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What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?

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18 Feb 2019 14:28 #292545 by DarthJoJo
Saw Isn't It Romantic at the theater. Rebel Wilson suffers a concussion and wakes in an altered New York City where she has become the lead of a romantic comedy. She does not appreciate this. Comedy ensues.

I enjoyed it. It wasn't a waste of time. It sounds like faint praise, but I do respect the movie a lot. It's pretty clear that everyone involved in the movie bought in and wanted to make the best possible film. The first real-world scenes are shot handheld before moving to Steadicam for Faux York. The set dressers went all out, filling every frame with bouquets and romantic street signs. Liam Hemsworth keeps trying to keep up with Chris' range and does much better than I would have ever expected. For a woman who broke out in a role literally named 'Fat Amy' and getting laughs through raunch, physical comedy and overt sexuality, Rebel Wilson plays her leading role much more restrained without leaving any of that behind.

It just feels like a labor of love, pardon the pun. It could have been a much harder, biting satire but settles on a love letter to the genre. It calls out tropes but does seem to ultimately enjoy the fantasy.

Feels a little bad then as the most recent romantic comedy referenced in the film was Sweet Home Alabama, a movie released almost two decades ago. The genres been in the doldrums for a bit, but hopefully this and Crazy Rich Asians point to a return to form.
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18 Feb 2019 15:12 #292551 by SebastianBludd

jeb wrote: This, then, put me in the mind of what's a good schlocky action movie? BAD BOYS type-shit, where stuff blows up good in slo-mo; or FACE/OFF type-shit that makes no fucking sense and who cares, really? Contrast with excellent action movies like FURY ROAD or BABY DRIVER, which are well-crafted. I am talking Golan-Globus/Cannon Films-level stuff that rises above.


This is a great thought experiment. I would rule out almost all Michael Bay movies because I think his movies are too self-aware to make the cut and every time a gay/effeminate character is mocked (the effeminate latino prisoner in Con Air or Sean Connery's hairdresser in the beginning of The Rock) it yanks me right out of the movie. That aside, while mostly trash and sometimes fun for what they are, I think his movies are still too competent to count.

Face/Off is a great choice, as is Red Dawn. One that comes to mind is Road House. It takes place in an alternate reality where a bouncer is famous(!), and one of the plot points involves a monster truck assault on a car dealership.

I would also submit Eraser as an underrated schlocky action film, and it's probably Arnold's last watchable action movie. The plot is pretty dumb - he's a federal marshal who fakes the deaths of people in the witness protection program so they're safe until they testify....oh...kay? - but there are some pretty good setpieces, including one that features a CGI alligator that looks like it escaped from a Duck Hunt cartridge.

jeb wrote: RED DAWN comes to mind. Wow, that is bad, but it really goes for it through all the badness.


After you wrote that I looked up John Milius and, upon learning he's a big muckity muck in the NRA, all of the gun ownership stuff in Red Dawn makes a whole lot more sense. In particular, the closeup of a russian soldier taking a revolver out of a dead man's hand, right next to a "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers" bumper sticker on a car. And there's also the short scene where the russians' cuban adviser tells them to go to sporting goods stores to get gun registration lists for rounding up firearms from the citizens.
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18 Feb 2019 15:57 - 18 Feb 2019 16:02 #292554 by jeb
Ugh, ROAD HOUSE is so perfect. Why didn't I think of that? Ben Gazzara just devours that whole movie and it features one of the best mustaches in all of filmdom on Sam Elliot's lip. Immortal.

Patrick Swayze. Good Lord. What was even going on in the late 80s?

//adding a couple more here:

DUEL is really good, though more suspense than action. Young Spielberg-directed TV movie of Man (Harry Dean Stanton I want to say?) vs Truck (Peterbilt, for sure).

There was one of those car movies where it's more about showing cars going fast than anything else. Ends in the desert southwest as I recall, and the car drives into a roadblock or something? Circa 1970s. I want to say it was a Charger. Basically no characterization to speak of.

THE WARRIORS should qualify here, I bet, but Walter Hill is very talented, so it seems odd to lump him in here. I'd probably support early-Carpenter (FORT APACHE: THE BRONX) over early Walter Hill. Carpenter never really got better.

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18 Feb 2019 16:05 #292555 by Gregarius
I was gonna suggest Under Siege, back when Steven Seagal wasn't(?) a laughing stock, but yeah, Road House for the win.
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18 Feb 2019 16:21 - 18 Feb 2019 16:22 #292556 by RobertB

jeb wrote: There was one of those car movies where it's more about showing cars going fast than anything else. Ends in the desert southwest as I recall, and the car drives into a roadblock or something? Circa 1970s. I want to say it was a Charger. Basically no characterization to speak of.


Vanishing Point. I saw it at a drive-in back when I was a kid. It was a white Challenger IIRC. Stars Barry Newman and Cleavon Little. Was exciting 40+ years ago, but you'd probably be bored to tears by it now.

@SebastianBludd - Con Air was not directed by Michael Bay, but it does look a lot like a typical Michael Bay excrescence. You're right about the crossdresser and Sean Connery's hairdresser - it doesn't bring anything to the movie.

@Gregarius - Under Siege 1 and 2 are still good for this list of campy (intentional or otherwise) movies. I'll throw Swayzee's Next of Kin out there. Hillbillies vs. mobsters.

Also, Lethal Weapon 2 through 4. There's a serious movie trying to get out of the first one, but the rest are just shoot-em-ups.

Another one - Silverado, with Kevin Costner as the happy-go-lucky gunslinger.
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18 Feb 2019 16:26 #292557 by RobertB
Also @jeb - not Harry Dean Stanton, Dennis Weaver. He had a TV cop show, McCloud I think, where he was a sheriff from Out West who was now an NYC cop. Hijinks ensue.
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18 Feb 2019 16:30 #292558 by charlest
I think Vanishing Point is still good. All of those films of that time/style are very similar in terms of character development and a stylized focus. Crazy Mary Dirty Larry, Two-Lane Blacktop (underrated), The Getaway, Smokey and the Bandit.

They're almost mythical. In ancient times they looked at stars and worshiped them as gods. In America we look at cars.
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18 Feb 2019 16:37 - 18 Feb 2019 16:39 #292559 by RobertB

charlest wrote: I think Vanishing Point is still good. All of those films of that time/style are very similar in terms of character development and a stylized focus. Crazy Mary Dirty Larry, Two-Lane Blacktop (underrated), The Getaway, Smokey and the Bandit.

They're almost mythical. In ancient times they looked at stars and worshiped them as gods. In America we look at cars.


I could be tarring these movies with a broad brush, thinking of movies like Dirty Harry. I remember it being thought whne it came out as insanely violent, and almost nihilistic in it's take on law enforcement. These days, it feels more like a slow-moving police procedural. I had the same thing happen with Bullitt. "Wow, it's Bullitt! Awesomest car chase ever!" Then I watched it, and it was more than a bit disappointing. I guess it gets massive credit for being one of the first, though.
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18 Feb 2019 16:49 #292560 by jeb
I had the same reaction to BULLITT. Kind of a slog, and the car chase was okay. Friedken's THE FRENCH CONNECTION must have been in the mix there around the same time, and that car chase is still amazing. Did that come after? I'm linking that shit.

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18 Feb 2019 17:28 #292561 by Space Ghost

SebastianBludd wrote:
Face/Off is a great choice, as is Red Dawn. One that comes to mind is Road House. It takes place in an alternate reality where a bouncer is famous(!), and one of the plot points involves a monster truck assault on a car dealership.


I grew up close to Jasper, MO -- and the claim has always been that Road House was based on a true story. In fact, I met the bouncer (now self-defense instructor) who says that the movie was based off events in his life. Notable difference being that the real guy doesn't have a PhD in Philosophy like Swayze does in the movie. And the bad guy goes on to play Jackie Treehorn, so that is a plus.

I would also recommend Next of Kin -- another Swayze movie where he plays the brother who moves from the country to the city to become a cop and Liam Neeson is the brother who stays behind. Swayze finds his roots and rallies the Kentucky clan (Gates, I think) to come to Chicago and defeat the mob with hunting dogs and archery :)

Both came out in 1989 -- clearly the peak of Swayze's career.

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18 Feb 2019 17:42 #292564 by Jackwraith
Someone mentioned schlocky action movies where shit blows up AND Schwarzenegger and somehow failed to mention True Lies? What is wrong with you people?

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