What was the last movie you saw?

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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:49 am

The title character of Madigan is an NYPD detective, but the movie is really more about cops than it is about crime. Dan Madigan (Richard Widmark) and his partner Rocco are first seen as they try to arrest a local hood, but he distracts them, pulls a gun, and makes his escape. While the central thread of the plot concerns Dan and Rocco trying to track the men down, we also get a lengthy look at Dan's troubled home life, as well as a parallel story line about Police Commissioner Anthony Russell (Henry Fonda) and some of his many troubles. This is a solid film from Don Siegel, from a time when crime films were a lot more realistic than they generally are today.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:06 am

Tremors is a very fun movie that deserves its cult classic status. The tiny town of Perfection, Nevada finds itself beset by creepy monsters--giant worm-like things that the locals, all 10 or 12 of them, name "graboids." It will be up to local handymen Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) to save the day; geology student Rhonda (Finn Carter) and survivalist Burt (Michael Gross) may be of assistance. Faced-paced and unpretentious, this one recalls the virtues of the very best sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:04 am

David Cronenberg began his career working mostly in horror films, but lately he's become very adept at contemporary noir. One of his latest is Eastern Promises, wherein he explores the dark side of the Eastern European emigrant community in London. A teenage girl dies while giving birth at a London hospital, and nurse/midwife Anna (Naomi Watts), becoming attached to the infant, tries to investigate the girl's life and death. This brings her to the attention of Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who works for crimelore Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and his son Kirill (Vincent Cassel). Nikolai appears to be only the driver for the two men, but he may be working for more than one master. This one has a reputation for being extremely violent, but there's not much violence of the usual, overt sort (one very, very graphic fight scene aside). Rather, there's a constant sense of violence lurking under the surface of almost every scene. Mortensen is very effective (and Oscar-nominated) as the complex protagonist, and Watts does a good job as a character who seems determined to inject a bit of light into the dark world of Nikolai and his employers.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Tornado » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:15 pm

I saw Seabiscuit the other night. It was pretty good, although the narration made it sound a bit too much like a documentary at times, and they didn't put anything at the end to tell you what happened to everyone! Other than that, it was enjoyable.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:31 am

My movie tonight was The Hard Word, another in the lengthy list of Australian films I've enjoyed over the years. Dale Twentyman (Guy Pearce) and his brothers Mal (Damien Richardson) and Shane (Joel Edgerton) are a top-flight heist crew. Their crooked lawyer Frank (Robert Taylor) gets them sprung from prison for a rich heist, but there are twists aplenty--beginning with the fact that Dale suspects that his wife Carol (Rachel Griffiths) has been shacked up with Frank (and he's not wrong). This one has a lot of the flavor of the two film versions of The Getaway, only with Australian accents. It falls apart just a tiny bit at the end, but overall I liked it pretty well.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:55 am

Tonight I watched Charlie Chan at the Opera, a fairly good film from one of the most durable film series ever. An amnesiac, once a famous opera star, Gravelle (Boris Karloff, with singing voice provided by Tudor Williams), recovers some of his missing memories, and escapes a mental institution to track down his ex-wife, soprano Lilli Rochelle (Margaret Irving). Does he just want to give her the fright of her life--or do worse? The police are baffled, so naturally they call on Charlie Chan (Warner Oland), aided by his Number One Son, Lee (Keye Luke). This one is definitely a product of its time, both in the stereotyped portrayal of Asians--Charlie is portrayed as incapable of speaking grammatical English--and in the casting of a Swedish-born actor, Oland, as an Asian character. Oland's performance, however, will win you over, and the film is fast-paced and has plenty of humor.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:47 am

Tonight my movie was A Little Trip to Heaven, another nice example of rural noir, with the unusual distinction of having been filmed in Iceland (director Baltasar Kormakur is a native of Reykjavik). Insurance scams have been a standard noir theme ever since Double Indemnity; Kormakur's film comes up with some interesting variations thereon. Abe Holt (Forest Whitaker) is an insurance investigator for the Quality Life Insurance company. His boss (Peter Coyote) sends him to rural Minnesota--a man named Kelvin Anderson has died in a car crash, and his sister Isold (Julia Stiles) is the beneficiary of a $1 million policy. But Holt finds that, of course, there is something fishy going on. Nice performances from Stiles and Whitaker highlight this above-average film.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:27 am

Tonight I watched Tightrope, a very well-executed mystery-thriller. New Orleans detective Wes Block (Clint Eastwood, who also produced) has a lot on his hands. He's trying to raise two daughters on his own, his wife having walked out. He's trying to keep his penchant for kinky prostitutes from interfering with his work and family life. He's dealing with his new acquaintance/relationship with Beryl Thibodeaux (Genevieve Bujold), who runs a local rape prevention program. And he's trying to solve the crime that forced them together, a series of killings of local sex workers, many of them known to Wes. I really liked the character development in this one. Wes Block is no Dirty Harry, and Eastwood is very convincing as a flawed man who is determined to be a good father. Bujold is also quite good, and Eastwood's daughter Alison, about 12 when this was made, is very good as Block's older daughter Amanda. Definitely worth a look.
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby marielle » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:19 am

I'm planning on watching Red Riding hood or The Sorcerer's Apprentice tonight.
any tips on which one would be better?
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Re: What was the last movie you saw?

Postby Jestak » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:26 am

Tonight I watched Duplicity, a very slick, commercial sort of light suspense film. Ray (Clive Owen) and Claire (Julia Roberts) are both ex-intel types. He was MI-6, she was CIA, and they have a bit of a history--of trying to burn each other. But now they're partners: they've both gone into corporate security jobs, and they're scheming to take advantage of the secrets they have access to and make a big score. But they may not be the only ones with agendas, or the only ones capable of playing other people for fools. I found this one awfully slick and cynical, but nevertheless I enjoyed it, mostly because of the performances. Owen and Roberts are an effective pairing, bantering and bickering through the film in an almost Hawksian manner at times; Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, as rival CEO's who absolutely loathe each other, are also pretty good.
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