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In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012, 9:10:47 PM PDT
C McGhee says:
Thomas A. Stith- Forbidden World/ Mutant

This is the one I bought but the price has gone up. I got mine for $6.

Forbidden World (Roger Corman's Cult Classics)

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012, 9:12:15 PM PDT
C McGhee says:
Thomas A. Stith- FW/ Mutant

My mind is glitched tonight. Mutant is simply Corman's unrated cut of Forbidden World & it's 4:3.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 5:38:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 5:39:10 AM PDT
I own that same DVD set (Forbidden World/Mutant). In fact, I recently wrote a little customer review about it last month.

Another great favorite classic Sci-fi movie that I watched last night is Ice Pirates starring Robert Urich and Mary Crosby. That one is a lot of fun.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 7:15:40 AM PDT
CM: Not even crustacean perfection would be enough. After all, one has to talk, and listen.

Posted on May 25, 2012, 7:25:45 AM PDT
H: You are correct in suggesting RDJ abandon that hyperkinetic excuse for a Holmes series and do more interesting work.

As usual, TAS misses the point about Midnight in Paris. Owen Wilson's obtuseness is the source of much of the comic energy of the film. Of course, of the many things TAS cannot understand, comedy heads the list.

And let me--as I already have--say a kind word about The Hounds of Baskerville. It's cheeky and inventive, and particularly engaging in the way its scrambles the characters from the original--and, hence, our expectations. I realize that I am in a minority here in being less than enraptured by the Lewis series (it and its ilk make one long for the days when the BBC was adapting Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham), but the Holmes series makes the Lewis series look even more dull and pedestrian--even with the wonderful background of Oxford. But again--second on the list of things TAS cannot understand is wit.

Posted on May 25, 2012, 9:51:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 10:06:25 AM PDT
Hikari says:
>>>Owen Wilson's obtuseness is the source of much of the comic energy of the film.

I'd have to disagree with this statement. I found Owen Wilson's obtuseness to be the black hole into which much of the comic energy of the film fell and sank without a trace.

Was that 'obtuse' he was going for? To me it read like "100% witless". Let's be honest, Gil was just too plain stupid to even have these ambitions the screenplay attributed to him. He had found his niche--Hollywood hack screenwriter living in Pasadena. That he'd feel himself capable of being a literary descendant of the Left Bank literati was incedulous. Mr. Wilson is pretty (even with the skewed nose) but vacous. He has his own brand of goofy stoner appeal, but he waa not a remote match to this material. For me 'comic energy' was pretty thin on the ground in Woody's movie . . .but if the intention was to make the main character 'obtuse', don't you think Michael Sheen could have done that with more comedic result? You've said before, and I agree, that an actor who's dumb doesn't have a prayer of playing smart . .but I don't think a dumb actor can play dumb, either. To be a good actor, regardless of genre requires intelligence and the genial Mr. Wilson just comes across as baked in everything he does. I don't really think it's an act. Woody managed to leach the charms out of a very good actress, Rachel McAdams, by forcing her to play vapid when she is anything but. I must be in a minority in thinking that Midnight in Paris would have been a much funnier movie with a less obtuse actor in the lead. Gil's as dumb as a bag of rocks--it doesn't even make any sense that the self-serving Inez would have found anything there warranting a second date, much less an engagement. Mr. Wilson is cute if he just stands there and keeps his mouth shut. Either his director or his acting skills were far off the mark to be a success in the part. I wanted to like him . . .I just couldn't.


In regards to "Lewis", nifty setting and top-notch production values aside, what draws me in the most are not the plots, but the interplay between our two detectives. When the dialogue is at its best, the verbal jousting between DI Lewis and DS Hathaway remind me so very much of Watson and Holmes. The dynamic between the two is so much like that. We've got a charismatic, scary-smart, slightly skewed (addicted to smoking) young turk with a brilliant mind but quite a few quirks and a discomfort with a lot of day-to-day human interactions. Then we've got the solid, world-weary, experienced senior man with the more pragmatic, down-to-earth personality. The two are perfect foils for each other, only in this pairing "Watson" is calling the shots and "Sherlock" is junior man, being schooled a bit in humility brought on by the realization that more ordinary minds still have a thing or two to teach him about the practical matters of policing and dealing with fellow humanity.

This is why I enjoy Lewis and Hathaway so much--they feel quite familiar, you see.

Posted on May 25, 2012, 12:42:13 PM PDT
H: We will have to disagree on this one. First of all, Owen Wilson (the actor) is no dummy. I read his character as a kind of pure naif, a bit like (to stretch a metaphor) Parsifal. He's a bit slow on the uptake, but with an engaging innocence and charm--he's utterly amiable. One of Allen's great strengths is casting, and I can't see anyone else in that role--not that Michael Sheen isn't a fine actor. The same, for that matter, with Rachel McAdams. Inez isn't vapid--she's stupid and vicious, and far and away the most interesting character in Ms. McAdams' slender filmography. (One might see a parallel to what one commentator say of Trollope's Lady Eustace--a bit like Becky Sharp, without the intelligence but a sort of low cunning.) And she sees exactly two things in Gil--first, lots of money, and second, someone she can control. She's intended to be an utterly unsympathetic character. I, for one, gave a cheer when Gil dumped the nasty little b*i*t*c*h.

Re Lewis: I will repeat what I have said may times--the core of any mystery is the puzzle. Without really interesting puzzles, mysteries don't work very well. What you describe is a cliche of the drama, and I've seen it a thousand times, and there is nothing particularly new or interesting there. If I want that plot, I'll watch Thunderboot and Lightfoot again. Or I'll watch the A&E Nero Wolfe series--Archie and Nero are thousands of times more interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 1:20:52 PM PDT
stevign says:
Owen Wilson: Another actor I hope I've seen the last of.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 1:34:06 PM PDT
Hikari says:
>>>H: We will have to disagree on this one.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. :p Because if we didn't disagree, that'd mean I'd have to diss "Lewis" in favor of a (very) lesser Allen picture, and find the star of such postmodern deconstructionalist fare as "Night at the Museum" and "Me and Dupree" as an intelligent actor. Owen Wilson's filmography is proof enough to me that he ain't no freakin' Gary Oldman, now, let's be honest. Mr. Owen is likeable in his milieu, and a Woody Allen picture is not it. He did not project the gravitas of an aspiring man of letters with excellent taste in the literary and artistic lights of the 20th century. But he was aces at playing a rube from Pasadena.

I have never encountered an actress more poorly-served by a role or a director than Ms. McAdams was by Inez and Woody. Her 'slender' filmography is 10 times more complex at half the length of Owen Wilson's. But that will have to remain one of the areas in which we disagree. Along with Woody Allen being possibly our most overrated, overpraised and under-penalized American director.

But I wouldn't change a thing about Corey Stoll's performance!

And you and I agree on the brilliance of our 21st century Holmes and Watson. Whatever's going on in the 'story', Cumberbatch and Freeman are just having a ball together and it shows.

That you'd call "Lewis" cliched and boring and something you've seen 'a thousand times' . . .I am at a loss to explain these reactions other than . . .a tiny stroke, perhaps? Any 90-minute Lewis episode is worth 10 Woody Allens. God, yes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:00:08 PM PDT

I think you are wrong about Mr. Downey's UK accent. At least,Attenborough acclaimed it. He said that one of the hardest technical aspects of the character, but little noticed was on that Downey excelled at. Of course, the film was shot, like almost all films, out of chronological order. Well, from youth to old age, because of his life in America, then his return to Europe, to Switzerland, Chaplin's accent constantly changed throughout his life and would have to be modified for each and evey scene, just like his makeup.

Attenborough said that Robert never missed a beat, never had to go and refresh with his coach, never had to be corrected by Attenborough. He said, the rest of his performance aside, just that small aspect of it was impressive. Lord Dickie ought to know.

I like "Chaplin" a great deal and not just for Downey, but its interesting you talk of making it again because Attenborough regrets what he sees as some mistakes he made (he mentions in particular the undercrankng of some of the slapstick scenes) and laughingly says he'd like to do it over again.

One thing that could be improved would be Downey's old man makeup. Techniques have probably improved since then.

Attenborough took a lot of heat for his "downbeat" ending, but I think it works beautifully. Isn't it interesting that one of the great film artists thought himself a failure? His assessment of his career: "All I did was make some people laugh."

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:00:43 PM PDT
hikari Jude flipping

He should have flipped with what'shisname on Mr. Ripley too.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:06:40 PM PDT

How did you like Murder by Decree? Had you seen it before? It is one of my favorite Holmes', even though it retreads a rather silly theory. Still a good film. Very similar, oddly, to the Jack the Ripper film that Michael Caine did--minus Holmes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:09:24 PM PDT
cmcghee re Dawn Dunlap

She and Emmanuelle Beart are, I believe, the only former teen models of David Hamilton who had any kind of career apart from Hamilton. Dawn only did a handful of films of course.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:12:12 PM PDT

Thanks. I got a bootlet of Forbidden World from Ebay years ago, but its not very good. At the time it was better than nothing. I will look into buying the real deal.

I found Forbidden World but no sign of Mutant-except a Wings Hauser film.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:15:07 PM PDT
rocknrolla: "I own that same DVD set (Forbidden World/Mutant)"

I can't find this. Only a region 2 of Mutant. And is "unavailable." Is it much different?

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:31:49 PM PDT
Hikari: "I found Owen Wilson's obtuseness to be the black hole into which much of the comic energy of the film fell and sank without a trace."

Admittedly he is a bad actor and the role is badly conceived and written. How did Woody Allen not realize this film was doomed? The relationship is totally unbelievable. Forget the rooting around in time, the modern day story is totally unbelievable. Not to mention inducing a huge "Who Cares?" from me.

And I like and admire Woody Allen. Well, sadly, I like and admire him less lately. I cannot fathom what audiences and critics liked about this film. And I ALSO have admiration for Hemingway, Fizgerald (I even read Save Me the Waltz!), Stein, Bunuel and most of the others depicted. But other than Hemingway and Brody's Dali, the film was deadly dull and dreary. Kathy Bates' Stein seems on target, but Allen doesn't give her anything to do!

Forget the hapless Ms. McAdams, let's talk about the beautiful Marion Cotillard--who can actually ACT, even though she isn't asked to do much here other than look vapid and pretty.

Since when does Allen indulge himself in so many cliches? Do we have any reason to believe that BrokenNose can actually WRITE and that Gertrude would be impressed? I wasn't convinced. Even the trips back in time are unimaginative. A taxi? Really? Chaplin once shut down production on City Lights for weeks, keeping everyone on payroll, to decide how to make the blind girl and the tramp meet. Maybe Woody could use a little more Chaplin integrity and inspiration in his filmmaking.

And--I can't believe Allen did this--what good screenwriter has one of his character speak ALOUD the theme of the film, in one pithy sentence? Has Allen decided we're all so stupid we won't get it unless he spells it out for us?

And his "Moral" is trite anyway.

I believe I have already stated my opinion on his godawful cornball ending--telegraphed halfway through the film!

I greatly admired his recent films like Cassandra's Dream and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, but his quality output is getting sparser and sparser. Where is the writer/director of September, Another Woman and Match Point?

If my wife didn't love Allen so much, I don't know if I would even go see his next film--at least not without a lot of research first.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:33:19 PM PDT
"Owen Wilson: Another actor I hope I've seen the last of"

If there is a God, he will take care of this. Let's wait and see. A second suicide attempt may be in the offing, you never know.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:34:56 PM PDT
Hikari: "Along with Woody Allen being possibly our most overrated, overpraised and under-penalized American director"

??? Under penalized? What did he do? Win too many Oscars?

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 2:47:07 PM PDT
hikari re: Lewis/Morse

Both my Morse episodes came today so I can watch them over the long weekend: Promised Land and Deceived by Flight. I was just going to look and see which is the next least expensive one out there. Though I may opt for Thaw's Out of the Blue. I shall see.

"The two are perfect foils for each other, only in this pairing "Watson" is calling the shots and "Sherlock" is junior man, being schooled a bit in humility brought on by the realization that more ordinary minds still have a thing or two to teach him about the practical matters of policing and dealing with fellow humanity."

I am not sure I agree with this interpretation, the Holmes/Watson thing I mean. Wouldn't this comparison apply more to the Morse series?

I know you don't agree, but I think I like Morse slightly (just slightly) better than the Lewis series. Perhaps its just that John Thaw is so darn compelling. There is something so human--almost tragic--about him that it keeps me glued to watch him take himself apart a little piece at a time and have no idea that he is doing it. Haven't you know people who are their own worst enemies and nothing on earth you can do will help them a bit?

It's the entire series is moving inexorably, unstoppably to "The Remorseful Day". That's powerful stuff. I am not sure either series has the anti-intellectual slant you want to give them. I think rather they are about conflicting personalities running up against each other with a common goal and how the act, react, interact with each other.

Revisiting the Morses lately has shown me something I should have noted all along: the plots themselves are just pegs to hang Morse/Lewis/Hathaway on. Dexter (or his adaptors)just aren't that interested in "crime and punishment" (thankfully, that preachiness gets real old real fast in "detective fiction") but on the evolution of one man, the Deevolution of another (in Morse) and the way they interact.

The crimes, the plots are only important in that they comment on the milieu in which these men exist, the state of the world around them and how it does, or does not affect them.

In the end, this is far more compelling than a convoluted plot. These are about life, real life in a way that, say, Agatha Christie is not.

It seems to me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 3:00:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 3:27:14 PM PDT
"I can't find this. Only a region 2 of Mutant. And is "unavailable." Is it much different?"

Amazon carries it. Here's the link: Forbidden World (Roger Corman's Cult Classics)

It's $14.00 bucks for the 2 disk set but worth every penny to me. I bought my copy last Fall and have watched it a few times already. It gets better and better with every viewing. The "Mutant" version isn't so great though. It is a dark and grainy copy taken from a VHS print, I believe. It has a few extra minutes of deleted gore scenes added to it I believe, but I can't remember . I only watched it once. I prefer the Forbidden World cut on disk 1. The picture and sound look pretty damned good for an old low-budget B movie. The disk with Mutant does have a commentary track with director Allan Holzman however.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 3:12:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 3:12:41 PM PDT
rocknrolla re Mutant

Thanks! I don't know why I couldn't find it. I will put it in my "cart" and see if I can come up with the money. Looks interesting and it has to look better than the bootleg I have.

I don't know if I said this before, but for a low budget sci fi film, I thought this was pretty well made. Its creepier and more suspenseful than you would expect. But then you know that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 3:24:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 3:26:03 PM PDT
It is also very funny, unintentionally, or maybe intentionally? Who can tell with Roger Corman films? But that is part of what makes it so enjoyable to watch, in my opinion. And you are right, it does have a creepy vibe to it, with the help of that great electronic soundtrack by Susan Justin . Watch it late at night in the dark for best results.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 4:46:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 4:47:02 PM PDT

You know it doesn't cost much but the small sets make it claustrophic, like a ship probably would be. To be honest with you I would much rather watch Forbidden World again than the overblown Alien. I know no one would agree with that, but I'd rather watch most Corman films over most Ridley Scott films any day. At least Corman isn't pretentious.

I remember one set that looked like it was silvered egg cartons! But it looked kind of cool like that!

I broke down and ordered that set.

You know, these forums cost me a heck of a lot of money!

But thanks for the tip!

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 5:01:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012, 5:14:11 PM PDT
Hikari says:
It was not my intent to denigrate Mr. Downey's Chaplin accent . . .It was very appropriate to that character, and all the more impressive because Robert was so young when he did this (in an Oscar-nominated performance, justly so), and until that time was mostly known for "Less Than Zero" and other decidedly non-Brit, non-thespian type projects. Sir Charles' accent may have changed over the course of his very long life, but I'm pretty sure it did not ever come close to approaching the aristocratic, Oxbridge tones of Sir Conan Doyle's creation. Sherlock sounds like Christopher Plummer, or Laurence Fox or Benedict Cumberbatch . . . polished and definitely a bit more high-falutin' than RDJ pulls out for his version of Sherlock. He's doing a variation on Chaplin, and while I'm sure Sherlock enjoys putting on lower crust accents (maybe even lower crust female accents) as part of one of his parade of disguises, he shouldn't sound like Charlie Chaplin when he's sitting around Baker Street talking with Watson, or going with Mycroft to address some upper-level government functionaries.

Robert is a chameleon (his turn in "Tropic Thunder" was gloriously, Un-PC hilarious), but he does not capture the Sherlockian tones to my ear at least. Nor does he sound like Lord Attenborough. But he did a good approximation of Charlie.

>>>downbeat ending . . .

Well, Charlie surveys his career and his memories, has some profound regrets in his old age and then he died. Hard to make upbeat stuff out of it, really. Even though Charlie made a living by making people laugh, he was not a happy man. Attenborough captured his proper shadings.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by
If you smile through the tears and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
If you just smile

This was written by a guy who knew all about the inner tear.

Sherlock also more properly sounds like Jude Law, which is why I suggested they flip. With RDJ's accent, he'd make an excellent Fagin or the like. I'd have said Artful Dodger, but maybe back in the Chaplin era than now.

I've suggested before too that Jude would have made a kick-azz Tom Ripley. He was a great Dickie Greenleaf, but what a shame to waste all that beauty by killing him off so relatively soon. However, they would have had to change Anthony Minghella's script a lot if Jude was going to play Tom--he's got the chops for the ice-cold calculating sociopathic Ripley of Patricia Highsmith's books . . .the kind that would grow into John Malkovich. As Damon plays him, Tom is a screw-up who commits these murders almost by accident. He's an opportunist, but doesn't really seem all that bright. Tom Ripley needs to be a more Moriarty-esque figure, without conscience. Damon's Tom does bad stuff but then he feels bad about it, yammering on about locked rooms in the attic he's afraid to go in and having nightmares and etc. Jude would have given us a silky, menacing, charming Tom. Damon was not charming .. he was most often charmless, flustered and aggravating. They could have gotten any disposable pretty boy for Dickie Greenleaf. As it was, the wattage of Jude's charisma was such that he completely overpowered the lead and the film suffered by his absence. Matt Damon's Tom is a complete nerd, in over his head, and that just never changes, despite circumstances conspiring to allow him to get away with all these botched and poorly-thought out killings. Damon never projects the quality that is essential to Tom: unshakable confidence and self-possession. Jude would have aced it. Instead he exeunts lying in a pool of his own blood. Pity.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012, 5:38:45 PM PDT

Did you see Ripley's Game with Malkovitch as Ripley? This was surely closer to the actual character--silky smooth and really nasty. I could see Jude Law as a younger, handsomer version of the Ripley that Malkovitch played. (And I never understood Minghella dragging in the homoerotic subtext. I didn't think it worked at all.)

In fact, I don't think Matt Damon can act--OR has any charisma on screen.

Alain Delon. Now THAT was a handsome Ripley!

You know, I don't even think of the Downey Holmes as a real movie. I mean, I only saw the first one--not realizing it was going to be a special effects joke. I was sorry that Downey and Law were even involved in it. I guess when you were talking about Downey's accent I didn't get what you meant. You know,he probably wasn't even trying and, yes, he does sound a bit lower class than you would expect Holmes to.

I was trying to remember, what accent did Michael Caine use as the faux Sherlock? Because he actually IS Cockney. But then he was an actor playing a part, so I guess its irrelevant.

The criticism I frequently read was that Attenborough leaves Chaplin BACKSTAGE at the Oscars, never receiving his greatest triumph during his return to America--but leaves him in tears behind that curtain.

But that strikes me as someone wanting to rewrite not just Attenborough's film but Chaplin's life itself.

You know, Attenborough inherited several projects, including Gandhi, from David Lean. Lean was fascinated by Gandhi, revered by the world, because he died feeling he was a total failure,that his life was a waste because he could not unite his country. Attenborough's film is much more positive than Lean's would have been (he intended to cast Anthony Hopkins), but the same applies to Chaplin.

You are very correct to quote "Smile" (I had nominated it as the best movie song of all time on another thread here but no one agreed, apparently) because it is the essence of Chaplin. And the ultimately lonely man behind the screen, looking back over his life, IS the man who wrote and understood "Smile". And I think Attenborough understood that. Like Gandhi, Chaplin felt he was a failure.

Like his friend Lean, Attenborough was prone to melancholy films. You remember his take on Ernest Hemingway and the one event that ruined his life. Shadowlands, Magic, Oh What a Lovely War. These are not happy films.

Chaplin worked hard to make people laugh because, I think,he knew an awful lot of things weren't very funny.

Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep trying
What's the use of crying?
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