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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 June 2017 at 9:45am | IP Logged | 1 post reply


"Train them!  Excite them!  Arm them!  ...Then turn them loose on the Nazis!"

THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967)

Now this type of machismo and gun violence is more my speed!  An irresistible '60s classic.

(And really, how great is the original movie poster?)






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Ronald Joseph
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Posted: 19 June 2017 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

A MONSTER CALLS (2016)

Yeah, this one got me. Hook, line, and sinker. Cried like a girlie-man more than once.  

Every now and then I see a movie (or hear a song, read a book, etc.) that makes me feel like someone reached into my heart and used every bit of fear, sadness, pain, and rage I have to craft their story.  

At one point, I turned and told my wife, "I probably should have watched this one alone" with tears running down both cheeks. We both had a good laugh once I noticed sh was crying, too. 

Can't recommend this one enough. 
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 20 June 2017 at 8:34pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply


From the "Yeah, I Went There--Don't Judge Me" Dept.:

FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (2007)

Full disclosure:  Skipped this in the theaters, and only bought the 2-disc "Power Cosmic Edition" (*groan*) a few years afterwards because a) it was about $5, and b) I knew there was a great featurette on the comic book origins of the Silver Surfer (with some fun interviews with Stan Lee, Jim Starlin, Steve Englehart, J.M. DeMatteis and Ron Marz).  But I never bothered with actually, you know, watching the film.

Until now.  I trudged through it, but yeah, it's all sorts of wrong from start to finish.  Maybe only marginally better than the 2005 effort, and probably more watchable that the 2015 abomination, but still a real kick in the nuts for any fan of just about any comic book era of the F.F.

(And still the only one who gives a halfway decent performance is Chris Evans.)





Edited by Shaun Barry on 20 June 2017 at 8:37pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 June 2017 at 9:49pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The last half hour or so of RISE makes a pretty good FF movie -- if you squint. Mind you, they utterly wasted the Super Skrull, not that there's any chance of the actual character turning up.

They get a few brownie points for actually saying "Galactus", too, tho they lose more with that idiotic Telly Tubbie interpretation of the Surfer.

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 21 June 2017 at 2:45am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

From the "Yeah, I Went There--Don't Judge Me" Dept.:

-----

I have proudly avoided all three of the Fox FF movies. Getting Doom
wrong is a dealbreaker for me.
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John Popa
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Posted: 21 June 2017 at 12:48pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I had to laugh - glancing at the Dirty Dozen poster above (and my eyes not being what they used to be) Clint Walker's first name connected the C and the L to spell the inappropriate word that letter combination can spell. I'd never seen it happen before!
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 22 June 2017 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And still the only one who gives a halfway decent performance is Chris Evans.

It was his role in this (and its predecessor) that made me think Evans would be a bad choice for Captain America. He came off as such an arrogant, narcissistic flake. Turns out...ACTING!

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 22 June 2017 at 9:19pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply


"...Don't Judge Me," continued:

EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977)

Okay, I don't actually own this, but I did rent the disc through Netflix... in my defense, I could've sworn that I read long ago that director John Boorman had recorded a commentary track for this film, so I really wanted to hear his side of the story, for a movie that has had such a horrendous reputation over the last four decades...

Alas, no commentary to be found, so I bit the bullet and sat down to watch this for the first time in close to 30 or 35 years (when it was a cable mainstay on Cinemax or The Movie Channel in the '80s)...

Surprisingly not uninteresting, but ultimately silly and dunderheaded, with too many distracting name actors and a bigger budget that ironically doesn't do the film any favors.  Some intriguing visuals and ideas, an admittedly wonderful score from the great Ennio Morricone, Linda Blair is ridiculously attractive (almost too much so--doesn't even seem like the same character from the original film)... but in the end, the whole is pretty much a complete, non-scary mess, with a lot of unintentional laughs sprinkled throughout.

Worst sequel or movie of all time?  Nah.  But measured against the original EXORCIST?  Yeah, you can almost see why it has the reputation it does!




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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 June 2017 at 7:44pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (2015)

Vin Deisel is basically Jason Blood minus Etrigan. Amazing special effects do not compensate for a weak and somewhat meandering story.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 25 June 2017 at 8:02pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply


(Alright, feel free to judge me on this one):

BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)

Yes, I own the 2-disc Special Edition for two main reasons:  One, it's one of the few moderately kid-friendly live-action Batman films out there, and, if they had to, I don't think parents would do wrong by showing their (very) young kids this movie, the 1966 BATMAN: THE MOVIE, and perhaps BATMAN FOREVER... long before exposing them to the Tim Burton films or the Christopher Nolan trilogy (which, quite frankly, they should save until they're well into their teens).

Second, the special features (making-of featurettes and interviews) are fairly astounding... how many other examples are out there, of critically-derided films, where you have so many different people apologizing for their production??  You have to give Joel Schumacher, George Clooney, et al, major props for even agreeing to sit down for a major helping of mea culpa.  If anything, it makes me like them even more, and in a small way, almost makes me feel sympathetic for the hassle they've all gone through over the past 20 years.

However, it must be said that the film itself (for anyone over the age of, what, 7?) is virtually unwatchable.  Is it kid-friendly?  Yes.  But the problem is it panders to kids, rather than making a smart, fun Batman film that all can enjoy.  (And for my money, the major culprit has always been the execrable screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.  If any one person deserves all the scorn, it's this guy... whether he knows it or not, he helped start the ball rolling on one hell of a stupid film.  For a supposed writer, he should have known better.)





Edited by Shaun Barry on 25 June 2017 at 8:03pm
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977)

Linda Blair is ridiculously attractive (almost too much so--doesn't even seem like the same character from the original film)...

Yes. In a decent movie it would be a distraction. In this, it's just one of very few reasons to watch it.

Despite 18 year-old Linda Blair looking so much more...grown up...from 13 year-old Linda Blair, she seems to be trying to play the same Regan, almost down to the innocence of a 13 year-old. It's odd.

Add THE EXORCIST to my list of movies that really didn't need a sequel, and said sequels are to be mostly ignored.


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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 11:58am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Roman Holiday (1953). Bright and breezy and quite charming in a travelogue kind of way, the real value in the film is in the quality of the two leads, especially Audrey Hepburn, who is really dazzling.

The morality of Peck's journalist is more than a little dubious, even though he ultimately (sort of) comes good. I couldn't help but feel Hepburn's princess had been given the rough end of the stick. An apology might have been nice!

Having been to Rome a couple of times -- and stuck my hand in the Bocca De La Verita -- it makes me think at least some of these attractions derive part of their reknown from the film. Also strange to think that the film was made less than a decade after Mussolini was in power.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 26 June 2017 at 8:56pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply


(Alright, enough crap... time for a good one):

Stanley Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET (1987)

For me, this probably falls smack in the middle of Kubrick's filmography, and I agree with the general consensus that the second half loses some steam (Vincent D'Onofrio and R. Lee Ermey are so good, no one else seems to come close to their level afterwards), but it's still one of the better films from '87, featuring plenty of memorable performances and loaded with so many great lines!



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Joe S. Walker
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 11:02am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

We can only wonder how long it'll be before there's an all-female remake of THE DIRTY DOZEN.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Best thing I've seen recently was THE MOST DANGEROUS
GAME (1932). Filmed at the same studio simultaneously
as KING KONG using some of the same sets and cast. Good
movie and doubly interesting for any KONG fan.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 27 June 2017 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I watched an interesting documentary on Netflix called Betting on Zero, which is about Herbalife and hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman's allegation that the company's multi-billion-dollar value is all built on a pyramid scheme. I remember when Ackman first announced his huge short position in the company, but only knew the bare bones of his contention -- found it fascinating to get a bit more detail and hear interviews from those affected.

Edited by Peter Martin on 27 June 2017 at 2:11pm
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 June 2017 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Decided to give INDEPENDENCE DAY: WHATEVER IT'S CALLED a go as it was on TV. Got as far as the initial mass destruction.

The entirety of London (and beyond, in fact, it seems to be the entire coasts that are connected to the Atlantic, which suggests that the whole of the UK, Ireland and any island in between that and America are gone) is being destroyed but I'm supposed to cheer that Goldblum, Hirsch et al make it through, while cracking jokes about 'They like to go for the landmarks'. While millions of, possibly a billion, people are being killed by wanton destruction.

They like to go for the landmarks. They've destroyed the whole of the Atlantic you bloody idiot!!!!!

This film has not moved on from the excesses of the '90's, and might have worked pre-9/11. But now? I just couldn't stomach it and so turned it off.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 28 June 2017 at 1:17pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

James, you won't be amused to hear that Dean Devlin's next film, in a remarkable one-trick-pony exercise, is about weather controlling satellites that destroys cities all over the world...
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 June 2017 at 11:20pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I really believe that guy was rubbing his hands on 9/11.

'Look at all those reference shots'

I cannot stand his movies
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I really believe that guy was rubbing his hands on 9/11.

'Look at all those reference shots'

••

I've mentioned before that in addition to the small mountain of cash I gave to people collecting for various 9/11 charities, I also picked up a book of photos of the aftermath. That money also went to a charity, but my main reason was that it was an astonishingly good reference book for someone in my line of work. Flipping thru it, I realized how little we really knew about what happened when one of those glass-and-steel towers came down, principally because, before that September day, none really had.

A terrible day, but some valuable artistic lessons.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

LOGAN - 2017

Really liked it. Probably the best X-Movie I've seen other than DEADPOOL. It was a bit odd hearing Prof X say "fuck" and it was certainly the most gruesome of the franchise, but I thought it was well done. Liked the inclusion of Caliban. X-23 was absolutely brutal.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 2:52pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply


You'd think the likes of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich would have at least tried to tone things down a bit after 9/11, and realize there's just nothing inherently entertaining in mass destruction on a global scale anymore... however, they've done nothing but double-down on the nightmarish imagery ever since.

I took the family to see WONDER WOMAN, and they played the trailer for GEOSTORM at the beginning... it was depressing to watch, and it made my wife and I angry.  Hey, Devlin & Co.:  We get it--you hate humanity and despise the planet Earth, and would love nothing more than to see it completely destroyed.

Cue their next follow-up:  "SOLAR FLARE."  When the Earth is burned to a crisp.  Tagline:  "Everybody dies!!!"





Edited by Shaun Barry on 29 June 2017 at 2:55pm
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 11:00pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I agree with you JB in that I remember as I watched the horror of those two towers coming down and realised that it was nothing like in the movies. The amount of dust.

The end of FIGHT CLUB is now unwatchable to me. There may well have been no one in the towers in that film, but really, that doesn't matter with what we have seen.

So, yes, that incident provided so much reference that we have seen (my first real revelation that it will change cinema was ATTACK OF THE CLONES when the big sphere was shot down) and it is good that people like you can use it as reference.

My worry re Bill and Ben is that they are still fixated on this one thing and it is their whole raison d'ętre and that they just don't understand that some people struggle with trying to make me care about wise cracking idiots when billions of people are being destroyed on screen at the same time with no emotion attached to them.

There was a story I read about Emmereich turning up at a convention, being blocked by security as he had forgotten his ID pass.
'Don't you know who I am' he asks security
'Yes', they replied, 'and if I had my way, you wouldn't be allowed back in Hollywood ever again either'

That about sums it up for me
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 June 2017 at 7:40pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

IF IT'S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE BELGIUM (1969)

Had I seen this one in the theater when I was 19, it might have become one of my nostalgic favorites, but seen for the first time almost fifty years later... Well, suffice to say the cascade of contrivances didn't gel for me.

Suzanne Pleshette is all kinds of gorgeous, tho -- and the ending actually borders on poignant.

(Amusing to see all those places around Europe to which I have actually been. Places that, at 19, it did not occur to me I would ever get to!)

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 01 July 2017 at 5:27am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

"Suzanne Pleshette is all kinds of gorgeous,..."

...

I tuned into this last night solely because I seen Suzanne Pleshette's name in the description.
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