What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Markgway
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out

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Kindergarten Cop (1990-USA) ***
Charming comedy vehicle for Schwarzenegger as a cop who goes undercover into a nursery school. Not for young kids, despite the presence of young kids.

Conspiracy Theory (1997-USA) ***
Intelligent star vehicle makes effective use of Mel Gibson's crazed persona as a paranoid cab driver conspiracy nut.
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^ I like both films and have seen them multiple times.

Behind that Curtain (1929: Irving Cummings):

There are always reasons to watch a film. Mine are two-fold: I was finishing off the third set of Charlie Chan films (this is an extra) and my 1929 movie watchings are a bit weak. I was doing a top 10 Hollywood film list for each year from 2013 backwards until I got to 1929 which I just could not come up with ten. There is no way in good conscience I could put this on a top ten list. This is awful. Early sound films can have issues, especially since they are synchronized sound, but sometimes the worst aspect is the vocal performances. Well here it is the performances in general along with a lingering uninteresting melodramatic plot.

First the good. This is the first sound appearance of Boris Karloff and is the first Fox film with Charlie Chan as a character. This is also a rare appearance of a non-Caucasoid as Charlie Chan (E.L. Park is his only known movie role) and a rare appearance of decent non-stereotypical roles for Chinese characters (though one might wonder about some of the other nationalities portrayed.) There is some decent on location shooting as well.

But here is the bad. Chan is not even close to a main character in the film. Apparently they took the back plot of the Earl Derr Biggers (the book has the same name) and expanded it to a love triangle, which is not in the book, to the main plot. There is no mystery because it is solved for us early within the film. The relationships are contrived and the acting is just weird. It is not stilted like typical Hollywood fare or even overemphasized like the theater, but I am not sure how to really explain it. The tonal pitch is off which can be typical of early sound films, but this is worse than usual. Now the lead Warner Baxter would improve in sound. His performance is fine in John Ford’s The Prisoner of Shark Island.

The Warner Oland Chan films are so much better.

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I love the old Fox Charlie Chan movies, but must confess I skipped Behind that Curtain. I think the earliest one we watched was The Black Camel? A couple of them are sadly lost.
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Markgway wrote:I love the old Fox Charlie Chan movies, but must confess I skipped Behind that Curtain. I think the earliest one we watched was The Black Camel? A couple of them are sadly lost.
They certainly are fun.

No real reason to watch Behind the Curtain unless you are a completist and/or masochist. I was wondering why on the extras they were making fun of it. I wonder no longer. The Black Camel is fun, but you can definitely tell it is early Oland and early Chan (face makeup, using more on location shooting, no Keye Luke character yet.)

The missing ones are Charlie Chan Carries On (1931), Charlie Chan's Chance (1932) and Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933).

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Masterofoneinchpunch wrote: The missing ones are Charlie Chan Carries On (1931), Charlie Chan's Chance (1932) and Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933).
Right, because they skip to Charlie Chan in London.

FTR: My favourite Warner Oland entry is Charlie Chan on Broadway.
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Backfire (1987-USA-Canada) **½
A trashy wife (Karen Allen) conspires to murder her catatonic husband (Jeff Fahey) with the help of a drifter (Keith Carradine). Pretty good thriller; steamy, suspenseful, and well-acted. If only the TV movie-like direction weren't quite so pedestrian.
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Road to Bali (1952-USA) ***
The only colour entry in the popular ROAD series. The plot isn't the thing - showmen Bing Crosby and Bob Hope rescue half-Scottish (yes, that does come into play) princess Dorothy Lamour - it's the gags, in-jokes and satirical jabs that bring the fun.
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Markgway wrote:Road to Bali (1952-USA) ***
The only colour entry in the popular ROAD series. The plot isn't the thing - showmen Bing Crosby and Bob Hope rescue half-Scottish (yes, that does come into play) princess Dorothy Lamour - it's the gags, in-jokes and satirical jabs that bring the fun.
For the most part I love this series with my favorite being Road to Morocco (surprisingly picked by AFI in their 100 years 100 laughs list/show.) The Road to Hong Kong is my least favorite even with a small role of Peter Sellers. I've been a fan of both Bing Crosby and Bob Hope over the years. They both probably have the most insider joke movie moments (seriously look at all the films where one is uncredited and literally just pops up in the film or is mentioned as an aside joke in the film.)

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My dad is a huge Bob Hope fan, so I grew up watching his movies.

The only ROAD film I haven't seen is Hong Kong - sounds like I'm not missing much.

And yes, the cameos Bing made in Bob's movies especially are hilarious.
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Breakheart Pass (1975-USA) ***
Good mystery western starring the legendary Charlie Bronson.
Pacing is a bit off (first act needs some action or event) but overall well done.
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Cameron's Closet (1987-UK-USA) **
A young boy with telekinesis conjures up a monster in his closet.
OK horror effort, but the literal monsters are disappointing.
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Suddenly (1954-USA) **½
Frank Sinatra (in an acting stretch) plans to assassinate the president.
Efficient B-grade thriller, nothing more.
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A Bay Of Blood 2/5 Mario Bava's influential slasher pic is interesting but i can't say i thought it was the classic i'd heard about.Some stilted acting and a couple of nice gore effects .

Lone Survivor 2.5/5 True story of a failed Navy Seals mission in Afghanistan gives away the ending in it's title...Mark Wahlberg stars,Eric Bana is in there as well.Some good action sequences and it's well directed,worth watching.
working class blu-ray fan

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Motel Hell (1980-USA) *
Cannibal farmer murders unsuspecting motorists and grinds them into saleable meat.
Dreadful black comedy-horror has very little gore, but is too sadistic to be funny.
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My Stepmother is an Alien (1988-USA) **½
Sexy alien mates with nerdy scientist in order to save her planet.
Goofball comedy is surprisingly enjoyable; cast is fun to watch.

The Innkeepers (2011-USA) **
Much like the director's House of the Devil, this an intelligent, well-acted horror film holds much promise, but never builds up any momentum and ultimately goes nowhere until a grim - is-that-it? ending - if you take it at face value, that is. I've since read a suggested subtext, which, if accurate, would make the movie a lot more interesting and hike the star rating. However, like MOTOIP's Brief Encounter theory, this may just be an attempt to find something sinister where it doesn't exist.
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Satisfaction (1988-USA) **
Female (bar token geek) rock band plays in faded songwriter Liam Neeson's L.A club.
Pretty thin (as you can tell) but watchable; characters could've done with being more likeable.
A vehicle for 80s TV star Justine Batman; features a young Julia Roberts.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out

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Mark is on fire :thumbs:

Evil Dead 2 (USA, 1987) [TV / Love Hotel] - 3.5/5
The GF fell asleep just conveniently when Evil Dead 2 was on TV, so I thought I'd let her rest for a little :lol:
There's some amazing camerawork in it, and of course some nice old school special effects, but at the same time it's just a bit too goofy. In my books it's more of an 80's classic than a classic movie per se. The original is a far better film.

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Some Girls (1988-USA) **
College student spends Xmas with his girlfriend's eccentric family.
Misjudged comedy-drama is plenty strange, but also tender in its best moments.
Definitely not for all tastes.

On the Double (1961-USA) **½
American G.I with talent for mimicry is recruited to impersonate a British Colonel under threat of assassination. Decent farce works best as vehicle for Danny Kaye, though the script could've done with sharper wit.
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Ministry of Fear (1943-USA) ***
Brisk, enjoyable thriller from Fritz Lang in which Ray Milland gets caught up with a Nazi spy ring. Breezier than I expected, despite the director's expected (occasional) noirish touches. Reminded me of Hitchcock's Saboteur.

Spellbinder (1988-USA) **
Hotshot lawyer Tim Daly protects a witch (the gorgeous Kelly Preston) from a satanic cult.
The problem with 'twist' movies is that their success ultimately rests on whether their twist works - this one doesn't and the result is failure. A shame really because it's a rather well made little horror that relies on character and threat rather than gore (of which there's almost none). The outcome is alarmingly obvious - especially to anyone who's seen The Wicker Man - and I kept hoping that the 'twist' wouldn't occur - but it did. If all the cult needed was Daly to turn up at the beach of his own free will (their words) then why not just invite him and then trap him? You could easily argue that the elaborate ruse is wholly unnecessary (thus making the film's creepy events pointless).
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Shimbashi Bunka Final Weekend

Taxi Driver (USA, 1976) [35mm] – 4.5/5
No need to comment on the film, everyone knows how great it is, so just a few words about the screening. There were exactly 30 screenings held in 10 days, and even then the one I attended played that 120% capacity, that is, about 20 people were standing. They came even knowing they can’t get a seat. Fantastic atmosphere!

Death Proof (USA, 2007) [35mm] – 4/5
This is the 5th time I’ve seen this in theatre. It’s still a lot of fun despite the dialogue scenes being a far cry from Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction and going on for too long. Kurt Russell is excellent, as is the final 20 minutes. Zoe Bell on the hood is probably the most breathtaking stunt sequence I’ve ever seen. The chase that follows also ranks as one of the best car chases ever filmed. The ending even had the Japanese audience applaud twice – never seen that happen in Japan before.

For photos see here

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Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!”

Ghostbusters (1984: Ivan Reitman):

I had originally seen this in 1984. I was a young tyke, but I watched it with a friend and his older brother at Vintage Faire Theater (which is now a Dick’s Sporting Good’s store.) I had enjoyed it quite a bit, but their response was it was not violent enough. Apparently the years of slasher film viewings had inured them and/or else they were just idiots. But I loved it. I saw the sequel, the cartoon show and had seen the first movie countless times on TV, VHS and DVD (and the awesome Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis commentary) over the years. So when it came back to the theater 30 years later I had to see it again. Discussing with several of my friends it seemed to induce an ambivalent response or at worst “why did you go see that in the theater?” Regardless, whether nostalgia or nothing else to see at the time I went and rewatched it. The theater had only two other guys, much older than myself, in it so that was nice as well. I love when you get the theater to yourself or mostly to yourself and there is no cell phones, no screens lighting up, screaming kids running up and down the staircases or smelly smelly people near you.

Of course there was nothing in the film I did not remember. Which sometimes leads me to drift my conscious away from the film itself. I started thinking about how I know a few scenes like the Succubus dream did not appear on TV. How it is easier to notice on the big screen is the product placement. This got me to thinking that everyone seems to be drinking Coca-Cola and Budweiser. I like how the cans are perfectly placed so you can see the label. Check out the several Stay Puft references throughout the movie. I also noticed that Dan Ackroyd has gained a bit of weight over the years. Of course some thought was given about the difference between the mostly optical special effects of then and the CGI-laden special effects of today. But as I wax existentially about how time has changed since this movie first came out I snap back into enjoying the one-liners that I have often quoted over the years.

What can I write about the film that has not already been written? Probably nothing (if I expand this semi-review I will certainly rework this paragraph and add a few more), though I just now noticed that both Kasems (Casey and Jean) and in this film. I am not sure how much objective analysis I could give this either. I cannot even properly imagine how John Belushi would have been in this, as originally intended (nor John Candy), as I am too familiar with the characters. I am sure he would have fit it, made the film more manic and with a different set of laughs. This film has been a favorite of mine over the years though I am a little tired of the Ray Parker Jr. song – something I had listened to Ad Nauseum throughout the 1980s. It has also given me the single best advice I had ever received: “… when someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!” This has saved me countless times.

With Harold Ramis gone I really do not want to see a remake of this. I was hoping there was going to be a third over the years, but regardless of the rumors it never happened – something I hope does not happen with the Hellboy series. This was released at a perfect time for me in my early moving going years. I would hope Hollywood would not try replicate this. But if they attempted to remake Psycho then I do not put it past them to remake anything.

36 Things We Learned From the ‘Ghostbusters’ Commentary Track (FilmSchoolRejects: Aug. 9, 2011)

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I think when I was a kid I actually enjoyed the cartoons more than the films! Obviously, the situation has since reversed.

I never understood why the were the REAL Ghostbusters either? I mean, Real compared to what -- the phonies in the movie? The characters were the same.

I hope they don't do a remake. Not because the 80s films are personal faves or anything, but because I know they'll screw it up, starting by casting people I don't like. Ghostbusters starring Seth Rogen? Ugh!

John Candy would've been a nice casting choice, but I've never been a fan of John Belushi.
Bill Murray >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> John Belushi.
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Markgway wrote:...I never understood why the were the REAL Ghostbusters either? I mean, Real compared to what -- the phonies in the movie? The characters were the same.
...
Actually that is an easy answer (though IMDB does get it partially wrong.) There was an older cartoon by Filmation that had a cartoon by the name of Ghostbusters (made because of the movie, but they had the rights to the name from a previous series in the 1970s.) The Wiki article below has the information. But I remember watching both cartoons at the time and at first being confused on what the heck this "other" cartoon was. The Real Ghostbusters was easily the better of the two.

Filmation cartoon series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostbuste ... TV_series)

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Markgway wrote:... I hope they don't do a remake. Not because the 80s films are personal faves or anything, but because I know they'll screw it up, starting by casting people I don't like. Ghostbusters starring Seth Rogen? Ugh! ....
Starring Seth Rogan, Ryan Reynolds, Jason Sudeikis and Kevin Hart as The Ghostbusters.

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I liked both cartoons TBH.

I wouldn't mind a new movie. It's been 30 years or something? You can create something new and great without it taking away anything from the original movie. Obviously, you wouldn't want to throw in shitty actors and such, but with a good cast, director, etc etc, it obviously has lots of potential.
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