Author Topic: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon  (Read 17703 times)

Offline Achim

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2015, 05:13:38 AM »
My Thoughts:
This was a fun film.  I've always enjoyed the idea of time travel, and the questions it raises - if you change history, how do you know to do so?  The plot here is straightforward but decently executed, and the performances are all very solid.

Yes! This is the first time travel movie I remember seeing (in the theater, as well) and as such it as a special place in my heart. While not really a "good film", maybe, it is indeed a fun watch. There is a couple of movie stars to look at (Kirk Douglas, of course, but also people like Lloyd Kaufman in small cameos) and the action is good.

One question I occasionally like to ponder is, even if you can change the past, should you? Because what you get in its place might be even worse...

Offline DSig

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2015, 07:48:46 PM »
My Thoughts:
This was a fun film.  I've always enjoyed the idea of time travel, and the questions it raises - if you change history, how do you know to do so?  The plot here is straightforward but decently executed, and the performances are all very solid.

Yes! This is the first time travel movie I remember seeing (in the theater, as well) and as such it as a special place in my heart. While not really a "good film", maybe, it is indeed a fun watch. There is a couple of movie stars to look at (Kirk Douglas, of course, but also people like Lloyd Kaufman in small cameos) and the action is good.

One question I occasionally like to ponder is, even if you can change the past, should you? Because what you get in its place might be even worse...
And as we can only guess .. the answer is No.  The possible results being pearshaped out weights the possibility of something good coming. 
But it sure would be interesting to study history .. but not sure our heroes could stand the scrutiny.  And as we know .. by observing we might cause a change.
Thank you
David

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2015, 06:03:16 AM »
My Thoughts:
This was a fun film.  I've always enjoyed the idea of time travel, and the questions it raises - if you change history, how do you know to do so?  The plot here is straightforward but decently executed, and the performances are all very solid.

Yes! This is the first time travel movie I remember seeing (in the theater, as well) and as such it as a special place in my heart. While not really a "good film", maybe, it is indeed a fun watch. There is a couple of movie stars to look at (Kirk Douglas, of course, but also people like Lloyd Kaufman in small cameos) and the action is good.

One question I occasionally like to ponder is, even if you can change the past, should you? Because what you get in its place might be even worse...
And as we can only guess .. the answer is No.  The possible results being pearshaped out weights the possibility of something good coming. 
But it sure would be interesting to study history .. but not sure our heroes could stand the scrutiny.  And as we know .. by observing we might cause a change.
Yes, the possible results could be pearshaped.  But I don't know that it outweighs the possibility of doing good.  Some things might be bad enough to warrant taking the risk...  That's the inherent moral dilemma of time travel, and what makes these sorts of films so much fun to think about later.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #63 on: November 07, 2015, 06:06:13 AM »


Arcadia of My Youth (Waga seishun no Arcadia)
Year of Release: 1982
Directed By: Tomoharu Katsumata
Starring: Makio Inoue, Kei Tomiyama, Reiko Tajima, Reiko Mutoo, Yuriko Yamamoto
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action, Anime

Overview:
Renowned Manga author Matsumoto Leiji's greatest creation, Captain Harlock, comes to the big screen in this magnificent film.

Set against the conquest of Earth by an alien empire, and drawing parallels to the post-WW2 occupation of Japan, Captain Harlock, together with those who will become his lifelong friends, battle against tyranny no matter what the cost.

As they fight the evil Illumidus Empire, the message of the film shines through: that one must stand up for one's beliefs, even when everyone else believes that slavery and suffering are preferable to the sharper pains endured by those who fight for freedom.

My Thoughts:
Old-school classic anime film that's still well worth watching.  Yes, the hand-drawn animation style looks dated, but so does most any animation from the 80's.  Don't be put off by this, there's a good story here and a lot of good things to take a way from this film. 

War is hell, but even an enemy may be a man of honor.  Collaborators, who prefer safe slavery to a fight, shortsightedly refuse to see that what the enemy does to others will come to them as well.  Valor, courage, honor and integrity are worth dying for.  Stand up for your beliefs; stand against tyranny.  Never submit to subjugation.  A life worth living is one you believe in; follow your dream.

This is a pretty rare DVD these days, so good luck getting a copy of this film to watch, but if you like space opera, sci-fi, or anime and ever get the chance, grab on.  You won't regret it.  It's subtitle only, though, so skip if you don't enjoy subs.

I live in freedom under my flag.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #64 on: November 08, 2015, 09:10:14 PM »


Snatch
Year of Release: 2000
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Suspense/Thriller

Overview:
Guy Ritchie, writer/director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, delivers another awe-insiring directorial masterpiece, SNATCH – an edgy and hilarious film about a diamond heist gone wrong, a colorful Irish gypsy-turned-prize fighter...and a very temperamental dog.

In the heart of gangland, two novice unlicensed boxing promoters, Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham), get roped into organizing a rigged bare-knuckle fight with local kingpin/villain and fellow boxing promoter Brick Top (Alan Ford).  But all goes wrong when wildcard Irish gypsy boxer One Punch Mickey O'Neil (Brad Pitt) starts playing by his own rules, and the duo find themselves heading for a whole lot of trouble.

Meanwhile, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) and his stolen 86-carat diamond have gone missing in London.  Head honcho Avi (Dennis Farina) hires local legend Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find them, launching everyone into a spiral of double-crossing vendettas and event, most of them illegal.

My Thoughts:
This is a unabashedly stylized, highly entertaining film.  It has a great ensemble cast, two intertwining plots, and a lot of moxie.  It's a clever, witty, darkly humorous film, and it's an easy film to recommend to just about anyone.  It's a well-balanced mix of action, character, humour, and wit; and makes a good choice for a movie night among folks with disparate tastes in movies.  I'm sure there's someone who won't enjoy this movie - but I haven't met them yet.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2015, 05:35:20 AM »


Believe
Year of Release: 1999
Directed By: Robert Tinnell
Starring: Ricky Mabe, Elisha Cuthbert, Jan Rubes, Ben Gazzara, Stephanie Morgenstern
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Overview:
When you mess with the dead, be prepared to pay the consequences! Ben Stiles loves to scare people. But he's about to get the fright of his life when the mysterious wailing ghost of Wickwire House beckons Ben and his friend Katherine into the eerie world of the supernatural. As he puts his life – and his sanity – on the line to uncover the shocking truth behind the haunting, he finds himself in over his head!

A hair-raising thriller that will leave you breathless!

My Thoughts:
This is a pretty good, family friendly ghost story.  It's not particularly scary, and the backstory for the ghost and the way it's going to end are both pretty predicable, but it's aimed at a younger audience and that's almost to be expected as an adult watching a film like this.  The actors are all likable and do a decent job and the setting is very well done (I love Wickwire House). 

I will say - don't watch the trailer.  The trailer is absolutely terrible, and could completely ruin this movie.  The trailer really tries to make you believe that this for a lot older audience than it is, even comparing it to The Sixth Sense of all things.  This is a kids/tweens movie, and should have been marketed as such. 

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #66 on: November 13, 2015, 07:04:42 AM »


Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
Year of Release: 1955
Directed By: Charles Lamont
Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor, Michael Ansara, Dan Seymour, Richard Deagon
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Bud and Lou stumble upon a sacred medallion that holds the key to a legendary treasure.

My Thoughts:
Bud and Lou are always fun to watch, but this isn't up to the same level as ... Meet Frankenstein.  A number of the skits Bud & Lou do are funny - the hamburger routine and the shovel/pick routine are good, and I enjoyed the recurring gag of Lou piping up the snakes out of the pots.  I enjoyed Marie Windsor's determined villainess quite a bit as well.  On the downside, there was a completely unnecessary musical number in the middle of the film, and for all the movie's title, there's very little of the mummy here, and he's very cheap looking and hardly threatening. 

Recommended if you like Abbott and Costello - you'll enjoy this film.  If you aren't familiar with their work, I wouldn't start here - go for ... Meet Frankenstein instead.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #67 on: November 16, 2015, 04:27:23 AM »


High Spirits
Year of Release: 1988
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Daryl Hannah, Liam Neeson
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Daryl Hannah, Peter O'Toole and Steve Guttenberg star in this gleefully ghoulish comedy sparkling with romance and rollicking with supernatural special effects. Written and directed by Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire) and co-starring Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher and Liam Neeson, High Spirits is the most fun you'll have in this world...or the next!

Impoverished Peter Plunkett (O'Toole) hatches the perfect plan to save his debt-ridden Irish castle: lure American tourists by advertising his place as haunted. But when Peter and his staff don sheets and chains to go a-haunting, they scare up more than paying guests...they arouse the real ghosts of Castle Plunkett! And when American tourist Jack (Guttenberg) spies a gorgeous ghost named Mary (Hannah), it's love at first sighting. Now all Jack has to worry about is Mary's murderous spook of a husband...and their 200-year ages difference!

My Thoughts:
This is a fun movie.  Yes, it's goofy and it's silly and the plot is thin and pretty unrealistic.  And it's genuinely funny.  Peter O'Toole is a delight to watch at any time, and Liz Smith is great.  The rest of the cast are decent, if not exactly spectacular.  Maybe goes back to when I first saw this film, but I have a soft spot for it in my heart, and I still enjoy it every time I watch it.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2015, 05:57:38 AM »


The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming
Year of Release: 1966
Directed By: Norman Jewison
Starring: Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Brian Keith
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
When a sightseeing Soviet commander runs his submarine aground off the New England coast, the crew's attempts to find a boat to dislodge them almost start World War III!.  Alan Arkin leads an all-star cast - including Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Brian Keith and Jonathan Winters - in this "riotous, uproarious [and] side-splitting" (Cue) comedy!

Russian Lt. Rozanov (Arkin) and his crew hit the beaches of Massachusetts unaware of the panic they're about to start.  Despite the Russian's harmless intentions, the folks in town think a full-scale Soviet invasion has been launched!  What's worse, their police chief (Keith) has left his hysterical assistant (Winters) in charge...and the one man who knows the truth (Reiner) is only stirring up more chaos!

My Thoughts:
This is a pretty good piece of Cold War satire, both humourous and serious simulaneously.  It's a funny film - but it's also got its point to make.  I was struck by how news in the film travels like the telepone game you played as a kid.  One person says one thing, another mishears or misconstrues, and suddenly you have a complete panic on your hands.  If the film seems like a farce - exaggerated and improbable - it doesn't seem so to me.  Sadly, the reactions of the locals seems all to likely in real life.  Absurd?  Absolutely.  But not unrealistic.

The performances are good, especially Alan Arkin as Rozanov.  It's also well filmed - you wouldn't know that the Cape Cod style town was constructed in Mendocino, or that the submarine wasn't real unless you were looking for that specifically (the US military refused to loan or allow them to use the one the Russians would have).  It's a bit long, and might not play so well to modern audiences, even though the message is still valid.  I liked it quite a bit though.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 3.75/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #69 on: November 20, 2015, 05:53:25 AM »


The Old Man and the Sea
Year of Release: 1958
Directed By: John Sturges
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos Jr., Harry Bellaver
Genre: Drama, Adventure

Overview:
Ernest Hemingway's choice for the lead in the film version of his The Old Man and the Sea was the right one: Spencer Tracy's performance brought him the sixth of his nine Academy Award® nominations and the film won the National Board of Review's 1958 Best Picture and Best Actor awards.

Alone in a small skiff, an aging Cuban fisherman catches a huge marlin – and must defy the sea, marauding sharks and his own flagging strength to bring his great catch home.  Filmed in part on sun-drenched Cuban locales and graced by Dimitri Tiomkin's Oscar®-winning score, The Old Man and the Sea is a colorful cinematic ode to the indomitability of the human spirit.

My Thoughts:
Hemingway wrote a wonderful story, and this is a good adaptation, though it has its flaws.

On the good side:  The film hews closely to the story, and Spencer Tracy gives a powerful, moving performance as the old man.  Filming this story would always hinge upon casting that role, and he carries the film marvelously.  He is completely believable as this aged fisherman, worn down by life but still struggling, not giving up, still living.

On the other hand, while one can (and must) overlook the technical issues of a movie made in 1958 when watching almost sixty years later (such as the obvious composite shots and patchwork film sources), it is much harder to overlook the problem with the voice-over narration.  Someone needed to tell the director that "less is more."  A truth in writing is 'show, don't tell,' and that's equally true in movies.  Narration is a useful tool in telling a story like this, but the director overuses it to the point where this almost becomes an audiobook with visual. 

Worth seeing for Tracy's performance, but slow moving and very, very talky. 

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3.25/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2015, 06:09:39 AM »


12 Angry Men
Year of Release: 1957
Directed By: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden
Genre: Drama

Overview:
12 Angry Men, directed by Sidney Lumet, may be the most radical courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, this iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose's teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the dissenting member on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. The result is a saga of epic proportions that plays out over a tense afternoon in one sweltering room. Lumet's electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature film debuts.

My Thoughts:
This is a powerful film and essential viewing.  Nearly sixty years have passed, and this film has lost none of its strength or relevance.  Listening to Juror #10 opining about how he knows "those people" and how dangerous they are, all I'm hearing in the back of my head are similar voices today, given audience in political campaign.

There's a lot that makes this film great:  excellent cinematography that keeps up with the mounting tensions in the room, a great script, great direction, and of course, spectacular acting, not just by Henry Fonda, but by every man in that room. 

(click to show/hide)

Everyone should see this film.  Absolutely everyone.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2015, 11:48:11 PM »


Home for the Holidays
Year of Release: 1995
Directed By: Jodie Foster
Starring: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Overview:
Director Jodie Foster dishes up a "heaping helping of holiday hilarity" (NBC-TV) with this laugh-out-loud comedy from screenwriter W.D. Richter about family, food and finding acceptance with the people you love. Home for the Holidays is a "wickedly funny" film that's "so true it hurts" ("Entertainment Today")!

In a span of 36 hours, Claudia Larson (Hunter) has managed to lose her job, make out with her boss and learn that her daughter (Danes) is planning to go all the way. But Claudia's fortunes actually take a turn for the worse when she flies home to endure an even more grueling trial: the family Thanksgiving! Beset by a neurotic mother (Bancroft), kooky father (Durning), eccentric brother (Downey, Jr.) and compulsively "normal" sister (Stevenson), Claudia struggles to maintain her calm. But as sparks fly, tempers flare and turkeys go airborne, Claudia manages to recapture the zaniness of her childhood and discover that the most important things in life are the memories she shares with family...and for that, she can only be thankful!

My Thoughts:
They say you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family.  And, if you could, would you pick the ones you have?  Often not, and that makes this film way more realistic than we generally want to admit to.  Too often filmmakers take the easy way out - the squabbling members realize how much they love each other and how important family is and hug it out.  That rarely happens in real life, and that makes this film an absolute gem.

Because everything doesn't work out.  At the end of the film all the problems in the family still exist.  Nothing miraculous occurs.  Even Claudia's romantic interest may not work out.  And that's okay.  We don't always need a happy ending and a fantasy story.  Maybe sometimes we need a dose of reality too.

Great performances from everyone in the cast, but RDJ steals every scene he's in.  (I may be biased here, he's a favorite of mine.)  Recommended for anyone with a crazy family for Thanksgiving.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 3.75/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline DSig

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2015, 04:14:45 PM »
What a great film .. everything works together here.  This and The Ref are 2 mandatory holiday films for our family.  Great review
Thank you
David

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2015, 09:24:03 PM »


Chinatown
Year of Release: 1974
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman
Genre: Drama, Suspense/Thriller, Crime

Overview:
In a legendary performance, three-time Academy Award® winner Jack Nicholson stars as private eye Jake Gittes. Hired by a mysterious woman to investigate Hollis Mulwray, the chief engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Gittes' sleuthing brings him into contact with Mulwray's wife (Academy Award® winner Faye Dunaway), a stunning socialite with secrets of her own. As a determined Gittes delves deeper he soon realizes that even the City of Angels has a dark side. Director Roman Polanski's Chinatown has evolved from an atmospheric film noir mystery into a modern-day classic, with Robert Towne's Academy Award-winning script unforgettably and brilliantly capturing a lost era of deceit, corruption and treachery.

My Thoughts:
This was a really great, twisty mystery. It doled out clues in bits and pieces, and kept you wondering exactly what was going on, and who was behind what, and who knew what throughout the film. It keeps up the suspense, keeps the viewer in the dark and that's what makes a really good mystery. It's also still very relevant, even forty-one years later. It pains a grim view of the world through a jaded lens, a world where the rich and powerful get what they want, and those that stand in their way are crushed under foot.

Superb performances from the three leads (Nicholson, Dunaway and Huston), great direction, and a memorable, melancholy score all enhance the Oscar-winning screenplay. Essential viewing for film enthusiasts and highly recommended for lovers of good mysteries. Not for the younger set or anyone who can't take a dark story with a downbeat ending.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2015, 05:50:36 AM »


Frenzy
Year of Release: 1972
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Anna Massey
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Overview:
Jon Finch, Alec McCowen and Barry Foster star in this morbid blend of horror and wit—the first Hitchcock film to earn an "R" rating. The Necktie Murderer has the London Police on red alert and an innocent man is on a desperate quest to find the real sex criminal and clear his name. Alternating heart-pounding tension with distinctive Hitchcock humor, Frenzy marked the Master of Suspense’s return to his native England after almost 20 years.

My Thoughts:
Hitchcock lays out all the mystery in the beginning, as the viewer is lead to suspect different people as being the serial killer.  He wraps that up pretty early in the film though, at least for the viewer.  We know long before our protagonist who the killer is.  After that it stays a good thriller, though the deaths in the film were easy for me to predict early on.  Great direction, great camera work, and I really appreciated that the protagonist was an actually unlikeable person.  Yes, he was an innocent man and I sympathized with him, but he wasn't a hero and I didn't like him.  That's not something I see very often in film so I found it very refreshing. 

I do think the first rape/murder scene was quite nasty and it seemed drawn out and fetishized to me.  This is likely intentional, getting into the mind of the killer and all that, but I'm not sure that the film needed it.  The second rape/murder, that takes place mostly off screen, is just as effective in eliciting horror from the viewer.  That's really my only quarrel here, this was otherwise a really good film.  Recommended.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield