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A few reviews
Feeding Frenzy is pretty decent. While I didn't care that much for the main character, the creature effects and music were superb. And the parts with Mr Plinkett were hilarious!
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The Outsiders (1983)
The young cast that Francis Ford Coppola assembled for this 1960s teen greaser gang movie is insane. Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Diane Lane are in their earliest roles, including a little known actor called Tom Cruise. Ralph Macchio's next film after this was 'The Karate Kid'. Coppola created the stars of the 80s right here. Sometimes the inexperience of the cast is apparent but mostly they are excellent. This is partly a nostalgic look back to the era of gleaming hot-rods and malt-shacks but from the wrong side of town, where it's all burned-out wrecks, poverty, black engine grease and flick-knives (it's like a film version of a Bruce Springsteen track). The jukebox soundtrack featuring Elvis, Van Morrison, surf music and Rockabilly is amazing. I liked that the movie starts and concludes in such a way that you can watch it on a perpetual loop.

I watched Coppola's "The Complete Novel" extended cut, adding back 22-minutes of footage cut from the theatrical release. Apparently Coppola's granddaughter was studying S. E. Hinton's book in class and they were planning on watching the film. He was a little embarrassed at the prospect of them seeing the hollowed-out 92-minute version, so he quickly put together a longer cut just for them to watch in school. This convinced him to revisit the film and release the 115-minute extended cut. I can't imagine the short release was better, although since it has a different score, it's probably worth checking out.



Rumble Fish (1983)
Francis Ford Coppola shot 'Rumble Fish' back to back with 'The Outsiders' (also based on an S. E. Hinton story) using many of the same cast and crew and released it six-months afterwards. Unusually he chose to do this narratively similar second film in a completely different way. 'The Outsiders' was a nostalgic sunlit evocation of the period in which it was set, with a 50s jukebox soundtrack and a classic film-making style not unlike actual films of the era like 'Rebel Without a Cause'. Where as 'Rumble Fish' is set in some sort of 50s/80s heightened reality, shot in Noir black & white, with extreme expressionist angles, wild editing, R-Rated sex, violence and drug taking, strobe lighting effects, deliberately artificial post-synced sound design, experimental shots and an avant-garde percussive score by The Police's drummer Stewart Copeland. The sequence of Matt Dillon's soul leaving his body and floating across various scenes, real or imaginary, looks extraordinary because it's accomplished in-camera using some kind of crane arm. There are also perfectly executed shots where the actors did their performance in slow motion, so when played back at the correct speed the sky would appear sped up.

The cast is incredible featuring Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Waits and Dennis Hopper... often all in the same scene together. 50% of the words in the script seemed to be people saying "Rusty James" to each other (the name of Dillon's main character). You could accuse the film of being "style over substance", which I suppose it is but when there is this much style packed into every frame, it hardly matters.





^ The period trailer has the same energetic editing of the film.
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Stay Golden, Pony Boy.
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The Eagle (2011)

[Image: the-eagle-movie-stills-27.jpg]

A rollicking adventure/survival/war film set in Roman and indigenous Britain, 140 CE. A young Roman soldier (Channing Tatum) and his slave (Jamie Bell) embark upon a foolhardy quest to find and retrieve a gold eagle standard from the wilds north of Hadrian's Wall. It isn't just a solid adventure/action movie, however; it's also an invitation to contemplate the origins of civilization as we know it. By any objective measure, the imperial Romans are in the wrong to dominate and tax peoples so far from their home, and yet, it's their very hierarchies, rigid military structure, and exploitative economy that laid the groundwork for pre-modern society, which later directly inspired the architects of contemporary nation-states. For all the systematic injustices of contemporary geopolitics, an ordinary citizen such as myself can make phone and video calls around the world, not to mention travel much of the world (in normal times) without risking life and limb - to say nothing of medical, civil, and artistic advances. Was the bloodshed of building modern civilization worth it? Now that the blood has been spilled, what do we owe the memory of those who died both building it and opposing it?

Grade: B+
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(05-09-2020, 03:28 PM)Gaith Wrote: The Eagle (2011)

I was doubtful that a Tatum/Bell adventure would live up to your smart commentary, Gaith, but I looked up the director and he has an interesting record!  You've convinced me to give it a shot.

I've been watching through Magnum, P.I. (1980) lately! 
[Image: Magnum-PI-TV-show-cast-in-1983.jpg]I've got to say it holds up pretty well, much better then modern sitcoms.  Season 1 is interesting... the drama from Vietnam is baked in right from the pilot, which is essentially a 90 minute movie.  They make use of the filming locations on the Hawaiian islands pretty well, with lots of military cooperation.  More use of local dialect and POC than I recall seeing on any US show in history except something like Sanford & Son.  Lots of spotting of future talent.  A pre-Cheers Ted Danson is in an episode, a pre-Knight Rider Rebecca Holden, a pre-Buck Rogers Erin Gray.  On the other hand, the famous theme song isn't developed until almost halfway through the season, and Rick's club changes from the pilot.  He switches from a Casablanca-inspired nightclub to a beach club.  I can actually picture Selleck as Indy Jones pretty easily while watching the first season... his character is similar in a lot of ways.  I remember as a kid thinking that Higgins was obviously secretly Robin Masters, which is weird, because it's clear in S1 that he's not.  There are episodes actually showing Robin elsewhere, or them talking on the phone.  Will have to see how that conspiracy theory gained so much traction as I watch later seasons.
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Possible spoilers below, but I'm pretty sure most everyone here has seen these two except for me.

Blade Runner - Final Cut
Truthfully, meh....I just don't see why this movie is so praised. It's too ambiguous when it comes to the world it creates and the implications of replicants. Sure the the opening crawl addresses this at a surface level, but I would have liked to learn more of what was actually going on. The movie wreaked of the 80's in it's odd-ball presentation, acting and soundtrack, which I never really can stomach. It had a similar feeling as movies like Legend but in a distopian future. I'm sure many are getting riled up in reading this. Maybe I'll try and make an amended version of this film that quickens the pace, updates the musical score to mirror the sequel's score and brings down some of the gratuitous violence as found myself skipping through a lot of the graphic scenes. I love Harrison Ford, but even he couldn't save this movie for me. I'm sure for its time it was cutting edge, but I certainly missed the impact of this one. 5.5/10*

Blade Runner 2049
Now this was something entirely different. There were real implications of the existence of replicants and we clearly see how they are utilized in the world. The story of K/Joe was captivating and Decker's inclusion was more than a cameo, it was essential to the story and world. Jarred Leto creeps me out, and he owns up to that creepiness here. I honestly don't know if any of his, Leto's, scenes were really necessary. He thinks he's a god and is bringing about a new genesis of existence, but really he's nothing more than exposition. You don't even know if he's a replicant or a cyborg here. The antagonist probably could and should of simply been Luv. I also found it odd that the story of this movie almost contradicts the implications of the final scenes of the Final cut of the original film. I did like how it is used as a plot device and thought it was clever and impactful. As for the aesthetic, most of it looked great, but much of the film has a hideously orange tint that I'd want to bring down as well as removing the needless nudity and overly sexualized scenes that did nothing for the plot. The story itself was captivating and the look was convincing. 8/10

*I went back and watched some of the original after seeing the sequel and I must say that the sequel definitely improves the experience of the original story line. It's always great when a followup is able to both expand and enhance the source it came from.  That being said, I think the best way to watch this would be some hybrid of the theatrical and final cut, basically the theatrical without the narration, as the sequel clearly uses the theatrical ending and implications as its source material.
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^I feel you.  Watched the Final Cut for the first time recently and was surprisingly underwhelmed.  My review: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/blade-runner/

People really love on it as an improvement over the theatrical, but I think it's important to realize it was building on that.  Without the Theatrical Cut or it's cult status, I doubt many people would've even watched a film like what was released as the Final Cut.  It's too obtuse to find a large enough audience.  

When watching it after knowing all the details revealed in the narration of the original, it's easy to appreciate the mood.  But without that exposition, it's a movie that seems like it has a lot of ideas but doesn't flesh any of them out.  (I'm one of the few who thinks the International Cut is a great version of the film, sue me.)
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I agree except the exact opposite of everything you both said Big Grin .
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(05-11-2020, 01:50 AM)TM2YC Wrote: I agree except the exact opposite of everything you both said Big Grin .

So for a first viewing of both the first film and the sequel, which one is the way to go? Theatrical or Final Cut? I know next to nothing about the movies
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(05-11-2020, 06:14 AM)Masirimso17 Wrote:
(05-11-2020, 01:50 AM)TM2YC Wrote: I agree except the exact opposite of everything you both said Big Grin .

So for a first viewing of both the first film and the sequel, which one is the way to go? Theatrical or Final Cut? I know next to nothing about the movies

I’m not the expert that TM2YC is, but I vastly prefer Final Cut to the Theatrical. The Director’s Cut was what I watched until the FC came out. I’m anxious for TM2YC’s color correction though. I understand what mnkykungfu is saying but I love the FC exactly for the reasons he dislikes it. It if you want a more straightforward detective noir, the theatrical is fine, but it makes it a totally different experience. For leading into the sequel, I think tonally the FC is the way to go as it is clearly a sequel in spirit to DC or FC rather than the theatrical.
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