December 01, 2020, 12:47:11 AM

Author Topic: Mark's Movie Reviews  (Read 44046 times)

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Offline iarwain

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #480 on: October 15, 2020, 09:18:13 PM »
I liked Hunger Games.  It has its problems, such as it suffers from the usual "Take the third book and split it into two movies" annoyance.  But I liked it.

Online ricky

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #481 on: October 16, 2020, 04:30:22 AM »
Just got done watching all the "Harry Potter" movies in order. I liked them, a lot, which rather surprised me. The first three were charming and helped build the world. The following ones got much darker; like Harry himself, they started out childish and became more adult as they aged. They're available right now on "Peacock", the NBC free streaming service. And it is free, though with ads. But my ad blocker allows me to watch them without ads, but with brief (3 seconds or less) pauses where the commercials should be. Recommended. I also have the full "Mr. Robot" TV series, and will start re-watching that in the next few days. That is highly recommended, but be sure to watch them in order, and don't "binge" unless you can absorb a lot of content very quickly.
"My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope." Ovid

Offline Hands

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #482 on: October 16, 2020, 08:49:42 AM »
I told my son when they came out with the Walking Dead that "monster shows" would be a thing. The "Twilight series" and others came along and a new generation were captivated by monsters. I would kind of put the Harry Potter movies in that same realm.
There have been a few movies like "Charlie" and the "Lawn Mower Man" and make for an interesting plot.

In the category of true/strange facts, I will also let you know that our government in the late 50s to mid-60s sponsored a project of transporting memories from animal subject to another. It used RF and while the new subject had increased abilities...the old subject died from the procedure. Nobody thought it would go beyond the mouse stage, but they proved it to be especially successful in primates. After that the NSA shut it down and collected all the data. Fearing that politicians or others would use it to enhance their abilities. The scientist who worked on it had a photographic memory and was according to my friend even smarter then Seymour Cray, of Cray Research. They all worked together at one time for UNIVAC.

My New Eden books actually are based on that research.
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Online ricky

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #483 on: October 16, 2020, 09:56:25 AM »
I told my son when they came out with the Walking Dead that "monster shows" would be a thing. The "Twilight series" and others came along and a new generation were captivated by monsters. I would kind of put the Harry Potter movies in that same realm.
There have been a few movies like "Charlie" and the "Lawn Mower Man" and make for an interesting plot.

In the category of true/strange facts, I will also let you know that our government in the late 50s to mid-60s sponsored a project of transporting memories from animal subject to another. It used RF and while the new subject had increased abilities...the old subject died from the procedure. Nobody thought it would go beyond the mouse stage, but they proved it to be especially successful in primates. After that the NSA shut it down and collected all the data. Fearing that politicians or others would use it to enhance their abilities. The scientist who worked on it had a photographic memory and was according to my friend even smarter then Seymour Cray, of Cray Research. They all worked together at one time for UNIVAC.

My New Eden books actually are based on that research.

I'm intrigued. Do you have a link to this research? All I found were some studies on worms, snails and some rat transfers. No primates. No NSA or fear of politicians getting "enhanced"- so, they'd be functionally literate and morally responsible? Seriously, any links would be appreciated.
"My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope." Ovid

Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #484 on: October 16, 2020, 12:16:15 PM »
My New Eden books actually are based on that research.

Not unlike Spider Robinson's Deathkiller series.
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Offline Hands

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #485 on: October 16, 2020, 08:00:41 PM »
I told my son when they came out with the Walking Dead that "monster shows" would be a thing. The "Twilight series" and others came along and a new generation were captivated by monsters. I would kind of put the Harry Potter movies in that same realm.
There have been a few movies like "Charlie" and the "Lawn Mower Man" and make for an interesting plot.

In the category of true/strange facts, I will also let you know that our government in the late 50s to mid-60s sponsored a project of transporting memories from animal subject to another. It used RF and while the new subject had increased abilities...the old subject died from the procedure. Nobody thought it would go beyond the mouse stage, but they proved it to be especially successful in primates. After that the NSA shut it down and collected all the data. Fearing that politicians or others would use it to enhance their abilities. The scientist who worked on it had a photographic memory and was according to my friend even smarter then Seymour Cray, of Cray Research. They all worked together at one time for UNIVAC.

My New Eden books actually are based on that research.

I'm intrigued. Do you have a link to this research? All I found were some studies on worms, snails and some rat transfers. No primates. No NSA or fear of politicians getting "enhanced"- so, they'd be functionally literate and morally responsible? Seriously, any links would be appreciated.

Ricky,
The gentleman that related the story was a man named Jack Andrews. One of a lost breed. He was a Westinghouse fellow, served in the Korean War as a fighter pilot and flew experimental jets with a guy named Yeager. I think he's actually mentioned in his book. After the war, went to work with UNIVAC with Cray and Sanford and then Bell Labs. He consulted with me in the mid 90s and is a role model for anyone. Under the freedom of Information act, you can request documents if you know their title or subject matter. When I started writing my books, I tried to get those documents, but couldn't. I have my suspicions and think there's a real nefarious reason they aren't available.
But hey, that's just MHO.-Right?
In the land of the blind.....the one eye man is king!

Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #486 on: October 17, 2020, 01:39:45 PM »
Glengarry Glen Ross - 1992

Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey

Alec comes into a sales office and gives an inspired 5 minute speech, which is pretty much the whole movie. You can turn it off when Alec leaves.

In his speech he says that all but the top two salesmen in the office will be fired at the end of the month. He also has a lot to say about their anatomies. And the race is on.

This movie is a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, but not nearly as good. It's supposed to make you hate real estate salesmen, or perhaps all salesmen. I guess it works, but I already knew that salesmen are mostly all narcissists and live for the thrill of the kill.

Lots of swearing, lots of testosterone flying fast and furious.

I didn't like it all that much. My girlfriend fell asleep.

Not particularly recommended.
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Offline Bignutz

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #487 on: October 17, 2020, 03:23:03 PM »
Check out Lodge 49, excellent show. Sadly only got 2 seasons. My wife hates shows like this but will sit for hours watching Housewives of wherever. Personally, I find these Housewives shows to be obscene, a bunch of wealthy women who have all of these “problems” yet have more money than they can spend.  That’s the rant for today! Thanks for reading!😁
And God so loved the Green Bay Packers, He reached forth his mighty hand and stamped his initial upon the sides of their helmets!--Lombardi 3-16

Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #488 on: October 18, 2020, 09:05:57 PM »
Back to the Future - 1985

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson

Doc Brown (Lloyd) invents a time machine, which he builds into a DeLorean. He and Marty (Fox) travel into the past and screw things up - Marty will never be born. And they have to set things right.

Romping fun, mindless, not awful special effects (rather good for the period), a great plot. And simple enough that no one gets lost - it's pretty easy to get lost in most time travel stories.

Highly recommended for an evening of mindless fun.

BTW, a recent paper shows that time travel is indeed possible without paradox. That's the good news. The bad news is if you go back in time to shoot your grandfather, there's an excellent chance you'll wake up one morning to find out that now you're your grandfather. Or if you go back in time to kill patient zero for, say, the china virus, someone else will be patient zero - maybe you. Time, it turns out, appears to be self-healing. You can change the cause but not the effect. Or as Frank N Furter put it, "I'll remove the cause, but not the symptoms."
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:41:29 PM by marklawrence »
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Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #489 on: October 18, 2020, 09:28:24 PM »
Back to the Future part II - 1989

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson

Just a couple hours after returning Marty home from the part i adventure, the professor abruptly appears announcing that Marty and his girlfriend must come with him immediately to the future - their kids are in serious trouble and it simply must be fixed. The future means 2015. Turns out the movie is rather optimistic about the march of technology - we don't in fact have home fusion generators, hover boards or flying cars. We do have a lot of the video stuff. Of course things get majorly screwed up as they're noticed in the future: Biff steals the car and goes back in time to give the 21 y/o biff a sports almanac, allowing him to get seriously rich and screw up everything. Confusion reigns as they must go back to the same time as part i, get things fixed, but not bump into themselves or undo what they had previously fixed.

Remarkably part ii is just as good as part i, and is also highly recommended.

In part ii the machinations of old biff result in a new timeline; but the paper referenced above indicates there's only one time line, so unfortunately this movie apparently can't happen, nor can the spiderverse, nor avengers end game, nor countless other time travel movies. Strikingly, Predestination, based on the 1950 story All you Zombies by Robert Heinlein, does not suffer from this particular problem. Apparently Heinlein's idea could work. We'll discuss that at some later date when I watch the movie, but not in great detail as it would be a major spoiler. There are a lot of science fiction writers, but only a few got the science anywhere near right. And that's allowing for warp drive, 'cause without warp drive there's no interstellar travel.

NASA is working on a warp engine - not intensely seriously, but they've got a couple guys working on it. They have a mockup of their ship, which is really great looking - better than the Enterprise, and I don't say things like that lightly. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure their idea can't work. They want to create a space-time wave then surf across the universe. Inside the ship you would feel nothing - you're not moving relative to the local coordinate system. They hope to get the wave travelling at many times the speed of light. Unfortunately, general relativity is quite clear on this point: gravitational waves travel at the speed of light. Perhaps you can surf at warp 1, but no faster I think. Unless someone comes up with a whole new theory. That would be a "don't hold your breath" kind of thing.

There were 200 years between Newton and Einstein, and it may well be another 200 years before we get the next theory. Which, I have very little confidence humans will still have a technological society in 200 years. Einstein once said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." But then the guys in the Second Foundation were a bunch of hick farmers - you don't need a lot of special equipment to do math, pen and paper will suffice. If I knew Greek of 800 bc, I could teach Plato and Euclid and Socrates the standard model - relativity, quantum mechanics, atoms, electricity and magnetism, electrons, quarks, neutrinos. . . the math behind all this is surprisingly easy and stunningly compelling. Steven Weinberg once said, "What we're looking for is theories that have the scent of inevitability." What we have now has that scent rather strongly. Unfortunately it's obviously incomplete and obviously gets the extremely fine details wrong.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 07:49:06 PM by marklawrence »
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Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #490 on: October 19, 2020, 07:55:12 PM »
Back to the Future part III - 1990

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson

At the end of Part II, Doc is in the time delorean and gets hit by lightning, throwing him back to 1885 and wrecking the time machine circuits. Moreover, when Marty looks Doc up in the library, turns out Doc will be shot and killed get a couple months after he gets there. A rescue back to 1885 must be made. But the time machine is messed up pretty badly. Marty and the younger doc must somehow fix it, back in 1955, back three years before transistors were invented and fifteen years before integrated circuits.

Stunningly, this one too is just as good as the original, nearly unheard of for sequels. Even The Matrix could only make two that were excellent.

All three are highly recommended. And, apparently, they're good date night movies. Everyone has seen them, of course, but you saw them 30 years ago or so.

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Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #491 on: October 24, 2020, 08:40:41 PM »
Galaxy Quest - 1999

Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long

Tim Allen plays William Shatner playing Captain Kirk in this parody / farce movie. Tim is an actor who played the captain on a '70s sci-fi show; now the actors of the crew are all older and make a living off conventions and commercials. Meanwhile, a race of actual aliens, the Thermians, are being systematically hunted down and wiped out by Xindi look-alikes. (in fairness, this movie came a couple years before Star Trek Enterprise, so the Xindi were ripped off from Galaxy Quest). The Thermians have no concept of lying or pretend; when they see Earth television they take it all as historic documentaries, particularly including the Galaxy Quest TV show and Gilligan's Island, which they think is tragic. They build a working replica of the Galaxy Quest ship and come to earth because they need a captain - they're a race of engineers and mathematicians and have no tactical or leadership abilities. So Tim finds himself the commander of an actual star ship fighting an actual nasty alien.

The movie is a lot of fun. It pokes lots of gentle fun at Star Trek, including Tim rolling around a lot in fights just like Shatner used to love to do. You know, you get a few thousand light years from earth, find space-faring aliens who want to kill everyone, and the solution is to punch someone. There's even an alien love interest played by Two and a Half Men's Ms.Pasternak (Jake's control freak ultra-christian teacher who falls for Charlie and intends to marry / redeem him).

And the girlfriend loved it, she thought it was hilarious.

Highly recommended.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 05:43:47 AM by marklawrence »
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Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #492 on: October 28, 2020, 08:57:33 AM »
Full Metal Jacket - 1987

Vincent D'Onofrio and a bunch of guys you've never heard of.

By Stanley Kubrick, who also did 2001, Dr.Strangelove, The Shining, and, I'm told, faked the moon landings.

We follow some recruits through basic training, where they are abused into men. Then they ship out to Viet Nam where nothing makes sense - we're helping the natives by blowing the crap out of their entire country, rice paddies, houses, buildings, everything, and incomprehensibly they aren't grateful. We go on missions where strange people shoot at us for no understandable reason, and our response is convulsive with all the tactics and strategy of an epileptic seizure.

I was never in Vietnam - the draft pretty much ended just as I turned 18, and in any case I was in college. This film does not resonate with me. Perhaps we have a bunch of veterans here, and perhaps this film is all about a big part of their lives.

All I can say is what I say to veterans I run into on the streets: I have nothing but respect for our fighting men. I have nothing but contempt for the politicians that put them into harms way for fun and profit.

If you haven't been to Viet Nam, meaning with an M-16, not with a surf board, I can't imagine this film would resonate with you either.

Not recommended unless you were over there.

PS: "full metal jacket" refers to the bullets. By the geneva convention armies must not use hollow point bullets, which are required for hunting dear; the army must use metal clad bullets, which are illegal for hunting dear but required for hunting people. The reason, of course, is that if you kill the other guy his army loses a guy, but if you seriously wound the other guy his army loses like 6 guys due to having to care for him while he recovers, and then after the war there's likely 50 more years of medical care to pay for. War is good business for armaments suppliers and doctors. And banks, always banks. No country would put up with the taxes necessary to fight a war, you can only afford a war if you have a central bank that funds it by buying bonds. It's the banks that make the real money on wars, historically often by playing both sides.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 10:28:57 AM by marklawrence »
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Offline iarwain

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #493 on: October 28, 2020, 04:11:12 PM »
I always think of Full Metal Jacket as two movies - the bootcamp story, then the time in Vietnam.  I watched the Netflix Daredevil series with Vincent D'Onofrio as the Kingpin, and I didn't realize at the time it was the same actor who played Private Pyle when he was younger.  Now I see it, of course.

Agree Galaxy Quest is a fun movie.

Online marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #494 on: October 28, 2020, 07:27:30 PM »
The Last Full Measure - 2019

Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Fonda

Based on a true story

In 1966 a recon group in Viet Nam walks into a trap. They're surrounded on all six sides (up and down, too) by VC and being slaughtered They call in artillery strikes and call for a medic evac helicopter. The first guy the helicopter lifts up is the unit's medic.

One of the medics on the helicopter, William H. Pitsenbarger Jr., against advice and orders, rappels down to the battlefield to take charge of the wounded and the evac. He saves  a lot of the guys, but winds up dead himself. He's proposed for the medal of honor, the highest military honor that our nation gives, but that gets downgraded to the airman's cross. 30 years later a pentagon guy is recruited by one of the medics who flew with Pitsenbarger to get his medal upgraded to the medal of honor. This is the story of what happened in Viet Nam and how the investigation went.

The story moves a bit slowly, it's not a great screen play at all for most of the time. But the last 15 minutes are exceptional, very moving, and justify all the rest of the movie.

Recommended.

Maxman recommended this movie to me, and he was right about it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 03:53:41 PM by marklawrence »
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