4. #1124
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Before I talk about that massively successful book adaptation in theaters right now with elements similar to it, I'll talk about Battle Royale.
    In the near future, the Japanese government has responded to enormous tensions with the nation's youth by selecting a ninth grade classroom at random. The members of that class are taken to a remote location and ordered to kill each other until only one remains. This year Shuya's class is a part of the project, and his life is already near rock-bottom after his mom left long ago and his dad committed suicide back at the beginning of seventh grade. What at first seems to be a class trip is brought to a very different destination after all the students are made unconscious on the ride, and then they awaken just in time to get acquainted with the task ahead of them.
    Okay, so this is some kind of cult success. The idea of seeing classmates turning on each other in some sort of obvious Lord of the Flies reference could make for a good movie, sure. This isn't it. I may not have been supposed to think too much about the concept, but I just couldn't help myself, and the result wasn't pretty. To start with: the reason for the Battle Royale is that 15% unemployment is supposedly agitating the youth of Japan enormously. Excuse me, 15% unemployment nationally? What's so special about the young people of Japan that would make them fly off the handle to a greater extent than, say, the young people of France (which has a higher rate of youth unemployment)?
    So let's say I accept this premise anyway. The Battle Royale is not publicized among the very people it's supposed to affect. The class is taken by surprise and aghast once the situation starts to be explained. Isn't the value of a deterrent that one knows it's going to happen? Why bother to do this without publicity to make sure the nation's youth get the message?
    I suppose it's a semi-logical corollary of no publicity that the forces administering the Battle Royale have the power to kill people who get in the way. Two classmates are killed before even leaving the briefing room that begins their contest, along with their current teacher who didn't go along with the plan. If the government has the power to kill those teenagers anyway, why bother with this contest when no one is watching? Just pick one by random to survive and off the rest. Or kill all of them. Or use the Roman solution of randomly killing some in a group, I don't know. This entire setup is massively flawed.
    At any rate, director Kinji Fukasaku makes the odd decision to try focusing on pretty much all members of this initially 40+ class. Shuya will eventually be one of the last survivors, and he gets some screen time along the way, but most others exist to be seen as they die. Some of these are inadvertently hilarious. The pair who decides to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff rather than fight their classmates have so little development that it's kinda funny. The girl who somehow acquires a jogging suit and decides that a brisk morning jog would be a smart move is also kinda funny. The psycho transfer student who never says anything and exists solely to kill people is baffling, as is the other transfer student who SURVIVED ONE OF THESE BEFORE and yet wasn't excluded from future selection criteria - yeesh. Even the ones who make no real impression get a quick text blurb mentioning when they've been killed, and that continues throughout the film.
    It wasn't particularly boring, I'll give it that. The attempt to give development to multiple people falls flat though, and even Noriko (the girl Shuya kinda likes and is with him at the conclusion) doesn't come alive much. Odd, yes. Successful, no.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  5. #1125
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Lifeboat. Alfred Hitchcock liked to set challenges for himself, and filming this John Steinbeck story about survivors of a ship torpedoed by a U-boat definitely qualifies. The major issue comes from the lifeboat being the only location for the whole movie, which could have gotten monotonous in other hands. Not here.
    The opening shot is that of a ship's smokestack slowly submerging under the waves, after which we meet the people who will be occupying the sole lifeboat to survive a torpedoing. Seems the U-boat shelled the others and they sank. First is Constance Porter (Tallulah Bankhead), a woman whose reports have become famous but whose taste for fine living does not ingratiate her to the bedraggled others. Next is Gus Smith (William Bendix), who was manning the ship's steering and has a severe leg injury. Charles J. Rittenhouse (Henry Hull), well-known selfmade industrialist, John Kovac (John Hodiak), aggressively alpha male anti-German, Alice MacKenzie (Mary Anderson), medical trainee with no liking for the war, 'Sparks' Garrett (Hume Cronyn), solid navigator with no great urge except to stay alive, 'Joe' Spencer (Canada Lee), former commissary officer on the sunken ship and an actual black man in a 1944 movie who doesn't get relegated to second-class status automatically, Mrs. Higgins (Heather Angel), desperate mother of an infant that didn't survive the dunking, and lastly 'Willy' (Walter Slezak), a German U-boat crewman off the vessel that started the whole thing.
    Put these personalities into the mix and things happen, naturally. The paramount concern on a boat with limited victuals and no means of contacting anyone ought to be survival, and it mostly is. Clashes between the people involved get intense, and certain events along the way ratchet up the tension. Gus turns out to be developing gangrene, and showing what's happening is entirely unnecessary for understanding exactly what an undesirable situation performing an amputation in a lifeboat would be. Tallulah Bankhead might as well be Bette Davis's older sister, given that she looks and acts remarkably like that actress. The constant rear projection to represent the ocean is a sign of the times, but doesn't even come close to undoing the scenario. Not one of Hitchcock's top tier, but occupies a slot near that lofty perch, and represents one of his experiments that was pretty successful.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  6. #1126
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    The Raid: Redemption. Gotta say I was astonished that this came to my local theater, which almost never gets something that requires people to -gasp!- read subtitles. Not that they're vital for this kind of movie anyway.
    The plot is simple. A police force is infiltrating a notorious building housing a criminal lord. He's got a couple of tough bodyguards along with a general amnesty offer to anyone who wants to take up residence there in exchange for the occasional need to repel unwanted guests. Things go wrong on the fifth floor and most of the police get killed, leaving just a few to try getting out. If that sounds like a video game plot, it very well could have been. There are a couple of attempted twists with our eventual lead named Rama, but the gist is that he's gotta get out of that building by going for the head honcho. The characters insult the very nature of single notes and the dialogue is amazingly profane in the subtitles, but that's in keeping with the subject matter.
    Nobody's going to this thing for story and character. This is a showcase for people beating the crap out of each other via any means necessary, and that's what it does well. Rama manages to use a tonfa and a knife along with his own natural martial arts ability to take down about twenty guys in a row in one virtuoso sequence - a bunch of people in the credits have the '7th floor attacker #_' attribute. Later there's a drug lab smashup with more guys credited just on that. Some firearms are used, but mostly we're watching hand-to-hand using whatever is at hand. The cuts aren't incomprehensibly fast and the action is gritty and looks real. The introduction of the bad guy by blowing away multiple guys with their hands tied behind their backs at close range using a pistol is a good sign of what's to come, and a couple people actually walked out of the theater I saw it in because it apparently was too much. Lots of people die, and most of them die in very messy ways. The final fight lasts an amazingly long time and the villain takes an incredible amount of punishment, but it's viscerally satisfying. I would've liked it more if I gave a damn about any of the people involved, but the action is compelling enough that I'd recommend it to anyone interested without compunction.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  7. #1127
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
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    A Serious Man I finished this up yesterday, I'm not sure what I think about it though. The acting is great, but like all Cohen brothers films, the plot is a bit crazy. I don't really connect with the characters and they really aren't treated well in the film espically the main character Larry Gopnik play by the excellent Michael Stuhlbarg. The supporting roles do a fine job, as does his family. The next door neighbor plot line doesn't really go anywhere though. It's a well acted film, that I think I'll give a second look to see if I can make more sense of what's going on other than watch Larry have one bad day after another.

    -Kel

  8. #1128
    New Member Member The Gentleman Loser's Avatar
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    Cabin in the woods. Saw this gem of a horror flick in the theater yesterday. I didn't know much about the movie going in other then it was a horror flick, I was pleasantly surprised. This movie takes the horror genre and flips it upside down in a very well thought and amusing manner. I was excited to see at the start of the movie it was co written and produced by Joss Whedon and when the comedy and genre bending elements come into play it becomes pretty obvious. It starts out in a typical horror movie fashion, five kids getting ready for a camping trip in the woods and soon after they arrive strange things start happening. Horror stereo types are not just heavily used by laughed at, there are some great moments in the movie that you just can't help but laugh. I won't go into it to much as this is one you don't want spoiled trust me. The horror elements of the movie are done very well and when it wants to be scary it is. The final third of the movie is pure gold as some very crazy **** happens (and a few Easter eggs such as the boomer from L4D). As a horror movie fan I couldn't possibly recommend this movie higher.

  9. #1129
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Ah yes, A Serious Man. I found it to be one of the more unusual excursions for the Coens. The opening scene has nothing to do with the rest except on a thematic level, and the ending just kind of arrived instead of seeming to logically occur next. Certainly an interesting movie, and I remember it rather well even a couple years after seeing it, but almost deliberately hard to puzzle through.
    Cabin in the Woods - well, since the first stage of its being more than a standard horror movie is revealed in the very first scene, and the advertising makes clear it's not just the standard scenario, revealing at least the initial part is no spoiler. Instead of anything remotely horror movie-like happening in that first scene, two white-collar workers are discussing what they'll do next week while hearing about how whatever it is they're doing this weekend has a lot more riding on it after failures elsewhere in the world. Then the title hits, and we get a quick assemblage of five characters who definitely fit more standard horror movie archetypes (one of them is played by Chris Hemsworth, before he was Thor). This quintet journeys off to the title destination while the office workers assemble and observe their actions, while maybe doing a little more than just observation. The movie's been mothballed for a few years because of MGM's financial troubles, which is why it's coming out so close to something else Joss Whedon has heavy input into called the Avengers, and also why Chris Hemsworth doesn't have quite as much screen time as one might expect for something coming out now. That last third takes a sudden dive in the effects department due to a heavy dose of CG and me wondering why a System Purge button with no safeguards would exist - but they're relatively minor gripes. One cameo in particular at the end was a surprise to me and a good one.
    Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla. Gotta admit, I'd lost touch with a few of the big guy's 90's escapades. This one is kinda mediocre though. I know I'm never supposed to think too hard about what the humans are doing in a Godzilla movie, but when their plotlines take up so much time it's hard not to. There are several Japanese government institutions all vying for a way to deal with Godzilla, from Project T (for telepathy) putting a transmitter onto him so that a telepath can attempt to guide him to a guy trying to shoot Godzilla in the armpit to fry his blood from the inside. The title comes from a creature that was formed when Godzilla's cells got into space and fell into a black hole causing them to fuse with extraterrestrial minerals. Yeah, science has never been the strong suit of these movies. Spacegodzilla looks like a bunch of quartz crystals got onto the regular Godzilla, and of course is malevolent so that the big guy has to settle his hash. Then the humans come along with something called Mogera, a giant robot that looks like a Sonic the Hedgehog grunt villain, which is also a transformer and can join in the fight. There's a big fight at the end and one monster goes down - no points for guessing the victor. The fight isn't all that exciting though, and Toho uses a technique of putting Godzilla onto a rear projection screen with explosions while people run away down city streets that kind of gets old because there's very little building destruction - just cheap smoke when explosives aren't blowing up anything. Complete with horrible dubbing, naturally, so don't be surprised when lip movements don't venture into the same vicinity as what people are saying. It's fun for awhile but Godzilla has seen much better adventures.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  10. #1130
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Missile to the Moon represents me catching up with a Rifftrax I hadn't watched earlier. As 50's low budget sci-fi clunkers go, it's one of them. The plot is filled with stuff that wasn't smart at the time and has aged like cheese left in a rat-infested cellar. There's a 'missile' being prepped for launch to the moon, and two prison escapees are wandering the neighborhood. Naturally they hide inside the 'missile' and the guy who built it holds them up at gunpoint to provide a crew for immediate launch, which of course can be done with no one else helping in any way. Too bad his partner scientist and fiancee entered the 'missile' just before it took off, because now there are five people to gum up the works. Turns out landing on the moon is pretty easy, and after wandering through some locations that look suspiciously like rock canyons on Earth wearing what looks more like jet pilot outfits than spacesuits, a location with air is found to be populated entirely by women. Turns out the scientist who so badly wanted to get to the moon, and was inconveniently killed when something heavy fell off a shelf and onto his head during the travel, was trying to find a place for a Lunar species to move. Things happen, there are rock monsters that look like Gumbi, one of the moon women wants to be leader and kills the woman who already is, a spider puppet ambles along like a muppet, the atmosphere of the moon people gets broken, and then it ends. I can forgive bad science if the movie is entertaining, but it's fairly talky and schlocky. Good Rifftrax, though.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  11. #1131
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Thanks, Rifftrax, for showing me Curse of Bigfoot. Really.
    It's always great when the first half hour of a movie is blatant padding, and then the last hour is revealed to have tons more padding. That first half hour begins with what we can assume to be Bigfoot (even though it looks more like Tyler Mane playing Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's Halloween remake) moving in the woods. Then a house with nothing moving around it. Then a dog in the backyard barking in a good-natured way. Eventually a ... person (odds are good that it's female, but wearing that muumuu and with that 70's haircut I'm still not sure) comes out to feed the dog something in order to silence its barking. If you think this scene won't take several hours subjectively, you can think again. But it's a psychout! A teacher in some high school classroom was projecting it to the students, and after more padding in the classroom we get him telling another blatant waste of time involving first a lot of random logging footage and then two guys who meet up with what might be Bigfoot after wandering around the woods for a very very long time. Then more classroom, and only THEN do we get to the supposed 'meat' of the story which seems to have been recorded years earlier and details seven very quiet and bland people going on an archeological expedition for a field trip. They find a rock covering a hole in the ground which contains a mummy and absolutely no lighting, so good luck figuring out what's happening when they don't talk much. Eventually the mummy awakens in what seems to be a slight rip of Thing From Another World made as boring as possible, and nothing really happens until a muddled ten second action sequence at the end. Pare this story down and it could have been told in five minutes, which is being generous in and of itself. Hope you like your padding, it's everywhere!
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  12. #1132
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Village of the Damned (1960). John Wyndham wrote a book called The Midwich Cuckoos, and after a title change MGM adapted it into a film. Having George Sanders star is always a nice choice, but something about this subject matter never really worked for me. The concept is that a quaint English village called Midwich was completely shut off for several hours one day, with every living thing in its environs struck unconscious. The opening scenes that show the effect of everyone simultaneously being unconscious are pretty interesting, with neat shots like a man on a tractor that moves out of control until it hits a tree. Then everyone wakes up, and a couple months later it becomes apparent that every woman in the village capable of having a baby was impregnated during their unconscious time. All of the babies are born on the same day, and they act weird. Eventually it becomes clear that they will act to preserve themselves by using their incredibly potent telepathic influence to make anyone with their best interests not at heart suffer a fatal dose of correction. The effect of their eyes lightening coupled with the creepy sound effect is pretty good, but something about this movie just doesn't grip me. It's a helluva lot better than John Carpenter's bad remake, though.
    Then there's its technical sequel, Children of the Damned. It's a bizarre sequel that acknowledges no part of the original though, and is more like someone took the concept of children being born with amazing mental powers and reworked it. This time six children are scattered around the globe, and wind up in London once their astounding feats are recognized. Pretty slow-moving though, and the many shots of London streets deserted except for the actors make no sense when the public should be going on about its business. The children mostly stand around and try to look unimpressed, which is not the most threatening sight I've ever seen.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  13. #1133
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    Vicky Cristina Barcelona I'm not sure why, but I really enjoyed the movie. I don't typically consider myself a Woody Allen fan, but this was just a great movie. I loved the dialog, the characters, the setting everything. I guess my biggest complaint comes during the climax with Vicky, Juan Antonio and Maria. It seemed random, but not totaly out of character for Maria's actions. The resolution of the film turns out pretty much as expected, where the characters go on with their lives and they put their tryst behind them. I'm not a big Penelope Cruz fan, but she played Maria well enough for me to tolerate her screen time and not want to tune her out. Javier Bardem is fantastic as he usually is. Scarlett Johansson is good, but I think Rebecca Hall give a beter performance.

    -Kel

  14. #1134
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    I watched Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life (the 12th movie) in its entirety. I personally think this is one of the better Pokémon movies, though I'd need to rewatch it and the other movies to really rank them. It involves time travel, and the way it plays with the rules of paradoxes is rather...interesting. Being a Pokémon movie, though, I don't really expect it to make time travel rules logical. It's not like the 4th movie did. :P Save for the whole, "I'll pass judgement on the entire human race instead of just holding a grudge against the single guy who betrayed me," Arceus is my kind of deity. And hey, he/it became very understanding when he learned the whole truth.
    "Tiz, please. You're getting bumpkin all over my feral bikini woman fantasy. "

  15. #1135
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    No Name on the Bullet. I suppose my problem with Westerns comes from steering myself purposefully towards the ones that have good reputations. There were a LOT of Westerns, and the few I've seen that aren't any good are greatly outweighed by the fascinating gamut I've experienced. Such as this one, a nice and lean production that finds Audie Murphy playing John Gage, a man with quite a reputation. Seems Mr. Gage is an assassin, extremely skilled at getting his chosen foe to draw his gun first so that he can be gunned down in self defense. Now he's arrived in the town of Lawrenceburg, and his mere presence affects the locals greatly. People respond with fear and rage to his appearance, and without doing anything directly those who think he might have been hired for their own demise start trying to prevent it. First the owner of the bank attempts to persuade him with money, then the sheriff is convinced by the mayor to do whatever is necessary to get him out of town, and eventually a mob is formed to try gunning him down. Gage isn't a talkative fellow, but he engages in a few conversations with the town doctor, who is at first intrigued and later disgusted by this stranger.
    Comes in at a little under 80 minutes, which makes it tightly edited and fascinating viewing from start to finish. Didn't really need to be shot in CinemaScope, but the visuals are compelling nevertheless. The 50's cranked out a lot of Westerns, and while I wouldn't put this at the top of their ranks, it's a fine movie.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  16. #1136
    i can post! thanx paws! Maudren's Avatar
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    saw the avengers. thaaaaannooooooooossssssssssssssss!!!!!
    sup?

  17. #1137
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    The Conversation. It begins by dropping us into the action as Gene Hackman directs several people conducting audio surveillance on a couple wandering around a park during a lunch break. Snippets of the eponymous talk are heard now, and more will be heard as the movie continues. At first Harry Caul (Hackman) is completely professional about the business. He's a veteran of this sort of thing, and getting the audio cleaned up and ready to present to the employer is the only thing that matters. He's haunted by something that happened years ago when he also collected audio on someone and it resulted in deaths, though. The more he listens to what he's collected in San Francisco the more he's distraught that it might happen again. Doing so is hardly helpful to his future career prospects, though....
    Francis Ford Coppola made this between the Godfather films, and wow. There's a little bit of the aimlessness lots of 70's productions feature, but not much. Hackman is great, though it'd take some real work to find a role he didn't put 100% into. Caul is an interesting character and worth learning about, with long passages letting ambient sound and the visuals explain his circumstances instead of dialogue. The conclusion in particular is very strong, refusing to wrap everything up neatly. The movie could have ended several scenes earlier, but by letting it continue Coppola brings some disturbing elements into the mix. For me at least it didn't vault into the ranks of my favorites, but it's an excellent production on every level and shows what the 70's allowed strong directors to do when the studios didn't try to micromanage every aspect of a movie for purported mass appeal.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

  18. #1138
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I saw the Avengers. It better than Awesome!

    I'm far from a movie critic...it's not my calling, really. I'll just say that this movie is well worth its length (2h20m+) as it does a good job of giving some background to each character, and their early interactions with each other. A steady stream of physical comedy and one liners keeps the movie from feeling like it's taking itself too seriously. It also does a great job of making the movie more accessible to those not a fan of comics. Indeed, when we left the theater, my wife (who has never read a comic before) said "We have to buy that on DVD when it comes out!". Having read hundreds, if not thousands, of the comics, I was absolutely stunned. The movie does a great job of pulling one inside of the best that a team based comic has to offer. While we have all seen good superhero movies before that capture individual heroes pretty well and in an entertaining way (ala "The Dark Knight"), but doing the same with a group must be infinitely harder. Rest assured, The Avengers is up to the task. Similar to the comics of the same name, you'll see them pulled together, mostly against their will, argue (and fight) with each other, be eventually come together as a team forged in the fires of adversity. It's moving, to say the least.

    The last 10 years, give or take, have been really good to comic lovers (especially Marvel fanboys). The Avengers absolutely delivers years of hype and conjecture that started with the end of Iron Man (I believe) when we first hear of the Avengers initiative (only to be repeated in other Marvel movies). I see a lot of critics giving this 3 out of 4 stars, but for those who great up with the comics, enjoyed the other movies, just like superhero flicks, etc., can easily add another 1/2 star. Don't walk. Run to see this movie!
    Last edited by jcservant; 05-06-2012 at 07:09 AM.

  19. #1139
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
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    Devil Pretty good film about forgiveness and takes place primarily in an elevator. A few good twists in it as well figuring out who's who.

    [B]Avengers/B] I think enough has been said about how fantastic this movie is.

    Cedar Rapids One of my favorite comedies of last year. It's great rated R comedy about an insurance convetion in Cedar Rapids. Cast includes John C Reily, Anne Hesche, Kurtwood Smith, Ed Helms. It's a bit vulgar, but it's got a lot of heart and I really like the friendships that develop between everyone.

    -Kel

  20. #1140
    Member Confessor Rahl's Avatar
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    Devil was awesome. But I'm a Shamalamallammaaayaamamaaammmaayyyaaamaaa apologist so my opinion doesn't count.


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