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Burning Godzilla
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Charnelhouse wrote:
keiichi wrote:
I have a hunch that the mainstream summer audience isn't going to get behind this one very much, but if you're looking for something very dark and incredibly powerful, you really can't go wrong.


Unfortunately the audience absolutely DESPISES this film. Cinemascore D, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score 44%. Terrible box office.

Meanwhile, The Mummy made a massive international haul - $141.8 million - to overcome a lackluster domestic performance. The guys over at Red Letter Media suggest this may have been the intent all along. Apparently there's a lot of flashbacks with voiceovers? - this creates the opportunity to dub different voiceover stuff for each international market.


The trailer that didn't tell me anything at all about what the movie was about killed my interest.

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Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:05 pm
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Latitude Zero (1969) Toho Studios would occasionally try to get American stars into their productions and the best example of this is the late 60s film Latitude Zero where Cesar Romero and Joseph Cotten were cast as two immortal rivals one running an undersea city while the other a kind of mad scientist island lair. The highlight of the movie is when Romero transforms his evil henchperson into a griffin, it's simply beautiful to behold. This movie is insanely goofy and a helluva lot of fun.

You can read my full review here: Latitude Zero

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:26 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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TelstarMan wrote:
Charnelhouse wrote:
keiichi wrote:
I have a hunch that the mainstream summer audience isn't going to get behind this one very much, but if you're looking for something very dark and incredibly powerful, you really can't go wrong.


Unfortunately the audience absolutely DESPISES this film. Cinemascore D, Rotten Tomatoes Audience score 44%. Terrible box office.

Meanwhile, The Mummy made a massive international haul - $141.8 million - to overcome a lackluster domestic performance. The guys over at Red Letter Media suggest this may have been the intent all along. Apparently there's a lot of flashbacks with voiceovers? - this creates the opportunity to dub different voiceover stuff for each international market.


The trailer that didn't tell me anything at all about what the movie was about killed my interest.


I could tell from the trailer that there was a slight connection with the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies. Apparently, though, the Marvel-Disney model of cross-over movies is the new "hot trend" - which is a natural extension of the most loathsome practice of the major comic book makers (and since comics are losing money hand over fist - they may want to take a harder look at the long term viability of that model.) The success is undeniable - the Marvel movies and DC comics movies are making money - and the Kong movie did okay, too - but maybe the reason for that is not so much the cross-overs but rather the fact that many were actually good movies to begin with. If this is now going to become a thing for every major studio, I think I'll avoid the rush and just start hating it now.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:14 pm
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On another subject altogether:

Babette's Feast - With the recent spate of money-making Christian-based movies that have gained traction at the box office in the last two decades, I would do anything I could to turn my church congregation's heads to this wonderful movie - which I am absolutely certain they would deny as being an appropriately spiritual movie and I would simply have to disagree. I saw it for the first time on Sunday evening, aware only of its reputation as one of the great movies about food. Boy, if that isn't an oversimplification....and yet ... one of the aspects of the movie that I liked best was its simplicity. Based on a short story by Dutch author Karen Blixen (writing under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen) it is quiet tale of two sisters, daughters of a beloved priest serving the spiritiual needs of a stoic small farming community, who take in a young French woman, Babette, who was made homeless after the French revolution. The sisters have tried to keep up serving the spiritual needs of the community, but they lack the charisma of their father (and they also grieve a bit about things that have happened in their personal lives). As such, the people of this small, tight knit community begin to start sniping at one another and bickering. All this is happening a month or so before the observation of what would have been the old priest's 100th birthday. While the sisters worry about what is happening to their community, Babette makes a small request. She would like to serve a traditional French dinner to commemorate the priest's centennial.
It's amazing how the sisters react when exotic (to them) items like quail and turtle and several bottles of fine French wine begin arriving - such pleasures must surely be the wages of sin!!! But fear not - this is not a movie about Puritans burning people. It's about the spiritual gifts embodied in the pleasures of good - in this case, spectacular - food and drink shared among good friends. It's over in just over 100 minutes and in that time, Babette's Feast became among my all time favorite movies. Gabriel Axel wastes not one precious second in filming this perfect masterpiece of storytelling. And, honestly, the feast, wonderful as it is, is a secondary plot point.

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This is an appalling film. And for some of you, well worth your time - SSM

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:44 pm
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Destoroyah
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Bergerjacques wrote:
On another subject altogether:

Babette's Feast - With the recent spate of money-making Christian-based movies that have gained traction at the box office in the last two decades, I would do anything I could to turn my church congregation's heads to this wonderful movie - which I am absolutely certain they would deny as being an appropriately spiritual movie and I would simply have to disagree. I saw it for the first time on Sunday evening, aware only of its reputation as one of the great movies about food. Boy, if that isn't an oversimplification....and yet ... one of the aspects of the movie that I liked best was its simplicity. Based on a short story by Dutch author Karen Blixen (writing under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen) it is quiet tale of two sisters, daughters of a beloved priest serving the spiritiual needs of a stoic small farming community, who take in a young French woman, Babette, who was made homeless after the French revolution. The sisters have tried to keep up serving the spiritual needs of the community, but they lack the charisma of their father (and they also grieve a bit about things that have happened in their personal lives). As such, the people of this small, tight knit community begin to start sniping at one another and bickering. All this is happening a month or so before the observation of what would have been the old priest's 100th birthday. While the sisters worry about what is happening to their community, Babette makes a small request. She would like to serve a traditional French dinner to commemorate the priest's centennial.
It's amazing how the sisters react when exotic (to them) items like quail and turtle and several bottles of fine French wine begin arriving - such pleasures must surely be the wages of sin!!! But fear not - this is not a movie about Puritans burning people. It's about the spiritual gifts embodied in the pleasures of good - in this case, spectacular - food and drink shared among good friends. It's over in just over 100 minutes and in that time, Babette's Feast became among my all time favorite movies. Gabriel Axel wastes not one precious second in filming this perfect masterpiece of storytelling. And, honestly, the feast, wonderful as it is, is a secondary plot point.


Seconded...truly a wonderful film.

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Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:04 pm
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Logan - Maybe I need to come back to this. There was not a single moment of happiness or joy in this rambling steamroller of misanthropy. So this is what a more adult-oriented Wolverine movie is like? No thanks. I got very little entertainment value out of watching Hugh Jackman shove his blades into the brains of its cannon fodder. Its not the first time an X-men related feature posed a bleak look at the future - they all do that. But there was no sense of the world at large, no sense of place. It was mostly an opportunity for Wolverine to justify being a mass killer. Because that's what I gotta be, no way around it. But at no point did he ever actually try to be something else. He's exactly the same from the beginning to the end. And the murders of the one decent family in the entire movie was especially egregious and pointless. What, our "heroes" couldn't acknowledge that they are being relentlessly pursued by murderous thugs and their presence would visit that horror upon this unsuspecting family? Maybe we should accept their hospitality and move on? No, let's just have this horrible sidebar story that goes nowhere because everybody dies anyway. I have no problem at all with a bleak world view. The Road with Viggo Mortensen is as bleak a worldview as movies, or literature for that matter, gets - a worldview in which people WILL eventually become extinct. But it never lost sight of its humanity. Logan tries to play that game, but its attempt is disingenuous. There is always the sense that the movie reveled in its pointless action scenes in which they really get to show off the killin' all horrorshow.
The idea that Logan was somehow a comment on Shane utterly missed the point about Shane. At least Alan Ladd made a game attempt of escaping his gunslinger past....Logan didn't meet a single nemesis that he didn't just go ahead and kill.
I bought the darn thing, so I'll go back to this movie and maybe re-appraise it in my own mind. But my initial impression was that it pretended to reach for something higher, but it was mostly about being able to show how "cool" an "R-rated" Wolverine movie can be, because look. He just skewered another bad guy's brain....

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:02 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry: I saw the last 20 minutes or so of this in high school or college and I always wrote it off, using it as an example of how unearned tragic endings, so popular when this was made, are just as bad as unearned happy ones. Having seen the entire film I'm not as sure that the ending is unearned as I once did. The film is a strange blend, with some nice character moments and a decent robbery scheme. On the downside I found it lost me about an hour in, but I watched it in a fragmented way that probably contributed to it. The cars and driving and stunt work is fantastic, and beautifully shot, so if you're into 70s chase films that may be all you need (and, indeed, I imagine you've already seen it in that case). If you're a veteran of 70s genre flicks you may also be more willing to overlook the weird character triangle that develops between Susan George, Peter Fonda and Adam Roarke. Peter Fonda is aggressively an fuzzyduckling to Susan George's Mary for the entire movie, while the more sensitive-and damaged-Roarke seems to start to fall into the role as her protector from Fonda's fuzzyduckling ex-race driver. If you can look past the bleepy power dynamics it could be seen as a character study rather than an endorsement of any of the characters. Worth a look for fans of this sort of thing, anyone else would do better to start elsewhere in the genre.

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:22 pm
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ProfessorMortis wrote:
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry: I saw the last 20 minutes or so of this in high school or college and I always wrote it off, using it as an example of how unearned tragic endings, so popular when this was made, are just as bad as unearned happy ones. Having seen the entire film I'm not as sure that the ending is unearned as I once did. The film is a strange blend, with some nice character moments and a decent robbery scheme. On the downside I found it lost me about an hour in, but I watched it in a fragmented way that probably contributed to it. The cars and driving and stunt work is fantastic, and beautifully shot, so if you're into 70s chase films that may be all you need (and, indeed, I imagine you've already seen it in that case). If you're a veteran of 70s genre flicks you may also be more willing to overlook the weird character triangle that develops between Susan George, Peter Fonda and Adam Roarke. Peter Fonda is aggressively an fuzzyduckling to Susan George's Mary for the entire movie, while the more sensitive-and damaged-Roarke seems to start to fall into the role as her protector from Fonda's fuzzyduckling ex-race driver. If you can look past the bleepy power dynamics it could be seen as a character study rather than an endorsement of any of the characters. Worth a look for fans of this sort of thing, anyone else would do better to start elsewhere in the genre.


I actually thought the climax was hilarious!

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:26 pm
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Charnelhouse wrote:
ProfessorMortis wrote:
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry: I saw the last 20 minutes or so of this in high school or college and I always wrote it off, using it as an example of how unearned tragic endings, so popular when this was made, are just as bad as unearned happy ones. Having seen the entire film I'm not as sure that the ending is unearned as I once did. The film is a strange blend, with some nice character moments and a decent robbery scheme. On the downside I found it lost me about an hour in, but I watched it in a fragmented way that probably contributed to it. The cars and driving and stunt work is fantastic, and beautifully shot, so if you're into 70s chase films that may be all you need (and, indeed, I imagine you've already seen it in that case). If you're a veteran of 70s genre flicks you may also be more willing to overlook the weird character triangle that develops between Susan George, Peter Fonda and Adam Roarke. Peter Fonda is aggressively an fuzzyduckling to Susan George's Mary for the entire movie, while the more sensitive-and damaged-Roarke seems to start to fall into the role as her protector from Fonda's fuzzyduckling ex-race driver. If you can look past the bleepy power dynamics it could be seen as a character study rather than an endorsement of any of the characters. Worth a look for fans of this sort of thing, anyone else would do better to start elsewhere in the genre.


I actually thought the climax was hilarious!


The ending blew my little mind when I saw it on TV when I was about 11 or 12. These days, I agree a bit with Tim, I do think they earned it. (The only thing missing was the pursuing officer exclaiming, then busting out in hysterical laughter from the helicopter. You know he had to have seen it happen.)

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Oh yeah, down here, I am considered the apotheosis of cool - Sewer Urchin

This is an appalling film. And for some of you, well worth your time - SSM

I like the way this board thinks


Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:19 pm
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Destoroyah
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Bergerjacques wrote:
Charnelhouse wrote:
ProfessorMortis wrote:
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry: I saw the last 20 minutes or so of this in high school or college and I always wrote it off, using it as an example of how unearned tragic endings, so popular when this was made, are just as bad as unearned happy ones. Having seen the entire film I'm not as sure that the ending is unearned as I once did. The film is a strange blend, with some nice character moments and a decent robbery scheme. On the downside I found it lost me about an hour in, but I watched it in a fragmented way that probably contributed to it. The cars and driving and stunt work is fantastic, and beautifully shot, so if you're into 70s chase films that may be all you need (and, indeed, I imagine you've already seen it in that case). If you're a veteran of 70s genre flicks you may also be more willing to overlook the weird character triangle that develops between Susan George, Peter Fonda and Adam Roarke. Peter Fonda is aggressively an fuzzyduckling to Susan George's Mary for the entire movie, while the more sensitive-and damaged-Roarke seems to start to fall into the role as her protector from Fonda's fuzzyduckling ex-race driver. If you can look past the bleepy power dynamics it could be seen as a character study rather than an endorsement of any of the characters. Worth a look for fans of this sort of thing, anyone else would do better to start elsewhere in the genre.


I actually thought the climax was hilarious!


The ending blew my little mind when I saw it on TV when I was about 11 or 12. These days, I agree a bit with Tim, I do think they earned it. (The only thing missing was the pursuing officer exclaiming, then busting out in hysterical laughter from the helicopter. You know he had to have seen it happen.)

Always had a bit of a crush on Susan George which made the end kinda sad for me.

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Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:36 pm
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The War Game (1965)

Made for British television but withdrawn before it was shown as being too intense for the viewing audience. It depicts a nuclear attack on Britain in documentary style. Fifty of the most unsettling black-and-white minutes you will ever see.

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Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:14 am
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Ballerina (2016) - CG cartoon produced in Canada and has been released so far in Canada and Europe. It won't be released stateside until August, under the new title, Leap! (probably to cash in on Sing?). The film tells the story of Felicie, an orphan in late 1800s France, who dreams of studying ballet. One day, she and an aspiring inventor friend flee the orphanage where they live and make their way to Paris. The former is taken in by a crippled lady who does cleaning jobs at the Academie de Musique, and the latter becomes an assistant (of sorts) to Gustave Eiffel. Felicie also cleans house at the home of a wealthy restaurant owner whose daughter aspires to study at the academy. Felicie ends up assuming her identity and going to the Academie to study, although that's only the start of her adventure.

All of us found this film highly enjoyable, although early on I wondered if this would be too dark for Susan--there are a lot of unpleasant characters in this film. Some characters reveal a softer side as the film progresses, others simply go insane in the final reel. The resolution to the rivalry between Felicie and snobbish daughter is very similar to one of the side conflicts in Center Stage, although that movie didn't end with Debra Monk chasing Zoe Saldana up and down the Statue of Liberty with a sledge hammer...as it should have.

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Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:52 pm
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Monster From Green Hell (1957)

Bottom-of-the-barrel big bug movie. A couple of American science guys shoot a rocket full of test animals into space, it comes back down in central Africa with a giant wasp inside. Tons of stock footage fill up the running time. Brief glimpses of stop-motion giant wasps. Pretty dismal even for 1950's sci-fi flicks.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:42 pm
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CARS 3 - If 2006's Cars was a story about a cocky race driver discovering his true potential, and its 2011 follow up a misguided attempt at a spy spoof that oddly focused on one of the supporting characters instead of the main one (Seriously, Cars 2 should have just been called The Mater Movie), then Cars 3 is the Rocky Balboa-style story of what happens when that cocky race driver from the first film is past his prime. There are moments of genuine emotion here (things the last sequel lacked), but it's not up to the usual level we expect from Pixar, and quite honestly, the movie comes across as being pretty standard in every way.

The Cars films, with its world made up entirely of living automobiles who race each other, have always been more about merchandising and selling toys than most films to come out of the studio. And at the very least, first time director Brian Fee does try to give the story some heart to the story as hot shot race car Lightning McQueen (voiced once again by Owen Wilson) is forced to reevaluate himself and the lessons he learned from his former mentor Doc Hudson (voiced in flashbacks posthumously by Paul Newman, employing unused takes from recording sessions on the first film). But the pacing of the film can also be idling, and a lot of the big racing scenes lack the intensity they require, save for one set at a demolition derby that occurs about halfway through the film. However, I guess the key question to ask regarding Cars 3 is will kids like it, and will it sell toys over the summer? My guess is the answer will be "yes" to both.

The whole movie suffers from a lack of a strong emotional payoff. The movie plays out pleasant enough and it never offends, but it also never excites or truly comes across as inspired. This must have felt like busy work for animators who have worked on projects as diverse as The Incredibles, Inside Out and Ratatouille. All of those films (and most Pixar movies in general) found a way to reach both kids and adults, but the Cars franchise has always seemed a bit more shallow and commercial to the rest of the studio's output. I get it. Corporations need to make money, after all. And Cars 3 does at least hide its corporate intentions better than the last two movies. But just like the other two films, this one just never connected with me on any level. Yes, there are some scattered laughs here, but there's very little to get excited about.

I still believe that Pixar can be strong, however. The proof is in the short film that plays before the movie, L.O.U., where a schoolyard bully gets taught a lesson by an unusual source. That roughly five minute short has more heart and good will than the entirety of the main feature that comes after. Cars 3 is a passable diversion made by some very talented people.

Full review on Reel Opinions.

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Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:52 pm
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Beauty and the Beast (2017) - Yes, Emma Watson is beautiful, intelligent and a good actress, and the film itself is a sumptuous visual feast, but it lacked the life and vitality of its animated inspiration. After watching Luke Evans in No One Lives, I'm convinced his Gaston would psychologically torture Belle until she developed Stockholm Syndrome, at which point he would slit his own throat in front her in order to make a point about her loving him. And I think the ballroom sequence would've been better if Emma Watson were wearing the iconic golden dress while dancing with a Rhedosaurus.

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Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:20 am
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