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 Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0 
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The thing that I love about The Seventh Seal is the way that several of its moments just really stick with me.

For example, when the servant finds the girl in the house and she's scared and backs away from him. I've seen the line that he says to her translated in two different ways, but the VHS copy I watched years ago presented it as "Go ahead and yell. No one hears screams anymore", and that line has always stuck with me as something so profoundly creepy and totally captures the horror of being in a place where there really is chaos. Also the detail when they are transporting the witch and one of the characters mentions that they've broken her hands.

Between many moments like those and some of the amazing imagery, it's really one of my favorite films, hands down.

I can also recommend his autobiography.


Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:43 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
My issue with the film was that the movie focused more attention on the other characters rather than Antonius.


This was my exact issue with the film. I was really underwhelmed by it.

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Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:26 pm
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And off we go!

See a film in the Italian Language
See a film without CGI or Special Effects


Welcome Mr. President (2013)

Warning to those thinking of waging a protest vote by using a famous historical figure: check the laws to see if there are any quirks. Because several Italian kingmakers failed to do so and now the President of Italy is a fisherman and former storyteller for a recently closed library.

Although he agrees with the kingmakers at first and tries to resign, he decides ultimately that he can't go through with it and decides to stick on. Although his female handler/adviser is driven crazy by his refusal to accept protocol, his honesty and likable nature does have him gaining popularity fairly quickly.

The kingmakers decide to ruin him due to his desire to pass laws to solve various problems (there's a gang of 4 who profits off of the problems). First, through looking for skeletons in the closet. Then, through lying. And finally, through illegal ingredients in the President's pizza.

But none of these work. However, the President finds himself in a crisis involving some information and people he loves who might be affected by it.

Its mix of physical humor and verbal humor were good for some laughs. But there was a sequence where (Takoma alert)

It's revealed that the uptight adviser is secretly insatiable, more than willing to slap a man multiple times. And if he slaps back, she's driven wild!


Some dull patches, odd moments, and a cliffhanger ending do keep me from a full endorsement. But it did alright considering I've never heard of this before I started looking in Netflix's section in desperation as Fellini's The Clowns was not streaming like I was told it was. Disappointing!

This film does offer enough modest laughs that it might squeak out a second term. Might.

Next: A surprise suddenly appears!


Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:18 am
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Hadn't finished the surprise as of yet. But I did have a busy Sunday with three films (two newbies and one rewatch).


Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:28 am
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Film with under 5 Major Characters (depending on what you think about the girlfriend, it was either 3 or 4)

Good Day for a Hanging (1959):

The sheriff is dead. We know for sure after a bank robbery goes wrong in the getaway that someone's gonna die. It was almost Ben Cutler (Fred MacMurray) when his horse is shot out from under him. But they were able to collar who Ben thinks is the killer in Eddie Campbell (Robert Vaughn).

But Eddie proclaims his innocence. Thanks to a zealous prosecutor and reasonable doubt, the townspeople start to be swayed by him. This includes his childhood friend Laurie (Joan Blackman) who happens to be Ben's daughter. Also with some questions is Ruth (Margaret Hayes), Ben's longtime love.

Newly sworn sheriff Ben is determined that a) Eddie is going to have his day in court and b) that he saw Eddie shoot the sheriff. Ultimately the trial leads to a new set of problems threatening everything he loves and holds dear.

This is surprisingly meaty for what I would suspect was a B-western. It deals with the questions of what is justice and how far one would go in order to do the right and honorable thing. I felt like MacMurray and Vaughn gave good performances (Vaughn's teary eyed scene in front of a judge might have you shedding a tear yourself). There's other interesting names in the cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Denver Pyle (Dukes of Hazzard), Howard McNear (Floyd from the Andy Griffith series), Bing Russell (Kurt's father).

There were some flaws of course. They did a real poor job of using blood squibs which took away from the first gunfight. Instead of seeing these questions through until the conclusion, they opted for a cop out in the third act.

To be fair, it was quite possible that several of the robbers were still alive. So, maybe it wasn't that much of one.


The result was a fairly decent western that could have been a good one had there been some things tightened up.

Next: Perhaps the worst film I've seen in several months?


Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:51 am
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A film in a country you've never visited (New Zealand definitely qualifies)

Pecking Order (2017):

For half of this documentary's runtime, I thought I was watching the latest from Christopher Guest.

The subject would fit. It's about a group of poultry raisers in Christchurch, New Zealand as they prepare their fowls for national competition. The chicken farmers have various personalities and range in age from about 10 or so to some in their late 60s.

But there's more than meets the eye. The film is also about the battle for power in the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam, and Pigeon Club as some people start to turn against current president Doug and his efforts. They want to appeal towards a younger crowd and even go online as they fear in about 20 years or so, it will cease to exist.

As the competition draws closer, a coup is attempted. Will it succeed? Will one of the chicken farmers succeed at winning in nationals?

Can you keep your eyelids open? Can you keep from rolling said eyes at the overly cutesy interstitial titles?

Admittedly, it gets a bit more interesting as the machinations of the club come in the spotlight. But it takes away from seeing the competitors in action and learning more about their craft.

The show itself turns out to be, um, anti-climatic in nature. Which is not surprising because we see less of the contestants than we'd like and thus don't have that much of a rooting interest in the outcome.

To be frank, this documentary lays an egg.

Apparently I'm the only one in a fowl mood. 100 percent of critics liked it and 91 percent of the audience enjoyed it according to our previous site. :rotten:

Next: A visit from an old, "sick" friend.


Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:06 am
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A film with the character's name in the title
A film you remember from childhood


Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)*
* indicates a rewatch

Ferris (Matthew Broderick) determines that if he can only have one more off day that it had better count. So he invites best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to join him on a trip through Chicago. When their efforts to get girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) lead to some unexpected complications, they decide to "borrow" Cameron's father's Ferrari to make a convincing getaway.

But Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) suspects that Ferris is trying to con him and decides to catch him in the act. His efforts lead to a long memorable day for him.

Also suspicious is Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), Ferris's exasperated sister, who can't understand why her brother gets away with everything. (She did get a car while he got a computer, so there's maybe some compensation for that?). She decides to ditch school to catch him as well.

Meanwhile, Ferris and his friends go throughout Chicago catching a Cubs game, eating a fancy lunch, attending a museum, and even crashing a parade. But will this day be memorable for all the right, or the wrong, reasons?

To be honest, this film didn't click for me the last time I saw it. I started to turn against Ferris's character as being unlikeable and obnoxious.

But this time, it mostly worked. Characters had their intended effect. Ferris was the ringleader, but a benevolent one. Cameron gradually grows stronger, while Sloane blends between being an adult and being a teen.

I never fully bought why
her parents were so miffed by Jeanie being in a police station. Um, maybe show a bit of sympathy because she was afraid for her life? Some gratitude that she was alive and well? Nah, we'll throw a fit over losing an account and act like Cameron's father for a few minutes...
Oh, and there's a couple of scenes involving Rooney that feel sleazy in retrospect.

This may be the John Hughes film that most holds up to present day.


Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:10 am
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And for film number 5 of April, I might have found a G rated film that might be appropriate for the month?


Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:02 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
And for film number 5 of April, I might have found a G rated film that might be appropriate for the month?


Disappointed by the lack of curiosity, but on the plus side, I think this might be one of those months where I aim to travel the world cinematically.

Stops already in Italy, Nebraska, New Zealand, and Chicago. Where in the world will Apex travel to next?


Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:29 am
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Well, I waited most of today for a package to arrive from Amazon. No sign of UPS.

Did it come in the mail? Yeah. :oops:

But it wasn't a wasted day...review of It Happened One Night forthcoming!


Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:36 am
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Film in the Criterion Collection
Oscar Winner Before 1970


It Happened One Night (1934):

Ellie (Claudette Colbert) has had enough of her totalitarian rich father (Walter Connolly) and jumps out of his yacht swimming. Her plan: to travel by bus from Florida to New York so she can be with her fiancee King Westley (Jameson Thomas) and hopefully get married for real.

Meanwhile, at a nearby phone booth, Peter Warne (Clark Gable) is being canned from his job as a newspaper reporter. He holds onto the phone just long enough to announces he quits and is led by a drunk contingent to a bus.

Also on that bus? Ellie.

After figuring things out, Peter confronts Ellie and gives her a choice. Either a) let him write her story as an exclusive and he'll keep hush or b) he'll narc on her to her worried parents.

Considering the bag that contained her money was stolen from her earlier, she agrees to travel along with him.

But as they get to know each other as they head closer to their goal, a pesky thing starts to complicate things.

I wanted to love this. It feels like there's genuine chemistry between Colbert and Gable. There are some funny bits (The Walls of Jericho, Ellie showing Peter how to hitchhike).

But I couldn't love it. The lack of closed captioning (Thanks Antenna TV) forced me to turn the volume up to 20 on my TV. For reference, I normally keep my TV volume at 5 (3 if it's early morning before work). As a result, I missed portions of the dialogue (but at least I was able to keep up with the story).

And poor Ellie. I get that she was a snobby rich girl, at least at the beginning. But was it necessary that she had to be slapped by her father, spanked by Peter, and later on in private Peter threatens to take a sock at her once a day.

Oi vey.

So, consider this a positive review no question. I get why it won some of the Oscars. I even get why it was preserved.

But great? I can't quite cross that bridge.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:58 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Film in the Criterion Collection
Oscar Winner Before 1970


It Happened One Night (1934):

Ellie (Claudette Colbert) has had enough of her totalitarian rich father (Walter Connolly) and jumps out of his yacht swimming. Her plan: to travel by bus from Florida to New York so she can be with her fiancee King Westley (Jameson Thomas) and hopefully get married for real.

Meanwhile, at a nearby phone booth, Peter Warne (Clark Gable) is being canned from his job as a newspaper reporter. He holds onto the phone just long enough to announces he quits and is led by a drunk contingent to a bus.

Also on that bus? Ellie.

After figuring things out, Peter confronts Ellie and gives her a choice. Either a) let him write her story as an exclusive and he'll keep hush or b) he'll narc on her to her worried parents.

Considering the bag that contained her money was stolen from her earlier, she agrees to travel along with him.

But as they get to know each other as they head closer to their goal, a pesky thing starts to complicate things.

I wanted to love this. It feels like there's genuine chemistry between Colbert and Gable. There are some funny bits (The Walls of Jericho, Ellie showing Peter how to hitchhike).

But I couldn't love it. The lack of closed captioning (Thanks Antenna TV) forced me to turn the volume up to 20 on my TV. For reference, I normally keep my TV volume at 5 (3 if it's early morning before work). As a result, I missed portions of the dialogue (but at least I was able to keep up with the story).

And poor Ellie. I get that she was a snobby rich girl, at least at the beginning. But was it necessary that she had to be slapped by her father, spanked by Peter, and later on in private Peter threatens to take a sock at her once a day.

Oi vey.

So, consider this a positive review no question. I get why it won some of the Oscars. I even get why it was preserved.

But great? I can't quite cross that bridge.


So what exactly are your problems with it beyond having trouble with the sound? Or is that enough to question its consideration as being a great movie?


Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:05 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

So what exactly are your problems with it beyond having trouble with the sound? Or is that enough to question its consideration as being a great movie?


The sound isn't exactly a dealbreaker.

The bolded portion was more of an issue. As was the fact that she spends a decent amount of time crying to get her way in the film. Yeah, I get it, 1934. But it felt like the film was punishing her when she tried to stand tall.

Then the fact it plays more like a romcom in that

Ellie has way more chemistry with Peter than she does with King Westley, the man she tried to marry before it was stopped by daddy. Sure, it's mitigated that for the first half/two thirds of the film by the fact that they kinda loathed each other. But I'd expect this more out of romcoms with Katherine Heigl, not best picture winners.


Some clever writing and good scenes made it an enjoyable watch. I could have watched Colbert and Gable banter for longer than they did.

But I don't know whether the anticipation or expectations game played a factor. But it just fell a bit short of greatness for me.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:25 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

It Happened One Night (1934):

This is one of those family favorites that I watched with my mom dozens of times as a kid. We've got it memorized and quote it all the time so it's hard for me to critique it at this point. But watching it as an adult makes me appreciate how good Capra was. Even though he's got the reputation as the feel-good guy, his movies always had enough bite to them that they were never as saccharine as his rep would have you believe. Just as a minor example, the Alan Hale character who is introduced as comic relief with his funny singing, but then turns out to be a thief. Or Mr. Shapely, who's also a funny character until the scene when Gable threatens him and Shapely shows real fear of getting beat up. There's a bit of an edge there.

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Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:36 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
This is one of those family favorites that I watched with my mom dozens of times as a kid. We've got it memorized and quote it all the time so it's hard for me to critique it at this point. But watching it as an adult makes me appreciate how good Capra was. Even though he's got the reputation as the feel-good guy, his movies always had enough bite to them that they were never as saccharine as his rep would have you believe. Just as a minor example, the Alan Hale character who is introduced as comic relief with his funny singing, but then turns out to be a thief. Or Mr. Shapely, who's also a funny character until the scene when Gable threatens him and Shapely shows real fear of getting beat up. There's a bit of an edge there.


See also: the political machine in Mr. Smith or the pharmacist and Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:47 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

See also: the political machine in Mr. Smith or the pharmacist and Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life.

Exactly. They beat up boy scouts for heaven's sake!

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Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:49 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Film in the Criterion Collection
Oscar Winner Before 1970


It Happened One Night (1934):

Ellie (Claudette Colbert) has had enough of her totalitarian rich father (Walter Connolly) and jumps out of his yacht swimming. Her plan: to travel by bus from Florida to New York so she can be with her fiancee King Westley (Jameson Thomas) and hopefully get married for real.

Meanwhile, at a nearby phone booth, Peter Warne (Clark Gable) is being canned from his job as a newspaper reporter. He holds onto the phone just long enough to announces he quits and is led by a drunk contingent to a bus.

Also on that bus? Ellie.

After figuring things out, Peter confronts Ellie and gives her a choice. Either a) let him write her story as an exclusive and he'll keep hush or b) he'll narc on her to her worried parents.

Considering the bag that contained her money was stolen from her earlier, she agrees to travel along with him.

But as they get to know each other as they head closer to their goal, a pesky thing starts to complicate things.

I wanted to love this. It feels like there's genuine chemistry between Colbert and Gable. There are some funny bits (The Walls of Jericho, Ellie showing Peter how to hitchhike).

But I couldn't love it. The lack of closed captioning (Thanks Antenna TV) forced me to turn the volume up to 20 on my TV. For reference, I normally keep my TV volume at 5 (3 if it's early morning before work). As a result, I missed portions of the dialogue (but at least I was able to keep up with the story).

And poor Ellie. I get that she was a snobby rich girl, at least at the beginning. But was it necessary that she had to be slapped by her father, spanked by Peter, and later on in private Peter threatens to take a sock at her once a day.

Oi vey.

So, consider this a positive review no question. I get why it won some of the Oscars. I even get why it was preserved.

But great? I can't quite cross that bridge.

I fuckin' love this movie.
I grew up with old black and white movies on all the time because that's what my mom liked to watch and it was before there was even cable, so it's not like there was anything else on (Network Movie Of The Week?! Nossir.). But this was the first "talking picture" we watched in my first film course ever, History of American Film 1925-1950 at the University Of Souther California, and we watched it in a full theater on a theater-size screen, and the idea that old movies weren't just "quaint" actually clicked with me for the first time in my life. And I really, really ENJOYED it too.
Now of these kind of movies, my favorite is The Awful Truth from 4 years later, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunn, but there is ZERO doubt that that film was inspired by It Happened One Night.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:10 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
And poor Ellie. I get that she was a snobby rich girl, at least at the beginning. But was it necessary that she had to be slapped by her father, spanked by Peter, and later on in private Peter threatens to take a sock at her once a day.


I feel you on this. I've been watching a lot of older (1920s-1940s) movies lately and it's really off-putting how often "uppity" women are punished by men with physical violence for "comic" effect. Even when the intention of the spanking or slapping is more humiliation than physical pain, it's incredibly uncomfortable to watch (and of course humiliation and physical dominance are still disturbing forms of abuse) and in the context of a comedy or romantic comedy it kills any enjoyment I get from watching the male lead. The "but that was then!" excuse doesn't do much to mitigate the intrinsic emotional reaction I have to seeing a woman physical restrained by a man and hit.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:34 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I feel you on this. I've been watching a lot of older (1920s-1940s) movies lately and it's really off-putting how often "uppity" women are punished by men with physical violence for "comic" effect. Even when the intention of the spanking or slapping is more humiliation than physical pain, it's incredibly uncomfortable to watch (and of course humiliation and physical dominance are still disturbing forms of abuse) and in the context of a comedy or romantic comedy it kills any enjoyment I get from watching the male lead. The "but that was then!" excuse doesn't do much to mitigate the intrinsic emotional reaction I have to seeing a woman physical restrained by a man and hit.


It does sour the mood, even when the violence is only talked about. Like that Guerrero Street story in The Room.


Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:58 am
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I got the list of what I'm looking at seeing on Thief's thread. I think I've cut 14-15 films down to 12 and I've started on a few of them.

1. Om Shanti Om---Bollywood. Kind of off to a promising start so far.
2. Grace of Monaco---Covers both the female led film and the docudrama.
3. Moonlight---Coming of age, play, alternative lifestyles.
4. Born in China---Rated G and Under 90 minutes. The visuals are nice, but I could do without the overly cutesy narration.

If I have time:
1. Valerian---Fantasy film
2. Mystic River---Someone I don't like (Sean Penn)
3. I might have found a Bergman film on YouTube. Maybe.
4. The Neon Demon---Experimental film
5. Salesman---Iranian film
6. Metropolis---Silent film
7. That Sequel Film
8. Film about Filmmaking


Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:59 am
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I've been doing other things for a while so 5 is all I could see for April.

But considering May is part of summer, this is my movie busy season.

Current plans:
Finish Born in China
Finish Om Shanti Om
Finish Moonlight
See what films would work for Thief's list.
Perhaps see Solo: A Star Wars Movie (since I suspect Netflix won't get this in time)


Thu May 03, 2018 10:26 am
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Updated with a list of priorities for Thief's May list. May not get to all of them, but I was able to get his list down to 17 titles.

Finish Om Shanti Om (Didn't make any list, but I'm close to halfway done now and I'd like to see how it ends).

My current plans for the list:
Finish Moonlight (Drama)
Finish Born in China (Non human lead; they're all animals because it's a nature film)

Complete:
David and Goliath (2015) (Biblical AND PG)
The Big Heat (1953) (Thriller/suspense film)
The Sadist (1963) (1960s film)
Ghostbusters (2016) (SNL member, present or past)
Escape from New York (1981) (Cult Classic film, at least according to Wikipedia)
Bringing Up Baby (1946) (Comedy before 1970 AND Black and White)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007) (Film I'd vow I'd never see)
Mother (2009) (Korean)
Memories of Murder (2017) (Top 250 of IMDb AND NC-17)
Valerian (2017) (Science Fiction)
Battleship Potemkin (1925) (Russian)
Wheeler (2017) (Film set in a place I've been; Nashville)
Chef (2014) (Film about Food)
The Imitation Game (2014) (British Film, Period Drama, Based on a Book, Best Picture Non-Winner)
The Big Sick (2017) (Tomatometer above 95 percent)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) (Low Budget AND Film with number in title)


Mon May 07, 2018 7:14 am
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Next Up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwKq50zkVf8

Title translates to Disco of Sadness


Sat May 12, 2018 5:22 am
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Since you've been following up with my thread, I'll post some recommendations to you for those categs...

A film from the 1960s: Bullitt
A comedy made before 1970: Harvey
A Korean language film: The Man from Nowhere (I can't pass on the opportunity to pass Takoma's rec)
A film from the IMDb Top 250: Not sure which ones you've seen, but some I would recommend are City of God, Cinema Paradiso, The Lives of Others
A science-fiction film: Source Code, Gattaca, Ex Machina
A Russian film: I suppose you've seen it, but if not, Battleship Potemkin
A film about food: The Lunchbox
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%: All Quiet on the Western Front, LA Confidential
A British film or British comedy: In Fear, Kill List, The Wicker Man
A film nominated for Best Picture that didn't win: Phantom Thread, Hugo, Black Swan
A film that's in B&W: Pi
A period drama film: Sense and Sensibility

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Sat May 12, 2018 5:57 am
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Om Shanti Om

Fits none of Thief's categories for May :(
But it does make quite the opening statement for the month :D

Although this marks my third Indian film I've seen this year, this is only the second Bollywood film I've seen (the first was Singham, an action packed film about a good cop and a very bad guy).

Dateline: 1970s India

Om Prakash (Shah Rukh Khan) is a small time player in Bollywood. He bemoans his last name even as he loves his momma (Kirron Kher) and enjoys being with good friend/fellow actor Pappu (Shreyas Talpede).

He also pines for Bollywood star Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone), an infatuation that only deepens when he catches her eye at the premiere of her latest film. But they go from infatuation to friendship and even a possible relationship when he saves her life when a scene involving fire goes very wrong.

Unfortunately, there's a catch: she's secretly married to producer Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampul). While Om overhears everything from a grate above, she reveals that she's pregnant and Mehra is at first more than OK with this. Until suddenly, he isn't (turns out he has another relationship involving a girl who's the heir of a Bollywood studio). He decides to burn down the set with his "wife" and kid being collateral damage.

Although Om tries once again to rescue her (he had gone outside to recover from the overheard news), he's first beaten down by several guards and then an explosion leaves him in a bad way.

In case you were wondering, these aren't spoilers. These are part of the backstory.

Lightning crashes, an old mother dies, her intentions fall to the floor, the angel closes her eyes, the confusion that was hers belongs now to the baby down the hall. Lightning Crashes---Live

Thirty years later, Om Kapoor (Khan, again) is living the dream. He's a Bollywood star with an extremely wealthy family, loved by the ladies, and a nightmare to film directors/producers. He should be on top of the world.

But things aren't always O.K. He's getting some case of deja vu as he wonders where all this is coming from. Does he continue his life of luxury or does he try to make the most of his second chance?

This film has everything:
Melodrama
Enough fire to draw a pyromaniac's interest
Revenge
True Love
Lots of music and dancing
A shocking amount of cameos (including names I've heard of)
Inside workings of the Bollywood industry
Action

Although it's a bit on the long side, it's never less than interesting or entertaining. I'd call it a bit of a beach read novel, but it seems somewhat dismissive considering it works as a vehicle for revenge and justice. Plus, the film nails the third act landing which isn't always easy.

I chose this because a Bollywood on Netflix blog gave this 3.5 out of 4 stars.

I'd give this a solid B myself. Recommended.

Next:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NJlUribp3c
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Sat May 12, 2018 6:29 am
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Thief wrote:
Since you've been following up with my thread, I'll post some recommendations to you for those categs...

A film from the 1960s: Bullitt
A comedy made before 1970: Harvey
A Korean language film: The Man from Nowhere (I can't pass on the opportunity to pass Takoma's rec)
A film from the IMDb Top 250: Not sure which ones you've seen, but some I would recommend are City of God, Cinema Paradiso, The Lives of Others
A science-fiction film: Source Code, Gattaca, Ex Machina
A Russian film: I suppose you've seen it, but if not, Battleship Potemkin
A film about food: The Lunchbox
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%: All Quiet on the Western Front, LA Confidential
A British film or British comedy: In Fear, Kill List, The Wicker Man
A film nominated for Best Picture that didn't win: Phantom Thread, Hugo, Black Swan
A film that's in B&W: Pi
A period drama film: Sense and Sensibility


City of God and Cinema Paradiso are good ones. So's Ex Machina, Pi, Black Swan and Gattaca.

I have plans to catch Battleship Potemkin this month.

I regret not being able to see Kill List, although if I can find the thriller somewhere, I have the right to change my mind.

I'm kinda set, although I do have some wiggle room and am mulling one big change already.


Sat May 12, 2018 6:34 am
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A film featuring a non-human lead (considering it's a nature documentary, it qualifies)

Born in China

The rugged rural terrain of China is the host of a variety of animals dealing with various family issues.

Daya, a mother snow leopard, is trying to provide and protect her young
TauTau, a golden monkey, tries to find his place in his family now that the attention is being showered on his baby sister
MeiMei, a lazy/hungry panda, tries to care for her young cub and must learn an important lesson along the way.

There are also cranes and chiru (I guess the official name didn't pass muster with the Chinese firm that co-sponsored this one). But the chiru has one eye-opening fact that separates it from the herd: apparently, they're sort of the free love animals in ChinaWorld.

The narration by John Krasinski mixes some real insight with (at times) overly cutesy narration and on the nose points. Repeated mentions of a certain mantra in a 1990s animated film doesn't help matters.

But the scenery is nice looking, the animals have some cute moments, and there's some real element of danger at times.

I give this about a C+ meaning a marginal recommendation. Can't really go higher.

Next: I will do it!
Narrator: He didn't.


Sat May 12, 2018 8:39 am
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Om Shanti Om

I'd give this a solid B myself. Recommended.


Om Shanti Om was referenced in the Bollywood film I watched last month--a woman screening a romantic prospect asks a man which main actor he liked better in the film.


Sat May 12, 2018 11:03 am
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Thief wrote:
Since you've been following up with my thread, I'll post some recommendations to you for those categs...

A film from the 1960s: Bullitt
A comedy made before 1970: Harvey
A Korean language film: The Man from Nowhere (I can't pass on the opportunity to pass Takoma's rec)
A film from the IMDb Top 250: Not sure which ones you've seen, but some I would recommend are City of God, Cinema Paradiso, The Lives of Others
A science-fiction film: Source Code, Gattaca, Ex Machina
A Russian film: I suppose you've seen it, but if not, Battleship Potemkin
A film about food: The Lunchbox
A film with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 95%: All Quiet on the Western Front, LA Confidential
A British film or British comedy: In Fear, Kill List, The Wicker Man
A film nominated for Best Picture that didn't win: Phantom Thread, Hugo, Black Swan
A film that's in B&W: Pi
A period drama film: Sense and Sensibility


Bullitt is really good when taken in context of the time.
Gattaca is pretty good. Ex Machina is awesome; my favorite movie of that year, I think.
Love L.A. Confidential.
The Wicker Man is just great.
Black Swan was definitely my favorite movie of that year.
Which Sense and Sensibility?


Sat May 12, 2018 1:56 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Bullitt is really good when taken in context of the time.
Gattaca is pretty good. Ex Machina is awesome; my favorite movie of that year, I think.
Love L.A. Confidential.
The Wicker Man is just great.
Black Swan was definitely my favorite movie of that year.
Which Sense and Sensibility?


I presume Thief is referring to the 1995 Sense and Sensibility with Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, and Emma Thompson.

At some point, I'm going to have to bite the Bullitt and see the 1968 Steve McQueen film. I like his devil may care take on a bounty hunter in the Wanted Dead or Alive series, but I don't think I've seen one of his films.

Also, I need to get on LA Confidential and (I presume) the Edward Woodward Wicker Man. I loved The Equalizer back in the day, but I haven't seen that one either.


Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Om Shanti Om was referenced in the Bollywood film I watched last month--a woman screening a romantic prospect asks a man which main actor he liked better in the film.


Did he give the right answer?

And for those who wish to see Om Shanti Om, and I hope you do, make note that there are multiple cameos in the Bollywood world including several faces that might seem familiar for other reasons.


Sun May 13, 2018 5:35 am
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David and Goliath

Covers the following:
A biblical film
A PG Rated film


In the opening minutes of the 2015 David and Goliath, our narrator David (Miles Sloman) informs us in a British accent that the Philistine Army is advancing and making mincemeat of the Israel troops.

While Saul's army attempts to regroup In the Valley of Elah (hmm), the Philistines unleash their greatest weapon.

Goliath (Jerry Sokoloff, a 7 foot 8 inch tall Canadian giant) who unleashes a volley of taunts. Meanwhile, the Philistine army waits for Saul's troops to run out of food and morale. Not sure why they needed the eyeliner (but a later reference to 300 kinda makes sense in retrospect).

Meanwhile, David makes his way into town to give his brothers some food, but slowly gets drawn into the conflict. While Saul's army refuses several times to volunteer, David finds himself compelled to volunteer armed with his faith and some stones.

This draws skepticism from Saul and horror from his two older soldier brothers. But time, persistence, and inevitability causes things to come to a head.

The film cost $50 million which I have to presume was spent on the Morocco setting. It couldn't be the acting which feels like a cross between a live nativity pageant and a college play. It couldn't be the costumes which looks like a cross between the nativity pageant and a high school theater department's offerings.

It certainly can't be the direction. Although he manages to showcase the scenery well enough, he struggles to get conversations in focus. Either by shooting from a long way away or in one scene, shooting a tense three way conversation while having animals being paraded around in front of them. Can't believe they couldn't have filmed one scene involving animals without a braying donkey or a whinnying horse.

There does seem to be a size difference between Sloman and Sokoloff. But the film never once emphasizes this, not even in the final confrontation. So the stakes never seem to be raised.

And the acting is very variable. Lead Sloman does well enough, even though some of his lecturing others on faith come across as rather preachy. But Sokoloff's bellowing comes across as whiny croaks after awhile, like a broken Teddy Ruxpin. Also, there's one scene where a tattoo is clearly visible. Jared Morgan's Jagger attempts to inspire Saul's troops to competency/courage, but it comes across as flatly unconvincing. One seems destined to sit behind the sidelines and wait for someone else to step up.

Film does have a biblical expert and he does well enough, I suppose. But faithfulness can only go so far and after awhile, one succumbs to the delirious script/acting.

It's unintentionally hilarious more often than not. Which couldn't have been the point.

D- (for stretches of amusement)

Next: All we hear is Radio Gaga! Radio Goo-goo. Radio Gaga!


Sun May 13, 2018 6:04 am
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Wooley wrote:
Bullitt is really good when taken in context of the time.
Ex Machina is awesome; my favorite movie of that year, I think.
Ex Machina was pretty good, but still wasn't really one of my favorites of 2015, as certain characters and concepts in it felt somewhat underdeveloped, and I felt that, while Garland's Annihilation had that same problem, it bothered me less there, as the whole "fear of the unknown" theme unified that whole experience, and made it less problematic. Anyway, as for Bullitt, what do you mean by the context of its time? Do you mean in the way that, while it may seem kind of uneventful compared to some of the Action movies that followed in its wake, it's still a vitally important early step for the genre anyway? Because I'd be on board for that view, especially considering it inspired the beginning of my favorite series of articles on The AV Club ever...

8-)

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Sun May 13, 2018 11:10 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
City of God and Cinema Paradiso are good ones. So's Ex Machina, Pi, Black Swan and Gattaca.

I have plans to catch Battleship Potemkin this month.

I regret not being able to see Kill List, although if I can find the thriller somewhere, I have the right to change my mind.

I'm kinda set, although I do have some wiggle room and am mulling one big change already.


Oh man, Battleship Potemkin was awesome. I wasn't expecting a film so old to blew me away the way this one did.

Kill List is pretty bizarre and weird, in a good way. Also, the less you know about it, the best.

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Sun May 13, 2018 12:29 pm
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Wooley wrote:

Bullitt is really good when taken in context of the time.
Gattaca is pretty good. Ex Machina is awesome; my favorite movie of that year, I think.
Love L.A. Confidential.
The Wicker Man is just great.
Black Swan was definitely my favorite movie of that year.
Which Sense and Sensibility?


:up: :up: :up: :up:

As for S&S, I was talking about the 1995 one. Didn't know there were other versions, but this one was awesome. Loved it.

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Sun May 13, 2018 12:30 pm
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Stu wrote:
Anyway, as for Bullitt, what do you mean by the context of its time? Do you mean in the way that, while it may seem kind of uneventful compared to some of the Action movies that followed in its wake, it's still a vitally important early step for the genre anyway? Because I'd be on board for that view, especially considering it inspired the beginning of my favorite series of articles on The AV Club ever...

8-)

Yes.


Mon May 14, 2018 9:42 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

...and (I presume) the Edward Woodward Wicker Man. I loved The Equalizer back in the day, but I haven't seen that one either.

And he is great in this movie, as he is in Breaker Morant.


Mon May 14, 2018 9:44 am
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In case you're wondering, I'm trying to finish Metropolis (1927) under the wire. It's pretty darn good so far.


Tue May 15, 2018 10:31 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
In case you're wondering, I'm trying to finish Metropolis (1927) under the wire. It's pretty darn good so far.


It's a classic that really does meet its reputation.


Tue May 15, 2018 10:53 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
In case you're wondering, I'm trying to finish Metropolis (1927) under the wire. It's pretty darn good so far.

Jesus man, that is one of the great cinematic presentations of all time. I almost feel like it's too big to call it a movie or a film. I waited til I was like 37 to see it and despite all the cinematic baggage I had with me by then, it did not disappoint in the least.


Tue May 15, 2018 5:06 pm
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Metropolis is one of those Rosetta Stone movies; once you've seen it, there are literally hundreds of later movies that you can see speaking its visual language. It's the genesis of C-3PO, Luke Skywalker's mechanical hand, the art deco/futurist skyscrapers of Blade Runner, Brazil, Dark City, The Fifth Element and Tim Burton's Batman, and just about every single movie mad scientist and laboratory that followed, most especially those in the Frankenstein films.

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Tue May 15, 2018 11:56 pm
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I think I've asked this question here before but never gotten a definitive response.

Which version of Metropolis should I see? I've seen a few that are longer than others, some have a certain score, color, no color... which one should I see?

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Wed May 16, 2018 12:05 am
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Thief wrote:
I think I've asked this question here before but never gotten a definitive response.

Which version of Metropolis should I see? I've seen a few that are longer than others, some have a certain score, color, no color... which one should I see?

Find the longest version you can. Every time more footage is discovered, the plot becomes more coherent and easier to follow. Any version that includes color is a modern re-tinkering, the original was all B&W.

edit: did some googling and the 2010 restoration is the most recent, available on the Kino "Complete Metropolis" Blu ray. That one is 2-1/2 hrs or so, which I'm pretty sure is still not "complete"

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Wed May 16, 2018 12:10 am
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Just be aware that the 2010 cut features some very damaged footage resulting from a faulty dupe to 16mm. Basically, about 25 minutes of footage is available only from a print that was created from improperly copying a scratched-up copy from 35mm nitrate to more modern 16mm stock with an accompanying audio track, which resulted in some very scratchy footage in the wrong aspect ratio. The 2010 cut makes no effort to digitally restore or correct this, leaving it as evidence of the material's archival quality.

This can be somewhat jarring, and might be best appreciated by someone who already has a baseline familiarity with the movie, so if you think that's something that's likely to distract you or take you out of it, the 2001 version might be the better option for first-time viewing. It's less complete, but includes intertitles describing the story beats covered in the missing footage. I think the choice comes down mostly to what you think your personal tolerance is for watching nearly a half hour of damaged footage on a first viewing, though the ultimate goal would still be to watch the 2010 version on a repeat viewing.

But avoid the Moroder cut. I know it's the one a lot of people grew up on but...ugh.

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Wed May 16, 2018 12:37 am
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Thief wrote:
I think I've asked this question here before but never gotten a definitive response.

Which version of Metropolis should I see? I've seen a few that are longer than others, some have a certain score, color, no color... which one should I see?


The one I'm seeing is a shade under 2 and a half hours long. From what I've read/heard, it's probably the 2010 restored version. It's the most complete restoration they've been able to come up with. Considering how it was recovered from an Argentinian museum in damaged condition, it's a small miracle that they were able to get it in as good a shape as they had. There's a few scenes where the scene fades in and out of clarity, but otherwise it's not bad.

The print I'm seeing is black and white with an orchestral score.

BL: Yeah, I'm definitely seeing the influences everywhere. Not just in the obvious sci-fi films, but also its message of social justice and the gap between the haves and have-nots.


Wed May 16, 2018 12:38 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Find the longest version you can. Every time more footage is discovered, the plot becomes more coherent and easier to follow. Any version that includes color is a modern re-tinkering, the original was all B&W.

edit: did some googling and the 2010 restoration is the most recent, available on the Kino "Complete Metropolis" Blu ray. That one is 2-1/2 hrs or so, which I'm pretty sure is still not "complete"

I feel like the version I saw was near 3 hours. And worth every minute.

Edit - I can't find any evidence that a print this long actually existed when I saw it. Faulty memory perhaps.


Wed May 16, 2018 12:47 am
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"I love films, so I shall never go to America." - Fritz Lang


Wed May 16, 2018 12:55 am
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BL wrote:
Just be aware that the 2010 cut features some very damaged footage resulting from a faulty dupe to 16mm. Basically, about 25 minutes of footage is available only from a print that was created from improperly copying a scratched-up copy from 35mm nitrate to more modern 16mm stock with an accompanying audio track, which resulted in some very scratchy footage in the wrong aspect ratio. The 2010 cut makes no effort to digitally restore or correct this, leaving it as evidence of the material's archival quality.

This can be somewhat jarring, and might be best appreciated by someone who already has a baseline familiarity with the movie, so if you think that's something that's likely to distract you or take you out of it, the 2001 version might be the better option for first-time viewing. It's less complete, but includes intertitles describing the story beats covered in the missing footage. I think the choice comes down mostly to what you think your personal tolerance is for watching nearly a half hour of damaged footage on a first viewing, though the ultimate goal would still be to watch the 2010 version on a repeat viewing.

But avoid the Moroder cut. I know it's the one a lot of people grew up on but...ugh.


So I suppose this is the one that has the "damaged" extra footage...

The Complete Metropolis

I don't think I would be bothered by that extra footage, but I also couldn't find the 2001 version you mentioned. How long is that one?

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Wed May 16, 2018 1:02 am
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Thief wrote:

So I suppose this is the one that has the "damaged" extra footage...

The Complete Metropolis

I don't think I would be bothered by that extra footage, but I also couldn't find the 2001 version you mentioned. How long is that one?
The 2001 version is just under 2 hours, at about 1:58.

But I need to amend my earlier comment. I saw the 2010 cut when it premiered on film, and they made a big deal about including unrestored footage at the screening. But apparently the version on KINO home video IS digitally restored and, from screen caps I've just looked up online, looks significantly improved, so I'd recommend that with fewer reservations than I did before. There are apparently some European releases that include unrestored footage, but KINO and Eureka! went with restored.

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Wed May 16, 2018 1:15 am
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These noobs.


Wed May 16, 2018 2:46 am
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