What was the last movie you saw?

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Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:52 am

Tonight I watched Aliens, James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi thriller. While Scott's film was built on flawed but interesting characters and on slow-burn but incredibly intense suspense and chills, Cameron gives us supercharged action. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the sole survivor of the first film, is asked to advise a platoon of space marines who are on a rescue mission to a human colony--on the very planet where Ripley and her crew made their fateful landing in the first film. There's a little under an hour of development, and then the shooting starts--and it really never stops. Along the way, Ripley shows some unexpected maternal instincts when she bonds with the sole survivor of the colony, a young girl named Newt (Carrie Henn, in her only film role). Weaver gives an incredible performance--earning a Best Actress nomination, the only one ever for a sci-fi/horror film and one of the rare ones in an action film of any kind--and the action sequences are some of the best ever, still impressing after 25 years.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:05 am

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the second in what we now must call a tetralogy, is not as good as the first but it is a great slam-bang adventure. The opening sequence in the Shanghai nightclub is incredible, as is the action climax--somewhere near an hour of unbroken thrills and chills. Kate Capshaw is rather disappointing, even annoying, as the heroine, especially compared with Karen Allen, but Harrison Ford is in great form and Ke Huy Quan as his juvenile sidekick is terrific. The phrase "popcorn movie" was invented for films like this.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:13 am

My movie tonight was Eyewitness, a romantic thriller from 1981 which was undeservedly a box-office flop. Daryll Deever (William Hurt) is a janitor in a Manhattan high-rise office building; he has a serious crush on TV journalist Tony Sokolow (Sigourney Weaver, in her first post-Alien role). When a murder takes place in his building and Tony shows up to cover it, Daryll takes the chance to get to know the object of his affections; he implies that he knows something about the murder that he hasn't told the police. As a good journalist, Tony follows up and meets him a couple of times, but is surprised by the attraction she starts to feel towards him. The thriller story in this one is, to be honest, a mess, but the characters are quite interesting, and director Peter Yates wisely keeps the focus on developing them and their relatioships--between Daryll and Tony, of course, but also between Daryll and his Vietnam vet buddy Aldo (James Woods), between Tony and her parents, between Tony and her lover Joseph (Christopher Plummer), even between the two lead detectives on the case (Morgan Freeman and Steven Hill). Hurt is terrific, Weaver has never been more radiant and alluring on film, and the two have great chemistry; Woods and Freeman are as good as you'd expect. This one is definitely worth a look.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:38 pm

Tonight I watched Antz, the first feature film from Dreamworks Animation, and a pretty good one. In a colony of very anthropomorphized ants, Z-4195 (voiced by Woody Allen) is a neurotic, unhappy worker who feels he doesn't fit in. Meanwhile, Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) is bored with the royal lifestyle and decides to see how the worker ants live, and ends up at an ant nightclub dancing with Z, who is smitten with her. Eager for a chance to see her again, Z persuades his soldier ant friend Weaver (Sylvester Stallone) to swap duties with him--little thinking how dangerous it might be to be a soldier ant, or that he might get snared in the schemes of the psychotic General Mandible (Gene Hackman). This was one of the first CGI animated films and has some very imaginative scenes. Besides those already mentioned, the voice cast includes Dan Aykroyd, Danny Glover, Jennifer Lopez and Christopher Walken.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

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Brienna
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Brienna » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:31 am

Breaking Dawn 1 off course :D

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:01 pm

Go do gaai bei/Full Alert is a dark and hard-edged crime thriller from the famed Hong Kong director Ringo Lam. Inspector Pao (Ching Wan Lau) of the Hong Kong police wages a deadly duel of wits with explosives expert Mak Kwan (Francis Ng). The police arrest Kwan early in the film, but he arranges a daring prison escape and plots an equally daring heist of the vault at a race track. I enjoyed this one pretty well despite a somewhat implausible story.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:46 pm

Tonight I watched The Black Swan--not to be confused with the Natalie Portman Oscar vehicle, it's a high-spirited pirate swashbuckler from back in 1942. It's very loosely based on a bit of history--in 1674, the pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) is pardoned by King Charles II and made Governor of Jamaica, with orders to clear the seas of all his ex-comrades in piracy. Our hero is Morgan's former right-hand man Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power), who must choose whether to side with Morgan or with Captain Leech (George Sanders, almost unrecognizable in a giant red wig), who plans to continue marauding in spite of Morgan's orders. Complicating things for Jamie is his attraction to Lady Margaret Denby (Maureen O'Hara), daughter to the previous governor. The plot has some holes large enough to sail a ship of the line through, but it's fast-paced, Power and O'Hara make a likable, boisterous lead couple, and the ever-reliable Thomas Mitchell is a solid supporting player. A good one.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:33 am

I've seen a couple of John Woo's US films, Broken Arrow and MI-2, but Hard Boiled/Lat sau san taam was the first of his Hong Kong films that I've watched. Sgt. Yuen, known as "Tequila," (Chow Yun-Fat) is a Hong Kong cop who tends to ignore the rulebook. Hot on the trail of a gun-running gang run by JohnnyWong (Wong Chau-Sang), he discovers that undercover cop Tony (Tony Leung) is also working on the case, infiltrating the mob from inside. Matters come to a head when the two cops discover that Johnny's "warehouse" is in the hidden basement of none other than a hospital. Woo lives up to his reputation with this one, both when it comes to high-voltage action sequences (with high body counts and profligate ammunition expenditure), and also when it comes to male bonding between his leads. Pretty good.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:05 am

Okay, it was time for another of my little guilty pleasures tonight; I've always liked the movie version of Charlie's Angels. True, the plot is thin and the action sequences run the gamut from over the top to ludicrous--especially the wire-fu sequences. But the pace is fast, and no one is taking things to seriously; there's a great sense of fun coming across from most of the cast. And, Drew Barrymore is always a pure pleasure to watch--she has one of the most innately likable screen personalities around.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

Jestak
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Post by Jestak » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:25 am

I first saw The Stunt Man years ago--when I was at college, I think. It's an uneven, blackly comic movie--some parts are simply wacky, others simply wonderful. Cameron (Steve Railsback) is a young Vietnam veteran who is being sought by the police for some undefined reason; while fleeing, he wanders onto a film set where manic director Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole) is making a World War I film. Cameron manages to catch Eli's eye and finds himself hired as a stunt performer on the film; as filming proceeds he also attracts the attention of Nina Franklin (Barbara Hershey), one of the film's stars, who moves from being Eli's lover to Cameron's. But Eli's motives for hiring Cameron seem very strange--what is he up to? O'Toole and director Richard Rush snagged Oscar nominations for this one, while Railsback, in the one big role of his career, is excellent as the twitchy vet and Hershey, not yet a major star, is also very good.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing

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