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Good Movies You've Seen - A Digression

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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012, 8:24:47 PM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
John Spinks----You got that right! Somewhere between 80-90 Agent Smiths, it looks.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012, 10:37:51 PM PST
KenOC says:
Watched "End of Watch" tonight. A very impressive cop buddy movie, probably the best ever. If you liked Hurt Locker, you'll love this (it's probably better). Mayhem on the mean streets of south central LA. Our heroes don't escape unscathed. Great good guys, great bad guys.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012, 1:31:42 PM PST
A favorite show-biz joke:

A struggling young actor, on the verge of giving up his hopes for a career in movies, gets a phone call from his agent.

"I've got you a part in a film!" says the agent.

"Oh, my God! That's wonderful!" says the young actor.

"Now, don't forget," cautions the agent, "that there's never a guarantee of success -- these things are sometimes hit or miss. But, there's so much much talent attached to this project that I think we have a good shot at something big. You know, Scorsese's directing it."

"WHAT?" exclaims the actor. "Martin Scorsese's directing this film?"

"Well, no, actually it's Byron Scorsese -- really talented guy, done a lot of commercials and TV news footage -- he's always wanted to do something in features, and he really seems to know a lot about actor motivation, camera angles, that sort of thing. And Mamet did the screenplay."

"WHAT? David Mamet did the screenplay?"

"Uh, no, actually it's by Seth Mamet -- bright young kid, used to write ad copy for a radio station in Arizona, but he's put a lot of time into this script, and the characters seem really good. And Horner did the score."

"WHAT? James Horner did the background score?"

"Er...actually, it's by Manny Horner -- energetic young kid, used to write the arrangements for the strolling saxophone quartet at Disneyland -- he's always wanted to do something on a grand scale, write for orchestra, you know...really good. And Reeves is your co-star."

"WHAT? Keanu Reeves is my co-star?"

And the agent says, "Yeah."

Posted on Nov 14, 2012, 10:15:28 AM PST
A "No" vote for the joke? Goodness...didn't realize Keanu Reeves was a classical music fan!

Posted on Nov 15, 2012, 10:19:29 PM PST
John Spinks says:
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy --

And the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. Love it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012, 8:46:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012, 9:07:17 PM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
John Spinks----HHGG...Which version? I prefer the BBC Series over the movie. Got both.

"Blade Runner" original version. Then "Blade Runner: The Director's Cut." tomorrow I'll probably finish up with "Blade Runner: The Final Cut." the Soundtrack by VanGellis is on a 3-CD set I've wondered about obtaining.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012, 9:09:11 PM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
"Blade Runner: 1982 International Theatrical Cut."

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 12:42:43 PM PST
John Spinks says:
B.A.,

That was the film I watched. I'll look up the BBC version, too. I remember reading the book years ago and guffawing uncontrollably.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 1:57:21 PM PST
Lawrence of Arabia was on TCM last night. It is a very interesting movie and I love Peter O'Toole as Lawrence.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 5:33:09 PM PST
Edgar Self says:
I remember the opening scene, David. O'Toole and Shariff riding horseback across the desert. They stop somewhere and O'Toole is thirsty, but Shariff says he will not drink until sunset, so O'Toole does the same. Epic movie including scenes O'Toole might rather forget. David Lean.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 6:12:41 PM PST
B. A. Dilger says:
"Blade Runner Director's Cut", 1992

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 8:27:48 PM PST
Soucient says:
Somehow, "Lawrence" didn't hold up for me as well the second time around. It was still a pretty good movie but just didn't have the impact as when I first saw it in the theater.

Could that be because the second viewing was on my TV--a large-screen one, though?

How much do you think ones enjoyment/understanding of a movie depends on the venue?

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 8:33:12 PM PST
John Spinks says:
I've always liked "Lawrence." Not only because of the photography but the screenplay is by Robert Bolt, a favorite who wrote "A Man for All Seasons."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012, 9:06:20 PM PST
KenOC says:
In Lawrence, I like the diplomat (Claude Rains?) And the scene where Lawrence and his companion ride up to the well and draw some water, when Omar Sharif comes riding from the distance.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 10:02:06 PM PST
I saw the blu ray a few months Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) [Blu-ray]
on my 46 in bravia is as good as I remember it to be at the revival houses, I saw it for the first time in the late '70s.

amazing film in many ways...but...

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 11:47:50 PM PST
Soucient says:
But, what?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012, 1:10:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012, 1:12:57 PM PST
My first (and only still) viewing of Lawrence was on home TV back in the 70's, and that day it seemed like one of the best movies I'd ever seen. But I've always doubted my judgement and look forward to seeing it again along with many other classic films being recycled on HD these days.

I'm also interested in reading the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, though I'm not sure why. Expecting something like Kipling perhaps.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012, 7:52:41 PM PST
I have watched "The Sessions," "Hotel Rwanda," and "A Late Quartet."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012, 8:06:53 PM PST
KenOC says:
How was "A Late Quartet"?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012, 8:29:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012, 7:22:07 AM PST
KenOC, I am still turning the film over in my head. (I saw it a couple of hours ago.) The acting is wonderful, but I do not know how believable the story is. I have met at least one person in a string quartet who did not find the story believable at all.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012, 9:08:35 PM PST
Val H. says:
I know this site is about movies but the recent mentions of "A Late Quartet" got me trying to remember a novel I had read about a string quartet. Good old google responded to "novel about a string quartet" with this blog:
http://www.jeff-mason.com/fromthebench/?p=31
which identified the book for me:
"I recently (this is an item from 2008) read two novels about pianists that my wife gave me for Christmas, and both were excellent. I will also briefly mention a third I read several years ago. I'm not going to try to write very thoughtful or complete book reviews here; I'll briefly describe them and then point to reviews elsewhere.

The first, and better for the musically literate, is An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. He is probably best known for An Unsuitable Boy; Music is his second prose novel. The main character is a violinist in a top string quartet based in England. He pines for the professional pianist with whom he had a romance while they were both students in Vienna; by chance they meet again and embark on a passionate but sometimes painful affair (she is now married). The rich detail about the lives of professional musicians, and the experience of practicing as well as performing, is remarkable: it is very hard to believe that Seth is not himself a professional musician. The characters also convey a wonderful sense of the details and art of the music they play, as well as their emotional engagement with it. Yet, despite the serious and deep treatment of music, the novel is a very good yarn that reads easily and quickly. There is also a companion CD with good performances of the main pieces referenced in the book. The most enjoyable music novel I've ever read. [Amazon (UK) page with reviews] [The Complete Review]".

I'm still keen to see "A Late Quartet", even if it is just for the acting - and the joy in knowing there are still people making films which aren't reliant on CGI and noisy soundtracks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012, 3:42:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012, 3:45:21 PM PST
I saw Lawrence of Arabia with my late brother back in 1962 when it was released. One thing we both enjoyed was the overture as well the intermezzo, both of which we listened attentively and quietly. I wonder if nowadays audiences would stomach all that music in the darkness of the movie house. I can see at least some people using that time to do some texting, emailing, and even calls on their mobiles.
I wonder also if they played all the noted music when they recently, according to David, showed the movie on TCM.
As I mentioned the other day, we recently got a Samsung 55 inches LED TV. One of the first things I tried was to play our DVD copy of this movie. Unfortunately, the DVD player was an old one so the image was one those awful ones where everybody in the picture gets vertically compressed. Even Lawrence looked like Disney's version of Mr. Smee.
So, I bit the bullet again and bought a Sony blueray player with all the perks of WIFI and apps. Beautiful! Enjoyed it as much as I did 1/2 century ago! And that included the overture & the intermezzo, again quietly listened. I have no idea as to the movie's authenticity with respect to the characters being portrayed and the history of the area in question at that time when the action takes place. Frankly, I care more about the issues the movie raises, regardless of their historical authenticity.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012, 4:08:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012, 4:10:10 PM PST
"I wonder if nowadays audiences would stomach all that music "

Had the same thought two nights ago watching the HD screening of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" where the key event takes place during a performance of Bernard Herrmann's Storm Cloud Cantata, which plays for about 5 minutes before anything actually happens. Though it made great spectacle, it seemed rather ridiculous as a plot device.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 8:22:01 AM PST
Vaughan Otter said:
"Had the same thought two nights ago watching the HD screening of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" ...."

I saw that movie about 25 years ago on VHS. I vaguely remember hating the scene towards the end with Doris Day singing "que sera, sera". Don't remember the cantata. While vocals are not my cup of tea, I like Herrmann's film music and your post made me curious. Chances are that I'll try to watch this movie again.
My favorite Herrmann's film music is from Vertigo and Psycho. I've never listened to his non-film music.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 3:09:50 PM PST
Soucient says:
I hated that scene, too. Doris Day belting out that inane song! Yuck!
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