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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:30 am 
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The Hunt for the Red October is hilarious. Sean Connery gives possibly the worst performance of his illustrious career. And I just realized that the signs inside the submarine are in Ukrainian for some ineffable reason. Funniest stuff since Charlie Chaplin.

Speaking of whom, I saw his Caught in a Cabaret on TMC. From 1914 (isn't amazing to see a movie that's more than a century old?), it's one of his earlier work but he is already brilliant. Given that physical comedy is only amusing when unpredictable, and that these early movies were the foundation of the genre, it's impressive how funny they still are. And unlike October, intentionally so.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:13 am 
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Has anyone seen Smallfoot? The trailer looked promising...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:06 am 
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Jude, is it out?

Speaking of Charlie Chaplin, this tweet links to a short video explaining pre-CGI effects.

https://twitter.com/ThingsWork/status/1 ... 6546302976

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:24 am 
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It's playing in Ottawa currently. I assume it's playing everywhere else?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:01 am 
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of Vinyamar
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If you ever get the chance to watch Excalibur with the Directors commentary, do it! During one shot of the lakeside Camelot, Boorman describes how Camelot was inserted into the shot using a prism in front of the lens with a model to the left of the camera reflected into the scene.

Also, when you think about movies like Jason and the Argonauts or Clash of the Titans, green screen in those days meant that when you developed the negative, everything green would come out transparent so the footage could be literally layered on top of another film and as a result the live actors and the stop motion had to be choreographed frame for frame, 24 frames a second. CGI is for amateurs. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:57 am 
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Has anyone else seen Bohemian Rhapsody? I went to see it on Tuesday. Queen was just a wee bit before my time and then just a bit out of my orbit at the time. I don't think I knew that all of those songs were theirs, so that was fun. So much terrific music! Anyway, I wasn't sure how I felt about the lead, but I didn't know Freddie Mercury well enough to say whether he did a good job or not. I thought he was...affected and very odd.

What I can say that I did NOT appreciate in the theatre was when some bozo let out a very loud cry of disgust the first time Freddie kissed another man. :roll: :suspicious: I mean, come on, dude. What did you expect? You did know Freddie was gay, right? And just GTFO, honestly.

:nono: (It really annoyed me. Clearly.)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:06 am 
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Yeah, it seems odd that someone would care enough to come see a movie about Freddie Mercury and yet be surprised that he was gay (or bi, I guess?).

Queen to me is interesting in that they don't sound like anyone else I know, and yet there are some songs that I always forget are theirs.

Was the movie more fun than watching Queen videos for two hours?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:10 am 
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I think some dudes love "We. Will. We. Will. Rock You. [thump thump] Rock You. [thump thump]" so much that they will come and see a Queen movie without knowing anything else about Queen.

I'll bet none of them have even seen Flash Gordon.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:11 am 
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The movie was good, entertaining, probably less weird than Queen videos (of which I've only seen a couple). :D

I think Muse favors them, if you're looking for a similar(ish) band.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:09 am 
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Love Queen. Loved Freddie Mercury. What a talent. I can't wait to see the movie. Hopefully sometime this week. (Love Muse too) :D There is no one quite like Freddie Mercury. The genius, the vocal talent, the drive, the over-the-top showmanship. He was a force of one. His knowledge and love for music was broad and leaned not just classical but operatic. There are some who have/had a few of the qualities. David Bowie. Prince. Led Zeppelin. Michael Jackson (showmanship). Kansas, Styx, Aerosmith. A handful of others. I just love it when rock & classical collide! There is nothing better than some good rock and then enter the violins &/or cellos!

Maybe Luke Spiller of The Struts but is he an innovator or just an imitator? I don't think he has the vocal range.

Ain't nobody like Freddy. ;D


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:15 am 
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I just saw (appropriately for Remembrance Day) Peter Jackson’s new film, They Shall Not Grow Old. It’s a First World War documentary constructed pretty much entirely from contemporary footage (some colourised) and voice overs from veterans (archive footage, as they’re all dead now).

I really liked it for how much detail it went into on everyday experience, from what the men thought when they enlisted, to what basic training was like, to what it was like at the Front during quiet times, to what it felt like to come home. There’s no maps or politics or descriptions of campaigns, but I was engaged for the entire film and came away knowing more than when I went in.

It also reminded me how good a filmmaker Peter Jackson can be if you just give him sounds and visuals and don’t require him to write dialogue or come up with a plot on his own. I wish he was more cognisant of his strengths and weaknesses, because he can produce some amazing film when he plays to his strengths.

I don’t know how much airtime the film will get in the U.S., but it seems to have a pretty broad release through the Commonwealth.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:36 pm 
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I believe its on BBC2 tonight.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:39 am 
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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

It’s a film like a large bowl of spaghetti – it has a lot of plot threads but without any real central structure, and I have to admit I did find it hard to get through. And to continue with the culinary analogy, it’s kind of bland despite its very high-quality ingredients. I found myself wishing for the end before the two hours was up, and the audience I saw it with had no reaction at the end beyond an almost immediate stampede to the doors (even with the major reveal in the final scene, which I won’t spoil).

To explain what I mean, it has some great acting, great direction, impressive sound and visuals (although we’re so used to CGI now these big set-pieces all become a bit interchangeable after a while), a few good moments of visual humour, great visual design, and some good dialogue. I can’t fault David Yates’ directing or any of the actors. The problem is that it all serves a real mish-mash of a story. It tries to continue with the whimsical ‘Magical Creatures’ theme of the first film, combine it with some typical Harry Potter tangled mysteries and shocking reveals, and then throw in the rise of the Third Reich for good measure. It’s a bit like someone’s tried to make a special Agatha Christie-themed episode of All Creatures Great And Small based around The Origins of the Second World War.

J. K. Rowling has been able to combine whimsy and high drama before; it’s one of the causes of the success of the Harry Potter books. Here, though, I think she’s overstretched herself. The Crimes of Grindelwald script suffers from the same sort of bloat as The Order of the Pheonix, where too much narrative is built around too little plot. And she doesn’t seem to have been able to replicate some of her past magic. The Harry Potter books are marked by striking, memorable and entertaining characters. Creating them has long been one of her greatest strengths as a writer. But outside of Newt Scamander and, to a lesser extent, Gellert Grindelwald, I’m not as taken with any of her new ones.

Jude Law has been getting a lot of praise for his Dumbledore, and he’s definitely nailed the kindly confidence of the original. But he seems to be lacking something of the quirkiness. Dumbledore is possibly my favourite fictional character, and I definitely approve of Law’s performance, but I can’t say I was excited to see him on screen in this new manifestation. Again, I think the fault is with the script rather than Law's acting. And the visual design, for that matter. Law is strikingly dressed in plain, well-tailored contemporary Muggle suits. Much to my disappointment, the plum-coloured suit Harry sees in the pensive in The Half-Blood Prince is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, wizarding attire of any sort is absent. Some fans complained there were too many Muggle clothes in the Harry Potter films, but here it’s taken to a whole new level. Only Grindelwald rocks the boat with his Regency Era-inspired heavy metal look, which I do like, although it’s hard to see where exactly it would have come from.

It’s worth talking a bit about Grindelwald, because I actually think he’s quite a strong villain, both in writing and acting. He’s not the usual psychopath trying to take over the world because reasons like so many fantasy, sci-fi and superhero film antagonists. Voldemort was certainly creepy, but by the end of the series he was becoming so over-the-top you had to wonder why anyone actually followed him voluntarily. Grindelwald is perfectly believable, and does manage to achieve that villain sweet spot of being both comprehensible and menacing (he should probably have a German accent, but the writers and/or Depp might have felt that was too clichéd). He doesn’t commit all that many crimes, though, somewhat belying the title of the film. I’m curious to see where the character goes.

In the wake of The Last Jedi I’ve been speculating on how to make a film in a franchise with a large existing fanbase which both wins over casual viewers and satisfies your hardcore fans. The Crimes of Grindelwald is clearly pitched to fans, with its numerous references and tie-ins to the books (yes, you get to see Nurmengard!). But I’ve found that a lot of fans still found the film dull and confusing. There must be a middle ground between letting J. K. Rowling write whatever she wants without editorial intervention and setting fire to the canon.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Túrin, did you like the first Fantastic Beasts film better?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:27 pm 
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We saw 'Fantastic Beasts' yesterday as well. I agree with Túrin. So much was right, but it didn't all come together as one might have expected with so many wonderful individual parts. Still, it wasn't bad, but it lacked something...

I'm not good at analyzing, but from other reviews I've read, they seem to find the fault with JK. Rowling writing the screenplay. Their opinion is that she is an excellent writer of books but she should have let an experienced hand write the screenplay.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:07 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Túrin, did you like the first Fantastic Beasts film better?


Yes. It had less going on, was able to put more time into its characters, and had a much simpler and stronger central plot (find the creatures and put them back in the case). A chart of the plot of Crimes of Grindelwald would look a little like a diagram of political alliances and enmities in the Middle East.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:55 pm 
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Bohemian Rhapsody. I'm a huge Queen fan, so I was predisposed to love this, and I did. I honestly disagree with every negative review. His sexuality was not whitewashed. His relationship with Mary Austin was beautifully portrayed. The band were shown pretty much as most fans would know them to be. John was the quiet one, Brian the cerebral one, Roger the horndog and Freddie the flamboyant one. And Freddie's intense shyness and vulnerability was beautifully captured in an incredibly sensitive performance by Rami Malek. Easily the best biopic I've ever seen.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:17 am 
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I'm glad you liked it, Al. I've been waiting to see what you thought.

Sent from my LG G6 using Tapatalk

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