Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 96631 times)

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #255 on: February 11, 2014, 05:13:29 PM »
TitleThem! (8-717774-231128)
DirectorGordon Douglas
ActorsJames Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens
Produced1954 in United States
Runtime89 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesNone
OverviewNuclear tests in the desert result in the growth of gigantic mutant ants who menace cities in the American south-west as a team of investigators and the army search for a way to control their spread in this Cold War-era monster film.
My thoughtsIf you want to enjoy any giant bug movie (or in fact any giant anything), you have to be able to overlook the scientific impossibility of the thing. You can't scale up an ant 100 times and have it work. There's a reason why elephants are built like elephants and not like ants. But if you accept that it's just fantasy, it can still be quite exciting.

Them! is in fact one of the best of the mutated bug movies. It has a good script, good cinematography, good acting. The big ant puppets look a little bit dodgy and move a little to awkwardly to be really scary, but I've seen a lot worse monsters.

This year marks the 60th anniversary for this movie. It would be nice if Warner would release it on blu-ray with some interesting special features, but I guess that's just a pipe dream. I like this film a lot. Highly recommended!
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #256 on: February 13, 2014, 10:22:59 PM »
THEY! were scary to me back in the 50's.  Still love this film.  And  James Whitmore and Edmund Gwenn (both giants to me) taking it all so seriously.  What a fun film.
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #257 on: February 14, 2014, 12:37:31 AM »
One thing that bothered me: Why would they drag a New Mexico cop with them all the way to Los Angeles? It's not like he had some special knowledge that would help them kill the ants...

(And to this any sane person would retort "The film had ants mutating to 100 times their normal size in 9 weeks, and THAT is what bothers you???" Well, I do fixate on the minor details...)

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #258 on: February 14, 2014, 06:36:54 PM »
TitleRush (5-055201-823847)
DirectorRon Howard
ActorsChris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino
Produced2013 in United States
Runtime123 minutes
AudioEnglish PCM 2-Channel Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Audio Descriptive PCM 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewAcademy Award® winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) once again teams up with Academy Award®-nominated writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) on RUSH, a fast-paced and spectacular re-creation of the merciless and legendary 1970s Formula 1 rivalry between English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth - Thor) and his Austrian opponent, Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl - Inglourious Basterds).

Set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of racing, RUSH portrays the exhilarating true story of the charismatic Hunt and the methodically brilliant Lauda, two of the greatest rivals the world of sport has ever witnessed. Taking us into their personal lives and clashes on and off the Grand Prix racetrack, RUSH follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error.
My thoughtsI'm not interested in racing. I know who Niki Lauda is and that he was in a serious accident that disfigured him. I may have heard the name James Hunt, but I knew nothing about him or his connection to Lauda.

I usually don't care much for sports films. I have liked some of Ron Howard's films, and some have left me cold. So I didn't know if Rush would do anything for me. But I decided to give it a chance, and I'm glad I did. It tells an interesting story. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are excellent in their roles as Hunt and Lauda. The direction and cinematography are top notch. In short, it's a really good movie. If I had been a motor sports fan I would probably have given it a 5.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #259 on: February 14, 2014, 07:18:50 PM »
One thing that bothered me: Why would they drag a New Mexico cop with them all the way to Los Angeles? It's not like he had some special knowledge that would help them kill the ants...

(And to this any sane person would retort "The film had ants mutating to 100 times their normal size in 9 weeks, and THAT is what bothers you???" Well, I do fixate on the minor details...)
Focusing too much ... it is like looking at those pictures behind all the dots ... just watch <G>  (else you will go crazy :) )
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #260 on: February 15, 2014, 10:06:51 PM »
TitleBig Ass Spider! (5-055201-825308)
DirectorMike Mendez
ActorsGreg Grunberg, Lin Shaye, Ruben Pla, Alexis Peters, Lombardo Boyar
Produced2013 in United States
Runtime85 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
SubtitlesNone
OverviewA 50-foot-tall alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, the city's scientists and soldiers turn to an unlikely hero. Alex (Greg Grunberg – Heroes, Star Trek), a bug exterminator, and his Mexican security guard sidekick, Jose (Lombardo Boyar – 24, Modern Family), are the hapless duo who team up to kill the creature before the city is destroyed.
My thoughtsThankfully this wasn't the total crap that I feared, but also not as good as I had wished. The CGI is actually pretty good for a B-movie like this. Not perfect, but I've seen a lot worse. Grunberg is quite good, and Boyar is really funny as his sidekick.

One thing that works against the film is that the spider is really creepy when it is (relatively) small, but when it gets enormous it just becomes so unbelievable that it's more silly than scary.

Still, this film is a lot better than most of the crap that comes from SyFy or The Asylum. The blu-ray looks and sounds good, but is lacking in features. A trailer is all we get. If you liked Eight Legged Freaks you'll probably like this one too.
My rating
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 05:27:41 AM by GSyren »

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #261 on: February 16, 2014, 03:05:39 PM »
May have to give it a go.... even though I do have a thing about spiders. Terrible case of arachnophobia.  :bag:
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Offline Achim

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #262 on: February 17, 2014, 05:06:09 AM »
Big Ass Spider is on my Wish List, mainly due to the basically favorable reviews (saying it's aware that it's a B-movie and makes that work for itself). However, I will try to hold off until the price comes down...

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #263 on: February 18, 2014, 01:15:44 PM »
TitlePuss in Boots (5-051368-237053)
DirectorChris Miller
VoicesAntonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Produced2011 in United States
Runtime90 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 5.1
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewYou loved him in Shrek... now see where the one-and-only swashbuckling feline found his fame – and a very big pair of boots – in the "hilariously funny" (Associated Press) animated epic!  Lover, fighter and outlaw Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) is off on the adventure of his nine lives as he teams up with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) for the ultimate showdown with the notorious Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris).  Here's the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend – Puss In Boots!
My thoughtsI liked the Shrek films, so I was intrigued by Puss in Boots, but I wasn't sure the character was strong enough to carry its own movie. Well, now that I could get it cheap I thought I should at least give it a chance, and I'm glad I did. While I didn't like it quite as much as I liked the Shrek films, I found it pleasant enough. Antonio Banderas does a mean Puss, and Salma Hayek rocks as Kitty Softpaws. I definitely did not like Humpty Dumpty. No refection on Zach Galifianakis. I just find Humpty Dumpty too silly as a concept.

Still, the movie is very entertaining, leaning more towards adventure than comedy, which makes it different from the Shrek films. And that's not a bad thing.

The BD looks and sounds great. The extras are mostly kiddie oriented. This would have earned a strong 4 stars if it hadn't been for Humpty Dumpty.
My rating

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #264 on: February 20, 2014, 09:03:51 PM »
TitleThe Cosmic Man (Disc ID: 772F-262A-76FD-BFEE)
DirectorHerbert Greene
ActorsJohn Carradine, Bruce Bennett, Angela Greene, Paul Langton, Scotty Morrow
Produced1959 in United States
Runtime73 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesNone
OverviewLook up to the stars... for we are not alone! First THE COSMIC MAN arrives in a strange spherical spaceship. Is he here to destroy the world or bring it peace? Humanity stands in the balance in this powerful and engaging sci-fi saga with John Carradine, inspired by The Day the Earth Stood Still.
My thoughtsAs I may have mentioned before, I have a great affection for 50's genre films. I blame Forrest J Ackerman for this. And shame on you if you don't know who that is.

Anyway, The Cosmic Man is one of these films, and one that I had never seen before. People have compared it to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Yes, there are some thematic similarities. But this one is obviously done on a much smaller budget. Consequently there is more talk and less action. And much of the talk is totally ludicrous science babble.

For a low budget B-movie the acting is mostly quite acceptable. Except John Carradine. He was a good actor when he was younger, but I find it hard to understand why he was hired in so many B-movies in his old age. Yes he was a “name”, but surely after a while people must have realized that he was now crap at acting?

Anyway, the film is not totally without merits. The plot is somewhat interesting, and at 73 minutes the film doesn't overstay its welcome. The most annoying part of the film was the female lead whose main reason for being seems to be to scream whenever the alien appears (in his “true” shape). For those who didn't grew up with FM, the judgement will probably be “meh”.
My rating

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #265 on: February 20, 2014, 10:01:59 PM »
Statistics can be hell. We have a saying in Sweden - There are three kind of lies; lies, damned lies, and statistics.

I just checked my stats for 2014 on Letterboxd. Most watched star: Steven Seagal. Most watched director: Michael Keusch (who directed 3 of the Seagal movies).

That ain't me! Well, yes, it is me, but only because I happened to buy a Seagal 6-pack. You could think that Seagal is my favorite actor, and nothing could be further from the truth. I guess I could go so far as to say that Seagal is a guilty pleasure.

The stats for 2013 is somewhat better. Most watched star: Desmond Llewelyn. Well, yes, I guess I watched nine Bond movies. But it's not like I watched them because Llewelyn is in them. Most watched director: Terence Fischer. Ok, I have no real quibble with that. I am a big fan of Hammer movies.

But still... lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #266 on: February 21, 2014, 12:03:17 AM »
Just be glad that stunt-actors are not listed.
Otherwise your most watched actor would probably be someone you never even heard of, not to mention that you never even noticed him/her.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #267 on: February 21, 2014, 12:33:27 AM »
Yeah, stunt actors, that would be interesting, actually. I'm not up on the current crop of stunt people, but I've read several books about stunts, so I wouldn't be surprised if it would be a name that I recognized, given that I watch a lot of older films. The Epper family seems to have been doing stunts for generations, for example. Carey Loftin did stunts for 60 years. So did Yakima Canutt. Those oldtimers were tough!

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #268 on: February 21, 2014, 01:43:37 PM »
TitleOlympus has fallen (7-332421-048709)
DirectorAntoine Fuqua
ActorsGerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Finley Jacobsen, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune
Produced2013 in United States
Runtime120 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS 5.1
SubtitlesDanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
OverviewA nation's hopes rest in the hands of a former White House guard after the president is held hostage by terrorists in this action thriller from director Antoine Fuqua. Trying to adapt to civilian life after a tragedy ended his Secret Service career, former special forces veteran Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is thrust back onto the front line when a group of terrorists led by Kang (Rick Yune) attack the White House and seize the president (Aaron Eckhart). Now, finding himself the last Secret Service man left alive inside the building, Banning, overseen by acting President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman), must bring all his special forces experience to bear as he embarks on a one-man mission to take out the terrorists and save the president.
My thoughtsMany years ago a friend and I were in London, and we decided to go to the theater. We went to the theater booth at Leicester Square and picked a play at random. It turned out to be an ancient gay Greek drama. Well behaved as we were, we waited till the intermission before leaving. We were not the only ones. One gentleman with a pronounced cockney accent mumbled “Oi've never 'eard so moch bloody nonsense in all me life!” We understood how he felt. And watching Olympus Has Fallen I get pretty much the same feeling once again.

The story has plot holes of the magnitude that you could fly Air Force One through. The first half hour or so you just sit there thinking “What the f*ck?”. Then, once the hero is inside the White House, it's the old “one man against overwhelming odds” story. It's pretty much Die Hard or Under Siege, except set in the White House. Only not nearly as exciting.

And just when you think it's over and you can eject the disc... you get a sickly patriotic speech from the wounded but healing president. My advice, skip this one and rewatch Die Hard instead. It's so much better.
My rating

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #269 on: February 21, 2014, 07:15:00 PM »
Thanks for the warning.

Was a bit undecided about this one. But the people that about share my taste all dislike it, so I guess I can just save the money.