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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 5:13am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A Kim Hunter double-feature, as I introduced one of my gal pals to PLANET OF THE APES (1969) and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946).

She enjoyed both, saying PoTA was not at all what she'd expected. She'd said the same of FORBIDDEN PLANET.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply


Roger Moore is James Bond 007 in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977)

Probably one of the better Roger Moore BOND films (along with LIVE & LET DIE and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, perhaps?), and it's enjoyable enough... but ultimately a lot of empty spectacle.

(Featuring, in my opinion, probably one of the all-time worst BOND scores... an admittedly wonderful opening song from Carly Simon ("Nobody Does It Better"), but the disco-infused soundtrack from Marvin Hamlisch (!!) instantly & badly dates the film, and just doesn't have a shred of the goosebump-inducing power and romanticism from the great John Barry--no relation!--who sadly had to sit this one out at the time.)





Edited by Shaun Barry on 16 July 2017 at 9:27pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 July 2017 at 10:37pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

ROBOCOP (1987).

30th anniversary viewing!

Still a perfect movie. One of my all-time favorite films. Top ten, even. Like a fine wine, it only gets better (and more prescient) with age. There are always new details and nuances to discover. It's unlike any other movie I've ever seen--cynical, yet hopeful. A hilarious satire, yet also a surprisingly moving action film. 


So many little details that work so well. To say nothing of across-the-board excellence--performances, music, (Oscar-winning) sound design, visual effects, cinematography, script, etc. As I have often noted, this is a film which could only have been made by Paul Verhoeven and his outsider-looking-in perspective on the insanity of American corporate politics and the stupidity of American television. 

It's wickedly funny, but it also works as a really clever science-fiction story about the triumph of the human spirit. I've shown it to younger friends, over the years, but they rarely "get it", and just see it as another 80s action movie. Their loss. 

I now need to go and re-listen to the excellent, fanmade audio commentaries made for the film(s) on Oliver Harper's channel on YouTube. Great stuff. Love their commentaries and discussions of films both new and old.

There's also the fanmade ROBODOC documentary, which should be released within the next few months. Sounds impressive and very comprehensive.


I'll soon be rewatching ROBOCOP 2, as well, thanks to the new Shout! Factory Blu-Ray. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, but more in the "anatomy of a trainwreck" way. The first film tells a complete story, and no follow-ups were necessary. And, as history has proven, literally everything after the first film--sequels, TV shows, the remake--is terrible.
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 12:30am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Featuring, in my opinion, probably one of the all-time worst BOND scores
--

Long ago I came to the conclusion that a Bond score NOT done by John Barry was, quite simply, wrong.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES (2016)

Zach Mxyzptlk, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot in a moderately amusing spy spoof. Time does not feel enriched, but not entirely wasted, either.

Given the cast, should have been MUCH better.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply


It's a sad irony, Petter, that those other Moore films I mentioned also do not have any John Barry score to speak of--George Martin for LIVE AND LET DIE (which I find excellent) and Bill Conti for FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (another grating, dated, disco-flavored soundtrack!)...

...which means my favorite Moore BOND with a Barry score would have to be THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN.



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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 2:49pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Imagine how bad MOONRAKER is, when not even a Barry score and a Shirley Bassey theme song can save it. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

MOONRAKER was deep in the trend of bringing only the title to the screen. And sometimes not even that!
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981).

Nice and lean movie, pretty much until the ghostly dénouement. One aspect of it that I appreciate -- inter alia! -- so very much is that the characters of Sallah and (especially) Brody are played straight, not bumbling, goofy, dumb or comic relief.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply


1.  "Zach Mxyzptlk..."  Ha!  I love this!

2.  Yes, the John Barry score and Shirley Bassey song are pretty much the only good things about MOONRAKER!

3.  Um... why did I never make the connection until just now that there is a "Brody" in JAWS and a "Brody" in RAIDERS?  Literally, just now.



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Michael Penn
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 4:50pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Tangent: Galifianakis last name in Greek means "one who speaks a load of blarney."
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016)

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (2016)
 
Wanted to like the latter more, but couldn't. Next to the stunning VFX in JUNGLE BOOK, TARZAN's animals just looked...fake. And, frankly, Mowgli's story, as told in this film, was more compelling.




Edited by Brian Rhodes on 17 July 2017 at 6:03pm
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 6:13pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

ROCKY BALBOA (2006)

CREED (2015)

Both are really good movies that I feel capture the heart of the original ROCKY.  The Oscar nomination of Best Supporting Actor for Stallone in CREED was warranted. The franchise has had its...rocky moments.....but not with either of these.

BALBOA is a solid capper to the boxer's career. But, not the character's...obviously...

As as sequel/reboot, CREED checks off all the right boxes.

If you're a Rocky fan and haven't seen these, do so. Very satisfying. You don't have to watch the first four beforehand, but it couldn't hurt (go ahead and skip ROCKY V).
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 6:30pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

THE WARRIORS (1979)

I've tried to rewatch this over the years without success. 
After telling my son how the movie caused quite the spectacle at  theaters during its release, he wanted to see it.

Must say I was entertained. Made it all the way thru and I kinda wanted more.
A true cult movie.

"Can you dig it!"
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 8:04pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply


Doug, I first saw THE WARRIORS on network TV, maybe around '81 or '82, when I was only about 10 years old...

...the decidedly unnerving "Warriors, come out to play-ayyyyyy!!" has been burned into my brain ever since.  The film as a whole is rather comic-booky (and not in the good sense), but there's so much great stuff in it.

Definitely a guilty pleasure for me!



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 July 2017 at 8:45pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply


CASABLANCA (1942)

One of the greatest movies ever made, Top 10 easily.  Probably even Top 5.

An inarguable classic.



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Bill Collins
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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 11:24am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Moonraker has all the hallmarks of being rushed into
production to cash in on the latest bandwagon,as were
all the first Moore Bond films,Live and Let Die-
Blaxploitation,The Man with the Golden Gun-Bruce
Lee/Kung Fu,The Spy Who Loved Me-Jaws.The end of The Spy
Who Loved Me even says James Bond Will return in...For
Your Eyes Only.So it`s likely the title Moonraker was
used to get a space themed film into production after
the huge success of Star Wars.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 18 July 2017 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

KONG - SKULL ISLAND (2017)

Cute that they based the main "bad guys" on the two legged pit crawler from the '33 original, but anything remotely good about this mess ends there. A lot of wasted talent (who really should think about the worthwhile projects they could have done instead) and no monster/horror cliche left out.

And what the hell did Brie Larson do to herself? Those immobile cantaloupes on her chest were a huge distraction -- and not in a good way!

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 19 July 2017 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply


At the risk of opening a can o' worms:

GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)  (aka GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL)

My son loves it, my daughters love it (they all prefer it to the original!)... I really wanted to like it, since I like all of the principal actors & filmmakers, but I like almost nothing about it.  I don't hate the movie, but it was still a big disappointment to me.  I found it flatly-directed, flatly-acted, flatly-written... special effects were fine, but nothing we haven't been seeing in some form or another for the past 10 years; too many cartoonish characters; too much unfunny, obvious improv; no real scares; and for a film centered on a female group of Ghostbusters, who have to deal with a lot of misogyny within the film, no real "f___ you" payoff where their characters can really stick it to The Man... unless you count the eyerolling scene during the climax where they zap the giant ghost right in the balls.

For all the talent involved, I was expecting so much more.  One year later, I tried to give it another shot... just don't like it at all.  I suppose I wouldn't mind seeing the same cast take another crack at it in a sequel with a different writer and/or director, but this one's a bummer.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 6:14am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I feel GHOSTBUSTERS is a case of style over substance. Bit too much toilet humour, too (well, not too much, but I never like it).

I do like the special effects, if I'm honest. A film like GHOSTBUSTERS is best served by CGI. I judge the original films' special effects by the standards of the era (they are good!), but I did enjoy the CGI in this, i.e. the museum scene, Stay Puft, etc. 

It probably works best as a "historical curiosity" (or will do in years to come). People have craved more live-action GHOSTBUSTERS - so the film gave them that. Was it a necessary film? Probably in that respect. And probably in the sense that the GHOSTBUSTERS universe needed a film that could make use of modern CGI.

It's not the worst film I've seen. I shall watch it again. I just would have changed certain things.

I'd like to see a good storyline in any sequel they do. There's an episode of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS where Slimer keeps multiplying, eventually overwhelming the city - forcing the Ghostbusters to use science rather than busting to save the day. I'd like something such as that.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Okja,Netflix movie,starts off with a girl and her cute
creature being best buds and the creature saving her
life,then goes pretty dark with Tilda Swinton being the
head of a company that is breeding genetically modified
creatures for meat,Okja being one of them.The Animal
Liberation characters and Jake Gyllenhall are a bit too
comedic,making it tonally uneven,but the ending set at a
slaughterhouse give you food for thought.
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

KISS KISS BANG BANG (2005)

Remember seeing it at the movies when it first came out, and I enjoyed it. But take away the funny one-liners, and you have a B-movie plot that really goes nowhere.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 2:33pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

In a similar vein, I watched Nice Guys (2016). I enjoyed it a fair amount. Kind of what you expect from Shane Black. Buddy movie about solving a mystery with funny, snappy dialogue.
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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply


KISS ME STUPID (1964) - A Billy Wilder comedy that I saw for the first time, starring Dean Martin, Kim Novak, and Ray Walston. Walston plays songwriter looking for a break, which comes to town in the form of crooner Dino (Dean Martin). Unfortunately, Dino is also an incorrigible womanizer, so Walston has to keep him clear of his wife (Kim Novak).

Wilder and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond are responsible for THE APARTMENT, which was pitch perfect. This movie, however, misses the mark - the story strains believability and descends into a ridiculous set of barely funny circumstances. The performances are all very strong - Dean Martin is playing an unflattering caricature of himself that is wonderful. It is disappointing that the doesn't work.



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 20 July 2017 at 6:24pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply


Speaking of Billy Wilder, from the "There's Hope for the Future" Dept.:

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

My daughters broke this one out from my collection and instantly fell in love with it... they watched it twice in a row.  And my eldest even tackled the making-of featurettes!

Yay!!



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