July 29, 2008

Just Watched The Last of the Mohicans

I love that movie.  The scenery is breathtaking, the music is wonderful and I get to look at Daniel Day Lewis - what more could one ask for! 

It was on Fox Movie Channel so I got to see the "real" movie - not the hideous director's cut that has been foisted onto the DVD public which is so cut up it makes no sense at all. 

Sadly, even though I managed to fire up the DVR to record it - I missed the first 5 minutes.  Maybe one day I'll get the entire thing.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 11:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 18, 2008

Young Son Recommended

Hot Fuzz - hilarious.  Excellent way to spend an evening.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 01:39 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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April 20, 2008

A Movie I Need to Watch Again

After Sol posted this, I really do need to dig out my copy. I haven't watched it in far too long.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 10:13 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 06, 2007

I Still Need to Get This Movie

This headline popped up on my news screen today...

"Shine" pianist playing better than ever 

...David gives 50-60 performances a year.

"A few years ago, I said we would semi-retire and we're busier than ever," Gillian said.

One of these days I'd love to see David Helfgott in concert.  I didn't know he was still playing... so I still have a chance.

If you've never seen Shine - it's a wonderful movie full of beautiful music.  Before Geoffrey Rush became a Pirate... he played David Helfgott and a marvelous performance it was. 

(why the title?  although I've seen the movie, I don't actually own it - that is something I need to fix)

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 04:25 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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May 23, 2007

Do We Beat Studios Over the Head?

There are only a few movies I pay any attention to. One of them is about to hit the theaters tomorrow night. The new Pirates movie. I loved the first one - wasn't too pleased that the second one fell into the "middle" movie genre - no real beginning or end. So, I've been looking forward to the last one. I'm not even going to read reviews because it's one of the very few I'll take the trouble to just go see in the theater.

As far as I'm concerned, it's nearly impossible for a movie with Johnny Depp to go wrong. Even the second Pirates movie was okay because he was in it as he's one of the very best actors I've ever seen. And he's working with yet another wonderful actor in this movie Chow Yun-Fat.

Today I see this article...

Chow, whose acting range and stature in Asia have been compared with that of Robert De Niro, voiced frustration at racial barriers that persist in America's movie industry.

"Honestly, I prefer (to do) more dramas. In American society ... Asian actors are not accepted as leading men," he said in an interview last week for the "Pirates" publicity tour. "Maybe we have to wait for a few more years."

Looks to me like someone has been feeding him a line because they don't want to be bothered to make movies with him in the lead. Sheesh! It is NOT the American people... as should be evident from the extreme popularity of Crouching Tiger.

Note to studio heads... I'd go see a movie that starred Chow Yun-Fat in a leading role. He's been in very few movies here in the states. I actually went to the theater to see Crouching Tiger... yes, one of the few times I took the trouble. One of my favorite movies is The Replacement Killers, it's very stylized and very violent, but it's an excellent movie and he is outstanding. (note to anyone who will go out and rent this... it is NOT for kids - trust me on that one - if you have young 'uns, make sure they are soundly sleeping or out spending the night elsewhere or you will be dealing with nightmares)

The article goes on to say...

Film historian David Thomson said that while Chow has a shot at landing dramatic roles of the type popularized by action star Harrison Ford, he still faces an uphill struggle for romantic leads.

"We break down these barriers very slowly and I don't think we are doing we are doing it quickly enough to encourage an actor like Chow to think he will get away with it," Thomson said. "I think there is a great deal of racism in the country too."

What a tremendous bunch of BS... that's right, make yourself feel better by blaming the "American viewing audience" when they haven't even been given a chance to see movies with Chow as the star. The only ones here with a racial problem are the studio heads who won't cast him in more roles and Mr. Thomson who can't figure out that Americans will watch good movies with good actors no matter what their race might be.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 03:38 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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May 18, 2006

Da Movie

I guess, from all the hype I'm reading the last day or two, that the movie version of The Da Vinci Code premiers tonight. (I hate going to theaters so I rarely look for the release date of a movie). So far the critics are panning it mightily. At least they did in Cannes.

The reaction immediately after the first press screening at the Cannes film festival on Tuesday was mainly negative, with trade publication Variety setting the tone by calling the $125 million picture "stodgy" and "grim".

Many people in the audience at the screening laughed at the pivotal moment, and the ending was greeted with stony silence.

Why am I not surprised? I know they wanted to trade on the market success of the book, but that's the whole problem. Anyone who reads can tell you - few, if any, movies do justice to the book from which they are derived. Yes, there are many movies based on books, but the readership for those stories is generally confined to those who like the genre. In other words, most people who go to see the movie have not read the book and there's a good possibility that they've never even seen the print version of the story.

Unfortunately for the makers of this movie, the book has been a huge market success. It has spent an inordinate amount of time on the best seller lists, making it seem as if everyone has read it. I would be willing to venture at least 2/3 of the opening night audience will be people who read and enjoyed the book. (this assumes, you wouldn't waste your time with the movie, if you didn't like the book)

Unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy which ventured in to the world of fantasy with quirky characters that weren't even human (for the most part), the Da Vinci Code is a story about a man, a woman, and a murder. There's no real oddities in the story that we have a hard time imagining. Plus, as it is a mystery, they've taken away the one true draw of any mystery - who dun it?

We already know the answer. If you've been watching television at all, or reading the internet, you can even skip reading the novel and get the full synopsis online.

Who wants to sit through a "mystery" where you not only know the end but all the events leading to the end?

Unless the performances are magnificent, and the script spectacular, it's a recipe for disaster.

The only way the script could be spectacular is if there were significant rewrites since the book itself is only so-so. We know this isn't the case because the media have gone to great lengths to tell us that the film stays true to the book. (maybe not such a good idea)

One other thought comes to mind, while Ron Howard has done some excellent films, he is no Alfred Hitchcock. Few directors do the "thriller" well, and no one has ever managed to outdo Hitchcock in that arena.

I wonder how well it will do at the box office. I have a feeling it will do well for the first weekend. Too bad they didn't release it over Memorial Day to get the extra audiences on that Monday.

But if it does tank - the way Mission Impossible 3 has done, will the movie execs be out in force telling us what a wonderful movie it is and why we should go see it? Will they be telling us what wonderful guys Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are? (as if that's a reason to waste time and money on a bad movie).

I think the Christian leaders of the world can relax. Untwist your panties. This movie is not going to have a lasting impact, except to give people something to talk about for a while before it sinks into oblivion.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 07:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving All

We woke up to this

(click to enlarge)

Good thing I'm not going anywhere. Everyone have a wonderful day!

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 04:46 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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May 19, 2005

How Much Do You Really Want to Watch DVD's?

The logic of this is quite simply lost on me.

Here's how the system might work:

At the store, someone buying a new DVD would have to provide a password or some kind of biometric data, like a fingerprint or iris scan, which would be added to the DVD's RFID tag.

Then, when the DVD was popped into a specially equipped DVD player, the viewer would be required to re-enter his or her password or fingerprint. The system would require consumers to buy new DVD players with RFID readers.

Seems to me the movie industry might want to consider the fact that alienating their audience won't help them make more money. What is the ultimate cost of this type of move? Sure you might stop some piracy... at least until someone figures out how to get around it. (and yes they will figure it out - that is a given) But the real problem is that you will make your customers angry.

Accusing (even indirectly) someone who is actually shelling out the money to buy your product, of being a thief is not a good way to win friends and customers. And let's face it, is Hollywood putting out a product that is worth going to all that trouble? What happens if you stop the movie in the middle to hit the bathroom or talk on the phone? No, not even my favorite movies would be worth all that trouble.

If they do decide to go with this system... look for a gut wrenching drop in the number of DVD's being sold. Hollywood thinks they are invincible, that people will always want their product. So, bring on the fingerprinting and RFID tags - let's put it to a test.

Hat Tip Slashdot

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 09:46 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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May 11, 2005

A Tale of Star Wars

A long time ago... the summer of 1977, one of my friends said "Hey, let's go see that new movie that's supposed to be so terrific". I looked at her and said "What movie?". I really didn't pay too much attention to the movie news, even then, even if it involved an extraordinary new movie called Star Wars... So I hadn't heard a single word about it. My friend said "it's been out 3 weeks and it's still selling out the theater". There I sat - feeling a bit stunned. Here's a movie that everyone seems to have heard about but me...

Well, off we went to find a paper and look it up for show times. Turns out it was playing in only 1 theater in the entire St. Louis area - ONE! Hmmm, might be difficult to get tickets we discuss it and decide to drive out to see what show times are available. As it turned out, we bought our tickets that day for a show time 3 days later!!! Holy smokies people. This was amazing! The first time I ever heard of a movie selling advanced tickets. All I could think was... this better be worth it!

The day finally arrived and we piled into the theater with the rest of the sold out crowd. This was one of the few theaters left that still had the HUGE screen. Around that time was when theaters had almost become extra large television rooms - the screens about the size of big screen tvs of today. But this was one of the last of the old time screens - stretching across the width of the back wall, from floor to ceiling. This theater also sat several hundred people. Yeah - this is how a movie was meant to be seen!

Then it began... I can't possibly put it any better than Sgt. Mom who said:

Inside the very modern Cinerama Dome, the atmosphere was electric with excitement and anticipation. The lights went dim, and the music came up, and the great letters of the opening titles swam through dark space. We were sucked in, from the very first opening scene, with the fleeing transport shooting back at the Imperial battle cruiser, which grew bigger, bigger, unimaginably huge, the sound of it rattling your heart in your chest. Ahh, that was an exhilarating, dazzling roller-coaster ride of a movie, with all the classical elements, dashes of wit and adventure, of battered technology and strange creatures, bursting with visual creativity, Robin Hood and Buck Rogers and all. JP and I stumbled out of the theater two hours later, feeling like it had only been twenty minutes or so.

It was all that and more. No one had ever seen anything quite like it before! As the next 2 movies were released, I watched them. Each had better special effects than the first one... neither had the "grab you for the ride of your life" effect of the original. I have a feeling the original movie was a movie for that time and place. If kids today saw it, as I did, on that big screen in the theater - it would fail to impress.

I haven't seen the other 2 Star Wars movies. I have no desire to see them. The last installment (I've heard that Lucas is going to stop there) is all set to hit the theaters... I won't be seeing it either. Why? Because there are fabulous special effects... but there is no magic.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 08:54 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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November 08, 2004

A New Level of Self Delusion

Apparently a remake of the movie "Alfie" opened this week and it's been in the tank since they attempted to sell the first tickets. Now you might think the reason for this is because the movie is poorly filmed, poorly acted, poorly re-written, or any combination of those. Well, you would be totally wrong! This is the reason that the movie tanked...

Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt the film.

"It could be the mood of the country right now," he said. "It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around."

See it's really simple - we just don't know what constitutes a good movie - cretins that we are. Paramount released it... so it MUST, by definition, be a good movie right? It's got Jude Law!!! There was a large budget!!! What could we have been thinking by NOT going to see it?

Note to Paramount... what was new and fresh in the 60's is a bit stale in today's world. How about you find new stories to make into movies. Just a thought - you may want to give it a try.

Posted by: Teresa in Film at 04:27 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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