What was the last film you watched?

Angela Channing

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The Boys In The Band (2020)



I didn't really like this film. It was far too theatrical with long scenes and lots of dialogue. The film seemed very dated and I found many of the gay characters to be bad stereotypes. Maybe I'm not the target audience but I bored and couldn't wait for it to finish. I think it would work better on stage than on film.
 
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Mel O'Drama

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Cul-de-Sac (1966)






From the write-up I was expecting a precursor to Knots's Moments Of Truth. A home invasion film set in a suburban American cul-de-sac.

What I got was a film shot entirely on Lindisfarne by Roman Polanski and starring Dr Loomis from Halloween; Max from Hart To Hart (a villainous role here, but he did say "moider" at one point, making me grin from ear-to-ear); a French Michelle Pfeiffer lookalike; a then-practically-unknown Jacqueline Bissett; and that gobby Scottish piece who gave Kenneth Cope a spanking in Carry On At Your Convenience. All most surreal.​
 

James from London

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I wondered what the critics had to say about it

Oh yes, I remember hearing this review not long ago (I'm a couple of years behind on my Kermode/Mayo podcasts) and quite enjoying the description of how confused it was. Now it's on Netflix, I canadd it to my My List list.
 

Willie Oleson

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The movie opens with that fast-talking vocal fry and it goes on for almost two hours. Generally speaking, that would be my cue to press the stop button, but this time there was something different about it.
And as Kermode described it, there's a lot of energy coming from the actors. And then there's the beautiful Blake Lively (I think she reminds of Joanna Pettet).
 

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Yellow Submarine (1968)
For a film which has come to be regarded as an animation classic, Yellow Submarine started rather inauspiciously with the Beatles agreeing to the project as a way to fulfill their three-picture deal without actually having to make a third picture. It was only after production was underway that they became interested enough to contribute a handful of new songs and even make a live-action appearance at the end.
Evidently they had not enjoyed the experience of filming the first two movies but, given the already cartoonish nature of Help!, this may have been the most logical way to continue anyway.
 

Toni

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Tonight I watched "The Endless", a 2017 movie about a mysterious cult à la Scientology related to UFO´s and alternate realities, with two brothers returning to it after a 10-year absence. Quite enigmatic and suspenseful up until the end. The protagonists are not too appealing as persons (they are cute though) but you end up rooting for them deeply. The second-hour twist, reminiscent of "Under the Dome", puts the whole story on another higher level. Very recommendable for the fans of "Dark" who miss "The OA" as much as moi.

 

Angela Channing

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Face/Off (1997)



The premise of this film is ludicrous. A policeman swaps his face with that of a criminal so he can get information from a member of the criminal's gang. There wasn't a single scene in this film that I found credible. Every character is a bad cliché: a workaholic policeman, a neglected loyal wife, a rebellious daughter, a psycho villain and a gangster's moll who loves her child more than the criminality. The plot is plain silly and Nicholas Cage's performance is more hammy than the delicatessen counter at Sainsbury's.

However, I found the film strangely likeable and entertaining.
 

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If you are not sick of watching movies set in a dystopian-world, and also miss "Orphan Black", this one is for you. It won´t disappoint you. In a Big-Brother-like future, families can have one child only. But a woman has seven daughters (how she could carry all of them unnoticed, the movie doesn´t tell!). Here comes granddaddy Willem Dafoe, who raises them in cognito, making them pose as each other since each has a week-day name. All of them are played to the hilt by Noomi Rapace, who is absolutely phenomenal here. Glenn Close plays the President (or whatever) dressed and coiffured by her worst enemy. Both Dafoe (who inexplicably seems to vanish at some point) and Close just appear in a few scenes. Anyway, it goes all the way and doesn´t apologize, though as you can see (in the video too), it takes some "poetic licenses" and has a wicked sense of humor. Oh and Rapace looks as the perfect Cher lookalike in all her scenes as one of the girls...


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Alexis

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Last night I watched North By Northwest. Not for the first time, but last night I got it a bit more. I maybe just hadn't watched an old movie in a while, but I just enjoyed it much more than other times I had seen it. It was never up there with my favorite Hitchcock films but I think I need to reevaluate that. It's a stylish enjoyable thriller and I really appreciated James Mason this time, where I barely noticed him before.
It's up on the BBC iPlayer now for anyone interested in the UK.
 

Angela Channing

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Last night I watched North By Northwest. Not for the first time, but last night I got it a bit more. I maybe just hadn't watched an old movie in a while, but I just enjoyed it much more than other times I had seen it. It was never up there with my favorite Hitchcock films but I think I need to reevaluate that. It's a stylish enjoyable thriller and I really appreciated James Mason this time, where I barely noticed him before.
It's up on the BBC iPlayer now for anyone interested in the UK.
One of my all time favourite films.
 

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Watched On The Basis Of Sex yesterday evening about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Excellent depiction of discrimination in the USA from the point that she begins to read law at Harvard to when she takes the taxation case to the Supreme Court. Does not paint Harvard Law School in a good light even in the 70’s which surprised me. Enjoyed it immensely and even had a tear in my eye when the real Ruth, in her eighties, walks up the steps of the Supreme Court at the end. Great loss to the American legal system :)
 

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I just watched 2002´s "Equilibrium", probably a "Matrix" rip-off that eventually became a strong action movie on its own. Christian Bale stars in one of his "look-at-me-how-cold-I-can-look" roles that allows him to show his minimalistic acting chops, and also to perform some stunning fighting scenes (with the help of a stuntman, I guess). Once again, it´s set in a dystopian world where emotions have been suppressed as a way to end all wars, in a story that mixes elements from "Brave New World", "Fahrenheit 451º" and the above mentioned "Matrix" trilogy. Kudos to Sean Bean for taking a 5-minute part! Not too many actors of his generation would do that. Emily Watson plays the only female role and she is quite moving, though she is only in a few scenes. Good flick for a lockdown afternoon like today´s.

 

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Let It Be (1970)
Ironically, the Beatles ended up making a third film after all when it was decided to give a theatrical release to what had originally been planned as a TV documentary to be called The Beatles Get Back.
It has been said that Let It Be documents the group's disintegration but that was not apparent to me when I first saw it. Even the much-remarked confrontation when George says that he will play whatever Paul wants, or not at all if that's what he wants, I initially took to be a joke. In my opinion it's only hindsight that casts a pall on proceedings.
My main criticism would be the close-ups on the backs of people's heads and other strange camera placements rather than focusing on who is speaking or singing. Perhaps it was considered 'arty'.
Reportedly, Peter Jackson has been given access to the hundreds of hours of unused footage and is planning a new take on the project. It will be interesting to see what (if any) fresh perspectives (literally and figuratively) may emerge.
 

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Last night I watched "Eyes of Laura Mars"... and enjoyed it so much! I had read a lot about it even here, but I thought it would be just a 70s exploitation film. I was pleasantly surprised to see a shameless crime drama about the fashion world, something that the "Models Inc." creators should have checked out before writing their scripts. Most characters are intriguing and creepy, Faye has never been more restrained but expressive, and it might have been the kind of OTT horror movie Brian de Palma was making at the time. Of course I re-wrote the script in my mind and made out the reason to Faye´s visions (which is never really revealed!): the ghost of Joan Crawford (who had played a "Night Gallery" episode about a blind woman few years earlier titled... "Eyes") had possessed her and was trying to stop the "Mommie Dearest" debacle, unsuccessfully. A very funny thing about the end:

It ends exactly like the OR 10th season of "Dallas": with a shooting and a woman telling her name to the police on the phone. Of course, its staging is much more inventive and creative than Katzman´s for that episode!

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"If you agree to play me in that awful project, I will curse you and your career will end!"

 
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Toni

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Another one I watched: 2012´s "Argo". As trampy Trump would say: "Overrated!" 3 Oscars very undeserved. The premise is good, but it takes itself too seriously and can´t decide if it´s a drama, a war story or a satire. Or the three of them. Affleck looked awful with that hairdo...

 

Alexis

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The Boys In The Band (2020)



I didn't really like this film. It was far too theatrical with long scenes and lots of dialogue. The film seemed very dated and I found many of the gay characters to be bad stereotypes. Maybe I'm not the target audience but I bored and couldn't wait for it to finish. I think it would work better on stage than on film.
Have you seen the original film from 1970? I saw it when I was in my late teens I think, one late night. Maybe on BBC2 or Channel 4 and I loved it. I do tend to like films based on plays though. Anyway I watched the Netflix version recently and it was just OK. Maybe it's the Ryan Murphy casting or something but I couldn't get into it as much. And I couldn't help thinking about the original. I went straight to eBay and ordered it. I haven't watched it yet though.

I just remember from seeing the original way back then that it showed me a bit about being gay that I hoped wouldn't be my life. It's not, thankfully. However I see how somethings have moved on for the better, some things have stayed the same. There's a lot of stuff to identify with or understand.
 

Angela Channing

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Have you seen the original film from 1970? I saw it when I was in my late teens I think, one late night. Maybe on BBC2 or Channel 4 and I loved it. I do tend to like films based on plays though. Anyway I watched the Netflix version recently and it was just OK. Maybe it's the Ryan Murphy casting or something but I couldn't get into it as much. And I couldn't help thinking about the original. I went straight to eBay and ordered it. I haven't watched it yet though.

I just remember from seeing the original way back then that it showed me a bit about being gay that I hoped wouldn't be my life. It's not, thankfully. However I see how somethings have moved on for the better, some things have stayed the same. There's a lot of stuff to identify with or understand.
No, I've not seen the original but I'm hoping to get a copy soon. I'll post my thoughts here when I've seen it. I fully get how a gay man could get something different from this film compared with a woman or a straight man.
 

Mel O'Drama

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Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997)



Quite surreal to see Burt Reynolds, Dot Cotton, John Cage, Paul from Ever Decreasing Circles and Benny Appleman all sharing the screen with Mr Bean. Even more bizarre to think that Mel Smith directed the whole thing.

I accepted going in that it was aimed at the American market. Many things that make the series and character so unique (and hilarious) are diluted or dispensed with. And as with many film versions of TV series, a number of sketches were recycled. But it worked and was much funnier than I'd expected.

 

Angela Channing

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Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997)



Quite surreal to see Burt Reynolds, Dot Cotton, John Cage, Paul from Ever Decreasing Circles and Benny Appleman all sharing the screen with Mr Bean. Even more bizarre to think that Mel Smith directed the whole thing.

I accepted going in that it was aimed at the American market. Many things that make the series and character so unique (and hilarious) are diluted or dispensed with. And as with many film versions of TV series, a number of sketches were recycled. But it worked and was much funnier than I'd expected.

I never watched the TV series so when I watched this for the first time I had no idea what to expect. I thought there were some great laugh out loud moments and overall I really enjoyed the film.
 

Angela Channing

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The Trial of The Chicago 7 (2020)

I didn't know anything about the story that inspired this film but that didn't matter, this is a seriously good film. I was gripped from beginning to the end and even found the final scene quite emotional. For an American story, it's curious that so many British actors were in the lead roles but that wasn't a serious distraction. Although it depicts events from the 1960s the film couldn't be more relevant today with it's portrayal of police brutality, government oppression and a criminal justice system that is often biased in favour of the Establishment. Well worth a watch.

 
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