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 A noob's journey through cinema 
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Wooley wrote:
Genuinely one of my favorite comedies and would probably find it's way on to some list of my favorite movies, period. When I think of Cary Grant at his best, this might be the first movie that comes to mind, along with Arsenic and Old Lace, To Catch A Thief, NxNW, and Bringing Up Baby.

I'd throw in His Girl Friday and The Philadelphia Story. What a mug.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:51 pm
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Stu wrote:
Never seen Little Odessa, but it sounds promising, and also sounds somewhat similar to James Gray's next effort, 2000's The Yards, which I liked a lot and reviewed some time ago; have you you ever seen that one, Slent?

Nope, this was my first Gray. Great review, btw.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:47 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I'd throw in His Girl Friday and The Philadelphia Story. What a mug.

I like both of those a lot too, especially the latter, but I feel like his performances in tAT, A&OL, and BUB cover the same ground as those two.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:18 am
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I'd also add in Suspicion for peak Grant. The movie has issues, but his darker performance in it is one of my favourites from him.

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Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:40 am
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Slentert wrote:
Nope, this was my first Gray. Great review, btw.
Thank you :oops:
Rock wrote:
I'd also add in Suspicion for peak Grant. The movie has issues, but his darker performance in it is one of my favourites from him.
Eh, all his performance really accomplished in that one was
make the film's final implausible twist even worse than it already was, as Grant's already spent so much of the film being a suspicious, unsympathetic asshole, and in the span of a rushed, 5 minute conversation at the tail end of the film, we're just supposed to be happy out of nowhere that the couple's just going to reconcile? Uh-uh, the whole thing doesn't work, and 6 years after watching it, it still enrages me that the Hollywood of that time didn't have the guts to stick with the book's original ending, which made much more sense, and was so much more interesting, in an incredibly twisted, memorable manner. They either should've cast someone else that audiences could've swallowed easier as an actual villain, or waited 'til they could take the risk of doing a darker, straight adaptation, but either way, as is, that film just didn't work for me at all.

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Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:42 pm
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It's best to simply just completely ignore the ending of Suspicion. Without it, I can safely put it in my top 6 or 7 Hitchcock's. With it I just want to punch it in the face.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:44 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
It's best to simply just completely ignore the ending of Suspicion. Without it, I can safely put it in my top 6 or 7 Hitchcock's. With it I just want to punch it in the face.
Eh, even before the ending, Suspicion just felt like a series of pointless narrative fake-outs to me; the finale was just another annoyance on top of all the rest of 'em.

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Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:58 pm
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Goddammit, more people need to see Phantom Thread so my rambling comparisons with Suspicion and Rebecca will make sense.

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Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:32 am
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BL wrote:
Goddammit, more people need to see Phantom Thread so my rambling comparisons with Suspicion and Rebecca will make sense.
My area doesn't get many limited releases (unless they expand later, of course), but I'd see it in a heartbeat if I could; the last Anderson/Lewis collab, TWBB, remains one of my favorite movies of the 2000's, easy.

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Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:36 am
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BL wrote:
Goddammit, more people need to see Phantom Thread so my rambling comparisons with Suspicion and Rebecca will make sense.

I need to wait till mid February but I'll definitely see that one in theaters! PTA is probably my favorite director. :)


Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:22 am
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Stu wrote:
My area doesn't get many limited releases (unless they expand later, of course), but I'd see it in a heartbeat if I could; the last Anderson/Lewis collab, TWBB, remains one of my favorite movies of the 2000's, easy.


It's playing near me but not on a large screen. I'll wait for expansion. BTW, That's DDL's last film. He announced his retirement for real this time.


Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:05 am
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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
"Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face."
A very good movie, but it took me a while to get into. For some reason I expected something like The Great Dictator. This definitely needs a rewatch. Or two. Maybe three.

Another (better) review to come when that happens.

Putney Swope (1969)

"Putney is confusing originality with obscenity."
I wanted to watch this one because this is one of Paul Thomas Anderson's favorite film. So it makes me sad to say it really disappointed me.

Directed by Robert Downey Sr. (yes, father from) Putney Swope is a dark satire about an advertising firm where the only black man gets put in charge by accident. What follows is a series of sketches, poking fun of everyone and everything, and while I like that approach, I was never engaged by the movie nor even amused. I mentioned before how I have a difficult taste in humor, and this just ain't my jam. Sorry PTA, I failed you.

La Grande Bouffe (1973)

"Wanting to be Marlon Brando is vanity."
When this movie came out in 1973, it "broke the internet", besides there was no internet to break, but it was a scandal no less. Nowadays, La Grande Bouffe would never make this kind of impact, even though I still felt nauseated after watching it.

The basic premise of the movie is as simple as it is entertaining: four wealthy men who lock themselves up in a villa to literally eat themselves to dead. And I need to confess, I don't usually laugh out loud during movies, but this movie made burst into laughter. Twice.

La Grande Bouffe is funny in a way I can't explain. This is fart jokes elevated to art. But it is not only the decadent behavior of the four men that make this movie work, it is the actual lived through performances by the actors who play them. Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Ugo Tognazzi, and let me just throw Andréa Ferréol in there, they are all wonderful in this. It's a movie I would recommend everyone to at least see once in their life.

Murder By Death (1976)

"He was arrested in 1932 in Chicago for selling pornographic Bibles. The D.A. couldn't make the charge stick when the church refused to turn over the Bibles."
A mediocre script that mostly works because of it's outstanding cast. I mean: Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness, Peter Falk (doing his best Humphrey Bogart impression), David Niven, Maggie Smith, even Truman Capote shows he can act a bit. And surprisingly, the weakest link of that cast is Sellers. He plays Sidney Wang, a Chinese police inspector, and as you can guess it is "Mickey-Rooney-in-Breakfast-at-Tiffany's-bad". I know, it was a different time back then, and it never feels mean-spirited, it is more the kind of racism that comes from ignorance rather than hate. It is possible that the cast and crew at the time never even thought of this being problematic. Nevertheless, Sellers "Chinese accent" made me cringe every time he opened his mouth and with him being in the vast majority of the film, he is impossible to ignore, which makes Murder by Death seem really outdated in 2018.

The Green Butchers (2003)
" I don't know if you can think of any greater humiliation than to be stuffed in your own arse."
Poor Mads Mikkelsen, he is always typecasted as a cannibal.

This is the second film I watch from Anders Thomas Jensen, and it was fun yet again. It's about two losers who open their own butcher shop, and by accident, their specialty becomes marinated human flesh, sold as chicken rolls. Remarkably, Jensen never goes for gore, but rather gritty humor and, surprisingly, a human approach.

A lovely movie about two psychopaths.

Mystery Men (1999)
"We've got an blind date with Destiny, and it looks like she ordered the lobster."
This movie flopped when it came out. But I think, if you would release this now, with the superhero fatigue most movie goers suffer from, it could actually work.

I agree, this movie isn't always funny. But when it is, it's so charming and quotable. Although it could do with less Ben Stiller (imagine a world where William H. Macy became a big star instead of him).

Dare I say, this is the Galaxy Quest of superhero movies.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:54 pm
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every time I watch Dr. Strangelove, I am scared by something new. a horrifyingly nihilistic and unfunny movie. 10/10


Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:18 pm
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Every time people bring up Dr. Strangelove, I have to give praise to George C. Scott. Yeah, I know everybody talks about Sellers (deservedly so), but to me, Scott owned that film. An absolutely hilarious performance.

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:42 pm
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oh yes, he is great. Sterling Hayden as the Curtis LeMay/Edwin Walker/John Wayne-type is probably an example of great casting than a great performance (given how Hayden's low, flat delivery is utilized), but still just as funny.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:54 pm
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Slentert wrote:

La Grande Bouffe (1973)


I need to confess, I don't usually laugh out loud during movies, but this movie made burst into laughter. Twice.

Yeah, I think I got all of two belly laughs in - Marcello's exploding toilet was one - but twice in a 2 and a half hour film is still pretty tedious. Ftr, I laughed exponentially more at the much slimmer 94 minute Dr. Strangelove. And still do.

I watched this one earlier this year, and noted some of what I thought were superior (funnier and more insightful) films about middle-age male decadence, like Husbands, The Men's Club and S.O.B.. Also, for pure gluttony, Daisies and Big Night.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:36 am
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Thief wrote:
Every time people bring up Dr. Strangelove, I have to give praise to George C. Scott. Yeah, I know everybody talks about Sellers (deservedly so), but to me, Scott owned that film. An absolutely hilarious performance.

He gave the best performance in the movie.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:29 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I watched this one earlier this year, and noted some of what I thought were superior (funnier and more insightful) films about middle-age male decadence, like Husbands, The Men's Club and S.O.B.. Also, for pure gluttony, Daisies and Big Night.

I'll look for those.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:33 am
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Slentert wrote:
He gave the best performance in the movie.


Don't worry about Sterling Hayden. He can't be bothered to waste any of his precious bodily fluids from the oversight.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:44 am
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Dr. Strangelove is amazing. It's a movie where you pick up on new things to like about it from each viewing.

About the acting, George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden were all great, but Sellers gave the best performance.

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Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:56 am
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Slentert wrote:
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
"Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face."
A very good movie, but it took me a while to get into. For some reason I expected something like The Great Dictator. This definitely needs a rewatch. Or two. Maybe three.

Another (better) review to come when that happens.

The Green Butchers (2003)
" I don't know if you can think of any greater humiliation than to be stuffed in your own arse."
Poor Mads Mikkelsen, he is always typecasted as a cannibal.
Funny you should mention Doctor Strangelove, since I was browsing Roger Ebert's site the other day, and came across this article from The Poster Formerly Known As Rouge, discussing the new cultural connotations it holds now in the era of "President" Trump, especially when it comes to his current missile/dick-measuring contest with North Korea; good, good stuff. And I do hope that you rewatch (and love) Strangelove soon, since it's one of my favorite films ever, and my 2nd favorite Kubrick (only behind 2001: A Space Odyssey). Oh, and I'm assuming you've already checked out Mads on Hannibal before? It's pretty good shit, man.

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Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:47 pm
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Rouge probably wouldn't remember me from RT. but I think that's pretty groovy she has had her writing published on Ebert's site (is it groovy? I don't know what sites pay the most money)


Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:15 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
Don't worry about Sterling Hayden. He can't be bothered to waste any of his precious bodily fluids from the oversight.

Yes, Jack, that's what we need. A little drink of rain water and grain alcohol. Little wash and brush up. Always does wonders for a man, that. Water on the back of the neck. Marvelous. And the code, Jack.....


Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:25 am
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ski petrol wrote:
Stick with watching silent films and you can't go wrong. Forget new movies. They're mediocre.

Today I had my first encounter with silent cinema, with Safety Last! (1923) and Sherlock Jr. (1924). I thought they were wonderful. I need more silent films in my life. :)


Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:45 am
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Slentert wrote:
Today I had my first encounter with silent cinema, with Safety Last! (1923) and Sherlock Jr. (1924). I thought they were wonderful. I need more silent films in my life. :)


Sunrise, Passion of Joan of Arc, He Who Gets Slapped, Vampyr, City Lights, Dr. Caligari. All perfect.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:56 am
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Yeah, I definitely want to see those. I hope I can see Joan of Arc on the big screen one day.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:00 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Passion of Joan of Arc, Dr. Caligari.


Huge second to these two. (There's also a decent remake of Caligari starring Doug Jones that I enjoyed.

I also semi-recently enjoyed The Last Laugh.

In terms of modern films, I do have a soft spot for Guy Maddin. I don't always love what he does, and sometimes it lacks a coherence and a completeness to me, but I really enjoyed the bizarre experiment that is Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Favorite director's commentary quote: "I mean, he's basically a penis in a vest."


Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:52 am
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Slentert wrote:
Yeah, I definitely want to see those. I hope I can see Joan of Arc on the big screen one day.


Joan of Arc was a transformative experience for me. It's one of those movies I don't mind enthusiastically endorsing because I think it's impossible to oversell.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 am
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My top recommendations for silent films include Dante's Inferno (the 1911 version), The Phantom Carriage, Battleship Potemkin, and Man With a Movie Camera.

I'll also second The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I brought it on DVD not too long ago only to find out that my dumbass got a version which doesn't play in the U.S.

I haven't seen The Passion of Joan of Arc yet mainly because I'm not a fan of Dreyer. :shifty: I might wait some time before I watch it.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:59 am
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Fritz Lang has been patient, but he's going to need some love, folks.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:18 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I also semi-recently enjoyed The Last Laugh.


I second this one. I loved it. Also, Battleship Potemkin, which I happened to see on the same day. Both great.

Other silents that haven't been mentioned are The Kid and Nosferatu. I think the latter has some flaws, particularly during its middle act, but it's iconic and a must-see. As for The Kid, I loved it.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:53 am
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I didn't care that much for the ending to The Last Laugh, but I still recommend it for everything which came before that was great.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:57 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I didn't care that much for the ending to The Last Laugh, but I still recommend it for everything which came before that was great.

Were you expecting a punchline?


Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:16 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Were you expecting a punchline?

Did you like the ending? If so, what's your take on why you think it works?
I thought about the ending for quite some time as I wasn't sure what to think of it. However, I finally decided it was flawed. It served as a deus ex-machina. Not only that, but it was drawn out to be much longer than it needed to be. The restaurant scene was also over-the-top in the way of the food served. Since Murnau appeared to apologize for it with the title card, it's clear that it's not meant to be taken seriously and that it's a comical ending. However, I'm not sure if this excuses the ending since the film which came before it was serious. It didn't fit the tone of the movie in my opinion.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:43 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Did you like the ending? If so, what's your take on why you think it works?
I thought about the ending for quite some time as I wasn't sure what to think of it. However, I finally decided it was flawed. It served as a deus ex-machina. Not only that, but it was drawn out to be much longer than it needed to be. The restaurant scene was also over-the-top in the way of the food served. Since Murnau appeared to apologize for it with the title card, it's clear that it's not meant to be taken seriously and that it's a comical ending. However, I'm not sure if this excuses the ending since the film which came before it was serious. It didn't fit the tone of the movie in my opinion.

Because we need more sweetness and redemption in the world, Popcorn.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:22 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Because we need more sweetness and redemption in the world, Popcorn.

Well, can't argue with that logic.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:25 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Joan of Arc was a transformative experience for me. It's one of those movies I don't mind enthusiastically endorsing because I think it's impossible to oversell.


I'm ashamed to say I still haven't seen this one. Been meaning to, but haven't got to it. Same applies to Metropolis.

Do you know if there's a decent version on public domain? (I.e. YouTube)

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:40 am
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I kinda hated The Passion of Joan of Arc...

*runs*

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:09 pm
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Also, for great silents not yet mentioned, I'll throw in Pandora's Box and The Unknown.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:11 pm
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Rock wrote:
I kinda hated The Passion of Joan of Arc...

*runs*


I love it for the exploration of faith, including the doubt and pain of it. I found the torture scene to be actually sickening and got light-headed watching it. I felt like it captured the way that panic and emotional turmoil can become overwhelming. I liked the drama and the odd scaling of the sets.

Also, the willingness of a group of men to just beat down the individuality and autonomy of a woman is just like . . . yup. I did a research project in college on women who claimed to have had visions from God (Margery of Kempe and Julian of Norwich). The way that women who are unconventionally religious are treated by religious institutions is just really interesting to me. I thought that the movie really captured the cruel anger that can be directed at someone who steps out of line.

What did you hate about it? (Such a strong word!)


Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:23 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

I love it for the exploration of faith, including the doubt and pain of it. I found the torture scene to be actually sickening and got light-headed watching it. I felt like it captured the way that panic and emotional turmoil can become overwhelming. I liked the drama and the odd scaling of the sets.

Also, the willingness of a group of men to just beat down the individuality and autonomy of a woman is just like . . . yup. I did a research project in college on women who claimed to have had visions from God (Margery of Kempe and Julian of Norwich). The way that women who are unconventionally religious are treated by religious institutions is just really interesting to me. I thought that the movie really captured the cruel anger that can be directed at someone who steps out of line.

What did you hate about it? (Such a strong word!)

*runs back*

Honestly, I just found it really repetitive. To me the movie seemed to consists of just three images: Someone points, someone yells, Joan cries. Rinse, repeat. I get that the sense of repetition is supposed to drive home the cruelty, but I felt I'd gotten the point after five minutes. The fact that Dreyer had a ruinously expensive set built only to shoot the movie almost entirely in close-ups only adds to my annoyance with the affair. The material interests me (I'd like to see Robert Bresson's The Trial of Joan of Arc at some point, although I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy yet) but Dreyer's approach here didn't gel with me at all.

I should add that silent films are generally a blind spot for me and I've responded much better to genre stuff (horror, comedy) than drama for the most part.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:35 pm
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Rock wrote:
I should add that silent films are generally a blind spot for me and I've responded much better to genre stuff (horror, comedy) than drama for the most part.


For what it's worth: to me, it is a horror movie.

I understand what you're saying about the repetition, but for me it was effective. I found that there was nuance in the repetition, because that's how it goes when you are making a heart-wrenching, life-changing decision. Your soul or your life? Watching Joan oscillate back and forth wasn't repetitive in a bad way, because to me it speaks to the way those decisions and doubts really work. Joan is being asked to deny who she is, and to deny what she believes is a connection between herself and her god. I think that the movie shows that struggle really well.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:53 pm
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Thanks for all the recommendations, guys. :up:


Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:20 pm
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Slentert wrote:

Mystery Men (1999)
"We've got an blind date with Destiny, and it looks like she ordered the lobster."
This movie flopped when it came out. But I think, if you would release this now, with the superhero fatigue most movie goers suffer from, it could actually work.

I agree, this movie isn't always funny. But when it is, it's so charming and quotable. Although it could do with less Ben Stiller (imagine a world where William H. Macy became a big star instead of him).

Dare I say, this is the Galaxy Quest of superhero movies.


I don't get it. Never will. The movie is rarely funny and it rarely works on any other level. Few of the characters are even amusing, when Geoffrey Rush wasn't on-screen my eyes were sore from rolling or I was just sighing and checking my watch. But I heard people praise this movie a lot on RT.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:38 pm
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Wooley wrote:

I don't get it. Never will. The movie is rarely funny and it rarely works on any other level. Few of the characters are even amusing, when Geoffrey Rush wasn't on-screen my eyes were sore from rolling or I was just sighing and checking my watch. But I heard people praise this movie a lot on RT.


I haven't seen it in more than 10 years, but I remember thinking it was fun. Should probably revisit it, though.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:51 pm
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It's main problem is that it's too long. It could have worker much better with 30 minutes and some side characters cut.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:34 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Rouge probably wouldn't remember me from RT. but I think that's pretty groovy she has had her writing published on Ebert's site (is it groovy? I don't know what sites pay the most money)
I'm sure she wouldn't remember you, as becoming a semi-famous Net celeb/writer has apparently made her too good to post on this, or any other fora anymore...

/EvilstyleROugepost

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Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:13 am
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she probably wouldn't remember me 'cause I barely posted on RT back in my old account. and I'm sure being a semi-famous Net celeb/writer gives one less time to be cruising around forums so no worries Rouge if you're reading this.


Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:14 am
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Hey rouge, for shits and giggles, just putting it out there, I would have had the decency to invite my bnb hosts to any New Years (slash honeymoon) coke orgy I'd presume to organize in your strange living room.


Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:38 am
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But I would also bring a lot of luggage, so time would be tight.


Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:40 am
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