The Last Movie You Saw

Discussion in 'Film & TV' started by Boreas, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I saw that movie in Thailand and it was called, 'John Carter of Mars,' pretty sure it was called that in England too. Where do you live? Maybe there was a regional title change?
     
  2. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Just John Carter in UK. Or John Carter 3D ;)
     
  3. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    But yeah I watched it ages ago, so don't remember too much about it, but I do remember enjoying it quite a bit. You could set any Disney film on mars and I think I'd enjoy it.
     
  4. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I didn't like it too much but it did seem to have a go at having a proper story which is rare these days.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I never caught it at the theatres, but I was always aware of it as simply John Carter. I think one of the reasons I might have liked it was because I went into it with low expectations after having heard such negative comments. I didn't expect it to be good, but I was very pleasantly surprised indeed. You have to take it for what it is at face value, which is an adventurous romance in the tradition of Verne or Haggard or Doyle where the protagonists are taken from their their more constrained, mundane existence and debouched onto a wider, completely fantastic arena. I suppose like most fantasy today, but these (including Burroughs) would have been the original progenitors of the modern form.

    I liked it enough that I am now reading Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it. So glad I saw the film first because the novel, whilst treading the same ground, is at variance with the film by enough degrees when it comes to both details and progression of plot that it feels somewhat like a new narrative. I can understand why some of those changes were made for a modern film-going audience and I think they did a good job finding a balance between keeping faith to the source material whilst updating it for modern sensibilities. I definitely think the film captured the romance of John Carter's adventure.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I saw Buffy, the Vampire Slayer from 1992. For a B movie, it was more enjoyable than I thought. I mean, I do like many B movies, but I thought this one would be pretty bad and it wasn't. Donald Sutherland plays the Watcher, who's vocation it is to train Slayers, and Rutger Hauer (!) is the baddie vampire, although he doesn't have too large a role. Still, it's always great to see Rutger Hauer no matter what film or how bad the film. It was cheesy, yet there were some moments that really made me chuckle. Fun B movie at the tail end of the 80's in terms of pop culture and fashion. Now, I weirdly want to try out the TV show. I remember seeing a few episodes during the 90's but it was never something that interested me then. Might be a good way to pass the time when I don't want to have to pay any attention.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Saw some movies...

    Star Trek: Beyond (2016) by Justin Lin. This is definitely the best of the new ST films despite having lots of plot holes and a ridiculously silly, absolutely flimsy motive for the villain. As you mentioned before, @j.grey, it's a good action flick but it's in no way a Star Trek film, something that it has in common with the two previous films by Jar Jar Abrams. Great special effects, great action sequences, a few amusing scenes and lines of dialogue and that's pretty much it. One added plus was...no lens flare! Yorktown was great to see visually. Very impractical, but very pretty. Almost like something out of Banks' Culture albeit a lot more primitive.

    Enemy Mine (1985) by Wolfgang Peterson. This was the cheesiest and most dated film I've seen in a long time. I stopped watching it a little past the halfway mark after a succession of scenes and dialogue that became more and more...embarrassing. When they broke out into song, I just had to stop. The only plus point I can think of is that the setting and cinematography were quite good. Too bad the acting was so shite. There's cheesy in a good way, but this film definitely isn't that. I remember reading the story by Barry Longyear in an anthology during my teens and liking it at the time. Might have to revisit the story to wash away the bad taste of the film.

    Soldier (1998) by Paul Anderson. This one was the best out of the three. Absolutely generic and filled with just about every science fiction trope, yet I found it compelling and enjoyed it thoroughly. This is the good kind of cheese. Almost felt like a higher budget John Carpenter film. Some funny dialogue, a simultaneously one-dimensional and over-the-top and villain, and some unexpected references to two other classic science fiction films that I spotted. I don't know whether these references were tributes or deliberate. Well, they can't both be deliberate since that would mix up two different universes, so I'll think of them as homages. Two or three seriously quotable lines that I'm always going to remember. I'll recommend this for anyone who's in the mood for a low budget, cheesy, testosterone-filled, fun action film. There's no way Soldier can compete in the special effects and action department with a blockbuster film like Star Trek: Beyond, but it has a much more satisfying ending.
     
  8. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I saw Enemy Mine as a kid and it never left an impression on me beyond disappointment at the lack of space-ships. I've actually never seen 'Soldier' so might well check that out.
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've seen Iceman (1984) by Fred Schepisi which I quite enjoyed. Deals with the resurrection of an estimated 40,000 year Neanderthal and I thought the film did a pretty good job in portraying how such a human might act. There's a already a discussion thread for it on the forum.

    Also saw the new DC movie Suicide Squad (2016) by David Ayer. Meh. I liked aspects of it, but it's just another unremarkable super-hero (or in this case, super-villain) film with an extremely weak plot

    And I finally saw the horror film Hellraiser (1987) by Clive Barker. It's based on a story by Barker that I've never read. I really liked it, and the first half was especially brilliant. I've had a mild block concerning the Hellraiser franchise since I saw one of the films on TV at night when I was 12. Don't remember exactly which one it was, but it could have been the third or fourth one? Anyway, it scarred my 12-year old self. Actually scared me shitless. I remember my heart racing from the tension and my hands over my eyes and peaking through the gaps between my fingers. I also remember restless nights from the gruesome imagery. I've seen worse since, but because I inadvertently saw this at a young age and it didn't go down well, I've never exactly jumped at the chance to watch them as an adult. But now that I've finally seen it, I've got to say that I loved it. Will look forward to watching the others. And now Clive Barker is higher on my to-read list.
     
  10. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Ha ha, I was the same way with American Werewolf in London, love the movie now though.
     
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  11. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    I have watched, for the 5th time I think, 2001: Space Odyssey. Every time I watch I like it better. It must be something to do with age because when I watched it the very first time, I missed most of the crucial points...
     
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  12. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've been watching more films in lieu of reading when I've had some free evenings. Lately, I've watched:

    The Night of the Comet (1984) by Thom Eberhardt & The Last Starfighter (1984) by Nick Castle, both 80's cheese films (good cheese) with the very cute Catherine Mary Stewart. TNotC was really good and way better than TLS, although TLS had some fun, comedic moments.

    Westworld (1973) by Michael Crichton, which was actually really very good. Excellent set-up of the theme and the great Yul Brynner was bloody awesome. Now I'm ready to watch the TV adaptation/continuation, where I expect they've taken the theme and really played with all the potential it has to offer.

    Labyrinth (1985) by Jim Henson. I didn't really think I'd like it all that much, but I actually liked it a lot! It's a perfect children's movie. And the puppets were absolutely brilliant!

    Predestination (2014) by the Spierig brothers. Based on Heinlein's short story "--All You Zombies--". It was a good film, and played well with the whole causal paradox of time travel, but I still guessed the outcome (after revising my guesses twice). And like all time travel stories, it's never a neatly satisfying conclusion psychologically, even if it appears to make sense plot-wise. I'll be looking forward to reading the story when I finally get around to reading Heinlein.

    Sully (2016) by Clint Eastwood. For a Clint Eastwood offering, this was just average. Read Michael Crichton's Airframe instead for a good investigative thriller on a plane crash.

    I'd like to watch this one soon. It's supposed to be another horror classic, but melded with comedy.
    Nice! The absolutely-best-freaking- science fiction movie ever made. A piece of art and philosophy, as relevant now as when it came out and still a full order of magnitude grander in scope than any other science fiction film Hollywood (or any other major film centre) has ever put out since. Have you ever watched Hyams 2010: Odyssey Two? Unlike the original, this sequel is much more functional science fiction, without any of the grand philosophical/psychological/mystical and especially artistic emphasis of its predecessor, and it follows the novel by Clarke very closely. As a more down-to-earth film, it is excellent.
     
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  14. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have. I enjoyed it but it offers a very different vibe. A much narrower view of the concept, which drove the first film. Human survival is at its centre. The rest is consequential. Less spectacular, shallower and definitely less abstruse.
    However, as I haven't read Clarke's books, I wouldn't know how faithful the films are to the original stories.
     
  15. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    The first film was an original. It was based on certain elements from a previous short story by Clarke called "The Sentinel," but the novel and the script for the film were written in tandem (with the novel being finished first) and influenced each other in the writing. The story of the first film is as much influenced by the vision that Kubrick had in what he wanted to accomplish (or thought he wanted to accomplish, as Clarke has said that neither of them knew exactly what they were setting out to do except to chart the unknowability (if that's a word) or inscrutability of what the future could bring) as it is by Clarke's initial framework from his short story. Clarke has said that the difference between "The Sentinel" and 2001: A Space Odyssey is analogous to that of an acorn and a fully fledged, magnificent oak tree. But since 2001 was deliberately left open-ended, Clarke couldn't help extending the story with his sequels from 2010: Odyssey Two onwards. Just remember, the book 2001 is not a novelisation of the film, and the film was not an adaptation of the book.
     
  16. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I just saw Rogue 1 and Bad Santa 2. Rogue 1 was better than I thought. It was a little unbalanced, the first half having not enough action and the second half having too much. The eventual finale felt too over the top, they were aiming a bit too high. Still, direction and overall quality was massively better than TFA which looked more like a cartoon in comparison. It was a solid sci-fi movie, nothing more but nothing less either.
    Bad Santa 2 was good. Not many films make me laugh out loud but this did. It had a lot of material from the first rehashed in slightly different ways but still, it was a solid comedy.
     
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  17. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bóreas. I wasn't aware of it. I'm planning to watch 2010: Odyssey Two in the next couple of days.
     
  18. Elvira

    Elvira Well-Known Member

    Last evening I watched (again) The Changeling (1980) by P Medak and still gives me goosebumps after all these years...
     
  19. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'll probably watch SW:RO sometime in January. I definitely expect it to be better than the poor remake of SW:ANH that was SW:TFA, but I'll reserve judgement till after I've seen it. I've heard someone say that the last 30 minutes of Rogue One are some of the best action sequences in the entire Star Wars franchise. Didn't know there was a Bad Santa 2. The first one was irreverent fun, so I'll have to make an effort to watch this sometime.
     
  20. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    The last half hour was very much like the action in ROTJ but better. There were a few shots of the Death Star and the effects were really top notch, it had a real sense of scale, it looked totally believable. I wasn't sure at first, the characters seemed a bit flat but that might have been because someone behind me was kicking the chair and I threatened to throw him and his mates out if he didn't stop. It was probably the best SW movie so far. I mean, I know the first three were great but when you analyse them, they're actually pretty poorly written, this was a little better than that.
     

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