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Mark’s movie corner.


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For this weekend’s offering, I’m going to share one of my top 5 all-time favorite films (and that’s a very exclusive list!) - Cameron Crow’s 2000 film, Almost Famous.

 

First and foremost, if you are in any way a fan of ‘70s rock, this film is a MUST SEE.  It is the story of the real-life events of Cameron Crow as a young teen writing for Rolling Stone magazine while touring with The Alman Brothers (Though in the film, he tours with the fictitious band Stillwater).  Crow knew early in his film career he wanted to make this film.  He and his wife (Nancy Wilson of Heart) wrote the Stillwater songs on their honeymoon.

 

The film is a wonderful coming of age story, set against the backdrop of the ‘70s rock scene. There are incredibly touching moments, great humor, and unequivocally the best soundtrack of any movie I’ve seen. All of the acting performances are top notch, but the performances of both Francis McDormand and Philip Seymour Hoffman are truly fantastic.

 

if you have the option, the “Bootleg” version is highly preferable, as the extended scenes really add to the overall film. 

 

 

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Do you ever find yourself tired of the seemingly constant flow regurgitated movie offerings at the box office?  Avengers End, End, End game (and this time we mean it), Spider-Man 17, the latest Disney

Although " The Count of Monte Cristo" is my favorite, my #2 and #3 are " The Hunt for Red October-Sean Connery" and "Shooter- Mark Wahlberg" respectively. 

One of my favorites is The Count of Monte Cristo.  If you like a real good vengeance movie that is not violent in nature, this is your movie.....grin

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For this weekend’s selection, I offer a clever and intriguing “heist” film, appropriately titled Heist (not The Heist, or American Heist - Just Heist).  This is a heist film that does not rely on shootouts, pulse-pounding building climes, or helicopter stunts to move the story along. It relies on clever planning, slight of hand twists and superb acting to deliver the goods (pun).

 

This film is stacked with memorable performances - Delroy Lindo, Danny Devito, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sam Rockwell, Ricky Jay, and of course Gene Hackman.  I can’t discuss too much without giving anything away, but if you like a good Heist movie, this one is well worth your time:-)

 

 

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While the intention of this thread is to highlight great, but somewhat unknown movies, I feel compelled to issue a warning about a recent “off the beaten path” film that I saw yesterday.  The film is called  The Lighthouse, and It is billed as a terrifying psychological thriller starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, and is receiving rave reviews from critics and viewers alike (92% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, 70% from audiences).

 

 

The film is shot in a narrow 4:3 ratio, and is in black and white. These two factors made me feel cramped and unsettled from the get go - a great way to start a horror/thriller.  Unfortunately, that’s about as close as it came.  I will say that the film is masterfully shot - the textures and contrast in the black and white presentation are rich and well controlled, and the cinematography is outstanding.  Shot selection and framing are superb, and perspective is used fluently to communicate with the viewer.

 

The big miss, and the reason I encourage you to avoid this film, is the story (or lack thereof). This is one of those films that I really think people don’t understand, yet are reluctant to admit they don’t understand, so they go the other way, and rave about it.  They extol it’s virtues of “mysticism” and “deeper meaning”, all the while hoping no one calls their bluff.  This in turn causes more people to jump on the bandwagon, for fear of being left on the outside, and not “getting it”. Well I most certainly did NOT get it, and I’ll freely admit it. I was so confused, I went on line after, thinking I must have missed something big in the film.  Nope. If you read the reviews and comments, it’s clear that no one really “gets it”.  I did find a description that sums my own feelings up pretty well:

 

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I saw The Lighthouse a few weeks ago with my wife and we were both thoroughly underwhelmed. This one and Ad Astra were disappointing.

 

 

However, If you love Jim Carrey at his overacting best... Lemony Snickets a series of Unfortunate Events. Very stylistic set pieces and comedic genius. Very enjoyable for the whole family!

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339291/videoplayer/vi513147161

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1 hour ago, Daddyjt said:

The big miss, and the reason I encourage you to avoid this film, is the story (or lack thereof). This is one of those films that I really think people don’t understand, yet are reluctant to admit they don’t understand, so they go the other way, and rave about it.  They extol it’s virtues of “mysticism” and “deeper meaning”, all the while hoping no one calls their bluff.  This in turn causes more people to jump on the bandwagon, for fear of being left on the outside, and not “getting it”. Well I most certainly did NOT get it, and I’ll freely admit it. I was so confused, I went on line after, thinking I must have missed something big in the film.  Nope. If you read the reviews and comments, it’s clear that no one really “gets it”.  I did find a description that sums my own feelings up pretty well:

 

Are you saying "the emperor has no clothes?" :D 

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This is not, by any means, a cinematic masterpiece. However, it is AMAZING to look at the cast and try to comprehend how Tim Burton managed to get them all together. It's a fun watch and I always end up watching it if I stumble upon it while channel surfing.

 

 

 

Jack Nicholson as President James Dale / Art Land
Glenn Close as First Lady Marsha Dale
Annette Bening as Barbara Land
Pierce Brosnan as Professor Donald Kessler
Danny DeVito as Rude Gambler
Martin Short as Press Secretary Jerry Ross
Sarah Jessica Parker as Nathalie Lake
Michael J. Fox as Jason Stone
Rod Steiger as General Decker
Tom Jones as himself
Lukas Haas as Richie Norris
Natalie Portman as Taffy Dale
Jim Brown as Byron Williams
Lisa Marie as Martian Girl
Sylvia Sidney as Florence Norris
Christina Applegate as Sharona
Joe Don Baker as Mr. Norris
Pam Grier as Louise Williams
Paul Winfield as General Casey
Jack Black as Billy-Glenn Norris
Brian Haley as Mitch
O-Lan Jones as Sue-Ann Norris
Jerzy Skolimowski as Dr. Zeigler
Ray J as Cedric Williams
Brandon Hammond as Neville Williams
Frank Welker as the voice of the Martians

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Ah, this looks like some fun.

 

I submit The Raid 2: Berendal

 

This Indonesian film is firmly rooted in martial arts and organized crime yet utterly better than anything Hollywood could offer. Enter Silat master Iko Uwais who has most recently found fame in Mile 22 and one of those endless star wars films. But before that he made several films in his native Indonesia. This guy makes Bruce Lee look dated.

 

 

The-Raid-2-Movie-Poster-400x600.jpg

 

Taut, intense fight scenes directed by Gareth Evans like the one linked below are staples of the story, but as good as this one is, the best is yet to come.

 

Track down The Raid 2: Berendal and stream it, buy it, whatever. You'll be glad you did.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8QsSqqX2yk&frags=pl%2Cwn

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by weitrhino
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7 hours ago, B-Man said:

This is not, by any means, a cinematic masterpiece. However, it is AMAZING to look at the cast and try to comprehend how Tim Burton managed to get them all together. It's a fun watch and I always end up watching it if I stumble upon it while channel surfing.

 

 

 

 

Great ensemble cast; looks like they had a bunch of fun, and gave somebody an idea:

 

Using sound waves to destroy cancer | Christine Gibbons | TEDxDetroit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKh2XFmsUx4

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Not necessarily "off the beaten path", but this film did not receive anywhere NEAR the play it deserves.  The film is Hell Or High Water, starring Ben Foster, Chris Pine and a straight-up Oscar worthy performance by Jeff Bridges.  It is difficult to speak to much of the plot without divulging spoilers - and while the central premise of the film is a series of bank robberies, it is in no way accurate to term it a "bank robber" movie.  The story is rich and rewarding, and the full scope of the plot is given in a steady, but measured pace that is ultimately very satisfying.  Perhaps the most endearing part of the film is the relationship between Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham who play partners in the Texas Ranger (Law enforcement) organization.  Their dialogue is laid-back yet razor sharp, and a joy to behold - on a separate note, this film may soon be "cancelled" in light of the current culture sweeping the country.  The film also paints a stark picture of life in poverty-stricken West Texas, - In fact, the hardship of life in a small West Texas town is a character in the movie, right along with the actors.

 

Overall a touching film about friendship and family that is well worth your time.

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It's fair to say I'm a sucker for movies with a twist.  In fact, about the only thing more satisfying in cinema than a great twist, is a twist that gives you all the information to piece it together, as opposed to the random left-field reveal.  Take The Sixth Sense - it was all there, had you been able to make all the connections, which makes the reveal all the more satisfying.  Which brings us to the current selection - Lucky Number Slevin.  The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the cast - Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnet and Stanley Tucci.  As expected, Morgan Freeman does the heavy lifting, but the entire cast is on point in this film.  The second thing I find immensely satisfying in this film is the dialogue - Sharp and witty, with subtle dark humor throughout.  And rounding out the package is the story - It is delivered in a semi Quentin Tarantino style, where you get a piece here and a piece there, and you find yourself awaiting the next piece.  I really can't say much more without compromising the story and reveal, but rest assured, it will be worth your time!

 

mzl.henpfrpb.thumb.jpg.07561b0f781dd9de5c1de10066ec0d88.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Walrus Gumboot said:

The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Iko Uwais, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan (she's really easy on the eyes) and Ronda Rousey.

I almost watched this last night as well ...... but then I saw Mark Wahlberg ............ ughhhh

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6 hours ago, jeffs said:

I almost watched this last night as well ...... but then I saw Mark Wahlberg ............ ughhhh

 

Watch it for Iko Uwais, or better yet scroll up to see my recommendation of Iko's The Raid 2: Berendal

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4 minutes ago, Rob said:

Carver's, No, Cleavers. 🤣 Good action movie. 

 

 

 

 

image.thumb.png.33a3ade533e9f5be3ddeddb80343586f.png

I watched that one back when I had Netflix, and found it quite good.  It was a bit of a wild ride if I recall, as it went from a typical Ryan Reynolds light-hearted fun action flick, then took a couple pretty dark turns, and got a whole lot more serious....

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42 minutes ago, Daddyjt said:

I watched that one back when I had Netflix, and found it quite good.  It was a bit of a wild ride if I recall, as it went from a typical Ryan Reynolds light-hearted fun action flick, then took a couple pretty dark turns, and got a whole lot more serious....

Yeh, I liked the way it started out full speed action and didn't stop for quite awhile. It definitely didn't take any time to get to the point. 

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