March 09, 2021, 02:15:04 AM

Author Topic: Mark's Movie Reviews  (Read 48345 times)

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Online iarwain

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #600 on: January 31, 2021, 03:16:01 PM »
I've never seen Baby Driver, but I can't hear about it without thinking of the Simon and Garfunkel song of the same name.  One of Paul Simon's weaker songs, IMO, even if it was on a great album.

Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #601 on: January 31, 2021, 03:37:52 PM »
I've never seen Baby Driver, but I can't hear about it without thinking of the Simon and Garfunkel song of the same name.  One of Paul Simon's weaker songs, IMO, even if it was on a great album.

The song was apparently one of the inspirations of this movie.

Online iarwain

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #602 on: January 31, 2021, 04:17:59 PM »
The song was apparently one of the inspirations of this movie.
As Dana Carvey's Johnny Carson would say, "I did not know that".

Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #603 on: February 09, 2021, 08:37:46 PM »
The Little Things - 2021

Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, Rami Malek

Denzel is a sheriff in Kern County (out in the CA sticks - bakersfield). He got thrown off the LAPD when he went all haywire - suspended, divorce, heart attack all in six months. Now he's back in LA to collect some evidence and runs right into the LAPD's bright new boy, Malek, who's working a serial killer. Apparently the same guy Washington was after when he went off the deep end. Next thing you know Washington and Malek are working together to bring down the killer, apparently Leto. This goes all sideways too, both cops lose their way and forget which side of the law they're on.

It's a very ok film - not great. It's entertaining. The three actors all have academy awards and their performances save a rather confused plot. You think you're watching a murder mystery, trying to get ahead of the detectives and figure it out. Sorry, this movie makes all the noise of a mystery, lotsa little clues, but in the end it's some weird kind of religious / psychological film making the deep point that we're all flawed. like awesome Ted. You're never certain who done it - certainly there's never enough proof for a conviction.

Lightly recommended.

https://moviesjoy.to/movie/the-little-things-67545
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 08:39:55 PM by marklawrence »

Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #604 on: February 09, 2021, 09:30:09 PM »
James Bond - 1962 to ongoing. Bond never dies.

There are 26 Bond films, although no one here has seen the latest.

Dr. No                          1962  Sean Connery
From Russia With Love           1963  Sean Connery
Goldfinger                      1964  Sean Connery
Thunderball                     1965  Sean Connery
You Only Live Twice             1967  Sean Connery
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969  George Lazenby
Diamonds Are Forever            1971  Sean Connery
Live And Let Die                1973  Roger Moore
The Man With The Golden Gun     1974  Roger Moore
The Spy Who Loved Me            1977  Roger Moore
Moonraker                       1979  Roger Moore
For Your Eyes Only              1981  Roger Moore
Octopussy                       1983  Roger Moore
Never Say Never Again           1983  Sean Connery
A View To A Kill                1985  Roger Moore
The Living Daylights            1987  Timothy Dalton
Licence To Kill                 1989  Timothy Dalton
Goldeneye                       1995  Pierce Brosnan
Tomorrow Never Dies             1997  Pierce Brosnan
The World Is Not Enough         1999  Pierce Brosnan
Die Another Day                 2002  Pierce Brosnan
Casino Royale                   2006  Daniel Craig
Quantum Of Solace               2008  Daniel Craig
Skyfall                         2012  Daniel Craig
Spectre                         2015  Daniel Craig
No Time To Die                  2021  Daniel Craig


Broadly speaking, the films are in three segments. The first seven are reasonably true to the books and, by modern standards, somewhat slow paced with what passed for character development in the 60s. The next 14 are somewhat cartoonish, with so-so special effects and implausible plots and devices - Bond's watch often holds as much gear as Batman's belt. The last 5 are heavily influenced by Jason Borne, and are photographed much closer in and have a much more serious outlook. There's one more by Woody Allen, and that's all I have to say about that.

It's generally agreed that the best Bond films are Goldfinger (Do you expect me to talk? Why no, Mr.Bond, I expect you to die.), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (This would never happen to the other guy), Casino Royale (That last hand nearly killed me), From Russia With Love (The mechanism is... Oh James, James... Will you make love to me all the time in England? Day and night. Go on about the mechanism.) Notice that the highest ranked films don't include any of the middle 14, the "lost years".

The Bonds - Connery and Craig are in a close race for best. Probably Brosnan was next - he was signed to some other movies in the late 80s so they had a couple with the rather forgettable Dalton, who is somehow just too skinny and wimpy to be a convincing Bond. Moore was picked because he did a great job on the BBC's The Saint. Perhaps he would have been a good Bond given better scripts. Connery didn't like the job much by 1970 - he wouldn't sign so they had Lazenby for one movie, then Connery for one more, then he swore he'd never do it again, he was too old for this crap. Curiously Moore was three years older than Connery yet he was good for 7 films. Connery came back for 1 more film, the rather appropriately titled "Never say never", which was not made by the normal Bond production company. It was written and produced by the same guys who did Thunderball and it's more or less the same movie - Connery did it twice, and was better with practice.

Generally the Moore movies are ranked very low - the writing was just too cartoonish. Unfortunately after the sublime Casino Royale, the rest of the Craig movies have also been more or less disappointing. Especially Skyfall - you have the superb Javier Bardeen as your villain, and the best you can do for an ending is a chase through a semi-frozen bog in Scotland into a decrepit church? This movie starts out very powerfully but runs out of steam in the 3rd act. Quantum of Solace was perhaps the film where Craig's acting peaked; unfortunately it was made during the hollywood writer's strike and it very much shows. The whole movie seems to be about the bad guys getting control of a olympic pool sized body of water in Paraguay? In the middle of a desert? Does anyone outside of Paraguay even know where that country is? Does Paraguay export *anything*?

I've read all the books, back when I was like 17-20, and I've seen all the movies save the newest. I just re-watched From Russia With Love, which had it's charms but was anguishingly slowly paced; Casino Royale, which is excellent, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which is lukewarm. I really can't imagine binge watching these, and as you should know by now I do have the contemptable habit of binge watching some things, like Cheers, Desperate Housewives (yah, it's embarrassing, but I have a son who loved them and it was a bonding thing), Last Man Standing, The Blacklist, Merlin, House.

Much as we all love Connery, best to leave him in your memories where he can live with fond yet fuzzy admiration.

As a whole, I think these movies are not recommended, they're just too meh.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 09:38:23 PM by marklawrence »

Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #605 on: February 12, 2021, 05:09:26 AM »
RoboCop - 1987

Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Ronny Cox

by Paul Verhoeven

Detroit in 2043 is an ungovernable ghetto run by crime lords and corporate leaches, who are better dressed than the crime lords but otherwise equivalent. Not so different from today, except I don't know of any crime lords in this country, just wall street and corporate sociopaths who are sucking the life out of the rest of us. That's ok, later we find out the crime lords work for the corporate types. Peter Weller is a cop who gets gunned down and killed; his body is whisked off to OCP, the huge corporation, and he's turned into RoboCop, a half human half computer anti-crime cyborg with no sense of humor ("We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of.")

The movie is a bunch of mindless fun, everyone loves it. There's no deep meaning here ("Rest assured, a stroll through the ocean of most men's souls would scarcely get your feet wet.") Even my girlfriend found it entertaining. It was made for $13m - you can't hire Robert Downey Jr. for $13m. These days it seems a movie starts at about $250m, and 90% of them aren't anywhere near this good. Certainly this was better than Thor II or Iron Man III or Hulk anything.

Recommended.

ps: There's a Robocop II, which is awful, and a Robocop III, which, to call this movie a piece of shite is to do a grave disservice to decent honest self-respecting pieces of shite the world over.

Online bmaafi

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #606 on: February 12, 2021, 06:43:34 AM »
RoboCop - 1987

Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Ronny Cox

by Paul Verhoeven

Detroit in 2043 is an ungovernable ghetto run by crime lords and corporate leaches, who are better dressed than the crime lords but otherwise equivalent. Not so different from today, except I don't know of any crime lords in this country, just wall street and corporate sociopaths who are sucking the life out of the rest of us. That's ok, later we find out the crime lords work for the corporate types. Peter Weller is a cop who gets gunned down and killed; his body is whisked off to OCP, the huge corporation, and he's turned into RoboCop, a half human half computer anti-crime cyborg with no sense of humor ("We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of.")

The movie is a bunch of mindless fun, everyone loves it. There's no deep meaning here ("Rest assured, a stroll through the ocean of most men's souls would scarcely get your feet wet.") Even my girlfriend found it entertaining. It was made for $13m - you can't hire Robert Downey Jr. for $13m. These days it seems a movie starts at about $250m, and 90% of them aren't anywhere near this good. Certainly this was better than Thor II or Iron Man III or Hulk anything.

Recommended.

ps: There's a Robocop II, which is awful, and a Robocop III, which, to call this movie a piece of shite is to do a grave disservice to decent honest self-respecting pieces of shite the world over.

Did you see the remake?

Offline ricky

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #607 on: February 12, 2021, 06:48:37 AM »
Blumhouse is a movie studio that turns out a lot of movies that are usually made for less than $10 million per picture. The results can be hit-or-miss. Their hits include "Get Out" and "The Invisible Man." They've also some real crap. In that sense, they're similar to the old "Hammer Studios". The main thing is, with such low budgets and with the built in audience for horror movies, they almost always make a profit.

https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/best-blumhouse-horror-movies-ranked/

Also, there is a strong religious subtext to "Robocop", as many have pointed out the similarities to the main character and Jesus. I know, maybe it's reaching. But the director himself said that is what he had in mind:

http://www.mtv.com/news/2436200/paul-verhoeven-robocop-christ-story-remake-update/

For a real parallel (parable?), rewatch "Cool Hand Luke".
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Offline Bud

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #608 on: February 13, 2021, 07:34:41 AM »
The Little Things - 2021

Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, Rami Malek

Denzel is a sheriff in Kern County (out in the CA sticks - bakersfield). He got thrown off the LAPD when he went all haywire - suspended, divorce, heart attack all in six months. Now he's back in LA to collect some evidence and runs right into the LAPD's bright new boy, Malek, who's working a serial killer. Apparently the same guy Washington was after when he went off the deep end. Next thing you know Washington and Malek are working together to bring down the killer, apparently Leto. This goes all sideways too, both cops lose their way and forget which side of the law they're on.

It's a very ok film - not great. It's entertaining. The three actors all have academy awards and their performances save a rather confused plot. You think you're watching a murder mystery, trying to get ahead of the detectives and figure it out. Sorry, this movie makes all the noise of a mystery, lotsa little clues, but in the end it's some weird kind of religious / psychological film making the deep point that we're all flawed. like awesome Ted. You're never certain who done it - certainly there's never enough proof for a conviction.

Lightly recommended.

https://moviesjoy.to/movie/the-little-things-67545

Just watched it the other day. You pretty much nailed it. I thought it started out well and was heading in the right direction but it just didn't pack the punch I thought it was gonna. It was an okay movie.
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Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #609 on: February 20, 2021, 07:57:08 PM »
I Care A Lot - 2020

Rosamund Pike, Eiza González, Dianne Wiest, Peter Dinklage

Rosamund is a sociopath who gets herself appointed legal guardian for the elderly, puts them in homes, and milks them for all they've got. Until she picks the wrong target. Dianne seems to be a "cherry," a nice house, other nice assets, no family or anyone else. So Diane gets declared incompetent. Unfortunately it turns out to be more complicated than that.

This is a black comedy and it's really quite well done. There are several unanticipated twists and turns, the acting is quite good, the dialog is at time excellent.

Rosamund makes a great sociopath. Die Another Day, Gone Girl, now this. It's more than a little scary.

Highly recommended. And your wife will love it. Great date night movie.

https://moviesjoy.to/movie/i-care-a-lot-67937


Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #610 on: February 20, 2021, 08:08:29 PM »
The Logan trilogy - X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009),  The Wolverine (2013), and Logan (2017)

Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schreiber, Famke Janssen

These movies span Wolverine's life, starting when he's about 10 in 1845 to when he dies 185 years later in 2029.

The first two movies are standard superhero stories and fun if you like this sort of thing. They tell a somewhat dreary story - Logan fights in every war, the civil war, WW I, WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq. You would think at some point he would get sick of war - what's it good for? Absolutely nothing. After a life that long and with such powers, I'd go after the people who actually started and funded the wars: the bankers. Oh well.

Logan is in a future where there are almost no more mutants, He and Prof X are very old and not doing well, and they come across a 10 y/o girl who's a factory made clone of Wolverine. Logan is widely regarded as the best of all the superhero movies, and perhaps it is.

Recommended. If you like this sort of thing. Your wife won't care for the first two, too much fighting. But Logan, decent chance she'll like that Logan is fighting to give this little girl a chance at life. She's not as compelling as baby yoda, but then no one is. Damn, that baby yoda thing, that's a $500 million idea. Maybe more.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 08:09:27 PM by marklawrence »

Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #611 on: February 21, 2021, 07:43:31 PM »
The Favourite - 2018

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone

Awards: Best actress

It's about 1850 or so, Britain is in one of their uncountable wars with France, and is ruled by Queen Anne (Olivia) (this is historically wrong, there was no queen during this period.) Queen Anne has multiple issues both physical and mental and Sarah (Rachel) basically rules in her name. Abigail (Emma) is a member of the peerage who's family fell on hard times - her father lost her at age 15 in a poker game to a fat old German. So much, seemingly, for Abigail's dream of the good life. Abigail  is determined to make her way back to riches and title by endearing herself to the queen.

This is a very highly rated award winning movie, a black comedy, which I just didn't get at all. British humor? I dunno. Mostly my girlfriend wasn't impressed must either. The movie had it's moments, it was well acted, but the plot was incomprehensible and there just wasn't much humor in it that I noticed.

You can skip this one and not regret is on your death bed.

Many of the people in this movie were quite good looking actors, which good looks were completely undone by the victorian era dress code. I constantly felt like, "lose the wig and excessive white makeup, let your hair down and you could be quite pretty." Obviously true in the case of Emma Stone, who in fact is quite pretty. Outside this movie.

Offline ricky

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #612 on: February 21, 2021, 08:50:17 PM »
1700s
Tied with Roma for the most 2019 Oscars nominations, The Favourite is set in early-1700s England during the reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman, up for Best Actress), a monarch plagued by physical ailments and the trauma of losing 17 children.Feb 21, 2019

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Offline marklawrence

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #613 on: February 22, 2021, 08:26:29 PM »
It Happened One Night - 1934

Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert

By Frank Capra

Awards: Best picture, actor, actress, director, screen play.

This is considered by many the greatest rom-com ever. It's good. Greatest? I dunno. One test of "greatest" would be would you see it again, I suppose. When Harry Met Sally passes that test easily. This one seems more one-and-done to me.

Ellen is a spoiled rich girl who's determined to marry a grifter just to get under her father's skin. She's held captive on a yacht, but escapes to Miami. There she runs into a newspaper man down on his luck, Peter. Ellen wants to get back to New York to be with her sleezy beloved; Peter senses a career making story and helps her. They have lotsa trouble. As they say in Tinsel Town, “Boy meets girl; girl gets boy into pickle; boy gets pickle into girl.” Except this is 1934, so marriage has to be a part of this. And in most states divorce was illegal. Tough gig.

It's black and white, of course, and their idea of a special effect is Clark Gable giving Claudette a good whack on the butt whilst carrying her across a stream in a fireman carry (things were definitely different back then.) It's a little slow paced and there are a few times when stupidly bad decisions are made so as to move the plot forwards. But in the end Love Conquers All. Doesn't hurt to have a rich daddy involved in the conquering. . .

Recommended. Date night, of course.

I wonder if they'll ever make "It Happened One Night With Zombies."


Offline ricky

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Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Reply #614 on: February 22, 2021, 11:23:40 PM »
If they can make "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" or "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", nothing is off the table. If they did a remake, it would be the female saving the male, of course. And she'd spurn his advances so she could continue to be a strong, independent woman who doesn't need a man to complete her. Totally realistic, of course. Just like Margo Robbie is planning on rebooting "Pirates of the Caribbean" with a feminist angle. I guess she never saw "Cutthroat Island." Which ended up bankrupting the studio that made it. Oh, wait, she made the Harley Quinn movie, which bombed hard. So, now move on to a female version of a franchise. Worked so well for "Ghostbusters (2016) or "Ocean's 8". Or "Terminator: Dark Fate", which actually predicted it's box office take. Because if it doesn't work the first time, just keep trying to jam this down the throats of people who aren't interested, and complain about the audience being a bunch of jerks. That'll work.  :o
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