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MAY 2015 MOVIE THREAD

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Top Five would have been a lot better if it had actually been 90 minutes of them ranking their Top 5 Hip Hop artists

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I actually went to be hold on it at my library and there are already 30+ requests for it when it comes out on DVD (beginning of June)

DAMN YOU KIDS!!! LET AN OLD MAN WATCH HIS TEENY BOPPER MOVIE!!!

 

Hey homie you like what you like...plus you make me feel just a little less weird about being a near-fortysomething Degrassi fan...

 

 

I'm 40, and I saw The Duff in the theater.  (In all fairness, I have a Movie Pass card, and will see damn near anything in the theater, as the more I see, the better value I get.)  And honestly, it's worth watching.  It's funny and pretty smart, with the right cliches in the right places without being TOO cliche, if that makes sense. And Mae Whitman is good, as always.  They do a decent job of covering DUFF being a blanket term, and Mae's character not being unattractive, rather just having a personality that puts her kind of on the fringe. 

 

And yeah, being a 40 year old man sitting in the theater watching it in the middle of the afternoon might have looked odd.  But I stopped giving many fucks about that sort of thing ages ago.  I watch stuff.  It is what it is.

 

I'm glad the movie pass makes me willing to see whatever because otherwise I may not have ever seen it. 

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I actually went to be hold on it at my library and there are already 30+ requests for it when it comes out on DVD (beginning of June)

DAMN YOU KIDS!!! LET AN OLD MAN WATCH HIS TEENY BOPPER MOVIE!!!

This is the kind of go-get-em-tive-ness that's been lacking in this thread for a long time. Rippa should be an example to ALL OF YOU!

I'm the least of the libraries problems

Somewhere between dick drawings in tables of contents and hobos arguing with the turnstiles over who was in line for the bathroom first. "Goddamn you, tin man, I'm made of flesh and I need to go NOW!!!"

It sounds like you've seen Dean Ambrose at your local library.

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Dude sees Dean Ambrose everywhere, man.

Everywhere.

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Top Five would have been a lot better if it had actually been 90 minutes of them ranking their Top 5 Hip Hop artists

 

Chris Rock's interviews about Top Five were actually WAY better than the film itself.

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I would have also taken just 90 minutes of folks just randomly riffing instead of what I actually got

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I'm reading a book called Shock Value by Jason Zinoman.

 

The highlight so far is the tidbit that Alfred Hitchock actually watched an early screening of Dressed to Kill shortly before he kicked the bucket. He kept bitching about how much it ripped off Psycho (the movie is a loose remake) and John Landis was trying to tell him "Alfred, no, it's a homage!" And he's like "more like fromage!" and continued bitching and swearing.

 

I love Dressed to Kill but that story is hilarious. I feel bad for De Palma when he found out his hero didn't like his work at all.

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I was watching Basic Instinct the other night, and I fell down the IMDB rabbit hole something fierce. Sharon Stone's lesbian lover was played by Leilani Sarelle, who was the police stripper from Days of Thunder. It had never crossed my mind to look that up before, but I realized that was probably where I learned of the concept of a stripper. I remember it being very titillating as a little kid, but I'd imagine it's pretty tame.

 

Then I was reading up on George Dzundza, who played Michael Douglas's partner. He's probably best known for the Deer Hunter, but in his credits I saw that he did a Meredith Baxter movie-of-the-week called the Rape of Richard Beck. It stars Richard Crenna as a Dirty Harry-type detective who has no sympathy for rape victims until, well...he gets raped. It's startling that this got made in the mid-80s (I don't know if it would get made now at all.) I literally stopped watching Basic Instinct and watched it on Youtube instead because the premise and cast sounded absurd, but Crenna was really excellent and deserves all the props in the world for making it work. Commissioner Gordon himself, Pat Hingle, also pops up as Crenna's father, who wants nothing to do with him after what happened to him becomes public. Baxter is the victim advocate who convinces Crenna to testify against his rapists, and it seems like this led to her famous streak of TV movies along the same lines.

 

Moral of the story: I need to shut off my phone and close my laptop or I'll never finish a movie in one sitting.

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You seem like the type who should never ever visit tv tropes.

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I'm reading a book called Shock Value by Jason Zinoman.

 

The highlight so far is the tidbit that Alfred Hitchock actually watched an early screening of Dressed to Kill shortly before he kicked the bucket. He kept bitching about how much it ripped off Psycho (the movie is a loose remake) and John Landis was trying to tell him "Alfred, no, it's a homage!" And he's like "more like fromage!" and continued bitching and swearing.

 

I love Dressed to Kill but that story is hilarious. I feel bad for De Palma when he found out his hero didn't like his work at all.

 

Your post reminded me that I own this book, but didn't finish reading it.  Gotta dig it out of one of my 1000 boxes.

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There were a lot of "male rape" movies/"special episodes" in the mid-80s.  Most notably Monroe on Too Close for Comfort.

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It's been forever, so here's a pile of movie reviews since the last time I posted some movie reviews:

The Life of David Gale - Kevin Spacey is an outspoken critic of the death penalty who finds himself convicted of murder and facing...the death penalty. Kate Winslet is Bitsey Bloom, a newspaper reporter granted an exclusive series of interviews with Gale as he faces his ever-nearer death sentence. Gale protests his innocence but Bloom is initially reluctant. She grows to believe him and seeks to stop his execution. This is a well-made, if heavy-handed, "message movie" featuring fine performances from Spacey, Winslet, Gabriel Mann, and Laura Linney. This isn't the greatest movie ever, by any means, but does keep you "wondering" the entire time and tells its story well. 8/10.

About Last Night - Remember the 1980s? Free and easy living in the big city, meeting men/women, hanging out with friends, and enjoying life? What we have here is essentially a snapshot of that time, wrapped up in a fairly-cliche love story. You get Rob Lowe and Demi Moore at the peak of their hotness, meeting and falling in love. Jim Belushi is the painfully gross best friend. Along the way, there's bumps and hiccups, a breakup and drama. There's nothing particularly new here - nor was it new when released - but About Last Night is a glimpse at another time. It evokes feelings of that specific era, complete with clothing and music to help with that nostalgia. This is a good movie, with a great cast, gorgeous leads, and plenty of funny or dramatic moments. 7/10.

God's Not Dead - Kevin Sorbo is a domineering professor at a small college. Shane Harper is one of his new freshman students. As part of a class exercise, Sorbo demands his students agree with him that God is dead or doesn't exist. Harper refuses. What follows is Harper's character being ordered to present his side (that "God's Not Dead") to the class over a series of lectures. When he's done, if he doesn't convince the class, he gets an 'F' for the entire semester. This is obviously a Christian movie and it's pretty well-made. And, while I found it entertaining, it's also not great. The characters all have no gray area to them. They are either hardcore religious (Harper's character, Josh Wheaton) or anti-religious (Sorbo). Even Wheaton's girlfriend ends up being a ridiculous caricature, breaking up with him after he refuses to abide by her ultimatum. Anyway, like I said, I was entertained, but this isn't great. 5/10.

Collateral Damage - Arnie plays Gordy Brewer, a firefighter who's family is killed in a terrorist attack. Realizing he had contact with the attacker right before the incident, Gordy gets pissed off and sets out for revenge. What follows is an incredibly bland revenge movie with no drama, little intensity and nothing interesting. Mix in some incredibly bad fire special effects and you've got a paint-by-numbers Arnie action movie. Had he done many movies like this before hitting it big, he'd never have hit it big. Blah. 3/10.

Life of a King - Cuba Gooding is Eugene Brown, a recently-paroled felon with a taste for chess. After getting hired at a high school as a janitor, he sits in as a monitor for detention sessions. Upon proving his street cred and winning over the students, he sets about teaching them chess. Eventually, he ends up setting up a team and creating a sort of chess clubhouse after school thing. Based on a true story, this is a pretty standard "one guy does extraordinary things to help inner-city kids" movie but it's still very good. The performances are solid, the story moves along, and this ends up being a good way to kill 100 minutes. 7/10.

Blink - Madeline Stowe is Emma, a blind violinist is some sort of Celtic rock bar band. Thanks to some new surgery, she gains back her eyesight - but not fully at first. While still recovering, she is a witness to a murder. Problem is, her eyesight comes with a problem - her mind has a delay in recognizing things so she "sees" people and things 12-24 hours later after they actually happened. The result is that the police don't believe her initially and she begins to be hunted by the killer. This is a pretty standard 1990s thriller but with a nice spin on things. Stowe looks great and the rest of the cast is solid. Not sure how ridiculous the "delayed recognition" premise is but it works here. 6/10.

Donnie Brasco - Johnny Depp is FBI agent Joe Pistone who goes undercover as Donnie Brasco. While undercover, he befriends mobster Lefty Ruggiero, played by Al Pacino. Brasco proves to be a solid mobster and he gains access to the inner circle of the local mafia. His friendship with Lefty is a solid one as well. After awhile, Brasco's "real" life begins to suffer as he fights with his wife and finds himself torn by loyalties to the mobsters. Based on a true story and the book by the same name, Donnie Brasco really shines. Depp & Pacino are on top of their game here - remember when Depp was a terrific actor and not just some quirky weirdo? - and they shine throughout. The real-life Pistone helped write the movie and swears it sticks very closely to the true story and it shows. This feels very authentic and ends up being really good. 8/10.

Abducted: The Carlina White Story - Born to teen parents, Carlina White was kidnapped out of the hospital when her parents took her there after she fell ill as a very young infant. She was then raised by the woman who kidnapped her as her own child. Upon growing up, Carlina attempted to file for college aid only to learn her birth certificate was a fake. Combined with some other inconsistencies, she soon discovered that she was the victim of a kidnapping. Carlina and her birth parents reunited but all is not well. Things are obviously awkward for Carlina ("Mom" is a kidnapper) and there's a money dispute as well (Carlina and her parents each received a sizable settlement for her disappearance but her parents spent her portion after deciding she was dead). Based on a true story, this is basically just a slightly higher-end Lifetime movie. Not bad, not great. The story is an interesting, if not wholly original one, and I liked it well enough. 5/10.

Sabotage - Another post-governorship Arnie action movie. This time, Arnie's the leader of a DEA squad that robs a drug cartel, stealing roughly $10m. After doing so, the money disappears and the members of squad start getting picked off one by one. It's up to Arnie to save the day, despite being a corrupt agent who rips off drug dealers. This is an attempt by Arnie to return to his ultra-violent action roots and features some pretty brutal scenes. Overall, however, this is...bad. Just a laughable mess of a movie with leaps in logic and...yeah. Ugh. Go watch Last Stand instead. 2/10.

Jack Reacher - After a mass shooting attack at a downtown park, uber-badass Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) is called in by the suspect to assist in his defense. Together with his attorney Helen (played by smoking hot, pre-Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike), Reacher tries to determine whether the obviously-guilty suspect is actually guilty. Along the way, we get lots of scenes of Reacher being awesome, beating people up, shooting them, whatever needs to be done. This is a slick, fast-paced action movie based on the Jack Reacher series of books. It got a lot of grief on initial release because Cruise is nothing like the Reacher (big, muscular) described in the books. Big deal. He's great here. This is a fun movie that's highly entertaining with a great cast. 8/10.

Dead Man Walking - Susan Sarandon is Sister Helen Prejean, a nun who makes contact with Matthew Poncelet, a death row convict played by Sean Penn. Prejean seeks to bring Poncelet to repentance and peace with God over the course of a number of visits with him. Along the way, she tries to get the virulently racist Poncelet to open up about his crimes while comforting him as he marches ever closer to his execution. Prejean also meets with the families of Poncelet's victims and seems genuinely shocked that they are not welcoming to the woman who comforting their children's killer. This is a powerful movie with a strong anti-death penalty message wrapped in a compelling (based on a true) story. Sarandon and Penn are incredible here - top-flight work, to be sure. The end product is a deep, complex movie that reveals its story in layers, pulling and pushing you from one side to another as you alternately sympathize with or are revulsed by Poncelet. Really, really well-done and a terrific movie. 8/10.

The Conspirator - Robin Wright is Mary Surratt, the owner of a boarding house at which her son and John Wilkes Booth may have planned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Surratt is arrested and put on trial with 7 others as part of the conspiracy. The Conspirator tells the story of her defense as put forth by inexperienced attorney Frederick Aiken. This is a solid, factual retelling of that dramatic story but it's clear the moviemakers want you to sympathize with Surratt and believe in her innocence (history is relatively vague on that point). Well-acted and constructed, this is a nice insight into a portion of the Lincoln story rarely seen. It's worth watching for the differences in courtroom procedures and behavior from then compared to now, if nothing else (Surratt actually faced a military trial despite being a civilian. Such setups were outlawed shortly thereafter). Good movie that doesn't aspire for greatness and never gets there but nevertheless doesn't disappoint. 7/10.

127 Hours - In 2003, outdoors enthusiast Aron Ralston was exploring caves and canyons in Utah when he was in an accident that resulted in a boulder trapping his right arm, preventing him from escaping and freeing himself. He was eventually faced with a decision - cut off his own arm or die. He would choose to cut off the arm, using a rather dull pocketknife for the task and would come to worldwide notoriety after doing so. 127 Hours tells Ralston's true story. James Franco plays Ralston and is outstanding. This is a tough movie for an actor as he's forced to carry nearly the entire thing by himself in very confined quarters. The movie moves along surprisingly well, despite Ralston's lack of mobility before reaching the dramatic conclusion that everyone has come to see. The payoff there is suitably gory and cringe-inducing. Good movie that captures Ralston's spirit and determination to survive. 8/10.

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So...about that Mad Max Fury Road flick...the hype is real. The HOLY FUCKING SHIT movie of the year, maybe the decade, possibly the millennium. I say this with absolutely zero hyperbole.

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There's a whole Mad Max thread just below this one.

 

And man, 8/10 for Life of David Gale? Wow. I thought that movie was garbage.

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Watch it again now that you'll cry at the drop of a hat

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I'm reading a book called Shock Value by Jason Zinoman.

 

The highlight so far is the tidbit that Alfred Hitchock actually watched an early screening of Dressed to Kill shortly before he kicked the bucket. He kept bitching about how much it ripped off Psycho (the movie is a loose remake) and John Landis was trying to tell him "Alfred, no, it's a homage!" And he's like "more like fromage!" and continued bitching and swearing.

 

I love Dressed to Kill but that story is hilarious. I feel bad for De Palma when he found out his hero didn't like his work at all.

 

Your post reminded me that I own this book, but didn't finish reading it.  Gotta dig it out of one of my 1000 boxes.

 

 

It's quite good. It's very critical of even classic horror films and doesn't just heap praise on them like most books do. I particularly liked Zinoman's riff on the difference between the Halloween and Jaws soundtracks.

 

"The music in Jaws told you something was coming. The music in Halloween made it clear it was never going away."

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Watched They Came Together last night and LOVED it.  It's just a seriously stupid and fun send-up of romantic cliches with a massive cast of awesome (Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Kenan Thompson, Ken Marino, Jack McBrayer, Jason Mantzoukas, Melanie Lynskey (sigh...Melanie Lynskey...), Cobie Smulders, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and a wonderful cameo right at the end) and some crazy funny moments and others that just leave you scratching your head.  I think I enjoyed Bill Hader the most with his reactions to bizarre details in the story like the bar scene ("You can say that again") and

after Rudd talks about wanting to have sex with his grandmother

Kind of like the 'Airplane' of rom-coms, not as good, mind you, but still entertaining.

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There's a whole Mad Max thread just below this one.

And man, 8/10 for Life of David Gale? Wow. I thought that movie was garbage.

Sorry, was super jacked up after seeing the movie and the Mad Max thread wasnt just below and was still on the second page of threads at that point. Posted my excitement and then had that "shit, there might be a thread lurking deeper somewhere."

I will agree with you though that Life of David Gale was heavy-handed ridiculous garbage. It felt Kevin Spacey's take on the Keenan Ivory Wayans character in "Dont Be A Menace To South Central" that only pops up to shout the word "MESSAGE!"After an inspiring speech by another character.

Also, seconding the love for They Came Together, though I look at it as a spiritual sequel to The Baxter, which explored some similar romcom tropes and was also damn hilarious.

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Watched They Came Together last night and LOVED it.

 

Hey, caley.

 

Thanks.

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Well, a lot of early DePalma can be seen as "homages to Hitchcock": Sisters, Obsession, body doible, ...

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On The Life of David Gle... blows my mind that the goth chick was Melissa McCarthy

 

James

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Well, a lot of early DePalma can be seen as "homages to Hitchcock": Sisters, Obsession, body doible, ...

 

Well, he remade them, essentially. Sisters and Obsession are a bit iffy, but I do think Dressed to Kill is almost as good as Psycho. Maybe even superior in certain respects.

 

Interestingly, going by this book, Hitchcock wasn't crazy about all the directors he inspired and, even seems to have looked down his nose a bit at their habit of just flat out assaulting the audience rather that tension building or restraint. Zinoman makes a good argument that while Frenzy does have Hitchcock doing one overtly violent murder scene, his whole point of that film was to show "Yeah, I can't be as fucked up as any of these younger guys, but my style is still superior."

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https://www.change.org/p/warner-bros-us-release-the-full-director-s-cut-of-ken-russell-s-the-devils?recruiter=9524619&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-no_src-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

 

A petition to re-release The Devils, which should be signed by every single person here. In case you didn't know, this masterpiece has been locked up by Warner Bros. for over 40 yearsYeah, you can watch it, but take a look at this and tell me it shouldn't be a Criterion release. 

 

EDIT: TOTALLY NSFW

 

 

Somebody over at Warner has a grudge as old as the church and the state they're imitating (and this film is insulting) to hold this back from us in a complete form for this long.

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Still one of the best film scenes there ever was, Mad Max or no.

 

Note: Really, you should watch both.

 

On another note: I don't know why Karl Urban isn't Batman. Because he really should be.

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I've been fantasizing about Tarantino giving a lead role to Urban for about 5-6 years and just let the dude shine.

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