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Random Movie Thoughts Thread

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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🐊 Thank you.
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fatgurl

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So I started watching Blood Red Sky on Netflix. I didn't expect it to have a vampire since I stray away from movie trailers for the most part.

I feel so bad for the mother. She lost her husband and basically had to raise a baby while being a vampire who couldn't go out in the daylight and now this happens to her.

I'm gonna continue watching tomorrow because I'm really enjoying it so far.
 

Totenkindly

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The Woman Who Wasn't There. Hour long doc about Tania Head (Alicia Esteve), who pretended to be a 911 survivor to the degree of even becoming president of the survivor organization, then being unmasked in 2007 by the NYT -- whereupon fleeing back to her native Spain. Not really clear what has happened to her since despite anonymously claiming she had committed suicide in 2008 (no doubt to throw off any further investigation), although she was seen in NYC again in 2011 and was fired from her job in Spain in 2012. In the meanwhile, she had made up this huge story about surviving one of the tower attacks, losing her fiance Dave (a well-known victim) in the incident, and being heavily burned and her arm almost severed during the incident.

What was fascinating was that she made no apparent money off the deception, and she was very encouraging to the actual survivors and a positive influence in many of their lives for the few years she was active until fears that she was being investigated led to her slowly spiraling emotionally into a mess. They had about 6-7 of the survivors interviewed regularly on camera for this (along with many shots of Head at various public appears from 2002-2007) and they all had a range of responses to her. Some were far more trusting, others more skeptical but still shocked as the truth came to light. One was suspicious and did his own investigation before it all broke but wasn't sure what to do with the information and didn't want to lose his only support network so he said nothing about what he thought. Another person interviewed was the mother of the red-bandana guy, Welles Crowther, who was in the news in recent times (he was a younger man who saved a number of the survivors from one of the towers before dying himself, and who Tania claimed had saved her as well).

I think it was most interesting to hear their stories, rationales, and feelings towards Tania before and after. Her best friend at the time despises her and can never forgive her; some of the others are in a more forgiving posture, however. No one is sure of why Head perpetuated the deception, except maybe driven by her own insecurities and desire to be needed and important to others.

As it was, she wasn't even in the USA until 2002 and was in class in Barcelona the day of the attacks.
 

Totenkindly

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Heat (1995). Wanted my son to see this, so we watched it last night. it's funny because Mann is not typically my go-to guy for films, he tends to underplay drama and focus more on plot / surface interaction, but this film has quite a number of subplot arcs that reveal deep intensity of emotion, and even scenes that ring with it despite not being gratuitous. (For example, the horror of watching Waingro killing the young hooker needlessly, then watching Hanna intercept the poor girl's crying mother before she can see her damaged body which was dumped into a trash can like refuse. It's very powerful to see the details of how this unfolds.)

But there's a ton of other stuff, and a lot of loss -- like the face of Breedan's girlfriend when watching the news, or the final shots between Chris and Charlene, or the scene where Trejo asks about Anna his wife, or Eady's face in her final scene, and so on. Stuff that is never overblown or more than required but feels raw and real and just very tragic. Some of it, you can see coming a mile away and how events and psychological bents conspire to lead people to these tragic outcomes.

Meanwhile there's also a lot of humor (typically with Pacino's character). The action sequences are edited and framed really nicely, so it's typically clear where everyone is spatially and what's happening, which was especially important during the LA streets shootout sequence but helpful elsewhere. Mann managed to keep Val Kilmer in check -- his simmering (and occasionally explosive) performance meshes with the rest of the story. There's such a great contrast and comparison between Hannah and McCauley as well throughout the film. Pacino says he imagined the detective is high on coke for much of the film, while Neal is very processed and controlled, he has a script for his choices and never deviates... until near the end, when he unwisely makes an exception and we see what his priorities actually are. yet they are both men held captive to their own desires and impulses; McCauley will never quit taking down scores, and Hannah is dragged along behind him, jumping when he jumps, because he can't draw a line between his professional and personal life. They are both in bondage to each other in some ways, like two planets trapped in a destructive orbit around the other.

The film is like a veritable who's who of acting at the time -- almost everyone is a known name, aside from one or two people. Danny Trejo's character is even named after himself (Trejo).

I honestly never watched Miami Vice, and was only eh about Live and Die in LA and similar films, Heat is like my go-to film of this genre. (I also like Scorsese's The Departed but not quite as much as this film, which seems much tighter.)
 

Totenkindly

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Rewatched Oculus, which was Mike Flanagan's second full-length film (after Absentia). I still think it's one of his better efforts (Hush, which was later, kind of faltered half an hour in). He gets really good production quality out of $5 million budget. It also might be his most tightly constructed film, the "tightrope" picture where he is balanced precariously but doesn't fall in terms of needing to edit this perfectly with all the interspersed cuts between future and past, or hallucination vs reality, while trying to keep the story clear in the viewer's mind. Perhaps he develops some stories later with deeper, richer personal narrative (like his Haunting of series on Netflix), but this is where he began. What would have been schlock from a lesser director instead actually is moody and unsettling, he's maybe represented the problem with not being able to interpret reality better than most films in the genre. He also manages to get great performances from lesser known cast at the time, although it was fun rewatching now and realizing it is Katee Sackhoff who plays the mom -- she's an actress I didn't really know during my initial views of this film but now have run across in some other things since. Also, it was where I fell in love with Karen Gillan, as I had not watched Dr. Who.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Thoughts on For Your Eyes Only

So this is considered one of the lesser Moores. It's a strange entry in the series because it seems uncharacteristic and out of place in the Moore run. Following the heights of absurdity reached in Moonraker, FYEO came down to earth, hard. None of the other Moore films ever tried to stick as close to realism and grit.

Performance wise, I think Moore does a good job and this may be one of his stronger performances in the series. He knows when to turn on the wit and smirk, and when to be serious and grave in this one. He actually plays Bond as a believably dangerous assassin this time around. I credit director John Glenn for being the Bond director to finally discover the sweet spot for tone in the Roger Moore bonds.

The tone established in FYEO more or less continued (with a few occasional gags ruining the mood) with Octopussy (Moore's best IMO) and A View to a Kill. Octopussy perfected the Moore formula, sitting about halfway between Moonraker and FYEO in overall tone and believability. View tilted slightly further toward Moonraker.

Story wise, it's about a maguffin, some device both the soviets and allies want--why the brits don't just change their launch codes so the device is useless to anyone who obtains it is beyond me. They're really trying hard to make this film Moore's From Russia With Love, but they only half succeed.

The villains are not memorable. Julian Glover was born to play villains, yet he is wasted here. Perhaps he is too good, playing the double agent, pretend ally for so long in the film that we see very little of his true evil side. The keelhauling scene with the sharks is one spot where he shines. I wanted more of a big showdown between Kristatos and Columbo, since a long standing rivalry is established earlier in the story, yet we never get much.

Columbo is one of the better Bond allies, thanks to Topol's performance.

I like the heroine Melina. She never really turns into a bumbling damsel (something the Moore films in particular are guilty of doing a lot with the lead females) but there is zero chemistry between her and Moore--he comes across more as a surrogate father type than a true romantic interest for her, so their love scenes feel a bit forced and cringy. The lack of chemistry knocks her down several pegs, but otherwise she'd be a contender for one of the best Bond girls. A spiritual predecessor to Halle Berry and Michelle Yeoh

The score is so weird and bizarre. It has its charms but it really sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to other Bond scores from this period. Bill Conti's music sounds too....American? It sounds like Rocky music if Stallone did a Bond Rocky crossover. It's weird. But there are some really good bits in the quieter parts.

I think this film had a lot of potential to be really great, one of the great Bonds, but too many of the above factors limited its appeal and impact. Drop a better Bond girl in, build up the villain a bit more, put a proper John Barry score on it (the title song is decent, though I'd like to hear what Sheena Easton would've done working with Barry instead of Conti), and you would have a classic. As it stands, I put this one in the B tier of Bond films next to Thunderball and Live and Let Die
 
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Doctor Anaximander

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Probably my biggest issue with John Glen and that phase of Bond movies is that the cinematography and sense of scale tends to be lacking. For Your Eyes Only and A View To A Kill in particular look more like made-for-TV films than theatrical releases.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Listening to them talk about Varsity Blues on We Hate Movies. I thought everyone had to know that given my handle.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I don't see a ton of praise for Remo Williams. It's understandable why it failed (lead star didn't quite fit the mid 80s idea of action star, unmemorable villains and characters, releasing in a year dominated by blockbusters like Back to the Future, plus having one of the main characters played by a dude wearing yellow face...).

I do find the James Bond connections fascinating. It was made by several alumni, including director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, et al). It's pretty clear they were trying to launch their own "american 007" series. There's also a few good action set pieces that do feel like they could've been in a Bond film (the fight on the Statue of Liberty, and the Log Chase scene). I like that Remo is forced to rely on his wits to survive in some situations--something I enjoyed seeing in Bond movies vs the moments where he pushes a button on a watch to easily escape a situation.

Incidentally, I like Fred Ward as the titular here, and while he might not quite be an American 007, I could easily have seen him playing Felix Leiter back during the Dalton/Brosnan years of the EoN Bond series.

 

Doctor Anaximander

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Wow, this person ranked Brosnan as the least true to the literary Fleming Bond. I’d have guessed most people would choose Moore.
 

Totenkindly

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Wow, this person ranked Brosnan as the least true to the literary Fleming Bond. I’d have guessed most people would choose Moore.
I would agree that Brosnan was the least like the book Bond, and I never wanted him to be James Bond. In fact, I think the only Bond movies I haven't seen yet are most of the Brosnan ones.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I would agree that Brosnan was the least like the book Bond, and I never wanted him to be James Bond. In fact, I think the only Bond movies I haven't seen yet are most of the Brosnan ones.
Oh really? I was never super excited about the Brosnan announcement back circa '94. I felt really cheated that the early 90s lawsuit/rights issues kept them from making more Dalton films. I wanted at least one more Dalton. At the old school rate of producing the series (1 film every 2 years), they could have produced a third Dalton in '91, a 4th in '93, and Goldeneye in '95 likely would've been his swansong, since I don't think Dalton would've wanted to continue much beyond that point. Brosnan still would've been young enough to take over the role for Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. Goldeneye feels like it was written with Dalton in mind, likely written before he'd announced his leaving the series. Apparently Cubby Broccoli wanted to keep him, but it would involve Dalton extending his contract to do additional films in the 90s and he said no to Cubby, because I guess Dalton preferred to do shit like made for TV sequels to Gone With The Wind.

Anyway, Brosnan always felt too Bond lite to me. But rewatching his films, I think he did a good job, but suffered the fate of being in a string of mostly mediocre films. Goldeneye is the exception, but that didn't really feel like Brosnan's film--Bond actors' first films often feel like they were written to previous actors' strengths (Moore tried to play a harder edged spy like Connery in Live and Let Die and Golden Gun; a few of the lighter moments in The Living Daylights feel like they might have been written with Moore's approach in mind). Brosnan is a little more brooding like Dalton in his first entry. He comes into his own in Tomorrow Never Dies, going for a sort of mix of Connery's and Moore's greatest hits. Maybe if he'd had another really solid film under his belt like Goldeneye, he'd rank higher for me. He never really established his own distinct take on the role.

Dalton did get really lucky with his only two films, getting one good film and one that is probably in the top echelon of Bond films. I'll always wonder if he could've pulled off a third classic, and I would like to see how he'd do in a movie with a more outrageous plot like was rumored for the unproduced 1991 film. In the multiverse, there's a timeline where Dalton made a string of successful Bond films from the late 80s to mid 90s before passing the Walther to Pierce. In that timeline, most fans regard Dalton as second only to Connery. Of course this also means a timeline exists in which Lazenby went on to do more films, not to mention timelines with James Brolin (shudder) in the role.
 
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Totenkindly

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Brosnan just felt like a "fans of Remington Steele" choice at the time. He was good in that role, but that didn't seem to necessarily gel as Bond. But the studio seemed to be interested in cross marketing to that market and getting more female demographic or something.

Of course, yes, the movie quality wasn't as good. Typical 90s fare.

Oh really? I was never super excited about the Brosnan announcement back circa '94. I felt really cheated that the early 90s lawsuit/rights issues kept them from making more Dalton films. I wanted at least one more Dalton. At the old school rate of producing the series (1 film every 2 years), they could have produced a third Dalton in '91, a 4th in '93, and Goldeneye in '95 likely would've been his swansong, since I don't think Dalton would've wanted to continue much beyond that point. Brosnan still would've been young enough to take over the role for Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. Goldeneye feels like it was written with Dalton in mind, likely written before he'd announced his leaving the series. Apparently Cubby Broccoli wanted to keep him, but it would involve Dalton extending his contract to do additional films in the 90s and he said no to Cubby.

Anyway, Brosnan always felt too Bond lite to me. But rewatching his films, I think he did a good job, but suffered the fate of being in a string of mostly mediocre films. Goldeneye is the exception, but that didn't really feel like Brosnan's film--Bond actors' first films often feel like they were written to previous actors' strengths (Moore tried to play a harder edged spy like Connery in Live and Let Die and Golden Gun; a few of the lighter moments in The Living Daylights feel like they might have been written with Moore's approach in mind). Brosnan is a little more brooding like Dalton in his first entry. He comes into his own in Tomorrow Never Dies, going for a sort of mix of Connery's and Moore's greatest hits. Maybe if he'd had another really solid film under his belt like Goldeneye, he'd rank higher for me.

Dalton did get really lucky with his only two films, getting one good film and one that is probably in the top echelon of Bond films. I'll always wonder if he could've pulled off a third classic, and I would like to see how he'd do in a movie with a more outrageous plot like was rumored for the unproduced 1991 film.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Oh really? I was never super excited about the Brosnan announcement back circa '94. I felt really cheated that the early 90s lawsuit/rights issues kept them from making more Dalton films. I wanted at least one more Dalton. At the old school rate of producing the series (1 film every 2 years), they could have produced a third Dalton in '91, a 4th in '93, and Goldeneye in '95 likely would've been his swansong, since I don't think Dalton would've wanted to continue much beyond that point. Brosnan still would've been young enough to take over the role for Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997. Goldeneye feels like it was written with Dalton in mind, likely written before he'd announced his leaving the series. Apparently Cubby Broccoli wanted to keep him, but it would involve Dalton extending his contract to do additional films in the 90s and he said no to Cubby, because I guess Dalton preferred to do shit like made for TV sequels to Gone With The Wind.

Anyway, Brosnan always felt too Bond lite to me. But rewatching his films, I think he did a good job, but suffered the fate of being in a string of mostly mediocre films. Goldeneye is the exception, but that didn't really feel like Brosnan's film--Bond actors' first films often feel like they were written to previous actors' strengths (Moore tried to play a harder edged spy like Connery in Live and Let Die and Golden Gun; a few of the lighter moments in The Living Daylights feel like they might have been written with Moore's approach in mind). Brosnan is a little more brooding like Dalton in his first entry. He comes into his own in Tomorrow Never Dies, going for a sort of mix of Connery's and Moore's greatest hits. Maybe if he'd had another really solid film under his belt like Goldeneye, he'd rank higher for me. He never really established his own distinct take on the role.

Dalton did get really lucky with his only two films, getting one good film and one that is probably in the top echelon of Bond films. I'll always wonder if he could've pulled off a third classic, and I would like to see how he'd do in a movie with a more outrageous plot like was rumored for the unproduced 1991 film. In the multiverse, there's a timeline where Dalton made a string of successful Bond films from the late 80s to mid 90s before passing the Walther to Pierce. In that timeline, most fans regard Dalton as second only to Connery
Brosnan's movies needed more Joe Don Baker. That's the missing ingredient... the thing that's in Goldeneye but not in the others.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Brosnan just felt like a "fans of Remington Steele" choice at the time. He was good in that role, but that didn't seem to necessarily gel as Bond. But the studio seemed to be interested in cross marketing to that market and getting more female demographic or something.

Of course, yes, the movie quality wasn't as good. Typical 90s fare.
I think people assume just looking like Bond is enough to play the part (a mistake made with Lazenby), even though there's really no distinct look. But I think most people are thinking "tall, dark/brunette, steely eyed", so Brosnan did look the part in that sense. This is why people felt cheated Clive Owen was passed over for Craig, and why some people really think Henry Cavill should be the next Bond. A lot of the popular picks like that just seem like a bad idea to me. I think the best Bonds have been previous unknowns (Connery wasn't well known before Dr. No, Dalton was not well known by American audiences, Craig was somewhat known but hardly a major star yet). Connery would not have been a lot of people's first choice (Fleming didn;t like him at first), yet he slayed the role. The producers shouldn't let popular demand sway their next choice. Like, Idris Elba would be great....15 years ago. Dude is pushing 60. They're only going to get so many movies out of him (especially at the rate they produce them now), and yet it wouldn't surprise me at all if they go with him based on popular demand. Clive Owen, another who might have been good 15 to 20 years ago but is probably too old now. I think they should aim for young (like 35 tops) and relatively unknown with the next Bond.
 
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SD45T-2

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Like, Idris Elba would be great....15 years ago. Dude is pushing 60.
He's 49 as far as I can tell.
They're only going to get so many movies out of him (especially at the rate they produce them now), and yet it wouldn't surprise me at all if they go with him based on popular demand. Clive Owen, another who might have been good 15 to 20 years ago but is probably too old now. I think they should aim for young (like 35 tops) and relatively unknown with the next Bond.
How about Richard Madden? He's 35 and Scottish.
 

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He's 49 as far as I can tell.

How about Richard Madden? He's 35 and Scottish.
Still too old. Roger Moore was only mid 40s when he started and even that was too old, because by the time he finished his run, he was usually paired with leading women less than half his age. At the rate they're currently producing the films, Elba would probably be about 60 by the time he made his second or third film.

One way it could work with Elba is if they actually acknowledge Bond's age like they did with Connery in Never Say Never Again. Make it part of the character's journey instead of pretending he's 32 like they kept doing with Moore. Show him struggling and adapting in a profession that is very unforgiving to the old or weak. Elba himself has said he is too old, although maybe he was just being coy, as he often is when asked about Bond.

Madden, maybe. He has the physicality for sure.
 
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Totenkindly

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The problem is that he needs to be confident and weathered, while not being old enough to age out quickly. I think realistically you're stuck with a Bond in his early/mid-30's at the start of his run, at a minimum. He can't seem young and too wet behind the ears.

Face it, they need to produce Bond movies more quickly. You can get four movies out on a particular Bond actor realistically in about 9-10 years max if you don't sit on them like they've been doing. (You are only counting from the start of filming for the first to the end of filming for the last, so you can trim time off on the last.) So that only means 35-45 or so, which seems fair.

For Craig, he started filming probably at 35 or so, and now he's 53 but they were sitting on the last film for awhile. This has been about 15 years for 5 films, three years a film.

These films are not high art. Even in the last four, I'd say only two of them were really great films (Casino Royale and Skyfall), Quantum of Solace was super-short and not complicated in its approach, while Spectre tried to be deep but was just kinda meh and way too long. There's no reason for them to need 3-4 years to put out a film. I am interested in seeing what Fukunaga has done.

If they had a crack team of folks making the films, they could be working on the storylines and writing for future films while post-production was happening on the ongoing film.
 

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can you imagine a time when they were pumping them out one a year? I can see why that didn't last, but man, must have been nice, and even when it switched to 2 years, not bad. Even if you got a shitty one, you knew at most it might be 2-3 years before another. In those early years, assuming how much production and shooting time was likely involved, it's a wonder Connery had time to do other work between Bond films. Pretty understandable why he tired with the role so quickly.

FWIW, I've been over Bond for a while, or at least I will probably never feel a lot of excitement like I used to. I do think the series' time has kind of come and gone and there's really not much new they can do with it unless they take it in a radical new direction. Maybe an expanded cinematic universe? But even that's getting old with so many other studios doing it, it would have to be really well done to make that work--but if they pulled it off, it would make room for a colorful shared universe of agents and villains of all types. Why not a spinoff film or two for a character like Jinx or Felix? How about a spin off TV series focusing on other agents of the double 0 branch, or even one focused on other departments, perhaps a film or show glorifying the unseen heroes of Q branch? Even better, a film or series casting a villain as lead, a series from the perspective of a Spectre agent or something of that nature... Instead, what have we gotten for the last 15 years...a Bourne Clone. Weak.

I'm seeing a lot of talk about the new one in my facebook feed, so it kind of got me rewatching some of the older ones, but I just don't feel the same enjoyment I used to with this series. Speculating on stuff like new casting is a fun way to pass the time, but most likely I won't be rushing to the theater to watch any new 007 movies on opening day
 

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Madden, maybe. He has the physicality for sure.
The problem is that he needs to be confident and weathered, while not being old enough to age out quickly. I think realistically you're stuck with a Bond in his early/mid-30's at the start of his run, at a minimum. He can't seem young and too wet behind the ears.
I bet he could pull that off.


 
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