Author Topic: Now watching  (Read 36702 times)

mgriffin

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Now watching
« on: December 06, 2007, 06:03:47 PM »
Here's a kick-start of one of my favorite topics on the Hypnos Forum in recent months.

Lena's been out of town, and she doesn't really like war movies (though otherwise our tastes are very much in sync) so I thought I'd watch a couple of long ones while she's away.

A Bridge Too Far -- As part one of my two part "classic WWII war movie" two-fer, I found this one a bit disappointing.  I mean, the whole Operation Market Garden thing is depressing enough to start with, but I guess I've never really liked the whole "let's cram every movie star we can find into this movie and that will make it great" idea.  Even knowing a bit of the real story, I was a bit confused at times as to who some of the characters were.  On the other hand, it was well-made and grand in scope.  I'd give it maybe a B- grade.

The Longest Day -- Much better, having a lot in common with Saving Private Ryan (the whole idea of rolling into Normandy in open boats and charging out to try to get across the sand while guys are dropping dead all around you), but I found it an interesting and clear telling of the events.  Some actors who bug the crap out of me at times, like John Wayne, actually were pretty good.  I'd give this one a B+ or A-.

Both of these were 3+ hours long, and I'd say that's enough of the war movies for a while.
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jim brenholts

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 06:32:22 PM »
while i love both of those movies, griff, a band of brothers might be the best war "movie" i have ever seen. it is a tad long (it is an hbo series - 9 episodes of about an hour each) but it is based on fact and the action is very real. they tried to put a bit too much comic relief in 'tld' and some of 'abtf' was just unbelievable.
my favorite fiction war movie is in harm's way - a bit smarmy and overly melodramatic but some great lines and cool action.
all the best and God bless
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Antdude

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 07:18:25 PM »
2 more for the next long weekend: The Battle of the Bulge & Patton.

I sat in a theater in 1970 and saw these two classics back-to-back, and loved every minute of it. Robert Shaw in one of his best roles as the german panzer commander, became one of my favorite actors after that film. And it's hard to find a better performance in any war film than George C. Scott's in Patton.

And an alternate double bill could be Kelly's Heroes with The Dirty Dozen.

Enjoy.
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MarkJohnson

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 07:55:26 PM »
Oh no, I feel like a goofball... I'm watching the first season of The Flight of the Conchords and the third season of Arrested Development. Comedy series, unusually funny for American television.

mgriffin

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 07:57:32 PM »
while i love both of those movies, griff, a band of brothers might be the best war "movie" i have ever seen. it is a tad long (it is an hbo series - 9 episodes of about an hour each) but it is based on fact and the action is very real. they tried to put a bit too much comic relief in 'tld' and some of 'abtf' was just unbelievable.
my favorite fiction war movie is in harm's way - a bit smarmy and overly melodramatic but some great lines and cool action.

I agree Band of Brothers is great, and I recollect it being more character-driven, at least enough to possibly appeal more to a person who's not into war movies.

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jkn

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 05:09:42 AM »
Odd, but I've been planning to watch some war movies the last couple of weeks and haven't gotten to it.   a bridge too far is one of those movies that could have been great but didn't quite make it.  I agree on your rating - and yeah - the confusion factor is raised a bit.   Gene Hackman tends to crack me up ever time he's on screen - casting just wasn't right on that one.  (and he's a great actor - just didn't work here)   

longest day, on the other hand, I love.  It's more in that early 60's era period of war movies where blood is never shown.  It also suffers from Hollywood star casting - but it doesn't bother me a lot in this one.   (except maybe lingering on John Wayne a bit too much).   I love that the movie tries to tell the story from the German point of view as well - without painting them as blithering idiots as so many US war movies do.   This movie (along with Patton and Tora Tora Tora) I upgraded to the newer deluxe releases (and gave my original dvd copies to my nephews...).   

More later.

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jim brenholts

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2007, 07:01:03 PM »
i picked up the first two seasons of the british version of whose line is it anyway. there are some absolute gems and some total bombs. josie lawrence is beautiful and amazingly talented. john sessions, on the other hand, is nowhere near as talented as he seems to think he is. he hogs camera time and does accents that are very difficult to understand. in skits that involve continuous story lines i have never seen him continue the line - he has always branched it out into a new theme or territory.
on the whole, i am glad i have the set. i laugh very hard when i watch. (the shows with ryan styles are priceless!)
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jkn

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 07:16:43 AM »
We're still watching a lot of Murder She Wrote - there was a really nice one from the third season where they took a movie from 1949 or so and had several of the actors from the movie portray their roles for the episode.   A very young Harry Morgan (you know him from MASH as Col. Potter or from Dragnet...) - was in the movie and episode.   Definitely the fun part of Murder She Wrote is all the older actors that make guest appearances.   The other really nice thing about this show is we can just kind of leave it on in the background - it's nice "ambient" tv...   ha. 

We bought the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol - which was really good.  Fun part of it for us was it looks like the Department 56 Dickens Village pieces that we collect - a lot of them look like they were modeled after the movie (and the city it was filmed in).    For me, the best version will always be the Alistair Sim version of Scrooge from about 1951.  I have very fond memories of that growing up -waking up before mom and dad and watching that downstairs sitting by the fireplace waiting for them to get up...    I was thrilled when I found the dvd version.

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mgriffin

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 05:41:03 PM »
Just finished season 3 of The Sopranos (my 2nd viewing, Lena's 1st).  Absolutely great show, certainly one of my all-time top 10 TV series.

Nearing the end of season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, likewise great, maybe the best sci-fi TV show of all time (I don't count X-Files or The Prisoner as sci-fi, though some do), though certainly the best one currently on the air

Earlier this week, watched Stardust and enjoyed it very much.  It's sort of a mash-up of classic fables, with fallen stars personified, witches, pirates, parents looking for their long-lost children, people turned into animals, animals turned into people, etc.  But despite being a jigsaw of these familiar fairy tale and fable elements, it's well-told, visually rich, humorous and involving.  So I'd recommend it if this sort of thing seems at all like something you might like.  Cynics and grumps, stay away.

Tonight, it will be Ma Vie En Rose, not the Edith Piaf thing (which is "La Vie" rather than "Ma Vie"), but the "little boy who wants to be a little girl" thing.


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SunDummy

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 06:29:03 PM »
Quote
but the "little boy who wants to be a little girl" thing.

Hey hey hey, keep that stuff over in the "Sexy-time fetish ambient" thread... >:( ;)


We watched "Other People's Lives" last night; very, very good story about an East German playwrite being watched by the secret police.  It starts kinda slow (or maybe I was expecting something different), but it gets going.  Very subtle and emotionless on the surface; smiles are rare, raised voices even rarer; really gives you the feeling of living in constant fear of saying the wrong thing.  Recommended.

We also watched "Hot Fuzz", the 'buddy cop' film by the guys who made "Shaun of the Dead".  I was expecting really stupid humor (there is that) and a mindless parody of such films (there's that too), but it turns out it's actually a pretty good movie.  Plenty of over-the-top moments, lots of in-jokes for "Shaun" fans, and loads of references to "Bad Boyz 2" and "Point Break" (really; and yes, they're damn funny.)  Worth a viewing for sure.
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darkenedsoul

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2007, 07:23:52 PM »
Spongebob Squarepants, Naruto, Futurama, Metalocalypse (too funny, love the music!), Family Guy (hehehhehehe in peter's voice). God that show is just to damn funny. I'd love to meet Seth McFarlane.

mgriffin

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2007, 04:09:29 PM »
This has been the first Christmas I haven't watched a single of the traditional Christmas season movies or shows (It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, Grinch, any of the Rankin/Bass stuff).

We did watch The Bourne Ultimatum late last week and thought it was really great, every bit as good as the first two Bourne movies if not better.

Also watched Quidam which is a Cirque du Soleil video, one of a series of CDS videos that document their various shows.  Quidam is older, I think, maybe the third or fourth one they came up with.  Some of the bits are definitely recycled, I think, from show to show.  Lena and I saw Mystere live in Las Vegas on our honeymoon, and there was at least one routine that was very similar between the two shows (utilizing a man and a woman in Quidam, and two men in Mystere) but it doesn't really take away from the fun and spectacle of these shows.  Every time I see Cirque du Soleil I enjoy it so much I feel like I want to see all the rest of the shows I haven't seen.
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SunDummy

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2007, 12:18:36 AM »
Good call on "Bourne Ultimatum"; a very good film, IMO.

We just watched two intense films:

"The Wind that Shakes the Barley", about the early days of the IRA.  Very intense, ugly drama about shifting loyalties and how patriotism affects people at a grass-root level.

"Jindabyne", about some guys in Australia who find a body while on a fishing trip.  Laura Linney is amazing in this; I'm a big fan of hers, and this is her best performance yet.  Great film about the tensions that lie just beneath the surface in marriages, a serial killer, racism, and stupidity.  It pulls no punches, and is not shy about showing ugly things, but don't be scared off by the first few scenes, it's not a gory horror exploitation film at all.  I love films in which th characters, even the ones we're supposed to like, have flaws, sometimes very deep ones. 
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jkn

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2007, 07:32:36 AM »
Also watched Bourne Ultimatum - very good - if you like the first two, you can't go wrong. 

Watched all of Lost Season 3 - wooo hooooo!   Great stuff!

Christmas Movies... the old Alistair Sim version of Scrooge - A Christmas Carol - my favorite!   The old version of Miracle on 34th Street - another favorite.   Also a couple of musicals with Bing Crosby and company... Holiday Inn and White Christmas - and the Frank and Bing Christmas Special - a 50's era tv show.
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APK

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 04:40:27 PM »
Just watched

Nick Drake - Under Review

a dvd about his life. Very well done.
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2007, 08:38:04 PM »
We watched the Jamie Fox/Chris Cooper/Jennifer Garner political action thriller The Kingdom last night. Not what I expected...more drama and less action until the last 20 ro 30 minutes, then BAM! It sure does make it clear how the Saudis have us over a barrel (no pun intended) if we continue to be oil gluttons, IMO. The opening scenes of anti-American violence are awfully hard to watch without having a viscera, if not violent,l reaction. Anyway, it's recommended if you also enjoyed films like Blackhawk Down that try to have it both ways, i.e. political events with action movie elements.

mgriffin

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2007, 10:35:03 AM »
We just finished the last episode of season 3 of Battlestar Galactica last night, and WOW, what a great show.  It's amazingly heavy, serious and complex, especially for TV sci-fi.  I just can't wait until season 4 starts happening, and now we'll have to try to track down the various "web only" episodes somehow, and watch those in the mean time.
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jkn

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2008, 07:42:24 AM »
Sopranos marathons over the holiday vacation...   finished season 1 and all but the last episode of season 2.   It's been since they originally aired since I saw these - wow - better than I remember.   Fantastic show.
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2008, 08:19:51 AM »
We just watched an excellent and absorbing (but also tragic and sad) documentary last night on DVD, Deep Water, the story of Donald Crowhurst's doomed attempt to win the 1968 solo non-stop global sailing contest. An engrossing tale including footage shot on his boat during the race (he had been given a movie camera and a tape recorder to record his thoughts, etc.) plus lots of interviews with the few men who survived the race as well as Crowhurst's widow and one of his (now grown) kids. I highly recommend it.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0460766/

mgriffin

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Re: Now watching
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2008, 04:05:43 PM »
Last night we watched the "Ultimate Edition" box-set of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, which included 5 versions of the film, of which I'd seen 3 before.  We watched the 2007 "ultimate" version, which I found to be not too different from the 1996 (or so) director's cut version.

This remains one of my all-time favorite films, and it stands the test of time wonderfully.  The BluRay disc version looks absolutely breathtaking, and I had literally never seen the film look so good, not even in the theater.  It's crystal clear, every image truly like candy for the eyes.  I'll enjoy looking through the supplemental materials and documentaries on disc 2, and I'm also curious about the "workprint" version on disc 5, which is the other edit I hadn't seen before.  There are so many wonderful things about this film: the atmosphere, the acting, the soundtrack, the script, the very concept, the special effects (matte paintings and miniatures and old-fashioned visual compositing, nothing digital). 

If I were a film critic giving out numeric or letter-grade reviews, I'd give this my highest possible rating.  If you've enjoyed this film before, this ultimate box-set release will be the last version you'll ever need or want to own.  I would gladly have purchased this if the price had been 5 times as much.  If you're just a casual fan of the film and you already have the director's cut DVD, that may be good enough for you, but I'm glad I upgraded.  I'll be selling off my director's cut DVD now.
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