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Thread: What films are you watching?

  1. #2001

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    anyone seen the new Bond film yet?
    Not as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall, not enough screen time for Monica Belluci, and I'd rather have Mr Hinx's Jag than the DB10.

  2. #2002

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    ....

  3. #2003

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    Quote Originally Posted by badgerx16 View Post
    Not as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall, not enough screen time for Monica Belluci, and I'd rather have Mr Hinx's Jag than the DB10.
    Exactly my thoughts too. Belluci got star slot but only in for about 5 minutes.
    Casino Skyfall and then Spectre for me as well


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #2004

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    I saw again yesterday a 2001 movie that I much enjoy called 'Thirteen Days' - a dramatised account of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

    As a child of the Cold War myself stories set in this tense and dangerously unstable world have long interested me. Films such as Stanley Kubric's 'Dr Strangelove' and the awesome 'Failsafe' I still count as being among the best that I have ever seen. But those films are works of fiction and much of the power of 'Thirteen Days' brings to the screen is that this film is based upon actual historical events - to a degree anyway.

    Seen from the perspective of a long term Kennedy family ally and aide called Kenneth O'Donnell (played by Kevin Costner) the film shows us JFK and his brother Robert attempting to cope with a escalating situation under enormous pressure, for if this crisis can't be 'defused' in time then the world would lay on the very brink of a nuclear disaster with appalling consequences for life on this planet.

    Much of the controversy surrounding this movie on its realise was related to the important role in the Missile Crisis the script attaches to O'Donnell. Some historians of the era arguing that he was in fact a relatively minor Whitehouse 'staffer' of little real significance. The film's director - Roger Donaldson - refuted this and maintained that the Kennedy's trusted O'Donnell implicitly and placed much faith in his advice. Whether O'Donnell did attend the critical 'Excomm' committee meetings at the height of the crisis is I understand a matter that is disputed.

    Be that as it may, I think that 'Thirteen Days', judged only as a entertainment, is a real success. Costner is actually very good here and the actors chosen to play the key JFK and Robert Kennedy roles not only resemble their characters physically, they seem to have captured something of their spirit too - although admittedly the film has no place at all for all the womanising and dodgy Mafia connections that also went on. Above all the script manages to impart some of the (very real) tension of the time to the viewer in way that a straightforward historical documentary might not accomplish.


  5. #2005

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    I must have seen 'The Godfather' ten or twenty times over the years, but I've only just noticed a glaring continuity error in what is perhaps one of the most famous scenes in cinema history.

    When young Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) so memorably assassinates that git Sollozzo and his sidekick Captain McCluskey in the Italian restaurant, Michael shoots McCluskey (Stirling Hayden) twice - first in the throat and then once in the forehead. However, watch the action closely and just before the final bullet is fired into McCluskey's head you can clearly see that the bleeding wound is already there - take a look for yourself:



    Francis Ford Coppola and his film editor must I guess have noticed this when they were cutting 'The Godfather' together in post-production, but I can only assume that the young director just didn't get all the shots he wanted when he was filming the scene and had to improvise. It's still a great movie of course, but it does go to show you that nothing made my the hand of man is ever perfect.

  6. #2006

    Default What films are you watching?

    Watched Black Mass the other night. Reasonable American gangster type movie, but not an outstanding film, which that genre often are. I am not sure why I wasn't blown away. Perhaps I am more critical these days or perhaps it just lacks something. Mind you in a world full of crap movies it's certainly won a watch.

    A far better movie is Dope. Nice pace and flow to it, half decent story and well acted. Nice sound track too. Really enjoyed it.

  7. #2007

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    I saw, and was quite impressed with, 'Zero Dark Thirty' the other day - a dramatised account of the CIA's decade long manhunt for Al-Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film revolves around the character 'Maya' (Jessica Chastain), a ferociously dedicated young intelligence analysis who will stop at nothing to get her man.

    As with many films of this type you do wonder where the dividing line between truth and fiction lays, but 'Zero Dark Thirty' certainly doesn't seek to avoid depicting the thorny moral issue of the CIA's employment of torture methods in order to extract information from captured terrorists. Indeed, we see here that this intelligence proved instrumental in the eventual discovery of Osama's hiding place in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It seems to me that while this film depicts torture it adroitly avoids (sidesteps?) forming any real judgement on this difficult issue - we seem instead to be invited to form our own opinion as to whether we feel that the 'ends justify the means' here. Is that a 'cop out' or a wise choice I wonder.

    While 'Zero Dark Thirty' may struggle at times to resolve the tension that exists between the need to develop both its charterers and a (rather complex) plot, it is nevertheless a successful effort overall I think. The climatic scenes when US Special Forces finally launch their raid on Osama's secret compound are certainly highly dramatic.


  8. #2008

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    I went out and saw 'The Dressmaker' yesterday evening. A film so very strange that I really don't know what to make of it in all honesty! But if I said that this movie is one of those ''once seen, never forgotten'' experiences you sometimes encounter in the cinema then that will have to suffice for the time being at least.



    PS - that Kate Winslet is a lovely thing

  9. #2009

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    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

    So after having endured the sweet frustration of waiting an entire year since 'Mockingjay Part 1' hit the screens, we game fans have finally gotten the chance to see 'The Hunger Games' series reach its suitably climatic conclusion. Those who have read the (excellent) books will already know how the plot unfolds because rest assured this is yet another faithful adaptation of Suzanne Collins massively successful dystopian vision. Indeed, the atypical degree of respect Hollywood has shown to the source material here is admirable. So while I'll keep it secrets for the benefit of those who have not read the books, I can say that few great achievements are ever realised without sacrifice of course and young Katniss is destined to pay a terrible price if she is to put a end to these awful 'games' she detests so ...

    As our teen triumvirate of Katniss, Peeta and Gale battle their way through the capital's exceptionally vicious defences this final instalment at times inevitably becomes much more of a war film in style, rather than the beguiling mix of combat and science fiction we saw back in the original film. However, although I may be a tad prejudiced I don't detect much sign of creeping 'sequelitis' here because all 4 HG films follow a logical and perfectly satisfactory 'story arc' that justifies their individual existence I think - even if the additional money-making potential of splitting the final book into two films cannot be denied.

    It will be interesting to see how many of the (mostly young) 'Hunger Games' cast go on to enjoy long and successful acting careers. I can certainly see Jennifer Lawrence at least going very far in the business - if becoming that type 'Victor' is what she really wants that is.


  10. Default What films are you watching?

    The Big Short - very good indeed. Re-enforces all built on sand and greed and banks and taking the p1ss. The Blackjack hand analogy pretty useful to simplify what boll0cks it all was/is.no mention of Gordon Brown and lavish public sector spending.

    Great cast
    Last edited by whelk; 16-01-2016 at 09:01 AM.

  11. #2011

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    "The Witch"

    17th century New England. Thinking that their pilgrim settlement (or "Plantation") is not quite puritanical enough for their religious tastes a family with five young childen depart the relative security of the stockade in order to make a new life for themselves alone in the vast woodland wilderness that lays before them. Soon baby Samual goes missing in circumstances that seem supernatural to their way of thinking and this family - deeply immersed in the religious fundamentalism of the age - start to turn on each other ...

    Most reviewers are categorizing this exceptionaly powerful example of modern cinema as a horror film, but you won't find many cheap thrills here because this film is more interested in exploring a different type of terror. In a strange way the film it most reminded me of was Stanley Kubrick's "The Shinning" - that same slow pace, sense of a isolation and darkley oppressive atmosphere.

    If you are thinking of seeing it for yourself I should warn you that this film is a intense experience and in truth pretty heavy going at times too. It is also one of those films that will remain in the memory long after you have left the cinema.

    https://youtu.be/YjBN0ByAqDk

  12. #2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by whelk View Post
    The Big Short - very good indeed. Re-enforces all built on sand and greed and banks and taking the p1ss. The Blackjack hand analogy pretty useful to simplify what boll0cks it all was/is.no mention of Gordon Brown and lavish public sector spending.

    Great cast
    Having watched the cause, may I recommend the aftermath in the form of '99 homes', which is about foreclosures and money made by some on the back of people losing their homes. Solid film.

  13. #2013

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    I saw the new sci-fi film '10 Cloverfield Lane' yesterday.

    By no means a remake of the original 2008 Cloverfield film but kind of set in the same world if you get my drift. After being involved in a car crash a young women (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes to find herself the unwilling 'guest' of John Goodman's character in his sealed underground bunker. But is she the prisoner of a violent and controling psychopath, or has she just been saved from the terrors of a alien invasion?

    For most of this film there is not a lot of action going on as the plot plays itself out within the claustrophobic confines of the bunker. But that limitation does not mean that this film is at all a dull one as it manages to successfully keep the viewer guessing as to what is really going on until almost the final 15 minutes - when the truth finaly becomes apparent. John Goodman does a very nice line in creepy characters and he is in fine form here, while Winstead makes a engaging counterfoil to his overpowering personality.

    Not a great film perhaps, but one that I certainly did enjoy.

  14. #2014

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    Just seen The Jungle Book

    absolutely fantastic movie. Keeps you captivated throughout. Did not deviate from the original really but added a new take on it.
    The choices for the voices were fantastic, Bill Murray as Baloo and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera were just perfect
    Idris Elba makes Shere Khan very sinister.


    The CGi is superb and efforlessly brings this film together with so many nods to the original cartoon
    highly recommended

  15. #2015

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    So I finally got round to watching the new Star Wars film the other day, after a few people told me it was surprisingly good.

    I thought it was every bit as sh*te as I expected it to be when it was first announced. Full of tired old cliches, massive plot holes, far too 'safe' (as you would expect a Disney film to be) and essentially just exactly the same story as the first film.

  16. #2016

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    Not really my kind of thing normaly, but I did take the boy to see the new 'X Men' film last weekend - X Men: Apocalypse. What, I ask myself, is there left to say that is remotely orginal about Hollywood superhero films?

    On the positive side this movie had a strong cast for sure. James McIlvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult - the viewer certainly had plenty of top class young acting talent to both see and enjoy. Somehow the cast even manage to take this stuff seriously - while awaiting a huge pay off to arrive in the post no doubt. As is nearly always the case now with big budget Hollywood action movies the production values and special effects are beyond any real critism. But as for the plot ... well all these superhero films are essentially the same aren't they? Yet another regulation combination of angst, a seemingly unstoppable super villian, and a climatic punch-up with a outcome that will be utterly predictable to anyone who has ever seen this type of stuff before.

    So methinks you really don't need to see this film ... unless that is a few hours of mindless superhero mayhem happens to float your boat I suppose.

  17. #2017

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    I watched 'out of the furnace' starring Woody Harrelson the other night and didnt understand the ending, Anybody care to enlighten me?

  18. #2018

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    A Street Cat Named Bob.

    Salvation may come in many forms I suppose, for some it may be the discovery of religious faith, for others perhaps the love of a good women. It turns out that for one young lad reduced to busking for a living on the mean streets of London hope arrives in the form of a ginger tom called 'Bob'. The (Human) hero of our story James (the excellent Luke Treadaway) is certainly a troubled and vulnerable young man. Homeless and estranged from his family, like so many other young people who find themselves in that situation he is also in the grip of drug addiction. So his future looks pretty bleak. However, one dedicated social worker sees something worthwhile in him and fights, against the all the odds, to get James off the streets and into a grotty council flat. No sooner has he moved in when the aforementioned street cat turns up and adopts him - like cats sometimes do with people. What ensues is certainly not all 'plain sailing' by any means, but caring for Bob, and it turn profiting from him, turn this almost broken Human life around.

    Based of a true story apparently - and featuring the real Bob too I understand - this is one of those films any experienced film goer can easily 'read' almost before it has started. It might also have been a even better film had it sought to explore why so many British people display a level of affection for animals that far exceeds any love they might show for their fellow Human Beings. Nevertheless, what this movie may lack in surprise and ambition it more than makes up for in warmth and charm. Indeed, methinks this is one of those very rare films that almost anyone should be able enjoy.

    Recommended.

  19. #2019

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    I saw that living legend Clint Eastwood's latest film the other day - 'Sully' the story of how a stricken Airbus A320 airliner ended up landing in the Hudson River a few years ago.

    Before seeing it I had wondered how this film would manage to extend a incident, that in reality lasted only a minute or two, into a full feature-length story. Well it turns out that I need not have worried because this film had no trouble at all in holding my attention. According to this account while pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) was widely hailed to be a hero by the public the crash investigators of the NTSB alleged that he could/should have managed to land his aircraft safely at one of the nearby New York airports - this despite the small matter of both engines being shut down following a catastrophic bird strike. I suspect that the script may have helped itself to a few typically 'Hollywood' style liberties with the truth here, but the drama is nevertheless absorbing whether we totally buy it or not. Away from the aftermath of the incident, the actual crash sequence itself is a wonderfully realised - to the extent that this film is probably inadvisable as your next in-flight movie!

    When you go to see any film directed my Clint Eastwood you are unlikely to find yourself being entertained by some highly stylish example of outrageous film making because that is not what he is about. Eastwood is a no-nonsense film maker. But if you seek a good story well told then he's your man - indeed I can't remember the last time I left a cinema feeling quite so satisfied that both my time and money had been so well spent.

  20. #2020

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    I've just seen the first instalment in what I understand is set to become Disney's so-called Anthology Series - 'Star Wars: Rogue One' - and much enjoyed it. Set immediately before George Lucas's original 1977 'Star Wars' epic this movie tells the story about how the crucial plans for the Galactic Empire's fearsome 'Deathstar' first came into the hands of the Rebel Alliance.

    Okay, all these films are more than a bit 'popcorn' escapist entertainment in nature, and methinks that those seeking out truly good science fiction should probably look elsewhere. But a diet of good quality popcorn every now and again won't do you too much harm I suppose and this cinematic meal is a tasty treat indeed. In fact I actually enjoyed 'Rogue One' more than last year's slightly disappointing 'The Force Awakens' as this film does at least go to the trouble of telling fans a different story, rather than simply repeating what went before but with the benefit of modern special effects and a huge promotional budget. With no direct sequel required this time 'Rogue One' is also free to show the legions of Star Wars fans out there that great achievement seldom occurs without great sacrifice either. For all its stunning special effects and family friendly mission statement in some ways this is perhaps the darkest and most adult film of the entire series so far.

    The infamous Darth Vader making a comeback here came as a welcome, but nevertheless expected, treat for this fan. This is a straightforward enough matter as the actor playing the role is invisible behind the famous Vader mask and James Earl Jones is still around to provide THAT voice. But seeing the (long dead of course) Peter Cushing reprise - in a sense - his role in the original film was in its own way a wonderful thing to behold. I recall seeing the (impressive at the time) first steps into this brave new CGI created world many years ago in the highly successful children's film 'Toy Story' - but the tech has evolved to such an advanced state now where is becoming quite hard to tell if what you are seeing is real, or some artfully created illusion. A young looking Carrie Fisher also makes a brief cameo style appearance as do R2D2 and C3PO. Indeed, I suspect that at least half the audience in the cinema with me yesterday never even realised that much of what they are seeing is impossible.

    So splendid Xmas entertainment in every way then.
    Last edited by CHAPEL END CHARLIE; 24-12-2016 at 03:18 PM.

  21. #2021

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    Just seen Tarka the Otter on Talking Pictures TV. Excellent stuff, including two cameo glimpses of Reg Lye and Stanley Lebor. They don`t make films like that any more.

    Happy Christmas one and all.

  22. #2022

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    Talking Pictures TV are currently showing `Dulcima` a classic 1970s film based on a novella by HE Bates. It stars the late John Mills and the late Carol White, one of the most compelling actresses of that era - Cathy Come Home was perhaps her most memorable role. She was dubbed `The English Bardot` because of her stunning looks and she went to Hollywood where, sadly, she developed problems with drugs and alcohol and died far too young at just 48. `Dulcima` was filmed in Gloucestershire - there is even a sequence in a bus heading for Forest Green - and is at one level an almost typically pastoral tale of country life; but it also has real drama, plot, sub-plot, intrigue and a climax which leaves the viewer shocked in the realisation of the counterpoint between rural tranquillity and human frailty. There`s a beautiful musical score by Johnny Douglas including a haunting theme and cameo appearances from the late and much missed Dudley Foster and also Kristin Hatfield. Look out for it - it`s well worth seeing.

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