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Topic: What disc did you have in last (and what did you think)? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13223
Posted: 03 December 2017 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

THE BLACK SCORPION (1957)- fun to see more Willis
O'Brien effects (of King Kong fame).
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Roberto Melendrez
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 04 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 317
Posted: 05 December 2017 at 11:48am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Jennifer (1978)

Shameless ripoff of Carrie but still lots of fun.  Jennifer has the holy (or is it unholy?) ability to summon and control snakes. Her family practiced snake handling as part of their religious practice- Jenniferwas an adept who gave it up when someone died.  Like Carrie, Jennifer is picked on and gets revenge on her tormentors. Low budget schlock that I enjoyed as a kid. Brought back memories of the local grindhouse.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 06 December 2017 at 7:12pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM (1973)

Better than I expected, tho that's definitely damning with faint praise. Very tame on the violence, no nudity (surprising in a film of this vintage), and a truly bizarre non-ending.

I suppose I should get around to seeing the original sometime.

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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14371
Posted: 06 December 2017 at 11:07pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I've never seen any of the BLACULA films. Since William Marshall is burned into my mind as Dr. Richard Daystrom, I'm sure watching them would be a bit surreal!
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 9108
Posted: 07 December 2017 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Streamed Guardians for free with a promotional offer,a
Russian superhero film with subtitles,it was not
bad,decent CGI except for the character who changes into
a bear,which was quite cartoony.I enjoyed it more the
the current crop of DC films(Wonder Woman excepted!)

Edited by Bill Collins on 07 December 2017 at 8:45am
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 07 December 2017 at 5:25pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

DEEPWATER HORIZON (2016)

Very intense and dramatic, but like so many of these "based on a true story" I find myself repeatedly pulled out of the movie by scenes showing events no one (alive) could have witnessed.

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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 07 December 2017 at 5:31pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

DESPICABLE ME 3 (2017)

I thought 2 was better than 1, but 3 slips into a kind of... blandness.

Fun to see Mark Gruenwald as the villain. (I wonder if they knew?)

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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 08 December 2017 at 5:46pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957)

Sometimes with OF THE HIMALAYAS appended. Peter Cushing's first outing for Hammer, based on a BBC radio serial in which he played the same role. Written by Nigel Neale, perhaps best know for the Quatermass serials.

Cleverly made on a limited budget (most of which must have gone to the second unit, unless they found those real mountain scenes in the vault). Forrest Tucker aquits himself well in a surprisingly nuanced performance. Only the glacial pacing is likely to be off-putting for a modern audience.

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Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5394
Posted: 08 December 2017 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply


BACK TO THE FUTURE, PART II (1989)

My son's Friday night pick, though I've never liked this one...

What was light, breezy and seemingly effortless about Part I becomes too exposition-heavy, too dark & depressing, derivative, forced and overlong in PART II.  Some clever bits, to be sure, but for me, PART III is easily the better of the two BTTF sequels.

Which we're watching next!





Edited by Shaun Barry on 08 December 2017 at 8:18pm
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 08 December 2017 at 9:05pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)

A very neary flawless adaptation of Dicken's novella, marred only by the absurd casting of Tiny Tim. Alistair Sim is the definitive Scrooge.

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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 9108
Posted: 09 December 2017 at 12:54am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Baby Driver,an enjoyable action flick,the use of songs
synced to the beats of the action was quite inventive.
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Doug Centers
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 February 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2683
Posted: 09 December 2017 at 5:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

"Alistair Sim is the definitive Scrooge."

...

He's "my" Scrooge also.
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 10117
Posted: 09 December 2017 at 3:11pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Home Alone (1990)

More fun than funny, but I did enjoy it a fair bit. The best thing about it is John Williams' magical score, but the film's enjoyable enough as whole. Takes me back to the bad old days when films were released with a sizeable delay in the UK and I watched this on a Saturday afternoon in the cinema in March.
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 9108
Posted: 09 December 2017 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Yes Peter,the `Good old days` when we got Christmas films and U.S. tv episodes in the spring/summer!
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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8620
Posted: 10 December 2017 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS (1987)

Solid at least. I don't think it's as good as the first two films.

The last great NIGHTMARE film, though. Wes Craven's NEW NIGHTMARE aside (which is meta-fiction), I don't think the 4th, 5th and 6th films are much good at all.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 10 December 2017 at 7:57pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)

A truly terrible movie. There. I said it. Somebody had to.

I saw it first for free, at a local "premiere", and I walked out of the theater wanting my money back. In the forty years since, time and tide have not been kind to this movie. Steven Spielberg, off the leash after the explosive and unexpected success of JAWS, turned loose upon the world a movie that was in every way the opposite of his popcorn masterpiece. Long, pretentious, and populated almost entirely by irrational people.

And those "benevolent" aliens, who spend most of the movie disrupting power grids, kipnapping people, messing with minds and generally scaring everybody half to death.

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Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9847
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 7:26am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Spielberg -- by his own admission -- suffered terribly the break-up of his parents and, erroneously he later discovered, he blamed his father: thus, so many, many, many Spielberg movies, including CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, feature a break-up where in particular the father is to blame for mentally cracking up or just being a prick (or both).

That's just one element that's off in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. About the only thing "on" is the music.

Do the aliens ever exhibit any kind of logic (which would presumably be unfathomably advanced) in their traumatizing humans?
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Do the aliens ever exhibit any kind of logic (which would presumably be unfathomably advanced) in their traumatizing humans?

What was unfathomable to me was how they were able to dope out beep beep boop boop beep, but couldn't simply say "Hiya!"

I said at the time of first release that I felt the end of the movie -- after the aliens have spent decades kidnapping and terrorizing -- should have been one of them kicking open a hatch on the underbelly of the mothership and blasting all the assembled (and unprotected) humans with a death ray. "SUCKERS!!"

Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single thing in the movie that happens logically, rather than just in service of the script.

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Don Zomberg
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 23 November 2005
Posts: 2261
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

And why do they kidnap the little boy so late in the game? Why force his mother to make that horrible (and highly unlikely) trek to retrieve him? To what end? Why do they "choose" her or Richard Dreyfuss at all?
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Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5394
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 5:47pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply


I love the movie, but more for the music, imagery, performances and the strong nostalgia value.

However, having seen it again recently in the theaters, I'll be the first to admit the story & logic just doesn't hold up.  And the Dreyfuss character is a relatable everyman at first, but by the end, he's just a selfish jerk.



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Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5394
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 10:04pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply


ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016)

A noble-enough failure.  Still unnecessary, but the music score and production design do an admirable approximation of the 1977 original film, and of all the STAR WARS films so far, I think this one has the most impressive and beautiful visual effects... say what you will of the story, but this is an extremely handsome production, with more than a few jaw-dropping visuals.

However:  The characters are almost uniformly a bore, the dialogue is extremely flat (and at times--with the heavy accents, mumbled performances, and constant references to many different alien names & places--practically indecipherable!), and there just doesn't seem to be any real immediacy to the plot.  There's LOTS of talking... then some exciting-enough scenes for a few minutes... then LOTS more scenes of standing-around and more talking.

This is my third attempt with this film.  It's okay, I guess, but I'll never love it.  THE FORCE AWAKENS, by comparison, is infinitely more dunder-headed... but at least it's entertaining and holds my interest!



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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 14371
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 11:06pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

ROGUE ONE is well-made on a technical level, but its attempts to be dark (literally) and gritty and then dovetail stylistically into a movie from the 70s in its final act makes for an odd mixture. 

I think we've established that DIsneyWARS ain't for me (despite, ironically, blatantly pandering to longtime fans just like me), but ROGUE ONE is at least like being poked in the eye with a blunt stick compared to TFA turning my childhood heroes into losers and remaking STAR WARS by rote.

It also makes my head throb when fans gleefully proclaim how well R1 dovetails with STAR WARS. Ummm...no. The ending blatantly defies common sense, and contradicts what's established in the original film. Leia now looks like an idiot by telling Vader a cover story that even a child would see through, since R1 places Leia's ship at the site of the battle. And, the Death Star plans are handed literally from man to man rather than being "transmissions beamed to (Leia's) ship by Rebel spies". Leia and her ship being at the site of the battle is a stupid tactical mistake, since the Rebellion shouldn't be risking one of their leaders and her valuable cover as a member of the Imperial Senate. And, no, having Leia's ship docked inside a bigger ship before launching to evade Vader's Star Destroyer doesn't make up for that. 


But, hey, Vader cutting down Rebel troops--the only scene in that movie which got my heart pumping--somehow magically makes it all better, and turns ROGUE ONE into "the prequel we deserved". Mmm-hmmm.

From a pop culture-psychology point of view, I'm perversely fascinated at how fandom has turned a blind eye to the problems with the DisneyWARS films and will happily accept any and all pandering which reminds them of the movies they loved as kids. At least Lucas took risks and tried new things. I fully anticipate years of fair-to-middling, competently-made Disney films which wring every last drop of nostalgia and self-referentialism out of films which have already been milked and referenced for decades!
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James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4211
Posted: 11 December 2017 at 11:48pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I tried to watch CLOSE ENCOUNTERS with my 7 year old recently. I had to turn it off because of the sheer amount of shouting the main family does. He was not enjoying it at all, and neither was I.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 108926
Posted: 12 December 2017 at 6:44am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

It also makes my head throb when fans gleefully proclaim how well R1 dovetails with STAR WARS. Ummm...no. The ending blatantly defies common sense, and contradicts what's established in the original film. Leia now looks like an idiot by telling Vader a cover story that even a child would see through, since R1 places Leia's ship at the site of the battle. And, the Death Star plans are handed literally from man to man rather than being "transmissions beamed to (Leia's) ship by Rebel spies". Leia and her ship being at the site of the battle is a stupid tactical mistake, since the Rebellion shouldn't be risking one of their leaders and her valuable cover as a member of the Imperial Senate. And, no, having Leia's ship docked inside a bigger ship before launching to evade Vader's Star Destroyer doesn't make up for that.

From first whisper ROGUE ONE sounded like a really bad idea. Leia reduced to a simple messenger? Not the gutsy gal I saw in the original movie!

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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 8620
Posted: 12 December 2017 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999)

Feels like sacrilege to describe any remake as better, but I much prefer this to the original.

Brosnan, Russo and Leary all play good roles, supported by a solid supporting cast.

And I love the scene in the gallery, to the track of "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone, as Crown and his associates outwit the cops.
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