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Source: (consider it) Thread: Movie thread
Brenda Clough
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We went to see Wonder Woman yesterday. Well worth while if you enjoy superhero movies at all. Good casting is essential for this kind of thing, and they did it perfectly this time.

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Stetson
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Emmanuelle

The original, 1974.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But I can honestly say I watched it out of historical interest, since it's apparently considered a milestone for its genre, and there are many other films of the same type I could have watched for less money here, if that's what I was after.

Basically, a combination of softcore porn flick, cheap travel documentary, and laughably self-important meditation on lust and love. The ostensible premise is that the French diplomatic corp in Bangkok are so bored by their idle rich lifestyle that they have nothing to do but lounge around all day having sex with each other. That's pretty much the whole background, with a focus on the title character's rather cliched erotic awakening.

The scenes of everyday life in Thailand seemed rather authentic, for whatever that's worth.

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aizen
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Nobody judge me but I just watched the Power Rangers movie. Good movie. Although the soundtrack reminds me of the Stranger Things one. Anybody else feel the same way?
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Brenda Clough
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Just took in The Exception, a movie about the last year of Kaiser Wilhelm's life. Excellent! I will write a review. Christopher Plummer (last seen by me singing 'Edelweiss' in The Sound of Music opposite Julie Andrews) is dynamite in the title role.

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leo
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My Beautiful Laundrette by Hanif Kureishi In Thatcher's racist England, Asians get on by being capitalists.

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Stetson
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Hidden Figures.

I actually didn't think it was all that great. Yeah, the history(which I had never known before) was interesting, and it's a very good thing that the women's story has finally been brought to the screen.

But there was nothing particularly noteworthy about the film-making. I didn't even think it did a good job of capturing a period feel. (Not least because, as far as I could tell, some of the musical choices weren't even from that era).

All in all, sort of what I'd expect from a made-for-TV movie.

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lilBuddha
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Interesting. I loved Hidden Figures, but must admit a bias towards the subject so I would need to rewatch it to assess your comments. And I sort of don't want to. The impression I have now is more meaningful to me than a sober appraisal.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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I enjoyed Hidden Figures - but I think that what I enjoy is a compelling story rather than "noteworthy film-making". (And now I want to read the book, so I can get all the details right.
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leo
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Beautiful Thing - refreshingly celebratory rather than guilt-ridden adolescent sexuality.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I enjoyed Hidden Figures - but I think that what I enjoy is a compelling story rather than "noteworthy film-making". (And now I want to read the book, so I can get all the details right.

For the record, I wasn't trying to come off like a film snob when I wrote that. I guess I was hoping for something a little more off-the-beaten-path, but I recognize that when telling that kind of story, a straightforward narrative is probably to be expected.

A few nights back I watched Miss Potter, and ironically(given what I wrote above) I quite liked it, even though the story is told in a pretty cut-and-dry fashion. In fact, it was actually the most "innovative" parts that I liked the least, ie. I really didn't buy the need to include animated sequences in with the live-action, since the story does not otherwise dwell on skirting the boundaries between fantasy and reality. We know that Potter writes fairy tales, and that she sometimes talks about her creations as if they were real, but she's not really shown as delusional.

I'm not quite sure why I liked it, since I don't usually care for period pieces set more than about a century ago. I guess something about it put me in the mood for its Edwardian narrative and trappings.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
The Circle. Techno-thriller about an evil Silicon Valley corporation bent on world domination.

Pretty much just a re-make of the 2001 internet-thriller Antitrust, updated for the social media era. Same general plot, setting, characters etc. As such, not particularly cutting edge, making the same basic point as the earlier film.

Fairly standard portrayal of tech-firm culture(officially non-hierarchical, but lots of idolization of the boss), which might have seemed like a novelty in 2001 but not so much now. If you're someone who explicitly thought it would be a good idea for one large corporation to control the whole world including governments, this might serve as a wake-up call.

Tom Hanks seemed to be slumming it a bit in this film. It's the sort of thing I'd more expect to see Nicholas Cage doing.

I'm still gonna give it 7/10, because it works okay within the standards of the middle-brow sociopolitical thriller, and if you don't go in expecting much, you'll probably find yourself suitable entertained for a couple of hours.

I watched it againg last night, and came away slightly more impressed than I was the first time. Specifically, I liked the way it grappled with the dilemna of Transperancy Versus Privacy(ie. the pros and cons of social media making so much information available to the world). As opposed to typical pop liberalism, which tends to treat both things as unquestioned benefits, without considering that they do in fact clash at times.

Also, it was interesting to see Tom Hanks as a villain, albeit one subtly drawn. I don't think I can think of another instance of him playing the bad guy.

[ 17. July 2017, 06:11: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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gustava
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Originally posted by Stetson: The Circle. Techno-thriller about an evil Silicon Valley corporation bent on world domination.

Read the book fairly recently and found it chilling, didn't know there was going to be a film. Looking forward to it in a grim sort of way

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Stetson
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I don't know if I would call the film outright chilling, though Tom Hanks as the bad guy has a rather insidious creepiness about him. The script does a good job of capturing the deceptive friendliness and self-deprecation of the character.

I'm guessing Hanks was chosen for the role because audiences haven't been accustomed to having negative thoughts about him since he socked Alex Keaton in the jaw three decades ago.

[ 17. July 2017, 10:59: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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ArachnidinElmet
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I had a highly-successful horror dvd double bill at the weekend: Zombieland and It Follows.

Zombieland was a re-watch, but it bears repeat viewing. Silly and gory by turn, it has one of the best celeb cameos in film. Also a search for twinkies makes me wonder what I'd do for a Jaffa Cake in post-apocalyptic Britain.

It Follows was a whole other matter. There is a little on-screen violence, but it mostly relies on building tension and clever camera angles. It would have been better on a cinema screen as you want to keep an eye on the edges of the picture, but held up on dvd.

It was nice to see a bunch of young adults portrayed as able to cope with a rapidly changing situation without hysterical screaming, disbelief and general uselessness.

The Babadook is still waiting for me to crack the cellophane. Fingers crossed.

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leo
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Aban and Khorshid based on a true story of two gay men senteneced to death in Iran.

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RooK

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Wonder Woman, based on a woman and wonder.
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Hedgehog

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
Wonder Woman, based on a woman and wonder.

I tend not to like documentaries.

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Mr Clingford
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quote:
Originally posted by ArachnidinElmet:
I had a highly-successful horror dvd double bill at the weekend: Zombieland and It Follows.

Zombieland was a re-watch, but it bears repeat viewing. Silly and gory by turn, it has one of the best celeb cameos in film. Also a search for twinkies makes me wonder what I'd do for a Jaffa Cake in post-apocalyptic Britain.

It Follows was a whole other matter. There is a little on-screen violence, but it mostly relies on building tension and clever camera angles. It would have been better on a cinema screen as you want to keep an eye on the edges of the picture, but held up on dvd.

It was nice to see a bunch of young adults portrayed as able to cope with a rapidly changing situation without hysterical screaming, disbelief and general uselessness.

The Babadook is still waiting for me to crack the cellophane. Fingers crossed.

I have seen all 3 films and would recommend all of them. I think that The Babadook is the best of them.
I agree with your assessment of It Follows as it has a good atmosphere which it what I like in horror.
Zombieland is a fun romp which I look forward to seeing again as we have got hold of the DVD.

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Mr Clingford
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I enjoyed Baby Driver last week. I am a fan of Edgar Wright and the film didn't let me down. It was a ride. I happened to see it in a subtitled screening which wasn't a distraction and was a plus in telling you the name of the songs that were playing. The film was stylish, well written and performed.

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Ne'er cast a clout till May be out.

If only.

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ArachnidinElmet
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr Clingford:
Zombieland is a fun romp which I look forward to seeing again as we have got hold of the DVD.

I suspect the commentary will be a corker too, which is why I bought the DVD.

It Follows has a commentary, not by the director or actors, but by a critic and an academic, which is highly unusual. Not listened to it yet, but I'm looking forward to hearing their analysis.

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RooK

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Recently re-watched Dirty Dancing, a movie about dancing that some consider unclean.
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Prester John
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Tom Hanks also plays the villan role in Lady Killers which was directed by the Coen brothers. I loved it.
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
Tom Hanks also plays the villan role in Lady Killers which was directed by the Coen brothers. I loved it.

Thanks for the reminder. Yes, from what I recall of the previews, he was supposed to be a bad guy, albeit in a farcical sort of a way.

I'll likely never know for sure, though, since I really dislike the Coen brothers, and manage to force myself through one of their films about once every five years. And Lady Killers, despite being readily available at my local dvd place, is not one of the films I'm likely to sit through.

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M.
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The original Ealing The Ladykillers was so good, I'm not sure why anyone wanted to remake it.

M.

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Jane R
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Recently saw 'Arrival'. Yes, it was different. Yes, it was more realistic than your average First Contact film... to the point of being slightly dull and also annoying in places. Am I the only woman on the planet who wanted to slap the main male character for informing the (female) linguist that "You think about language like a mathematician"? Patronising swine. Ignorant, too; you'd expect a research mathematician to know about mathematical linguistics.

SPOILERISH STUFF


quote:
...and the ruminations on language and its relation to reality are along the lines of Eskimos Have Twenty Five Words For Snow.
I know too much about linguistics to really enjoy this film properly. The strong version of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (or, more accurately, linguistic determinism ) is now considered to be false, although linguistic relativity, the weaker version of the theory (=language influences thought and perception) is still under investigation.

And the McGuffin seems to be that the American linguist with experience of translating Farsi decodes the alien writing system before anyone else, even the Chinese - who have a logographic writing system and many distinguished linguists of their own. You'd think that would have given them a head start.

[ 24. July 2017, 16:06: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Stetson
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quote:
I know too much about linguistics to really enjoy this film properly. The strong version of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (or, more accurately, linguistic determinism ) is now considered to be false, although linguistic relativity, the weaker version of the theory (=language influences thought and perception) is still under investigation.
I barely passed my linguistics class at university. But I still think I'm on pretty solid ground in doubting that simply adopting a different language, even one with groovy circular characters, could make you lose all sense of time.

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Brenda Clough
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It is a trope in science fiction dating back to the 1950s. I draw your attention to The Languages of Pao by Jack Vance, in which the choice of language drives the political system and culture. (What is impressive about this novel is that it's written, as you would expect, in English. Vance was a great enough prose stylist that he could convey half a dozen alien languages with cadence, word choice, and tone alone.)
Another example would be Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. In which if you could only learn to speak Martian you would have enormous psychic and sexual powers.
Yes, we know it's not entirely accurate scientifically. But it was just too cool not to play with.

[ 24. July 2017, 17:19: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]

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leo
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I Love Hooligans about why football hooligans gain status as part of a group.

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Jane R
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Brenda:
quote:
Yes, we know it's not entirely accurate scientifically. But it was just too cool not to play with.
[Big Grin]

It's not even in the top seven deadly sins of SF (FTL travel, exoplanets with a survivable biosphere, noise in space, human-shaped aliens, monocultural aliens who always speak English...) And I did like the aliens.

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ArachnidinElmet
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[NOT-SPOILER]
I was convinced the two hand-shaped aliens, always framed by the viewing window and surrounded by mist, were going to turn out to be limbs of a single creature.

I really enjoyed Arrival for many reasons, but clearly my brain just wanted to make up it's own twist (not the first time that's happened).
[/NOT SPOILER]

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RooK

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Just re-watched Raiders Of The Lost Ark with my 8-year-old, in which an ark is found and raided.
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Lyda*Rose

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Whoda thunk? [Big Grin]

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cattyish

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Did he enjoy it? And did you enjoy that he enjoyed it? I love it when children enjoy films I have loved.

I wanted to show our youth group an old low-budget Scottish film called 'Restless Natives' which I am certain they'd love, but unfortunately when I had a quick review of the DVD to make sure it was suitable I realised how much swearing there is in it.

Cattyish, sticking with the conventional options for now.

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Lothlorien
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Cattyish, A friend and I once showed the Aussie film The Castle at a residential conference for high school students. We remembered the typical humour. Neither of us remembered the copious swearing. No one said anything to us and there were no complaints later from aggrieved parents. We held our breath for a while though.

The organisation which held the conference was and still is, heavily supported by two very conservative groups in Sydney.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Whoda thunk? [Big Grin]

One of the ESL tectbooks I teach from has a chapter on movies, and the accompanying word list includes the words "raider" and "ark", in preparation for the film being mentioned later on.

But of course, neither of those words is in particularly common use, with "ark" being almost entirely confined to the Bible, where it describes two different objects that don't have all that much in common. And the one referenced in the film is actually the lesser known one.

Suffice to say, not my favorite lesson.

[ 25. July 2017, 08:02: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Trudy Scrumptious

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quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:

I wanted to show our youth group an old low-budget Scottish film called 'Restless Natives' which I am certain they'd love, but unfortunately when I had a quick review of the DVD to make sure it was suitable I realised how much swearing there is in it.

I have always been amazed, both with my own kids when they were younger and with church youth groups, how many movies that I enjoyed turn out to be FULL of inappropriate language and content once I preview them for showing to the young folks. The brain is a wonderful editor.

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Books and things.

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RooK

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Just watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the unlikely tale of a municipality connected to a large number of celestial bodies.

[ 26. July 2017, 14:10: Message edited by: RooK ]

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
But of course, neither of those words is in particularly common use, with "ark" being almost entirely confined to the Bible, where it describes two different objects that don't have all that much in common.

Lots in common. Both were boxes.

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Bene Gesserit
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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
Just watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the unlikely tale of a municipality connected to a large number of celestial bodies.

We're still hmm-ing and ha-ing about how much or whether we want to see that one. What did you think of it?

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Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus

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RooK

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# 1852

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My posting on this thread is meant to be performance art. If you want actual discussion about movies... I should probably do that¹, too.

The basic truth is the Luc Besson makes Luc Besson movies. If you have enjoyed Luc Besson movies, you will probably enjoy this Luc Besson movie. It is beautiful visually, and benefits from being seen on a big screen. Thematically it is simple, which might come across as clumsy but is just how Luc Besson focusses attention. I personally enjoyed it rather a lot, because it basically kitchen-sinked a bunch of my favourite science fiction tropes as background details while maintaining the kind of center-stage spectacle that lights up my spatial cognition.

¹ I had a lovely bit of snark I would have normally said there, but the Heaven Hosts are scary in the employee lounge. Don't want to piss them off.

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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[Snigger]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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An admittedly demanding friend of mine assessed the film as 'a hot mess.' I do like reviews in one-syllable words.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Tukai
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# 12960

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quote:
Originally posted by Lothlorien:
Cattyish, A friend and I once showed the Aussie film The Castle at a residential conference for high school students. We remembered the typical humour. Neither of us remembered the copious swearing. No one said anything to us and there were no complaints later from aggrieved parents. We held our breath for a while though.

The organisation which held the conference was and still is, heavily supported by two very conservative groups in Sydney.

I presume that if anyone did complain you remembered to "tell 'em they're dreamin' ".*

[* for those who haven't seen The Castle, this one the often quoted catch-line of the main character, spoken in relation to people who want to sell him goods of dubious quality but inflated price. ]

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A government that panders to the worst instincts of its people degrades the whole country for years to come.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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[Rook's daughter is now 8 years old. Where has my life gone?]

Old Crabapple Review of Arrival:

I spent the first ten minutes cleaning my glasses, actually got up and washed them thinking they must be encrusted with oil steam from cooking. The foggy look did appropriately combine with the frequent blast of a very loud fog horn. It was particularly unpleasant since I had the TV at full volume trying to make out the dialogue.

Amy Adams whispered almost every line in the movie. Even when communicating her first words to the aliens through a big shield and during intense, hurried meetings when everyone else was shouting. And the dim scribbling on whiteboards? Has technology gone backwards since "Close Encounters?"

I can't believe Adams was nominated for best actress for this performance which consisted of two and a half hour of mouth breathing.

Trite is always irritating but even more so in sci-fi movies which are supposed to stretch our minds. Yet, in "Arrival," all military people are still as stupid and trigger happy as they were in the 1950's films. Love is still demonstrated by, "He wouldn't leave your bedside till he knew you were okay," and suspense is created by illogical, arbitrary time constraints -- even when dealing with aliens whose whole thing is "We don't do time."

I want my $1.99 from Redbox back.

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
and suspense is created by illogical, arbitrary time constraints -- even when dealing with aliens whose whole thing is "We don't do time."
It was especially awkward the way the subtitled dialogue struggled to convey the idea that the aliens have no concept of time.

"Abbot wellness body not." (Or something)

Whereas, if you're aware that someone who knows Abbot has to be informed that he's sick, it's because you know that there was a time in the past when he was healthy.

[ 29. July 2017, 16:54: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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leo
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# 1458

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Orthodox about a haredi Jewish butcher turned boxer- it's really about seaching for a father-figure.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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RooK

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# 1852

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Godzilla about a radioactive-fire-breathing dinosaur-like monster - it's really about the horror felt about others missing the point of things.
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Stetson
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# 9597

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I Spit On Your Grave, 1978

For anyone who thought that 1970s vigilante films couldn't sink any lower than Death Wish.

Actually, the politics of it aren't that bad, since we are meant to understand that the rationalizations that the rapists offer for their crimes(eg. she was asking for it because of how she dressed), are to be rejected, and we are clearly on the side of the female protagonist taking her revenge.

But, implausible scenarios(eg. castration by motorboat propeller), threadbare script, and bad acting(one guy supposed to be playing a mentally challenged character looks like he's doing "Retard" at a high school skit night) leave no question as to why most of the people associated with this have little in the way of linkage on IMDB.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Tukai
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# 12960

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"Salt Bridge", a new film about a [fictional] Indian migrant to Australia, who gets friendly with a local white woman -rather too much so for some of the local Indian community - and who is forced to move interstate. Since the writer/ director lives here in Canberra and loves the place, most of the film was shot here; indeed we saw one scene being shot in a local park about a year ago. So the wife and I enjoyed identifying many familiar locations, supposedly in the fictional town of Salt Bridge, but all obviously somewhere in Australia.

Aimed mainly at the world-wide Indian diaspora, the film is mainly in Hindi with English subtitles, but there is also some English dialogue. It also includes many songs,some of which have lyrics significant for the plot, but (surprisingly) almost no dance. The three leads are professional actors, but some of the minor characters are much less so and it shows.

Nevertheless the film is worth a look, as it has some nice comic lines and the story has enough dramatic drive and home truths about people's behaviour to carry the film along.

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A government that panders to the worst instincts of its people degrades the whole country for years to come.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Atomic Blonde
I like the hell out of this film. Not an award winner, save for visuals perhaps, but definitely a fun and well made film.
I do have a few criticisms and do agree with the Rotten Tomatoes 75% rating from the critics.
It is a stylish, action-thriller with a terrific cast. Good fun action film with a tiny bit of mind candy. It gives you more than the trailer would imply, but if you do not like the trailers, don't go. Charlize Theron is badass and droolworthy, of course. But Sofia Boutella's performance is probably the best of the film.
The actions scenes are well done and a bit brutal.

Also, nudity and sex. It that offends, do not attend.

SPOILERS!


SPOILERS!


SPOILERS!


Well, mild spoilers.
I think Atomic Blonde succeeds where No Way Out failed. That is really saying too much, but I did warn.

On the nudity, I had mixed feelings. It wasn't completely gratuitous, but not completely essential either. And the sex scene. Well...Erm...I... [Hot and Hormonal] ...hmmm. I liked it, yes, but mixed feelings as well. I think I would approve more if this genre was not so much a boys-club. What could be liberating also panders to that demographic.
Some critics, and viewers, complained the plot was too hard to follow or wasn't coherent. I don't agree. There were plenty of clues and it all made sense in the end. Not claiming it was perfect, but I though a decent job was done fitting things together. However, I can see how others might not agree.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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