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post #7891 of 7908 Old 06-30-2014, 08:52 PM
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300: Rise of an Empire (2013)
3/5 (amazon 3.1/5 even distribution, imdb 6.5/10, AVS Ralph Potts: 3/5)
A bit of a prequel to the original, and not as good of course, but worth a watch if you enjoyed the original.
"not as good" defined as less of a plot, but more CGI and triremes


Quote:
Greek soldiers in the first "300": 300 (duh)
Greek soldiers in the second "300": Way more than that
Reasons why "Rise of an Empire" is still called "300": 456,068,181, a.k.a. the first film's worldwide box office gross
Two worse title ideas for "Rise of an Empire": "300 2," "301"

Total runtime of "Rise of an Empire": 102 minutes
Time it takes until the first appearance of the franchise's signature trademarks:
A Greek six-pack: 10 seconds
Graphic decapitation: 30 seconds
Gratuitous nudity: 40 seconds
Slow-motion CGI blood spray: 1.5 minutes
Total runtime of "Rise of an Empire," minus all of the above: Maybe 12 minutes

Time between the "300" movies in real-life: 7 years
Time between the "300" movies in "Rise of an Empire": Minus 10 years (Act 1), 0 years (Act 2), and plus 1 or 2 days (Act 3)
Characters who return from the first "300": 5 (well, 6, if you count Leonidas' head)
Bad-ass female characters in the first "300": 1
Bad-ass female characters in the second "300": 2 (a 100% increase!)
Does "Rise of an Empire" pass the Bechdel test?: Definitely not

Dimensions used in the first "300": 2
Dimensions used in "Rise of an Empire": 3
First prop to fly at the screen: A giant axe
How long that takes: 25 seconds
Other things that fly at the screen: Too many to count (including, but not limited to, swords, spears, arrows, horses, decapitated heads, blood, sea monsters, and a distracting amount of tiny specks of dust)

Total body count of the original "300": 585
Total body count of "Rise of an Empire": Probably way more than that
Limbs cut off: 10
Heads cut off: 8 (with about a dozen more implied)
Decapitated heads subsequently kissed: 1 out of 8
Other ways to die: Too many to count (including, but not limited to, being slashed, stabbed, drowned, lit on fire, crushed by a boat, crushed by a horse, by a slow-motion kick, and disappointing Artemisia)

Naval battles: 5
The various rates by which the Persians outnumber the Greeks: 3:1 (soldiers), 100,000: 1 (soldiers), 20:1 (ships), 100: 1 (soldiers), and finally, 895: 6 (ships)
Times that actually effects the battles' outcome: 0

Blood sprays per shot: 5-6, on average
Blood sprays per battle: Hundreds
Deaths per shot: 3-4, on average
Deaths per battle: Hundreds
Abs per shot: 4-5 six packs, on average
Abs per battle: Again, hundreds

Amount of the movie dedicated to slow-motion action scenes: 50%
Amount of the movie dedicated to slow expository voiceover: 40%
Amount of the movie dedicated to six packs: 10%

Doors left open for another sequel: 1
Things that made this "300" movie better than the first: 2 (the naval battles and Eva Green)

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.

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post #7892 of 7908 Old 07-01-2014, 10:12 AM
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Great post ^

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post #7893 of 7908 Old 07-09-2014, 09:46 AM
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Watched Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
4/5 (amazon 3.5/5, imdb 6.6/10)

About half an hour in, little 'handmaiden' Padme is walking beside Qui-Gon Jinn on their way into Mos Espa on Tatooine.

Liam Neeson hadn't done Taken (2008), or Taken 2 (2012) yet,
but looking at this picture, now having seen Taken,
it struck me that the girl Padme couldn't be in safer hands than our typecast girl rescuing hero.

After all, Padme is no Arya Stark.



An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.

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post #7894 of 7908 Old 07-09-2014, 10:04 AM
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Watched Operation Petticoat [Blu-ray] (1959)
3.5/5 (amazon 4.7/5, imdb 7.3/10)


I've seen this several times before, but I recently replaced my DVD with a BluRay of this title.
The BluRay video is a little grainy, and I'm not sure if its much better than the DVD.


It's nice to see Madlyn Rhue, famous round these parts for her role in Star Trek "Space Seed" (1967) as Lt. Marla McGivers.

Cary Grant volunteered for British Navy in WWII but was turned down because he was too old.

I was watching Tony Curtis on Cary Grant in which Tony Curtis is talking about when he was a boy seeing Cary Grant in Destination Tokyo (1944), and hoping one day to be able to act in a movie with him. 15 years later he did, also a submarine film.
Interestingly the 1944 and 1959 submarine set interiors, especially the captains quarters, were identical -- obviously not including the revisions with car steering wheels, corsets, and golf clubs.

So


Watched Destination Tokyo (1944)
2.2/5 (amazon 4.4/5, imdb 7.3/10)
135 minutes.
[hmm, AVS just lost a bunch of my text. What did I say?]
Destination Tokyo is a black and white film about the role of a submarine in the coordinated bombing of Tokyo.The film is deadly dull for the first 90 minutes, with not very interesting interactions between characters. This movie would have appealed to a very different generation. If you're still around for the last half hour, it gets better.

One of the senior sailors remarks to a junior replacement: 'All submarines look alike. We get shot at by American destroyers and bombers. '

Quote:
The offbeat casting of Cary Grant as a submarine captain pays off in this tense WWII underwater picture; he ably trades in his sophistication for the sweaty close quarters of an action movie. The mission? Infiltrate the mined harbor of Tokyo itself, a feat bookended by a brief confrontation in the Aleutians and a depth-charge chase through the open sea. Skipper Grant is supported by the usual stock crew of Navy melting-pot types, with John Garfield drawing duty as the resident dame-crazy fantasist. (Somebody forgot to put the saltpeter in his chow, apparently.) The solid action alternates with dialogue that tends toward the schmaltzy or jingoistic (the movie's become somewhat notorious for its unusually nasty propagandistic jabs at the Japanese enemy). Destination Tokyo was the directing debut of Delmer Daves, who would later excel in smart Westerns such as 3:10 to Yuma.The story is (mostly) true. The lone crewman who was ever killed was not knifed by a rescued Japanese pilot, but they did perform an appendectomy in the galley. Sure, it's an American wartime rah-rah, stir up people's patriotism effort, made at a time when it was not entirely clear just who would win the war, but it's still fine entertainment with just the right touch of humor

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.

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post #7895 of 7908 Old 07-16-2014, 08:16 PM
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Watched All Is Lost (2013)
1.5/5 (amazon 3.1/5 (even distribution), imdb 6.9/10, rotten tomatoes 63%,
Robert Redford, alone at sea. No dialog.
Dull.
After a half hour, I watched the rest of the film at full fast forward which made it a perfectly acceptable pace.
Lots of basic seamanship mistakes.

Watched When Eight Bells Toll (1971)
3.6/5 (amazon 3.8/5, imdb 6.0/10)
A pleasant Alistair MacLean story.
British agent Philip Calvert (33-year-old Anthony Hopkins) is on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland.
I watched this last back in 2009, and had forgotten pretty much all of it.


The entire movie is on YouTube it seems. ( KB9QonclZOY )

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.

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post #7896 of 7908 Old 07-16-2014, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasementBob View Post
Watched All Is Lost (2013)
Dull.
After a half hour, I watched the rest of the film at full fast forward which made it a perfectly acceptable pace.
Classic review! Thanks for saving me the trouble.
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post #7897 of 7908 Old 07-17-2014, 03:54 PM
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Watched Stalingrad (2013)
2.8/5 (amazon 3.3/5 (even distribution), imdb 5.5/10, rotten tomatoes 44%, AVS Ralph Potts: 3.5/5)
The first five minutes, apparently set in Japan's 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, had me wondering if I was watching the wrong film,
but eventually it made sense.
I used the 2D English (dubbed) soundtrack, which reeks of bad acting/voicing.
The story holds together, but is a MUCH smaller/intimate scope considering it's marketed as "Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in history, millions dead."
Overall, a decent story line, centered unexpectedly around a young Russian woman and five Russian soldiers who sort of adopt her during the defense of a building.
Oh, the Germans are bad.

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.
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post #7898 of 7908 Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 PM
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Watched Raid 2 (2014)[/SIZE]
2.2/5 (amazon 4.4/5, imdb 8.4/10, rotten tomatoes 90%, AVS Ralph Potts: 4/5)
Obviously others liked this more than I did.
I really enjoyed the first one "Raid: Redemption (2011)", and there was some good action in this one, but I never really got into it.


Watched Detonator (1993, aka Death Train)
2.9/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 5.3/10)
Based on Alistair MacLean's book "Death Train"
Staring Pierce Brosnan, Christopher Lee, and Ted Levine.
A German Scientist has aided an ex Soviet general in constructing a nuclear weapon which is now in the possession of an American mercenary heading across Europe in a hijacked goods train. Malcolm Philpott, a member of UNACO, (United Nation Anti Crime Organisation) must use a team of hand picked agents from various parts of the globe to stop this death train at all costs.


Played Detonator II Night Watch (1995)
2.0/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 5.2/10)
Staring Pierce Brosnan, William Devane
UN agents Mike Graham and Sabrina Carver are sent by their director Nick Caldwell to investigate the theft of Rembrandt's painting, "The Night Watch". The trail takes them from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and involves them in not only art theft and forgery, but the high-tech schemes of Martin Schraeder and his Korean cohort Mao Yixin.

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post #7899 of 7908 Old 07-22-2014, 10:53 PM
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Two movies I found that I really enjoyed:



White House Down (2013)

Action & Adventure, Action Thriller

Netflix formats available: Blu-ray & DVD. (Saw it on Blu-ray)

My rating:3.9 stars out of 5
Average of 268,879 ratings on Netflix:3.7 stars out of 5
Netflix summary: When a paramilitary group engineers a violent takeover of the White House, the president must try to hide from the attackers until he can be rescued. Caught up in the chaos, Secret Service agent John Cale ends up becoming his sole protection.

Gore alert: lots of bloody gunshot wounds.

I found the movie entertaining, though the basic premise seemed a bit too familiar: a guy who just got turned down for being on the Presidential protection detail ends up proving he can do it by being the very one who protects the President on the fateful day. Still, it was a fun shoot-'em-up and make a shambles of the White House movie.




Space Cowboys (2000)

Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi Adventure

Netflix availability: Blu-ray & DVD (saw it on TV: AMC HD)

My rating:3.7 stars out of 5
Average of 2,360,199 ratings on Netflix:3.6 stars out of 5
Netflix summary: A Russian satellite is about to fall back to Earth, and only retired engineer Frank Corvin knows how to stop it. When NASA begs for help, Corvin agrees on one condition: He and his over-the-hill pals will man the mission.

Another fun watch, and it was odd seeing the head of NASA give in to the demands that the over-the-hill astronauts go with the designer of the faulty navigation box.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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post #7900 of 7908 Old 07-23-2014, 03:02 AM
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I had never seen either Bad Boys or Bad Boys 2 before, and normally I stay away from crap like that, but after seeing a montage of Michael Bay's "Bayhem," I just had to see just how bad these could be.

I was not disappointed. These are, hands down, the most spectacular bad films ever made. I mean they are horrible beyond belief: bad acting, bad stories, bad characters, nothing makes sense, the structure is bad, there's no logic... it's so all over the map, you can throw your GPS away. Horrendously awful.

But Bay and his crew do great work. This is very, very intricate photography of the sort you normally only see on high-end car commercials (of which Bay did a lot before he got into features). You definitely have to turn your brain off before the movies start, but there were a few shots in these films so fantastic, I had to stop, go back, and watch them again just to yell "WTF!" at the screen. Incredible camera moves, precise focus, perfect exposures, very complex color schemes, deep shadows, just amazing work.

Don't get me wrong. To paraphrase Roger Ebert: these are horrible, horrible, horrible movies. But I gotta say, if you're a fan of cinematography, they're worth watching. Legendary colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld did the second film, and there's a million really intense looks that jump right out of the screen. The car crashes in the second film are exhausting to the point of an orgasmic frenzy of glass breaking and metal shrieking, like the Blues Brothers times a thousand. And I'm guessing the entire Cuban army perishes in the last 20 minutes of the film (if I'm not giving too much away), but it's simultaneously funny and horrifying, but never boring.

Sadly, BB2 is not yet available in Blu-ray, but there is an HD version up on Sony Picture's HD download service, and it looked OK to me. Be warned it's fill-frame 1.78, so it's somewhat panned & scanned (being anamorphic 2.40), but they did an excellent job with it. BB1's mix blew my speakers out, but BB2 was very well-balanced throughout.

These are perfect examples of movies I would never, ever pay to see in a theater, but I enjoyed them in a detached, technical sort of way, only because Bay is such a brilliant, visual guy and such an empty-headed, horrible filmmaker. It's like a restaurant that serves you crap soup, crap burgers, pee-infested coffee, and moldy bread, and then follows it up with a great dessert. It's like 10% of a great meal... if you can only forget the 90% that surrounds it.
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post #7901 of 7908 Old 07-23-2014, 05:31 AM
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Now for something lighter, check out Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) which is full of references to Bad Boys 2. Good times.
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post #7902 of 7908 Old 07-24-2014, 07:38 AM
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We watched the Lego movie. It was awesome

Seriously though, I was impressed with it. I didn't think it would be all that good, and was pleasantly surprised.
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post #7903 of 7908 Old 07-24-2014, 08:04 AM
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I'll agree with that, to a point. Some of my friends really talked it up. It wasn't great, but reasonably funny and watchable.
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post #7904 of 7908 Old 07-24-2014, 10:58 AM
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I'm with you HF. I enjoyed it, but I didn't think it was as great as all the hype made it out to be.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

The Plains Theater Has Begun
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post #7905 of 7908 Old 07-24-2014, 12:44 PM
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Anyone seen this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2910814/

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post #7906 of 7908 Old 07-24-2014, 11:47 PM
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Watched Timestalkers (1987)
3/5 (amazon 3.6/5, imdb 5.7/10)
A 1986 history professor, becomes involved with two time travelers from the year 2586 after making a discovery in an 1886 tintype photograph. One of the time travelers is determined to change the course of history, the other to stop him. The professor's fascination with the Old West comes in handy when they all return to 1886.
I've always enjoyed this one, and I've seen William Devane as president in "24" and "Detonator" lately so I thought I'd dig this one up.
Low budget, made for television, mono sound track, a dozen plot holes, nothing is top of the line, not acting, certainly not special effects,
but strangely I really like this film's time travel bits, like going into the past to walk through high security fences before they were built, the perpetual double causal loop, the old artifacts spawning the time chase, future successful killed by killing ancestors, restoration of dead family, effect preceding cause. The western shoot out, and western duel, at the near end are simultaneously unrealistic and satisfying.
This film came out years before Timecop (1994), so it is more original in several of the time plot devices.


Watched River of Death (1989)
1.9/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 4.0/10)
I've been a fan of Alistair MacLean books for decades, and recently started ordering movies of his books that I'd never seen.
An adventurer (Hamilton) decides to go in search of the lost city in the Amazon jungle.
River Of Death tells the story of an adventurer who helps a mysterious man and woman track down a nazi criminal who has been experimenting all kinds of nasty stuff on people and tribal villagers. Along the way there are attacks by natives, lots of martial arts and downbeat ending in this adaption of the novel. River Of Death is actually more well made than the usual Cannon output at the time. Indeed the production values are adequate and Dudikoff makes for a decent rough and tumble hero. However this just isn't very exciting material, which consists of bored performances (Pleasance and Vaughn) which show us the reality that nobody wanted to give anything but the bare minimum of effort. The tribal attacks do make some impact but most of the way through this rather sub-par stuff.
Michael Dudikoff, Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, L.Q. Jones.
Box Office gross: $535,031

Watched Brenda Starr (1989)
1.5/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 4.5/10)
I'd never heard of this, but it came free in a 2-for-1 DVD pack with River Of Death. (DVD: "Madness on the amazon double feature.")
Brooke Shields at her cutest age, and most amazing hair.
The story centers around Mike who is a struggling newspaper comic strip artist, who draws the Brenda Starr comic strip.
Somewhere around the 5 minute mark, the animation version of Brenda Starr ends, and she comes to real human life and sets off on an adventure, and for some reason Mike goes chasing after her around the globe, meeting all sorts of adventures.
Timothy Dalton, fresh off the 007 sets of The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), shows up as the "he could be a hero" but never actually does anything 007-y.
Brenda Starr on the other hand, is incredible, from bashing small gangs of men with her purse and knocking them out, to escaping another gang using her compact powder case, to picking a lock and doing her nails simultaneously with a nail file, to using her scarf as reigns to water ski alligators, to using her nylons as escape rope, and every other traditionally feminine thing used in an adventury way.
Brenda Starr is talented, fearless, smart and a very snappy dresser -- dozens of really nice outfits acquired from nowhere in wherever middle of hell she happens to be. The only competition she has is from the rival paper's top reporter, the evil Libby Lipscomb.
And a little international espionage, with Russians, Brits, Germans, and a couple other countries, each going after the prize: find a scientist with a secret formula which will create cheap and powerful gas from ordinary water.
The scientist is played by Henry Gibson, most famous for being the top Nazi in The Blues Brothers (1980), and in real life was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s.
And yes, when they were in the amazon river, Piranha fish make the 1989 typecast appearance.
Overall, not a great film, but I never felt the need to turn it off.

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post #7907 of 7908 Old 07-27-2014, 09:02 AM
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Just watched Entity very good movie from 1982 .http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082334/
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post #7908 of 7908 Old 07-27-2014, 08:04 PM
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Watched Sabotage (2014)
3/5 (amazon 3.6/5, imdb 5.8/10, rotten tomatoes 39%, AVS Ralph Potts: 1.5/5)
Gritty, nasty little thriller. A typical action film, plus 20% additional plot (Unlike the Expendables).
Arnold Schwarzenegger as a grizzled old veteran hero, again.
Lots of cursing, lots of bloody guts (R rated), lots of evilness in every character. Uneven pacing.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world's deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done - until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start to be eliminated horrifically. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect."

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