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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 12:07 pm 
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I've been curious to see "Booksmart" for a while, out on DVD now.  I ended up liking it, but it took most of the movie for me to decide that.  It's pretty crude, both some sexual language and I think they were trying to set a record for number of F bombs uttered.  I'm not sure what the point of that was.  It drags a little but overall the story of a friendship between two high school Seniors was fairly charming, played by Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein (Jonah Hill's sister, I only found that out recently).  I thought some of the supporting characters, other students at the school, kind of stole several scenes.  Surprisingly some big names like Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte and Lisa Kudrow had tiny parts.  It was the directorial debut for Olivia Wilde.

While it was enjoyable, it's message is a bit muddled.  Don't be too responsible, and party your butt off while you're young?  You'll still go to an Ivy League school or Stanford, even if you don't take school very seriously?  Sure, that's how life works.  Oh, except for the one kid who was hired by Google straight out of high school for a mid 6 figure salary.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 12:09 pm 
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"Men In Black:  International" died at the box office.  I thought it was entertaining, a middle of the road popcorn flick.  Not all that good, but certainly not terrible.  The little alien voiced by Kumail Nanjiani totally stole the movie.
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Fletcher
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PostSat Sep 07, 2019 7:17 pm 
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Just caught Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Really, really good. I like all of Tarantinoís films but this one ended up actually being one of my favorites. Awesome ending.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostTue Sep 10, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Fletcher wrote:
Just caught Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Really, really good. I like all of Tarantinoís films but this one ended up actually being one of my favorites. Awesome ending.

Isn't that about the whole Charle Manson thing?

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rocknclimb
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 5:24 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
Isn't that about the whole Charle Manson thing?

Tarantino's alternate reality of it at least.  Really enjoyed it as well, but I'm a big fan of all his movies.

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 7:03 pm 
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This one's upcoming.  Should be interesting.   Recent NYTimes article:
Linda Ronstadt, retired from singing, is still a glorious voice.


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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Sep 16, 2019 10:15 pm 
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"Little Secrets" is a charming family film from 2001 I don't recall ever hearing about.  Stars Evan Rachel Wood when she was around 14.  While it was probably targeted to kids and early teens, it isn't juvenile.  Well acted, good story, quality production.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Sep 20, 2019 8:46 pm 
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I definitely remember hearing about "Denial" when it was released (2016), but I never saw it til now.  Excellent film, good performances throughout.  It's a based on a true story legal drama.  A Holocaust denier has brought a defamation suit against professor and author from Georgia.  The suit is in England, where the legal system works differently than ours.  Instead of the burden of proof being on the accuser it is the opposite.  Worth a watch.



I also recently saw the last of the X-Men films from Fox.  I had low expectations for it, but watched it anyway.  It was a healthy dose of meh and who cares.  That franchise was horribly mishandled and bungled.  Pretty much no continuity at all, they all might as well be stand alone films.  The same writer tried for a second time to bring the Jean Grey/Phoenix saga to film and arguably failed even worse this time.  Good riddance to Simon Kinberg, Bryan Singer and anyone else associated w/ Fox who played a role in those films.  Maybe Marvel Studios can do something with it after a little cooling off period.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Sep 22, 2019 6:46 pm 
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Saw a trailer for "Above the Shadows" recently.  Not sure if it ever hit theaters, Netflix probably won't ever have it available (although you can add it to your queue), Redbox has it.  It looked interesting, and I'm a big fan of Olivia Thirlby, so I gave it a shot.  Takes a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief, but if you can accomplish that I thought it was a solid indie.  When Thirlby's character was 12 years old her mother died, and soon thereafter she basically disappeared.  She was still alive, but nobody could see her or hear her, and her dad and 2 siblings seemed to forget she ever existed.

Fast forward to her being an adult, her invisibility is perfect for her being a free lance photographer who gets lots of juicy pics to sell to tabloids.  Then one day a bouncer/disgraced former MMA fighter actually sees her.  She figures they were fated to meet and somehow they can help each other.  She helps him get his career back on track, but the solution to her extreme problem proves to be more elusive.  It's a bit strange but I enjoyed it.
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Finally got around to seeing "Green Book" - really glad I did! The acting was just superb (although what else would you expect from Viggo Mortensen?), as was the writing (by the son of the real life character). The movie is just a wonderful mix of thought provoking moments, hilarious comedy, and genuinely touching scenes and overall story. I don't think I've ever seen a message about equality and race handled so perfectly in a film. It's rare that I finish watching something and can't think of a single aspect that could possibly be improved, but that was the case with Green Book.

There's no doubt in my  mind that it thoroughly deserved Best Picture.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Sep 26, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Not a movie.  I binged a new limited series from Netflix--"Unbelievable."  It's based on a true story that began in Lynnwood.  I thought it was excellent, very well done.  It is very graphic in a few scenes and overall fairly disturbing due to the subject matter (a serial rapist).  I've been a fan of Kaitlyn Dever for years, she was terrific in this.  She played the unfortunate young woman from Lynnwood who nobody believed when she came forward with her story.  Also strong performances from Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, as a pair of detectives in Colorado.  It seemed like 2 unrelated stories happening simultaneously, but it finally tied together at the end.
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Sep 28, 2019 11:09 am 
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Country Music - a film by Ken Burns

This is an amazing history of the genre, much like Burns' documentary on jazz.  If you hurry, you can still stream the episodes for free online.

I couldn't imagine how Burns would fill 16 hrs without it being a snore, but the hours zoomed by.  I appreciated how he wove together the early history of all the roots music from whence it comes. Even Wynton Marsalis is interviewed.  What? Johnny Cash hung with Ray Charles and Dylan?  I had no idea.  Burns has a "formula", but it works - lots of historical footage, stills animation, talking heads interviews and some in-depth bios of the "greats": The Carter Family, Jimmy Rodgers, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn Willie Nelson.

My tastes in country music are sorta narrow and tend toward the folkie stuff, but enjoyed seeing the whole spectrum in context, against the backdrop of US history.  Lotsa good quality time spent on the bluegrass greats (Monroe & Stanley), also the crossovers: Emmy Lou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, even Gram Parsons.  Those less familiar with country will be surprised at how the roots spread out.  As Parsons called it,  "Cosmic American Music".

A few faves got zero footage or just a mention - like Alison Krause and KD Lang, but I guess you can't include all the contemporaries.  Critical points?  Using Peter Coyote (AGAIN) for a narrator.  And although he helped re-popularize country music in its moribund phase and is important for that, I just can't abide Garth Brooks.  He learned well the marketing value of the concert hall "spectacles" of heavy metal bands, et al.  But you get the impression that Brooks' concerts are mostly about Brooks, not music.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Oct 04, 2019 8:37 pm 
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"ChickLit" was mildly amusing.  4 guys ghost write a "50 Shades..." type of book, then have to hire an actress to pretend to be the author when the book is actually published.  Things of course don't go to plan after that.  Mostly unfamiliar cast to me other than John Hurt and Dakota Blue Richards.  Decent enough, took a bit long to get the ball rolling but it was fine once it did.
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GaliWalker
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PostTue Oct 08, 2019 6:03 pm 
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I just saw Joker and it well deserved its controversial status. It's fantastic, thought provoking and Joaquin Phoenix is amazing...but. I distinctly felt uncomfortable with it, because there's been this unwritten rule that one does not glorify the bad guy. The movie doesn't do that, but...

I'd say it's a must-see movie, but...

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PostTue Oct 15, 2019 10:45 pm 
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Saw "Yesterday" last week.  Enjoyed it overall.  It was not as whimsical or lighthearted as I thought it would be.  The lead was good.  What really drew me to the film is Lily James, and she did not disappoint.  The music was fun, even though I'm really not a big Beatles fan.

Watched a pair of films tonight.  "Anna" is certainly not original (the similar La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return has seen numerous film and tv versions, plus the recent Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow).  I still found it entertaining.  It can be a little frustrating with quite a few jumps in time line both forward and backward.  Very twisty.  Of course that is expected in this genre but you aren't quite sure how many twists there will be or where it will finally end up.  The lead is a former model with very limited previous acting credits.  I thought she did fine in the role.

Saw the most recent Spider-Man.  I really didn't enjoy "Homecoming."  I tried with this one, but I didn't like it either.  Too much goofy high school drama.  Half of the characters are just irritating to me.  Their take on Flash is just dumb, Peter's best friend is a goofball, MJ doesn't do much for me (and the very talented actress Angourie Rice is being wasted in a small role).  The 2 teachers/chaperones on the trip were like slapstick/comic relief, just out of place in this film in my mind.  I'll take the Sam Raimi Spidey flicks any day over the most recent version.  I'm a bit worried where Marvel is going post-End Game.  At least they brought back JK Simmons as J Jonah Jameson.  The post credit scene w/ Nick Fury--what the hell?
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