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Last Movie You Watched

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I'm not saying Zola is wrong, because you can't say someone is wrong when it comes to opinions, and I know it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I'd say you should give it a chance. It's considered a classic and quite an influential movie.

I liked it. Typical overblown Gilliam visual masterpiece. But some serious social concerns. His 1984, if you will. Plus fantastic steampunk. Moi, it's more a Michael Palin film. DeNiro is a bit player.

And the music!

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Talking of which... Have you seen La jetée? It's pretty interesting in its own right, but also because Twelve Monkeys was inspired by it. Twelve Monkeys is not a remake, but Gilliam uses some of the same concepts that are in La jetée. I should warn you though, that it's a bit more experimental than Twelve Monkeys. It's the only fictional movie that I can think of that is constructed pretty much exclusively from still photographs. Then again, it's a short movie, as it's only about 30 minutes, but it's well worth watching if you liked the idea and concepts of Twelve Monkeys.

Thanks! I'll keep an eye out for it. My left eye, probably.

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Two six-shooters way up for The Unforgiven. Hackman: "You just shot an unarmed man!". Eastwood: "Well, he should have armed himself if he's going to decorate his saloon with my friend." Or how about the brilliant Peter O'Toole: "The sight of royalty would cause you to dismiss all thoughts of bloodshed and you would stand in awe. Now, a president... well I mean... why not shoot a president?"

Let's not forget the quality of westerns from way back, like The Ox-Bow Incident or High Noon.

One of the many things I like about Unforgiven is its irony.

A very violent film, appeals to many people because of its violence. And yet it is fundamentally a statement against violence.

If you like old westerns and have a taste for the slightly unusual, look for films directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott. They're b-movies but very interesting. Clint Eastwood was a fan and admits to stealing from Boetticher.

To give you an idea, here's how I began my notes on a Boetticher/Scott colaboration.

Decision at Sundown (1957)

Randolph Scott

Noah Beery Jr.

John Carroll

Directed by: Budd Boetticher

On the surface, Decision at Sundown is a B-movie western of the kind that nobody misses. Low budget, B-list actors, virtually no location shots, somewhat crudely written and assembled. Ordinarily, not the kind of movie to which you'd give the time of day.

But director Budd Boetticher made his name with films like this. And it's really not going too far to say that inside the body of this B-movie western beats the heart of man's existential crisis: who are we, what motivates us, are people fundamentally good or bad, are we but weak and frightened creatures? Can we be redeemed?

Heavy stuff, delivered without frills in a crisp 77 minutes. And true to his reputation, Boetticher's good guy has plenty of bad in him, and his bad guy turns out to have more than a six-gun of good. Clint Eastwood freely admits he likes this kind of moral ambiguity and cheerfully stole it for his own movies, Unforgiven perhaps being the best example.

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You know that classic, cliche scene where the bad guys are camped out under the stars? The lull before the storm?

Here's what Budd Boettecher has them saying in Comanche Station.

-- Frank, you ever get the idea we're not alone?

-- Huh?

-- Are we bad?

-- What?

What other shoot 'em up has ideas like that coming out of the mouths of the bad guys?

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Your Favorite Bad Movie?

We'll probably disagree on whether a given movie is bad or not. Most of the time, if we like a film we tend to think it's good.

One of mine was on tlelevion tonight. Bad movie but I love it and I wish they'd make a sequel.


Ever see it? Keanu Reeves as wooden as ever. But Rachel Weisz, with whom I'm in love. She just... exudes. You know? Silly story about gods and devils. Fun action sequences. And some very good supporting performances.

I have another one ready to go. But let's hears yours, first.

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Unforgiven is brilliant because it breaks down the cliches of the western, but is still capable of being a great western itself, so it works on both levels.

By far my favourite hardarse Eastwold moment in all his films is at the end of Unforgiven when he has the shotgun in Little Bills mouth and Hackman is all 'Im a good man, i don't deserve to die this way' Then the camera pans up to a shot down the barrel of Eastwoods gun and he says 'Deserve ain't got nothin' to do with it' and pulls the trigger. Ice Cold.

Edited by Spiller86
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Bah Toy Story 3 was a classic shedpensioner. Easily the best written of any of such films. Made me a bit misty eyed I must say.

I just thought TS3 was a bit too long winded, I felt I had to actually think about it, which is not why I would usually watch that type of Movie, Bee Movie was just stupid and thats why I loved it!

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OK, my next favorite bad movie.

The Fifth Element.

I have a weakness for science fiction, the gadgety kind which re-imagines our environment. I don't like Bruce Willis but I loved his flying taxi. And I enjoyed the humor of the film, especially Ian Holm. Chris Tucker was tiresome and the whole thing was kind of silly. But I enjoy it.

Edited by wxwax
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Just watched "Win-Win". Expected more, and the kid was pretty bad at acting, but that seems to happen a lot anymore so I try to not let it bother me (see "Gran Torino"). Probably a B for me.

Edited by ace
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Saw Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol this weekend. In 2D. Probably would have been better in 3d.

I really like the work of Brad Bird, the director. He made two animated films which were excellent, The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. (Also the excellent Ratatouille.)

AP movie critic Christy Lemire says action films are basically cartoons, so it was an easy transition for Bird. Less humor than I expected, although a splash of it. Typical dramas have 3 acts, and in this case that means three elaborate, MI-style set-pieces. It's like 3 TV shows back-to-back, complete with battle plan, gadgets, intrusion and escape.

The one set at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, is spectacular. Wish I'd seen it in 3D or, even better, IMAX.

For 2 acts, this was an outstanding action movie. For the genre, just about perfect. You're not looking for much characterization and you don't get much. It's all about the intrigue and the doohickeys. But I was worn out by the time we reached the third set-piece, the climax of the movie. Oddly, the same thing happens to me in The Incredibles. The climax isn't as good as the stuff which precedes it.

Still, Ghost Protocol gives a tired franchise a real goose of life. It's a fine action film. Tom Cruise is an aging film star who runs his own production company and who is desperate for hit movies. Do the math and I think it means we'll be seeing a few more MI movies before the whole thing dies of disinterest.

Edited by wxwax
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Well, this is awkward!

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Alright already, It's off!