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What Have You Watched Recently?

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Yesterday: Mandela Effect, the movie. Enjoyable watch. (Netflix Blu-Ray)

 

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes: Disney comedy about a college student who becomes a living computer when he's electrocuted in the lab. Classic fun. (Disney+)

 

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach: How bad could it be? (Netflix)

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The Letter for the King: A young candidate for knighthood has his vigil interrupted by a quest given by a dying knight to deliver a special letter. I enjoyed it, and the six episodes run fairly smoothly without much filler. (Netflix) 

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The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair: This film follows a family as they visit the 1939 New York World's Fair. There are some interesting shots of certain Westinghouse exhibits, in Technicolor, but the plot is light. (Amazon Prime)

 

Clue

Star Trek: First Contact

 

Both movies are essentially the video equivalent of comfort food. (Amazon Prime)

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I'm rewatching Rise of the Guardians with my kids right now. They're both more interested in what's on their Kindles.

 

I signed up for the 31-day day free trial of CBS All Access last night and watched the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. Looks pretty good.

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Fear and Desire three soldiers and a pilot have to get back to their own lines. This is a Kubrick picture and is cheap owing to the dialogue, actors and script. See once and forget.

 

Sabotage The police are trying to track down a saboteur ring in 1930s London following a blackout. The man involved is the owner of a cinema but the police have a man observing him next door from a grocers.

 

They Met in the Dark A naval officer is cashiered and tries to work out who set him up. He encounters a woman who is unsure of his motives and how dangerous he is. Stars James Mason.

 

Send for Paul Temple A police inspector comes to see Paul Temple and then commits suicide. The inspector was on the trail of a jewellery theft gang. Temple meets a female journalist who was the sister of the inspector. Temple believes the suicide was murder and then works to find out who done it. This was the first of the Paul Temple stories to be filmed and the follow up films had a different actor as Temple.

 

Climb up the Wall This is a 50s British musical. Not that good.

 

The Red House Edward G Robinson has a house of the beaten track where he lives with his sister and his ward. He forbids his ward from going into the nearby woods but she and a new worker at the farm go looking there for the mysterious Red House, Psychological horror.

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I've  been watching the NFL 100 Greatest Characters special, and they just got done with the bit about Jon Gruden.

 

I don't know what that guy's deal is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

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Bloodshot - Vin Diesel.  An enjoyable popcorn flick. It might have been a better idea to skip the "origin movie", but that may be because I have come to dislike "origin stories".

 

The 13th Warrior - Antonio Banderas.  A fantastic adventure film.  A band of chosen warriors take on an ancient evil.  Great stuff and well made.

 

Operation Petticoat - Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.  WW2, a submarine and Army nurses.  Classic 1959 era comedy. 

 

The Tower - Son Ye-Jin, Sol Kyung-Gu and Sang-kyung Kim.  Korean disaster movie.  If you like disaster movies this is easily on par with Towering Inferno, perhaps a little better with modern CGI. 

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4 hours ago, Spence said:

The 13th Warrior - Antonio Banderas.  A fantastic adventure film.  A band of chosen warriors take on an ancient evil.  Great stuff and well made.

You forgot perhaps the greatest player character death in any movie.

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Birdman: An actor known for playing a superhero attempts a Broadway play. Odd, but enjoyable. (Netflix blu-ray)

 

La La Land: Gorgeous love letter to the golden age of musicals. (Netflix blu-ray)

 

Dirty Harry: My Mom was a big Clint Eastwood fan, and she would always watch his movies when they came on TV. So, this is a nostalgia watch for multiple reasons for me. (Netflix)

 

Hook: It's been a long time since I last watched this. It did not disappoint. (Netflix)

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1 hour ago, Matt the Bruins said:

The first episode of Kingdom, a South Korean period adventure that complicates an early 17th century political power struggle with a zombie outbreak. Pretty stylish and well-done, I found myself absorbed by it despite the language barrier.

It's a good series.  KTV has some really good ones.

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Finally got around to watching John Wick 3: Parabellum (on blu-ray).

 

It was okay, I guess. I wasn't that impressed with it to be honest. Maybe it's because these sequels are all continuations of the story that began with the first film, and so they all suffer from a grinding same-ness.

 

But I also think the third installment suffered in other specific ways:

  • It felt too long to me. It didn't need to be two hours long for the story it was telling. 90 minutes would have been sufficient. Twice I caught myself looking at the clock and pausing the movie to see how much was left.
  • A variation on the above theme, there were too many fight set pieces and they typically went on too long. I call this Pirates of the Caribbean Syndrome.
  • The structure of the movie felt too much like Game of Death Meets The Warriors. John Wick was either making his way up a proverbial pagoda, fighting enemies on each level, or he was being stalked and attacked by one gang after another as he made his way through New York. All this did was make me want to go watch those other two movies instead.
  • Many fans will call it world-building, but to me the world of John Wick has become convoluted and somewhat bloated, with each movie adding more layers of hierarchy and more protocols and bureaucrats (like the adjudicator). It is straining under the weight of its own mythology, IMO.
  • The fight choreography has dipped in quality IMO. Wick himself is far less efficient than in the first film (especially in terms of ammunition discipline...and no I'm not referring to the sequence where he faced agents with improved armor), and many of the fight moves he--and especially Halley Berry--performed simply weren't convincing. In fact, every time I saw a fight involving blades of any kind I just sorta tuned out because those fights should have been over in seconds.
  • This chapter of the story blew a golden opportunity to take the events of the second act and make a bold, exciting plot pivot in the third act. Instead it stayed on its rails and took us nowhere interesting or surprising. This plot pivot is sorta hinted at in the final scene, but it is being saved for another sequel, and it feels only half-baked to me in any event.

I did like Halley Berry's dogs though.

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My care assistant (the only person allowed to enter my apartment) wanted me to find something to do today, so we watched a movie on Disney+, which turned out to be Frozen II.

 

I liked it, although I would have a hard time describing it now. I'm not that good at Olaf-style recap scenes, which would be fortunate for anyone around me were there actually anyone around me. But I found the ending especially interesting, if a bit worrisome. And it does look like this will be the end of the story, at least for now.

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You're still getting less of the original full frame 4:3 broadcast image though. Compositionally it won't suffer thanks to the way Kenneth Johnson shot it, but I'd rather see a full 4:3 image letterboxed on the sides.

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