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BATMAN (1989) and BATMAN RETURNS (1992).  The Keaton films.

I hadn't seen either in over 20 years, so it was fun revisiting them now that they're out on 4k blu ray.

BATMAN: Still great (better than I remembered it, actually), with one of the best musical scores ever.  Really rousing stuff.  Keaton and Nicholson are both excellent and a lot of fun to watch.  Robert Wuhl as a reporter is annoying (and in the film a lot more than he needs to be) but he's really the only duff element in the cast.  There are some pacing issues to be had in the third act (the climb up the bell tower goes on waaaaaay too long) but those are minor quibbles.  Lots of fun.  Glad I revisited it.

BATMAN RETURNS: I remembered not caring for this one all that much.  My rewatch reminded me why: Danny DeVito's voice is really, really grating in this.  Every line of dialog out of his mouth is like nails on a chalkboard.  Beyond that, it's simply not as engaging as the first film.  Batman is totally overpowered in the 'presence' department by Catwoman and Penguin (he feels like a supporting character in his own film) and I the darker tone feels like it goes a tad too far.  The production design is first rate (apart from the snow which always looks fake) and the score is, again, marvelous.  I'm glad I watched it again but I don't think I'll ever revisit it...it's simply too shrill for me.

On to BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN & ROBIN.  I guess I feel masochistic...

Current rankings:
OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>TLD>SF>GE>OP>DN>FYEO>
TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>SP>DAF>LTK>AVTAK>DAD
Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Dalton>Brosnan

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Prime 2/6 , Streep as a shrink  , Uma is dating her son and is also her patient......just indifferent about it , boring zzzzzzzz. Skip it.

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The Aftermath

Set in aftermath of WW2 as the Allied forces occupy Berlin and take over the lovely mansions for their own use. So we have the English taking over a wealthy Germany's mansion only in this case the sergeant decides to let the family stay on and his wife Keira Knightley to live there too, rattling around... Already we have nods to Schindler's List - occupiers taking over property - and Rebecca, as Knightley wanders around the big house looking frail and at a disadvantage to the haughty German servants. Then nods to 9/11 as desperate folk hold up photos of missing loved ones that get pinned to a great notice board. Thing is - and you get this with a lot of films these days - you get the feeling the whole thing is a sort of composite of other movies or moments and doesn't really hold its own.

So the buttoned-up wife in due course starts something up with the haughty German man of the house, and it then gets a bit Lady Chatterly's... I suppose maybe that's how it might have been had Colonel von Trapp hung around to see his Austrian mansion been taken over by the Allies. That said, the German accent slips a bit, as does Keira's nightie.

At some point you feel a better cast with more chemistry or stardom might have worked, as in days of yore you would have had an English Patient vibe, with that cast in their respective roles. This movie looks great - almost makes the famine and misery look like something out of a coffee table book on interior decor - and it has lush strings to make the heart stir but a more eerie feel and a stark look might have served the purpose. It never really looks cold, though it's set in snowy winter.

Took my 90-year-old Dad to see this, it's not a bundle of laughs.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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The Girl in the spider's web (2018)

This movie is losely based on the first continuation novel in the Millenium series, now written by David Lagercrantz. Lisbeth Salander is no longer a troubled and angry hacker/punker. She's more of an action hero, female Batman protecting wronged women. Some elements from the book are still there, but the main plot in the film would be more at home in a Bond movie. That being said it's well shot, the action scenes are good and most of the actors do a good job. Claire Foy, best know for playing Queen Elizabeth II, is a very good Lisbeth Salander. Sadly Mikael Blomquist is redusced to a supporting character and it's made worse by the young and bland Sverrir Gudnason. Daniel Craig was far better in the role. If you loved the origional books and Movies you may be disapointed, but if you're looking for a well-made action thriller this is better than average.

Last edited by Number24 (30th Jun 2019 20:33)

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Number24 did you read the book, or any of the other continuation books?
I had avoided them, because I remember some legal issues between Larsson's widow and his family, it seemed like the wrong relatives had won control of his estate and were in a position to cash in on it.
Aside from the film adaptation, were those continuation books any good?

I also remember a rumour that Larsson might have left more as yet unpublished but if they havent appeared yet I guess it was just a false hope.

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I did read the book. The book was closer to the style of the origional trillogy and I liked it. The movie is more of an action film, but a pretty good one.

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The Quiet Place (2018)

I rarely watch horror, but this is a very worthy exception. This a masterful thriller and I won't be surprised if it end up on my list of the best movies I've seen this year. It stars the married couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as husband and wife, Krasinski also directed and co-wrote the film. Earth has been attacked by murderous creatures who are blind, but hear very well. The creatures aren't explained in any way, and that's a good thing. Instead we focus almost completely on one family and their efforts to survive. Perhaps they've been able to stay alive for so long because their daughter is deaf and they're all able to communicate via sign language? Instead of wall-to-wall blood and gore this movie uses mostly tense set-pieces. It's more Hitchcock than SAW. The movie also takes time for us to get to know the family, such as a wonderful scene where father and son stand behind a waterfall to be able to talk out loud and shout, venting months of buildt-up grustration and tension. Highly recomneded!

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CASINO (1995)
I've not seen it in about 2 years, but as much as I enjoy every minute of film that shows up on screen, it's just too long for me to do it very often; it gets tiring. That said, there's nothing to be said about just how great it is. My sister has it a top 5 film ever, I wouldn't go so far. For its genre, it just might be the indisputable masterpiece.
Everything from the casting to the swearing (Joe Pesci does "Freddie Uncle Charlie Katie" like no one else and no measures were taken to be politically correct ajb007/martini ), the music, to the direction (particular shots I love are that of De Niro lying down looking at his left and right aswell as the sunglasses reflection shot), the underlying cynicism, the drama, the locations and the fact that that Vegas is over.
It's all "Vegas, baby" now. And that is that.

THE GRADUATE (1967)
I've never seen it before but I know all too well about Garfunkel and the opening shot inspiring Tarantino and in turn Jackie Brown ( ajb007/biggrin ) and of course that lovely scarlet Alfa Spider and curiously, the ending shot inspiring Archer.
It's so terribly inventive with its shots and the use of costumes, especially at around 40 minutes where it was so smooth it may aswell have been animated.
For my situation, I'm at opposite ends of Benjamin as I've yet to really start university and I flunked my entry towards it, so I identify on the "uncertainty about future" part of his dilemma, so I had to see it.
It's like the person they're praising and who he actually is are two different people. He thinks too much and he's very undecided about just about anything, so afraid to take any initiative. (The movie equivalent of Shinji from Evangelion, if anyone's on a Netflix bender with that treacherous dub). For the total sub he used to be, he finally took action and progressed as a character. And those Freddie Uncle Charlie Katie ice cubes.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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That was yesterday and the day before that. I saw 12 ANGRY MEN (1957) and it kind of is my favourite sort of movie, like Reservoir Dogs, since it used a single location and story telling to tell of the crime. As a viewer, you're not really thrown a bone since you don't step into the shoes of the jurors throughout the trial but through this way, it's way more seamless and interesting to watch as a movie when you're going in blind. I like how self aware it seems to be because of the requests of #8 that are entirely visual in some parts but they are totally justified in the way the movie progresses. You step into the lives of most men and it's up to you to decide what sort of life they've lead to make them see the situation as they have. #8 remains mysterious to me because of the way the movie sort of revolved around him in the end. #11 seemed like a dumber 50s Don Draper. The script is savage at times with the shade that is thrown and I liked the pragmatical insults so so much.
It's scepticism vs brutality, but in the end, each and every one of them is fragile in their own way. Everyone is looking for something.
In a way, this jury was made up of every sort of part of society of that time and the way it's presented makes it identifiable even today.
Clever. Very clever.
Wish it was a bit more rewatchable but I'm sure in future I'll return to this somehow.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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The Road to Bali,  classic Hope and Crosby comedy  ajb007/martini
What a great double act they made.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Armageddon  : epic disaster  movie, with loads of action. Loved it
From the first time seeing it in the cinema.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Seven Nights In Japan (1976). I love films set in Asia and this is a pretty ordinary romantic story involving a British prince, obviously modelled on Charles, played by Michael York. But what makes the film fascinating is that the director is Lewis Gilbert back in Japan 9 years after YOLT, along with the screenplay by Christopher Wood, edited by John Glen and produced by William P Cartlidge. But the Bond alumni doesn’t end there, it also stars Charles Gray, James Villiers and Anne Lonnberg. The Japanese locations are stunning, the story just about passes muster but the assassination subplot seems to have been tacked on to add length to a thin storyline. Worth seeing just for connections to the Bond series.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Fort Apache (1948)

I recently got my hands on a boxset of John Ford-John Wayne collaborations including the so-called 'Cavalry Trilogy' (of which Fort Apache is part 1). I'm a big fan of John Wayne as a screen persona, also The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance are two of my favourite Westerns. Fort Apache was made about a decade earlier than those films, and The Duke is in his prime in this film.

Central to the film is the conflict between Wayne's cavalry Captain and his new commanding officer, a stubborn, by-the-book Colonel played by Henry Fonda. The contrasting characters make for a compelling, if somewhat predictable, drama. The resolution of this drama also comments a bit on myth-making in the story of the old west, which Ford would later explore fully in Liberty Valance. The sideshow to this character study is a romantic plot involving Fonda's daughter and the son of the regiment's Sergeant Major. A significant supporting role is played by Pedro Armendariz, whose portrayal of Kerim Bey in FRWL is one of my favourite characters in the whole Bond series. I'd previously seen him acting with John Wayne in the awful The Conqueror, so it was nice to see him and the Duke appearing together in something good. As usual with Ford, the stars are surrounded by a bunch of colourful supporting characters who provide some charming, and sometimes silly, humour.  Another John Ford staple is grand, and beautiful cinematography set in Monument Valley, as well as kinetic action scenes involving impressive horse stunts and fast moving cameras.

It was a very entertaining film, and I certainly look forward to continuing the Cavalry Trilogy.

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Spider-Man: Far from Home.  After their multipart operatic saga, Marvel have finally gone back to having a little fun.  This one puts Peter Parker and his high school chums (apparently every single one went through that five-year vanishing--that's convenient) on a trip through the capitals of Europe. . .which all manage to get destroyed by inter-dimensional beings.  It's all fast-moving and fun, with Mysterio beautifully realized (if you know the comic character you won't be surprised by how the plot develops, but if you know nothing of him you're in for a big reveal).  But those who complained Toby Maguire had a hard time keeping his Spidey mask on won't like that Tom Holland barely seems to put on the Spidey costume!

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Final destination  5 :
Unintentionally  one of the funniest  films, I've seen in years

The Rezort :
Basically,  Jurassic park  with Zombies, worth a look. There is a twist
Ending but you'll have figured it out long before that.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Since my niece and nephew are visiting I've been watching a different type of movies lately  ajb007/biggrin

Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)

This is a French animated movie based on West African folk tales. Kirikou delivers his first line while stlll in his mother's womb. Shortly after he crawls out of his mother and decides to takes a bath.
The village is terrorised by a sorceress and Kirikou fights her in any way he can. The movie is entertaining, funny and the kids I had over for "movie night" loved it. If you're tired of watching Disney and Pixar movies with the kids, this movie is for you!
The visual style and music is distinctive and different, it never tries to mimic anything elese. BTW:  The tiny hero never thinks of puting on any clothes and every woman in every scene is topless. This movie has more nudity than an episode of GoT  ajb007/lol
If you like it there is also Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (2005) and Kirikou and the men and the women (2012)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181627/

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The Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

The story in this stop motion animated movie is by Roald Dahl and directed by Wes Anderson. This means a lot of deadpan humor, inventive setpieces and characters talking directly into the camera or standing in profile (not to mention voice acting from Bill Murray and Jason Swartzman)
The story about Mr Fox who has turned away from a life of crime (stealing poultry from local farms) to get a house in a tree and a job as a newspaper colomnist. But of course he returns the old life for one last heist, or rather breaking into the farms of the three meanest and most vindictive farmers in the world. This movie is so funny, of-beat and smart I actually watched it for my own entertainment this winter, but my nephew loved it when we re-watched it last night. Perfect if you want a quality family movie that's definitely not Disney or Pixar.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/?r … f_=nv_sr_1

Last edited by Number24 (16th Jul 2019 07:37)

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Quantum Of Solace

You might have heard of this one. My nephew asked to see a Bond film, and chose this one. Once again, I enjoyed this film's good points and grieved over its faults. He liked it, but commented on the poor editing (unprompted by me) and the awful title song (again, unprompted by me).

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Its wall-to-wall gross-out gags on this one, once we get past the opening sequence in ShangHai.
That opening sequence itself is similar to the dancehall sequence from 1941.

Willie is like the prototype of Stacey Sutton from our films isn't she, but much more annoying. Stacy only screamed once or twice, when there was very good reason to panic. This entire film is Willie seeing something gross and running in circles causing more mayhem.

Aside from the reliance on grossout gags and screaming Willie, this film doesn't actually do much once we get to India, does it? Indy vows to retrieve the sacred stones, there's five minutes of jungle trek, then the whole rest of the film is either in the Palace or in the cave system underground. The original film had a whole lot more globetrotting, part of its appeal.

The basic concept is like a melange of Rider Haggard, Tintin, Carl Barks, Ray Harryhausen and our own James Bond. This film has less Bond-elements than did the original, but more Haggard and Harryhausen, which is OK by me.

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Number24 wrote:

The Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

yeh I liked this one too.
George Clooney is perfectly cast as a smooth-talking fox.
Did you see the Royal Tanenbaums and the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou?

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I've seen those, but I acgtually prefer "The Fantastic Mr Fox" and "Isle of Dogs".

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ooh, I didnt know there was such a film as Isle of Dogs
I'll have to watch that one

even his live action films look like childrens' book illustrations brought to life

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I had a bit of a binge of westerns starring Jimmy Stewart and directed by Anthony Mann. These were Winchester 73, Bend of the River, The Far Country and The Man From Laramie. Over the last 10 years or so I've watched the films of many of the great Western directors, but never Mann. I thoroughly enjoyed these 4 films, and in fact I think that Winchester 73 and Bend of the River will go straight into my list of 25 favourite Westerns. The only one of the Mann-Stewart westerns that I haven't yet got in my collection is The Naked Spur which doesn't seem to be as easy to come by on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Stewart is a first rate leading man, and I found the plots of these films were enjoyable and well worked out. But in addition to good stories, the character conflicts and relationships in each of them made them particularly engaging. Stewart always plays a pretty good guy in these films, but with varying shades of darkness and coldness. All four films had cinematography that was very nice to look at, plus they are al tightly paced film of 90-100 minutes. I like it when films make economical use of running time.

I highly recommend these films, especially for Western fans.

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Bought a few HD downloads and have been enjoying them, .....

Jaws,  a classic
The Black Hole, a gothic sci-Fi epic
The Rocketeer, Dalton is fantastic in this, playing an obvious Errol Flynn type Nazi supporting actor.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Midsommer

A weird and nasty trip you can't get off.

Not a fun scary switchback ride at all. Brilliant but not enjoyable.

It's not altogether surprising the way this horror pans out in plot terms, but the sense of place and atmosphere and gathering dread coupled with ennui is very well done.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017