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Rate the Last Movie You've Seen

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Guys, if you like sports movies, you'll like 'Draft Day' even though it is a bit short on action. I enjoyed it. 7.5 :D

Has "The Water Diviner" with Russell Crowe been released in the U.S. ? I was a bit reluctant to see it after the disastrous "Noah", but it was great !

Also, war movies are usually depressing to me. It took me years to get around to watching "Schindler's List", an amazing Movie.

This is about a Father (RC) whose 3 sons all join the Army "for King and Country" in WW1, and are presumed killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

RC journeys to Turkey not long after the end of the War to try to find out what happened to them. Sounds impossible !

Excellent Movie. 9. :thumbsup:

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The Grand Budapest Hotel 8/10

A quirky comedy that features an exceptional performance by Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustave the concierge at a luxurious hotel in a fictitious central European country between the two world wars. The story is told from the perspective of Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes the protege and trusted confidante of Monsieur Gustave. The poetry quoting M. Gustave and Zero become embroiled in a bitter battle for a family fortune and the theft of a valuable Renaissance painting. The humour is very droll and the acting is first rate. All in all, a good way to spend 2 hours.

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Whiplash 8.5/10

An interesting drama about a young jazz drummer who struggles to become great at his talent and has to deal with his abusive teacher (who won the Oscar for Best Sup. Actor). A great film to watch even if you don't particularly enjoy jazz.

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Interstellar 7/10

Matthew Mcconaughey is quite good in this rather implausible and slow-moving science fiction film. The special effects are very good, but the movie is about 45 minutes too long. Matt Damon plays against type as he is a weirdo scientist and a villain to boot.

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Still Alice    8/10

 

Julianne Moore is excellent as a linguistics professor whose world is turned upside down when she is diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimers disease.  As the disease slowly robs her of her memories and her faculties, she struggles to maintain some semblance of normalcy in her family life.  She is determined that she will not be defined by her disease.

The supporting cast is quite good, particularly Alec Baldwin as Alice's husband.  Even Kristin Stewart is tolerable as one of Alice's daughters.

All in all , a thoroughly entertaining, albeit terribly sad, movie.9

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After Earth (2013) 4/10

With all of the Future Tech, smart biosuits and "swiss army knife"-like weapons, it all comes down to a Zen-like state called "ghosting" to defeat a blind, engineered-to-kill-by-smell alien behemoth. (Will Smith plays himself, while Jaden Smith does a "Macauley Culkin" on the late, populated-by-hostile-organisms Earth. Costa Rica looks great, which raises the otherwise 0/10 rating.)

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The Bastard Executioner (2 hour pilot) 6/10

It's the 14th century in Wales, and the castle-dwelling English Barons are doing their best "Nasty Nazi" schtick, while Welsh peasants play the "Braveheart" card, biding their time to stick it to the tax collector. For fans of "Vikings," there's coupling, fighting, drinking, and speeches galore, though the actors aren't as interesting or just plain underutilized. Former English Knight Witkin Brattle, now a Welsh farmer, is regularly visited by visions that would render Joan of Arc catatonic. After the village "Hoods" raid/kill the Baron's tax collecting party, his family and home village are eliminated by Evil English Baron Ventris. Seeking revenge, his band of six other Rebels are counseled by the "Slavic Witch," Annora of the Alders, into allying with another poorly armed band into cutting down Baron Ventris' army and giving "old seedless" such a headache. Next, Annora carves Witkin a new face to match defunct Gawain Maddox, a Journeyman Punisher/Executioner, which allows the Welsh a way into the castle, to "bring law and order" to the Shire. An unexpected ally at the castle solidifies his backstory, and even allows him to practice his new craft on the cowardly brother of The Chamberlain. The next test for the reluctant torturer is a feisty teenage girl that tried to run off with a memorial statue of "old seedless." Created by the "Sons of Anarchy" motorcycle gang chronicle, there's ample opportunity for bestiality, bloody fights, and barbarism that can't be found on network TV.

Edited by Otokichi
Dig those funky/stramge character names!

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Birdman - 8/10

Michael Keaton plays an actor who is trying to revive his career by writing and starring in a Broadway show based on a Raymond Chandler story.  He is trying to shake off the fame from a superhero movies series he starred in and gain credibility, but is he losing his mind in the process?

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 6.5/10

Cute feel-good movie about elderly Brits looking to put a little oomph in their life by checking into a hotel run by an ambitious, but not too business savvy young Indian man.  Love is found, lost and of course, there's a happy ending.

Unbroken - 7.5/10

I felt cheated that we didn't get to see the redemption part of the story, only the suffering.  The movie does a disservice to the book by only giving Louis Zamperini's struggle with PTSD and alcoholism a brief mention.  I felt like the movie was too focused on making Louis look good, rather than fleshing him out and making him more human.

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Jesse Stone: Lost In Paradise (7/10)

The Chief of Police in Paradise, Massachusetts doesn't have much serious Police Work to do, which has led him back to his therapist. The headshrinker is trying to quit smoking by lighting (but not smoking) a cigarette. On top of that, Jesse's dog, Reggie, has a stone marker on the point. With too much time on his hands, "Mr. PPD" heads for the big city to see his old friend at the State Police, only to find that he's on vacation...in Florida. The interim head, "Sydney Greenstreet," has a past with Jesse, but drops a load of New/Cold cases in his lap, after swearing him in. A serial murder case piques Jesse's interest, since "The Boston Ripper" adamantly denies killing the fourth and last victim. Thus begins the long and winding road to ascertain if "The Ripper" is telling the truth, complete with a troubled teen, a former colleague of the murder victim, and an "is-he-a-suspect-and-is-there-any-proof"? who turns out to be ready to fight. Jesse rescues the last victm's dog, Steve, who hankers for a plate of pasta! I can see why CBS moved this aging vehicle out to pasture and applaud Lifetime's wisdom in adding it to their lineup.;)

Edited by Otokichi
Gotta watch those grammatical lapses!

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Glen Campbell... I'll Be Me (9/10)

I would have given this one a 10, but they spelled Joe Osborn's name wrong.

This movie follows Glen Campbell from his Alzheimer's diagnosis through his Goodbye Tour and finally to 2014, when his mind had left him completely. It's candid and unadorned - a visceral look at what happens to an Alzheimer's patient and how it affects his loved ones and caregivers. The story is remarkable: Campbell toured despite having no recall of lyrics to songs he had sung for decades. With teleprompters positioned around the stage and three family members in his band to provide familiarity and support, he played about 150 shows over the next year before he could no longer perform.

My beef with traditional bios is they rarely expose the dark side of a subject, which in Campbell's case was very dark. This one didn't have to, since it deals specifically with his condition. The talking heads are folks like Bruce Springsteen and Brad Paisley, many of whom tell personal stories about people they know who have suffered from Alzheimer's. It's also very pragmatic in the theme: the US government needs to make a push to cure this disease. There is no happy ending, just happy memories from those who enjoyed Campbell's company in his last lucid years. And in some ways, memories are all we have.

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"The Last Witness" (8/10)

AKA "Saigo no shonin" at the IMDb, this Japanese TV movie follows down-at-heels attorneys Sakata and Kosaka as they get off the overnight bus from Tokyo to Yonezaki, They've been hired by a "big noise" local who's on trial the next day. When they meet Shimazu Kuniaki at the jail, he scolds them for not taking the bullet train that night, instead of arriving the day before the first hearing. The lead attorney, Sakata Sadato, counters by threatening not to take the case if Mr.Big ever lies to him. At the first (of three) hearings, who should be in charge of the prosecution but Shoji Mao, a colleague of his when he was a local public prosecutor. A stabbed-in-the-heart-with-a-steak-knife-bathrobe-clad Hamada Mitsuko, was found in a hotel room, which Mr. Big was seen fleeing that night. Fingerprints, and flirtations with the ceramics-class-student seen by half the town make for an air-tight case. But "irrelevant details" pop up during witness testimonies, which suggest that this murder is tied to a 7-years-ago traffic accident. Will this trail of inconsistencies and revelations lead to conviction or acquittal? The final witness provides details that uncover justice subverted and a nearly fool proof revenge plot.  

Edited by Otokichi
Details matter (Gotta love them Japanese character names!)

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The Good Dinosaur - 7.5/10

Beautifully animated, but basically your typical tearjerker Disney story.  It didn't make as much of an impact as most Pixar/Disney movies, but like I said, beautiful to look at.

Star Wars:  The Force Awakens - 9/10

I will not spoil anything for those who haven't seen it, but I haven't been this excited about a Star Wars movie in ages.  Very evocative and respectful of the original trilogy, while still introducing you to some new characters that you can care about. I like that many of the OT characters appeared (but where's Lando) and that it still left a lot of questions even after giving away major plot points.   It made my daughter want to see the OT, which we weren't successful in getting her to watch previously.

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Concussion.     8/10

Based on a true story, the movie stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Pittsburgh pathologist who performs an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers player Mike Webster.  Omalu discovers that Webster was suffering from severe neurological deterioration caused by repeated blows to the head suffered as a result of his football career.  He calls the condition Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and publishes his findings in a medical journal.  From there, the movie becomes a true David vs. Goliath story.  The NFL tries to discredit Omalu by impugning his expertise, conclusions and even his motives.  They even involve the FBI by having two agents threaten him with deportation to his native Nigeria.  However, as a result of Omalu's persistence and dedication, the NFL is eventually forced to adopt more rigorous concussion protocols.

 

The movie is very well acted.  David Morse's brief performance as Mike Webster is excellent and heartbreaking.  The movie is simultaneously uplifting and depressing.  If you see it, you'll understand why.  I thoroughly recommend it.

  

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"The Lone Ranger" (2013) 7/10

I'd read/heard of "how awful this Johnny Depp-inflicted movie" was, and recorded it for later viewing. I figured that if it was as bad as reported, I could drop in to a "foreign/silent film Sunday" on Turner Classic Movies. Once the movie began, no foreign/silent classic could hold my interest. Like "Raiders of the Lost Ark," this Western homage/action comedy has enough energy/material for a stack of current movies, and Johnny Depp's "Tonto" is as interesting as "Capt. Jack Sparrow." I still don't know why Tonto was sharing a railroad prison car with the cannibalistic master outlaw, but his solution to shackles and chains was indicative of how Ninja-like this Comanche medicine man is/was. As for the title character, his evolution from East coast city slicker to experienced Texas Ranger took the audience through a cinematic "Trail of Tears" as the live-and-let Indians and local Whites were mowed down by 19th Century Robber Barons. Still, it's a "Popcorn" action movie where one can ride the roller coaster and wonder if Tonto's crow head dress is much more than a chapeau.     

Edited by Otokichi
I must proof read my prose!

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"Cloud Atlas" (2012) 8/10

A total of six (!) time period threads play during the course of this film about Karma across time/space. Fortunately, no more than three intersect at any given time, though several play out from beginning to end. From Slavery to Love, the nature of Freedom, and Duty, an ensemble of actors play various characters from Good to Evil, as time goes by. Repeat viewings and searching for "everything you need to know about 'Cloud Atlas" make this nearly-three-hour film more involving, than, say, "Titanic," but worth your time if you like movies "that play on in your mind long after the last frame." The thread begins in 1849, aboard a ship sailing to islands in the Pacific, jumps to 1936 Cambridge and Edinburgh, bounces into 1972 San Francisco, crash lands in 2012 London, then glides into 2144 Neo Seoul, and finally washes up on Hawaii island "106 years after The Fall." One begins as a 19th century gentleman, rolls out of bed as a composer-wannabe, chases corporate misdeeds as a small time investigative reporter, faces down two kinds of thugs as a senior citizen, lives a "McJobs" life in a future fast food restaurant complex, and lives in fear of a cannibalistic tribe as a goatherd. In the end, "the weak are meat and the strong do eat" and "Is not the ocean made up of many drops?" are two quotes to (mis)remember.;)

Edited by Otokichi
These are but two most memorable quotes...

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I saw "The Martian" this weekend. Awesome!!!!  Loved the mix of humor, drama and science.  9.5/10

"Kung Fu Panda 3".  Took my daughter to see this one.  I liked it better than #2, which was a little too dark (and boring) for me.  This one was more lighthearted and more in the spirit of the original.  8/10

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Kiri-no-Hata/Flag in the Mist/Sweet Revenge  7/10

The day begins for a female marine products worker, Kiriko, who goes about her duties until quitting time/payday. Making her way across the strait from Honshu to Kyushu, she's happy with her rather drab existence. Her brain-damaged younger brother, Masao, greets her in their tiny, hot upstairs apartment that evening. In Tokyo, a popular "human rights" lawyer, Kinzo Otsuka, has just won the release of a foreign student from prison and is basking in the public adulation, planning to celebrate with his restaurant-owner mistress Kyoko Kono over golf at Hakone. Brother Masao is seen at the local bakery, where he works as a helper, and receives his monthly pay packet. On the way home, he pauses across the lane from an "always in bed clothes" woman, who is seeing her scuzzy ex-boxer boyfriend. Seeing Masao, she puts a 10,000 Yen note into his packet to "forget what he saw." That evening, Kiriko counts out Masao's take and finds one bill too many, and asks him how he got it. Masao tells her of the "bedclothes Watanabe woman," and promises to return the money the next day after work. Masao stops at the house, runs out, in a panic, then stops and runs away from a patrolling police officer, who has noticed that Masao has dropped a bloody bank note. Masao is arrested and charged with Robbery-Murder, which Tokyo lawyer Otsuka informs Kiriko carries a Life or Death Penalty sentence. Kirkio begs the Otsuka to take the case, only to be told that an out-of-town case will be very expensvie. In reality, the lawyer is all set on his trip to Hakone with his mistress, and blows Kiriko off. Masao ends up in prison for Life, only to die shortly after of heatstroke. Kiriko is fired from her job, and relocates to Tokyo, while Otsuka schemes to divorce his wife. The scuzzy ex-boxer and the restaurant's manager Takeo Yamagami, plot to soak the owner, though Takeo is in love with the restaurant owner. Kiriko's friend at the bar asks her to trail the restaurant manager, which leads to murder, a lie, and Kiriko's revenge. 

Edited by Otokichi
Gotta get those names right.

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Ghostbusters (2016)....I personally think it was a really good movie, if you take it as an independent one, without comparing it to the eighties version.

Really funny, made me laught a lot, and the comediants were brilliant! 

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I agree, Uli.  My kid and I went to see that one.  I'd watch Kate McKinnon in anything, she's the best.  "Ghostbusters" the original is in my Top Ten list of all time favorite movies, and this one did it justice, I think.  Not as a replacement by any stretch, but as a different take on the same thing.

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Die Brucke 8/10

"The Bridge," a 1959 tale of the final days of World War II at the village level, as seen by school boys awaiting call up orders. I'd seen the shattering final 15 minutes of the movie a long time ago, but hadn't seen what their lives were like before the tanks and Americans came. In spite of the hard-to-read subtitles of the YouTube version, I managed to "slip into the skin" of these teens, trying to come to terms with adultery, betrayal, war time shortages, and Love. "The muddy field" training scene took me back to "All Quiet On The Western Front," though the Unteroffizier was trying to build them into a team, and not "doing a Himmelstoss," The War steps up after their first day (!) of training, as they are assigned to "guard the bridge" into their home town. Due to an overzealous Feldgendarme, their Corporal is killed, and they dig in, in spite of the fearful cargo of wounded soldiers on trucks coming from the front and headed to the rear. The foggy night gives way to a clear day, and their first hint of trouble is a low flying airplane looking them over. Then the tanks come, and things get Very Serious.

 

 

 

Edited by Otokichi
Oops, I didn't end a sentence properly.;)

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The Music Box (1932) 9/10

I've seen clips of this almost-30-minute short, but hadn't seen the whole thing. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays in 2016, Turner Classic Movies is doing a Slapstick movie series, so this Tuesday, I finally saw "The Music Box" in glorious Monochrome. There are monochrome/Black-and-White versions of this film, but most the of prints are far too dark. Even this Colorized version is a tad dark in places, but it looks more like the new-and-improved TCM version. The plot (such as it is) revolves around a player piano that deliverymen Laurel and Hardy have to get up a long and steep set of stairs. Their battle with gravity and various critics of their work, results in an all day near-delivery struggle. The local mail carrier/ Postman tells them when they get to the top of the stairs, that there is a easier way to get up the hill. Do these geniuses shrug and deliver the crated instrument that is literally feet from the door? Of course not! Mishaps with a small pool, block-and-tackle, electricity, and the furious resident (whom they insulted and caused his Bowler hat to get run over by a delivery truck!) make this a sure fire cure for Depression, economic or personal.;)

Edited by Otokichi
Oops, TCM's Slapstick series is a two-day-a-week thing.;)

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