XtremePlace Forum

AV Galaxy => Planet Movies & TV => Topic started by: Doggie Howser on October 06, 2012, 23:31

Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 06, 2012, 23:31
Wife hadn't watched Real Steel before so I unwrapped the shrink wrap of the steel box and watched that first.

It's a simple, easy movie to get into and really had a feel good err feel to it.

Then we rewatched Inception.

Like Real Steel, I had watched it before in the cinemas but never quite gotten around to watching the BluRay.

It's a great movie to get into as a second show and it still got us thinking and discussing the movie.

And of course the JL f113 kicked serious ass in the movies :P

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 07, 2012, 00:08
Very nice  ;)

My movies tonight were The Spy Who Loved Me and Dangerous Liaisons. But it's not over yet... Now finishing the last six episodes of Ghetto Justice 2 (HK TVB serial)

TSWLM is my wife's first time watching a pre-Daniel Craig James Bond flick. Start her off with my personal fave. Still a guilty joy to watch and she enjoyed the cheesy quips. "All those feathers and he still can't fly!", "Then how about a nightcap on the company? My company."

Dangerous Liaisons was becoz we saw the poster for the Chinese remake (with Zhang Ziyi) recently and she was curious. I told her that the Stephen Frears classic is a must-watch. In went the Blu-ray. The story, plot and performances are a joy to behold. Michelle Pfeiffer's exquisite portrayal of a tragic soul, Glenn Close is in her own words, a virtuoso of deceit and John Malkovich's portrayal of a player of souls culminating to his final realization that he is being played all along... Amazing. My missus got a hoot seeing such a young Uma Thurman and Keanu Reeves. After so many times of seeing this, I still find the casting of Reeves the only weak spot in the entire film. I got to say the Blu-ray is quite impressive for a catalogue title.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 07, 2012, 00:11
Inception is like a who's who of Batman Rises. I only made the connection watching it tonight.

Bane, Talia, Alfred, Scarecrow, Robin. DAMN they were all in there.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: chewed on October 07, 2012, 06:30
Hmmm, now you give me another reason to watch Inception again
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 07, 2012, 12:11
I don't think I even recall Tom Hardy being in Inception. First movie I sorta remembered him in was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

But looking at Wiki, I should have seen him in Layer Cake and no, I didn't remember him from Nemesis either.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 12, 2012, 22:15
Another weekend and this week, it's the Bourne trilogy. Well, it's a quadrilogy now but Pt4 still isnt out.

It's still very fresh rewatching this movie and I still love how well written it is. It's not Nolan but it's plenty smart and I picked up small things I missed out the first time like how he took his time to study the map before he ran the Mini to inches of its life :) The other cool stuff like using the evacuation signs, the radio were just inspired.

Bourne Supremacy tomorrow and maybe Ultimatum.

Wife suggesting Die Hard next :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 12, 2012, 22:23
Just back from work. After a shower and now we are watching Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Doubt we can finish tonight. So tmr other than finishing this, I am lining up some movies... maybe Salo on BD  :o
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 12, 2012, 22:45
http://www.youtube.com/v/ICjyAe9S54c

Got the soundtracks of the movies recently.

Damn it's good.

It's in the movie but wasn't in the first movie's soundtrack. Lucky they rectified it for the second movie's soundtrack.

And then again in Pt 3 and Pt 4! :)


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 14, 2012, 00:23
Watched the second two of the Damon trilogies.

Epic

Will try to get the BR of the 4th one to finish up the series. I heard it isn't as good but for completeness...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 14, 2012, 09:59
Is this a thread for sharing what we watched during movie nites?  I hope it is... If I am intruding, let me know eh

Yest, we finished Eyes Wide Shut. I think the jury is still out for Kubrick's final film. Every scene feels dragged on for an eternity but it's such an evocative and intoxicating film. I would sure love to get that weird chanting tune on CD if it's available.

Then it was Kieslowski's Red. On hind thought I should have watched Blue and White first. Each time I see this I find something new to appreciate. These are the type of films that can make you want to be closer to the people in your life, even the same stranger u see at a bus stop every morning.

Then it was Burton's Big Fish, an under-rated Tim Burton film. Big Fish holds a very special spot in my heart - when my dad passed on, I couldn't cry for a few weeks. I thought there was something wrong with me. Then I wandered into the cinema and Big Fish helped me let out and let go.

Finally, Pasolini's Salo. There's no good time to watch this infamous film. Last nite was my second time watching it and it's one time too many. I gotta say Criterion did an amazing job with the film and I am looking forward to checking out the special features to find out WTF it is. I just can't fathom what the director was thinking in making Salo. It was also quite funny to see my wife's eyes popping out and shaking her head at all the sh1t splashing on the screen, both metaphorically and literally.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 14, 2012, 11:18
Free for all to share, web :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 14, 2012, 11:33
Another thread somewhere among the labyrinth of XP prodded me to pop in The Pianist dvd 2 nights ago. Simple story but Brody's performance was magnetic. Liked the piano music too. Hope the bd comes soon. Anyone bought the soundtrack?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on October 14, 2012, 18:21
Another thread somewhere among the labyrinth of XP prodded me to pop in The Pianist dvd 2 nights ago. Simple story but Brody's performance was magnetic. Liked the piano music too. Hope the bd comes soon. Anyone bought the soundtrack?
I listened to the OST few years back when I purchased the 3 Disc LE Pianist DVD with OST.
I love the music on the end credits, but it was not featured in the OST itself.
I like the score for the Pianist, but the OST that comes with the LE DVD is like totally different with the movie so damn disappointed
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 14, 2012, 21:21
I listened to the OST few years back when I purchased the 3 Disc LE Pianist DVD with OST.
I love the music on the end credits, but it was not featured in the OST itself.
I like the score for the Pianist, but the OST that comes with the LE DVD is like totally different with the movie so damn disappointed


Ditto bro. Loved the ending credits music piece. Thks for the info.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on October 14, 2012, 23:16
http://www.youtube.com/v/rCaOcqp3uQg&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 15, 2012, 12:13
Oh I was quite surprised to see Karl Urban and Michelle Monaghan in Bourne Ultimatum. Michelle's role was sooo tiny that if you blinked, you missed it. I don't even think she had a spoken line in it.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: simplybochup on October 15, 2012, 12:30
Another thread somewhere among the labyrinth of XP prodded me to pop in The Pianist dvd 2 nights ago. Simple story but Brody's performance was magnetic. Liked the piano music too. Hope the bd comes soon. Anyone bought the soundtrack?

Hi whyeme, the piano bluray is out.  Heard an angmoh asking and getting the bluray at HMV.  Guess great minds think alike..
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 20, 2012, 22:21
Tonite's films

(http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/images/2012/09/Lady-Snowblood-515x650.jpg)

OMG... I can totally see where Taratino got his inspiration from for Kill Bill 1  :o. Remember that sad forlorn Japanese song after Lucy Liu got her head sliced off?  It's taken from here.

This is such a guilty pleasure to watch. I am already a fan of the manga and other Japanese exploitation films like Lone Wolf and Cub, but my wife has never seen this genre of films. She just kept going OMG at all the wanton bloodletting violent scenes. If your mind is in the right place, this is an awesome experience and of course Meiko Kaji is amazing to watch! 

For a 1973 film, the Blu-ray's PQ and SQ is pretty awesome
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 20, 2012, 22:25
For me, Prometheus in 3D.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 22, 2012, 23:34
My wife was on leave today and I myself finished off my last school assignment. Then it's back home for a movie day/night with a visit to Punggol Promenade thrown in between.

Started with Kill List. Kinda like a mindfcuk film but with a brutally violent edge. Very captivating and the director kept the entire plot close to his chest. Nothing in the first hour foretell what is going to happen in the last act. That itself should make it a must watch for more adventurous viewers. I can swear to you that the film has a way of sneaking up to you and plunging a knife in your jugular.  Definitely not for the squeamish.  I didn't realize that in the final act my hands were balled up into fists till it was over and I could breathe. Brilliant filmmaking that never made it to our shores. But I can see that there will be 2 extreme camps for this film - condemnation and commendation. I am in the latter camp.

We were both totally freaked out by Kill List so in went Seth McFarlane's Family Guy: Blue Harvest. Fricking hilarious. "Why are they called TIE fighters?" The pilots are Thais Haha  ;D

Finally, a French movie that I adored many years ago - Love Me If You Dare. Still very good after all these years. Bought the DVD after I caught it at the cinema and didn't watch it again till now. It's about a very destructive love affair but to have even loved a little like them would be amazing.  One of the most original love stories ever.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 23, 2012, 01:38
Kill List...DL in progress  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 26, 2012, 10:46
Watched MI-1 the other night.

Just some off the top of my head comments: man, Cruise looks really young. And the "bribe" amounts are hilariously funny, not unlike Dr Evil funny. $150k deposit to steal a top secret list and a mere $10M payday :D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 26, 2012, 13:57
Haha. I half watched half fwd thru Octopussy recently.
The priceless egg was auctioned off for only 500k :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 27, 2012, 23:36
A long weekend means a host of movies

Last night we started with GoldenEye. Still bears up after these years but barely. Just didn't like those archaic Atari-like computer graphic displays.

Next a couple of episodes of Columbo. We really like the TV series. Each episode is one case at 90min and each one follows the same narrative structure. It begins with the crime. It lets you know the motive, who kills who, how he/she does the killing. So essentially you already know everything. Then in comes Lt Columbo in his raincoat. He talks, he observes, and he gives the big reveal in the last 15min. Hence it's not a whodunit but more of a howdunit. On paper it seems to be a ridiculous structure but what made it work for more than 10 years on TV is the amazing acting of Peter Falk. He brings such an endearment to his detective character that the murderer always has total respect for him after his unassuming big revelation.

Next, Oliver Stone's World Trade Centre on blu. This is just one big melodrama fest. It lacks intensity and for something called WTC, it's cinematic and narrative angle of focusing on 2 cops and their families is just too small. It lacks context. Stone just couldn't bring out the scope and reverence of the bigger subject matter. And hey... Michael Shannon is in this. Didn't notice him the first time I saw this. Only start to notice him after Revolutionary Road.

Then, Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon (1956). It's a 34min short film that packs laughter, enchantment and tears. This is a masterpiece. In 34min it will pull your heart-strings in different directions and Pixar's Up ripped off a huge idea from the 34th min.

Lastly, Neil Jordan's The Crying Game. Anybody who loves film will probably know this one. One of the best films in the 90s. I thought when Dil sheds her clothes, my wife will go OMG. But she didn't at all becoz the moment she came on screen, my wife says,"Hey that's a ...!" shite... No more surprise. But still the film packs a wallop with a superb labyrinthine plot. When Jody died my wife says no more story already but it's only then one realizes that all that was a setup for the 'love' story.

Doesn't anyone else have movie nights here?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on October 27, 2012, 23:45
OT, anyone here got a DVD copy of 'The Haunting' that I can borrow?

Tks
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 28, 2012, 00:19
We did MI2 last night and then 3-4 back to back tonight.

I kind miss having Luther (Ving) in the 4th instalment but there seemed to be hints he was going to be in the 5th.

It's interesting things you catch the second time around. I didn't even notice Michelle Monaghan in Bourne Supremacy and in MI3, I didn't even know Simon Pegg was in it. I think he hadnt registered on my radar then and while I loved his Shaun of the Dead and other movies, I somehow just didn't register he was in MI3, tho I did remember him in MI4 especially after his role as Scotty in the Star Trek reboot. It's always fun to catch the who's who of the Abrams alumni :)

I'm never really sure if Abrams is having a bit of ironic fun but casting Keri Russell as the agent that Hunt trains in MI4 seemed a bit like an injoke. I remember when Alias started, they called it Felicity meets the CIA or something :) and here she was - in the CIA.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 30, 2012, 21:55
It just dawn on me that today is Halloween. I am gonna pop in a scary movie later  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 30, 2012, 21:59
It just dawn on me that today is Halloween. I am gonna pop in a scary movie later  ;D

I heard a news report that watching a horror movie burns up abt 130 calories, which is almost equivalent to 30 mins of strolling! :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 30, 2012, 22:19
You mean the following night?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on October 30, 2012, 22:25
OT again, nobody got 'The Haunting' !!! :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 30, 2012, 22:30
You mean the following night?

You are right. My wife just told me it's tmr but what the heck. Gonna watch The Changeling now (not the Angelina Jolie one) and tmr nite, Ju On!

Sorry, Francis I don't have The Haunting.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on October 30, 2012, 22:46
and tmr nite, Ju On!


IMHO, the scariest movie ever. This one fcuks with your mind and the scary images linger when you sleep, shower and shampoo your hair!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on October 31, 2012, 21:45
Time to turn down the lights... Red wine check... Glasses wiped clean... Iphones on silent

Time to let my missus meet this cute kid. She loves children  ;D

Happy Halloween dudes  :-[

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7d/Juonthegrudgeposter.jpg/220px-Juonthegrudgeposter.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on October 31, 2012, 22:46
I heard a scream!! :D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on October 31, 2012, 22:48
I heard a scream!! :D

Too scared to even scream. I heard a whimper, follow by a sob.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 01, 2012, 00:17
Movie ended and we survived... but just barely. Both of us have aching arms becoz we were covering our ears throughout most of the movie.

This is my second time watching Ju-On and I already think it's one time too many. I have never forgotten some of the scary scenes - boy on every floor, black figure 'entering' the camera and of course that amazing washing hair scene. This time round I begin to appreciate the episodic narrative structure centering on different characters. The writer/director never did make it clear whether story events unfolding have happened, are happening or even will be happening in the future. This non-linear structure forces you to focus very closely to not lose track and at the same time forces the rug to come out from beneath your feet. Very unsettling indeed.

Is it a horror masterpiece?  Not to us. Most times I have a feeling the director thinks of an inventive scary moment and ties it awkwardly to the plot. For example, the police and a news report already mentioned Rika is missing but how the hell did she return in the last act?  These missteps aside I did enjoy the movie tremendously becoz it can heighten the suspense to breaking point and after that only give u a quick lull scene to calm your nerves before the next bigger scare. I love the awful sense of dread too. Great stuff.

My wife has an interesting take on the Rika, the social worker who first ventured into the house and also the last one in the house at the end. What made her special?  My wife's take is that she is the re-incarnate of the dead wife. That's why Toshio appears to her in 'human' (not the whitened form) form and follows her everywhere becoz he sees his mom. In the last scene she looks into the mirror, covers her eyes and recalls all the crucial scenes throughout the film. Hmmm... I thought that's an interesting take but...

Cannot talk anymore... we need to hug each other to sleep. Why the heck did we go scare ourselves?  Haha nobody does horror like the Japanese, Thais, HK and Koreans
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on November 01, 2012, 00:28
You forgot to mention the blanket bro  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 04, 2012, 20:49
After scaring my missus on Halloween, she says no more scary movies. So this weekend's movie theme is musical. Started out with Grease and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Grease needs no intro at all. In fact my wife knew a few of the tunes (Those Magic Changes and Greased Lightning) through her line dancing days. She was just very surprised I know all the lines to Beauty School Dropout and Sandy ;D

I have never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just know that it has a crazy cult following in the States. But last year's Glee episode piqued my interest and I picked up the blu. Never did watch it until I saw and read Perks of Being a Wallflower. OMG I don't know what to say. This is one of the most kooky and whacky films I have ever seen and I have no idea what's it about. But that's not to say its terrible. In fact, I think it's pretty brilliant.

Last one for this weekend will be Saturday Night Fever. On hindsight I should have watched SNF last nite  ;)

Update - Travolta is strutting down the street to the tune of Staying Alive and I am thinking this could jolly well be the sequel to his Danny Zuko character in Grease. After high school and life deals him a bad one... I just checked that SNF came out just before Grease in the following year. Interesting
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 04, 2012, 21:44
My movie night on Saturday wasn't as big hitting.

We did Quick, a Korean action flick that had some decent high jinx action. By that I meant it looked like a lot of the stunt people got hurt making the movie. Not much health and safety. They pretty much did what you saw on screen. No CGI, nothing in the way of cushioning spills and falls.

(ps if Korean has so many cute girls, where the hell are they in this movie!?? :P)

This was followed by AirBorne. It had Mark Hamill in it and I thought, what the hell. Man, the years have not been kind to Mark. There was a suggestion elsewhere that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Hamill get to reprise their original roles several generations down. Well, Mark doesn't look anywhere as "sagely" as Alec Guinness. Ford might.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 09, 2012, 17:51
Caught a few minutes of Cars the other night when it was on telly and I was at a friend's place so I decided to watch the 2 movies again.

I'm still not sold on Owen Wilson/Lightning as the hero of the first one, but Paul Newman as the mentor is nothing short of stellar. Shame he wasn't in the sequel.

The sequel's DTS HD MA 7.1 soundtrack is nothing short of superb.

I really liked the odd homage to other Pixar movies which made me chuckle. The ending credits in Cars 1 was really hilarious - making fun of the voice actor who played, Mack, the Pig in Toy Story among others.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 10, 2012, 21:05
Tonite's movies is the Infernal Affairs Trilogy. We have seen part 1 before and I myself have seen it many times. But I have only seen parts 2 & 3 not more than twice. My general impression has always been that parts 2 & 3 should never have been made becoz it kinda robs part 1 of its mythical height. But that changed when I watched it back to back.

There's nothing about 无间道 that has not been said numerous times before. IMHO this is the quintessential undercover story. The words 无间道 has become common lingo to represent harbouring ulterior motives and can even be used as a verb!  Such a brilliant and simple concept of a double mole - a police who is a mole for the underworld who wants to be a policeman, and a gangster who is a mole for the police who wants to be a police. The ending is not only brilliant, it's also daring... name one HK movie where the bad guy wins in the end. The suspense and plot is so intricately woven together that I can watch it every year and will never be tired of it.  Sure... I already know all the twists and turns but still it bears watching again becoz now I can concentrate on the acting and dialogue. This is brilliant stuff. Scorsese' The Departed is not bad too but my chips lie with the HK one.

I have never enjoyed part 2. My initial impression is that it's a money grab exercise becoz of the huge success of part 1. My impression changed today... the writers gave all the characters of part 1 their own back stories and crafted their motivations for being who they are in part 1. Some homages are just brilliant. For instance, in part 1 when Andy Lau first meets Tony Leung in a highend hifi shop, Tony tells him the system has solid highs, sweet mids and awesome lows. This line was actually uttered by Carina Lau to Andy Lau so I presumed that led Andy to buy the whole system in part 1 becoz he likes Carina a lot. There is also another one that I like... Carina's role is Mary and Sammi Cheng's role is also Mary... so is Andy really in love with Sammi or is he still in love with Carina or is he nursing his guilt for killing Carina?  However part 2 though excellent just can't match part 1. It loses a bit in terms of suspense, plot, a weak climax and feels too long. But still it is quite accomplished in its own way. And hey... Tay Ping Hui is in here, playing Francis Ng's lawyer  :o

Going to watch part 3 soon. My memory tells me it was one convoluted mess. Let's see if watching it back to back will make me appreciate it more.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on November 10, 2012, 21:22
I watched The Departed a few months ago. Imo no fight with the canto original. Tony Liong Chew Wai is one damn fine actor.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 10, 2012, 23:49
Part 3 is definitely the weakest of the trilogy. Had to really pay attention to the dialogue to not miss anything. A few times I was XPing and got lost.  Had to ask my wife to explain some stuff. I enjoyed this the least as compared to the other 2. This one feels longer than 2 and had such a convoluted plot with another 2 new characters thrown in. Pace is slower and that unnecessary Tony Leung-Kelly Chen love story unconvincing.  They can't even kiss properly for goodness sake.  Leon Lai walks thru this one with one expression and he even died with that same expression. His acting is always very iffy for me all these years and in part 3, I couldn't feel any sympathy for him.

The plot of moving around different time periods can be a killer. But tonite it was fine probably becoz I watched em back to back. I really like the Andy going crazy storyline but you need to watch Christian Bale in The Machinist to see a masterclass portrayal of a guy gradually going nuts.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 13, 2012, 20:36
Veg out in front of my HT today  :P

During breakfast, I was whatsapping a bro about his insights on Skyfall and he told me his fave Bond flick is From Russia With Love. Since I have never seen it, in it went. Woooh... This movie is so dated that if it were to be screened in the cinemas for this new generation, I am afraid it will slammed till tomorrow. I can't believe the script... there's a scene where the Bond is on his knees and the villain says since Bond will be dead soon, he might as well tell him everything and I mean everything. OMG in these present times it wont be able to get away with it, unless it's a comedy.  One cool thing about FRWL is that Austin Powers is basically a comical parody of this.

The sky was really dark in the afternoon and it seemed like perfect weather for Titanic. This one both of us have seen before and my wife says she saw it with a guy. I frowned but she reassured me that the guy is a dork and they saw the 3hr film from the second row from the front. No need to say anything about the movie... If you have not seen this you must be a lo_er ;D. I just feel this is marvelous storytelling - using a modern framework to bookend the historical part. And I must say the PQ and SQ are out of this world. This is a must buy!

Then finally a foreign film, In a Better World, a film about violence and vengeance from different perspectives.  This film won the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year(?). I think it must have been a bad crop of films that year becoz we didn't find it good at all. Nothing like this year's A Separation and Monsieur Lazhar.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 13, 2012, 21:05
I finally got around to watching the new animated Batman: Dark Knight Returns. Part One.

Pretty good adaptation. With Robocop voicing Batman.

Part Two is due out next year. With Emerson (Person of Interest and Lost) voicing Joker.

Second movie was Iron Sky. One of those bad movies so bad, it's gone past cheesy good to insanely bad.

Spoiler alert:
Palin President up for re election
Nazis on dark side of the moon sent from earth before the fall of Nazis in 1945
Even a spoof of the Hitler scene that always gets re-subbed :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 13, 2012, 21:22
I saw Iron Sky in the cinema. The first few minutes was so promising then it was just one cheesy moment to the next and I just couldn't wait for it to end.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 13, 2012, 22:44
I can't believe you watched it in the cinema!!??

:P

I did think there were some funny moments. It did seem like a gag reel of sorts.

More spoilers:
strange UFO ships appear heading towards earth

In the UN room, everyone is denying the ships are theirs. Except North Korea who proudly declares the ships are theirs and designed by their great leader :P

It did make me crack up a bit.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on November 14, 2012, 12:03
Veg out in front of my HT today  :P

During breakfast, I was whatsapping a bro about his insights on Skyfall and he told me his fave Bond flick is From Russia With Love. Since I have never seen it, in it went. Woooh... This movie is so dated that if it were to be screened in the cinemas for this new generation, I am afraid it will slammed till tomorrow. I can't believe the script... there's a scene where the Bond is on his knees and the villain says since Bond will be dead soon, he might as well tell him everything and I mean everything. OMG in these present times it wont be able to get away with it, unless it's a comedy.  One cool thing about FRWL is that Austin Powers is basically a comical parody of this.

The sky was really dark in the afternoon and it seemed like perfect weather for Titanic. This one both of us have seen before and my wife says she saw it with a guy. I frowned but she reassured me that the guy is a dork and they saw the 3hr film from the second row from the front. No need to say anything about the movie... If you have not seen this you must be a lo_er ;D. I just feel this is marvelous storytelling - using a modern framework to bookend the historical part. And I must say the PQ and SQ are out of this world. This is a must buy!

Then finally a foreign film, In a Better World, a film about violence and vengeance from different perspectives.  This film won the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year(?). I think it must have been a bad crop of films that year becoz we didn't find it good at all. Nothing like this year's A Separation and Monsieur Lazhar.


I watched Hævnen a few months ago - I liked it :) the friendship between the 2 boys was touching. the other movies that were in the running for the Oscar that year were Dogtooth, Biutiful, Outside the Law and Incendies. with the exception of Outside the Law, I had a chance to watch the rest of the nominated films. my personal fave was Biutiful :) Dogtooth was the kind of the movie that will divide audiences and make you go "huh? that's it?" while Incendies was quite difficult to watch at parts due to the really heavy storyline, especially the heart wrenching climax.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 14, 2012, 12:50
I watched Hævnen a few months ago - I liked it :) the friendship between the 2 boys was touching. the other movies that were in the running for the Oscar that year were Dogtooth, Biutiful, Outside the Law and Incendies. with the exception of Outside the Law, I had a chance to watch the rest of the nominated films. my personal fave was Biutiful :) Dogtooth was the kind of the movie that will divide audiences and make you go "huh? that's it?" while Incendies was quite difficult to watch at parts due to the really heavy storyline, especially the heart wrenching climax.

I saw Biutiful... beautiful acting by Bardem.  Incendies was awesome.  The climax was a killer. 

hmmm I don't know man... I would have hoped Incendies had won  :-[
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on November 14, 2012, 18:59
I saw Biutiful... beautiful acting by Bardem.  Incendies was awesome.  The climax was a killer. 

hmmm I don't know man... I would have hoped Incendies had won  :-[

And I thought that Bardem was very deserving of the Best Actor Oscar too but Colin Firth took it home instead...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on November 20, 2012, 12:20
During breakfast, I was whatsapping a bro about his insights on Skyfall and he told me his fave Bond flick is From Russia With Love. Since I have never seen it, in it went. Woooh... This movie is so dated that if it were to be screened in the cinemas for this new generation, I am afraid it will slammed till tomorrow. I can't believe the script... there's a scene where the Bond is on his knees and the villain says since Bond will be dead soon, he might as well tell him everything and I mean everything. OMG in these present times it wont be able to get away with it, unless it's a comedy.  One cool thing about FRWL is that Austin Powers is basically a comical parody of this.

But just about all earlier Bonds are like that: the villain always explains his entire plan to Bond, then sets up Bond to die in some convoluted way instead of just shooting him, and Bond inevitably escapes.  Which is precisely why Austin Powers parodies all of it. 

With modern audiences, that's why the new Bond movies don't do this any more. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on November 21, 2012, 13:16
Saw some cool movies on a recent flight that are worthy of a mention...

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is pretty entertaining only if you check the ludicrous concept at the door. I sincerely thought it will be a stupid brainless flick but it managed to impress me with its cool action scenes and kudos to the writers who managed to weave the revenge story into the larger historical tapestry. All the important Abe historical moments like the Gettysburg address and his assassination (well-handled and in such a bittersweet moment) worked rather well in the story. When it ended I remembered thinking up many possible similar movie ideas - Gandhi: Peaceful Zombie Killer, Napoleon: Part-time Mummy Slayer & LKY:?? (fill in blank on your own  ;D)

Safety Not Guaranteed, an indie flick with an interesting idea. A bunch of magazine writers decided to check up on a mysterious dude who placed a classified ad in a local paper which says: “Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.” How to not check out something like that?  Well... I didn't dig a lot of stuff about it - the casting feels off IMO, a few of the sub-plots feel tagged on with no proper resolution at the end. However the film had heart and the ending surprised me and put a smile on my face.

Silent House, a horror flick or so I thought. The only reason I wanted to watch this (who would want to watch a horror flick while you are 20000ft in the air?) was becoz of Elizabeth Olsen is in this who I feel is just on the cusp of being huge. This year I saw her in Martha Marcy May Marlene and love the film a lot. Olsen didn't disappoint again. IMO she carried the small flick on her small shoulders. But the film tried too much to be clever technically... the film was proclaimed to have been filmed in one single long take (it's 90min long). IMO it robbed the film of some much needed intensity and the set-up took a little long and the casting of the dad was way off for me. The final twist didn't hit me like a ton of bricks and if not for Olsen it would have failed even more terribly. It just didn't live up to its tag line, Real Fear in Real Time.

Finally, of the lot I saw, this is the best. In fact I like it so much that I told my traveling buddies to check it out on our return flight and a few did and liked it too  ;). Intouchables, a very big French hit last year which miss our shores. For the death of me, I can't understand why. The story is about the relationship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his zany care-giver. I have to say the movie is a crowd pleaser but it carries no depth but what it does well in is so awesomely excellent, you will forgive a lot. IMO what works is the chemistry between the two which made me laugh and warmed my heart.

(http://www.bigbookstinyvoices.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/abraham_lincoln_vampire_hunter_poster_a_p1.jpg) (http://images.zap2it.com/images/movie-9127377/safety-not-guaranteed-14.jpg)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-minomDu0_F4/TjcJ4MAkArI/AAAAAAAAAx4/Be6sWFqXiaU/s1600/The+Silent+House_DVD_+2D+pack.jpg) (http://kalafudra.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/intouchables.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 05, 2012, 00:03
Been having some nice time watching movies and TV series at home. Nothing big and worthy of mention except for tonight's movie, Aftermath.

I knew about this film becoz I was browsing through a bro's film collection and the cover made my balls shrink. I am not kidding...  :'(. It has a picture of a mangled corpse with all the innards hanging out, lying on some metallic surface. Since then it has become a running joke that I am a pu55y for not daring to watch this. Well... I did it!!! I am a pu55y no more.  >:(

Took me a long time to warm up to this. Prior to this sick perverted film, me and my wife have watched some cult sicko stuff in preparation - Salo, A Serbian Film, Antichrist, Kill List etc. So we are ready. It wasn't scary like Ringu or Ju-On, Aftermath is just sick perverted unapologetic crazy necrophilia. I must say the production values are high and it looks very realistic. I don't know what else to say - did I learn anything from this?  Nope. Did I regret watching it?  Definitely no. Will it test your limits?  Yes, but I love films. In watching this, I had to keep reminding myself it's just a film. The body ain't real...  :'(
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 05, 2012, 10:37
Been having some nice time watching movies and TV series at home. Nothing big and worthy of mention except for tonight's movie, Aftermath.
wow bro how you get to know this film and the disc??
I read online about this aftermath and i know it is gonna be a sick movie (even i never watch before)
there is no dialogue in this show?? like a silent movie?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 05, 2012, 11:22
wow bro how you get to know this film and the disc??
I read online about this aftermath and i know it is gonna be a sick movie (even i never watch before)
there is no dialogue in this show?? like a silent movie?

I have a very interesting friend who has extreme taste in music and movies  :D

Yes, there's no dialogue but some kind of classical music is playing in the background. There are lots of sound effects like knife plunging into body, intestines flopping onto the floor, sickening sound of sawing through bone and soft moans of sick pleasure. This one need a strong stomach  :'(
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 05, 2012, 12:41
I can't stand sick movies.
The last movie I watched which I think is really sick is Eli Roth's Hostel
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 05, 2012, 12:59
Hey... I love Hostel. It's so black... even making fun of Americans. In the last act I always cheered as every slimeball gets their comeuppance. Yippee Kayay!!!
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 05, 2012, 13:13
Hey... I love Hostel. It's so black... even making fun of Americans. In the last act I always cheered as every slimeball gets their comeuppance. Yippee Kayay!!!
You should try 'The hills have eyes'!!
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 05, 2012, 13:29
You should try 'The hills have eyes'!!

Do you mean the original or the remake?

Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 05, 2012, 13:49
Do you mean the original or the remake?
I prefers the remake. Try Saw, I'm missing it badly when WEB mentioned hostel. I'm into gore movies.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 05, 2012, 14:20
I prefers the remake. Try Saw, I'm missing it badly when WEB mentioned hostel. I'm into gore movies.

I take it you have seen A Serbian Film, Antichrist, Human Centipede, Fulci's The Beyond, Ichi the Killer...just to name a few?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 05, 2012, 14:34
You should try 'The hills have eyes'!!
The Hills have Eye is a pretty good horror movie.
I nv watch the Original one only manage to watch the remake.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 05, 2012, 14:34
I miss out the part 2 anyway
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 05, 2012, 14:37
The original is by Wes Craven :) it's a good movie.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 05, 2012, 14:45
I take it you have seen A Serbian Film, Antichrist, Human Centipede, Fulci's The Beyond, Ichi the Killer...just to name a few?
Yup! Always put a plate of whole chicken in front of us(grp of gore viewers), we rip the chicken when watching it. Haha...
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 05, 2012, 14:48
In fact, Im missing segments of the screams, desperate pant, creepy screw or tearing sounds, these details just shake me up! Oh my....
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 05, 2012, 17:16
Yup! Always put a plate of whole chicken in front of us(grp of gore viewers), we rip the chicken when watching it. Haha...

In fact, Im missing segments of the screams, desperate pant, creepy screw or tearing sounds, these details just shake me up! Oh my....

Bro, I am very worried for you... you sound like you are getting a hArD on and you may need help  ;D LOL  ;D

Sorry dude. I am just saying what's on everyone's mind but nobody dared to respond  ;D. I sometimes like to test my limits ... emphasis on sometimes.  But gore alone doesn't do it for me. I still like it to be coupled with creativity and a good story
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 06, 2012, 09:25
The original is by Wes Craven :) it's a good movie.
The remake is written and produced by Craven.
It seems that the original version is better than the remake, will check it out if I have the chance.
Another Wes Craven's film I can recommend is Scream.
I can't believe this classic horror flick maker directs Music Of The Heart
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 06, 2012, 09:51

I can't believe this classic horror flick maker directs Music Of The Heart

This Wes Craven 180 degree turn is still ok. Have you seen the Japanese film Departures? Such a beautiful film, it is hard to imagine that this same Yôjirô Takita did Groper Train (The Black Pearl) back in the 80s. I mean, a movie about a guy going around in a train getting clitoris imprints is really a far cry from the brilliant Departures. I guess this is what we call progress.

:)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Wize on December 06, 2012, 10:22
The remake is written and produced by Craven.
It seems that the original version is better than the remake, will check it out if I have the chance.
Another Wes Craven's film I can recommend is Scream.
I can't believe this classic horror flick maker directs Music Of The Heart

The remake was written by Alexandre Aja who also directed it. I like it better than the original. Craven wrote the the remake Part 2 and it's not that good imo.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 06, 2012, 10:27
The remake was written by Alexandre Aja who also directed it. I like it better than the original. Craven wrote the the remake Part 2 and it's not that good imo.

Yeah, I liked Aja's version better too. Though I prefer his Haute Tension much more. He also did that recent Piranha reincarnation. That's a pretty fun show.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 06, 2012, 10:35
He also did that recent Piranha reincarnation. That's a pretty fun show.
yeah i'm surprise Piranha is quite good also.
My friend told me the Piranha 3DD is s*it, but I never watch it
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Wize on December 06, 2012, 10:37
yeah i'm surprise Piranha is quite good also.
My friend told me the Piranha 3DD is s*it, but I never watch it

The first remake is good and the second is a big pile of sh1t.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Wize on December 06, 2012, 10:43
I am looking forward to Carrie remake...It's got hitgirl playing Carrie and She's too cute for that role. Would be interesting to see if she managed to pull it off.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 06, 2012, 10:51
Yeah, I loved Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick Ass. Even in 500 days of Summer, she is darned adorable. Let's see if she can pull this off. The poster does look imposing...

(http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTU0NDA4MDUwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzE5ODc2OA@@._V1._SY317_.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 08, 2012, 22:51
(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2012/7/18/1342627897185/Chariots-of-Fire-008.jpg)

Tonight's movie was Chariots of Fire. Got the Blu-ray book from the Black Friday sales. When Vangelis' score kicks in when the protagonists were running on the shore, I had goosebumps. The score is magnificent, so much so that you can't think about the film without the score in your head.

The film is still a masterpiece... Still bears up after all these years becoz the themes are still relevant. The story of 2 men - one, a Jew who runs to win and another, a Christian who runs for God. How do you act when you are running the race of your life?  It's all here. The film takes 2 subjects, gave them occasions to broadcast larger statements about the human effort.

I must say the PQ and SQ are really good for this catalog title. I think it's a film worthy to be in any serious film collection.

One of my favorite quotes....
Eric Liddell: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 09, 2012, 23:57
It's coming round to Christmas and what better way to toast it than to start on the Die Hard collection. And a great way to send off Twinkies too.

I started off with Driven on DVD. It's still not out on any HD formats, I think and I think it's the first time I have put a DVD inside the Oppo BR player :) I have to say when I first moved from DVD to BR, my AV system then was not really able to show a big difference going from lossy Dolby Digital/DTS audio to lossless audio. But on my current setup, it's really very obvious how awful the DD soundtrack was. There was no "body" to the soundtrack... sounded hollow and lean. The lower res DVD was much more noticeable. Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable story though the overtaking scenes just don't seem realistic at all. Maybe I am just spoilt by Initial D (the anime, not the horrendous catastrophe that was the Jay Chou vehicle)

Next was the main event: Die Hard. Someone mentioned the video quality was awful on the BR but to be honest, given the age of this movie, I thought the transfer was half decent. There was a bit of exaggerated edge enhancement especially with the opening titles but nothing I couldn't ignore. I thought the colors seem a bit washed out and the skin tones off on what is normally pretty good calibration settings on my JVC, but again, it is par for the course for a movie of that vintage.

At first, I was struck by how much the context and situations have changed over the decades. Cops apparently were allowed to carry their guns on board flights and they could light up all over the place :) even in the airport.

But once Hans Gruber (Rickman) appeared, all was forgiven. That guy had so much presence and he was just a perfect counterfoil to Willis' McClane.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 10, 2012, 00:25
Cool man... Die Hard is an excellent Christmas movie!

Me and the missus have been glued to Prison Break this Sunday evening. I have seen up to S3 a long time ago and stopped there becoz of all the unbelievable repetitive storylines. But I have wonderful memories of S1 which I feel is awesome cutting-edge storytelling. I remember it was near impossible to stop with 1 episode. Sure enough my wife was hooked after the first 2 episodes.

I have also picked up Boss, Rome, Damages and Heroes S1 on BD during the Black Friday sales. The funny thing is that I have seen all of them. That's my nasty habit - if I love it on DVD, I will buy them again on BD
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 10, 2012, 00:29
OMGosh bro DH, is Jay Chou's Initial D that bad for you? I liked it enough to buy the dvd years back and I have watched it thrice to date. Now I'm just waiting to upgrade to the blu at the right price.

Perhaps it's cos I have never watched the anime?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 10, 2012, 00:46
whyme, watch the anime. It's sooo much better.

When I first watched it, I thought there was a lot of parallels to Feist's Magician/Apprentice :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 10, 2012, 23:08
Now I'm just waiting to upgrade to the blu at the right price.
BD for Initial D is freaking cheap in HK.
I bought a copy at Mongkok 2 months ago selling only HKD49
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 11, 2012, 00:39
BD for Initial D is freaking cheap in HK.
I bought a copy at Mongkok 2 months ago selling only HKD49

Wow bro that IS fricking cheap! Do let me know if you ever wanna sell yours ya? :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 11, 2012, 00:45
DH, hope that at the very least you liked the song he wrote for this movie. I do  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/v/rS1VAyKjdag&fs=1

I have to admit that his acting left much to be desired though.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 08:10
I wasn't the only Initial D fan disappointed with the movie. The role of the Takahashi brothers got squashed. Would have made 4th Stage and now 5th Stage impossible as a sequel. And the worse was how they mangled the role of Bunta.

The love theme wasn't too bad. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 11, 2012, 08:38
I have the Initial D anime up to stage 4 on DVDs. Bought years ago but never gave em a test drive. Now I have reason to watch  ;)
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 08:59
Web, I'm not sure how good the DVDs are. The tokyopop ones were badly sub-ed and the dubbing was even worse.

I thought the fansubs were better done. More care was taken to explain the technical details.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 09:00
Pa watch in Japanese.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 11, 2012, 10:42
At first, I was struck by how much the context and situations have changed over the decades. Cops apparently were allowed to carry their guns on board flights and they could light up all over the place :) even in the airport.

I think even back then, that part was artistic license: my understanding (which may be wrong) is that even cops will have to surrender their weapons, which are placed in a locked box by the crew, and the gun is returned after the flight.  Lead bullets can puncture the fuselage, hence nobody gets to carry them; even the air marshals are armed with guns loaded with rubber bullets only, again IIRC.

Me and the missus have been glued to Prison Break this Sunday evening. I have seen up to S3 a long time ago and stopped there becoz of all the unbelievable repetitive storylines. But I have wonderful memories of S1 which I feel is awesome cutting-edge storytelling. I remember it was near impossible to stop with 1 episode. Sure enough my wife was hooked after the first 2 episodes.

The "problem" with Prison Break was always that the creator had a clear storyline mapped out for two seasons, and two only.  And it worked perfectly: S1 on how to get out of the prison, S2 on the run outside and how they sort out their lives now as fugitives.  Because of the success of the series, the network/studio insisted on more, hence the rather patchy, disjointed latter two seasons.  If you think of Prison Break ending just a few minutes before the final bits of the last ep of S2, it's quite a masterpiece of serial TV.  Just ignore the rest... ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 11, 2012, 10:49
So bro armoury, you would recommend watching just the 1st two seasons of Prison Break? I can delete the rest to save some hard disk space :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 10:54
I think even back then, that part was artistic license: my understanding (which may be wrong) is that even cops will have to surrender their weapons, which are placed in a locked box by the crew, and the gun is returned after the flight.  Lead bullets can puncture the fuselage, hence nobody gets to carry them; even the air marshals are armed with guns loaded with rubber bullets only, again IIRC.

Apparently the law's changed to allow law enforcement officers to carry guns on board again provided they are on active duty. Doesn't explain how Willis got his on while on personal travel tho.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Wize on December 11, 2012, 15:54
I watched The Wicker Man, Nicholas Cage version few days ago. I like it even though the movie got bad reviews. Like the twist...also watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Amazing how they shot the birds attack scenes in the 60s without cgi. Great movie xcept the ending machiam they dunno how to end it.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 11, 2012, 18:39
So bro armoury, you would recommend watching just the 1st two seasons of Prison Break? I can delete the rest to save some hard disk space :)

If you want to be a purist, I would, actually.  But having said that, S3 & S4 weren't all that bad, and the TV movie coda does end it all 'nicely' on a bittersweet note.  There is, however, one really big issue between S3 & S4 that is really a "WTF!??!" issue. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on December 11, 2012, 18:40
If you want to be a purist, I would, actually.  But having said that, S3 & S4 weren't all that bad, and the TV movie coda does end it all 'nicely' on a bittersweet note.  There is, however, one really big issue between S3 & S4 that is really a "WTF!??!" issue. 

+1. I think I would have been happier with just s1+2 though.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 11, 2012, 18:57
+1. I think I would have been happier with just s1+2 though.

Likewise for Heroes. Should have just stopped at S1... perfect. But Tom Kring kept piling characters and powers until you don't care anymore
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 21:07
Die Hard 2 tonight. I know many people don't seem to like it, but I honestly thought it was just great fun to see Willis in that element.

"How can the same nuts happen to the same guy twice?"

He had no idea just how long the franchise was going to get :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 11, 2012, 21:15
I always vaguely remembered the Die Hard and Die Hard 2 movies were based on novels... but only got around to googling it :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_Lasts_Forever_(1979_novel)
(interesting that the original movie treatment of the novel was supposed to be a Commando sequel :P but Arnie turned it down. And then it got retooled with Willis! WOW!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/58_Minutes
Wonder if I can still find those books


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 11, 2012, 23:16
dig out an old DVD finish watching Men of Honor.
Cuba Gooding Jr had a great performance in this show and De Niro is insane.
both great actors giving one of their best performance without nominated for the Oscars
Carl Brashear gives everything he has to return to Navy diving and Billy Sunday is the one that help and destroy him.
Carl promised his late father never give up in everything and fight all the way.
great true story, but I don't know how many people watched this show before.
wonderful theme song from Brian McKnight.

http://www.youtube.com/v/2JhluGhzRrE&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 11, 2012, 23:37
I watched The Wicker Man, Nicholas Cage version few days ago. I like it even though the movie got bad reviews. Like the twist...also watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Amazing how they shot the birds attack scenes in the 60s without cgi. Great movie xcept the ending machiam they dunno how to end it.

i haven't seen the remake starring Nic Cage but the 1973 original is a cult classic. many years back, Anchor Bay released it in a wooden box packaging with the artwork burnt onto the box itself.

The Birds is definitely one of Hitch's best films. the ending is ambiguous like that to leave the audience in suspense of what actually caused the birds to behave that way.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 11, 2012, 23:41
I have that wooden box  :D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on December 11, 2012, 23:58
Die Hard 2 tonight. I know many people don't seem to like it, but I honestly thought it was just great fun to see Willis in that element.

"How can the same nuts happen to the same guy twice?"

He had no idea just how long the franchise was going to get :)

To be honest, I loved Die Hard 2 dunno why people dislike it so much.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Wize on December 12, 2012, 09:21
I have that wooden box  :D

Wow....what  is your  box no? Only 50000 available.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 12, 2012, 09:48
To be honest, I loved Die Hard 2 dunno why people dislike it so much.

Likewise.  I thought it was pretty good too, William Sadler was really sinister in it.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 12, 2012, 10:02
Wow....what  is your  box no? Only 50000 available.

42321

I only saw it one time many years ago but the film has an uncanny way of getting under your skin and images of it will stay in your consciousness forever. How else can I recall huge chunks of it when it was suddenly mentioned here.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 12, 2012, 10:20
42321

I only saw it one time many years ago but the film has an uncanny way of getting under your skin and images of it will stay in your consciousness forever. How else can I recall huge chunks of it when it was suddenly mentioned here.

i need to check the number on mine too but i wouldn't trust that 50K number - Anchor Bay is pretty notorious for their so called numbered LEs...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 12, 2012, 10:26
i need to check the number on mine too but i wouldn't trust that 50K number - Anchor Bay is pretty notorious for their so called numbered LEs...

Haha... so theirs is called the numbered unlimited edition  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 12, 2012, 13:39
Bro, I am very worried for you... you sound like you are getting a hArD on and you may need help  ;D LOL  ;D

Sorry dude. I am just saying what's on everyone's mind but nobody dared to respond  ;D. I sometimes like to test my limits ... emphasis on sometimes.  But gore alone doesn't do it for me. I still like it to be coupled with creativity and a good story
I'm working fine, sometimes, in dire need for some brainless view with no digestion at all, clean wipe for sure after that, good chill to me even my wifey!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Tiktokape on December 12, 2012, 13:40
Web, I'm not sure how good the DVDs are. The tokyopop ones were badly sub-ed and the dubbing was even worse.

I thought the fansubs were better done. More care was taken to explain the technical details.
you refreshed my mind on fansubs' SLAM DUNK!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 12, 2012, 21:59
Fave quote from the movie:

[McClane and Zeus are speeding through Central Park in a taxicab]
Zeus Carver: Are you aiming for these people?
John McClane: No … [Wilhelm scream is heard from a pedestrian jumping out of the way] Maybe that mime.


Die Hard 3 tonight, though it's no longer set during the Christmas holidays.

I can see why of the original trilogy, episode 2 might have been considered the weakest. There's nothing wrong with the movie but after Rickman and Irons heading the baddie line up in 1 and 3, I can see why Sadler had a lot to live up to. It didn't help either that 3 had f**king Mace Windu :)

When I first watched the movie, I never quite got how they solved the 4 gallon riddle and I had to figure it out after the movie. I think the pace was too fast and I kinda missed it again.

It's kinda nostalgic watching this movie and seeing the WTC still in the skyline *sigh*

Wiki has some interesting stuff about the alternate endings to Vengeance which I thought would have been cool, if a little dark

Quote
Alternative endings

An alternative ending to the one shown in the final movie was filmed with Jeremy Irons and Bruce Willis, set some time after the events in New York. It can be found on the special edition DVD. In this version it is presumed that the robbery succeeds, and that McClane was used as the scapegoat for everything that went wrong. He is fired from the NYPD after more than 10 years on the force and the FBI has even taken away his pension. Nevertheless he still manages to track Simon using the batch number on the bottle of aspirins and they meet in a cafe in Hungary.
In this version, Simon has double-crossed most of his accomplices, gotten the loot to a safe hiding place in Nova Scotia, and has the gold turned into statuettes of the Empire State Building in order to smuggle it out of the country; but he is still tracked down to his foreign hideaway (this version is very similar to Alec Guinness's situation in the British heist movie The Lavender Hill Mob made some 45 years earlier in which the stolen gold was turned into Eiffel Tower paperweights).
McClane is keen to take his problems out on Simon whom he invites to play a game called "McClane Says". This involves a form of Russian Roulette with a small Chinese rocket launcher that has had the sights removed, meaning it is impossible to determine which end is which. McClane then asks Simon some riddles similar to the ones he played in New York. When Simon gets a riddle wrong, McClane forces him at gunpoint to fire the launcher, which fires the rocket through Simon, killing him. Of course, McClane had been wearing a flak jacket (which was the answer to the final riddle: "What could he have brought to the meeting to save his life?"), so even if Simon had pointed the launcher the right way, it is likely that the relatively low-velocity rocket would not have caused McClane enough injury to prevent him from shooting Simon.
In the DVD audio commentary, screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh claims that this version was dropped because the studio thought it showed a more cruel and menacing side to McClane, a man who killed for revenge rather than in self-defense. Hensleigh's intention was to show that the events in New York and the subsequent repercussions had tilted him psychologically. This alternative ending, set some time after the main events of the movie, would have marked a serious break from the Die Hard formula, in which the plot unfolds over a period of roughly 12 hours.
According to the DVD audio commentary, a second alternate ending had McClane and Carver floating back to shore on a makeshift raft after the explosion at sea. Carver says it is a shame the bad guys are going to get away; McClane tells him not to be so sure. The scene then shifts to the plane where the terrorists find the briefcase bomb they left in the park and which Carver gave back to them (in this version it was not used to blow up the dam). The movie would end on a darkly comic note as Simon asks if anyone has a 4 gallon jug. This draft of the script was rejected early on, so it was never actually filmed. The rocket-launcher sequence was the only alternate ending to be filmed.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 12, 2012, 22:30
When I get lull period of time after a Math lesson, I will give the kids the 4 gallons puzzle ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 13, 2012, 16:35
I love December.  My teaching assignments wind down and lots of free time in the day... So I take Dec as reward for all the hard work throughout the year. Plus Dec is also the time my missus starts to clear her leave.

Since yesterday we have been glued to Prison Break. Finished S1 awhile ago and great thing is that I couldn't remember all the details, just the big picture. And it's still so fcuking brilliant. Smartly written, great cast, plot twists and turns that can give us a heart attack. It is also quite a joy to see my wife going "hit me, hit me.  I can't go on anymore" She didn't mean it as a terrible show, she means it is damn good. How good?  When we came back from The Hobbits at 11pm last night, she asks me,"Can we watch another episode?" Of course I gladly say yes. Watching on Blu-ray is quite a different experience too.

Taking a short break from Prison Break. Oh man it's so hard to do that but I have to prolong the experience becoz I know it goes downhill from S3. Now it's Damages S1 on Blu... Legal thriller, one of our fave genres.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on December 13, 2012, 17:10
Bro, you and eastendgirl are really made for each other :).  I salute the both of you and as I token of my admiration, I will pass you the Cathay Cinema tickets (for two) to both of you to enjoy Christmas Tidings together (tickets expiring end of the year though)!

Enjoy.... :D

Let's meet somewhere convenient so that I can pass you the tickets...cheers
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 13, 2012, 17:21
I can see why of the original trilogy, episode 2 might have been considered the weakest. There's nothing wrong with the movie but after Rickman and Irons heading the baddie line up in 1 and 3, I can see why Sadler had a lot to live up to. It didn't help either that 3 had f**king Mace Windu :)

I dunno, I've always thought 3 the weakest, partly because it doesn't have that "set at night in a large building" claustrophobic feel that was the signature of 1, and which 2 sort-of continued (although running around on a runway is far from claustrophobic and an airport is a damned big and spacious building).  Besides, "Mace Windu" wasn't the villain (or hero), just a sidekick, which takes away the coolness of Samuel L. Jackson.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 13, 2012, 17:27
Bro, you and eastendgirl are really made for each other :).  I salute the both of you and as I token of my admiration, I will pass you the Cathay Cinema tickets (for two) to both of you to enjoy Christmas Tidings together (tickets expiring end of the year though)!

Enjoy.... :D

Let's meet somewhere convenient so that I can pass you the tickets...cheers

Alamak Francis, you have been saying a number of times about using the Cathay passes for Skyfall and Cold War. It's really sweet of you to offer them to me. You know I will put it to good use. Thanks bro  ;)

I have been wanting to listen to your 'mistress'. Will whatsapp you.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on December 13, 2012, 17:35
Haha, my pleasure Bro.  btw, have not installed whatsapp in my new HTC cell phone so won't be getting your message.  Sms or pm me pls!!
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 13, 2012, 17:48
I dunno, I've always thought 3 the weakest, partly because it doesn't have that "set at night in a large building" claustrophobic feel that was the signature of 1, and which 2 sort-of continued (although running around on a runway is far from claustrophobic and an airport is a damned big and spacious building).  Besides, "Mace Windu" wasn't the villain (or hero), just a sidekick, which takes away the coolness of Samuel L. Jackson.

So was he in Pulp Fiction and the prequel trilogy :)

Doesn't rob him of his badassness.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 14, 2012, 15:15
So was he in Pulp Fiction and the prequel trilogy :)

Doesn't rob him of his badassness.

Not quite: in Pulp Fiction he was one of the two sort-of villains anyway, and in any case he wasn't necessarily Travolta's sidekick.  In Star Wars, he was a hero, not the main one, but still a leader-figure.  In DH3 he is almost quite literally just a sidekick, hence not particularly badass.  So the SLJ factor doesn't help DH3.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 14, 2012, 17:13
He had more screen presence and time in DH3 vs the prequel trilogy combined ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 16, 2012, 23:15
Finished Damages S1 today. Outstanding... I will carry on with S2 next time.

Thanks to Francis, I got The Bullet Vanishes BD. It was with great anticipation I sat down to watch this. The production values is very good - great set designs and period clothes. The opening gun shot gave me shock. In fact, the surrounds mix is pretty awesome. But I just wasn't pull into the story. IMO it feels unfocused and I didn't like the tone and a lot of scenes feel purposeless. The female love angle is quite unnecessary too. And I really can't stand the blatant copy of the exploding warehouse slow mo scene from Sherlock Holmes.

Still the movie has its suspenseful moments, especially the investigation. It is quite something to see Sean Lau channelling the 'Mad Detective'.

We then follow up with the opening episode of Prison Break S2. Nice... If S1 depicts Michael Scofield as the smartest chap in Fox River, S2 introduces a super smart FBI agent, Alex Mahone who is as smart as him. This is now a battle of wits and a game of cat and mouse.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 17, 2012, 21:51
Was planning on only watching the Bourne Legacy till after the missus gets backs from Singapore but a neighbor had a little tiff with his missus and popped over after dinner so we ended up catching the flick ahead of schedule.

Have to say, it's not as bad as it was panned out to be. It definitely has elements of the original Bourne trilogy and I guess rightfully so, since it's still Tony Gilroy's story.

But I felt the new "bourne" isn't as smart as the old "bourne". In the original trilogy, Jason made use of everything.. burner cells, letting himself be captured in Rome so he could put a trace on the CIA agent that invariably be sent to check on him, basically everything at his disposal to outwit the CIA. It wasn't all explosions and gunfights. Even in the hand to hand combat, he made use of a rolled up magazine and proved to be almost as effective as a baton and even outmatched a knife wielding opponent. And I think the piece de resistance was when he outwitted the CIA lead and had them on a wild goose chase. That was just spectacular planning. When I was rewatching the trilogy, I noticed how Jason takes the time to survey the necessary information (the street maps of Paris just before he drove off, or the subway maps and timings in Germany just before he ran into the subway, or the emergency exits at the American embassy in Switzerland etc) even with the cops closing in.

This new Outcome variant of Treadstone is supposed to be better, but truth be told, it isn't clear. Cross displays only hints of the smarts that Jason showed. And the worst has to be LARX3, Treadstone without the inconsistencies or Outcome without the emotional noise. Worst assassin ever. Remember the beginning of Identity? He was planning to make it look like the victim was killed by members of his entourage. As the boss of Treadstone said, if he merely wanted him dead, it was easy.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 17, 2012, 23:38
My wife is on leave today. So we basically veg out infront of the TV with some movies.

Started out with 3 episodes of Prison Break S2. Then the DHL man arrived with my Black Friday loot. We started our movie marathon with Christopher Nolan's Following. His debut 77min film that is made for nothing but looking like it cost a lot more. It's a noir filmed in B&W. You can literally see this is where Nolan Begins... his fascination with tortured, morally ambiguous characters, his deliberate sense of pace, his choice of shots, his unique sense of storytelling. It is all here. The premise here is disturbing - a guy had nothing better to do and everyday he follows a person for the fun of it. He follows a specific sets of rules but one day he follows the wrong person and was discovered. Nolan also plays with plot narrative structures which are fluid and they move back and forth. It is not quite seamless but I admire his daring-ness. It is only in Memento that he perfected the art but Following is where he first experiments with it. I can also see the infancy of his high ideas for Inception here. In fact, one of the characters is Cobb.

Next, Pixar's Brave. The story feels very Disney-like with a disgruntled red-head princess. It is a good-looking film but it just didn't reach the level of Up, Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Toy Story. The scope is just too narrow and the themes small. Still the animation is gorgeous. You just have to look at Merida's mass of red hair and marvel at the details.

Then it is The Wedding Singer which also came today. I have seen this before but my wife hasn't. I 'sell' the chick flick to her by telling her 2 stories about the 2 cool bros who went with us to Tokyo recently. One of them used the final song to propose to his wife and the other bro was hunting for the soundtracks at every CD shop we went and he finally found both at Yokohama. We laughed like crazy at the movie and the retro tunes can always give me goosebumps. This is one of the best rom coms ever.

After that, my mind just couldn't throw up another fitting movie that can top that. I was thinking of a horror film but I didn't want to spoil the mood. Searched through the loot that was delivered earlier and decided to check out a Spanish film, The Secret in Their Eyes. This is an extraordinary film and it deserves it's Best Foreign Film award. It is a rape murder story that stretched for 25 years. That's only the story on the surface, beneath that it's also about the love between 2 persons who just couldn't admit their adoration they have for each other for 25 years. There's so much to love in this investigative thriller/drama - for instance, there's an amazing one single 8min take of a foot chase in a football stadium. OMG I rewind that scene to see it twice and I still have no fricking idea how it was filmed. The ending surprised me and it is so emotionally powerful that my jaw dropped and all my senses were overwhelmed. The characters are very well-drawn and for over 2 hours I felt like I have walked with them. The make-up to show them aging 25 years is quite incredible. No CGI, all heart. A stunning and breathtaking film.  This is a must-watch for serious cinephiles.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 18, 2012, 09:33
Then it is The Wedding Singer which also came today. I have seen this before but my wife hasn't. I 'sell' the chick flick to her by telling her 2 stories about the 2 cool bros who went with us to Tokyo recently. One of them used the final song to propose to his wife and the other bro was hunting for the soundtracks at every CD shop we went and he finally found both at Yokohama. We laughed like crazy at the movie and the retro tunes can always give me goosebumps. This is one of the best rom coms ever.

This is one of the sweetest and best Sandler's film.
I love The Wedding Singer.
Hope the boardway musical will comes to Singapore for performance
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 18, 2012, 12:46
Following is the CC disc i believe? :) I recently recieved mine & will watch it soon. also picked up Brave during the recent BF sale.

i think Wedding Singer is probably one of Adam Sandler's best films. his chemistry with Drew Barrymore in the movie was really good. the movie had a great soundtrack & was filled with some funny & memorable one-liners. my fave song is "Grow Old with You" which I think Sandler performed himself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wedding_Singer#Soundtrack

i picked up The Secret in Their Eyes during last year's BF sale i think & it's truly a great movie that deserved its oscar. the bittersweet love story entwined within the mystery of the crime is awesome and the final revelation is memorable.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 18, 2012, 13:25
Hee Hee Hee... I bought both the Wedding Singer soundtracks this morning. Actually I already have 80% of the songs featured but they are on too many CDs in my collection.

I definitely want to rewatch The Secret in Their Eyes and listen to the commentary. The first time just floored me but I know I only managed to glean half of the treasures in it. The film is so rich thematically. I think none of the stuff from Hollywood comes even close to it in terms of the art of storytelling without the use of CGI and special effects.  But how the hell did he film that football stadium sequence?  Amazing!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 18, 2012, 13:34
Looks like I am wrong. It's a CGI shot. This is the complete VFX breakdown of the stadium sequence

http://www.youtube.com/v/m6voCojHTxQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 18, 2012, 18:55
Tonight's 1030pm movie at home  :D. Lost count of the number of times I have seen this but tonight will be the first time I be watching this Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece in hi-def.

(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/A612524F-9960-478E-93E3-4687D08AE7A8-14470-00001123FC69A783.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 18, 2012, 20:57
Am busy these few days but planning on catching Premium Rush this weekend :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 18, 2012, 21:20
I did watch Pitch Perfect today. Not what I was expecting. Glad Kendrick got something out of her presence in the horrible Twillight series
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 18, 2012, 21:33
Hee Hee Hee... I bought both the Wedding Singer soundtracks this morning. Actually I already have 80% of the songs featured but they are on too many CDs in my collection.

I definitely want to rewatch The Secret in Their Eyes and listen to the commentary. The first time just floored me but I know I only managed to glean half of the treasures in it. The film is so rich thematically. I think none of the stuff from Hollywood comes even close to it in terms of the art of storytelling without the use of CGI and special effects.  But how the hell did he film that football stadium sequence?  Amazing!

yes i agree - this is the kind of movie that bears repeated viewings. it keeps getting better & better.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 08:49
My Neighbour Totoro has become one of the most beloved family films of all time. Interestingly, the first time I saw it wasn't it's original opening year of 1988. At that time I was still in the army and all things manly  :D and the movie poster of some weird grey creature didn't entice me. The first time I saw this was from a Studio Ghibli DVD boxset but it didn't floor me. Then I think it was in 1998, one night in NUS, during a screening in a theatre, I finally 'got' it. When the lights came on, I could see tears and smiles on a lot of the ladies' faces.

What did I 'get' that night?  I finally understand why it's considered a masterpiece for a cartoon. It didn't use the traditional narrative structure and usual plot devices to tell its story. This film has NO villains. NO fight scenes. NO angry disbelieving parents. NO suspicious characters with ulterior motives. NO red herrings. NO plot twists and turns. NO fighting between the two sisters (in fact during the first hour both sisters' moods and attitudes are the same. If it's Hollywood their behavior will be the opposite, acting as counterpoints). NO scary monsters. NO darkness before the dawn. NO lesson learned arcs for main characters. On paper it looks like a disaster becoz the ingredients for a story are not there. But oh man... the film works so well. If you can't marvel at it, it is becoz of one of two reasons - you have a heart of stone or you have just broken up with someone  :D

The film does not work on the premise of threats or conflicts but on situations. It is suffused with the joy of country living (no long faces here, complaining of boredom). It unites the unique vision of Miyazaki with a feel-good tale of childlike wonder, true originality and pure enchantment. You will find nothing emotionally manipulative here.

Every time I see this, I can still notice stuff that I missed in my last viewing. Last night I saw an early scene where Satsuki first lay eyes on their new rundown house and shook on a wooden pillar. Debris falls, she laughs heartily. Mei follows her sis and does the same, debris falls more violently. Everybody, including their dad laughs. If this is any other movie, a foreshadowing doom music will ring out, dad's face contorted in mortal danger and to seal the deal, dad will sprout some warning to the kids. I also noticed in this latest viewing that ghosts, goblins and boogeyman are mentioned but the words are uttered in a sense of wonder, not of doom. Try also to name a cartoon with a sick parent/adult (I know... Pixar's Up)... there are not many and I am going to say the ill adult is used as the focus point to tell the bigger story. In this film, illness is treated as a matter of fact.

I love this movie. It is a film that teaches you how the world should be and how we should live and want to live our life.

The PQ is gorgeous. The hand-drawn pictures really come alive with vibrant colours. The SQ is only 2.0 LPCM (I matrixed it out to 5.1 though) but there's so much more heft and crisp to the sound and Joe Hisaishi's music score soar. This is a region B Blu

My friends for life...
(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/6562BC8F-1FFD-4843-A4C8-97C440EC309B-14470-0000116F3810F992.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: dXter on December 19, 2012, 09:52
web, is totoro Region B only?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 10:04
Sadly it's only on region B at this moment

Go get a region free player  ;D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: landis1 on December 19, 2012, 11:02
i have been using htpc as bluray players for eons and i have absolutely no problems with any region coding or even the recent cinavia protection ;D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61yu5JJFeCL.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: pathetichindsight on December 19, 2012, 11:08
l LOVE this movie!!! watched it countless times too.. i always tell people this movie represents the childhood i never had, but wish i had...

My Neighbour Totoro has become one of the most beloved family films of all time. Interestingly, the first time I saw it wasn't it's original opening year of 1988. At that time I was still in the army and all things manly  :D and the movie poster of some weird grey creature didn't entice me. The first time I saw this was from a Studio Ghibli DVD boxset but it didn't floor me. Then I think it was in 1998, one night in NUS, during a screening in a theatre, I finally 'got' it. When the lights came on, I could see tears and smiles on a lot of the ladies' faces.

What did I 'get' that night?  I finally understand why it's considered a masterpiece for a cartoon. It didn't use the traditional narrative structure and usual plot devices to tell its story. This film has NO villains. NO fight scenes. NO angry disbelieving parents. NO suspicious characters with ulterior motives. NO red herrings. NO plot twists and turns. NO fighting between the two sisters (in fact during the first hour both sisters' moods and attitudes are the same. If it's Hollywood their behavior will be the opposite, acting as counterpoints). NO scary monsters. NO darkness before the dawn. NO lesson learned arcs for main characters. On paper it looks like a disaster becoz the ingredients for a story are not there. But oh man... the film works so well. If you can't marvel at it, it is becoz of one of two reasons - you have a heart of stone or you have just broken up with someone  :D

The film does not work on the premise of threats or conflicts but on situations. It is suffused with the joy of country living (no long faces here, complaining of boredom). It unites the unique vision of Miyazaki with a feel-good tale of childlike wonder, true originality and pure enchantment. You will find nothing emotionally manipulative here.

Every time I see this, I can still notice stuff that I missed in my last viewing. Last night I saw an early scene where Satsuki first lay eyes on their new rundown house and shook on a wooden pillar. Debris falls, she laughs heartily. Mei follows her sis and does the same, debris falls more violently. Everybody, including their dad laughs. If this is any other movie, a foreshadowing doom music will ring out, dad's face contorted in mortal danger and to seal the deal, dad will sprout some warning to the kids. I also noticed in this latest viewing that ghosts, goblins and boogeyman are mentioned but the words are uttered in a sense of wonder, not of doom. Try also to name a cartoon with a sick parent/adult (I know... Pixar's Up)... there are not many and I am going to say the ill adult is used as the focus point to tell the bigger story. In this film, illness is treated as a matter of fact.

I love this movie. It is a film that teaches you how the world should be and how we should live and want to live our life.

The PQ is gorgeous. The hand-drawn pictures really come alive with vibrant colours. The SQ is only 2.0 LPCM (I matrixed it out to 5.1 though) but there's so much more heft and crisp to the sound and Joe Hisaishi's music score soar. This is a region B Blu

My friends for life...
(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/6562BC8F-1FFD-4843-A4C8-97C440EC309B-14470-0000116F3810F992.jpg)
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 19, 2012, 11:35
i have been using htpc as bluray players for eons and i have absolutely no problems with any region coding or even the recent cinavia protection ;D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61yu5JJFeCL.jpg)

What software are you using?

The newest releases of PowerDVD and TMT all have Cinevia enabled.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: dXter on December 19, 2012, 12:06
What software are you using?

The newest releases of PowerDVD and TMT all have Cinevia enabled.

Oui, and bluray region tray tool don't work with new releases of TMT and PowerDVD iirc.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 15:16
Listened to the commentary of The Secret in Their Eyes... fascinating. The director took a lot of pains to keep the balance between the love story and the murder mystery. He went into so much pain to compose his shots, at times to keep it unbalance and give you subtle cues that things are never what they seemed. He went into detail on explaining why the big CGI shots of the football stadium scene is needed at that point of the film... It's becoz of the energy. He needed a flourish. It was a fascinating listen. Just to enter the mind of a craftsman is worth it.

Today I even went through all the special features of Totoro. Fascinating... Didn't know Totoro has the worst boxoffice takings of all of Miyazaki's films. And that Miyazaki conceptualized the story during the lowest point in his life when he lost his direction in life.

Now, I have a Nespresso next to me as I start on David Fincher's The Game. This will be the first time I see it in hi-def. Criterion, no less. I don't care what people say, The Game is my favorite Fincher movie. I watched this more times than any other of his films. How do you dismantle a man to his bare essense, let him know he is nothing and then reassemble him back with a soul inside?  It's all here. There are no surprises for me anymore but it's testament to a good film when I can still watch essentially a film based on a faux ending and the ultimate ending again and again. Paranonia is so good.

Tonight's movie with the missus will probably be Music and Lyrics.  Never seen this before actually.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: AndrewC on December 19, 2012, 15:22
...Tonight's movie with the missus will probably be Music and Lyrics.  Never seen this before actually.

It's EXCELLENT!

ps: Don't let EastendGirl catch you drooling at Haley Benett "Cora Corman"...  ;)

http://www.youtube.com/v/CbuQ8_OP-OU&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 19, 2012, 16:04
Now, I have a Nespresso next to me as I start on David Fincher's The Game. This will be the first time I see it in hi-def. Criterion, no less. I don't care what people say, The Game is my favorite Fincher movie. I watched this more times than any other of his films. How do you dismantle a man to his bare essense, let him know he is nothing and then reassemble him back with a soul inside?  It's all here. There are no surprises for me anymore but it's testament to a good film when I can still watch essentially a film based on a faux ending and the ultimate ending again and again. Paranonia is so good.

Tonight's movie with the missus will probably be Music and Lyrics.  Never seen this before actually.

I loved the Game, but have only ever watched it the one time in the cinema.  Bought the Criterion recently, need to find some time to sit down with it.  This movie (as well as Fight Club) for me marked Fincher as a director to watch, and I've (almost) always tried to catch his stuff thereafter.  I still haven't watched Benjamin Button, but again the BD is waiting for me on the shelf...

Music & Lyrics is indeed pretty good, for what it is: a Hugh Grant rom-com.  Curiously, the "80's hits" that his group/duo put out, are not actually 80s songs, but were written specifically for the movie, but the writer deliberately made them sound as if they were songs that could have been released in the 80s.  Did a pretty damned good job, if you ask me.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 16:09
Wooh 2 thumbs up from 2 bros  ;D. I am so looking forward to the movie tonight.  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 19, 2012, 16:15

Tonight's movie with the missus will probably be Music and Lyrics.  Never seen this before actually.

What? Really? Oh man.....
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 16:29
What? Really? Oh man.....

Isn't it great to know there are still great films that I have not seen yet.

Nice... 3 thumbs up from 3 bros.  Awesome!

Incidentally, The Wedding Singer and Music & Lyrics are part of a 3-movie Drew Barrymore boxset that cost only US$9.99 and it's becoming the buy of the year for me.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 19, 2012, 16:33
The Game is a great thriller - that will make an awesome Fincher double bill when you pair it up with Se7en. I watched The Game in the cinema and it never really got a proper home video release on DVD so I'm glad that CC released this one. Michael Douglas and Sean Penn both gave great performances in this film. there's even a pretty actress there but I can't recall her name offhand.

i remember Music & Lyrics being pretty good too when i watched it in the cinema. i thought that Grant & Barrymore had good chemistry together :) i can't remember the songs off the top of my mind though.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: naglfar on December 19, 2012, 16:35
i remember Music & Lyrics being pretty good too when i watched it in the cinema. i thought that Grant & Barrymore had good chemistry together :) i can't remember the songs off the top of my mind though.

Way back into love? Or Grant's Don't Write Me Off? Both are awesome in their own ways.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 19, 2012, 17:35

i remember Music & Lyrics being pretty good too when i watched it in the cinema. i thought that Grant & Barrymore had good chemistry together :) i can't remember the songs off the top of my mind though.
I like Music & Lyrics too. Songs sang by Hugh Grant himself.
Pop! Goes my heart, Meaningless Kiss, Way Back Into Love and Dance with Me Tonight great tracks
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 19, 2012, 17:56
I loved the wham-ish 80s hits that Grant and his partner used to sing in the movie.

Another feel good Grant movie in time for Christmas is Love Actually. I really must go dig it up again this year
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 19, 2012, 18:20
Ah yes Love Actually really made me feel good when I watched it.

I chose to watch Apocalypse Now 2 nights ago and boy...what a long long long war movie. Thought it was Charlie Sheen at first as the voice was an exact match :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 19, 2012, 18:30
http://www.youtube.com/v/xVkU8dDSC9w

Tell me you don't see Wham :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/Yxg3U63zaTk

This must be their "Careless Whisper" :)

Buit this one I thought was just brilliant (IMHO better than the Wedding Singer one)

http://www.youtube.com/v/N60MRkqlJgc
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 18:41
Haha I can totally see the references.

Great... So many thumbs up. I have no fricking idea how I could have missed this movie all these years.  Maybe I was with the wrong girl then. Yup, I think I am right
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 19, 2012, 18:46
Another feel good Grant movie in time for Christmas is Love Actually. I really must go dig it up again this year

Yeah Love Actually is very appropriate for Christmas :) I remember it was shown twice in our local cinemas - the 2nd time around it was rated R21 I believe. I didn't even realize that until I watched the DVD & caught all those scenes that didn't make it into the local screening. I think this was a great debut for Richard Curtis as a director.

Lots of great quotable dialogue in this film, similar to the rest of the works written by Curtis.


 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 19, 2012, 18:49
I chose to watch Apocalypse Now 2 nights ago and boy...what a long long long war movie. Thought it was Charlie Sheen at first as the voice was an exact match :)

The BD set has 2 cuts of the movie plus the Hearts of Darkness documentary. If you liked the movie enough, you should check out all 3 :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 19, 2012, 19:01
Thought it was Charlie Sheen at first as the voice was an exact match :)

Father and son, whaddya expect?  Well, OK, there is no reason father and son should have the same voice, but they do look uncannily similar as well.  I'm trying to remember if Charlie has ever played a younger version of a character (e.g. for flashback purposes) played by Martin.  Of course, they played father-and-son characters in Wall Street.  And took the piss out of it in Hot Shots.

Yeah Love Actually is very appropriate for Christmas :)

Well, duh, it was written that way...  ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 19, 2012, 19:11
I have not watched Hot Shots before...thanks for the heads up bro, I dig silly parodies! :)

Speaking of which, anyone watched Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning before? (sorry I'm suffering from an overdose of Trek recently) ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 19, 2012, 19:44
Haha I can totally see the references.

Great... So many thumbs up. I have no fricking idea how I could have missed this movie all these years.  Maybe I was with the wrong girl then. Yup, I think I am right

How long have you been married? :)

I thot Music and Lyrics was quite new. It was one of those titles where I bought both the HD DVD and the BD (tho that was a stinking DD soundtrack IIRC). Has it been re-released with DTS HDMA?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 20:20
3 years so still honeymoon  :-*

And I intend to keep it in that state  ;D

DH, it's still DD5.1. Yup, movie just started  ;D

Wooh... Will Schuester of Glee is in here!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 19, 2012, 22:29
The BD set has 2 cuts of the movie plus the Hearts of Darkness documentary. If you liked the movie enough, you should check out all 3 :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thks for the info bro, but the original 3 hrs plus already made me rather stoned, so when it comes to war movies I guess I am more of the Saving Pte Ryan, Windtalkers & Black Hawk Down type :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 19, 2012, 23:45
Thks for the info bro, but the original 3 hrs plus already made me rather stoned, so when it comes to war movies I guess I am more of the Saving Pte Ryan, Windtalkers & Black Hawk Down type :)
same here man.... watched once Apocalyse Now Redux version at Lido years ago and i feel really bored don't want to watch the second time.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 19, 2012, 23:53
Hey... We love Music and Lyrics. Many great lines and we laughed a lot... She's like Cole Porter in panties and my missus laughed the loudest at this one... Who goes to Florida to live?  Only oranges

Love the retro tunes and it's quite fun catching all the 80s nods. The songs are great and catchy. In fact, I just bought the soundtrack a few min ago. Best song for us?  When Alex sang Don't Write Me Off... goosebumps rose up and my missus had happy tears in her eyes.  ;)

I love the music and lyrics metaphors. Not subtle at all but effective. Sophie puts it best that music comes first like the first impression, the sex but lyrics is about getting deeper, knowing the other person. The process is organic.

Other than the last moment where Alex wins her back with his song, I also love one other moment - he is doing a gig in some amusement park but didn't feel like doing the encore. Sophie says some great lines to spur him on and he did the encore with aplomb. IMHO that's the type of girl all dudes should look for - the girl who doesn't say the stuff you want to hear but says the stuff you need to hear.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 20, 2012, 00:03
Yeah told you the last song was awesome :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 20, 2012, 00:06
Sorry, I have to chime in to say something positive about Apocalypse Now. I have seen all the versions and the Hearts of Darkness documentary.

I find the film fascinating and evocative. I don't want to say too much and sound too preachy but perhaps the best way to watch Apocalypse Now/Redux is to see it as the dark journey of a man in finding what's is in his heart, his soul. Try seeing it in this light and the film will shine through and true. IMO seeing it as a war movie is a mistake.

If you have a love for literature, read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness of which the film is based. Damn fricking awesome read... the horror, the horror, the horror.

And Heart of Darkness the documentary is a real-life documentation of how Coppola nearly went crazy making the film.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 20, 2012, 01:34
Sorry, I have to chime in to say something positive about Apocalypse Now. I have seen all the versions and the Hearts of Darkness documentary.

I find the film fascinating and evocative. I don't want to say too much and sound too preachy but perhaps the best way to watch Apocalypse Now/Redux is to see it as the dark journey of a man in finding what's is in his heart, his soul. Try seeing it in this light and the film will shine through and true. IMO seeing it as a war movie is a mistake.

If you have a love for literature, read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness of which the film is based. Damn fricking awesome read... the horror, the horror, the horror.

And Heart of Darkness the documentary is a real-life documentation of how Coppola nearly went crazy making the film.

Yup bro, I guess I will never be an all round true cinephile like yourself or bro Innocent Blood. Salute!   :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 20, 2012, 09:24
Yup bro, I guess I will never be an all round true cinephile like yourself or bro Innocent Blood. Salute!   :)

No No I'm not a cinephile. I just like watching all sorts of stuff - most movies are supposed to entertain you, right? that's why you watch them in the first place. and then there are some movies that will make you think - these are the ones that you want to revisit because everytime you watch them, you discover something new. it will spur you enough that you actually want to talk about what you just saw with other people.

and then some movies will simply give you a good cinematic bl0wjob - these are the guilty pleasures. good or bad doesn't matter - you just wanna be satisfied ;)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 20, 2012, 09:59
Yeah Love Actually is very appropriate for Christmas :) I remember it was shown twice in our local cinemas - the 2nd time around it was rated R21 I believe. I didn't even realize that until I watched the DVD & caught all those scenes that didn't make it into the local screening. I think this was a great debut for Richard Curtis as a director.

Lots of great quotable dialogue in this film, similar to the rest of the works written by Curtis.

Love Actually is the biggest movie from Richard Curtis.
Great script, should be an Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
The scenes of Christmas Eve night are sweet and unforgettable especially these my missus loves it.

http://www.youtube.com/v/B7u6bMBlCXw&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/v/pHYDMxLWlYI&fs=1
 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 20, 2012, 10:03
Haha very well put bro IB!

Iirc, the only non-blockbuster war movie I enjoyed was Empire of the Sun, and I went alone to the now closed Oriental cinema in Chinatown back then to watch it. There were only less than 5 people inside, but I was mesmerised by the show & Christain Bale's performance. Perhaps it was because I read the book first :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 20, 2012, 10:23
Bo pian.. it was an O level lit book :)

But I was impressed enough to read his sequel which takes place during the drug induced 60s :)

ps the soundtrack of Empire of the Sun was brilliant.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on December 20, 2012, 10:28
Guess I m somewhat different when it comes to watching movies.  Movies are made to entertain and never to
teach per se, you go to school for that :)

If a movie requires you to think in the process, then it has failed as a tool of entertainment.  Look at the box office takings and you can see the answers there.

My vote for a good movie is simple, it has to have the ability to glue me to my seat, make me tense or laugh, or cry, or excited and last but not, satisfied ;D

Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 20, 2012, 10:41
Guess that's why Nolan is as good as what he does. He makes you think in a bang bang movie that caters to the masses.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 20, 2012, 10:42
If a movie requires you to think in the process, then it has failed as a tool of entertainment.  Look at the box office takings and you can see the answers there.

hmm.... then I guess you don't like movies by Christopher Nolan
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on December 20, 2012, 11:11
Like I've have said, while u r watching a movie, you cannot be distracted from the scenes in front of you!  You enjoy the moments then and leave your questions and answers after the show has ended i.e you don't review the show when watching, only after ;D

Pacing, therefore, is very important to me.  All blocksbuster have the elements that I have described in my previous post and I m a sucker for these especially those that can shake my sofa and cause me mild heart attack! :D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: dXter on December 20, 2012, 11:17
Used to like cerebral movies, now less enjoyable. Maybe combination of age and free time issues.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 20, 2012, 13:27
Just watched Wrath of the Titans. It's a tad better than Clash of the Titans. Some great action sequences... Really like that ever shifting labyrinth scene. But I must say Rosamund Pike looks out of sorts as some warmonger queen. I don't know man... she's like a one-note actress and if I am a soldier I won't find her inspiring but I may have ideas in my mind. I will decide again when I see Jack Reacher this evening. Oh I fell asleep at certain parts. Must be becoz everyone walked through their roles and the movie has no soul.  Give me celebral films, films with great witty dialogue anytime.

Now, Madmen S5. Now, this is way better   :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 20, 2012, 14:45
I will decide again when I see Jack Reacher this evening.
bro Reacher is pretty good
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 20, 2012, 20:01
Too bad I am not at home tonight but I saw this Doomsday collection at another forum :)

2012
Armageddon
Deep Impact
I am Legend
Knowing (tho I doubt this would be in my last movie I ever watch ever list :P)
Sunshine
Book of Eli
The Core
The Day After Tomorrow
The Day (havent watched this b4)
The Road (havent watched this b4)
Waterworld
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 20, 2012, 21:58
I have seen all except The Day. Looks like I have not much time to check that out. The Road is very good but it is such a downer that even if doomsday doesn't come, you would want to kill yourself. I have read the Cormac McCartney book and it's quite a masterpiece of sparse, searing prose depicting the process of an ending world. If you are ever in a bookstore, read the first 2 pages and you will know what I mean.

Anyway, just popped out from Jack Reacher. I can't believe this is my last movie. It could have been so good but it turned out IMHO to be so disappointing and Rosamund Pike is a tad better here.  Maybe a two-note actress.  If I rush home now maybe I can watch something much happier that will herald the end of the world.

See you guys on the other side  :'(
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 20, 2012, 22:11
My wife requested to watch 2012 later...why not? :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 20, 2012, 23:33
My wife requested to watch 2012 later...why not? :)
ya we should travel to Tibet to check if tibetian building arks over there....
Title: Wreck-It Ralph
Post by: InnocentBlood on December 21, 2012, 10:19
I watched Wreck-It Ralph last night @ AMK Hub at the behest of my 8 year old. I went into this one with no knowledge of what it was about. I only knew it was an animated film. my boy gave me a summary of what the story was about. i have to say i was pleasantly surprised by the movie. one of the best things about it was not the movie itself but the short animated clip called "Paperman" that plays before the actual movie starts - that one is very sweet & romantic.

and regarding the Wreck-It Ralph movie itself, i thought it was very charming - i was amused by seeing all the retro video game characters making cameo appearances throughout the movie. the only one missing was perhaps Mario ;)

the premise of the movie is slightly similar to Toy Story - it's about the video games in an arcade coming alive after closing time. the game characters themselves are just like regular working folks who interact & go about their lives after a hard day's work. Ralph is a poor loner who is tired of being the bad guy & who just wants to fit in with the rest of the cast from the game. you do feel sorry for Ralph when you see him being ostracized due to stereotyping. in an effort to redeem himself, he ends up meeting another misfit called Venelope and the interactions between these 2 are really sweet and these scenes have a lot of heart - especially when Venelope gives Ralph a "medal" of her own.

give this one a try guys especially if you enjoy playing retro video games like me. and i'm pretty sure your little ones might enjoy it too :)


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Count on December 21, 2012, 10:31
I watched Wreck-It Ralph last night @ AMK Hub at the behest of my 8 year old. I went into this one with no knowledge of what it was about. I only knew it was an animated film. my boy gave me a summary of what the story was about. i have to say i was pleasantly surprised by the movie. one of the best things about it was not the movie itself but the short animated clip called "Paperman" that plays before the actual movie starts - that one is very sweet & romantic.

and regarding the Wreck-It Ralph movie itself, i thought it was very charming - i was amused by seeing all the retro video game characters making cameo appearances throughout the movie. the only one missing was perhaps Mario ;)

the premise of the movie is slightly similar to Toy Story - it's about the video games in an arcade coming alive after closing time. the game characters themselves are just like regular working folks who interact & go about their lives after a hard day's work. Ralph is a poor loner who is tired of being the bad guy & who just wants to fit in with the rest of the cast from the game. you do feel sorry for Ralph when you see him being ostracized due to stereotyping. in an effort to redeem himself, he ends up meeting another misfit called Venelope and the interactions between these 2 are really sweet and these scenes have a lot of heart - especially when Venelope gives Ralph a "medal" of her own.

give this one a try guys especially if you enjoy playing retro video games like me. and i'm pretty sure your little ones might enjoy it too :)




Thanks for the review! Will try and bring my kiddo to this one as she enjoys Toy Story.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 21, 2012, 10:40
I am planning to catch Wreck-It Ralph tonight  :). I have seen the trailer many times before movies and the part where M. Bison and Zangief express regrets for being bad guys always crack me up.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 21, 2012, 10:46
I am planning to catch Wreck It Ralph tonight  :)
YEAH!!!!!! I bought my tickets for tonight at Cathay
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 21, 2012, 11:50
With regard to Jack Reacher, I feel it's a miss opportunity. After the movie, me and my wife sat down at Coffee Bean and ripped the movie apart. I must say it was the best part of the evening. I have never read any of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books so my insights are purely a movie-goer's POV. The stuff we like, there are 2 - 1, the premise is interesting. 5 seemingly unrelated people are killed by a sniper using long range rifle, clues point to one person. He is apprehended and he asked for Reacher. 2, the Reacher character is fascinating. He is a highly decorated ex-military personnel, he lives off the grid and believes in Justice.  You can't find him, he finds you. In the movie he almost becomes real.

The stuff we don't like is a lot. The director should have researched on how to film investigative thrillers like Sherlock, Suspect X etc. There are always shots of detectives deconstructing the crime in their minds. There are not many of these shots here.  These shots are privy to the actor's mind which are important for us to construct the crime scene in our minds. Talking about it in exposition is not a good move. The pace is draggy... Once the modus operandi is more or less formulated, there wasn't much for the film to do. The tone is too bright for my liking. This need to be Fincher-Nolan dark IMO. It also lacks tension and suspense... the final act could have been a shite-in-your-pants moment for the bad guys and an edge-of-the-seat moment for me but it isn't to be becoz other than Reacher, everyone else are 1-note paper-thin characters. They are there just to sprout lines and to push the plot forward with zero conviction. How the hell did they get Werner Herzog, director of Aguirre, Wrath of God, to be the villain beats me. His character is such a joke... talking in a low snarl and having only stumps for fingers make him the ultimate bad guy... Yeah right.

All in all, a wasted opportunity in my books. Jack Reacher is a fascinating character and I don't mind seeing more of him in the future. But please change the tone, writer and director.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on December 21, 2012, 13:15
Damn.. Wish I'd seen ur post earlier- just booked tickets as the wife wasn't keen on the The Hobbit! :((
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 21, 2012, 13:27
Movies can work differently for different people. I would very much like to read what you think of the movie  :).

Forgot to mention that my wife said the movie has no WTF WOW factor...

{I add in the WTF for effect  ;D}
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 21, 2012, 15:15
Guess I m somewhat different when it comes to watching movies.  Movies are made to entertain and never to
teach per se, you go to school for that :)

If a movie requires you to think in the process, then it has failed as a tool of entertainment.  Look at the box office takings and you can see the answers there.

My vote for a good movie is simple, it has to have the ability to glue me to my seat, make me tense or laugh, or cry, or excited and last but not, satisfied ;D

Sorry, must disagree.  I can certainly enjoy movies that make me think, whether because there's a mystery to solve, or one of those WTF mindf**ks.  Or if it's got an interesting message, one delivered in a more obtuse way, which I prefer to those where the message is practically screamed in your face.

That's not to say I don't enjoy mindless entertainment flicks either.  But nothing wrong with one that makes you think too. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 22, 2012, 00:03
Just to add to what IB has mentioned, I must say this is the best animated film I have seen this year. It really reminds me the golden age of Pixar films. The film can hit the entire spectrum of demographics which I thought only Pixar could do but lately no. This year I have seen Frankenweenie (tried too hard), Brave (too small in scope) and Rise of the Guardians (too kiddy), Wreck-It Ralph definitely wrecked all of em and more. It made me laugh and cry (a little) like a kid. The concept is great and executed brilliantly. This is one family film that your whole family will enjoy.

I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.

I watched Wreck-It Ralph last night @ AMK Hub at the behest of my 8 year old. I went into this one with no knowledge of what it was about. I only knew it was an animated film. my boy gave me a summary of what the story was about. i have to say i was pleasantly surprised by the movie. one of the best things about it was not the movie itself but the short animated clip called "Paperman" that plays before the actual movie starts - that one is very sweet & romantic.

and regarding the Wreck-It Ralph movie itself, i thought it was very charming - i was amused by seeing all the retro video game characters making cameo appearances throughout the movie. the only one missing was perhaps Mario ;)

the premise of the movie is slightly similar to Toy Story - it's about the video games in an arcade coming alive after closing time. the game characters themselves are just like regular working folks who interact & go about their lives after a hard day's work. Ralph is a poor loner who is tired of being the bad guy & who just wants to fit in with the rest of the cast from the game. you do feel sorry for Ralph when you see him being ostracized due to stereotyping. in an effort to redeem himself, he ends up meeting another misfit called Venelope and the interactions between these 2 are really sweet and these scenes have a lot of heart - especially when Venelope gives Ralph a "medal" of her own.

give this one a try guys especially if you enjoy playing retro video games like me. and i'm pretty sure your little ones might enjoy it too :)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on December 22, 2012, 00:49
Just to add to what IB has mentioned, I must say this is the best animated film I have seen this year. It really reminds me the golden age of Pixar films. The film can hit the entire spectrum of demographics which I thought only Pixar could do but lately no. This year I have seen Frankenweenie (tried too hard), Brave (too small in scope) and Rise of the Guardians (too kiddy), Wreck-It Ralph definitely wrecked all of em and more. It made me laugh and cry (a little) like a kid. The concept is great and executed brilliantly. This is one family film that your whole family will enjoy.

I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be then me.

yes.... this is probably the best animation this year.
But this should be a Pixar Animation as the Executive Producer is John Lasseter.
I agree with you it beats Brave and Rise Guardians.
After watched this movie, I feel like living in the Arcade world
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 27, 2012, 22:56
My last movie night before the missus comes back from her break :)

My friend watches a lot of movies during his fly in fly out trips so there weren't many new shows he hadn't seen since we started the movie nights about a week or so ago.

So we went back to a not so new movie: Tin Tin which still entertained. This was followed by Episode III. I remember being very put off by it the first time I watched it but except for the corny love scenes, it wasn't as bad as I remembered.

I always thought Luke's first sabre (that he inherited) was green so seeing the blue one confused me a little. Then I went to check my ForceFX and sure enough, it was blue :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on December 28, 2012, 11:21
I always thought Luke's first sabre (that he inherited) was green so seeing the blue one confused me a little. Then I went to check my ForceFX and sure enough, it was blue :)

It's always been blue.  Just that in early "versions", it sometimes looked white, because the rotoscoping bled out.  It's never been green; his own sabre, which appeared in Jedi, is green.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 28, 2012, 12:10
Yeah. Been a while since I watched the trilogy so might have been confused about the color. I know the ForceFX i got was the first lightsabre that Luke was given. Always meant to get the red Vader one but never got around to doing it. Ditto with Shards of Narsil and Anduril :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: landis1 on December 28, 2012, 14:23
Oui, and bluray region tray tool don't work with new releases of TMT and PowerDVD iirc.

What software are you using?

The newest releases of PowerDVD and TMT all have Cinevia enabled.

that why i refused to update to the latest versions of powerdvd and tmt. so far they are playing all my movies ;D
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 28, 2012, 14:42
Yeah am using an old version of the software as well. But someone mentioned he was having problems with Prometheus until he updated the software so dunno how long this lobang can work.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 29, 2012, 10:06
Going to meet up with a few closer XP bros for dinner this evening and will be passing a bro some challenging films and another bro who will be there later suggested David Lynch's Eraserhead. Excellent choice... I dug the DVD out of my collection for a watch with my wife before passing it to him.

I have seen this once before and images of Lynch's debut have never left my head. My wife kept going "why you keep letting me watch these crazy crazy movies?"  :). She has seen Lynch's Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, but none of these later films can compete with Eraserhead in terms of sheer weirdness.

It has been years since I last saw this and my HT has improved much. The DTS audio track is amazing. The pounding industrial sound, creepy low bass and the cries of the abomination rang out ominously. My missus kept saying "softer softer not so loud".

Eraserhead is not a scary movie but will make you feel like you are in a waking nightmare. Forget about trying to understand the narrative. Instead one should just learn to experience the film, not try to understand it. It's surreal, bizarre and creepy.

I have read that Lynch was fearful being a new father and hated living in his city, Philidelphia. He communicated his feelings through this unique film.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on December 29, 2012, 18:36
A-ca-watching Pitch Perfect now. I so wanna say this is pitch perfect but it just isn't. It just ploughs the road of same-ole-same-ole. But I must say all the singing segments are a-ca-awesome!

There is a spoiler for another movie in Pitch Perfect. If you have not seen The Breakfast Club, see it first before Pitch Perfect. The former movie is one of the greatest films about teenage angst of all time.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 29, 2012, 18:42
I didn't get why it was so highly rated as well, but the cast was easy to like and like you said, the choice of songs was pretty good :) and kudos on the Breakfast Club reference :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 31, 2012, 00:20
Rewatched Bourne Legacy again with the missus last night. Don't think it is better the second time around. I can't say I noticed stuff I missed the first time around, unlike the original trilogy. If anything, the only thing I picked up is how smart the Norton character was :P Maybe he's the original test subject. His analysis and running down of Cross was IMHO closer to what Jason Bourne could get up to (altho on opposite sides).

Tonight, it was Soar to the Sun aka R2B (Return to Base). It was a movie that Rain shot before he got enlisted into National Service but has only just been released. I actually quite enjoyed this movie. Very cool action scenes and IMHO the dogfight scenes were better choreographed than some Hollywood productions. Babe factor? Only one who is in the mold of the cutesy SYT a la Girls Generation tho she did seem a bit less one-dimensional. The plot is simple and if you have watched Top Gun and other genres, you'll know what to expect but like I said, the romantic arc in there (typical of Korean flicks) makes for a slightly different pace from Hollywood action movies. Watching this, I had a flashback to Die Another Day which also revolved around the N/South Korean conflict, except in this movie, the Koreans are in the driving seat. I think there's a hint of defiance against their "colonial" masters, the Yanks, unlike Die Another Day, which did not go down too well with the Koreans for their depiction of the Korean military.

This was followed by the latest installment of the Resident Evil Series - Retribution. I honestly have forgotten which episode this is. But I can see the director is trying to put in something for the fans. Babe factor is higher in this movie though you won't be seeing any romantic interludes. Michelle Rodriguez returns in this movie with a surprising twist, and is joined by Li BingBing as Ada Wong. Have to give credit to the make up and costumes, she looks really like she stepped out of the RE videogames. Sienna Guillory and Milla form the two main babe protagonists in the movie. And following the formula, Milla has the scene where she is wearing hardly anything except to show off her body, though it seems like the cloth used is getting larger as she may be in slightly worse shape than in earlier films :) that said she still pulls off what Rodriguez calls the S&M outfit in the movie. The babe factor is high in this show, but it doesn't quite make up for the fact that it is business as usual. Everything has a sense of deja vu about it. But you know what, I have followed this movie since the first so I guess it's out of nostalgia that I am carrying on the tradition.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 01, 2013, 00:10
Last night's Amour hit me with a wallop. Took things easy today... Saw Hope Springs first which is about an old couple losing their mojo for life and each other. I don't know man... After Amour, this feels like kids' stuff, no depth, and I can see the ending from a mile away. Only thing I like is Meryl Streep, no matter what role she takes on, she really becomes that character. Still... I even think her great acting craft is nothing compared to what Emmanuelle Riva did in Amour.

Then it's Lawless which appeared in some top 20 list. There were good performances by Tom Hardy and Shia Lebouf but I wasn't impress at all. Perhaps it's that 1930s redneck slang and that period soundtrack. Didn't feel I was pulled into the story. Guy Pearce is in this with some real cartoonish look and Gary Oldman is wasted with nothing much to do. I have a feeling the director forgot about him midway through the film.

Two wrong choices, I needed to end 2012 with a good one. Finally decided to give an Australian crime film, Animal Kingdom a shot. This is one incredible surprise. So so good all the way to the end. Guy Pearce is in this one and such is the craft of a good actor - I saw him in two consecutive movies and his look and acting are like poles apart. He wasn't that bad in Lawless, just hated that stupid centre-parting 'nance' look. Back to the movie... very tightly plotted, great acting by a dysfunctional family of drug addicts and kingpins. There's an awesome scene where Air Supply's All Out Of Love is used to great effect. I know after this I will forever listen to this song differently. There are movies that are like tape measures unspooling and usually I will know how far I am from the ending and what it will be about. Then there are movies that will just lead you through pure imagination down the road which seems to have no clear end. Animal Kingdom is in that latter category. It left me and wife's senses spent. Brilliant film.

That's it for 2012... A great year of movies at the cinema and at home :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 06, 2013, 00:35
Only had time for one movie this evening - Michael Mann's The Insider. The reason for this 'old' movie is because during a flight, my wife scanned all the movie choices and asked me about it. I of course told her is fantastic and one of my favourite long movies with no action and shots fired. I told her it's not a movie to be savoured on a flight with crappy ear-pieces.  :)

Was giving away all my dvd9s but I kept this one (and some others which I love which are not on hi-def yet) to watch again. This is a film about ordinary people facing extraordinary pressure. For a runtime of nearly 160min, I find it riveting and gripping. The first half is about Russell Crowe (prior to Gladiator) making the hardest decision of his life. In the next half, the film changes tack and looks at what is real journalism and what it means to give a person your word. I love both halves. The performances by Crowe and Pacino are so under-stated but yet powerful. Beautifully lensed too.

IMHO there are not many good films about real journalism - All the Presidents' Men and Zodiac. My money has always been on The Insider.

There's another reason I am watching this - the Blu-ray is releasing soon. I want to know whether I want to upgrade  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 06, 2013, 00:44
Watched Looper again (this time with the missus) then followed by Taken 2.

Looper still is fresh the second time around :)

Taken 2, despite the first viewing isn't. It's got great premise but Neeson looks like he's just plodding through it and his line at the end of Taken 2 says it all: "I'm tired of all this"
:D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 10, 2013, 22:49
After the success of rewatching older series (we have done Mission Impossible and Bourne), we are embarking on something a bit more extended.

So we kickstarted with Dr No last night and From Russia With Love tonight. I'm not sure if Connery can get us past the cheesiness that we couldnt get past in the TOS a while back, but here's hoping. I read From Russia With Love ages ago but oddly enough, I've never really watched this movie. So it was new to me. Ish. Ish because it looks like From Russia has a lot of the elements that has been re-run in subsequent Bond movies (which I have watched) so in the "freshness" factor ala Rotten Tomatoes, it isn't smelling like roses but I can imagine, it must have been quite revolutionary in those days.

I have also watched a bit of the special features in the movies and have to say, it's well worth a watch.

In the Dr No one, there was a segment on the big movie premiers in the UK and the US which was particularly fun to watch and filled with trivia. Particularly liked the bit about Pierce Brosnan's first premier.

In the Russia one, there was an interview with Fleming by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp and also a radio dialogue between Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming which I thought was brilliantly funny. Fleming is so self-deprecating about his success and I thought that made him far more admirable. I also liked one line from the CBC interview where Fleming said Bond wasn't a hero but a blunt instrument used by the government, which was reminiscent of what Dench's M said about (Brosnan's) Bond.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 12, 2013, 23:35
We started today with Robert Zemeckis' Contact, a scifi movie that turns its camera on Science vs God. It has a lot of depth, delving deeply in the mentioned issue and the meaning of existence. Jodie Foster turns in a very enthusiastic performance and at times the film can make other scifi films that involved BIG battles scenes feel shallow.

Then, it was time for the main feature. After watching Amour, my wife was interested in Michael Haneke's films. So I took out what I have - The Piano Teacher, Funny Games and White Ribbon. She chose The Piano Teacher. Actually no matter what she chose, Haneke's films are never easy to watch and they have a way of creeping under your skin and staying there forever.  I have actually read Elfriede Jelinek's novel and it is a damn difficult book to read, not because it's badly written but because it's so unsentimentally written. It's cold, hard, chilling and had zero direct speech which makes it so intense and bitter. On film, Isabelle Huppert succeeded in doing the impossible. She actually made Erika a profoundly sad person who never understood love. Maybe she does because she kept saying "I love you" to her student but her pitiful actions suggest otherwise. Huppert plays Erika, a piano teacher who teaches piano in the day. But by night she trawls porn shows while her mom, whom she loves and hates in equal measures, waits up for her. Erika is a woman, from the day she was born, wrung up tight turn by turn like a screw every single day... Till the day she drops her facade and tells her student Walter what she wants. She wants to be slapped, she wants to be tied up, she wants to be hurt so that she can feel... something.  When the film ended, our minds were fcuked. It was a damn good one. So much so that the next movie must go easy on the senses.

I was supposed to play My Own Private Idaho, a film I have not seen yet. But I doubt it will be easy so I suggested Resident Evil: Retribution. The opening title sequence looks very promising - the beginning is the ending of Afterfile but backwards. I know it makes no sense  ;D. Then I was treated to action sequence after action sequence where Alice never seems to run out of bullets. WTF nobody runs out of bullets in this movie. My brain stopped thinking when the CGI "Mr Smith" explains some big thing about Berlin to Japan to China to... maybe Singapore was mentioned... I don't know because after that my brain shutdown. It's just one stupid mess but it thinks it is clever by bringing back the whole Jing Gang from past movies for a crazy gun-wire-fu-fest. If I follow it right, they can actually make 100 or more of these RE movies based on any Alice clones they want. I hate, absolutely hate all the cheap scares... you know, the ones where zombies jump out from anywhere everywhere. Then there's that rip-off from Aliens where Alice goes Mother and will stop at nothing to save a small girl who is the daughter of her clone. Shite am I wrong?  No need to correct me... I really don't care. WTF the small girl was housed in some slimy cocoon too. The climatic fight is so silly that we laughed so hard. This is the worst RE movie for me and has zero soul, and I do like all the other RE flicks. Oh well... I did want a brainless movie and this definitely doesn't require one. Oh... this also has one new type of zombie... underwater swimming zombies Hahahaha.  However I must say the SQ is amazing but that's not enough to save a soul-less movie. We actually feel more "raped" by Alice than by Erika. And the way Retribution ended, get ready for another installment. Am I going to watch this?  Of course, I will  ;D

PS - Actually we had an idea for a Haneke fest but I said watching all 3 back to back will make our hair turn all white and make us go borderline psychotic.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 13, 2013, 00:07
Another James Bond double bill for me. In sequence, Goldfinger and Thunderball.

Goldfinger was one of the Bond movies my dad got on LD so it's not new to me. I read a review claiming the golden girl (Jill Masterson)'s color had been bleached out but even I wasn't expecting how much that effect was done. In our old LD, she looked really golden. Not sure why the restoration made that change so the gold color is a lot more washed out.

But watching Goldfinger in the original release sequence brings some interesting perspective to the show.

First, it was the first Bond movie to feature a mini mission prior to the credits. Dr No and From Russia both had prologues but they were related to the main feature itself. It was also the first movie to feature the Bond gadgets as a focus of the movie, I thought.

Some odd facts from the special features. Dr No paid homage to a REAL person who wrote to Ian Fleming (Boothroyd) who said that the gun Fleming had Bond brandish was a woman's weapon and he needed something with a bit more stopping power, hence the Walther PPK which has become Bond's staple (even in the newest Bond movies). M calls the armourer in during his briefing of Bond in Dr No and the character is named in the credits as Major Boothroyd :P ps he's also in the special features of Dr No.

In Russia, the credits show a Desmond Llewelyn playing Boothroyd, and from the subsequent movies, he's known as Q.

In Goldfinger, he's of course the one who passes the DB5 to Bond.

I guess it's cool to see how the different aspects of the typical Bond movies come together.

The fight sequences are also better fleshed out and enacted and not as fake-ish as the earlier two movies.

Of the two, I actually enjoyed Thunderball a fair bit more. I think as it has its origin as a screenplay before the novel came out, it seems like the pace of the plot is far more suited to a movie whereas the previous instalments were adaptations from the novels.

The other funny thing I thought was how closely the Austin Powers series mimicked the Bond franchise. When I watched Austin Powers, it had been a while since I watched the old Bond movies so while I knew it was taking the mickey out of Bond, I had no idea it was cutting this close to home ;)

The eye-patched No 2, the Rosa Klebb lookalike, calling each other by their numbers, the chair that goes into the fire pits. The incredulous blackmails. Those were all taken directly from the original Bond movies.

Which reminds me, I think an Austin Powers marathon would be coming after the Bond. I sure hope we have enough stamina to follow through the 22 movies. ps I didn't even realize book 2 of the boxset had an empty slot for Skyfall until I read a review of it.

Oh note to self, look for Never Say Never Again in my DVD collection. I am sure I have it somewhere.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 14, 2013, 00:08
Another double bill before I head off to the Gold Coast for a week.

You Only Live Twice followed by On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I read YOLT years ago and thought it was quite good. This movie isn't particularly close to the novel's plot with a bit of OTT action. It's odd that Moonraker pretty much repeated that storyline years later. Hard to imagine it came from the hands of Roald Dahl. If there is one movie that Austin Powers stole the most from, it's very likely to be this movie :D

On Her Majesty's Secret Service was a mixed bag. The opening scenes were promising, where the fight sequences made use of a more athletic actor who could duke it out convincingly. But the pace slowed down a fair bit midway and I think it's faithfulness to the novel was an Achilles Heel here. Diana Riggs was ethereally beautiful and it was sad to see her go at the end, but this is the only way James Bond could have continued in his adventures, I guess.

From the book perspective, You Only Live Twice was the last book published by Ian Fleming so it was preceded by OHMSS. Which is why it is odd from a continuity perspective in the movies that Blofeld (who's seen Bond in YOLT the movie) doesn't recognize Bond again in OHMSS. Oh well.

I don't believe I have ever watched YOLT and OHMSS properly before (short of catching bits and pieces when they were shown on telly) so from a soundtrack perspective, I was pleasantly surprised. YOLT's theme is used a fair bit in some of the later Bond series as a sorta love theme and I never even knew Louis Armstrong's We Have All The Time In The World was the theme from OHMSS. I have always felt it was a lovely melody and sweet lyrics but after the movie, there's a tinge of melancholy now when listening to the lyrics again.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 17, 2013, 00:33
Saw a few movies today. Finished the last 45min of Powder Blue. The last act couldn't change what I thought of the movie which was awfully terrible. Every character is just sad and lonely and there's no point in the story at all. There was a scene near the end where Forrest Whitaker is in a church and he cries out "Why do you do this to me?" It's exactly what I wanted to scream out too. Only good part is Jessica Biel doing her striptease thing... Justin Timberlake must be one happy chap.  ;D

After dinner it was The Italian Job, the original one with Michael Caine. This one has a funny story - I opened one of my Amazon parcels and this DVD was in it and they didn't charge me for it. This is my third time getting something cool from them. Anyway the movie looks and feels very dated, 1969. The humor still works a bit and Caine is really cool in this. My wife was going "hey hey hey... I know this guy... Where ah?" "Alfred lah" The last act which is the gold heist is top-class. The three mini-coopers driving stunts are brilliant. And that ending is damn funny and ironic. "I think I may have an idea"

Then we followed up with another kinda-heist movie, Snatch. Damn black and hilarious. This is the only movie where a guy gets shot in the face and I laugh like crazy. Brilliant writing by Guy Ritchie, juggling so many slimeball characters, plus a cheeky dog. Great use of Massive Attack's Angel too. I have ever heard this song used in Flight of the Phoenix to great effect too. My fave lines are the shrinking balls lines uttered by Vinny Jones

Bullet Tooth Tony: So, you are obviously the big dick. The men on the side of ya are your balls. Now there are two types of balls. There are big brave balls, and there are little mincey faggot balls.
Vinny: These are your last words, so make them a prayer.
Bullet Tooth Tony: Now, dicks have drive and clarity of vision, but they are not clever. They smell girl pu55y and they want a piece of the action. And you thought you smelled some good old girl pu55y, and have brought your two little mincey faggot balls along for a good old time. But you've got your parties muddled up. There's no girl pu55y here, just a dose that'll make you wish you were born a woman. Like a prick, you are having second thoughts. You are shrinking, and your two little balls are shrinking with you. And the fact that you've got "Replica" written down the side of your guns...
[Zoom in on the side of Sol's gun, which indeed has "REPLICA" etched on the side; zoom out, as they sneak peeks at the sides of their guns]
Bullet Tooth Tony: And the fact that I've got "Desert Eagle point five O"...
[Withdraws his gun and puts it on the table]
Bullet Tooth Tony: Written down the side of mine...
[They look, zoom in on the side of his gun, which indeed has "DESERT EAGLE .50" etched on the side]
Bullet Tooth Tony: Should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now... fcuk off!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on January 17, 2013, 01:50
I enjoyed reading this trivia on Snatch:

Quote
Brad Pitt, who was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, approached director Guy Ritchie and asked for a role in this film. When Ritchie found Pitt couldn't master a London accent, he gave him the role of Mickey the Gypsy.


To keep things in order during production, director Guy Ritchie introduced a system of fines on set. There were fines for mobile phones ringing, arriving late, taking naps during shooting, being "cheeky", being unfunny, and/or moaning and complaining. One staff member was even charged for letting the craft service table run out of coffee cups.



When Mickey "wins" a new trailer van for his mother from Turkish, he specifically picks out "periwinkle blue" as the color. In Psycho, we are told that Norman Bates helped to pick out a "periwinkle blue" dress for his dead mother. Mickey, just like Norman, is also responsible (albeit indirectly) for his own mother's death.
 

When Vinnie Jones is introduced in the movie, he is slamming a man's head in a car door, It was the head of stunt co-coordinator and action director Tom Delmar, who volunteered for the job.
 

Bullet Tooth Tony's character is introduced slamming a man's head between a car door and a car, which the same actor does in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie film.


The hardcore band "Cold War from Orange County, California" quotes this movie several times throughout their CD "From Russia With Love." Some of the lines quoted are: ("Quote" - Character / Song in which quote is used) "From Russia with love, ah?" - Doug The Head / Love Betrays "Heavy's good, heavy's reliable." - Boris the Blade / Painful Delight "Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible c*nt... me." - Brick Top / Retrace My Steps


Lennie James actually hit himself in his private parts with the shotgun while blasting a hole in the wall at the bookies, but continued the scene. That footage was used in the film.


Boris the Blade pulls a large cleaver from his belt. Soap did the same thing in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, another Guy Ritchie movie.


Guy Ritchie reportedly paid US $1 million for the use of Madonna's song, "Lucky Star".


Every mistake that Sol, Vincent and Tyrone make were inspired by various late-night TV shows about real-life crimes gone horribly wrong.


Tim Maurice-Jones, the cinematographer, plays the man who is repeatedly battered over the head at the beginning of the movie by Frankie Four-Fingers (Benicio Del Toro). In Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for which he was also the cinematographer, he was the man being drowned at the beginning of the film by Barry the Baptist (Lenny McLean).
 

Nearly every death in the movie takes place off-screen.

 

In the final scene, the 86-carat diamond is referred to as an 84-carat diamond.



In Guy Ritchie's previous film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, there is a scene in which Harry, Barry and Chris have a conversation. Barry says the line. "No, Harry, you can't," which is shortly repeated by Chris, then by both together. This joke is carried over to this movie when Alex and Susi do the same thing with the line, "Yeah, Dad, you told us."



When Guy Ritchie told Brad Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt book the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.

 

The U.S. distributors considered changing the title to "Snatched" or "Snatch'd".

 

The word "fcuk" is said 163 times.

 

During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs, where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song "Like a Virgin".

Share this

 

Franky Four-Fingers changes into four different outfits during the short telephone conversation to cousin Avi.


 

According to the DVD commentary, Bow, the dog was very difficult to work with. During car scene with Vincent, Sol and Tyrone, the dog was actually attacking Lennie James, and James was actually bitten in the crotch by the dog but didn't suffer any serious injury. The dog was replaced after that incident.



The producers couldn't afford enough extras for the boxing match sequences. Whenever a camera angle changed, the extras had to move around to create an impression of a crowded house.

 

When Vinny and Sol are sitting outside Brick-Top's Bookies, about to give him the diamond, the man that approaches the car is not really Bullet-Tooth Tony, it was a look-alike. Vinnie Jones didn't show up for shooting that day because he was in jail for fighting the night before.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 20, 2013, 08:50
Had a very ho-hum night with my movies selection yesterday.

Started out with Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012. This is a 90min special screened on Christmas last year. The family made a trip to the highlands, some love is discovered, some friendship is forged and thank goodness I didn't see this on Christmas because it can really put a downer on things. My wife kept going "Why? Why? Why does he have to die?  Blardy hell!" (blardy hell belongs to me  :))

Then it was Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. The story about two friends who work the streets of the city as hustlers and prostitutes. The film is not about sex but more about their rite of passage. The late River Phoenix plays a chap with narcolepsy who basically sleeps through all the stressful moments in his life. Keanu Reeves plays a rich chap who has no direction in life. I didn't like the film. Too damn arty farty Shakespearean wannabe. Don't feel the emotion wallop at all. But the performances are very strong, especially River Phoenix who would be an amazing actor of he is still around.

Then it was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a big yawn fest. It's just a flat plateau all the way and no chemistry between Emily Blunt and Ewan Macgregor.  Couldn't even finish the movie.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 20, 2013, 09:08
Been re-watching some of Stephen Chow's mo lei tow movies recently as I miss his brand of humour during his earlier works.

Most memorable so far was All's Well End's Well with Leslie Cheung & Teresa Mo 2 nights ago.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: TheMachinist on January 20, 2013, 21:15
Been haunted by Sade lately. Listening to her in my ears, happen to come across this DVD at Lib@Esplanade. Immediately rush home to fire up. Really impressive full 5.1, super groovy easy to digest tracks, works out the sub too. Brings back old memories of MTV watching those early 90's videos. Die Die must try!  :o

Going to rip it to my collection!  ;D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51M9GZFCPTL.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 20, 2013, 23:45
Got back on Friday night and continued the Bond saga in quick succession the following nights.

First it was Connery's return to the role in Diamonds are Forever followed by Moore's debut in Live and Let Die.

Tonight it was The Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me.

Going in quick succession, it's not quite clear when Bond became almost a parody of himself. It's more like a slow evolution.

I thought in Diamonds Are Forever, Connery seemed to have aged much worse for the wear and he was no longer as hard edged as in the earlier outings as Bond. Conversely, I thought Moore's first outing had him much more the cold blooded assassin who bedded women for information without a second thought.

The fighting scenes IMHO took a step backwards after seeing Lazenby in action. That man was far more athletic and able to get into more physically difficult fight and action sequences. Connery and Moore just seemed comical in comparison. And it's not for the lack of choreography direction. In Golden Gun, the two Chinese/Thai girls actually kicked some royal ass compared to Bond. :P I think Gun was to me the lowest point of the Bond genre. It seemed direction-less and despite having Christopher Lee in the titular role, his intentions just weren't fleshed out well enough, except maybe to suggest he had a borderline bro-crush on Bond. :P

I think The Spy Who Loved Me was the start of the campiness slope that characterized Moore's Bond. FWIW, I thought Anya is still one of the strongest Bond girls to date. She seemed a step ahead of Bond for most of the movie and I loved how she was able to work the Lotus' gadgets and quip that she stole the plans for the car two years earlier.

I'm almost tempted to start on Austin Powers :P but I think I should at least try getting past Moore ones first since he is after all the Bond of my generation, so to speak.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 21, 2013, 16:56
After dinner it was The Italian Job, the original one with Michael Caine. This one has a funny story - I opened one of my Amazon parcels and this DVD was in it and they didn't charge me for it. This is my third time getting something cool from them. Anyway the movie looks and feels very dated, 1969. The humor still works a bit and Caine is really cool in this. My wife was going "hey hey hey... I know this guy... Where ah?" "Alfred lah" The last act which is the gold heist is top-class. The three mini-coopers driving stunts are brilliant. And that ending is damn funny and ironic. "I think I may have an idea"

Funniest line to me, even though it's obvious, is "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"  It's just something about the way its delivered in that Cockney accent of Caine's.

Going in quick succession, it's not quite clear when Bond became almost a parody of himself. It's more like a slow evolution.

I think Gun was to me the lowest point of the Bond genre. It seemed direction-less and despite having Christopher Lee in the titular role, his intentions just weren't fleshed out well enough, except maybe to suggest he had a borderline bro-crush on Bond. :P

I think The Spy Who Loved Me was the start of the campiness slope that characterized Moore's Bond. FWIW, I thought Anya is still one of the strongest Bond girls to date. She seemed a step ahead of Bond for most of the movie and I loved how she was able to work the Lotus' gadgets and quip that she stole the plans for the car two years earlier.

You've hit the nail on the head: TMWTGG is often considered the worst Bond movie, although one suspects DAD may run it a bit close these days. 

Gadgets first came to prominence in Goldfinger, which is why FRWL is often considered the original benchmark of the hard, grittier Bond, which was 'revived' briefly during the Moore era with FYEO, which has limited gadgets and a fairly cold-blooded Bond, who has no qualms kicking a car with a villain trapped in it over the cliff. 

As you've already noted, while TSWLM has one of the better (i.e. more competent and 'equal') Bond girls, at the same time the gadget and camp factor is getting ratcheted up.  That "when in Egypt, one must delve deeply into her treasures" line is for me so corny and so camp, yet delivered po-faced by Moore, it almost made me howl.  The entire premise of Moonraker, complete with the return of Jaws, also makes it uber-campy.  Perhaps that's why the producers returned to a grittier Bond with FYEO, but they seemed to have forgotten about that when they made OP, and AVTAK has a pretty camp villain (and sidekick) too.

Interestingly, some fans today complain that the new Craig Bonds don't have enough gadgets nor any fun (read camp) factor any more.  Personally I'm not complaining, although a few more gadgets would be nice.  But please no more cheesy ham sup lines like those Moore used to deliver.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 21, 2013, 23:45
Just watched the original Paranormal Activity. Scare meter about 50% of Ringu for me. Not bad for hollywood.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 22, 2013, 00:32
Another Bond double bill tonight: Moonraker followed by For Your Eyes Only.

FYEO has a special place in my memory :) It was the first Bond movie I caught in the cinemas and I remember my dad bringing my sisters and I to the show. Can't imagine why and I am amazed none of us asked him what Bond was doing with all the women ;)

By the time my wife and I watched Moonraker, we were getting a tad tired of the same old hackneyed recycled plots. Everything by then had a sense of deja vu. Same plan to change the world to an Aryan-ish new bloodline. What's sad was that I had read the novel on which the film was based and I thought the premise was actually pretty good.

Wife even commented that there's always 3 major Bond girls.. the Bond girl who tries to kill Bond at the beginning, the bad girl that Bond seduces and invariably dies and the good Bond girl he ends up with. No guesses for figuring the helicopter pilot and the Countess had to die ;)

I do understand that movies are supposed to be a flight of fancy that allows us to take a break from reality but the James Bond films really floundered in the 70s. It also didn't help that Bond's big collared shirts and bell bottomed trousers have not dated well.

In the scheme of things, I quite enjoyed FYEO. Caroline Bouquet, if anything, is even more ethereal than Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die. And it was great seeing the edgier darker Bond from before. Moore kicking the villian's car tethering on the cliff was a great touch and I am glad the director went against Moore's objections. The opening titles and song was also a highlight. Never realized that Sheena Easton was in the titles and I think she's the only singer to date to appear in the opening credits. Not standing the test of time however was Bill Conti's score. The disco/funk theme just doesn't do the Bond film justice and it was incredibly jarring.

Not that there's anything wrong with Bill Conti :) I bought the old Rocky 4 soundtrack ages ago and the training montage is a great workout track :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/bu00RiPjaa4

But for FYEO, it was BAD BAD BAD Conti. Watching the scene where Bond tries to infiltrate Hector Gonzalez's villa with subtitles, I was kinda flabbergasted by the lyrics. Man, it could have been a porno flick theme!!

Don't believe me? Have a listen! :P

http://www.youtube.com/v/fHfqqJoV4cg

Anyway, I think it was about the time that Moore relinquished the Bond name to Dalton that I was reading my dad's old Bond novels. I did think Dalton was a pretty damn good representation of Bond from the books. It's a shame that he wasn't as well liked. Perhaps, many people (my wife included) had grown up with the cheesier/tiko Moore Bonds that they couldn't take this darker Bond. Shame really. I think it was the right direction, which they reversed with Brosnan's Bond and probably caused the franchise to go on life support until the reboot.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 22, 2013, 00:38
My bad, the Rocky 4 soundtrack was by Vince DiCola and not Bill Conti.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on January 22, 2013, 03:00
I liked Dalton too. The films were very enjoyable. But didn't seem like Bond after being brainwashed by Moore's more clumsy and humorous version.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 22, 2013, 11:14
Glad to see some props for Dalton, he's not as bad as most of the internet makes him out to be.

The "problem" is that the Bond character has always had very different parts to him: the ruthless (sometimes brutal) secret agent, and the suave playboy being the two most extreme parts.  Connery balanced the two fairly well (though I'd say more ruthless agent), Moore veered towards the playboy (and added all the super-cheesy one-liners), Dalton was more ruthless agent and not all that suave, Brosnan swung all the way back to the cool playboy, not being physical enough to be a convincing fighter.  Craig is a return to the ruthless agent. 

(Lazenby is hard to place since he only did one, but as with Dalton, is quite underrated and I think if he'd continued he would have done well.)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 23, 2013, 00:25
We have finally reached the end of the road for Moore. With Octopussy followed by A View To A Kill.

Both IMHO rubbish.

While there was no more Aryan-inspired "destroy the world and repopulate it with my chosen people", Moore's decline into a buffoon-ish Bond was painful to watch.

In Octopussy, the Tarzan yell, the awful tennis sounds which all had no place in the scene just made a mockery of the Bond mystique. The action quotient was dialed up a fair bit though, so the last action sequence with Bond hanging on to the plane made for a refreshing change from the usual ski or car chases.

In AVTOAK, the segue to the Beach Boys in the Opening Sequence just felt buffoonish. And Moore really couldn't pull off the dashing spy when he was placed alongside the gorgeous Tanya Roberts. High Definition has also not helped his cause, accentuating his wrinkly lines and looking more like laotiko than debonair agent. (side note from wiki: Moore was horrified that at 57, he was older than Tanya Robert's mother! at the time of filming! :P) while the action quotient was pretty decent, I thought it was pretty boliao the chase sequence in SFO on the fire engine.

I did like that both movies didn't focus as much on the ludicrous gadgets but neither had the gritty edge that Moore showed in For Your Eyes Only. Definitely two steps back.

There was a scene in AVTOAK in a Japanese hot spring spa which I vaguely recall was parodied in Austin Powers as well.

Onwards to Dalton's two outings next...

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 23, 2013, 14:03
AVTAK is easily the second-worst Moore after TMWTGG.  Offhand I seem to remember that Moore was reluctant to do it, but the producers weren't ready to re-cast the role and threw enough money at him to get him to do just one more, and in hindsight that was probably a mistake.  It also doesn't help that Walken, though usually briliant as a villain, seemed a bit too campy, which just amplifies the usual critique that Moore-era Bonds tended to be too cheesy and camp.

Enjoy the two Daltons, they're better than most think.  Although LTK is a bit disjointed.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 24, 2013, 16:50
Took a break from Bond and watched Paranormal Activity 4. Same old same old.

The only thing fresh was that they are using phones and computers with webcams instead of a camcorder like with the first two (or the step into the past, part troix with those old VHS camcorders ;))

Frankly I am quite tired of the story by now and really wish the kid would just die.


Possible spoiler...
They also didn't explain why the aunt Katie would get separated from Hunter.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 24, 2013, 19:58
Ha...I watched PA4 first before PA1.
PA1 definitely much scarier. I couldn't sleep well for only one night, compared to the 3 days iirc after Ringu.
Deleted PA2 & PA3 without so much as a glance at them due to poor reviews.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: ballhead on January 24, 2013, 20:10
The only thing I can still remember about AVTAK is the theme song. Duran Duran right? Great song! 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 25, 2013, 01:00
After a brief pause (though strictly speaking we had a Bond theme with the Top Gear's 50 years of Bond Cars playing before Paranormal Activity 4), we are back to our usual Bond double bill.

Tonight, Timothy Dalton's first then last performance as Bond.

I think Dalton missed his chance to play Bond at a younger age. I remember him from Flash Gordon and I think he could have pulled off the debonair look better then. While he still has the right physique in the 90s, his receding hairline made his attempts at Casanova a tad unconvincing. Ironically, he was actually in consideration for the Bond role even before Roger Moore IIRC.

The receding hairline wasn't so bad in The Living Daylights. I remember reading the short story :) which was actually one of the scenes in the movie. I liked that Bond even uttered the same words, hoping M would fire him. The story thankfully wasn't quite as far fetched as the last two Bond movies and I liked their return to gritty realism. It also helped that Dalton was in good enough form to do his own stunts. The only thing that has dated since the movie was shown IMHO is the portrayal of the mujahideen, where they were allies against the Russian invaders. :) I thought it is just an interesting perspective of how we viewed that part of the world.

I thought Licence to Kill, while not derived from the original novels (and was the first not to use the name of a short story/novel) per se, was nevertheless great with using some of the key scenes from the novels like Leiter's encounter with the sharks (right down to the note pinned on him when Bond found him later originally from Live and Let Die but was not used in that movie).

The story seemed to plod on much longer (like with most novels), but for the most part, I found the story engaged the viewer well.

I also thought Carey Lowell was an excellent Bond girl, rivalling Barbara Bach's Anya in The Spy Who Loved Me as one who could hold her own against Bond.

My wife still isn't a fan of Dalton's Bond. I think she had a point in that they still tried to put in some "humourous" quips like with previous Moore movies but Dalton didn't quite deliver them in the right vein. I think they might have been better off just not including the lines. It didn't fit with the darker edged Bond that Dalton was portraying.

As far as PQ is concerned, there's a strange softness to these two movies that's very obvious having watched some of the first Connery ones in such quick succession. I think there might have been some Edge Enhancement introduced in the earlier Bonds but they weren't too jarring. It's just that with a more recent movie like Dalton's the quality of the film was still decent so they probably didn't process them as much.

It's also an interesting evolution that the closing credits are getting longer and longer with each Bond outing. I didn't even realize that If You Asked Me To was a Bond theme. There was also a second theme to Living Daylights performed by Chrissy Hines.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 25, 2013, 12:14
Quote from: Doggie Howser link=topic=121681.msg869839#msg869839

It's also an interesting evolution that the closing credits are getting longer and longer with each Bond outing. I didn't even realize that If You Asked Me To was a Bond theme. There was also a second theme to Living Daylights performed by Chrissy Hines.

I think that's more to do with movies generally: all movie credits are getting longer, with anybody even peripherally involved getting a credit.  I mean, does it really matter who served the donuts at craft services??  Back in the 'old days', only the principal crew warranted a credit, but one suspects all the unions demanded recognition for all their members.  And the more powerful ones demand a specific presentation of their members' credit, e.g. Director's Guild of America requires that the director's credit always appears in the opening credit, and that it is the last one shown in those opening credits.  Lucas famously refused to have opening credits in Star Wars, since in his view it disrupted the movie, so DGA fined him for failing to enforce its rules, Lucas paid the fine and then resigned from DGA -- which is one reason why thereafter the SW movies were always shot outside USA.  He also paid the fine levied on Irvin Kershner when ESB similarly dispensed with the director's opening credit.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 25, 2013, 13:05
Interesting info. Your brain is certainly filled with lots of interesting info. You must win at Trival Pursuit all the time  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 25, 2013, 15:23
Interesting info. Your brain is certainly filled with lots of interesting info. You must win at Trival Pursuit all the time  ;D

Not always.  But often enough...  ;D

The DGA thing is specific from the Star Wars example, which I read in one of those 'making of Star Wars' books or articles.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on January 25, 2013, 18:38
Interesting info. Your brain is certainly filled with lots of interesting info. You must win at Trival Pursuit all the time  ;D

Yah, play Armoury and Yellowhandman sure lose one. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 26, 2013, 00:15
We had a neighbour drop in so we ended up watching The Thieves, another Korean flick and I have to say, the Koreans are at the top of their game. With R2B kicking Top Gun's ass in the action sequences (and perhaps even in the story department), The Thieves take on Ocean's 11.

FWIW, it's not quite the magical formula this time. The hilarity is still there. Trust the Koreans to add in a dash of comedy (also present in R2B) and a pinch of romance but the action sequences were also pretty damned impressive. Only when I watched the special features did I see where they used CGI. It was pretty damn seamless. The ending wasn't as satisfying however. Babe quotient isn't as high this time, with only the girl from My Sassy Girl being the only eye candy (and she's getting on a bit).

We then started on Goldeneye but had to call it quits before the end because we had started out later. I really thought Pierce Brosnan managed to strike a good balance. He was fast on his feet and the action sequences were better choreographed than previous Bonds. He was also able to pull off the witty remarks that Moore was known for, but there was almost a taunting tone to it, not unlike Spiderman using repartees to put his opponent off their games.

And of course, no nonsense and serious when demanded. He might have had a few more miles since Remington Steele but he still can pull off the debonair spy persona.

For the most part, I thought Sean Bean was an excellent villian but Xena Onatopp was freaking over the top. There was really no need for the over/ham acting.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 27, 2013, 23:38
Me and the missus' minds are still so wired from Laneway. All the great music is still swimming in our minds so a short and funny movie it will be - Monty Python's Life of Brian.

I have seen this years ago when I was a teen and it's even funnier now that I can see how irrevelant and spot-on it is with its sardonic humor. It pokes fun at the Romans, imperialism, religious fanatics, the people in goverment and Christians.  Many aspects of the religion (doesn't even have to be Christianity) you can think of is parodied to near breaking point and yet it IMHO doesn't give the faith a bad name but YMMV. It definitely made me laugh at the outrageous behavior which is still very much prevalent now. There are two scenes where Jesus is present - when He was born in the manger and giving a sermon on the mount, which gave the film a vague relevance and context.  How do you make a funny religious film which doesn't blaspheme?  Let Monty Python show you how it's done  :)

And the final song, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life... classic. Actually I made an error - I thought it was from The Meaning Of Life. The final scene with all of them nailed to the crosses and singing the song is just amazing juxtaposition. Love the words... very wise words.


Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shite
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life...

http://www.youtube.com/v/WlBiLNN1NhQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 28, 2013, 18:08
And of course, no nonsense and serious when demanded. He might have had a few more miles since Remington Steele but he still can pull off the debonair spy persona.

I never watched Remington Steele, but from what little I saw, I do get the impression that the extra years Brosnan put on before he was finally able to accept the Bond mantle did help, i.e. had he become Bond in 1985 instead of getting played out by NBC, he actually looked a bit too youthful to be Bond at that time, whereas by 1995 he was perfect. 

Bond is (at least prior to the CR reboot) an experienced, slightly world-weary agent, but at the top of his game, so you'd expect him to be in his late 30s at least.  Brosnan in 1985 still looked in his early 30s (dunno what age he actually was), even late 20s, making him look too young and green.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 28, 2013, 19:12
I think he would still have been older than Craig in Royale.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 30, 2013, 00:50
Saw 3 episodes of Mad About You. After The Sessions last night, I thought it be nice to show my wife why I like Helen Hunt so much  :P

All 3 episodes are my favourites. During my early teaching years, teaching in an all girls school, I will do crazy stuff like telling the girls love stories from Mad About You during Valentine's Day. And I do tell mean stories. Anyway I showed my wife the episode about fate. Jamie believes in it but Paul doesn't. In a simple B&W flashback scene, it was revealed that both of them met when they were kids. My wife loves it. Then also from S2, it was an episode about Paul proposing to Jamie on Valentine's Day. Paul was having this weird dream - Patsy Cline's Crazy playing in the background and he feels he is being spinned out of control. He thinks it's an omen but it turned out to be something else. My wife loves it too and requests for one more, so a sweet one about them finding love letters from the couple who stayed in the apartment before them.

Watching these episodes really gave me goosebumps. I love their easy spontaneous chemistry and the writing. I mentioned this in The Sessions review and I will say it again here - Mad About You gave me a blueprint for marriage. The fun element must always be there and both the partners must try to find the funny in everything everyday. Is mine like Paul and Jamie's?  We really try to and it has been great.

I only have S1-3 on DVDs. Those were the best seasons IMHO and S4 with the baby jokes didn't work for me.  I also remember the final episode of Mad About You where both of them are divorced and older. In a small auditorium they met to attend their daughter's documentary and they found each other again. Sigh... still a really good series and I don't see anything on TV now that could capture couple-hood like what Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt did. 
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 30, 2013, 08:45
I loved that series :) and I agree that partnership/chemistry is just beautiful 

That fate episode was brilliant. I don't remember if I ever got them all on DVD. I do recall getting a best of box set and the first 2 seasons. I think. For some reason they didn't release all of it at that point.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 30, 2013, 08:46
Ps did u also get the Paul Reiser book Couplehood?

He had a very shortlived TV series a few years back. I wasn't as impressed.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 30, 2013, 09:22
Yup, I do have Reiser's Couplehood (Jerry Seinfeld's Sein Language and Tim Allen's Don't Stand Too Close To a Naked Man  :))

Paul Reiser can't do much of anything else outside of Mad About You. I can only remember Aliens (which feels like a weird casting choice) and Bye Bye Love, which was excellent and it feels like a page taken out of Mad About You in an alternate universe. It's about 3 divorced men.

Studios only released up to S5 on DVDs. Iirc there are 7 seasons. I would really love that final season. The last episode I once recorded on VHS... so bittersweet so beautiful.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 30, 2013, 09:47
Heh it was the rage for them to have their own books. I had a good laugh reading Tim Allen's.

In similar vein was Dave Barry's series. He was a hoot too.

I'll have to dig thru my box sets and see where my MAY collection stopped.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 30, 2013, 09:50
Fwiw I wasn't a big fan of the falling out episodes in MAY. I think there was an arc when she went to work and he thought she was having an affair.

I did find the crossover episodes in Friends quite funny.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 30, 2013, 11:35
MAY crossover-ed with friends? I don't remember ever seeing that...
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 30, 2013, 12:04
More like cameos I guess. But you see Ursula in FRIENDS and I remember seeing Jamie and Fran pop by Central Perk before.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 30, 2013, 16:24
I also remember the final episode of Mad About You where both of them are divorced and older. In a small auditorium they met to attend their daughter's documentary and they found each other again. Sigh... still a really good series and I don't see anything on TV now that could capture couple-hood like what Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt did. 

They divorced??  Why don't I remember that?  I'm fairly sure I watched all of Mad About You, unless of course %*$&#@ Ch 5 never showed it all, which I suppose is possible, in which case I would only have watched whatever Ch 5 aired -- this was after all the days before the internet and all that 'not-quite-kosher-DLC'...

Either that, or by the tail-end of the show I was getting indifferent to the show and it didn't register much in my head, even assuming I watched it to the end. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 30, 2013, 17:10
You are correct (as usual  ;)). They were separated. This is a plot summary of the final episode, The Final Frontier

The finale is based as a flash forward about 22 years into the future.  For the first time since she was born in the last episode of season five entitled "The Birth," the Buchmans' only daughter, Mabel, is seen beyond infancy. She becomes a film maker, like her father, and is making an autobiography about herself and her family. As it turns out, the Buchmans were not officially married at the end because the minister who married them was not ordained. Eventually they get officially "re-married" so as to have the same anniversary date.

Another course of events relates to Mabel explaining, through comedic skits, that she turned out to be who she was because she had neurotic parents. During the course of the biopic, Mabel shows how Paul and Jamie separate. However, in the end, during a showing of Mabel's film "Stabbing Bob," the rest of the family, including Debbie, Joan and Ira, conspire to have the two of them sit together. They then discover a spark between the two and get back together. At the end, Mabel gives a description of what happened to each character (including the regular supporting casts who appear for the episode) and ends with Paul and Jamie living "happily ever after."
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 31, 2013, 00:24
On the final lap of my Helen Hunt streak and we saw As Good As It Gets. Still a terrific warm movie. And those heartfelt compliments uttered by curmudgeon, Jack Nicholson can really overwhelm me. I just can't think of another actor who could pull off the role. As much as I feel his character's arc, I think after the bakery scene, he is going to let out some killer lines that will break Hunt's heart. I think the director stopped rolling the camera at that time. But still I we enjoyed the rom-com and Helen Hunt is spectacular.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 31, 2013, 18:19
You are correct (as usual  ;)). They were separated. This is a plot summary of the final episode, The Final Frontier

Must confess I don't remember any of it at all.  Perhaps since it did end with them back together "happily ever after", that's what I took away from it, hence my surprise when you said they'd divorced.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 01, 2013, 12:39
Our Bond marathon took a hit when the gale force winds took out some power lines and the power was out until Tuesday. We were at the start of Die Another Day when it happened last weekend.

But before that, we finished Goldeneye, Tomorrow never Dies and The World is Not enough.

It's odd seeing how much Pierce Brosnan aged in consecutive installments. But as wife says, he's still a dashing figure.

If I had to say which is the worst so far, I'd put my bet on Tomorrow never dies. The plot looks like it was lifted out of the old James Bond. Evil mysterious person hijacks submarine/spaceship/space shuttle from US/enemy of the day (Russia in The Spy Who Loved Me and You Only Live Twice, China in TMD). If nothing else, it has got one of the most bland Bond themes around. I'd forgotten they had Sheryl Crow sing it. But it was bland and forgettable. And Teri Hatcher was one of the most boliao Bond girls in a long time.

Her jealous husband sends her to bonds room to find out more details then kills her when she is seduced. DUH.

The World Is Not Enough IMHO has one of the best Bond themes in a long time. Garbage really nailed it. And after watching On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I finally saw the connection with Bond (Lazenby was trying to infiltrate Blofeld's lair by posing as a genealogy expert and in the process of research finds his family line and crest which has the words The World Is Not Enough in Latin. :))

It was a decent twist that the Bond girl linked to the villian isn't just a sad character seduced by Bond and then killed by the villian ala so many before her, but the central villian herself.

But the Christmas jokes were a bit taxing. To be fair, I was never a big fan of Connery's quips about Plenty, girl thinghy, Honey et al ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 03, 2013, 22:48
Wow the forum censored P-u-s-s-y Galore's name!! :)

Anyway, I think Brosnan really had some of the worst writing. It's odd considering the same writing crew were also responsible for the awesome reboot in Casino Royale.

Brosnan came across as the dumbest 007 in some respects. I mean in his last two outings, he was conned by the evil henchwomen. I mean, really!?? Connery may have always gotten into scrapes with the henchwomen but he always knew what he was in and he was also cold and calculating enough not to get his emotions involved. Brosnan seemed way too sensitive.

Tonight, it was Casino Royale. Must have been years since I last watched this because I never even remembered Mr White in African jungle. I never remembered him having such a large role till Quantum of Solace.

I really enjoyed this reboot. It's great seeing how he turned out as calculating and as dispassionate in Dr No, Russia etc. having learned his lesson in Casino. Wife gave me hell cos I accidentally let slip Vesper died.... even though she had seen the movie before ;P but apparently she doesn't use her brain to store stupid trivia like that.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on February 03, 2013, 23:11
Wow the forum censored P-u-s-s-y Galore's name!! :)

Anyway, I think Brosnan really had some of the worst writing. It's odd considering the same writing crew were also responsible for the awesome reboot in Casino Royale.

Brosnan came across as the dumbest 007 in some respects. I mean in his last two outings, he was conned by the evil henchwomen. I mean, really!?? Connery may have always gotten into scrapes with the henchwomen but he always knew what he was in and he was also cold and calculating enough not to get his emotions involved. Brosnan seemed way too sensitive.

Tonight, it was Casino Royale. Must have been years since I last watched this because I never even remembered Mr White in African jungle. I never remembered him having such a large role till Quantum of Solace.

I really enjoyed this reboot. It's great seeing how he turned out as calculating and as dispassionate in Dr No, Russia etc. having learned his lesson in Casino. Wife gave me hell cos I accidentally let slip Vesper died.... even though she had seen the movie before ;P but apparently she doesn't use her brain to store stupid trivia like that.



Yeah would be good to be able to forget details of a movie and enjoy them over again like for the first time! :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on February 04, 2013, 00:26
(http://i2.listal.com/image/1779299/936full-5-centimeters-per-second-poster.jpg)

OMG... This is so so good!  I am at a loss for words to describe what I have just seen. One of the most beautiful animes I have ever seen.

A few days ago, I saw this blu-ray put among all the Miyazaki films. I didn't find the cover enticing but the title grabbed me. 5cm per second, I found out is actually the approximate speed at which a cherry blossom petal falls down to the ground.

The animation is gorgeous. If you think Pixar is the best, wait till you see this. What I find beautiful is the director's keen eye for details. It's like he distilled what love is and show you the stuff through interesting cinematic angles, only the stuff that truly matters.

The story is actually about 3 interconnecting stories centering on a young boy, Takaki and his childhood sweetheart, Akari. From this part onwards I am at a loss for words... I have typed a lot on my iPhone and kept deleting because nothing I wrote could capture the essence of this 1 hour film. I can only say it manages to capture a pure and innocent love, time, space and life. The Blu-ray I watched didn't come with English subtitles and I can't read Chinese well. Thankfully there's a Cantonese audio track. But I am definitely going to look for another one with English subtitles. Just found out also that it's a 2007 film. What a gem!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: abyss on February 04, 2013, 14:31

OMG... This is so so good!  I am at a loss for words to describe what I have just seen. One of the most beautiful animes I have ever seen.

A few days ago, I saw this blu-ray put among all the Miyazaki films. I didn't find the cover enticing but the title grabbed me. 5cm per second, I found out is actually the approximate speed at which a cherry blossom petal falls down to the ground.

The animation is gorgeous. If you think Pixar is the best, wait till you see this. What I find beautiful is the director's keen eye for details. It's like he distilled what love is and show you the stuff through interesting cinematic angles, only the stuff that truly matters.

The story is actually about 3 interconnecting stories centering on a young boy, Takaki and his childhood sweetheart, Akari. From this part onwards I am at a loss for words... I have typed a lot on my iPhone and kept deleting because nothing I wrote could capture the essence of this 1 hour film. I can only say it manages to capture a pure and innocent love, time, space and life. The Blu-ray I watched didn't come with English subtitles and I can't read Chinese well. Thankfully there's a Cantonese audio track. But I am definitely going to look for another one with English subtitles. Just found out also that it's a 2007 film. What a gem!

hi bro, will definitely check this out, just add it to my cart :)
have you watched this before:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Children_Ame_and_Yuki
it was released in the cinemas last year but i missed it and i couldn't find it in amazon uk/usa.
if u know where else to get it or have seen it in our local stores, let me know, thanks!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on February 04, 2013, 14:46
I did see Wolf Children and love it. Started a thread on it to give everyone the heads up but sadly mine is the only post. Likewise for The Sessions... That's a damn solid one too but I am so lonely in that thread too  :)

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=120156.msg828145#msg828145

I haven't seen the movie around. Will definitely add it to my library when it comes. I do have the soundtrack though. Found it in Tokyo's Tower Records last year.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 17, 2013, 14:41
After another week in the Gold Coast, resumed our movie night on Saturday. We were up to Casino Royale and wife wasn't keen to complete the last 2 Bond movies cos of they were more recent.

We watched Sinister first. F**K that was a damned scary movie. Is it formulaic? Yes. Is it cliched? Yes. But it still freaks me out and like Poltergeist, there's this same fear when you movie into a new home.

If not for watching Here Comes The Boom shortly after, I would have had a super sleepless night.

Boom is a typical Kevin James vehicle. He's always the underdog loser that you root for to win the hot chick like in Hitch and he's in his element here as the Bio teacher who regains his passion for teaching as he starts doing the MMA circuit to raise funds to save the school's music program (headed by an elderly Fonz) ;)

Not quite Rocky but fun and the finale had the same vibe of the underdog having his day.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on February 18, 2013, 16:23
Boom is a typical Kevin James vehicle. He's always the underdog loser that you root for to win the hot chick like in Hitch and he's in his element here as the Bio teacher who regains his passion for teaching as he starts doing the MMA circuit to raise funds to save the school's music program (headed by an elderly Fonz) ;)

Not quite Rocky but fun and the finale had the same vibe of the underdog having his day.


Comedy version of Warrior??
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 18, 2013, 23:18
I only just googled Warrior and yeah I guess it has a similar premise ;)

Anyway, we did finally conclude the Bond box set with Quantum of Solace tonight. Watched so soon after Casino Royale, it is a much better experience. It really was not meant to be seen in isolation.

And it was odd they didn't bother to remake the disc menus to coincide with the others in the box set. Shame really.

I still have one or two questions about Mathis. Did he betray Bond in Casino or not. I get the feeling that although he was released, he might very well have been guilty and that explained why he owed it to Bond to follow him into Bolivia and his final words to Bond: I forgive you, you forgive me. or something to that effect.

But it was satisfying how the movie ended with him finding Vesper's bf conman and in an interesting twist, I was surprised to see the lead actress in Castle in that same scene. And unlike other Bond movies, I think it was the first one which didn't have the Bond walking across the screen with the gun barrel traced on him starting the movie. But it came in the end.

ps the Alicia Keys song just wasn't that memorable.

After the missus went to bed, I continued The Dark Knight Returns Part Deux. Like Part I, it pretty much is a faithful reproduction of the original graphic novel from Miller. I remember the Green Arrow's role in the final battle but I never remembered he was in the caverns in the final scene though.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 20, 2013, 01:16
We went for a double bill of "true story" movies tonight or Award nominated movies.

The Impossible followed by Argo.

Possible spoilers follow.

It's hard to imagine that The Impossible was so close to reality in that her whole family remained intact after the horrific disaster. Were one unaware of the facts, it might have easily been viewed as a Hollywood ending to a tragedy. The only "Hollywood" treatment was that they never dwelt on the fact that she lost part of her leg though this was hinted at. I don't know if Naomi Watts will win an Oscar for her role but the make up artist should win one. Watts looked like a corpse at one stage.

That said this movie is incredibly well shot. The eerie silence IMHO was far more scary at some points than if they had introduced sound effects. I wasn't also expecting such a big workout on the subs and woofers during the action sequences.

All the gory scenes had me flinching in the nether regions, like when you see a footballer getting kneed in the gonads. It was that graphic and that intense.

Argo was a movie I wasn't sure what to expect. I had not read any of the blurbs for this movie so I didn't even know the entire premise, and it was all the better for it. It was an extremely uplifting movie with nail biting suspense piling on during the climax.

Watching the special features though, it was clear that while the movie tried to be as accurate as possible to the set designs and the make up and costumes, there was a lot of liberties taken with the story. Whole scenes were completely recreated from the imagination of the writer (Bazaar, final checkpoint). I also felt that there was also some removal of characters which belittled some of the other "heros" in the real story (there were also other staff in the Canadian embassy) but I can imagine these were edits to better tighten the pace of the story.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on February 20, 2013, 01:32
After another week in the Gold Coast, resumed our movie night on Saturday. We were up to Casino Royale and wife wasn't keen to complete the last 2 Bond movies cos of they were more recent.

We watched Sinister first. F**K that was a damned scary movie. Is it formulaic? Yes. Is it cliched? Yes. But it still freaks me out and like Poltergeist, there's this same fear when you movie into a new home.

If not for watching Here Comes The Boom shortly after, I would have had a super sleepless night.

Boom is a typical Kevin James vehicle. He's always the underdog loser that you root for to win the hot chick like in Hitch and he's in his element here as the Bio teacher who regains his passion for teaching as he starts doing the MMA circuit to raise funds to save the school's music program (headed by an elderly Fonz) ;)

Not quite Rocky but fun and the finale had the same vibe of the underdog having his day.



Thanks for the Kevin James tip (been a fan of his since Hitch). Enjoyed the movie. I thought the supporting cast was v good and pretty much made the movie.

Read before the movie that he lost 80lbs for the movie, training 3x per day. Thought he would have been a bit slimmer for the movie though :)

In reality Kevin would have never made the weight for light heavy weight. Krzysztof would have had a hard time with Kevin's full weight in him. K-SOS has done well since ultimate fighter to break into films and TV. He's in Tapped too I believe.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 20, 2013, 22:05
I'm not into UFC/MMA so I don't really know the background of the other actors :) I think it wasn't a prerequisite to enjoy the Kevin James movie tho it might have helped.

Glad you enjoyed it, tho.

Tonight was supposed to be a double bill of Anna Karenina and Savages but we couldn't get through Anna. It was just too whimsical for us to get past the first 10 minutes.

Savages was an odd ball of sorts. It's hard to say what genre it was. Great twist in the end tho.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on February 20, 2013, 23:43
I saw Savages at the cinema. It's not an easy film to like because there is not a single good person in it. Like you, I enjoy the twist at the end.

Just finished watching Sinister. Damn scary... Really scared the shite out of me. Very effective sound design. The scares are cliched but still it was very effective. Half the time my missus was covering her ears. Me not too bad, I covered mine a third of the time. Definitely one of the better scary movies from recent memory.

Now watching a TVB drama to neutralize the Sinister effect  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 21, 2013, 22:57
Watched the finale of Breaking Dawn tonight, seeing as the missus has had to put up with my movies for this long ;)

I didn't really catch the previous episode but a quick read of Wiki fixed that. And besides I was busy with Sudoku during most of the movie and barely glanced up during the battle sequence. Stephanie Meyer can't write a battle scene to save her life. I mean, yeah why not use your special powers to crack open the earth so you can swallow up your own team while you are at it. And the best part (or worst)... she pretty much used up the "I woke up and it was all a dream" cop out. I mean really!! REALLY!!??? Wife was also feeling a bit cheated.

Man, I really don't understand the appeal.

I get that the rather portly Meyer might have had a messed up high school but the way she writes of an ideal high school really should warrant some sit down on the psychiatrist's couch. Imprinting on a newborn baby. Come on!!!

The only possible highlight of the show was when this song played

http://www.youtube.com/v/uyfS44Yk2_0

cos it seemed half decent.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on February 27, 2013, 12:53
I only caught the first Twilight.  I did it because I needed to know why my kids love it so much... it was one of the longest 2 hours I have spent in front of the TV.  IIRC the trailer for it had every single one of the 'exciting' sequences.  Most teenagers have no taste and worst of all they just don't know it yet :).  After that I swore off the entire franchise. 

Yesterday I saw Soar to the Sun, a Korean rip-off of Top Gun and Enemy Behind the Lines.  Some rip-offs are good when they push the envelope in a slightly different direction but this one offers nothing new.  I sat there mapping out the plot 10 minutes ahead of time.  And if I see one more scene of fighter pilots sitting in their jets staring at each other down in inverted formations, I will puke... this movie has 3 or 4 of them!  The North Koreans are portrayed as evil faceless warlords of James-Bond-villains-type dimensions but without an ounce of character and the Americans are portrayed as arrogant idiots.  The latter I like and had a good laugh.  The sonics are great but to me it feels like a very hollow experience.

Then I popped in a concert blu - Steel Panther:  British Invasion, a loan from a bro.  Oh man... this is awesome!  I don't know a whole lot about their songs but seeing these dudes perform is amazing.  Can't quite put it into words but these dudes and the crowd were having such great irrelevant fun that it is intoxicating.  When is the last time you see a lead singer 'jerk off' his mic on stage complete with his 'juice'?  It's all here... I laughed so hard I had to turn it off so that I can watch with my wife tonight.  If these guys ever cum for a concert, I am in. :)

Then in the evening it was Hustle and Flow with my wife... that's not a metaphor ok ;).  Now, this is good stuff.  Sometimes actors are good at what they do, plying their craft for years.  But all actors need that ONE role to sear their name into our consciousness.  This is Terence Howard's movie.  He is a pimp who harbours a dream to be a hip-hop rap artiste.  Did he fulfill his dream?  We will finish the movie tonight.  Every pimp has their day in the sunshine... I hope, I wish.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on February 27, 2013, 13:18
Oooooh...a movie about a pimp hip hop artiste? Must watch for me since I bought quite a lot of hip hop cds :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on February 28, 2013, 00:09
Finished watching Hustle and Flow. Brilliant stuff. Actually I saw it way back in 2006 but it felt a lot longer than that. Then, I remember it was fantastic and the rap crunk numbers are awesome. Seeing it again I now understand why it's an amazing film. At every turn it throws up something unexpected. It has heart and damn right it has soul and anger. It is also about simple folks (like us) doing the same old shite every single day but we stand forth to the front when there's a chance for us to do something creative, to give meaning to our lives. I am sure we can all atest to the fact that there's something very beautifully self-empowering about that.  DJay may be a pimp but he has dreams, just like us.

http://www.youtube.com/v/_Cr0nP3k_p4&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1

I love this tune. It doesn't make much sense listening to it without the context of the film. But once you have seen it, the words take on a different meaning. I love the small part where the hook comes in and the pregnant Ho goes OMG. In a later scene she thanks DJay for letting her sing the hook because it made her feel real. My heart fcuking broke. I need to find the CD now.

Then I showed my wife Steel Panther and it is worth seeing her keep going Wa Lau Eh and OMG  ;D

Followed that up with episode 11 of Highs and Lows, a TVB drama. Actually I am not really a big fan of TVB stuff but I try to show a sincere interest because my wife likes them. Have to give and take in a marriage, even in our movie choices (just a little sentimental from reading the other thread about a Star Wars dude who can't enjoy his movies at home).  But I am beginning to find this serial interesting. In episode 11, the good cops turned bad cops AKA The Shield style. One of these days I must show her this one.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on February 28, 2013, 09:41
this film win an oscar leh mai siao siao  ;D
beat powerhouse the legendary Dolly Parton
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 02, 2013, 21:30
After watching Bekas, a story about 2 orphans from Iraq who decide to go to America to look for Superman the other night at the cinema, I asked my missus whether she has seen the Christopher Reeves Superman movies. As I thought so, she has not (but she has read some of the quin-essential comics on Supes though). So today's films were Superman I and II. For part II we watched the Richard Donner version which I have yet seen.

I have always felt part I had an extremely long first act and the resolution was just too short. It is a great introduction to the mythology but that was it to me. Part II was a different beast altogether. I realized that if I view I and II together then the entire part I up to part II's Superman sacrificing his power can be seen like the ultimate first act. It's such a brilliant move to make the world's most invulnerable man becomes vulnerable when the shite hits the fan. Seeing it again still gives me goosebumps.

The Donner cut didn't change the narrative structure but based on what I can remember about Richard Lester's version, I do notice some major differences like Marlon Brando was featured a lot more while IIRC Lester only used the mom as a narrative tool. This is probably the reason why Donner was kicked out. It is no secret that Brando cost a lot more. I do enjoy the new Brando scenes, especially the final goodbye between father and son. That really resonated with me. Elsewhere how Lois Lane tests Clarke Kent is different in both and the final resolution between Supes and Lane is different in both. I will not mention how it is different in case you have not seen it. But in both versions Margot Kidder really broke my heart.

I am now deciding whether I should show my missus Superman Returns since I and II segue nicely into the Bryan Singer version. Heck I will do it another night but I won't bother showing her III and IV which I absolutely feel are travesties.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 17, 2013, 11:38
Had time for a couple of films yesterday. First one is Goro Miyazaki's From Up On Poppy Hill. Yup, that Miyazaki. Goro is his son.  This is his second film and it can literally fall under his dad's stupendous catalog. In fact, Hayao Miyazaki collaborated on the script. This is a very heartwarming love story and it is also a celebration of simpler times. We love it a lot and had tears at some touching scenes.

Then I was going to watch an ultra-violent film, The Yellow Sea by the director of The Chaser but my wife had the good sense to say it's not a good follow-up to such a sweet movie. So in went The Negotiator, with Mr Samuel "Don't-you-fcuking-mess-with-me-muthafcuker" L. Jackson. Still damn damn awesome after all these years. Great cast, superb script, tight plot. The blu-ray is only $15 from Poh Kim. Saw it a few days ago and had to buy it. This movie segues nicely into episode 23 of TVB serial Highs and Lows which is about corrupt cops too.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 18, 2013, 23:30
Was down with migraine induced nausea today & had to stay home, so I did Hitchcock & Life of Pi on blu, since they dun have shaky cam effect. Both were good, cos I didnt fast fwd either :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: pitch bender on March 21, 2013, 18:07
 
 Inception is a very good movie, IMHO.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 23, 2013, 22:28
Came back from work at 4 and from 5 we vegged out with home-cooked dinner in front of the TV. Nice  :P

Started out with a film I saw on a flight on my own which I really enjoy. Yup, my missus didn't go Tokyo with me. The movie is Ruby Sparks, a twisted rom com or something like that. It's about a writer with only one good book to his name, written when he was 19. He is a lot older now and in a serious writer's block. He has not written anything since then. One night he dreams of a girl. He wakes up and he starts writing about her. He names her Ruby Sparks and one day Ruby becomes real. He has the writer's ultimate wet dream. Whatever he types on his typewriter about Ruby, she becomes the person. For example, you can type "Ruby speaks fluent French" and she will go all French... You can start letting your imagination run wild  :). I like the script and a search on imdb reveals that Ruby Sparks is Zoe Kazan who is the screenplay writer. Impressive.  The final denoucement is heartbreaking and the final scene bittersweet and hopeful.

Next, Safe House. Saw a clip on the DTS demo disc and the sonics is fantastic and I had to check out the whole movie. The movie is quite predictable, just a series cool action sequences string together with a point A to point B plot. However the movie still works very well mainly becoz of the performances of Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Washington can make any mediocre look like a movie you have to watch. He is always that good. I missed the credits in the beginning but while watching the movie, I had no doubt that it was a Tony Scott movie. Everything from the camera angles, the quick cuts, the colour palette etc look like Tony Scott 101 but it wasn't a Tony Scott film.

Then we might as well go with another Ryan Reynolds film, Buried, a much better film I must say.  I have seen this on DVD but on Blu it's really good. I love the tight script with only one setting - in a coffin. And the ending is audacious and so very un-Hollywood.  This is definitely a director to look out for in the future.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 25, 2013, 23:06
Did Searching For Sugar Man tonight. Speechless. One small notch better than even the sushi documentary. Salute the guy.

Now I have to keep a lookout for Sixto Rodriguez's albums. Audiophile pressings would be great!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: dXter on March 26, 2013, 12:15
The soundtrack for Searching for Sugar Man is good.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 29, 2013, 21:15
We started the afternoon with Na Hong-Jin's The Yellow Sea. This is the director's second major feature. His first is the unconquerable The Chaser.  If you think The Chaser is brutal, wait till you see what he came out with in his sophomore film. It's bleak, grim, visceral and gritty. There is nothing sentimental throughout the 2 hour 16 min runtime. Me and my wife love it tremendously. This film has attitude and it kicks-major-ass. It doesn't glamorize and stylize the violence, and the camera doesn't shies away from all the slashing, garroting and stabbing.  There are also a couple of foot+car chases that are just pulsatingly awesome... and I mean they are Jason Bourne-good. The amazing thing was I couldn't figure what will happen in the next 5 min throughout the film. When it ended we went like OMG and my wife had to go to the toilet. As the credits started to roll, an epilogue appeared. I screamed for her to come back. That 45-second epilogue is an absolute killer. Our jaw dropped open and we went like WTF!  A brilliant film that never made it here. A must-watch for more adventurous cinephiles. Mine is a £7 region B Blu. 

It was really tough following up with such a powerful film. So I suggested a  light action flick, Red since the sequel is coming. 4min in, my wife says she has seen this before... I scratch my head. I pride myself with remembering details like who, what and where of any movie I have seen and she is right - we saw it at JB. 

So in went The Butterfly Effect.  Saw this years ago but it's still very good now. I always have a soft spot for time travel flicks.  This is not the best but still very effective.  Also didn't think it had a B grade feel to it till today. 

The final film for this holiday is Brett Ratner's Red Dragon. IMHO it's Ratner's best film. To me, when Edward Norton acts tortured, his films seldom ever sux.  Ever since Primal Fear, I have enjoyed watching his craft. 


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 30, 2013, 21:59
We did Billy Wilder's quintessential film noir, Double Indemnity.  This is a flawless masterpiece from start to finish and it fricking blew our minds.  I am quite sure that 100 years down the road, this film will still be considered a must-watch. 

From a masterpiece we went on to something controversial, Compliance.  I have read that lots of people walked out of the movie and it's very divisive. The premise is simple enough - a manager of a fast food restaurant receives a call from a police officer. According to him, an employee has stolen money from a customer and she has to be detained in the restaurant till the police comes. The plot is a killer. All the way through the film, we kept going "how stupid can these people get?" This is a stinking no holds barred commentary on the American society. I be lying if I say I didn't enjoy the film but I feel it could have been a lot better. Instead of just making me uncomfortable and angry, it should have build empathy from the viewer to the characters. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on March 31, 2013, 08:52
Many people have called Bullshit on Compliance saying that the actions of all the characters in not realistic.  I remember when this happened and also thought the same thing in my mind.  But it is really quite accurate to the actual events as they were all captured on the CCTV cameras in the office of the McDs.

If you go to Youtube and search 20/20 Compliance (youtube is blocked for me at the moment), you can see the actual story about the case
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 31, 2013, 09:55
My mind is swimming with what human beings are capable of in Compliance. Like you, I was thinking this is absolute rubbish. After the movie I checked out the writer/director's Q&A and that's when I realized the film is accurate, which makes it an even scarier film. How can people never question their ethical and moral principle at the crunch?  The director mentioned the Milgram psychological experiments of the 1960’s which basically detailed that human beings when put in highly stressed situations will always comply 100% with a person of authority and capable of actions that defy logic and morality. Damn scary!!

The other thing I love about the film is the cinematography. Many times I felt so uncomfortable in the tight space and felt I was with Becky in the small room. The camera work made me complicit in the terrible crime and I think that made me so angry at the people and maybe at myself?

Brilliant film - but during and immediately after the movie, I really thought it is one of the worst films I have ever seen. It is only after some time later thatI realize how brilliant it is.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on April 07, 2013, 09:01
Watched François Ozon's fascinating In The House (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=133921.0) recently and my missus became interested in his works. I have a few. 

So yesterday we started out with Swimming Pool. It has been a good ten years or so since I last saw this and it still bears up remarkably well. It will make you realize that since then till now, there are not many films that can surpass the quietly building intrigue of this unique film.  Charlotte Rampling is an incredible actress who dares to push your comfort level.  The ending begs many different interpretations and I feel all is right. You will hardly see endings like this in Hollywood features which still hold steadfast on the rule that the audience must be able to tie-up everything in a nice ribbon, never obfuscating the audience. 

Then we followed that up with 8 Women. It has also been years since I last saw this.  I had not much inkling about it, only remembering it as a murder musical. This time round the bright sheen immediately struck me. It conveys a sense of artificiality especially in the loud set design, the power lighting that brought zero shadows to the set and the clothes all 8 women wore. Still a very unique film and the actresses are the who's who of that year and surprisingly no one tried to outdo each other and it is very obvious all of them are having a lot of fun. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on April 14, 2013, 08:41
Yest we were vegged out and glued to Forbrydelsen 3, the final season. Up to episode 8 and 2 more to go. Could have finished it last night but we joined a couple of bros for a night of hifi music and chat. No regrets on that, which was a good break for the mind to sleep on the torrents of details. Still amazing stuff. Tonight we will bid farewell to Sarah Lund. Can't wait...  :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on April 30, 2013, 00:27
Singapore's inaugural Spelling Bee just ended and tonight it just hit me to share with my wife one of the best sport genre movies ever - Akeelah and the Bee. Well... it's not exactly a sport but it has everything a sport genre film has - an insolent student, a wise teacher, a cool "wax on wax off" training method and a suspenseful final.

We enjoyed it a lot. It may not have been very polished but it delivered tonnes of heart. Seeing it again I realize there's a scene in the final which I have never seen before in any other films. That scene involved the word "xanthosis" and it has such heartfelt power and it showed a part of Akeelah I suspected but have never known. Laurence Fishburne's Dr Larabee may have taught her spelling and inculcated in her a love for words but in the process she has learned a greater lesson, humility.  This scene makes perfect scene because the writer/director builds it up throughout the film and when Akeelah executes that move, only two persons will know what it is about. Brilliant!

The movie may have the narrative structure of a sport genre film but what makes it transcends to another level is the tender portrayal of relationship between Akeelah and her teacher and also her 2 male pals who made the final and Akeelah's family.

This film like the masterpiece 3 Idiots teaches you that the process in learning is more important than the prize at the end. And it also advocates that how you win is more important than winning.

I leave you with some powerful words from the movie. It's from Marianne Williamson but a lot of people think it belongs to Nelson Mandela.  These are words I sometimes get my kids to ponder over.  I cannot say every kid will bother with it but there are always a few in my class who are moved by the words. That is all that matters.

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6XStPnMXrQ8/T0JF-n3m-QI/AAAAAAAAAdE/I6uvIncWr4g/s1600/our-deepest-fear.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Avonez on April 30, 2013, 01:26
Singapore's inaugural Spelling Bee just ended and tonight it just hit me to share with my wife one of the best sport genre movies ever - Akeelah and the Bee. Well... it's not exactly a sport but it has everything a sport genre film has - an insolent student, a wise teacher, a cool "wax on wax off" training method and a suspenseful final.


Recommended  moving  show,  one of the rare instances where my son requested to watch this.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 30, 2013, 10:36
Hand drawn animation still the best.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Gb3_gfsiL3M/TV8MOnLKnRI/AAAAAAAAHS8/5VmhdUiSJlE/s1600/Bambi+Blu-ray.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 01, 2013, 09:40
Feeling ambitious... Today's movie marathon with tea break thrown in. Not sure if we can do all  8)

(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/12B50618-08BD-4AFE-AD04-3F43A99D24E6-8718-00000A819FE0731C_zpsc5725f6e.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 01, 2013, 23:27
That's it. We did 4 out of the 6 above. Started out with a couple of episodes of Friends, S1E3&4. I swear it is funnier in hi-def than on my DVDs ;D.

Then it was a B&W classic Anatomy of a Murder. This is one of my wife's fave genre, courtroom drama. The middle act which is the courtroom fight is just brilliant. James Stewart was just awesome in his role. He has that everyday man look that will make you root for him all the way. Kinda reminds me of Tom Hanks. You just can't see him doing any villain roles because you can never believe he has a single drop of bad blood in him. However the final resolution left much to be desired. We were spoiling for a twist that never came.

The Dirty Picture was next. My thoughts of it are here (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg892457#msg892457)  ;)

It was 8pm when we started on Memories of Matsuko. It was my wife's choice out of the leftover 3. I showed her Lone Wolf and Cub and gave a brief description of it. Then I showed her MoM and said it's by the director of Confessions (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=87368.0) and she immediately said that's the one. We love this... Amazing film. It's a celebration of life film, it's devastating but yet surreal. This is so sad but yet it isn't. Most directors will just do melodrama weepie but right from the start we are bombarded with an assault of colours (predominantly fury red and sunny orange) and a weird Disney sensibility.  To me it has a manga look to it. Every frame could very well have come from a page of a manga. I love the stylistics which works in counterpoint to the emotional devastation on screen. The last few shots is brilliantly shot, ending the film on a note of reconciliation and hope. I took home one beautiful lesson from this film - the value of your life is not measured by what you have received but by what you have given.

After this moving film we could have done the first Lone Wolf and Cub flick which is only 83min but this ultra-violent film will leave such a sour taste in my wife's mouth. Gonna save it for a perfect day :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 03, 2013, 14:34
My missus on MC today. At the clinic with her in the morning, I cheered her up by asking her what movies she wanted to watch later. She 'scolded' me  ;D

Anyway I didn't let her watch anything easy. Started out with a 2012 British movie - Tower Block. It's one of those genre flicks where a bunch of rat-tag characters from Movie101 get bunched up together because someone is killing them one by one. What makes it challenging for them to escape is that they are on the 20th floor of a totally abandoned building. It's very fun to watch who gets to die next and their inventive problem-solving skills.  I be lying if I say I didn't find it suspenseful.

Then it was Pieta (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=111816.msg892784#msg892784)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 05, 2013, 23:22
After being away for 2 months, I finally get to contribute to this thread again.

Tonight a triple bill.

3AM some Thai horror flick which was quite dismal. Was not as smart or as well written as 4Bia which was shown on Australia TV a couple of months ago and why my wife and I wanted another fix. Which sadly did not materialize.

The second was the Life of Pi. In 3D. The visuals are breathtaking. And while the premise and the ending was superb, I did think the pacing was a bit slow.

The finale was an oldie but goodie. A rerun of Star Trek 2009. We are planning to catch Into Darkness when it opens later this week down under. Wife still finds the reboot sacrilegious :) but I think watching it again, she's noticing some new things she overlooked the first time.

FWIW, I don't think they fast tracked the relationship between Kirk and Spock too much. There was still a grudging respect for the other party but perhaps none of the deep friendship that we saw in TOS. The only fondness was between Spock prime and Kirk alternate but that's to be expected.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 06, 2013, 11:01
welcome back  :)

4Bia is really good.  Really enjoy the first one whose story is mostly told from SMSes but the icing on the cake is the camping story by Shutter director Banjong Pisanthanakun.  I laughed and screamed throughout that one.  Damn creative and it even had homages to lots of other horror movies.  Did you know there is a sequel to 4Bia?  It's called Phobia 2 but sadly it's a bit of a mixed bag.  However Banjong's offering (last story of 5 this time) is worth the ticket alone.  Damn funny and as inventive as his previous offering, and he used the same crazy bunch of actors.

On Saturday evening, I did The Class, a Cannes Palme d'or winner.  A film absolutely worthy of its award.  When I read the synopsis on the back cover, I could surmised the story straightaway - a French teacher to 20+ inner city kids, lots of tough love, some cringe-worthy inspirational moments, and by the end of the movie all the kids will know the meaning of life.  Boy was I wrong.  The main actor is a real teacher.  In fact the movie is an adaption of his own autobiography.  That's why he comes across as the real thing.  The film doesn't feel scripted and totally feels like a documentary.  There are no overly patronising sentimental story arcs where the camera follows the kids home to see their deplorable states.  Everything exists in the school, particularly in the classroom.  It doesn't follow the Hollywood way of telling a story but yet I can tell you that we were riveted to what is unfolding on screen.  Where does this film rank in all the great teacher-of-poor-kids stories like To Sir With Love, Dead Poets' Society, Mr Holland's Opus etc?  I would easily put The Class in the top 3.  It doesn't provide you with a neat answer to all the questions but this is one class that you should sign up for. 

On Sunday night we continue with our love-hate relationship with Prison Break season 4.  Actually the love for it deteriorated way back at the end of season 2.  Season 3 onwards was just more hate than love.  Season 4 is all hate... What to do... gotta finish it somehow.  We saw till the point where Beilick died.  WTFFFFFF his character is one scare-to-die slimeball who only thinks of me-me-me all the time and all the rest are like sad for him WTFFFFFFF.  Me and my missus were like laughing our heads off at all their reactions.  Unbelievable!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 06, 2013, 12:39
On Sunday night we continue with our love-hate relationship with Prison Break season 4.  Actually the love for it deteriorated way back at the end of season 2.  Season 3 onwards was just more hate than love.  Season 4 is all hate... What to do... gotta finish it somehow.  We saw till the point where Beilick died.  WTFFFFFF his character is one scare-to-die slimeball who only thinks of me-me-me all the time and all the rest are like sad for him WTFFFFFFF.  Me and my missus were like laughing our heads off at all their reactions.  Unbelievable!

I think I mentioned this in earlier threads: Prison Break was designed (written?) by its creator as a two-season series only.  Hence, if you ignore the very last bits of S2, and consider it to have ended then once the two brothers basically got free and clear, it's very satisfying.

But no, the damned networks insisted on having more, so they had to engineer a situation to, well, create more.  Which is why S3 and 4 are so disjointed, somebody is just making it up on the fly.  The most ridiculous perhaps being how somebody who was almost certainly dead, actually returns.  And not to add more 'misery', don't forget there's an epilogue TV movie as well. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 06, 2013, 12:55
Yup... You have mentioned it.  I bought the the boxset for cheap and it came with the epilogue.  S1-2 is worth the price alone and I was sure my wife would love it.  But that felt like a loooooonnnngggg time ago.  We are just completing it for completing it now
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 06, 2013, 22:38
Followed up our movie night triple bill with Les Miserable.

And yes, it was quite miserable for me. It was very very painful trying to hear the off pitch singing. I swear it's worse than Phantom of the Opera. I kept taking breaks midway and tried to look for my original cast soundtrack :)

To be fair, Valjean's part is difficult. Many times in the live musicals, I have heard the actor's voice breaking in some of the later performances especially during Bring Him Home so I guess this was going to stretch Wolverine's vocal chords a fair bit.

Russell Crowe also sounded quite tone deaf though I guess getting divorced from one's missus midway might dumb down anyone's performance.

I thought that if they were going to cast an unknown for Marius, they could have at least chosen someone who could sing better.

At the end of the day, it was the calefare guys who could really hold up their end. The two kids: Gavroche and young Cossette were really quite good.

The actress portraying Eponine was no Lea Salonga and while she struggled with some parts, her rendition of A Little Fall of Rain was quite moving. Ditto with Anne Hathaway's Fontine. I didn't think her death song was particularly memorable but she did hit the right notes for the finale.

The big surprise for me was Amanda who seemed to hit every note perfectly. I don't remember her much from Mamma Mia but I guess she did OK there as well (I was more scarred and probably distracted by James Bond's offkey Abba) :)

But enough about the singing. How was this as a movie?

And it was here that I thought it fell a bit flat as well.

With Phantom of the Opera, the transition from stage to the big screen afforded the directors to really step up the visuals. The scale of the sets was just amazing and it added IMHO a lot more to the dramatic impact.

Not so much in Les Miserable.

The barricades used in the musical was crude and rudimentary but seemed far more substantial than the one in the movie.

When Marius sings Empty Chairs and Empty Tables, the musical stage was transformed into his old watering hole, appearing as it were, from his memory. The effect was haunting and the sadness and melancholy just hit you there.

In the movie, it looked like he was singing in his bedroom. Zilch impact.

Similarly, in the finale of the musical, Valjean exits and is joined by the "ghosts" of the students of the revolution, and they appear semi ghostly, half cloaked by the darkness.

In the movie, the bright sunny ending IMHO didn't quite convey that same sense of loss.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on May 06, 2013, 23:17
Followed up our movie night triple bill with Les Miserable.
The actress portraying Eponine was no Lea Salonga and while she struggled with some parts, her rendition of A Little Fall of Rain was quite moving. Ditto with Anne Hathaway's Fontine. I didn't think her death song was particularly memorable but she did hit the right notes for the finale.


Find the 25th anniversary Blu-ray, the girl who singa Eponine's part also sings it on that disk.  Lea Salonga sings Fontine's role and Alfie Boe is the best Jean Valjean from all the performances IMO...

After watching the movie in the theatre, we came back and watched the 25th Concert Blu-ray to cleanse our systems...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 07, 2013, 11:30
Maybe watching it on the small screen on a plane helps?  I personally thought the Les Miz movie was fairly good.  Then again, aside from watching the musical itself live about 20 years ago, I haven't really been keeping up with it. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 07, 2013, 23:35
I had a reunion DVD concert years ago where they even had the more famous singers from different language productions singing parts of the same songs. I think that was one of the better ones. I am sure I had it on LD as well.

That had Lea Salonga singing Eponine.

Anyway back to movie night.

We started Arnie's The Last Stand last night but the explosions were a bit too loud for that time of the night so we resumed watching it earlier this evening. I had just come back from an afternoon viewing of Iron Man 3. Still good but I feel it didn't bear as much fun in a repeat viewing as I did with Star Trek 2009.

It was a simple plot and Arnie continues to make fun of his age tho he still looks good for an old geezer :)

You can the hand to hand fight scenes are a bit slower these days but you gotta give him props for still getting into scenes like this.

This movie is violent and a part of me wonders if the NRA had a hand in funding this film, because (possible spoilers here): there is a moment where the gun crazy resident of the town becomes the town hero because it is the only way the good guys can arm themselves well enough for a stand off with the baddies. I mean, every Arnie show has tonnes of guns, but it was this bit that I kinda felt a bit uncomfortable with, because it seemed like there was a political agenda involved.

This was followed by the Korean flick "The Troubleshooter". In some respects, it reminds me of HK flicks with convoluted conspiracy theories which sometimes don't quite make a lot of sense but at least the Korean plot tries to make sense of it all at the end. The protagonist is quite average looking and there are none of the Kpop candy sweet babes in this show but I did enjoy waiting for the conspiracy to unfold.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on May 08, 2013, 09:13
I had a reunion DVD concert years ago where they even had the more famous singers from different language productions singing parts of the same songs. I think that was one of the better ones. I am sure I had it on LD as well.

That had Lea Salonga singing Eponine.


That is the 10 Anniversary which is not bad but you should seek out the 25th if you enjoy the music at all.  The orchestration and choir is quite huge and performed to a sold out crowd at the O2 in London

Anyway back to movie night.

We started Arnie's The Last Stand last night but the explosions were a bit too loud for that time of the night so we resumed watching it earlier this evening. I had just come back from an afternoon viewing of Iron Man 3. Still good but I feel it didn't bear as much fun in a repeat viewing as I did with Star Trek 2009.


Didn't hear of this but just looked it up, it seems Korean directors are starting to move more US/English movies these days with this and the recent Stocker from the Old Boy director.

I quite liked his A Tale of Two Sisters and  The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  A Bittersweet Life gets a lot of praise but not seen it yet.  Does anything in this feel like it was done from a Korean director or just very inline with a US action film?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 08, 2013, 23:46
That is the 10 Anniversary which is not bad but you should seek out the 25th if you enjoy the music at all.  The orchestration and choir is quite huge and performed to a sold out crowd at the O2 in London

Looks like I may get that. I thought the singing in the LD/DVD was good but it was more of a concert than a musical per se.


Didn't hear of this but just looked it up, it seems Korean directors are starting to move more US/English movies these days with this and the recent Stocker from the Old Boy director.

I quite liked his A Tale of Two Sisters and  The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  A Bittersweet Life gets a lot of praise but not seen it yet.  Does anything in this feel like it was done from a Korean director or just very inline with a US action film?

I haven't watched his Korean shows but to be honest, I wouldn't have thought the directors were Korean on the Last stand if I hadnt googled it.


Anyway, on to tonight's double bill.

First it was The Numbers Station with John Cussack. Cussack was good but the overall plot was quite simple and played out linearly.

The second was Jack Reacher which I quite enjoyed. Cruise is in his element: the affable good guy. The plot had its share of twists and turns but suffers from premature ejaculation :P the big bad was revealed way too early and kinda spoils the overall flow of the story, I thought. The fight scenes were decent but surprisingly realistic and quiet. No sub thumping kicks or punches. Reacher uses very simple but effective techniques to cripple his opponents quickly. It reminds me that was attributed to Bruce Lee: what looks good on camera is usually not effective in a real fight and what is effective is usually not great on camera.

The sub and surround channels did get a fair bit of workout however from the other bits. The sniper shots were brilliantly placed and the rumble of the old skool V8s were gorgeous to behold.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 09, 2013, 16:52
Did a triple bill of Blade flicks. I stand by what I mentioned in another thread - Part 2 is the best. It had Guillermo Del Toro at its helm and this guy knows how to tell a story with monsters. I still believe he could have brought an interesting approach to The Hobbits. Part 2 has quite a few inventive action sequences and it has Donnie Yen, albeit he didn't utter a single word and died a lousy death. Part 2's only conspicuous misstep was to bring back Whistler (who died in Part 1) and his character feels out of place as a red herring narrative device.

Part 1 is good too - Blade as a new type of action hero and the world of vampires is cool. Didn't see the need for a heroine character at all. I thought it may be a cooler movie with just Blade and Whistler.

Part 3 is just a typical Hollywood excess exercise. How to up the ante after part 2?  More vampires, more blood and more good guys and gal. It was actually quite decent entertainment but Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King is just plain ridiculous. His lines are stupid and made the whole movie a wise-ass joke fest. Hated his character. The other problem is that Blade takes a backseat and let Hannibal King and chabo Whistler take over. Big mistake. And the villain wasn't scary at all... heck he is Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 10, 2013, 01:06
Another triple bill tonight.

First one was my choice: Wreck It Ralph.

Hilarious. Enjoyed it loads. I recognized a few of the voices (Lynch from Glee and the country bumpkin from 30 Rock) but that didn't spoil the show for me.

The animation was top notch and I loved the homage to all the video games I grew up with.

The second movie was Cold War (the HK flick from last year). Like WEB, I was wrapped from the beginning. From the smash of the BMW 3 series which looked bloody epic and a series of escalating moves that just doesn't give you time to relax. I did think 2/3rds into the show, the pace lost a little steam but that gave viewers enough time to try to piece together the mystery.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It felt a bit forced, as if to create a premise for Cold War 2.

The finale was an oldie: Confessions of Pain. The wife swears we watched it ages ago in Singapore but I have no recollection. Great acting from Tony Leung (the other one) and Takeshi. I won't give any plot elements away but suffice to say, this is one of the better efforts from HK.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on May 10, 2013, 10:19
Any movie with Shu Qi should be rememberable.  You must not have watched it
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 10, 2013, 11:29
I saw Jack Reacher and Wreck It Ralph on the plane too.  Agree, both are quite enjoyable.

It's interesting that fans of the Reacher books at first baulked at Cruise, since the Reacher character is a whopping 6'5" and Cruise is barely 5'7".  But even the author endorsed Cruise as 'getting' the character, and while I haven't read the books before, I can see how Cruise did a good job. 

I didn't play many video games as a jud, but I did get some of the in-jokes in Wreck It Ralph as well -- the funniest being the "Konami cheat", which I actually did know.  I'm sure I missed plenty of others, though. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 10, 2013, 12:56
I am currently reading Lee Child's The Affair, a Jack Reacher book. A really awesome read, I must say. I will probably say more in the book thread when I am done.

The thing is that as I devour the novel, I just couldn't see Tom Cruise in the role and it's not just a height thing. The image of Reacher in my mind's eye is someone huge, imposing and has a no nonsense face. In the book I had a shock when Reacher shot an a55hole point-blank with no provocation.  Cruise doesn't do that for me. I am thinking one of those WWF wrestling dudes.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on May 10, 2013, 13:48
I am currently reading Lee Child's The Affair, a Jack Reacher book. A really awesome read, I must say. I will probably say more in the book thread when I am done.

The thing is that as I devour the novel, I just couldn't see Tom Cruise in the role and it's not just a height thing. The image of Reacher in my mind's eye is someone huge, imposing and has a no nonsense face. In the book I had a shock when Reacher shot an a55hole point-blank with no provocation.  Cruise doesn't do that for me. I am thinking one of those WWF wrestling dudes.

Hard to see Cruise as a badass. After all how many movies has played that kind of role :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 10, 2013, 14:20
Hard to see Cruise as a badass. After all how many movies has played that kind of role :)

Only one I can think of off hand is Michael Mann's Collateral. I thought he was pretty cool in that
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 10, 2013, 15:48
Heh collateral.

I always remember the review of Stealth

http://www.backofthehead.com/2005/07/stealth.html?m=1

Lucas has the hots for Biel and shows it by banging floozies not half as hot as Biel and telling her about it instead of just asking Biel out. Foxx is in the movie, but not really. In every scene Foxx is in he’s practically rehearsing for Ray and Collateral instead of paying attention to how he’s supposed to act in Stealth. There are moments he’s sitting in his stealth fighter and he’s wondering why his taxi has wings and why Tom Cruise with a blond wig isn’t sitting in the back seat. Then he starts playing piano on the dashboard.

The rest of the review is pretty funny too.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: aegis0129 on May 10, 2013, 16:22
Hard to see Cruise as a badass. After all how many movies has played that kind of role :)

Tropic thunder.  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 10, 2013, 17:40
4 Missions Impossible?  Top Gun?  Minority Report?  Even to some extent Born On the Fourth of July, although he was in a wheelchair.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on May 10, 2013, 17:44
Though not a badass, certainly an ass, Magnolia is always my best Tom Cruise performance

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on May 10, 2013, 22:14
....sounds like we have different ideas about what constitutues a badass... ::)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 10, 2013, 22:23
My fav TC movie is The Last Samurai.... :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 11, 2013, 22:09
Did a double bill today.

We did Jab Tak Hai Jaan (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg894574#msg894574). Marvelous film.

It was really tough following that up.  My wife suggested a comedy.  So we just finished one, an awful one - This is 40. It's the new Judd Apatow. Can't be that bad right?  To be fair it wasn't sucky bad, it's just bad. Still I must say Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann did a commendable job with what they were given but the problem is that there doesn't seem to have a strong narrative spine. The whole film feels like episodes of middle-age life and couplehood without a heart. It was funny in the beginning then after 30 min my brain shutdown and laughed giggled at only sporadic spots. And to make it even crueler, it's more than 2 hours long.  For an unfunny comedy this is murder.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 11, 2013, 23:50
Had some friends over and caught Silver Lining Playbook.

I thought it was quite an enjoyable chick flick. It has its share of predicable moments but watching it, I can't help but wonder how close we all are to being labelled insane. It seems like a very thin line. Every one in the show, even the so called sane ones were unhinged on some levels :)

After the guests left, we went back to our Korean binge. Tonight, HELPLESS. Wife said it was highly rated and we had no idea what it was about. As with most Korean shows, there's a bit of a twist to the story. Possible spoilers here: what started off as a missing girlfriend turns into a pretty messy complex puzzle. Like with Jack Reacher, I think the twist might have been revealed a bit too early and that kinda spoiled the pace a little. But all in all, one of the better Korean flicks around.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on May 12, 2013, 08:57
This is 40 is more depressing than funny. First time Leslie Mann has had her puppies out tho :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 12, 2013, 12:14
This is 40 is more depressing than funny. First time Leslie Mann has had her puppies out tho :)

I thought she did in the body switch movie with Ryan Reynolds tho that might have been CGI
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 12, 2013, 12:44
Surprised that the OST of Silver Linings Playbook lacks a few key songs, including Misty.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 12, 2013, 13:09
The SLP soundtrack has songs by Alt-J and Alabama Shakes that are not available in their own albums
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on May 12, 2013, 14:33
Surprised that the OST of Silver Linings Playbook lacks a few key songs, including Misty.



Good movie and soundtrack. J Lawrence was v good in it- better acting than Hunger Games (tho hard to act well in that film :) ).

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 12, 2013, 23:19
Side Effects is a pretty interesting drama from Soderberg and is helmed by big names: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta Jones in principal roles. Hard to discuss the movie without giving anything away so I'll just give it props for a brilliant plot and great acting, especially from Mara. Can't imagine anyone else in that role.

This was followed by The Guillotines a HK wuxia flick about the death squads (called the Guillotines) used by the Qing emperors to maintain control over rebels. The opening scene is a great test of sound systems. I kept having flashbacks of Iron Man when I saw how complex those special weapons deployed by members of the squad were. The story was OK. I think in most stories, it helps if you identify the protagonist is but this one wasn't particularly clear to me. So there was a fair bit of meandering before it all became clear. I guess the characters themselves weren't secondary to the message/moral.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 13, 2013, 20:37
Single feature tonight.

Hitchcock.

Quite a brilliant show even if it paints a far more sympathetic character than what he really was in real life. Wife says it's really a love story about Hitchcock and his wife with the making of Psycho as a backdrop.

It's been years since I watched Psycho. Perhaps it bears a rewatching. Though I thought it was funny when the censors were worried about showing not just a toilet (which apparently hadn't been done before in American cinema up till that point) but also flushing!!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 14, 2013, 16:48
Ah, the Hayes Code.  Even married couples had separate beds. 

I wonder what those old-timers would think of all the T&A on display nowadays, even on cable TV, let alone in cinemas.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 14, 2013, 19:22
Saw Jack Reacher yesterday. The second viewing didn't change my views the first time I saw it at the cinema. And I thought it has actually became worst than the first viewing. 

I am about 75% through Lee Child's The Affair, a Jack Reacher novel and it's quite a tour-de-force in prose.  The entire book is written in the first person and it doesn't follow traditional narratives in that there's no character arc. Reacher doesn't learn/change/grow by the end of the book. The one thing that I love about the book is that everything, I mean everything happens in Reacher's head. We enter his mind, we then exist in his mind space and we see everything through his point of view. 

It is so refreshing to read something like that. As I plough through the book I was thinking wouldn't it be cool to replicate the feeling on screen. No... Nada... Christopher Quarrie's script just couldn't transfer the magic on screen. There are a few scenes where he did try to do what Lee Child does like how Reacher goes to the crime scene and deconstruct the crime but there were just not enough of these procedural stuff. 

DH was absolutely spot-on about it being a case of premature ejaculation. 45min in we already know who is the bad guy... No need to pay attention anymore. 

Still I enjoy the story and I would like to see the character in action again. But not like that. 

Incidentally, Lee Child did a cameo in it. He is the police officer who hands Reacher his toothbrush at the station after he was bailed out for whacking up the gang. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 16, 2013, 18:57
 Totally free today so in the morning I finished a novel and a graphic novel. Then I caught 2.5 movies.

Started out with The Sessions. It still bears up well. The second time I noticed all the nuanced and layered performances. This time I noticed how quiet the sex scenes are. Again, seeing the scene where Moon Bloodgood catches Helen Hunt in her car with her last paycheck still makes my heart swell. Great actress. The Blu-ray has a deleted scene where Hunt was picking up her son after the above-mentioned scene which is quite powerful. I can totally see why the director deleted it even though it's a great scene.

Then Wong Jing's The Last Tycoon. The only stuff I can remember is all the excessive slow-mo shots and all the unnecessary big explosions. Maybe Wong Jing thinks these will cover up all the flaws in the film. Too much fake sentimentality.

Then I started on Rock of Ages. An amazing cast but the 2 principals had not much chemistry and I didn't appreciate the girl's singing. Tom Cruise is a hoot though - totally narcissistically seductive. The songs are so-so for me even though on paper I should love them because they belong to my time.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 17, 2013, 18:28
Then I started on Rock of Ages. An amazing cast but the 2 principals had not much chemistry and I didn't appreciate the girl's singing. Tom Cruise is a hoot though - totally narcissistically seductive. The songs are so-so for me even though on paper I should love them because they belong to my time.

I thought Cruise did a heckuva job with Pour Some Sugar On Me.  On the BD extras, Def Leppard were interviewed and apparently the day Cruise was shooting that sequence, they were in town on tour, so they attended the shoot, and were well impressed. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 18, 2013, 23:06
Another double bill tonight. First up: Die Hard 5. I thought it would have been fun seeing John McClane (Sr) kicking ass and taking names again, and perhaps double the fun with the son in toe.

But the father-son duo had zilch chemistry together. It was quite unlike the reunion with Lucy McClane.

The action quotient got taken up a few notches since the last Die Hard outing with Justin Long. But sadly the Die Hard movie feels very un Die Hard. It's hard to even hold a candle next to Olympus Has Fallen which has taken the genre back to its roots.

And what's with the "I'm supposed to be on holiday". It gets old pretty quickly. Lacks any of the humor of his old punch lines.

For the second feature: Asian cinema comes a-calling with another Korean feature:
(http://www.hancinema.net/photos/fullsizephoto256637.jpg)

The premise behind it is awesome. I think it's not going to be easy to discuss this movie without any spoilers, so be forewarned.

I love how the idea that you could put on a suit and tie and go to work like millions of corporate salarymen but the office is just a front for a professional hitman service. The final postal shootout in the office was just to die for :) I think Tarantino might have been proud.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 18, 2013, 23:50
Finished the final season of Prison Break. Absolute 22x45min of rubbish and we still have the Final Break to go. Like a Brazilian wax, we will just rip the thing off in one painful fast motion one of these nights. 

Then we watched an English classic, Howard's End that I have not seen before. Brilliant film about a house and all the lives that have passed through it. It's also a film about values in people. Emma Thompson was just brilliant in it. She embodies an English spunkiness within limits, soft, tender-hearted but yet had steel under her. This is also the best film I have seen Helena Bon Carter in. A vividly written layered script too. I think we miss Downton Abbey even more now. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 19, 2013, 20:52
Just finished The Fly (1986) and still liking it after 27 years.  Geena Davies was much younger than and it great to see at her prime.
The 1080P rip is not truely 1080P, looks more like 720P and PQ slightly better than D9 quality but should be good on a small screen.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 19, 2013, 22:00
I did Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters today in 720p. Quite an entertaining outing, esp with the good looking Gretel, evil witch and white witch ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 19, 2013, 23:13
For me, it was Hansel and Gretel followed by 2/3rds of Lincoln.

Hansel and Gretel is from the recent reimagining of old skool fairy tales much like Snow White (the vampire girl one). Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was a similar take though with a real life character rather than fairy tale.

It's pretty much brainless action but I am enamoured by Gemma. She's not the usual type of pretty but her accent and her demeanour just draws you in. :P Her voice really reminds me of Rachel Weisz.

Lincoln was a tough nut to crack. It kinda assumes you know most of the characters involved and how the US political system works. I guess following Daily Show helped a bit :P I don't know how much of it is true but if it is... man, it's been a few hundred years and the political game remains the same. I still haven't read up on the period yet since I have yet to watch the last 30-45 minutes.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 19, 2013, 23:44
I liked her the most, perhaps because of the semi-nude scene which portrayed her lovely posterior?  ;D

(http://themovieblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HANSEL-AND-GRETEL-WITCH-HUNTERS-Image-04.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 20, 2013, 22:10
Finished the rest of Rock of Ages. It's just not really good. Can't quite put a finger on why.  Maybe it's the big cast vying with each other for the limelight. Maybe it's the needlessness of some characters like Bryan Cranston who does what in the story... I don't know.  Maybe it's the contrived story, the story problem of Drew thinking that Sherrie got it on with Stacee Jaxx... that may work in the 80s but not in present times and to make it worse the principals only address the issue 1 hour into the film. The 80s rock songs work alright but not brilliantly I feel because everyone took them too seriously. I do enjoy Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin doing REO Speedwagon's Can't Stop This Feeling.  I feel that worked marvelously because the lyrics work in counterpoint to what is on screen and it was totally irrelevant. Mostly, it work because it was F.U.N., not so the rest of them except for all the Tom Cruise segments. He was phenomenal and totally lost in his role. Without Cruise the movie would have been worst. 

Followed that up with The Deep Blue Sea... not the shark one.  Rachel Weisz won a Best Actress award in this one and she is quite magnificent in it. The film begins with her committing suicide by gas but she was rescued. The rest of the story more or less happens in the next 24 hours with a lot of flashbacks thrown in.  This is an absolute downer. There is not much 'happy' in this and whatever 'happy' there is is fleeting. Tom Hiddleston (Loki) plays her lover and he is so stupid. If I have Rachel Weisz in my life, I will revolve my life and activities around her (emphasis on if) :)

Then the first half of  Mohabbatein (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg896399;topicseen#new). Melodrama at its best. 

Right now, with my wife and we are doing Tony Scott's Unstoppable. One of those of $15 Blu-ray I picked up recently at MJ.  The bass is steam man... the sustained pounding bass is awesome. As I am watching this I am thinking how fast can a locomotive train go anyway. The quick editing can certainly add another 100km/h to the actual speed of the train. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 21, 2013, 11:53
Finished the rest of Rock of Ages. It's just not really good. Can't quite put a finger on why. 

Simples: Julianne Hough and Diego whatsisname simply can't carry the movie.  When your two leads are so uninteresting, it's hard to get invested in the main plot. 
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 22, 2013, 23:06
Finally caught the ending of Lincoln last night. Have to say even for something of a foregone conclusion, it was quite nail biting.

Watching Lincoln, one can only be awed by how much he achieved even in the face of such odds. It's a shame Obama hasn't been able to achieve much. If anything the recent scandals have almost squandered whatever good will he may have had in the bank. The Republicans had a field day. It's bad when even the most crazy nut jobs can claim their conspiracy theories are right.

For tonite, I picked something my wife hated. The Man With The Iron Fists. I can see why. She sees it as a parody of old HK kungfu movies and she's not wrong. But I see it more as how Westerners view the imported kungfu flicks of the 70s and maybe 60s. The badly dubbed translations are pretty much what RZA had recreated. And to be fair, I can see references/homage to many of the old HK flicks.

I did like that they didn't try to force the non native speakers to speak in Mandarin but there were still some forced scenes.

The fight choreography was decent as you'd expect from Corey Yuen but sadly RZA couldn't really deliver. He's just not as athletic as the Chinese actors  I did like the homage to the ending though. When the hero remembers some secret he was told that allows him to deliver a deadly blow.

Ps Jamie Chung is hawt!!! Tho wife thot the Chinese actress Zhu Zhu was hotter.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 24, 2013, 18:50
Today's planned marathon
(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/51D38EAD-1D16-4E27-95A0-0954DECC30FD-32358-000025D7A0AEF72D_zps046be964.jpg)

Started with Prison Break - Final Break. I am surprised to say this is a very decent closure and it sounds crazy but we were quite moved by the ending. If it isn't for that ridiculous season 4, I am sure this series can earn cult status. On a side note, we recently saw Chan-wook Park's Stoker. The first-time outstanding script was penned by Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller).

Followed that up with Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom. This is his sophomore film and it was his time travel tour-de-force Loopers that made me seek out this film. It's whimsical in tone and reminds me of Coen brothers' films. It also pays homage to the 50s and 60s with its choice of shots. I love the movie... nobody makes movies like this anymore but the resolution changed the tone from whimsical to dark.  Thankfully the final shot changed it back.  Rachel Weisz plays an epileptic photographer... you will have to watch this to find out what that is :). 

The feel of that film decided the next film - Casablanca, probably the film of the century.  I have seen this many times but my wife hasn't. I thought she be bored but she is actually enjoying it.  What's there to say?  Nothing that has not already been said and written.  I think everything beautiful about films is all here in Casablanca. When this is over I can show her my fave Woody Allen film - Play it Again, Sam

Onward we go... 
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 24, 2013, 19:08
Casablanca is all the more impressive when you consider there was hardly any special effects to speak of. It's just the script and some incredibly talented actors who brought the magic to life.

Strictly speaking, Play it again, Sam wasn't uttered in the movie. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 24, 2013, 20:02
Just finished watching Snitch and Erased on 720P rip.  PQ is very good and overall quite entertaining.  These action and thriller movies have the pacing to keep you on the edge of the seat throughout.  Both 3.5 out of 5 from me on a MBP.  No comments on the sound department :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on May 24, 2013, 23:01
Followed that up with Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom. This is his sophomore film and it was his time travel tour-de-force Loopers that made me seek out this film. It's whimsical in tone and reminds me of Coen brothers' films. It also pays homage to the 50s and 60s with its choice of shots. I love the movie... nobody makes movies like this anymore but the resolution changed the tone from whimsical to dark.  Thankfully the final shot changed it back.  Rachel Weisz plays an epileptic photographer... you will have to watch this to find out what that is :).


Seek out his first film, Brick.  It a modern day film noir taking place at a high school.  So the students speak in a very stylized way and the discussion between a student and a Principal would be would you would expect from Jack Nicholson and a Detective in Chinatown.

I've heard Rian Johnson speak quite often as he will occasionally sit just to discuss films on various film podcasts and he is always enjoyable to hear.  I hope he continues to just write and direct his own projects and stays away from anything a studio wants him to do.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 25, 2013, 00:25
@jdc115 - I have seen Brick. An amazing debut by Rian Johnson. So far all 3 of his films are very original.

We did Chakde! India (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg897338#msg897338). Very enjoyable sport movie.

Only managed to do half of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. Hmmm... I have forgotten that just like Up, an old person is the protagonist. But unlike the masterful Pixar film I have always found this Miyazaki outing not comparable with his other classics like My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. The main problems for me are 2 - the buildings and characters look French and listening to them sprout Japanese feels a little off. The other reason is that young Sophie turned old crone feels more like a spectator IMHO. But the undeniable charm and inventiveness still shine through. I found myself easily awed by all the wondrous world. Couldn't finish it though... Will do it tomorrow and maybe do that Woody Allen movie.

I just asked my missus what was the film she love the most from today's selection and she declared its Casablanca. She has good taste in films  :-*
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 25, 2013, 20:36
Finished Howl's Moving Castle. It's just not one of Miyazaki's finest hour... Lots of spectacle but ultimately a hollow experience.

Then we did Play it Again, Sam. This is not one of Woody Allen's best films but it's definitely my fave. Lost count of the number of times I have seen this. I think the reason I love this is becoz in some weird way I am Allen's neurotic character who is a loser with girls. My wife enjoys it too, especially how the film is bookended by an important scene from Casablanca.

The weather is really warm and humid. Really wish my HT is in an air-con room. Will definitely look into that when my new place comes around.

Later, I am thinking of watching Star Trek - the Wrath of Khan which I have never seen before. This is the only Star Trek film on the Empire 500 so some time ago I picked up an ex-rental.

Update - I am not a Trekkie but found quite a lot to enjoy from the movie... the languid pace not being one of them. It's a pretty solidly written script offering some nice character arcs for Kirk and Spock. I love the space battles in that it's not just shoot this shoot that. It had a lot of guile and quite a battle of wits, experience versus intelligence.  Khan is deliciously played by Ricardo Montalban. There is some over the top lines and acting but he managed to rein in his performance and make it very believable. In fact I even feel he stole the scenes from the regulars. The best part of it was to see the parallel with the radiation chamber scene from Into the Darkness. Even some of the lines were quite the same.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on May 27, 2013, 11:16
Casablanca is all the more impressive when you consider there was hardly any special effects to speak of. It's just the script and some incredibly talented actors who brought the magic to life.

Strictly speaking, Play it again, Sam wasn't uttered in the movie. :)

Famous movie line misquote, just as "beam me up, Scotty" has never been uttered in any Star Trek movie or TV show.  In a nod to the misquote (I guess?), Kirk did finally say "Scotty, beam me up" in (IIRC) Star Trek V.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 28, 2013, 22:26
Haven't had much time to catch up on movies so most nights we do half a movie instead.

So over the last couple of days, we have caught:

Beautiful Creatures
chick flick ala Twillight but with slightly better acting

Decent cast of supporting actors with Jeremy Irons, Emma Thomson et al though the two main leads are relative unknowns. Decent twist at the end which I didn't see coming :) though there was a hint of it

Cloud Atlas
I loved the concept but I have to say, the futurespeak and slavespeak were very very difficult to understand. While I understand the premise that the stories are connected, I am not sure I understood the purpose of the transmission made during the NewSeoul timeline. I gather it was broadcast to offworlders or something, but are they the same people that Halle Berry tried to contact in the furthest timeline in the future?

Journey to the West
After Cloud Atlas we wanted something easily digestible so that fell to Journey. Pretty dismal plot but OK as a diversion, I guess. If TOS afficianados are up in arms over a scene of Spock weeping, I can't imagine how Buddhists will feel about the portrayal of the Buddhist monk :)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 29, 2013, 21:33
Just finished Sly's Bullet to the Head.  The PQ on this BR 720P rip is good.  As usual, with Sly movies, leave your brains at the door and you will be fully entertained.  Same old swagger and slow talking, he can still fight and this action movie will keep you at your seat throughout the show. :D  A 3.5 for me. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 29, 2013, 22:24
Django Unchained tonight.

It's Quentin's homage to the old spaghetti westerns and it's bloody and simple good fun.

Love the end titles and opening titles. Damn retro
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 30, 2013, 11:34
Revisited Sly's Cliffhanger of year 1993 :D  Back then, he was still young and the 1080P rip was good considering this is a 20 years old movie.  Simple and good story line, pacing is good and tension filled, and action scenes well choreographed.  Another 3.5 for me. :D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 30, 2013, 13:47
I was preparing my lessons for tomorrow and for a P5 class I was to let them write an essay about a motorcycle accident. Boring... Then I started thinking what clip I can show the kids to start them visualizing a motorcycle accident. I have to be very careful not to show something too graphic. Last year I actually received a complaint for showing a Twilight Zone episode to illustrate suspense and a poor kid had nightmares. WTF was that... must be too much cartoons. Then just like that, Yasmin Ahmad's Sepet blasted into my consciousness.  Sadly I only have a VCD of this moving film. I watched the last 8min to check if it still work and whether it's suitable. The last 8min is brilliant - I didn't notice before that the scene with Orchid and her parents in the car was done in one incredible take with traffic ambient noises. That scene by today's filmmaking standards may look too simple but I am very sure so many films pale in comparison with its sheer poignancy and power. Yasmin Ahmad totally let editing take a backseat and let the power flow through their acting. The last shot is ambiguous but doesn't lack emotional power. It left me stunned. I think I will use this clip to demonstrate to kids that sometimes the bang is not the most important part of the story, it is the characters that make your story powerful. Yasmin Ahmad literally demonstrated it here.

My wife has not seen this yet. Gonna solve that problem soon. Sepet also has hands down one of the best cute meets ever depicted on film IMO.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 01, 2013, 00:44
Parker tonight.

zilch chemistry between the two leads. maybe that's why they had to make jason statham's character attached. JLo looks like an auntie and her butt jokes got old v quickly. Did like the "it's the principle" bit.

fwiw, for a guy who plans so much, he could have called his old partner and his gf to get out of town BEFORE he went to piss off a mob boss. you'd think
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 01, 2013, 23:01
Been catching episodes of TOS. I think we stopped after Miri/Dagger the first time we tried.

Progress has been slow.

We watched the Corbomite Maneuver last night and then the 2 parter Menagerie tonight.

Corbomite was full of the familiar cheesy music and sfx. Kirk's overt tiko look kills the tension every time :) we could ony get through one episode. I mean, really, a Windows screen saver didn't look particularly menacing :)

Watching Menagerie which reused footage from the unaired pilot was actually quite brilliant. In many respects, I thought Pike was a far less cheesy actor than Kirk and I thought having a woman as No 1 was pretty damn inspired. There was a continuity break I thot. On the Starbase, all the Starfleet personnel had a flowery insignia badge instead of the usual inverted U/V shape but the Commodore's secretary for some reason sported the inverted U/V badge.

ps someone mentioned TOS didn't use transporter much (vs the reboot) but these 3 episodes had no shortage of transporter scenes I thot. I recall it was cheaper to shoot transporter scenes than to create a shuttle taking off so I am not sure what the aversion is.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 02, 2013, 01:37
Saw Kahaani again. My third time, my wife's second and for 8 other friends who had long given up on Hindi movies, their very first time.

I must say it's one of the best times I have had sharing an awesome film with so many pals.  Even though it's my third time this year seeing this film, I saw nuances that I have missed prior. It's testament to an outstanding film that bears up even seeing it for a third time. Tonight I caught a scene where Rana tells Vidya that she will make a good mother and seeing a quick scene of Vidya averting her soulful gaze away. Her pain is evident. Tonight I noticed that her slip while being chased by Shridhar was intentional. Tonight I realized that a possible way into the film is the concept of identity - What is it?  What's in a person's name?  Vidya goes through lots of annoyance to spell her name with a 'V' but everybody pronounces it with a 'B'.  She asks Rana why he is also named Satyoki. He says in Kolkata everybody has two names.  She also says he is also Arjuna’s charioteer... I need to google that.

Tonight I saw beyond the taut and intricate plot and realized there are no redundant scenes. Every scene serves a purpose.  Tonight I saw Rana's deep affection for Vidya. I shuddered to use the bigger word 'love' because it is not in Rana's mantra to do that to Vidya. If he helps her find Arnab, she will be gone. If he can't find Arnab, she will be heartbroken. It's a doomed love any which way. But did Vidya used Rana? Teased him to do her bidding?  The jury is still out for me on that but I trust Rana's intentions are sincere. It is their chemistry and undercurrent that gives the investigative story it's potency.

The climax setting at the Puja celebrations is absolutely emphatic because the Goddess Durga is a dragon-slayer who embodies maternal instincts.  During this last climatic scene, the HT really comes alive as though it's the scene where heaven and earth collides... And it did.  Nothing, absolutely nothing in the first 1hr 45min can foretell what happens in the end but yet all the clues are there. The director has deftly made us focus on the other stuff... like magic.  The sleight of hand is perfect. 

Tonight I realized that Amitabh Bachchan voiced the final narration and sang the theme song over the running credits. After being mesmerized by his acting and the rich timbre of his voice in Mohabbatein, I would recognize his voice anytime.

All through the movie I thought Vidya Balan is an actress I have never seen before. It turns out that I have seen her in Ishqiya and Paa, but I didn't 'see' her in these films at all. She is so good in this that I can't see any other actress in it.

It was very enjoyable seeing all my friends' shocked reactions at the big reveal and falling action. So far all I have shared the film with only have nice words to say about it... All except the assassin, Bob. But I do find him refreshing. For once he is not those type of assassins that are send to kill Jason Bourne. He is a bumbling idiot that you would not look at one moment longer if you see him on the street and yet he is a cold hard killer. He, doing the sign of the cross after he deftly dispatches his victims is so incongruous but yet effective.

This film was my way back into the cinema of Bollywood. I have not given scores to films I have seen this year but I feel like giving one (not a score of 'one'  :)) to this one.

5 / 5

PS - I just found out that there's a sequel scheduled to open in 2014. Oh no... This feels like a big wrong move. Kahaani is perfect as it is already.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 02, 2013, 22:31
In preparation of the release of Fast and Furious 6, my wife wanted to watch Fast 5, but the movie put us straight into the jailbreak sequence so we ended up watching Fast 4 instead.

I had no idea that Fast 4 ended EXACTLY where Fast 5 started. I guess that's why most people expected Fast 7 to be a certainty. It's probably gonna end on a similar vibe.

About 1/3rd into Fast 5 now which arguably has been my favourite in the franchise so far. Really really love the Ocean's 11 vibe.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on June 02, 2013, 22:48
Watched Jack the Giant Slayer which is okay for a lazy afternoon entertainment at home.  Directed by  Bryan Singer which is a surprise!  The 720P BRrip is quite good in terms of color tone and PQ! 

Followed by No Country For Old Men!  This was classic way back then and also got Javier Barden his first Oscar in2007.  Excellent acting by all the protagonists like Josh Broling, TL Jones and Woody Harrison.  The 720P BRrip is excellent considering this is a 6 years old movie!  PQ and color tone are very good. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 03, 2013, 21:32
Completed Fast 5 tonight. Wife remarked it's no longer just about the cars and I guess is more open about Fast 6.

We then watched two more episodes of Star Trek: The Conscience of the King and the Balance of Terror

Conscience of the King was a bit like a whodunit and wasn't too bad. The later episodes seem to have picked up the pace a fair bit and not as draggy. Except for the tiko look on Kirk's face every time he sees Lenore. In some respects, I think Chris Pine has somehow managed to perfect that look in the reboot. He's obviously interested in the laydeees but it's somehow just less cheesy.

Balance of Terror was quite well conceived. There are shades of great boat/submarine chase movies (Das Boot/Red October) and how the captains of the respective vessels try to outwit each other. From TNG, I always thought the Romulans and Vulcans had always been aware that they shared a common ancestry so the way it played out here was a bit discordant to me.

But what really struck me was how a simple detail: a political officer placed on board the vessel that mimicked how Hitler's own generals were often policed by the political SS organization - went on to influence subsequent generations of this show/franchise.

I have been watching the remastered versions and to be honest, I don't really see a big improvement in how the phasers are animated. Might switch back to Classic mode to see how that goes.

Anyway, I remember one argument that some TOS fans made about how the new Spock and Kirk try to leverage on the relationship that's been forged over 3 seasons and 6-7 movies but pretty early on in S1 of TOS, we see Spock already trading (quite heavily I might add) on a presumed relationship with Kirk by forcing a court martial in the Menagerie even when we don't see much of that friendship in previous episodes.

I still think the reboot works on some levels.. fate/karma might explain it but the Chinese also have a saying: if you don't fight, you won't really know each other, which kinda applied to how Kirk and Spock came to terms with their differences so quickly.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 04, 2013, 23:14
The episodes following Balance were a bit hit and miss.

Shore Leave was OK as a premise. I guess it could have been a precursor to the holodeck episodes. Except that the costumes felt more like amusement park knockoffs than really authentic to the period. The bunny reminded me of the really bad Avengers movie (the one with Uma and Fiennes) :)

Galileo 7 was IMHO a bit more interesting. I see it as why Spock was not quite ready for command. While he may have been logical to a fault, sometimes a captain needs to take a leap of faith or gamble, which is what Spock did at the end. As with many of the Season 1 episodes so far, I find the script and writing a tad contrived, like Spock being unnecessarily idiotic so as to allow for conflict to develop with the crew which in turn created very unbelievable or overacting from the cast.

Squire of Gothos reminded me a lot of the TNG/VOY episodes involving Q. Again, interesting premise but the overacting and limited production budget makes it a bit cheesy.

And finally Arena, which was supposed to be the first instance we see of Gorn. We do see a nicely CG-ed Gorn in Enterprise (but it was a mirror universe). Again, the premise was great. That humans had the capacity for mercy and that was why there was hope for mankind. Though I think thankfully, it didn't have to take 1000 years that Kirk thought :) it seemed like TNG was a much more enlightened time. I don't think the TNG ever revisited that planet though. But in execution, the Gorn character never felt quite menacing enough. I can understand if he moves a bit slower (tho if he were really cold blooded, he should have been fairly mobile in the day), but no, he was comically slow. At one point, Kirk had gotten trapped by some rocks and rope rigged by the Gorn captain and with a makeshift blade, he was all ready to kill Kirk but he slowly moves the rock away from Kirk's leg before attempting to stab him. I mean.. REALLY. In 2 shakes, once his leg was free, Kirk SLOWLY LIMPS off to safety. In other news, I think I finally figured out how Mas Selamat escaped :) MHA employed Gorns.

With many of the episodes I have seen so far, while the premise is great, the delivery just didn't quite match up to the same aspiration. There was too much hamming in the acting and the special effects didn't quite allow us to be fully immersed in that universe. I think TNG might have captured that sense of utopia Roddenberry aspired to with less exaggerated emoting from the crew. Then again I might need to revisit TNG to see if I am viewing it through rose tinted glasses :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 04, 2013, 23:24
Still funny after all these years...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hnBp7x2QAE

http://www.youtube.com/v/4hnBp7x2QAE
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 05, 2013, 00:32
Heh doggie, u make me wanna go back to TOS. I actually stopped at the episode before Arena. Got sidetracked by Cajun Pawn Stars, Bollywood movies and computer stuff :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 05, 2013, 00:47
I am watching it for completeness :) can't say I have been awed by it.

Thing is, good writing has been around for ages. I can watch Casablanca and still be swept away by the incredible writing and acting. Even with virtually no special effects, the story, the writing and the acting carried the story so well and the immersion was complete.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 05, 2013, 22:02
A four episode night with following from Arena:
Tomorrow is Yesterday (the first time travel episode, discounting the prequel that is Enterprise)
Court Martial
The Return of the Archons
and Space Seed (the Start of Khan, if you will) ;)

Tomorrow is Yesterday reminds me of how much time travel stories have progressed in the ST universe. The going backwards/then forwards in time and then beaming was completely illogical to me. I vaguely recall they used a similar plot device for Voyage Home (slingshot using the sun) but somehow didn't seem this completely bonkers as this episode.

Court Martial could have been the start of something great. One of the best episodes of TNG was when Data fought for his right not to be terminated. Really powerful episode. I really thought this could have been something just as poweful. Sadly, it wasn't. So Spock says his investigations showed the logs had NOT been tampered at the beginning of the episode and then realizing it was at the end. DUH??

The Return of the Archons was a so so episode. One of the episodes where Kirk saves the day by talking a computer to death :)

And finally Space Seed. Khan's first appearance. OK I admit, I am much more swayed by Benedict's portrayal as a pained evil superhuman genius. Ricardo cuts a dashing figure here but getting beaten to unconsciousness by a plastic hose by Kirk!?? Come on!?? At least in Into Darkness, it took Spock a fair amount of pounding to do him in (and Spock is a much stronger race, physically)

The missus commented, quite rightfully, that it was probably a different era. So the response of Lt McGivers being enthralled might not be as comprehensible to us today. Also in these few episodes, there seemed to be a lot of comical moments (tho it does seem contrived to us today). In some ways, it's like watching Adam West's Batman, same kind of kitschy humour.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 06, 2013, 00:15
These are the movies I watched this week...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is still the best rite of passage & coming of age film of 2012 that nobody bothered to check out.

Motorway (车手)
I enjoyed only the scenes with the cars. Everything else feels very detached and I still have no idea why they put in a totally useless love angle. That said, the scenes involving the cars are very well-filmed and atmospheric.

The Message (风声)
One of the sleekest made in China films I have seen. Also has a great Agatha Christie feel to it.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 1)
Was the comic like this animated film?  My memory tells me not really.  Still, it is very well done. Can't wait to check out Part 2.

The Losers
I hated this the first time at the cinema because it was a dumbed down version of the awesome Andy Diggle graphic novel. But this time round I could treat it as just a movie not based on one of my fave comic and the movie worked.

Sepet
Some years ago I gave away all my VCDs (which is in the 100s) but I kept a few. Thank goodness I had the good sense to hold on to this gem. In 2004 I purposely made a trip to JB just to watch this because it wasn't shown here (eventually maybe it was but I have no idea if it did) and I was so glad I did. What a gem!  It's a love story between a Malay girl, Orked from a well to do family and a Chinese boy, Jason (real name Lee Seow Loong... yup, that one) who is a pirate VCD seller. After watching the movie I swear I started looking at pirate VCD/DVD seller like real people... everybody, no matter what you do for a living has a story.  Sepet is a simple story of love but the execution is perfect. The characters, from the two teenagers in love to their family and fringe characters are so tenderly portrayed. Everyone had personality. All through the film it feels like I was watching something real. The characters all hailed from all walks of life, race, language and religion. Such a slice of Malaysian life. I would even say the director, Yasmin Ahmad didn't just make a love story, she made a film to break down racial barriers. Not only that... She even shows you how you should treat your maid.  Look closely at how Yasmin did it... none of that forced sentimentality at all.  The film's leads are also so well cast.  Especially Sharifah Amani as Orked. She plays her role with such spunkiness and innocence. Ng Choo Seong is great too... capturing a love-smittened guy to a tee but his job isn't really hard because it's very easy to fall in love with Orked   :-* I was totally connected with them in their journey of first love, breakup and reconciliation.  The final act really broke my heart - very powerful but not at all emotionally manipulative. Tonight as I watch this again I discover something I have missed - actually it's my wife who told me that Jason and Orked knew each other since kids because at the end of their first date Jason asked Orked whether her dad is a teacher. Good catch dear ;)

This is the cute meet. Simple, yet brilliant. If you are a lover of cinema, there are dialogue throughout the film which made a lot of references to films.
http://www.youtube.com/v/FuF0mF34638&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1

Please forgive me if I am wrong but I feel there's absolutely no other Malaysian film as good as Sepet in the past decade. The Malaysian film industry feels like it is in regression mode. Don't kill me ar... just a feeling I have.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on June 06, 2013, 00:28

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is still the best rite of passage & coming of age film of 2012 that nobody bothered to check out.


I checked it out and would agree.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on June 06, 2013, 12:49
Anyway, I remember one argument that some TOS fans made about how the new Spock and Kirk try to leverage on the relationship that's been forged over 3 seasons and 6-7 movies but pretty early on in S1 of TOS, we see Spock already trading (quite heavily I might add) on a presumed relationship with Kirk by forcing a court martial in the Menagerie even when we don't see much of that friendship in previous episodes.

The difference is that in TOS, we don't actually start at the beginning of their tour of duty together, it is implied that they've already been together for a while, hence there is already friendship and respect between Kirk and Spock, and Bones.  Further, the stuff that shows up in ST:WOK, all that "emotional" stuff between Kirk and Spock, by then they've already been together for a very long time (probably at least 20 years if I remember the timelines correctly), so it is fully deserved, considering the back story.  I still haven't watched Into Darkness, but given that they became a crew only at the end of the re-boot, there can only have been a few years (and by that I mean maybe 2) together at best.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 06, 2013, 14:38
Pike was supposed to be Kirk's age and Spock served with him for 11 years so I'm not sure how much time Spock had as Kirk's first officer prior to the Menagerie.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 06, 2013, 17:37
Timeline suggests Spock served 2 years with Kirk prior to The Menagerie.

In the reboot we don't really see Kirk or Spock trading on any established relationship. If anything they hated each other. It was Spock prime who showed Kirk how to seize control from Spock reboot.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 06, 2013, 23:56
More TOS episodes.

In order: A Taste of Armageddon, This Side of Paradise, The Devil in the Dark and Errand of Mercy.

Comical costumes and overacting from Spock in a stone mind melt :) aside, Devil was IMHO somewhat reminscent of the TNG episodes I used to enjoy. It really is about exploring strange new worlds and new life forms.

I thought Armageddon also had a pretty good message, as did Errand. I think given the sensibilities of the viewing public and the production budget, the actual delivery fell a bit short, but I do like where things are headed. I don't know if I will ever be able to overlook the over-cheesiness to make TOS my favourite but I think Gene's getting closer to what he had envisioned.

Errand was also unique in being the first episode to feature the Klingons. I loved the episode where Worf had a time travel episode back to TOS times and was ever so sensitive why Klingons looked more like humans than they subsequently did in the TOS movies :)

I also wonder if the script writer and the the actor playing Kor ever realized how much "Glorious" would become a battlecry for latterday Klingons :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 07, 2013, 00:06
Worf time travelled back to TOS times? Which TNG season and episode was that? Don't really recall something like that happening when I watched TNG back then.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 07, 2013, 00:14
DS9. It's the one with the Tribbles.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 07, 2013, 00:48
In other news, I just realized where the PAP gets its policies from: the TOS Klingons :)

"From this day on, no public assemblages of more than three people. All publications to be cleared through this office. Neighbourhood controls will be established, hostages selected."

Kor, Errand of Mercy

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 07, 2013, 23:08
Concluded Season 1 of TOS: The Alternate Factor, The City on the Edge of Forever and Operation Annihilate!

Have to say, the final few episodes especially: City were very good thematically and I can see where TNG derived much of their direction from.

If you can ignore the cheesy time/warp sfx and the slightly incoherent manner where anti matter can exist in our universe, the premise of Alternate is pretty amazing. It's something you can tidy up a little with a more contemporary understanding of parallel universes (rather than anti matter).

Annihilate was a bit controversial to me as the Enterprise seemingly committed mass genocide of a species without trying to establish any form of peace/negotiation. After all, if those single celled brain cell like creatures were part of a bigger whole, could't it also be sentient and subject to same courtesy accorded to the Devil in a previous episode? Maybe they had no choice?

City however was the highlight of S1. Joan Collins before she became the b!tch in Dynasty was quite sublime here and I thought the conundrum presented was particularly challenging. That said, I thought Spock must have been a genius to reconstruct all that data from a 16 bit memory module he constructed :D

Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 08, 2013, 18:40
Wife's watching the hot vet in Bondi Vet on the telly :)

So here I am blasting Eagles Live in Melbourne. Damn this is so awesome.

I had the Oppo and Marantz set to DTS NeoX to run all channels from my usual movie night. Sounded great. Wide soundstage with the audience shouts thrown to the height speakers. Very cool but I thought there was something missing in the bass. It was tight but not quite in your face and seemed a bit off pace.

I switched midway to Pure Direct and there was that bass again. Punchy. And speed was right. Matched the drumming on screen.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 09, 2013, 12:49
Live in Melbourne was cut short when the Bondi Vet episode ended.

Wife was dreading another Jason Statham action flick but Killer Elite proved to be a little different. As it turned out, both movies we watched - the second being Zero Dark Thirty - were all based on real events.

Killer Elite was obviously less grounded in fact. Decent flick and an interesting premise about a secret society of ex SAS men.

Zero Dark Thirty reminded me a bit of Lincoln. Both movies were "factual" and recounted a very well known incident but the directors were able to still wrap the show with tension and suspense even if you already knew the outcome. That is pretty damn incredible.

I think the story of ZDT just played out as it happened. It made no apologies for the use of water boarding and torture and if you ask me, the Seal Team 6 was also portrayed as being downright callous. There are no heroes in that sense.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 09, 2013, 13:45
Last night we did a Hindi classic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg900304#msg900304) and a Jason Statham action flick  ;D

Actually I originally planned to follow up the Hindi movie with Polanski's Rosemary's Baby but KKHH left us in such a mellow mood that a pscho-thriller won't sit down well. So I scanned my movie shelf. Nothing from A to S seemed suitable. Had to bend right down to see those from T to Z. I usually jut those that I have not seen on hi-def out and there are quite a few on that last shelf  :). So in went a mindless Statham action flick Transporter 2. My mind was still flowing logically with the plot until the point where Frank Martin high flips his Audi in mid-air so that a hanging crane can dislodge a bomb stuck on the bottom. That's it... Thinking brain deactivated :). It is nice seeing my wife's reaction during the fire-hose fight... How come it's the same with Dabangg ah? To Dabangg (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg899310#msg899310)'s credit, it didn't copy it wholesale, just the idea only.

I think she will get a hoot watching the next installment. That one has Teabag. She hates the character to the bones :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on June 09, 2013, 21:22
Revisited the year 2000 movie 'Frequency' with Dennis Quaid.  Good pacing and thrilling.  4 for me.  The PQ on this 720P rip is very pretty good!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 09, 2013, 22:58
Revisited Dredd tonight. Wife missed the show the last time and I wanted to hear it with a DTS Neo X setup. I am not sure if it is cos of NeoX but it is also likely that the Marantz seems to have better sound steering, but the effects seem much better placed this time around.

Went on to Gangster Squad which was surprisingly an awesome surround mix as well. Gangster is unlikely to touch The Untouchables ;) in the classics line up but it does put up a rewarding enough story and has a generally likable gang. No Sean Connery here and except for Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, there's hardly any time spent to develop the other characters.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on June 10, 2013, 19:35
City however was the highlight of S1. Joan Collins before she became the b!tch in Dynasty was quite sublime here and I thought the conundrum presented was particularly challenging. That said, I thought Spock must have been a genius to reconstruct all that data from a 16 bit memory module he constructed :D

No surprise there: City appears on most lists of Top 10 best Star Trek episodes ever (all series), and is often #1 or thereabouts.   

As you've discovered, the 'magic' of ST:TOS is in the stories, not in the effects or the acting.  Let's face it, Shatner was quite the ham, Nimoy just 'played it cool', and Bones was rather one-note (irascible 'country doctor').  And this coming from an avowed fan.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 14, 2013, 00:41
Watched the inane Piranha 3DD tonight. The earlier 3D was actually a decent satire but this one kinda fell flat in its attempt. The only possible highlight was David "Baywatch" The Hoff himself cameo-ing as himself hitting rock bottom. I also don't know what Christopher Lloyd was doing in here.

We followed this with Memento. It's been ages since I caught this so it's still amazing how fresh everything was. But because this was our second time viewing, we kept trying to see the "trigger" that caused Lenny to go down the path that led to the chilling ending/beginning. Have to say the Nolan brothers really really kept us going in circles. At first I thought it was cos of Carrie Anne Moss wreaking revenge for her bf but the twist with Lenny realizing full well what happened and then creating the whole chain of events leading to Teddy's death from the one line he scribbled... "Don't trust his lies". It was really incredible.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 15, 2013, 01:14
Watched a new and an old show tonight.

New: The Call
Old: Licence to Wed

The Call was quite an interesting premise. It borrows a bit from Cellular but for the most part, having the resources of the emergency services made for a very compelling bit. The villian was quite well portrayed. The only bit that stumped us was the ending which seemed a bit out of character.

As an aside, there was a scene where the kidnapped victim hides in a room in the villian's lair, saw something (out of camera) and screamed before being recaptured. I still don't know what she saw that caused the scream, because later, we get to see that room again, except this time, the audience sees what the victim saw but there was nothing particularly chilling to me.

Licence to Wed didn't go down so well with the missus or me. I think a part of it was that the protaganist wasn't particularly like-able. Maybe it is because I have been married for ages, and despite Robin William's horrid attempts at humour, I saw a pattern or logic in the madness of his lessons and it frustrated me that the lead didn't seem at all invested in the exercise.
:)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 15, 2013, 23:22
Another double bill. First was Stallone's Bullet to the Head.

Another one of those buddy "cop" action flicks except these two had no chemistry. The last one that was this bad was the Bruce Willis/Tracy Morgan in Cop Out. I watched it out of nostalgia for Han/Sung Kang :)

This was followed by I Give It A Year. I have missed some of the great British rom-coms with Four Weddings, About A Boy, Notting Hill and Love, Actually being great flicks. This one doesn't quite get up to be a classic but it makes for an interesting take on the genre without a Hollywood style ending :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 15, 2013, 23:48
Heng. I almost cued Bullet to the Head tonight but the finger accidentally pressed The Incredible Burt Wonderstone instead. Not bad. Not exceptionally funny but at least it had some heart. Laughed at the sarcasm thrown at street magicians like David Blaine and the nod towards traditional magicians such as copperfield.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 16, 2013, 23:29
Ended up watching another Korean flick: The Tower followed by Burt Wonderstone.

The Tower is a disaster movie not unlike Towering Inferno of yesteryears except the CGI quotient has been maxed out for this new century and of course, it has to have a Korean romance embedded inside. I'm not sure what Korean society is like but if it is anything as portrayed in this show, they have a serious caste/class divide which I think the writer/director tried to reflect. For the most part, the characters are 2-dimensional with IMHO too many "central" characters so there's very little time to flesh them out properly. But from the sfx part, it's incredible. When I say CGI, it's not because I can tell where CGI is being applied but merely, it is SOOOOOO realistic that it's impossible for them to decimate downtown Seoul in this manner :)

I think survivors of 9-11 should not watch this show. The scenes are eerily familiar to what we saw of the post 9-11 destruction.

Burt Wonderstone thus became a less heavy diversion afterwards. Olivia Wilde is in her second comedic outing, and again with Steve Carell! Maybe he has a thing for her :) it's a very simple story of fall from grace and redemption. But I hate to say this, all the good bits were already in the trailer.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 17, 2013, 00:46
The title of this thread has the word 'Great' but a lot of the movies I watched in my humble abode don't really qualify as great. Tonight I managed to watch a truly great one.

Started out with a couple of episodes of Friends. Still at S1.

Then the main feature - Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront (1954). I have heard a lot of amazing stuff heap on the film but have never felt the urge to watch it. But that didn't stop me from getting the DVD years ago. I don't even know where to begin to describe this masterpiece. I think I probably could write a thesis about it but I don't think I can say anything new that has not been written somewhere else. Instead I will just mention what went through my head as my mind, body and soul got riveted on the journey of Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando).

The guy is so good he oozes charisma from every pore. Through his effortless acting, I went through a lesson on conscience and what truly defines a man. IMHO he was helped by such a powerful script, resounding performances by everyone else and with that in-your-face cinematography of that time. It's such a joy marveling at beautifully crafted scenes as the camera just lingers on the actor, allowing the power to flow. Nowadays, directors can't wait to 'intrude' on a scene with 2-3 seconds cuts generating a needless crazy pace when it should be just quiet. Here, there are no such urgent cuts but yet I could feel the urgency in the story.

On The Waterfront is most powerful when it is direct. There are many breathtaking scenes, I am sure have been seared into my mind. Like the scene where Terry and his brother Charley had a heartfelt conversation in the taxi, the scene where the Father preaches the Crucification sermon at the dock, the scene where Terry confesses his sin to Edie inaudibly because a foghorn is blaring in the distance, the scene where a truck careens down a cobbled street towards Terry and Edie and how that led to a horrific discovery which made my wife went oh no, and that awesome last scene where Terry, just like the Messiah, leads his people to a new future. Brilliant!

Watching this film makes me realize that art should look effortless and it also gives me the impression that many films now just try too hard to make an impression.

I have tonnes of movie treasures on DVDs. I am setting myself a new aim to watch at least one DVD a week.

UPDATE - I am going to get the Criterion BD :). On Sat we were also blessed by a 3h 30min Hindi awesome epic K3G (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=135329.msg901790#msg901790) and finished the last 5 episodes of the TVB drama Friendly Fire (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=102967.msg898742#msg898742).
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 17, 2013, 21:58
I guess some flicks are so so but a movie night at home with a loved one is always great :)

Wife told me about this Korean flick called Confession of Murder. It was quite a good thriller. I kinda guessed what the twist was about but some elements still surprised me.

I think I enjoy Korean flicks more than HK shows these days

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 18, 2013, 21:58
Jack the Giant Slayer didn't pass muster with the missus. For me, the second run brought nothing new to the table either

Starting Saving General Yang but had to take a break midway
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 18, 2013, 23:14
Saving General Yang was ok for me yesterday. Good to see Adam Cheng at his regal best :)

Kudos to Side Effects today. Started rather slowly but it did build up nicely to a satisfying end for me. Recommended.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 19, 2013, 21:24
Change in gears - Brave. Quite a novel different Disney "princess" and for once, there was none of that "one true love" schmuck that all Disney fairy tales seem to focus on. I can see why there was so much criticism at the Disney Merida line of Barbie lookalike dolls :) That said, the story itself was quite simple and the conflict seemed minor.

Also finished up General Yang. ps the mother really ought to get a new fortune teller. :) unless he meant 6 would return to heaven!! WTF!! Macham Saving Private Ryan. Also wiki said that the legends actually say that 6 did return as predicted.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 19, 2013, 21:44
Haha yup I was also a bit stumped at the pathetic divination! Actually the acting was quite believable...I could feel the bond between the brothers even though they all look different as hell :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 20, 2013, 20:40
Thought I'd try an ensemble movie tonight. Movie 43. Big mistake. Wife walked out to watch her Korean serials. I only stayed to the end just to see how bad it could go. Had no clue why all those established actors would bother signing up for this. Quite tasteless I thot.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 20, 2013, 22:59
Well at least the balls hanging from his throat elicited a chuckle from me :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 20, 2013, 23:24
I did chuckle at a few places but groaned a whole lot more

Followed it up with another Korean flick: Masquerade. IMHO a very easy to watch flick. It's the Prince and the Pauper really and that element is used to explain why a certain king acted out of character. The main characters were all quite likeable.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on June 20, 2013, 23:29
I did chuckle at a few places but groaned a whole lot more

Followed it up with another Korean flick: Masquerade. IMHO a very easy to watch flick. It's the Prince and the Pauper really and that element is used to explain why a certain king acted out of character. The main characters were all quite likeable.

You can always watch Pieta next...it is a touching story of the love between a mother and her son and how important it is to install a good education for your children....

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 21, 2013, 23:44
A bro told me that Sepet has a sequel and a prequel and he was nice enough to lend them to me ;)

Started out with Gubra, the sequel... Actually it's more like a sorta-sequel. Orked is back. She is now married to a Malay dude who is older than her but she soon finds out that he is two-timing her. In the midst of all these, her dad is in the hospital and she meets Jason's elder bro, Alan. 

Why is it a sorta-sequel?  That's only 1/2 of the story. There's also an unrelated story of an Iman, his spunky wife and a few village prostitutes. 

I find Gubra very disjointed and purposeless. It's not a bad movie but compared to Sepet it was a bit disappointing.  Still it was great seeing the characters again.  Though disappointing, it still has a few Yasmin Ahmad moments. She really has a good eye in capturing a bygone Malaysia and a couple's relationship. For example, I was really warmed by a scene of Orked's parents doing the Macarena on a hospital bed. It had no dialogue but carried lots of meaning of what love between a married couple should be. 

Then it was Mukhsin, the story of a very young Orked. This is a tender story of first love. It's very well done and I love the coda at the end where Yasmin Ahmad serenaded her parents. This one even made me recall my first love way way back when I was in Primary 2  :P. For fans of Sepet and Gubra, there are lots of treasures like young Jason appears here and Kak Yam who mentions she has a beautiful voice in Gubra actually showcases it here. 

On my own, I also did another Yasmin Ahmad film called Muallaf (The Convert). This one also has Sharifah Amani in an off-kilter role. I like this... full of off-beat characters that seemed to have stepped out of a Coen brothers film. I wasn't sure what the director was trying to convey until much later. IMHO her favourite themes of family harmony and reconciliation are examined again but this time through religions.  Oh... There is a visual gag involving the word "pu55y" that made me laugh out loud :)

It's quite a shame that Yasmin Ahmad is no longer with us. I love her eye for details. She can distill the essence of a relationship, present it in a scene in a fresh way and in so doing point you in the right direction to attain it. Just look at the advertisement she made for our Govt where during a eulogy a wife proclaims the one thing she will miss most about her husband is his snoring. I remember it invited a lot of flake (just like all her films) but yet there are many who saw its beauty. I was one of those. 

Re-quoted again for completeness 

Sepet
Some years ago I gave away all my VCDs (which is in the 100s) but I kept a few. Thank goodness I had the good sense to hold on to this gem. In 2004 I purposely made a trip to JB just to watch this because it wasn't shown here (eventually maybe it was but I have no idea if it did) and I was so glad I did. What a gem!  It's a love story between a Malay girl, Orked from a well to do family and a Chinese boy, Jason (real name Lee Seow Loong... yup, that one) who is a pirate VCD seller. After watching the movie I swear I started looking at pirate VCD/DVD seller like real people... everybody, no matter what you do for a living has a story.  Sepet is a simple story of love but the execution is perfect. The characters, from the two teenagers in love to their family and fringe characters are so tenderly portrayed. Everyone had personality. All through the film it feels like I was watching something real. The characters all hailed from all walks of life, race, language and religion. Such a slice of Malaysian life. I would even say the director, Yasmin Ahmad didn't just make a love story, she made a film to break down racial barriers. Not only that... She even shows you how you should treat your maid.  Look closely at how Yasmin did it... none of that forced sentimentality at all.  The film's leads are also so well cast.  Especially Sharifah Amani as Orked. She plays her role with such spunkiness and innocence. Ng Choo Seong is great too... capturing a love-smittened guy to a tee but his job isn't really hard because it's very easy to fall in love with Orked   :-* I was totally connected with them in their journey of first love, breakup and reconciliation.  The final act really broke my heart - very powerful but not at all emotionally manipulative. Tonight as I watch this again I discover something I have missed - actually it's my wife who told me that Jason and Orked knew each other since kids because at the end of their first date Jason asked Orked whether her dad is a teacher. Good catch dear ;)

This is the cute meet. Simple, yet brilliant. If you are a lover of cinema, there are dialogue throughout the film which made a lot of references to films. 
http://www.youtube.com/v/FuF0mF34638&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1

Please forgive me if I am wrong but I feel there's absolutely no other Malaysian film as good as Sepet in the past decade. The Malaysian film industry feels like it is in regression mode. Don't kill me ar... just a feeling I have. 

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: rantwb on June 22, 2013, 00:08
It's quite a shame that Yasmin Ahmad is no longer with us. I love her eye for details. She can distill the essence of a relationship, present it in a scene in a fresh way and in so doing point you in the right direction to attain it. Just look at the advertisement she made for our Govt where during a eulogy a wife proclaims the one thing she will miss most about her husband is his snoring. I remember it invited a lot of flake (just like all her films) but yet there are many who saw its beauty. I was one of those.

Re-quoted again for completeness

Bro, thanks! Good share.

Personally have swam through youtube to gather some of Yasmin's Hari Raya/CNY commercials. Most of them beautifully crafted and themed around love and family. Simple and beautiful.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 22, 2013, 00:24
It was Galaxy Quest tonight...for the 4th time! Still damn enjoyable...dunno why :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 22, 2013, 22:03
Watched Oz last night and a Korean flick All About My Wife tonight.

Oz was OK on second viewing and seemed pretty good with 3D (watched it in 2D when I was in Singapore). In the 2D version, I never noticed there things "popping" out of the 2D/4:3 aspect scenes but this happened a fair bit in the 3D version. Pretty neat.

All About My Wife was a bit painful to watch at times, contrived but I guess there's always a bit of cutesy Korean acting, just enough to sell it.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 22, 2013, 22:27
Free this whole Saturday and Amazon has delivered many nice stuff just in time. Wooooh... 

We started out with a absolute crowd pleaser - Catch Me If You Can. Love the tone, pace, music and how it actually glamorizes diCaprio's turn as a master of deception. Spielberg could have gone the all righteous top-down route but I am thankful he didn't. That wouldn't make this film as entertaining as it is.  This is the 4th time I have seen this but I never noticed Amy Adams till now. 

Time to up the 'sick' tempo... Tarsem Singh's debut film, The Cell.  Have always loved the film... very surreal and disturbing. The sum total doesn't quite work but the nightmarish dreamscapes are awesome. 

Next, Lee Chang-dong's Poetry. This is a masterpiece... devastating, hypnotic, riveting, subtle, achingly exquisite. In a doctor's office, a 60-something-year-old lady is told the bad news... "first you will forget the nouns. Next you will forget the verbs"... "Oh dear, the nouns are so important.". Ms Yang Mijia (Yun Jung-hee), faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, then finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class.  I thought I was going to be embroiled in high melodrama but the film turns out to be a masterclass in depicting a woman's struggle through guilt and to write a piece of poetry. Yun Jung-hee came out of a 15-year hiatus to show actors how it's done. Her portrayal is exquisitely beautiful. The Blu-ray has a special feature on her and she is quite a stunner when she was young. 

The final movie is An Officer and a Gentleman. Foley, the Drill Instructor from hell.  I was channelling him when I was an instructor in Tekong.  Up Where We Belong... Wooh!


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on June 23, 2013, 00:25
We started out with a absolute crowd pleaser - Catch Me If You Can. Love the tone, pace, music and how it actually glamorizes diCaprio's turn as a master of deception. Spielberg could have gone the all righteous top-down route but I am thankful he didn't. That wouldn't make this film as entertaining as it is.  This is the 4th time I have seen this but I never noticed Amy Adams till now.

I have always love this picture not because of Hanks, but the brilliant direction and acting by DiCaprio & Christopher Walken.
I remember I watched this movie twice in cinema in the past and watched on DVD like dozen times.
The BD had released and waiting for Black Friday sales still to come.
This movie deserved to be named for Academy Awards Best Picture nominee in 2003, but in the end only Chris Walken (Supporting Actor) & John Williams (Score) were nominated.
Wonderful casting Leo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Chris Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, Brian Howe, Jennifer Gardner, Lizzy Banks, etc
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 23, 2013, 22:34
Got wind that Rob Thomas has gotten his funds to make the Veronica Mars movie through the real fans.  If all goes well, it will open next year.  I am so stoked. Need to educate my wife so we just started on the coolest teenaged detective series ever - Veronica Mars. We have just did 4 episodes of S1

The kickstarter trailer which got them the funding. Can't wait to see it on the big screen.
http://www.youtube.com/v/puOtX6HUoMk&feature=youtube_gdata_player&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 23, 2013, 23:18
Rewatched GI Joe (the first one) in preparation for the second instalment with the wife when it comes out. Followed it with I saw the Devil.

Devil was just downright violent but IMHO not all that great storyline wise. Wife said the hero could have just sliced the villian's dick off. Would have probably been a more fitting punishment than just killing him in the end (especially when he kept letting him live to toy with him for so long).
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 23, 2013, 23:28
Sat thru an exceedingly boring 'The Guillotines' yesterday, so thought of rewarding myself via a good story with 'Sympathy for Mr Vengeance'. Was slighly underwhelmed by it, perhaps cos I was expecting an Oldboy. Still, it was way better than guillotines. Will probably do lady vengeance next. Cant wait to see my fav korean actress Lee Young Ae!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 24, 2013, 22:32
Scream4 tonight. An oldie but still bears a second viewing. I think there are some clues as to who the killers are that I missed the first time around.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 25, 2013, 16:12
Just finished an anime - Eden of the East. Very intriguing, engrossing and convoluted. The premise is cool - Akira is a Seleçaó. In the course of the 11-episode TV series he will find out that he is one of twelve. He has a unique handphone and the operator on the other line, Juiz can perform any task for a price. His handphone is fingerprint operated and it contains 10 billion yen for his usage for purchasing anything (including Tomahawk missiles) and any services rendered. The money is from Mr Outside. His plan is for these 12 agents to use the money to make Japan a better country. Only the winner will survive. If the money is used up he/she will get 2 in the head from the Supporter. That's only half of the T & C. There's also a love angle that I feel make the anime even better. Halfway through this I ordered the 2 other BDs which are sequels. Damn good stuff!  The music And SQ is really good too.

Upstairs, in her own private HT room, my mom is on to season 2 of Lost. I see her always watching Korean drama serials and passed her Lost S1 BD to try. She hasn't left her room much since :). Every time I see her in the morning, she talks to me about Jack, Sawyer and the rest. Haha

Just pop in A Good Day to Die Hard. OMG!  On hi-def it feels like a whole different movie!  The SQ is unbelievable!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 25, 2013, 19:06
Didn't have much time today so ended up watching Superman Unbound on my own. Very decent voice cast.. with Matt Bomer from White Collar, Stana Katic and Molly Quinn from Castle. Ending wasn't as strong.

Now watching the Dome on telly, hours after the US premier :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 27, 2013, 22:07
I was really looking forward to watching Olympus Has Fallen a second time, this time with the missus. Have to say, it wasn't as satisfying the second time around. I had more of a blast rewatching the first 3 Die Hards over Christmas. I suspect that what made Die Hard more memorable was the witty barbs from Bruce Willis, and the villians, especially in the first and third, were far more 3dimensional.

Rick Yune somehow just doesn't have as great a presence as Rickman or Irons, and Gerard Butler, while gritty was just doing his job.

Shame then that even then, Olympus was still more enjoyable than A Good Day To Die Hard. What a turd of a way to end a franchise. Speaking of other turd sequels, I heard Taken 3 is on the cards with the studios throwing caboodles of money to make Neeson repeat his phone home performance. I heard it was because Taken 2 did particularly well. I suspect it was because people were hoping that it was gonna be at least decent compared to the brilliant original.

Followed this up with another Korean flick, War of the Arrows. Not their finest moment. A lot of "HUH" moments which are never quite explained.

Picture this, you are being hunted by a bunch of hardened barbarians. You finally get one up against a much more skilled opponent and can kill him with one point blank shoot. Should you:
a. shoot or
b. monologue for 5 seconds about how you can take one of the bastards down with you, and then you don't because you get killed by the barbarian's entourage.

Answers on a postcard directed to:
Korean writers sometime sucks
PO Box N00B
Loser Lane
SW7 2SX

This didn't just happen ONCE, but twice!?? Geez. Then, it was the hero with the ability to shoot down the leader of marauding band after him. And what does he do? Hesitate for another few seconds and his window runs out. I mean imagine, a whole bunch of your attackers are now trying desperately to scale a steep cliff, their weapon of choice (bows and arrows) unusable because you know, they need both hands to launch the arrow and they kinda need both of them to make sure they are hanging on the cliff, and not falling to their deaths. So you are on high ground, aiming down and you
a. hesitate and miss your window
b, run away for dear life to wait for another golden opportunity that is better than this one.

I mean REALLY!??

The hero's sister was also really annoying. The first time she was an annoying toddler, so OK, I'll give her that one pass. The second time!?? WTF!?? She was already a grown woman.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 28, 2013, 00:10
Thanks for a good read. I didn't think War of the Arrows was that bad. From what I can remember I really enjoyed these lone man on a singular relentless path of revenge stories. I thought the marauding chase scenes were exhilarating and the use of arrows as weapons refreshing. Didn't care much for all the historical exposition and can't remember much of the girl. This type of movie always needs one girl and she will probably lead to the hero's downfall. All man are 'stupid' in that respect :)

We just finished René Clément's Purple Noon (1960). Most people will be more familiar with the Hollywood version - The Talented Mr Ripley. Quite an outstanding film. I can't remember the Anthony Minghella version much except that it was quite a thriller. Purple Noon didn't exactly plough that thriller route but it is such a guilty pleasure to watch. It didn't waste time moralizing why Tom Ripley became the way he is, it just shows you that he is. There isn't much exposition too.  Surprisingly, I found myself rooting for him all the way.  Clément shows you the double murder fast but he slows down after that to show you how painstaking it is to dispose of the bodies.  Ripley is pure mime and mimic.  He displays not much stress as he pours lies upon lies and shows you the art of being at two places at the same time.  Tom Ripley is played by Alain Delon with relish. After the movie ended I just can't think of another actor in that role so I am quite excited to see how Matt Damon plays him.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 28, 2013, 22:55
I get that Arrows is kinda arty but I think there should still be some less jarring moments when sanity should prevail.
:)

Anyway, tonight it's back to TOS. Now kick starting with Season 2. Amok Time and Who Mourns for Adonais?

I think Amok's quite a (to coin a term) "fascinating" episode where we get to see the planet Vulcan for the first time and also see how Pon Far would have to be "treated" in subsequent Star Trek franchises. That said, I wonder what the poor ponfar-ed Vulcans are gonna go in the ST reboot now that the Vulcan homeworld is kaboom. Overall, it was IMHO a pretty run of the mill episode. The highlights to me were Bones' quick thinking on the planet and the measured way in which Nimoy portrayed how he was losing control such as hiding his tremors behind his back when speaking to the captain. Way better than Kirk's overacting :) which he coincidentally demonstrates in the next episode :D

(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/adonais/tosr033_extra_06.jpg)
taken from http://trekmovie.com/2008/01/14/who-mourns-for-adonais-screenshots/#more-1447
(I am quoting the fansite here :P so please don't crucify the messenger)

Adonais is IMHO similar in plot devices to a number of TNG episodes, of a god being. I thought the premise that the Olympian gods were merely aliens was quite ground breaking (predating Erich von Daniken's book by a few years to boot!) but the ending was a tad unsatisfying. Leslie Parrish whoever she is, might just have dethroned Joan Collins as the hottest babe of TOS so far and in a skimpy outfit to boot. Wife was wondering how they made that dress stick on.. did they have use double sided tape in those days like JLo?

(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/adonais/tosr033_extra_04.jpg)

Babe quotient on S2 has been quite decent so far, with even Spock's (now ex) wife TPring being a decent hottie.



As I was googling the episode, I was surprised how geeky some bands were :P The band, T'Pau actually named themselves after a character in Amok! And there was originally an attempt to use her in Enterprise (the prequel series) but they decided to rename the character that Jolene played as TPol instead.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 29, 2013, 00:08
Wooo doggie, those pics u posted abv might just pull me away from Auction Hunters back to TOS ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 29, 2013, 00:27
Here's the impossible outfit from another angle :)

(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/adonais/tosr033_extra_05.jpg)

The lovely Leslie Parrish everyone (even Scotty got it bad :P)

(http://i500.listal.com/image/646506/500full.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 29, 2013, 22:40
Had another tour of the White House today... Olympus Has Fallen is the same thing as White House Down.  Different cast but same boring setting. 

From a film that is lined with excesses, we followed that up with a film with not an ounce of fat, a drama-thriller masterclass. Imagine this... you are a male teacher in a kindergarten. You are well-liked by everyone including the adults. One day, a 5-year-old girl tells a lie (sexual in nature) about you and overnight the whole town turns against you. You are innocent but who wouldn't believe a 5-year-old girl?  This is a deep study of collective guilt and conscience, and of a man accused of one of the worst crimes on earth. The man is brilliantly acted by Mads Mikkelsen who won Best Actor at Cannes for this film in 2012 (he is Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal). His powerful performance kept me spellbound.  There are 2 scenes that happened in a supermarket and a Christmas Eve church service that left me absolutely awestruck.  The harrowing Danish film is The Hunt and it's one of the best films I have seen this year.  

Next, a Korean flick, Confession of Murder. I love the story concept.  It was going great for me until the scene of a girl shooting a snake through its mouth with a crossbow from a distance. Then all proverbial logic and wisdom took a backseat. I also felt that the unneeded zany car chases with so many Terminator moments and all the theatricality weakened the narrative.  My wife could also guessed the twist 50min in. It could have been an awesome flick if only the writer/director had toned it down. 

The final one is an excellent one - The Quartet. Directed by Dustin Hoffman. It's about a bunch of old retired musicians who live in a retirement home. There are usually 2 type of flicks about old folks - sentimental preachy ones like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or the goofball comedic ones like The Cocoon. Hoffman did neither. He adorned the film with golden nuggets of wisdom and suffused the film with classical music. There's a wonderful scene where one of 'em folks gave a talk about rap music and opera... priceless and eloquent. If you are a fan of the opera, do check this out. Watching this makes me realized that growing old doesn't mean you are wiser, you can forgive easily, you don't have dreams, aspirations and hopes. Growing old also doesn't mean you don't drop the F bombs anymore. :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 29, 2013, 23:45
A 4 parter TOS tonight: Changeling, Mirror, Mirror, Apple and Doomsday Machine.

Changeling seemed familiar only because I watched the Star Trek (first) movie ages ago and it was kinda based off the same premise as this episode. In fact, I thought ST4 movie also shared similar themes. In this episode Kirk again manages to talk the computer to death. I thought the movie's budget allowed them to explore the premise a little bit further and was more substantial, though I wasn't quite convinced about the ending, which was also the case in this episode.

Mirror, Mirror makes the Enterprise episode Into A Mirror Darkly a lot more understandable. In the ENT episode we saw a Dark Universe Phlox design the torture chamber that was used eventually on Chekov in this century's dark universe.

Speaking of Chekov, I never realized he was such a tiko too. Maybe even cheesier than Kirk himself.  Which he demonstrated in Apple. Apple was one of those episodes that went no where and you ended up feeling a bit cheated. Where's the damn Prime Directive? Forget about "contact", here was Kirk destroying an entire system of belief completely.

It was a good thing then that we ended the night with the Doomsday Machine. Part decent space battle (which the remastered version did quite well IMHO), part a morality tale about the (then) nuclear arms race. All in all, a good Trek episode. I have recently gotten the ST movies boxset and am looking forward to catching them again and seeing them in a new light after the TV series.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 30, 2013, 22:38
I have to say the Season 2 opening credits are beginning to grate on me. The woman's almost shrieking just before the end. The first season's song was a lot less painful to go through.

Season 2 has been quite erratic so far. Tonight's episodes have been quite dismal to me. Cats Paw and I, Mudd

Cats Paw again plays with the premise of Enterprise crew meets God like creatures but as usual, the execution is just quite flat. The only interesting bit was the parallel between Kirk and Connery's Bond in how they use their seduction to get what they want from women. I am still surprised Kirk didn't do the Crying Game shower scene after seeing Sylvia's true form :P

(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/catspaw/new_alien.jpg)

(http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/564245/ace-ventura-shower-o.gif)
OK this was taken from Ace Ventura but same difference :)

I tried to get the bad taste out of my mouth by watching the next episode I, Mudd

I thought he was tacky the first time around and he doesn't get better with time. I have seen Christmas Pantomimes that have better acting than this one, and Kirk talking the computer to death is really too over used a plot device. Worse considering how badly executed it was.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 01, 2013, 10:44
Speaking of Chekov, I never realized he was such a tiko too. Maybe even cheesier than Kirk himself.  Which he demonstrated in Apple. Apple was one of those episodes that went no where and you ended up feeling a bit cheated. Where's the damn Prime Directive? Forget about "contact", here was Kirk destroying an entire system of belief completely.

The "Prime Directive" wasn't called such until TNG.  In TOS, IIRC it pops up later in the series, and is just one of the "general directives" or something; I daresay it was a bit of an afterthought, something being made up along the way.  After all, the weirdest thing was that the sole death-penalty crime left on the books was approaching Talos IV (see The Menagerie), which seems a bit of an overreaction, no?
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 01, 2013, 13:26

The "Prime Directive" wasn't called such until TNG.  In TOS, IIRC it pops up later in the series, and is just one of the "general directives" or something; I daresay it was a bit of an afterthought, something being made up along the way.  After all, the weirdest thing was that the sole death-penalty crime left on the books was approaching Talos IV (see The Menagerie), which seems a bit of an overreaction, no?

Pretty sure the Prime Directive was mentioned in season 1.

Just checked Wiki. Yeap. Season 1.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Return_of_the_Archons

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 01, 2013, 16:41
Pretty sure the Prime Directive was mentioned in season 1.

Just checked Wiki. Yeap. Season 1.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Return_of_the_Archons

Hmmm.  Better start rewatching TOS, my memory is getting fuzzy.  But even then, from the Wiki article it suggests to me that it was called General Order No. 1 in TOS, my recollection is that actual name "Prime Directive" didn't come about until TNG.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 01, 2013, 23:49
In Archons, they referred to the Prime Directive but didn't elaborate on it.

In Apple, Spock also specifically mentions contravening the Prime Directive.

Anyway, spent most of today catching up on Chicago Fire. I really think Dick Wolf has a great series on his hands and it is a good change from his Law and Order stuff. I did eventually catch just one episode of TOS. Metamorphosis. Not Cochrane's greatest hour I thought. Definitely not the hoon he was in First Contact :)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 04, 2013, 22:25
Caught up on a few more episodes of TOS S2 these last couple of days. In between catching the last 2 episodes of Hannibal. Hannibal is really quite awesome. But it's a bit difficult to watch it as our "dinner" time TV :) anyway, have been watching the episodes on the 60" TV but the audio from the new flatscreens are horrible and even the soundbar wasn't much help with clearing up the dialogue. Been watching some TV episodes now in the media room and WOW. Have to say the improved dialogue clarity may make this permanent.

Anyway, in order the TOS episodes were Journey to Babel, Friday's Child, The Deadly Years, Obsession and Wolf in the Fold.

Babel marks the return of Mark Lenard who played a Romulan ship captain in an earlier episode of TOS, but in this episode, he plays Sarek, a role he will reprise again (and again) including TNG and the movies, ie Spock's father. Sign of the times, I guess but I loved the gravitas of how Sarek was portrayed in TNG so watching him in TOS with a bit of whimsy makes it a tad disappointing. Babel is really more like a whodunit and cheesy acting aside, it was a reasonably decent plot with the introduction of a lot more alien races, including the pointy antenna-ed aliens we see so much in Enterprise :)

Friday's Child bugged me a bit because the behaviour of the main character Eleen seemed very inconsistent. Granted she may be pregnant and hormonally unbalanced but for the most part, she didn't want the baby, then only changed her mind at the very end. I think that's one of the things that has bugged me about TOS in general. A lot of the characters behave one way one moment and then for the sake of closing the story, behave in a completely incoherent manner the next. No character growth. Just unsatisfying. It also bugged me that Scotty uncharacteristically went on to do a search for rubble against all advice from his crew (when he was standing in command of the Enterprise), even after realising he had been conned. It was as if the writer just wanted him away so that he couldn't help Kirk out on the planet which incidentally led to the most boring shootout at OK Corral ever. OK, maybe not the most boring because I think that fight with Gorn might still take top honors :)

The Deadly Years was memorable in that it showed the main characters growing old at an accelerated age. I thought it's funny to see how the real Shatner aged (ie today) vs the make up of that period. Have to say there was a certain resemblance to the way he ambles on, both in his slow gait and talking patterns. I did find the scene where the Commodore took command of the Enterprise a bit implausible. How does one rise to the rank of a Commodore, and still be incompetent in running a ship or take it into the Neutral Zone and then freeze?? It was as if a fake emergency had to be created so that a restored Kirk could come and save the day. The way Kirk saved the day wasn't too badly written though :)

This was followed by Obsession, which wife and I called out as Moby Dick. It was really, and in an infuriating bit, we have the Captain going all Ahab and ignoring IMHO really important duties to act out his vengeance. At the end, there wasn't even a moment of contemplation on Kirk's part, with Bones being all sheepish for being wrong. FWIW, if the time element was as urgent as both Scotty and Bones made it out to be, there was no way they could have completed the second mission after Kirk finished his crusade. The only real huh moment was when Kirk and the redshirt were fighting each other seconds away from the deadly gas cloud to see who would be the hero. Come on!!

Oh wait, make that two huh moments. Here's the other one: (alternative uses for a phaser #29: nose scratcher)
(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/obsession/tosr047_extra_02.jpg)
(I guess gun safety wasn't covered in the academy) :)

And finally, Wolf in the Fold. A murder whodunit which was actually semi decent if not for the really sexist tone that I suppose was not uncommon for the period, though not one I would have expected of Roddenberry. Spock, ever the logical thinker, says the killer targets women because "women are more easily and more deeply terrified, generating more sheer horror than the male of the species." WOW, as one reviewer puts it, if you are trying to introduce your girlfriend to Star Trek, you might want to skip this episode :D I wasn't hot on the Jack the Ripper angle and the possession of the computer wasn't something I thought was well thought out. I also didn't think getting rid of the body was going to destroy what was fundamentally a non corporeal entity.

Am really looking to the next disc where they will show the Tribbles episode, the Animated Series episode with the Tribbles and the DS9 crossover episode, all in HD. I wonder if the DS9 is updated ala TNG BluRay?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 05, 2013, 21:19
Only "one" episode tonight. The Tribbles. Well not really one.

First we had the Trouble with Tribbles, then the Animated episode: More Tribbles, More Troubles and finally the DS9 crossover episode: The Trouble with Tribbles.

I had never watched the TOS episode before, only in bits and pieces of the DS9 episode so it was quite nice to see what had been happening in the background while the DS9 crew were skulking around DS7 and Enterprise. The episode like the preceding others was quite whimsical but with the Tribbles, it just pulled it off.

I was actually quite satisfied with the TAS episode. The Enterprise crew seemed far less whimsical and there seemed to be a more coherent plot in this one than in most of the TOS live action episodes. The animation also didn't date that badly.

Which brings me to the DS9 episode. Man, I was surprised how bad it looked, considering its age. TOS despite being older, in comparison has been restored so well. DS9 was grainy at times (very dark scenes on DS9 and Defiant) and at times a bit washed out/blurry. I also had odd problems with image freezing. Not sure if it is cos the conversion of 60i NTSC to 1080p24 or maybe it is cos my Oppo's firmware is positively ancient now. Still, it brought back a lot of old memories watching DS9 and a great homage to the franchise. Wife says she might even agree for us to revisit TNG and VOY again. Hopefully TNG will be out fully on Bluray by then.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-krlbfYhBz0&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 06, 2013, 23:19
A few more unspectacular TOS episodes tonight: Gamesters of Triskelion, A Piece of the Action and The Immunity Syndrome.

Gamesters was about slavery and I guess there was a morality tale in there, but I just couldn't take Kirk's overacting seriously (which he does every time he's zapped by his obedience collar :))

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RhmNyrWefig/UGQAxs5ayjI/AAAAAAAABHM/pFdEixajidg/s1600/Gamesters+of+Triskelion+1.jpg)

Kirk does a variation of talking the computer to death (in this case, the "computer" are beings that have shed their physical bodies and look like glowing brains that wobble when they talk) where he gets them to up the ante for his freedom and the freedom of the other slaves. By other slaves, I mean the hot chick that falls in love with him because he has no qualms killing all the other slaves that were ordered to fight him, including a poor Andorian that was not shown previously in the episode.

This was then followed by A Piece of the Action, where Kirk tries to "fix" a mistake from a previous starship (Horizon) who had meddled in a pre-warp civilisation (prior to the Prime Directive). In the 100s of years since that encounter, Starfleet had had no contact with the planet and only just sent the Enterprise to investigate when they received a sub light radio signal from the Horizon. Apparently the Horizon had been destroyed following the encounter so it took a long time for the radio signal to reach Earth. So this brought us to a very interesting premise. A pre-warp civilisation contaminated with knowledge of space travel. When the Horizon left the planet, they left behind books about medicine and others but the population became enamoured by just one book: Mobsters of Chicago in the 1920s and then proceeded to model their entire civilization after that society.

OK, so far so good. I see possibilities to repeat City on the Edge of Forever. But no. Kirk and gang get captured by the mobsters the moment they land. But thanks to the vulcan nerve pinch and some boneheaded gangster wannabes, Kirk (mainly Spock) disables their captors and escape. And then proceed to get caught again. And again. And again. I am surprised Spock didn't just give up trying to save the damn Captain. I mean trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, shame on me, right? But after the third, fourth, fifth times Kirk got captured, I thought enough was enough. What the hell happened during the Academy!?? Did they teach nothing about tactics and security!?? I guess going by the number of redshirts they have gone through in Season 2, perhaps Starfleet Academy's strongest suit isn't security. At the end of it all, I couldn't even be bothered that Kirk (despite all the shenanigans) was still unable to fix the intervention that Horizon had caused. Plus, McCoy also proceeded to leave his communicator behind. I think they might have been better off just not visiting. Horizon may have done a bad thing, but Kirk's attempt seemed far worse!

And don't even bring up his gangster speak :)

And tonight's finale: The Immunity Syndrome. It isn't too bad a story, but like what I mentioned in a previous post, it seems like the writers often make the characters do something stupid or out of character to advance the storyline which can be exasperating.

Picture this:
Oh, there's something we don't know that has killed a whole spaceship full of Vulcans and an entire solar system.

Oh wait, here's a black mass of energy that we cannot explain and our probes have been unsuccessful in their data gathering efforts.

Oh I know what. I'll move the Enterprise to be enveloped in the black mess.

Right. So now we have an emergency.

To be fair, I vaguely recall TNG/DS9 (and VOY was particularly a bad offender) always used some silly technobabble to explain the problem (and often using another buzzword of technobabble to get out of said problem) but I don't recall the crew doing something as boneheaded as this.

OK, now that we are in a pickle, the rest of the story isn't too bad, with Kirk facing a moral decision: which one of his friends to send to his death.

As a sidenote, if you are concerned about getting commendations as an officer of the Enterprise, you really have to be on the Bridge. Scotty was smart that he moved his station to the Bridge as opposed to S1 where he was always in the engine room. Because if you aren't on the Bridge, it's out of sight and out of mind come commendation time from Kirk! Poor Sulu didn't get one.

And as for the misogyny that I noticed in an earlier episode, here it comes again. BOTH times, Kirk talked about finding some R&R on some beautiful planet and BOTH times he was checking out a female ensign's butt. McCoy might as well have given him a locker room high five for his equally pervy knowing smile when Kirk said those words.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on July 07, 2013, 00:34
Bro DH, what did u mean by misogyny? He hated the women or their butts?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 07, 2013, 00:43
Bro DH, what did u mean by misogyny? He hated the women or their butts?

Misogyny can also be manifest by a depiction of women as sexual objects.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 07, 2013, 22:38
Another trio of TOS episodes tonight from Season 2: A Private Little War, Return to Tomorrow and finally, Patterns of Force

For a while I thought Kirk's over the top ham acting was going to be hard to top. But I was wrong. This time, the honors fall to Nancy Kovack, who plays a witch doctor of a backward tribe who is scheming her way to be the first lady of the planet. Google said she did quite well for herself as the rest of us may know her as Mrs Zubin Mehta :)

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/privatelittlewar/thumbs/new_tosr045_extra_01.jpg)
Here she is, doing her shaman dance to save Kirk from the bite from the Yeti Mugato (see below). As we can see, Kirk has his dazzling effect on the laaayyyydeees even when he's unconscious ;)
(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/privatelittlewar/thumbs/new_tosr045_extra_05.jpg)

In any case, the over acting didn't really detract from what was fundamentally a very good commentary on the Vietnam War at a time when the press were controlled (yes even in the US) from reporting on the conflict. I think the abominable snowman side story was totally unnecessary.

Return to Tomorrow features another fully evolved alien race that only exists in energy form after the destruction of their planet. This time, the aliens claim to be the forefathers of humans (Vulcans too, they aren't fussy). So they need to use the bodies of humans (and said Vulcan) to be vessels of their consciousness while they construct android bodies to carry on. But things don't always go according to plan when one of the entities is a sworn enemy of the others cue Nimoy in another rare episode of TOS where he gets to smile and laugh (usually with a Dr Evil type effect) . Diana Muldaur looks surprisingly hot as the love interest for Kirk Sargon. She would go on to be the ship doctor in S2 of TNG. And just when I thought Kirk had lost the crown of ham acting, he goes off on a record breaking attempt to reclaim it. In this episode, the alien beings do a few body swaps with 3 of the crew, and only Kirk has to go through spasms when this happens. I can understand that Spock's Vulcan mind is better able to manage the pain but Muldaur's Mulhall character is completely calm.
(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/rtt/kirk_sargon_overact.jpg)

And then, when the Sargon-possessed Kirk speaks (it sounded dubbed over by Shatner with a megaphone tho Wiki says it is voiced by the guy who plays Scotty), Kirk over does the over-acting bit again with his hand gesticulations that go all over the place!

(As an aside, in an old computer game called Wing Commander starring a less bloated Mark Hamill, I remember reading that actors who play the Kilrathi cats were told not to over-gesticulate. It is apparently quite common, where the actor over-compensates when he can't talk in the scene)

OK. Criticisms aside, this episode was entertaining. In fact, there's an ongoing theme with tonight's 3 episodes about power and corruption. In Tomorrow, however evolved these beings were, they were still fallible.

And finally Patterns of Force which I guess explored another contravention of the Prime Directive. This time, a historian (Gill) tasked with observing a race of violent people, decided to interfere by creating a society based on Nazi Germany because (it was alleged) it was the most efficient society. But with the society united by the historian (now Fuhrer), it was easy for his number 2 to usurp control of the organization for his own selfish means. The problem as Kirk said wasn't that the leader of the Nazis were crazy, which they were, but that that system led to one man controlling all the power. Which then prompted Spock to begin spouting the names of various Earth dictators, Caesar etc.. which included Lee Kuan. Hmmm.. maybe Star Trek was prescient after all ;)

Overall, the premise and the message was ultimately what made Star Trek (at least the TNG series I liked) so popular. The only niggles I had had to do with (again) writers making the characters do bone headed things to move the story along. For one thing, when Bones could not diagnose the problem with Gill, he could have been transported back to the Enterprise where McCoy said he could have treated him properly. Instead of Kirk forcing McCoy to zap Gill with stimulants without knowing the toxin (and with a possibility of killing him instead) and then Kirk himself administering another dose (that McCoy said wasn't advisable) and then slapping Gill senseless to bring him out of his stupor. I mean the guy could have been killed dammit. Getting him onboard the Enterprise might have been just as expedient considering they spent a long time just pussyfooting around the Nazi complex anyway.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 08, 2013, 22:43
Tonight By Any Other Name, The Omega Glory and The Ultimate Computer finally breaks the bad spell of TOS.

In the opening act of By Any Other Name, you already knew tiko Kirk was gonna be putting his moves on the babe with another impossible outfit. Where do they find these outfits!??

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/baon/tosr050_extra_02.jpg)

But there was some method to the madness, it seems. Through a mind probe (I have a sneaky feeling Spock's powers are just added each time the writers encounter a block they cannot figure out how to write around, much like the invention of Kryptonite in the Superman radio series), Spock discovers that the group of human looking aliens are actually a multi-tentacled beast that has essentially broken itself up into many parts and assumed human form. Spock figures that the way to break down these aliens who have access to a powerful force field is to drive them to distraction. And since one of them is a hot female, the dirty dastardly deed falls on Kirk to seduce the woman. As an unintended effect, it also causes the leader of the aliens to get into a jealous rage. Scotty also pulls a difficult duty, having to empty out his secret stash of booze to drink his alien counterpart under the table. Sadly, the attempt to get the force field controller fails as Scotty also passes out from the alcohol. At the end of it, Kirk reasons that the aliens are unlikely to be able to retain their core identities after centuries of inhabiting a human body (needed to travel back to their home planet), so a truce is forged.

The remastering does some pretty nifty effects with the Enterprise now going at Warp 11. Don't know why they never retained those modifications by the aliens.

Next, The Omega Glory tackles the Prime Directive in earnest. This time the two faced Captain Kirk decides to report his colleague Cap'n Tracey to mata for breaking the Prime Directive. Except that Kirk has been there and done that. Many times. Without as much as a slap on the wrist. Eventually we find out the bad Captain Tracey is really bad and really does deserve to be sent to the slammers. But Kirk was ready to do that, even before we got that far. That inconsistency aside, the writers did try to make a commentary of the times, when tensions between the Commies and the Yanks were escalating. Of course, it's a bit odd that this planet had the same Declaration of Independence and the same flag as the US of A but I guess we can let that slide.

Finally the Ultimate Computer has you guessed it, Kirk talking another computer to death. I guess in the 60s, with the age of computers just dawning there was a real fear that jobs would be lost. So in this story, you have a computer designed to not just take over the command of the shop, equipped with the skills of a starfleet captain, it is also tied in to the rest of the systems and bypasses the need for (not just Kirk but also) Sulu, Chekov, and maybe even Scotty. As usual is the case of stories in this era, it is a recipe for disaster. I vaguely recall TNG or VOY might have attempted a similar storyline as well. In this case, though we never really figured out what went wrong. It is likely that the human brain used to imprint on the computer (the genius doctor Richard Daystrom who was diagnosed to be mentally unstable) might have not been up to the job. If that's the case, it would seem odd to discard all that research since it could have been corrected. All in all though, it was quite an entertaining episode with a fair share of thrills and suspense. The space battle was very nicely CGI-ed in this new version.

With this fiasco behind him, I am surprised Daystrom still manages to get an institute named after him (mentioned in DS9 and TNG I think).

Still, it was heartening to see another black man being in a position of importance in the 60s. Something only Gene Roddenberry would have dared to put on TV and kudos to him.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on July 09, 2013, 03:05
Misogyny can also be manifest by a depiction of women as sexual objects.



Oh I see. Maybe it's just semantics- sexual objectivism can be part of misogyny but it can be completely separate too. Hence you must mean that the character portrays his hatred of women by objectifying them as sexual ummm objects (like the all apples are fruits, but not all fruits are apples argument)- just struck me as a bit odd I always thought Kirk had it the other way round, he would just try and copulate his way thru the galaxy ha ha! (where no man has gone before type jokes).

Anyway, jus ignore me...
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 09, 2013, 10:45
I think Star Trek was quite revolutionary in its portrayal of women and non whites at the bridge of a flagship vessel. That was why such lapses are all the more apparent, I guess.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 09, 2013, 13:26
Which then prompted Spock to begin spouting the names of various Earth dictators, Caesar etc.. which included Lee Kuan. Hmmm.. maybe Star Trek was prescient after all ;)

I've always wondered if that was indeed a deliberate reference to our LKY, or just a coincidence. Given that the episode was aired around 1967, it really could go either way: in 1967 I don't think Singapore was really on a typical American TV writer or producer's radar so I'd guess probably not -- it would be different if such a reference had come up in the 80s.

The remastering does some pretty nifty effects with the Enterprise now going at Warp 11. Don't know why they never retained those modifications by the aliens.

There's a retcon in one of the TNG technical manuals (so strictly this isn't canon, but it's a reasonable explanation anyway) that the warp factor scale was recalibrated somewhere between the TOS and TNG eras: as at TNG, Warp 10 is in effect 'infinite speed', i.e. the object is everywhere simultaneously, and is impossible to achieve.  So the top speed of the Enterprise D was something in the region of warp 9.2 (or something like that).  In TOS era, the scale obviously went beyond 10, probably reaching 20 but I don't remember what it was. 

(Bah.  Why on earth do I remember useless fictional 'facts', and not more important stuff...)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 09, 2013, 15:21
Who knows? I guess we'd have to ask the writers if he's still around :)

I do know of the retcon to recalibrate the warp scale but what I meant was this Warp 11 speed when the aliens in By Any Other Name had upgraded the Enterprise. At that time, the ship was not under any duress/stress even when it passed through the barrier so it seemed like a viable upgrade.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 09, 2013, 22:42
We reached the end of Season 2 of TOS tonight.

Bread and Circuses followed by Assignment Earth.

Bread and Circuses deals with another incursion of the Prime Directive. For the benefit of those who aren't familiar of the concept, Kirk, McCoy and Spock proceed to repeat all the salient points of the audience, and then proceeds to beam himself down to the planet in Starfleet uniforms, phaser weapons and of course Spock. In an earlier episode, Kirk had some transponders inserted underneath their skins so Enterprise could locate them whenever and wherever. You'd think that along with a suitable local attire, that would also be standard landing party gear by now. I guess the Prime Directive is really not that important. And despite having tricorders and other surveillance equipment as part of the landing party, Spock, Kirk and McCoy get captured. Not once. But twice. Come on, Spock. You can do better than this.

As I said before, numbheaded behaviour to move the plot along. Which I guess does pay off dividends. So here we have, another planet that has "evolved" much like Earth has. Including language English and a lasting Roman Empire that still has slaves and gladiator games, its survival in part because the empire has adapted over the years, such as pension and health benefits for slaves, by the time Kirk lands, which corresponds to a 20th century Earth type technology: television stations, machine guns etc. The ending was quite abrupt, quite common for a lot of S2 episodes I found, which is odd considering these episodes drag on much longer than the TNG episodes. But overall, a decent effort.

And just when you think Kirk is going to have it bad as a slave in that Roman empire
(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/breadcircus/new/09.jpg)

Poor Spock and McCoy don't quite have it so good. :)

Assignment: Earth is another time travel episode. In the DS9 episode, investigators from the Temporal Investigations department remarked dryly that Kirk had had 17 temporal violations. In the earlier episodes (and even in Voyage Home), time travel was always something that happened by mistake or was something attempted as a worst case scenario. But no, here was Kirk taking a leisurely trip slingshot-ing the Enterprise past the sun to conduct a survey on a tumultous period of Earth's history! REALLY?? And you have problems with someone else tampering with the Prime Directive?

But it was merely a vehicle to spin off a new series that Roddenberry had been brewing, which never took off. Whatever the flimsy premise that brought Kirk and crew to 1968 Earth, the idea of a futuristic James Bond with the agenda of saving Earth from itself was quite promising. Roddenberry had used futuristic worlds in Star Trek to provide an allegory of Earth and its problems of the 60s but here was an attempt to set the stories in more contemporary situations. The characters were also interesting. Gary Seven (I wonder if there were allusions to 007) was the secret human spy sent by an alien intent on preventing earth from self destruction while its culture and philosophies caught up to the technology. And his computer looked awfully close to the M5 that almost destroyed the Enterprise two episodes earlier ;)

This time, Kirk never got to put his moves on. A nice change ;)

Onward to Season 3.

ps not sure if it was deliberate but after Neil deGrasse Tyson mentioned it on TheDailyShow, I am now more conscious when earth spins the wrong way... which it seems to in Assignment Earth. Maybe it's a time travel effect?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 11, 2013, 00:01
S3 TOS kicks off with Spock's Brain, The Enterprise Incident, followed by The Paradise Syndrome. S3 was the start of the series faltering, with a cut in budget, and a move to the timeslot of death (aka Friday nights).

Spock's Brain was a pretty flimsy episode where aliens steal Spock's brain to act as a building control computer leaving his body intact. In an attempt to reattach the brain, McCoy uses an alien "teacher" hat to impart to him the necessary skills to reattach the brain but the effect wears off midway, so Kirk gets McCoy to reattach Spock's vocal chords to the brain so that Spock can guide McCoy to complete the re-attachment. Whaaa-aat? I agree. Flimsy? You betcha. Also the Prime Directive was conveniently forgotten in this episode. Kirk and gang encounter a neantherdal race and proceed with phasers blazing. You eventually realize the planet had actually progressed further (and then relapsed) but still, there was no sign of that when Kirk and gang first beamed down.

The Enterprise Incident wasn't too bad actually. Kirk goes nuts and orders the Enterprise into Romulan Airspace whereupon the Enterprise gets surrounded by Romulans (some in a Klingon bird of prey... officially, the canon has it that the Klingons and the Romulans had a technology exchange.. the unofficial story was that the old Romulan model was made by someone who wasn't a union member and after coming to negotiations with the union, the producers returned the model to its creator without payment, so the model maker understandably went apeshit and destroyed said model in his backyard, so ). Anyway, it has to be a good change when it is up to Spock to put his sexy moves on the Romulan commander, instead of Kirk's increasingly unsuave-looking belly and *horrors* sideburns (were we at the 70s already!??)
(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/ent_incident/tosr059_extra_5.jpg)
You've got the toucchhhhhh... you've got the powwwwaaaaaaaa

The CGI team had been tweaking the effects and I have to say, some of the scenes with the Enterprise going to Warp 9 and then changing course to avoid being hit were brilliantly executed. I'd say better than the first few TOS movies too. An intriguing episode and premise nevertheless. Shame the Federation never quite equipped their ships with the cloaking tech after this risky attempt.

And finally the Paradise Syndrome, which at least tries to explain why so many human-looking people exist in the universe. Apparently a group of aliens The Preservers (who obviously don't believe in the Prime Directive) had at many times, taken entire human colonies out of Earth's past just before they went extinct and replanted them on different planets so they could continue their culture and traditions.

In this episode/planet, the natives are of native American Indian descent and Kirk, well goes native after having amnesia, falls in love, gets married and has a baby on the way. Not bad in barely two months. Not quite Picard's Inner Light but there are parallels I guess. Sadly, we kinda knew there was only one way for the episode to end. There's no way Kirk could stay on the planet, nor could he bring the wife and kid in tow, so...

As ever, the ending wraps up very quickly and we are expected to assume that the Enterprise crew manage to "re-teach" the natives how to operate the obelisk in case of future calamities. Apparently the Preservers chose this planet knowing there would be chances of destruction by asteroids coming onto their paths but gave them a deflector beam to get them out of the jams. Too bad they didn't have a back up plan cos all it takes is for one generation to cock up (which it did).



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 11, 2013, 11:15
S3 TOS kicks off with Spock's Brain, The Enterprise Incident, followed by The Paradise Syndrome. S3 was the start of the series faltering, with a cut in budget, and a move to the timeslot of death (aka Friday nights).

Sadly, S3 does slip badly in terms of quality (of stories).  Spock's Brain often appears in "worst-of" lists. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 11, 2013, 12:26
Sadly, S3 does slip badly in terms of quality (of stories).  Spock's Brain often appears in "worst-of" lists. 

I sure hope S3 has more gems because IMHO S2 hasn't been spectacular either. I think it's been difficult to hit the high of City on the Edge of Forever in S1.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 11, 2013, 22:29
And so the TURD season of TOS plods on: tonight we have And The Children Shall Lead which goes nowhere and have the Enterprise over-run by a couple of kids possessed by an evil spirit sorry evil alien. The inconsistencies are many. Why and how was Spock affected? What was his worst fears? How did Kirk suddenly know to call the monster a Gorgon!?? Why didn't they just stun the damn kids? etc etc

And Uhura's greatest fear? Growing old and hideous. Boy! Score another for the female lib, why don't you, Mr Fred Freiberger!!

Onward then to Is There in Truth No Beauty? which stars Diana Muldaur yet again. They loved her so much in Return to Tomorrow in S2, they asked for her back and again in Season 2 of TNG. This is not quite a disaster as the last episode but a tad inconsistent. Nimoy deserves credit for not over-acting even when he has been given absolute free reign (being in the throes of insanity) whereas Kirk seems to get into Shatspasm every chance he gets. The treatment of women, as usual doesn't score high here. Granted, here was a woman ambassador who's on an important diplomatic mission, but then you have all the senior officers of Enterprise (save Spock) who are throwing themselves shamefully at her, questioning why she should waste her beauty on being an ambassador/mind meld agent to a hideous race. I read that Roddenberry was so angry at being shafted by the studio, he pretty much was hands off in this season. But why hand it off the Fred Neantherdal Flintstone, I have no idea.

Things get slighly better with the Spectre of the Gun. I vaguely recall watching this on rerun ages ago but even on second viewing, it does feel quite fresh still. By most accounts, it shouldn't work. It had a Western town that was a shell of itself. No walls. Nothing but facades. In the Trek, reality, it is because this world was fashioned by an alien being who had had a glimpse of the old West through Kirk's memories. In reality, of course, it was because of the cut in budgets and they could only have a makeshift Western set. But I thought that wasn't what made Star Trek memorable. It was the story. And even though Gene Coon couldn't bear to have his name on the script after he left, I thought they didn't too badly under Fred Flintstone's direction.

I'm gonna have to wiki the gunfight at OK Corral again. I always thought Wyatt Earp was the good guy but it wasn't the case in this Trek re-enactment. Oh, and for once, Chekov gets the girl ;) not Kirk!



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 12, 2013, 23:44
Day of the Dove, For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky and The Tholian Web of TOS S3 tonight.

Day of the Dove as ever shows the uneven-ness of TOS that I have griped about endlessly. As a premise, it is very novel. An alien being that feeds off conflict and as such, engineers the crew of the Enterprise and a Klingon vessel to face off against each other. Maybe it is the script, maybe it is the budget, but you'd have thought that if you were going to beam 40 or so Klingons around, you'd send them to the brigs until you figure out what to do. But no, they put them in the rec room. Yes. 40 Klingons in a rec room against 2 security guards. Oh, and I know I mentioned security and Starfleet training before but wow: a team of Klingons beam onto the planet where Kirk, Spock and gang are already on, and then proceed to slap Kirk in the face and hold them prisoners. Just sloppy writing. Spock standing there with a tricorder does not see that Klingons are transporting just steps away. Come on!! In the time it takes for them to materialize, you could have assumed a tactical position.

So we figure out all this by about midway through the plot and then we spend the rest of the show getting the Klingons on board. The tension is already gone by then. And the resolution at the end where both the Klingons and the Federation get a crappy laugh together to shoo the bad alien off just doesn't seem a good payoff. So what about the Klingons now having access to the Enterprise's engineering diagrams and specifications.

Hollow is interesting in that for once, the babe isn't infatuated with Kirk and Bones gets a go at being a Casanova. Like Kirk in Paradise, he too ties the knot with a local and unlike Kirk in Paradise, the girl doesn't have to die. The Prime Directive gets thrown about here and there but it seems open to debate. Here was a civilization that had gotten far more scientific progress than the Federation but 10000 years back had been faced with their solar system getting destroyed so they create a starship to transport their people to a new promised land. But obviously something has gone wrong and the Oracle (aka Ship Computer) seems to have developed a god complex. Kirk and Spock attempt to fix the navigation but then seem to have forgotten about the overbearing computer, whereas in Spock's brain, they have no qualms about shutting down the computer and letting the natives fend for themselves.

And finally The Tholian Web which I vaguely recall from the Enterprise (the Scott Bakula one) dark universe episode crossover. It was quite a well written episode and the acting (perhaps because Kirk was out of action for most of it) was actually quite good and gave the Spock and McCoy dynamics a good workout. Although it can sometimes be annoying when McCoy seems to be incessantly suspicious that Spock has ambitions to take over the command of the Enterprise even when Spock has given ample examples in the past that he is not. I think perhaps that is why I like the TOS movies better. There is more of that banter and crossing of wits but less of the venom which seems to get thrown about quite frequently in the TV series. Then again, this could have been a side effect of being in that particular part of space. But that aside, it was great seeing the two of them tackle the problem in their own domains and come up on top of the problem, something which I enjoyed about the TNG series.





Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 13, 2013, 22:16
TOS continued tonight first with Plato's Stepchildren. The missus had grown very weary of TOS and I managed to persuade her to watch the next episode Wink of an Eye (which thankfully wasn't as crummy).

Plato's Stepchildren was the episode where the much talked about Kirk/Uhura kiss first occurred although to not offend the "southerners", it was "forced" upon Kirk and Uhura, acting under the telekinetic compulsion of another god like race. The premise isn't bad per se. Like many TOS episodes, it talks of the temptations great and unchecked power can be drawn into. But the acting was so stilted and Kirk's hamminess takes on a new level, it was hard to take. They spent more time with the hackneyed "puppet" act and less time trying to figure out how to break the telekinesis. They eventually did of course.. but as usual it is Kirk who gets the power. I'd have thought Spock more likely to master that given the Vulcan mind discipline. But how does Kirk demonstrate his new found powers? By using it on the poor powerless dwarf minion. Come on, Kirk. Do the Force death choke or something on the leader of the aliens. Heck, I'd even be impressed if you could return the favor and get him to slap himself.

Wink of an Eye isn't a great episode but watched alongside Plato, it's masterpiece theatre. At least there was some form of suspense and both Kirk and his team (Spock and McCoy) while separated by the new alien race manage to find ways to collaborate and get to the problem.

We finally took a break from TOS to watch the old The Detective starring Aaron Kwok from 2007. Was just thankfully to be free from the amateur/ham acting hour. The plot itself was simple to follow though the creepy ending was a bit discordant with the finding of the remains of the detective's parents. It should be fun to watch the second instalment of that, which we thought would focus on his parents' murder.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 14, 2013, 22:19
TOS hiatus continues with The Detective 2. Glad they didn't go on a supernatural tangent yet. Looks like Tam's search for his parents killing will have to wait for part 3.

The Detective 2 continues where the first movie left off but I feel that they have lost a bit of the magic from the first movie. This one seems to take itself too seriously and tries to one up Silence of the Lambs but comes up feeling disjointed and incoherent. The other problem is that the killer is pretty much presented to us from the first act so the element of suspense is gone.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 15, 2013, 22:39
I think the Detective suffers from the Oxide Pang trilogy curse. The Eye was a refreshing take on the horror movie genre but the sequels were quite dismal. So too has the Conspirators brought the Detective saga to a grinding halt.

Brevity is not a strong suit for Oxide Pang and the film drags on in many places without a purpose and the twist in the end was more of a whimper (much like m night shyamalan's much later outings). Worse the closing scenes seem abrupt and untidy. I get that he's trying to show closure and moving on but there's just a lot of disconnect.

I think I might have enjoyed watching GI Joe 2 a second time more ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 16, 2013, 23:15
TOS S3 continues. My wife has spotted a trend. It seems like episodes that take place on the Enterprise seem to have much more substantial plots than the ones that place on the planet. Maybe it is the dreaded budget cuts so when they spent on a good script, they have to skimp on the sets. And vice versa.

The Empath follows yet another nova solar system. And Kirk ends up being captive to (yet another) superior space beings who seem keen to subject Kirk and crew to all sorts of torture, for "scientific purposes". This episode doesn't take place on the starship but the sets are so bare, and the props recycled from many earlier episodes,  I guess we could say they spent the money on the script. And they sorta did. There's a half decent story in there, but with the over-hammy acting from Kirk (not helped but further augmented by the female lead, Hays who plays the mute Gem), it was a little hard to keep a decent perspective. The only redeeming factor I think is in the portrayal of the trio from Enterprise. You can see the bonds forming between Kirk/McCoy and Spock. This is something we haven't seen from the 2009 reboot and its sequel.

Elaan of Troyius (sounds a bit like Helen of Troy, doesn't it?) was next. The portrayal of Elaan was not a positive step in women's lib, and maybe even worse for racial stereotypes. Elaan looks like a primitive tribal African warrior princess that Kirk has to teach table manners to and finally submits herself to him when Kirk proceeds to slap some sense into her (literally! tho it could be argued she slapped first).. She then seduces Kirk (and puts him under her spell with her biochemistry) and then becomes his "woman by his side". Cringe. I suspect a bit of this story was carried over to TNG's The Perfect Mate which stars the incredible Famke Janssen which I felt was infinitely better told. All said, Elaan carried with it the message that responsibilities sometimes over-ruled personal feelings, something Kirk finally imparted to Elaan. And the space battle with the Klingons was decently re-CGIed. The Klingon ship still looks like crap but the manoeuvrings feel a lot more realistic. I just wish that the writers do not create silly scenarios that tax the viewers' minds. Here we have a violent race given free reign over the ship, so easily that they can destroy the warp drive and the phaser controls. I mean. REALLY?? Security?? really jiak liao peng.

Onward then to Whom Gods Destroy, which seems to fit the wife's hypothesis about TOS. Here the action takes place on a "planet" so the good script must of course be thrown out. And it is. Here a megalomaniac lunatic, formerly a Starfleet Captain and one of Kirk's heroes, takes over an insane asylum built on a toxic planet. Could we see a repeat of Dagger of the Mind? In Season 3, unlikely. So you have a meandering plot that has the lunatic attempting to get Kirk's secret password, though it doesn't seem to be difficult to figure it out (not to me anyway). And then have a sexy Orion girl dance for Kirk (you knew that one was coming). And the shape shifting villain? He's just a regular person who just happened to use a skill to change his appearance. Not a god like being. So you may wonder, how does his outfit change as well? Maybe I shouldn't have asked. Nimoy was apparently quite pissed off with the script. may explain why he's always got his arms crossed when he's talking. ;)

We capped it off tonight with Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Takes place on the Enterprise = decent episode. TOS has sometimes been accused of being too preachy and this episode sorta qualifies but I think that distilling the idea of whites vs blacks into these two aliens was quite inspired. If I hadn't watched the Special Features on Disc 2, I might have missed out the black and white sides were swapped, and so it must have seemed to the crew on the Enterprise. I think the biggest problem I see is the running time. It's just too long for what is fundamentally a basic plot. So there's a lot of distractions and protracted monologuing that is probably the source of the "preachy" criticism. But compared to other episodes of S3, this has to be one of the better ones so far.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on July 17, 2013, 09:49
Doggie, I really admire your wife's tenacity in sitting thru TOS with ya...mine would have rolled her eyes & gone back to her taiwan hokkien dramas :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 17, 2013, 21:42
Against her wishes, we did GI Joe Retaliation tonight. This was the Extended Cut and I thought it was a better edit than the one I saw in the movie. In the theatrical release, the focus was on Roadblack and what was left of GI Joe's forces. In the Extended Cut, there was almost as much length given to the Jinx/Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow storyline.

I liked the added scenes involving the passing of the new carbon fibre blade.

I know a lot of people said it was nonsense but there's a bit of fun watching your action figures come back to life. True, it's not Pacific Rim, but there are some good moments in there. For instance, the baddies were trying to torture the Prez for where they were imprisoning the Cobra Commander and for a while we thought the Prez had caved but it turned out the Cobra guys were pretty smart too. They framed Snake Eyes for a crime and then arrested Storm Shadow (disguised as Snake Eyes) to be imprisoned in the same facility. And once they knew where it was, they could plan a prison break.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: dXter on July 18, 2013, 09:22
I have not watch the theatrical version of GI Joe Retalialtion but thought the extended action version was pretty much better than the first movie as a movie. But as a continuation, many things were amiss, like the Joes' technology in the first movie. What happened to the super soldier suit that the Joes wore? Where's the black dude with Duke? Where's Dennis Quaid? Admittedly, I did not enjoy the first movie, it was like a super extended cartoon show, the second one is a bit better.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 18, 2013, 11:29
dXter, we hear after the opening credits that Duke is now in charge of a tactical team. I guess that means his ex-partner might be doing something else and Quaid's character is in another operation or separate group. Possible spoilers here: The destruction that hit Duke's team must have also seen the other GI Joe sites/groups being hit simultaneously by Cobra. So when Roadblock regrouped, all he had left were the few gadgets we saw. He mentioned he can't go back to the old GI Joe SOPs because the enemy would be monitoring that

In the special features, the director and the producers etc wanted to go back to the old GI Joe cartoons where they fought on sea/air/land rather than in hitech scifi scenarios. This was the way they created the conditions for the sequel's fight scenes.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 18, 2013, 21:33
Just a one episoder tonight from TOS: Mark of Gideon and not a particularly great one. Breaks wife's hypothesis. In this one, the Captain is stuck on an abandoned Enterprise, ergo no need to pay extras or create additional sets ;) but the plot while not the worst of this season, just falls flat at the end.

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/markofgideon/thumbs/new_tosr072_extra_02.jpg)

Two minutes is apparently all it takes for Kirk to seduce the new alien chick. And if you needed a lesson on safe sex, this is it. ;) this chick is the d00m3d with the deadly virus that Kirk's carrying inside.

And it doesn't really say much about the captain's much talked about smart-ness when he transports down without a communicator (unlike Spock who uses it the first chance he gets) nor does he realize the Enterprise he is on is a fake. It took Spock all of 2 minutes (same time it takes for Kirk to seduce said alien chick) to realize the ship is a duplicate and not operational (even before he takes out his tricorder). Kirk was still pissing himself wondering what happened to his crew. Say it ain't so, Shatner!!??
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: xiao_vin on July 19, 2013, 00:05
(http://images4.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/44141_large.jpg)
This is the very first time I watch this movie after 21 years.
I think that this is one of the best baseball movie that Hollywood had made.
Bonding and relationship between the 2 sisters Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller.
Not much of Madonna and Tom Hanks in this film and I think Penny Marshall is just using their names to sell the movie in the past.
I checked out this film is very successful in the box office scoring 110mil
110mil in 1992 is like 3-400mil in modern days.
My wife and I enjoy this movie very very much and recommend for everyone whom never watch this A League of Their Own.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 19, 2013, 23:41
vin, A League of Their Own is quite a moving story from what I recalled. Watched it in the cinema years ago but haven't seen it on BR. I think I might have the DVD somewhere.

For my wife and I, I offered her the choice of Dead Man Down, New World (a Korean flick) and she said she didn't want to watch a mob movie. so off we went to TOS. Again.

That Which Survives. For once, Kirk doesn't get to err fraternise with the hot alien of the episode, who was apparently played by some beauty queen because the character has a death touch. This episode is supposed to be the last one that Robert Justman worked on. He left after he got fed up with all the paltry scripts and cuts in budget. I can see why That Which Survives is the proverbial straw that broke his back :)

The premise is over-used: dead and gone alien race leaves behind old technology and the Enterprise crew gets ensnared somehow. You figure this out about 5-10 minutes into the show and then the plot just mucks around for the next 30 minutes involving Kirk/Sulu and McCoy playing what my wife calls a kiddie - eagle catch little chicken - game against the female alien/robot.

http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/144Kaleidoscope1843.html
(http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/images/arbigimages/60cb1f6c6647c88ab624f3b9f32ec2fa.jpg)
I kid ye not!! :)

Eventually, Kirk tries his usual "talk the computer to death" routine which thankfully doesn't work this time and he has to depend on Spock to save the day. Having Kirk and McCoy marooned leaves an interesting dynamic on Enterprise: Spock vs Scotty. Spock seems a bit of an ass here being overly supercilious. You can be courteous without being illogical, the wife says. And she's right. Scotty also does seem a bit more obtuse than usual. Again I blame the lazy script writers who just make the characters behave "out of character" at times just to get the plot going.

This was followed by The Lights of Zetar, which deals with another gone extinct alien race. Kirk scores zero for two with the resident babe this time being Scotty's. Again, the writers choose to make Scotty an imbecile. Scotty has proven himself of being a capable acting captain when both Spock and Kirk are on away missions. So it is grating to see him behaving like a lovesick puppy who ignores his duties just to spend "quality" time with the girl.

The plot resolution is weak and the losses suffered by the Memory Alpha project are just completely ignored.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 20, 2013, 23:22
We caught two more episodes of TOS S3 tonight. Requiem for Methuselah, then The Way To Eden.

Requiem isn't a bad premise. Damn, I keep saying that about TOS episodes it's getting to be a pattern. Imagine if Highlander were alive for 4000 years, maybe more and had lived the lives of Leonardo da Vinci, Brahms et al and you go from there. Tired of having his loves die on him, the man, Flint decided to create the ultimate android companion. She's beautiful, intelligent, graceful, well-read but there's a slight niggle. She feels no love for him, oblivious to the fact that she's an android and was built for him.

By luck, the Enterprise trio - Kirk, Spock, McCoy land on the planet in search of a plant to synthesise a drug to cure them of a fatal virus outbreak. Flint, obviously wants his privacy, having bought the planet for that purpose, to live away from humanity. But changes his mind and lets the Enterprise crew stay while his robot begins to work on the cure.

Then things get weird. Kirk, the guy who can ignore the spell binding effect of Elaan's tears, who had fathered a child with a native American in paradise, suddenly forgets his duties, with his crew dying on board the Enterprise and goes to woo the woman of his host, unaware she is an android. How rude! And this coming from a guy who was trying to teach manners to Elaan? Terrible. Worse, Spock is constantly reminding him of his duties so he can't really claim he forgot either.

Anyway, this is the silly bit. Flint thinks he can get fatso Kirk (and he is getting rather large as S3 progresses) to arouse the feelings of love in the android (and he does) but that once Kirk leaves, she will transfer her affections to him (Flint).

The bit which is interesting is when the android is finally aware she was built and decides to exercise her freedom to choose. Thankfully, TNG's Data would have a much better script and story to work out that issue a few centuries later. But points to the TOS team for effort.

In non-canon, Flint goes on to assume another identity and trains Noonien aka Data's dad in the field of robotics. Neat tie up except Data seems a bit less advanced than the android in this episode.

Eden on the other hand, just made us want to stop watching Star Trek for good. Space hippies. Zilch Federation Security measures (Chekov tells his ex-gf, now hippie, everything she needs to know to hijack the Enterprise. WTF! And more Kirk overacting. I don't think there was even a redeeming point to this show.

So in the end, we switched to something light. Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brendan Fraser. I bought this ages ago and the 3D was the red/blue glasses type, so we skipped to 2D mode. Was aghast the soundtrack was only Dolby Digital and was noticeably quite wimpy. Some of the CGI is showing its age as well. But it was a fun to watch movie. Good moments of comedy and the cast had pretty good rapport.

In other news, I have been reading this article
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/07/hollywood_and_blake_snyder_s_screenwriting_book_save_the_cat.html

And I suspect Journey follows the formula by Blake Snyder to a T, as does every Hollywood blockbuster since, including Pacific Rim!

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 21, 2013, 22:48
Actually S3, despite the budget cuts and inane scripts does have some redeeming qualities and tonight's 3 episodes have been surprisingly above average in terms of premise: The Cloud Minders, the Savage Curtain and All Our Yesterdays.

The Cloud Minders perhaps shows a startling picture of Metropoli Singapore taken to extremes. Elites are able to enjoy life and deliberate the finer aspects of arts and philosophy while the Troglytes, as Spock notes, do all the work but do not enjoy any of the fruits. Yes, it does have its DUH moments when Spock discusses the Pon Far so liberally with the babe of Bespin Cloud City sorry wrong movie Stratos despite it being such a taboo subject before (and even in Tuvok's timeline in VOY, it is still so). Maybe it is the beguiling charm of Droxine.
(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/cloudminders/new_tosr074_08.jpg)
Spock says: Extreme feminine beauty is always disturbing

Kirk doesn't get so lucky here. The girl he's with, a rebel is always ready to stick a knife into him everytime they meet, and Kirk (well Shatner) seems to take a lot of joy in manhandling her and being on top of her every chance he gets. Even in the parting scene, he still tries to hold her face in his hands. It seems out of place and very inappropriate but well, you know, it's Kirk.

Overall though, I think the class system is worth exploring further, if anything because the poor-rich divide seems to be a very contemporary issue as well. There are some arguments that Kirk never does enough to fight the injustice in the place but I suppose with the Federation's non-interference rule, Kirk already breached the rules with his abduction of a senior politician.

The Savage Curtain borrows elements from previous episodes where Kirk and his crew fight for their lives, gladiator style but I thought the premise was quite good. Kirk and Spock are partnered with their respective heroes: Lincoln and Surak who are portrayed by pretty credible guest actors to fight against some choice villians of all time, including Kahless (tho he is quite useless here and we only see him in his element when Worf/TNG get into the action), Genghis Khan and a contemporary of Noonien Singh aka the other Khan.

The beings mediating the fight eventually concludes that there is no difference between good and evil because they choose to fight in the same way. Lincoln too remarked something similar - that war is dirty and violent. Kirk sees it differently. He says the reason to fight is different. Evil fights for power and runs away when the odds are against them. Good fights for well, the greater good.

And finally All Our Yesterdays. This doesn't have the usual Star Trek airy fairy ideals but it does deal with McCoy and Spock being forced to get along, and Spock getting the girl (second and possibly only other time in history). Have to say Nimoy's one lucky bastard. First time was with Jill Ireland ;) and this time he gets to make out with another hottie. I thought the idea that these aliens had to survive the sun going nova was quite novel. They were an advanced race but never ventured with space travel. Instead, they put their resources into time travel and that served them well in the end, allowing their people to escape into the past. But bungling Kirk ends up getting caught in the planet's past because he tries to play hero (again) and Kirk/McCoy end up stranded even further back in their rush to save him.

(http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/yesterdays/spock_scoop_zarabeth.jpg)
mrpointyeared gets lucky
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 22, 2013, 22:37
Damn. Had no idea the end was so near. I had one more disc to go on Season 3 so was shocked when I realized it was just two episodes of The Cage (the unaired pilot).

So I was left with a whimper of an ending: Turnabout Intruder. Let's get some things out of the way. This was not a good moment for female equality in the Star Trek Universe. While we have not seen women as Captains in TOS up till that point, there was nothing to suggest that a woman could not assume command of a Starship. It is possible though that Dr Lester was found to have a few screws loose (like Merrick from Bread and Circuses) but her ego caused her to blame Starfleet rather than herself.

But I was quite surprised by the premise. I always thought the body swap stories were always a more modern plot device so it would have been quite fresh to see it in the 1960s. So here we have Kirk swapping bodies with a psychotic female and Kirk hamming it up, as he always does. The scene that cracked me was when Bones was questioning him about his decision and Kirk sits in the corner, filing his nails. Hilarious.

I did think the episode did draw a lot on the assumed relationship between Spock and Kirk, that Spock could sense when an impostor had taken over his place. That was a neat part of this episode.

But to have this entire pivotal series end on such a whimper was quite painful.

I guess there had to be some credit to the remastering team for at least creating a fitting "last shot" to TOS to match the last shot of all the other Star Trek Enterprise based series that have come and gone since.

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/turnaboutintruder/tosrfinalshot.jpg)

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/turnaboutintruder/thumbs/tngfinalshot.jpg)

(http://trekmovie.com/tosrem/turnaboutintruder/thumbs/entfinalshot.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 22, 2013, 22:40
The Cloud Minders perhaps shows a startling picture of Metropoli Singapore taken to extremes. Elites are able to enjoy life and deliberate the finer aspects of arts and philosophy while the Troglytes, as Spock notes, do all the work but do not enjoy any of the fruits.

Forgot to mention something the wife remarked: the premise of this is a lot like the upcoming movie Elysium.

I really love my geeky wife ;) (even if she won't ever admit to this!)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jdc115 on July 22, 2013, 23:00
But to have this entire pivotal series end on such a whimper was quite painful.

I never watched the original series but it was always struggling to stay on the air from what I understand.  So it might have ended without really trying to find a proper completion to the series if it just got dropped
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 23, 2013, 21:37
Tonight Star Trek - The Motion Picture.

Taking place less than a decade after the series ended, the crew does seem to have aged more than that. While the Enterprise is still the same vessel as in the TV series, merely retrofitted and upgraded, the ship seems larger. The rec room is large enough to hold the entire crew, and it feels more like the 1701D in terms of size. I did love the amazing detail on it and wished that the remastering project for the TV series had seen fit to upgrade the CGI shots to at least these designs. So the swirly pink nacelles are gone (phew) and the deflector array looks far more like what we are used to in TNG and the later TOS movies.

Overall the transfer is quite inconsistent. Parts of it look great but there's a lot of softness in some shots and also a weird -out of focus- affects parts of the scene. This is not a depth of field effect because objects further away are sharper still. It's like when some shows blur out faces of people (usually when they don't have the rights),

Quote
Addendum from a review of hidefdigest
With that said, while watching the movie, you'll need to keep in mind the conditions under which it was made. The majority of the film was photographed using anamorphic lenses with short focal range on dimly-lit interior sets. As a result, there are a great many soft-focus scenes throughout the movie. Director Robert Wise also liked to play with split-diopter lenses, in which one side of the screen will be focused on the foreground while the other side of the screen will be focused on the background, usually with a visible line demarking the two. It's an effect that isn't used much in modern movies, and the dramatic drop-off in focus between the two sides of the screen can be very distracting at times.

The sound though is quite impressive. And with DTS NeoX upmix, there was a very cool effect of the "arc-ing" sound effects panned across the front L/R, wide L/R and height L/R speakers when the Enterprise was within VGer.

Story wise, this wasn't a high point for the TOS gang. It basically rehashes an old episode on TOS called The Changeling but jazzes it up with special effects. The movie does feel a bit protracted like it could have ended far sooner, but this again was a regular complaint on the TV shows itself.

But it was fun watching the gang back together again. It's kinda like watching Prison Break's S3 and later because it was fun "reuniting" so you put up with some illogic :)

Wife did say that it's odd that save for the top 3 honchos (Kirk, McCoy and Spock), all the original crew were still in their old positions. So no one got promoted in close to a decade except for Kirk!?? Not so good for a Federation career path :)

As for special effects, one of the complaints I always had was the it was always hard to picture where the ship was in space, especially in scenes where the Enterprise was in a large force field/complex like VGer. It always felt like they projected a repeating fractal pattern around the Enterprise that looked 2D-ish and that hasn't changed in this remaster. I thought the Tholian Web in TOS remaster looked more 3Dish than this movie. That aside, the opening scenes with the Klingon warbirds were a great change after the flat stickered designs on the TOS bluray remaster.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 25, 2013, 15:56
Wife did say that it's odd that save for the top 3 honchos (Kirk, McCoy and Spock), all the original crew were still in their old positions. So no one got promoted in close to a decade except for Kirk!?? Not so good for a Federation career path :)

That's always been a problem when it comes to long running series and the notional career progression of the team members -- just consider TNG, where Riker was Picard's deputy for in effect around 10 years in his character's timeline, and declined THREE promotions to captain, and command of his own ship, with the notional hope of becoming captain of the Enterprise himself.  No officer that capable, and that ambitious, would have allowed his own career to stagnate to that extent, even if he really was holding out for the Enterprise; and in any case, the captain of the flagship should not be a first-time captain either -- Picard himself had been captain of the Stargazer for 20 years before he got the Enterprise.  (Which is another reason as to why rebooted Star Trek is just way too far out story-wise, but that's another issue for another thread...)

But in TV-land, you don't have much choice if you want to "keep the gang together", hence Riker only finally took the promotion (and command of the Titan) in Nemesis.

The same happens in many other long-running shows where there appears no progression in career, or in life, e.g. the eternal students, nobody grows up or gets older etc. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 25, 2013, 16:16
In the reboot didn't the Starfleet Armada get wiped out when they jumped into Vulcan?

I'm not talking about promotion during the TV series. That was only 2-3 years of a 5 year mission. But the crew of the TOS after the series finished which stagnated.

I think Wrath of Khan finally fixed it

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 26, 2013, 18:18
In the reboot didn't the Starfleet Armada get wiped out when they jumped into Vulcan?

Good question, can't remember.  But if they did get wiped out, sheesh they're a bunch of idiots for flying so close to a black hole...

Quote
I'm not talking about promotion during the TV series. That was only 2-3 years of a 5 year mission. But the crew of the TOS after the series finished which stagnated.

Fair enough; but I suppose for TMP to pick up sort-of where TOS ended, the crew was still intact, so the same problem arose, which they didn't address until later.   Sort-of the same problem as a continuing TV series
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 26, 2013, 21:40
Good question, can't remember.  But if they did get wiped out, sheesh they're a bunch of idiots for flying so close to a black hole...

It wasn't identified as a black hole. The early transmissions were a distress call from Vulcan about severe weather patterns IIRC. So they were on a mission to help evacuate the planet. The black hole didn't happen until Kirk and gang arrived.

But they were attacked by a ship from 2 centuries later that had superior technology. IIRC, the Starfleet ships were tiny compared to the Romulan ship.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 26, 2013, 22:49
Wrath of Khan continues the TOS movie series tonight. When I was watching TOS I always thought McCoy seemed very abrasive towards Spock and it wasn't what I remembered. Perhaps my memories are more tempered by Voyage Home cos in this one, McCoy's insults still border on mean rather than friendly banter.

In any case, this was a much much better movie than the Motion Picture. Kirk didn't get to overact too much though the Khaaaaaan scene still slipped through. Montalban may have aged a lot since the original Space Seed but he still poses a credible threat to Kirk. Watching this movie, it is hard not to draw parallels with Into Darkness. Wife kept saying how much Into Darkness ripped off the last scenes with Kirk/Spock ;) I see it as homage. I know some guys thought 2009 Kirk forcing the engine to restart was not plausible but it did seem as plausible if not more than the Nimoy scene. I also liked that the 2009 reboot showed the same Kobayashi Maru test tho this time with Kirk taking it. I guess the alternate universe isn't so different after all.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 27, 2013, 22:42
I have read this article not too long ago and it still resonates with me.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/07/hollywood_and_blake_snyder_s_screenwriting_book_save_the_cat.html

I swear, if you are fan of movies, you really ought to read this. And I bring it up again because I have just watched Wrath of Khan almost back to back with Search for Spock.

While Search for Spock feels like a continuation for Wrath of Khan, just as Voyage Home is a continuation of Search, the pacing is very different.

Khan feels like it adhere's to Snyder's model. The tempo, the pacing, the ups and downs through the midpoint and conclusion are just in step and it feels like satisfying at the end when the hero defeats the villain and saves the day.

The story in Search for Spock on the other hand meanders a bit and the "finale" happens 2/3rds into the show, while the final resolution takes up almost a third of the movie. The wife correctly pointed out, it is really a movie for fans. The villain isn't particularly daunting (and while it isn't easy to spot Christopher Lloyd under all that Klingon make up, his voice just screams out Doc Emmett Brown to me ;)).

But for fans, the visit back to Vulcan is great. Even though I watched the remastered version of Amok Time on BluRay, it's amazing to see what they have done to really spruce up the history and culture of Vulcan in the movies. During that scene, the wife gave me the kick* for the 2009 reboot for destroying the Vulcan homeworld ;) because I happened to enjoy the reboot universe. I don't know if she remembers the destruction of the Klingon homeworld in this timeline but then, it wouldn't be my fault!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 28, 2013, 23:18
I vaguely recall watching Search for Spock (maybe on video?) but The Voyage Home is something I definitely remember watching in the cinemas so this has a special place in my heart as the first Trek movie I caught in the cinema - the first of many.

It still is great fun watching it again. There aren't any villains this time around but the chemistry of the gang together IMHO is what makes the movie great. Chekov getting caught as a Russian spy. Hilarious. Scotty talking to the computer. Brilliant. And of course, Spock swimming with the whales.

And as usual Kirk completely ignores any rules (the cheek of the guy to lecture other captains of the prime directive and here he is in 1980s USA and he's ignoring every damn commandment. He tells the girl he's from the future and as if that's not enough, she gets transported back to 23rd century Earth with him.

Nice one, Jim





Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 29, 2013, 23:17
A two partner concluding the TOS movies tonight. First - the Final Frontier. Then the Undiscovered Country.

I wonder if Kirk had realized the even number movie curse when he signed up to direct Final Frontier ;) because well, it wasn't the exception that proved the rule. There's nothing really wrong with the Final Frontier, really. But there's nothing great either. For the most part, it was just fun to see the crew together again. And there was no real villian either so there was none of that tension like in Wrath of Khan. The premise of finding God, and that it was a universal truth even between different alien religions was a good starting point but the ending felt rushed, and the audience I suspect feels very robbed of any emotional involvement they might have had up till the end.

The Undiscovered Country continues the even numbered tradition. It had a good mix of thrills, spills, intrigue and a number of villains thrown in for good measure. In some ways, I thought Into Darkness borrowed elements from this movie. There were references to the Cold War and how it is hard for hardened soldiers to ever imagine a time of peace. When I watched it years ago, I never recalled the role of Colonel Worf so that was a nice surprise to see Dorn in that role. This movie was before I had even heard of TNG :)

It was great seeing Sulu helm a ship of his own but sad when the crew finally assembled on the bridge for the very last time before they rode off into the sunset (literally) :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on July 30, 2013, 13:02
I wonder if Kirk had realized the even number movie curse when he signed up to direct Final Frontier ;) because well, it wasn't the exception that proved the rule. There's nothing really wrong with the Final Frontier, really. But there's nothing great either.

You are much too kind. STV:FF is universally panned as the worst ST movie of all.
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 30, 2013, 13:12

You are much too kind. STV:FF is universally panned as the worst ST movie of all.

I thought the motion picture dragged on a lot more than FF. And I'm not sure Nemesis couldn't win the worst ST movie of all time :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on July 30, 2013, 17:04
Hey I had wanted to re-watch nemesis in HD sometime this week...TNG can't do much wrong imho :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 30, 2013, 21:01
We aren't sure whether to tackle TNG or the TNG movies yet so took a break from Star Trek and watched Oblivion tonight.

It's still not a very coherent plot but I love the poignancy that the music conveys and what it says about the human condition and the human soul, using a less than well thought out scifi background. ps I did notice a few more plot holes the second time around.
a. if Julia was in deep sleep before the crew got diverted to investigate the Tet structure, how would she know that they were diverted?
b. if the flight recorder was in the sleeping cabins, why would it be able to record Jack and Vika's response when they entered the structure (after the separation of the shuttle) ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: AndrewC on July 30, 2013, 21:52
...
b. if the flight recorder was in the sleeping cabins, why would it be able to record Jack and Vika's response when they entered the structure (after the separation of the shuttle) ;)

Quantum entanglement? ;D

That final track featuring Susanne Sundfør is classic M83... gorgeous.. soaring and melancholic.

http://www.youtube.com/v/1mkUp1V3ys0&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on July 31, 2013, 21:50
After Wolverine, we decided to revisit XMen and XMen2. I think it is a real shame, Singer never got to finish what he started and was forced to hand X3 over to Rush Hour Ratner. Adoi.

The films do date a bit but by and large, they were still great features which tackles the discrimination theme very well.

The only cop out I could see was the Deathstryke character played by Kelly Hu where they pretty much made her Wolverine's clone and it seemed a shame to see her get killed off quite quickly.

ps it's weird man... Wolverine's healing speed is super fast in the 2013 movie but he seems a lot more mortal in the first two XMen movies.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 02, 2013, 22:01
Watched possibly the lowest points in XMen movie history tonight: XMen3 and XMen Origins Wolverine.

Yes, these weren't our proudest moments ;) but you know it's been so long I had forgotten so much about those movies. I had forgotten, for instance that
a. Juno was in X3 as Kitty Pride ;) wow... it was before Juno even!!
b. there was a movie stinger in Origins Wolverine when you see deadpool's arms search for his head, find it... the eyes open and this time you see that his mouth is no longer stitched and he shusshes the audience.

You could also see in one of the deleted scenes in X3 that would have ended X3 with where Logan ended up at the start of Wolverine, which I thought was a better finish than him posing (arms akimbo ala Horatio Caine) on a balcony in the Xavier school for the gifted.

ps if there is one problem I have with watching these last two movies (and their portrayal of Xavier), it is with the messed up continuity presented by XMen First Class ;)

So far we have bald Xavier (aka Jean Luc Picard) sans wheelchair and Magneto (aka Gandalf the Gay) appearing in these guises at the start of X3 when they visit Jean Grey while she was still a young girl. The subtitle put that scene as "20 years ago" (ie 1986)

You also have Jean Luc Picard Xavier sans wheelchair saving a young Scott Summers aka Cyclops at the end of XMen Origins Wolverine which should be about 15 years before Wolverine joins up with the XMen in XMen1 (based on what was mentioned in XMen1 and also it is roughly the time it would take for Scott Summers to grow from teenage kid to 30 year old in XMen 1), so say 1985.

But in First Class, which starts in 1962 (set 18 years after 1944 and also Cuban Missile Crisis) shows Xavier already crippled at the end...




Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 03, 2013, 23:32
And the conclusion tonight: XMen First Class.

Arguably still the best XMen movie of all time, even if it breaks the continuity of all the previous movies. The central characters of Xavier and Erik are just so well fleshed out, it really makes the movie stand out. And for a demo disc, this thing is bloody amazing.. the amount of information going to the subs... I have never heard my f113s get such a workout.

Watching the special features of the movie now, I am also struck by how much influence the old Bond movies of the 60s influenced this show (set in the same period). If Daniel Craig ever retires soon, man, Fassbender'd be an excellent candidate. I always thought it was odd Bond didn't speak as much in other languages in the movies. Fassbender seems to have a good grasp of the languages (speaking German and English fluently in real life and I thought his French wasn't too bad either).

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 04, 2013, 22:02
On a Macavoy roll, we watched Trance tonight.

Man, this movie really does give a great big workout on the subwoofers. The music is (as the film suggests) very Trance like. The bass track.. augmented some times by the sound of Macavoy's heart beating really gave me jitters if the f113 was going to survive the ordeal ;) thankfully it did.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 04, 2013, 22:12
How's Trance as a movie? Still undecided whether to view it or not...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 04, 2013, 22:14
Oops sorry just saw web's thread on Trance.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on August 04, 2013, 22:49
On a Macavoy roll, we watched Trance tonight.

It doesn't have to stop there. Another McAvoy movie is Welcome to the Punch :)

I really feel this one is terrible but the bass from the hand cannons is awesome. Worth the experience
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 05, 2013, 21:30
Moved on to a Korean flick tonight...

New World.

I have to say, I kinda saw the end coming. But it's still a very nice arc. In some ways, I thought it was derivative of other movies that have come along... (the plot was reminiscent of Internal Affairs and the last scene was Pulp Fiction-esque) but there was also a flair about it.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 05, 2013, 21:43
I thought it was more like an adaptation of Infernal Affairs than just reminiscent. Bit too close, if I may say so.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 06, 2013, 21:36
I think the premise is similar, but the way it is executed is different. I guess it's kinda like Deep Impact and Armageddon are similar in premise but not quite.

Anyway, we thought we'd continue the second box in the Star Trek movie box set. So we kick started with Generations.

So, it is an odd numbered instalment so I was prepared ;) and you know, it wasn't so bad. Sometimes it's just nice for a reunion with the characters you've grown to love, so seeing Chekov, Scotty and Kirk on Enterprise B was sad/poignant, especially when you knew what was coming.

The plot seemed more like an extended episode of TNG rather than a full fledged movie and it wasn't the tidiest of plots. ps Picard is a real bastard. He made Kirk leave his utopia and after Kirk valiantly sacrificed his life, he doesn't even get a decent burial on Earth. Come on!!! In other news, Kirk's fighting has gotten better. He actually made a decent go punching Malcolm Macdowell :)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 06, 2013, 21:58
I re-watched Generations in HD a few months ago. The screen presence of picard and kirk being together on screen is enough to make it one of the most memorable trek movies for me, even though I am not all that familiar with kirk, yet.

Am right now re-watching Nemesis in HD. Not THAT bad what...only thing that bothered me a bit is that I can clearly discern Spiner's ageing complexion under the gold paint.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 07, 2013, 22:29
Wife was angry that they killed off Kirk so unceremoniously in Generations and decided not to watch First Contact tonight. :)

So we ended up catching
(http://www.olografix.org/krees/dfnet/pic/relat/hitmanreturns.jpg)

For this I set the Marantz AV8801 to Pure Direct Mode so only the 5.1 speakers were used. Have to say, the surround soundstage felt more lifted than it usually sounds. But I was also surprised how much bass and information was in the main left and right speakers. My f113 sub hardly got any work out at all, but the front two SS2.2 subs augmenting the main L/R speakers were filing in the bass beautifully.

Overall, there were highs and lows but the concert is very slickly done and I loved how well the guests interacted this time around vs the first concert. Among the highlights to me were Jackie Evancho's songs. I had heard it on the CD before and didn't think too much of it. Until I saw how young and tiny this kid was. Every time she sings, I keep trying to see if she's lip synching to someone else's voice. But it isn't. It's just powerful stuff.

Earth Wind and Fire is here this time and performs their David Foster hit - After The Love Has Gone which Brian McNight tried to emulate in the first Hit Man. I much prefer the original EWF rendition and the heartwarming tribute David Foster paid to his mentor - Maurice White of EWF.

The other highlight to me was Lara Fabian. Her voice, her power was just mesmerising though I found myself distracted by her movement :) I ended up closing my eyes to appreciate her singing better. Her take on The Prayer was something else. After the Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli version, I've found most other combos wanting. Like the new Golf GTI Mk7 advert says (in reference to Frank Sinatra singing My Way) - often imitated, never equalled :) But Lara's voice was superb. If only they had paired her with someone who could equal her in presence. Michael Bolton was just not up to the task. Don't get me wrong. He could hit the notes on cue but he just didn't have the gravitas.. the power, the emotion that Bocelli conveyed. As Giraffe would put it - boh jiak peng.. no power. Lara, on other hand, I thought sounded more sublime than Celine Dion.

Charice was also in top form. It's a shame her English isn't that great yet so she doesn't get a spoken line but her singing is great. She's hitting all the crazy notes that Celine Dion hit in her two songs. But a part of me wonders if she shouldn't have her own style. She does a great job singing "in the style of" and does it very well but on her own CDs which I have, she doesn't have quite the same impact when she has no one to clone. Her only other "own song" that I quite liked was the one she sang on Glee maybe about two years back. An original composition but she seemed to sing it like she really meant it and made it her own.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tfvDhUbw244&fs=1

But back to Foster. His concert finale ending with Donna Summer was really poignant. She had died barely a year later and it was a great tribute to see her still with so much energy and her voice still amazing.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 07, 2013, 22:33
To be fair to Bolton, even the Canadian Tenors didn't manage to beat Bocelli's Because We Believe :)

Ended up playing that track from Bocelli's Amore album before turning in.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: durianlover88 on August 08, 2013, 01:31
Broler DH, I have been using this David Foster to tune my HT...and even did a run this afternoon...have to agree with most of your thoughts. I have many favourite tunes in this BR :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Audio on August 08, 2013, 11:49
Ne-Yo's "Miss Independence" is the tune-up for me....With 5.1 done properly, this is a very involving performance.  Play this loud....even the lady violinist in the string section also couldn't help but sway along with the rhythm.

(Audio)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 08, 2013, 20:03
Retro movie night  ;D

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/34/Aces_Go_Places.jpg/220px-Aces_Go_Places.jpg)

I remember catching parts of this movie on SBC back in the days. First time watching it completely. Still very entertaining  8)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 08, 2013, 22:20
I bought the DVD boxset of Aces Go Places ages ago :)

(http://images.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/51232_medium.jpg)

But I don't think I ever unboxed it! :(

The only one I really remember was the one with the robots. I was very young then and the remote controlled toys looked way too cool.

Was that the one with Leslie Cheung in it?

Anyway, we got back on the Star Trek bandwagon tonight with First Contact - probably the best TNG movie of the bunch. The opening score (after the TOS theme played) got me a bit puzzled tho. It sounded very familiar but it wasn't the imagery of Star Trek that it conjured. But of honour, red white and blue, stars and stripes and heroism. Then I got it. Air Force One!!

:P

Apparently Goldsmith was a last minute addition to the Air Force One soundtrack team because the Peterson didn't like what Randy Newman created for his movie. I guess the guy known for Toy Story and a few Pixar movies' whimsical/jazzy tunes might not be the right guy for what Peterson had in mind :)

So Goldsmith had to cannibalize his own work from First Contact.

http://www.youtube.com/v/mhoa7oWPPhk&fs=1
Start from 40 secs onwards ;)

http://www.youtube.com/v/4JQ3IwF6qdw&fs=1
Start from 30 secs onwards

But back to First Contact. It isn't quite as epic as Wrath of Khan.. but the idea that Picard could lose his objectivity was something worth exploring. The parallels that Lily made to Ahab was spot on. Ironic considering she never even read the book. I also loved the multiple concurrent arcs: Picard and Worf tackling the Borgs onboard Enterprise, Riker and Deanna trying to patch up Cochrane to make the first warp jump and Data v the Borg queen so the pacing and tension never really let up. So in addition to Picard's arc, there was also a strong second arc about heroes and historical figures and how they are sometimes portrayed vs what they really were. It's something that Feist explored in some of his later books - if you've read Magician from the start, it's funny how some of the stories in there start becoming the stuff of myths and legends in the subsequent chronicles which takes place generations after the first book.

It was also good fun seeing the TNG crew reunite so Worf rejoined the Enterprise bridge for the movie and you saw the guys who played Neelix and the Doctor (EMH) cameo in this movie. Barclay also had a short skit as a star struck engineer meeting his hero.

Wife's thinking of going back and watching specific TNG episodes next like the one where Picard gets assimilated. She recalled the first season as being particularly painful (we weren't fans of Q) so she wanted to skip those.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 09, 2013, 16:04
I'm astounded by your ability to make the connection between First Contact & Air Force One soundtracks! I've probably watched First Contact at least 4 times. Never feels old.

As for Aces Go Places, No. 1 had the remote controlled toy cars versus real cars. No. 2 has the remote helicopters which merged into a robot, the tiny bots vs big black bad bot, batmobile & jetpack in the finale!  8)

Shite...think I don't have the Aces Go Places soundtrack cd  :(
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 09, 2013, 22:14
I always liked the Air Force One theme :) it was very err heroic.

ps I dug out my All 4 One singles (turned out I had both I Swear and I Can Love You Like That) from when I was in the UK ages ago... but after seeing them on the David Foster BD, had to play it out of nostalgia :P man they looked so young in those single covers :P

Anyway, back to Star Trek tonight - Insurrection is next on the playlist.

You know what, for an odd numbered movie, it wasn't really that bad. I really enjoyed the chemistry the crew shared. Perhaps with 7 seasons under their belt, the characters had more time to bond (with themselves and the audience) so it was great seeing them react to one another - Data rubbing Riker's newly shaven chin... then shaking his head and smiling as he walks away (in response to Riker claiming it was as smooth as an android's bottom).. the crew trying to ignore Worf's pimple and still baiting him. The plot is reminiscent of an old TOS episode - The Omega Glory where another Starfleet Captain also breaks the Prime Directive thinking he's found the Fountain of Youth. But of course, this about 40 years later so the plot is much more polished, the budget for SFX and CGI has been improved, and new buzzwords (metaphasic particles/ionic flux) make for a more believable (to me) story.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 10, 2013, 00:22
Data rubbing Riker's newly shaven chin... then shaking his head and smiling as he walks away (in response to Riker claiming it was as smooth as an android's bottom)

One of the best TNG movie moment!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 10, 2013, 23:11
And now. The end is near. And so I face the final curtain.

Nemesis.

The movie that proved to be the exception to the rule. The even numbered movie that kinda sucked.

Yes, it isn't a great movie, but if there is one thing I would miss, it is the banter of the crew together.

Brent Spiner wanted Data to be killed in the previous movie but the writers couldn't do it for Insurrection, so Brent wrote the script this time and made sure they did. But they still had to put in some possibility for the return of Data. In any case, the plot device was for nought as this movie forced the studios to completely reboot the franchise with the 2009 movie.

Nemesis was uneven. With the pacing and tension. And a bit hard to believe. That the Romulan military would align themselves with a human clone outcast or worse, an inferior caste. That Shinzon had access to an earlier derivative of Data. That he could build a larger more advanced warbird than the Romulans. Perhaps we are to factor that being Picard's clone, he would have been this resourceful, ambitious and capable to accomplish all this, had the circumstances been different. I don't quite buy that.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 11, 2013, 20:28
What's next? DS9, Voyager or Enterprise? Perhaps the Animated series even?  ;D

Aces Go Places III wasn't so engaging. Seemed like a movie where they were trying to find as many lookalikes as possible. Watch out for Andre the Giant, Sean Connery, Queen Elizabeth & Ronald Reagon.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 11, 2013, 21:37
Dunno. I am tempted to rewatch TNG but the BR's only out till S4. And still kinda pricey. Was hoping for a complete box set. I have the DVD set but I suspect the picture quality may look too soft on the big screen :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 12, 2013, 12:47
Perhaps we are to factor that being Picard's clone, he would have been this resourceful, ambitious and capable to accomplish all this, had the circumstances been different. I don't quite buy that.

There was a TNG episode which showed an 'alternative timeline' where Picard stayed a lieutenant -- in the 'real' timeline, he had gotten into a bar brawl with some Klingons when younger and had been stabbed in the heart, so he (IIRC) has an artificial heart, which required some maintenance work.  He was shown an alternate timeline where he did not get into the fight because he was more cautious, and his caution hampered his promotion thereafter. 

Not sure how that might affect your theory as to the ambitions and resourcefulness of Picard clones; it does seem to suggest that Picard is very much a product of his environment, though -- a lot more nuture than nature. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 14, 2013, 22:40
We kickstarted TNG S1 after a brief fling catching up Under the Dome last night :)

So Encounter at Far Point.

I have to say I was never a fan of the Q episodes and this one isn't much better. I just find Q annoying as hell. And to be honest, the plot and sequences were not unlike something from TOS. But the execution was a lot more polished.

But I tell you, it almost brought a tear when I re-witnessed the first time Riker met Data. I had just watched Nemesis so Riker's eulogy of Data was still fresh, so with Riker chancing upon Data attempting to whistle and Riker calling him Pinocchio.. it was far more powerful the second time around.

Oh, and to see how young everybody was... Jean Luc with no wrinkles looks almost wrong. Or a clean shaven, fresh off the boat Riker.

The effects have been jazzed up a lot and even the surround channels get a lot more workout in this remix. I just hope we can get past the first 10 episodes. I remember it took them that long to get their sea legs.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 15, 2013, 18:48
Try two whole seasons... TNG doesn't really hit its stride until S3, although there are certainly some good, even classic, episodes in the first two seasons; perhaps the most obvious being Measure of a Man.  But there are plenty of misses, especially in S2, which IIRC was also impacted by a writers' strike.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 15, 2013, 21:49
Rewatching S1, it was clear that unlike TOS, this crew was pretty much brand new. The ship was brand new and Picard was the first captain of Enterprise D so the audience wasn't expected to know too much of the back story. I think the move to the Enterprise was a promotion for Riker (receiving commanding officer rank as well) so it kinda explains why he was still First Officer after 7 years.

From memory, I thought Picard's relationship with Data was quite firmly established after the first 10 episodes. I'm trying not to read too far ahead so I don't have too many spoilers :D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 16, 2013, 00:25
Haha...so it is still TNG afterall  ;D


Done with Aces Go Places, and frankly only the first 2 are worth watching. Even Leslie Cheung & Nina Lichi in No. 5 couldn't save what was becoming stale and hum drum  :(


Did As Tears Go By after AGP to continue with the Hongkong theme. Jacky Cheung was really a much better actor than Andy Lau, albeit a not as handsome one.


Took a break from movies and caught your recommendation of Hitman Returns. Really loved Earth, Wind & Fire's sound! My kind of music...can't believe I never did pay much attention to this group despite having heard their tunes on the radio.
http://www.youtube.com/v/Gs069dndIYk&fs=1


Then watched Goldfinger for my first time. Couldn't appreciate how ground-breaking it was as I have probably seen so many copies of its formula since it was released in the sixties. But now I finally know that one of the spoofs in AGP was actually Oddjob  ;D


Finally watched a really good movie today. It is my 2nd french movie, but it beats most of what I watched this year by a wide margin. Coincidentally, the show started with Earth, Wind & Fire's September! I was hooked in the very first 5 mins (no thanks to the roar of the Maserati engine too). The movie was so heart-warmingly funny and the acting so natural I didn't feel like I was watching a movie. A must own on bluray as an item worthy of collection  :-*
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/93/The_Intouchables.jpg/220px-The_Intouchables.jpg)

Somebody please agree with me that the white french guy above bears an uncanny resemblance to Dustin Hoffman!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 16, 2013, 12:23
Rewatching S1, it was clear that unlike TOS, this crew was pretty much brand new. The ship was brand new and Picard was the first captain of Enterprise D so the audience wasn't expected to know too much of the back story. I think the move to the Enterprise was a promotion for Riker (receiving commanding officer rank as well) so it kinda explains why he was still First Officer after 7 years.

My recollection (not really a spoiler, although the info comes out in later eps but doesn't really affect plot points) is that Riker has been a First Officer, with Commander rank, for a while, and had already been offered his own command (meaning captain, with Captain rank) twice, which he turned down, and in a later episode is offered promotion a third time, which he again declines since he is holding out for the Enterprise.

But you're right, 1701-D was a new ship, Picard was its first captain, having already skippered the Stargazer for 20 years prior to getting the Enterprise-D.  The backstory, such as it is, comes out in drips and drabs over the years, which would have been the same as in TOS.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 16, 2013, 12:35
My recollection (not really a spoiler, although the info comes out in later eps but doesn't really affect plot points) is that Riker has been a First Officer, with Commander rank, for a while, and had already been offered his own command (meaning captain, with Captain rank) twice, which he turned down, and in a later episode is offered promotion a third time, which he again declines since he is holding out for the Enterprise.

But you're right, 1701-D was a new ship, Picard was its first captain, having already skippered the Stargazer for 20 years prior to getting the Enterprise-D.  The backstory, such as it is, comes out in drips and drabs over the years, which would have been the same as in TOS.

Not quite. In TOS, the Enterpise had been captained by Christopher Pike with Spock serving under him for at least 14 odd years. And it seemed from episode 1 that Kirk had already been in command for about 2 years.

In TNG Episode 1, Picard was still trying to do a shakedown on the new ship. I think we didn't even have a Chief Engineer yet.

Star Trek Wiki mentions the Commanding Officer rank only with the Enterprise post, not with Hood.

The promotion was offered later but I suspect there might be the prestige factor involved that being First Officer on the Enterprise flagship may have been seen as a better post than Captain of a smaller vessel.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 16, 2013, 21:38
Somebody please agree with me that the white french guy above bears an uncanny resemblance to Dustin Hoffman!!!  ;D

It isn't? :)

Anyway, back to TNG. Episode 3. Naked Now.

It's still another TOS story, rehashed for TNG and it shows. In this case, it is a reference to Naked Time in TOS and just as silly. A lot of over acting. Patrick Stewart might still be cringing if he had to rewatch his "love scene" with Beverley Crusher again :D but I thought it was nerdy funny that he did a skip and tapped his soles a la Fred Astaire when he was walking into Sick Bay.

We followed this with Code of Honor which is sadly yet another cheesy TOS era script rehashed for the next generation. The fight scene here might just rival Gorn as WORST. FIGHT. SCENE. EVER. in the ST universe ;)

The Prime Directive gets thrown around a lot but it is a bit odd here. Cos this is a pre warp era civilisation, I gather, but the Enterprise doesn't hide its warp capability. Or that they have superior technology. We couldn't even finish it before calling it a night. Will just have to watch the last few minutes tomorrow. Or some time.

7 more episodes to go before (hopefully) it gets better.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 17, 2013, 20:05
We finished the last 2 minutes of the agonizing Code of Honor tonight. Yes it was that bad that we couldn't even sit through the last 2 minutes last night. By then we had already kinda figured the plot out and there wasn't any emotional satisfaction to seeing it conclude :D

So tonight, after some respite, we braced ourself for the conclusion.

This was followed by The Last Outpost. It was a mixed bag for me. I didn't like how the Ferengi were portrayed here. Certainly not as well fleshed out as DS9's Quark. It started out ok. You know, making first contact with a new race, albeit under the curious circumstance of trying to recover some stolen equipment from said new race :)

But things really took a turn for the worse with the horribly (dare I say racist?) portrayal of the Ferengi, who sounded like pidgin speaking foreigners. Things only got worse when they landed on the planet, and the Ferengi (Armin himself couldn't salvage stuff here) proceeded to act like chimpanzees on a TOS-Season3 budget studio set pretending to be an alien planet. OK maybe I was a bit harsh. S2 TOS set. But try to imagine this was 30 odd years after TOS so it does seem a tad cringeworthy. The only redeeming piece was how Riker resolved the situation - proving humans had evolved. Without Shatnerizing the entire time. :P Speaking of Shatnerizing, I think Denise Crosby deserves some mention for her over-acting in Code of Honor.

Which brings me to Where No Man Has Gone Before. Which was a surprisingly good episode for the first 10. I remember this episode quite fondly as it embodies the ideals of Star Trek. Really meeting new life forms and new civilisations. There's something TOS-esque about this episode but the script, the writing, the "jargon" have all been beefed up and you aren't forced to really question why some members of the crew made boneheaded decisions like they did in TOS to move the story along.

If there is one quibble it is that this is the second time in 3 episodes that Wesley Crusher has been asked to save the ship. Sorta. I am wondering if my age has something to do with how I perceive all this. When I watched TNG for the first time in the mid 90s, I think a part of me identified with the idealistic, young, naive Wesley Crusher. Here I am almost 2 decades later and I am finding some of his feats a bit far fetched :D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 19, 2013, 16:02
If there is one quibble it is that this is the second time in 3 episodes that Wesley Crusher has been asked to save the ship. Sorta. I am wondering if my age has something to do with how I perceive all this. When I watched TNG for the first time in the mid 90s, I think a part of me identified with the idealistic, young, naive Wesley Crusher. Here I am almost 2 decades later and I am finding some of his feats a bit far fetched :D

I always did find it a bit silly that a teenager could figure out things that the Chief Engineer (and his team) of Starfleet's flagship couldn't manage himself.  Although the Traveller did make that interesting analogy: that Wesley to tech/engineering was like Mozart to music.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 19, 2013, 21:38
We took a break last night from TOS to watch the new Andy Lau movie called The Switch. Big mistake. I think I might post another thread on this later :P Suffice to say, we couldn't finish the show so we had to wait till tonight to watch the rest of the show.

This was followed by Lonely Among Us and Justice.

Lonely Among Us is again a very TOS-esque plot. Even updated with special effects and high tech jargon, it wasn't particularly a highlight of TNG. The premise that there was an energy based lifeform that also shared the Federation's ideals of exploration was a good one but the story got distracted by the two competing delegations on their way to "Parliament" which was never satisfactorily resolved, and by Data playing Sherlock for the first time. Data would go on to do more Holmes impersonations in the course of TNG so this is about the most memorable aspect of this episode. The energy lifeform's motivation then ended on a whimper. And the transporter was used to "reset" the episode. Shame.

Justice was again uneven. Another TOS-esque episode - I liked the premise that "god" was somehow an advanced alien race looking over his people from space, monitoring them. The stupid silly sexy costumes made it all very hard to take seriously and again, the conclusion was not quite satisfying. The alien god stopped Picard from squirrelling Wesley away after he was to be executed for a minor crime, but apparently relented after Picard gave a (not quite inspiring) speech about absolute laws. Still, the wife and I saw this as a turning point for the cast. They acted more like a real crew here with what looks like genuine affection between Picard and Data. Picard lost his cool with Data at one stage, and in a moment of conciliation later, apologised for his impatience. It was a simple subtle moment, but very human and made the captain and his crew far more endearing.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 20, 2013, 22:10
Two episodes tonight - The Battle and Haven. We had to skip Hide and Q because we just weren't up for another tedious Q episode so soon after the last one :)

The Battle was a pretty good episode overall. I thought Patrick Stewart really nailed it as the captain bordering on hallucination and insanity and is what kept the story believable. I think anyone in their right mind would be wary of accepting a gift that clearly symbolized a source of anger for their race but to be fair, the Enterprise crew did their due diligence surveying the ship prior to beaming onboard. As before, Wesley saves the day with his just happened to be there observation. It is a bit grating that none of the senior crew saw it before he did :) and these are supposed to be Starship's finest. Oh well, Mozart and all that.

I wasn't sure skipping the Q episode for Haven was really a good thing because instead we had Troi's mum. Urgh. She also pisses me off no end. She was OK as the First Officer in the pilot of TOS and also as Nurse Chapel but Troi's mum really brought the Shatnerizing to TNG and not in a good way. Still it was the source of a good laugh when Troi is presented with her "bethrothed mate" Wyatt played by T-Bag of Prison Break! WOW. I was not expecting that!! :D

(http://www.prisonb.com/photos/900/929/001_small.jpg)
psst Picard I wouldn't stand so close to that psycho if I were you

The story of Troi's betrothal was quite agonising to watch but the B story involving a race of space "lepers" as one character called it was a good old Star Trek conundrum. On the one hand, the Enterprise was bound by its treaties to protect the Haven planet from unwanted forces. On the other, the unwanted spaceship was the last of an almost extinct race. Really, only 7 people remain of that race and they are all on the said spaceship. And Starfleet protocols dictates the Enterprise must render aid.

In a neat twist, both plot arcs mesh in the last act. But then you already saw that coming. Heck even Wyatt's vision of his future bride.. you knew who it was long before the reveal.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 21, 2013, 15:00
Wife was in school and iTunes just got Star Trek Into Darkness... so I managed to have a private movie session :P She usually doesn't want to rewatch such a recent movie anyway so it's unlikely I would get the chance to watch it with her anytime soon.

Have to say, even with just a DD5.1 soundtrack, it sounded superb at home. Even better than I remembered.

And I have to say, it bears a second viewing very well. As I just rewatched the TOS series and movies, I also saw the homage that I missed the first time around.. like Spock shouting Khaaaaaaaaan! instead of Kirk ;)

And I really really think Benedict is the definitive Khan. In TOS, Khan talks a lot of his superiority and skills, but it's all talk. Even a puny Kirk could deck him out with a plastic tube in Space Seed.

Into Darkness Khan is far more menacing. He doesn't mince his words and he's focused on his goals, to a fault. And when he says he's better, he really was. When he takes out 2 ships full of Klingon warriers single handedly, it just hammers home the point. No amount of punching from Kirk even scuffed up a tiny bit of his face. I think the reboot writers correctly put Spock as the one who could go one on one with him as they did in the finale. At least, Khan's face was showing some visible damage from the poundings that Spock gave him.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 21, 2013, 15:51
Here's an interesting comparison :P that I heard online.

Star Trek reboot is Star Wars folded into the ST universe.

Luke = Kirk

Both lost their dad in some great battle in the past.

Luke (and Kirk) ends up in a bar and end up being recruited by an jedi master (Obi Wan/Pike)

And that's why Abrams was hired to do Star Wars reboot :D


I'll go dig up some more...
http://www.youtube.com/v/yd0j97RhZUQ&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 21, 2013, 18:57
Just did Into Darkness. Heng didn't read your post first ;)
But not many spoilers anyway. I didn't read the ID thread too much either.
Did not expect to see **** die & ##### cry.
Man I can't get enough of watching & hearing those starships exploding into warp & leaving the trail of stardust in the wake. Glorious! :)
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 21, 2013, 19:10
When I first watched ID in the cinemas I thought it was a good movie but I thought 2009 reboot was better. But watching it again, there's just so much camaraderie the cast shares that's really infectious and makes me want more.

One thing tho. Abrams is going to focus on SW going forward so who knows how the franchise will go in the next installment.

I still can't believe hard core Trekkers voted this as the worst ST movie. As one reviewer said you may not like the treatment of the universe but you'd have to be an imbecile to rate this worse than Undiscovered Country. Even a diehard TNG fan would rank Insurrection worse if they were being objective.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 21, 2013, 19:34
Hard to find an objective TNG fan, bro. Like me. Lol
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 21, 2013, 23:13
Couldn't convince the missus to watch Into Darkness a second time (for her).. third for me. So back to TNG. The Big Goodbye

This was the first episode that involved the use of the holodeck as a completely simulated world. The holodeck had been shown twice before: once as a recreation of a rainforest when Data was trying to whistle, the second when Tasha Yar demonstrated it for martial arts training. But this was the first time we see the holodeck as we remember it: fully simulated worlds with NPCs that have their own backstories and interacting with the crew. It's interesting how the script took pains to show how the system worked, seeing as it was the first time. The rest of the episode wasn't quite as memorable. I loved the film noir nod but the NPCs by and large were just caricatures. The only one who wasn't (a cop who's an ex partner of Dixie aka Picard) asked a very sad and intriguing question - he seemed to be "self-aware" and asked what would happen to him, his wife and kid once the humans left the deck. This is something that I remember gets explored in later episodes/seasons and even in DS9 with Vic Fontaine being one of my fave characters in DS9.

I had forgotten about this world when I watched First Contact where Picard used the holodeck (and this holo story) to hide from the Borg.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 22, 2013, 16:52
And that's why Abrams was hired to do Star Wars reboot :D

As long as he doesn't mess about with time travel.  Which unfortunately seems to be one of his favourite sci-fi plot points, but the fact is, time travel has never been a part of the Star Wars universe, whether in the six movies or in the Expanded Universe (the books, comics, etc.)

I still can't believe hard core Trekkers voted this as the worst ST movie. As one reviewer said you may not like the treatment of the universe but you'd have to be an imbecile to rate this worse than Undiscovered Country. Even a diehard TNG fan would rank Insurrection worse if they were being objective.

I haven't watched ID yet, waiting for the BD.  But surely STV:FF is the worst? And for the TNG movies, I'd say Nemesis just shades Insurrection for being the worst TNG movie, thus breaking the "even better than odd" rule.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 22, 2013, 22:12
Yes Nemesis did break the rule :D and forced the reboot.

I was watching a movie critic (also a Trekker) on youtube and he basically said this: by the time Nenesis rolled around, Star Trek was dying. By that he didn't mean that there were no fans left, but that there were no new fans and whatever was left was dwindling. Abrams' reboot reintroduced the ST universe to a new generation of fans. And it's growing again. Heck I even forced myself (and the wife) to rewatch TOS :D

Onward with TNG though tonight. Couldn't persuade the wife to try Now You See Me either ;)

So it was Datalore, Angel One and 11001001. I wonder if we'll ever get back to Hide and Q ;)

Hadn't realized it but we've passed the episode 10 threshold. I think The Battle was where the crew really gelled together and the camaraderie began to show. Episode 10 ironically was the episode we skipped. Since then, we are feeling genuine affection for the crew.

Datalore wasn't as epic as I remembered it. I've always remembered Lore to be a much more effective villain but then this was the first time the character has been introduced. I found it annoying that as usual Wesley was the one who discovered the switch Lore made with Data when no one else (not even Geordi) did. In this respect it was reminiscent of the way the crew in TOS used to do stupid things to push the plot along. In some ways, it would have been better if NO ONE had been aware of Data's plan and he was only found out because EARLIER Picard had mentioned to Tasha to keep Data under surveillance anyway and he was caught out in his lie. It would have been a more believable story. The other thing was the conclusion... beaming Lore into space? He's a damn android and he would still survive. Why not disable him with a couple of quick phaser shots while he's out in space, bring him back him AND properly dismantle him. But for Brent Spiner's acting and the introduction of a formidable opponent set up for future episodes, a way to introduce us to Soong's character (and Lore), it does have a place in my memory.

Angel One has been called the most sexist episode in Star Trek history. I dunno. I thought the premise of the role reversal was an interesting plot device to call attention to the gender inequality on earth circa the current period. I suspect like race inequality, this was something Roddenberry and his team cared about. It was funny with some of the lines switched around, I thought: like Riker being asked if he would still be respected in the morning or him in a "scantily clad" outfit :) ps I never did figure out what caused the virus that infected the whole crew that prevented Riker from transporting the entire group of prisoners away.

Which brings me to the best episode to date: 11001001. You kinda knew the Bynar twins were up to something but thankfully this time, not even the boy genius could figure them out. So they pretty much stole the Enterprise for a rescue mission back to their home planet but their subterfuge was quite well done. Minuet also makes a pretty impressive holographic character who not only charms Riker but Picard too, tho Picard did look a tad odd as the third wheel. Wife asked what would have happened if Picard stepped into the holodeck and Riker had gone a bit too err far in his amorous advances ;)

(http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120805113554/memoryalpha/en/images/3/34/Minuet.jpg)
Man, the 80s 'do really date this show somewhat..

And doesn't she look a bit like Captain Janeway? :D


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 23, 2013, 00:31
A prettier Janeway ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on August 23, 2013, 13:39
I always thought the actress (Carolyn McCormack, IIRC) did better as Spenser's girlfriend in Spenser: For Hire, where she was a shrink: she does better playing an intelligent attractive woman, rather than a pure sexpot.  She's good looking, but in a more understated way.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 24, 2013, 22:07
With the weekend, we took a break from TNG for a bit and watched Now You See Me. Didn't see any discussion after WEB's review. Shame, I thought it was a pretty neat flick. Typical of the Orci/Kurtzman fare I guess.

Posted my comments in WEB's thread.

Then we followed it up with a TNG episode - Too Short A Season.

It's not a great episode but in some ways, I see it as a sequel of some sort to the TOS episodes when Kirk somehow broke the Prime Directive and got away with it, but not realizing there might have been consequences further down the road. To me, that was the only redeeming point of the episode. But it was a wasted opportunity. The actor who played the (now) Admiral was annoying and the story focused too much on him making it less of a TNG episode in some respects. The ending was also a bit abrupt and wasn't particularly satisfying.

Shame really.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 25, 2013, 21:59
Skipped TNG again tonight for another movie: an old this time... Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen.

I guess with the popularity of Ip Man it was inevitable they'd want Donnie to make a proper Bruce Lee connection and that's what they did: Chen Zhen is a character from what is possible Bruce's most famous movie (at least in HK) and as homage, they even had Donnie in a Kato outfit! :)

As far as the pace and logical flow goes, it's not too bad. It's far more easy to follow than CZ12 or The Switch (shudders) but there are still some odd sketchy cuts here and there. Thankfully nothing serious. What really got me was how bad Donnie's acting was. He had two modes (I guess that's better than Benedict Goh) ;)

(http://culturalcringe.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/bengoh4-jpeg.jpg?w=510)

But really. Just two.

Mode One - cheesy grin whenever he's with Shu Qi (which unfortunately happens way too much in this movie) and Mode Two - when he's in Bruce Lee mode (the only reason why you bought the ticket. 'fess up! :))

Of course, with the amount of Chinese funding in this movie, you should be prepared for the rampant racism in how the Japanese are portrayed. But in this case, it was during World War II so I'll give them that bias.

Best part - Donnie in the Mao suit channeling Bruce Lee in the final fight scene.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 26, 2013, 01:37
I happened to watch Ip Man: The Final Fight a few nights ago. The entire movie felt more like a documentary to me. It was probably Anthony Wong's portrayal which carried the show through. Don't expect Donnie's level of action choreography here.

My fav Ip Man movies are still Donnie's and Tony's Grandmaster  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 26, 2013, 20:42
I thought Grandmaster was very arty.

ps what is it with HK movies who still haven't figured out how to shoot slow motion properly. The correct way is to shoot at high fps and then play it back at 24fps to create a smooth slow mo pan. Otherwise you end up with a 24fps slowed down to like 8fps and it's just not a great effect.

Back to TNG S1 tonight.

When the Bough Breaks, followed by Home Soil.

I think TNG is really getting into stride. Bough was an interesting premise about a society so caught up in the liberal arts that they've forgotten what is needed for a balanced society. Some critics didn't like the preachy "environmental" message, and I wasn't particularly enamoured by a kids based episode, especially with Wesley again in the centre. But at least this time, they didn't use the boy genius factor to save the day, though it looked like it might have turned out that way mid way. At the end of the day, it was the adults who saved the day. Props to the Captain for giving the whole spiel about families and children bonding and then seeing how awkward he really was when he was confronted with them ;)

Home Soil was of note for two reasons. First both my wife and I quickly pointed out the head engineer on the planet was the KGB head in James Bond ;) (yes she's a geek too tho she may deny it!). Second, it was a pretty neat scifi plot that I think Star Trek (and especially TNG) was known for. There are some parallels with Devil in the Dark though I think taking away the Shatnerizing and the illogical mind meld element improves the story's believability significantly ;) It really is Life, but not as we know it.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 26, 2013, 21:05
Star Trek Into Darkness 1080p BluRay TrueHD 7.1 is out! 35GB.

I am so re-watching this when it's done!  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 27, 2013, 22:34
In the mood for something different so we watched Detective K - Secret of the Virtuous Widow from about 2 years back.

FWIW I found this more entertaining than Detective Dee. K doesn't take itself too seriously. In fact, I spent a large proportion of the time laughing at the jokes/slapstick humour in the movie. But at the heart of it, there's a pretty decent mystery that slowly unravels. There are 2 different plot arcs which at first don't seem connected but has a very satisfying conclusion.

Possible spoilers here..
Still can't believe the power of make up :D that the widow and the sultry madam han were the same person!!

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 28, 2013, 21:50
Coming of Age and Heart of Glory tonight keeping the TNG tradition alive.

Coming of Age covers two story arcs: one was Wesley's admission test for early admission into the academy, where he faces off against 3 other brilliant candidates and where the Enterprise crew get under a microscope when an Admiral launches a witch hunt. The Wesley story is IMHO predictable (even if I have watched it before) but the second story which involves a paranoid Admiral who has suspicions that all is not well in Starfleet, from my recollection leads to a major story arc later on. So it is a pivotal episode. As the investigator said, despite his best efforts to undermine the captain, he felt the crew had a sense of family about them. That's kinda what we felt by this stage as well. Interesting that the investigator mentioned he would apply for a tour of duty on the Enterprise after all he had learnt from them.

Heart of Glory was a pretty memorable episode. It gave the back story for Worf and how he came to join the Federation. I thought it was a great portrayal of the Klingon race that had served merely as puppets for the Cold War imagery in the TOS episodes. The only part that I felt "cheated" about was how easily the Klingons still managed to roam the Enterprise even after they were considered prisoners. That was something that always bugged me about TOS - heck even Khan had free reign of the ship in Space Seed. This shouldn't have happened in TNG :) but the way the story arc ended with Worf performing a necessary evil was just superb. "He died well". Just poetic.

:)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 30, 2013, 00:23
Arsenal of Freedom and Symbiosis tonight in the TNG tradition.

My wife was having a bout of insomnia after her regular TV series so we started and ended late. Today's two episodes are all part of the moralizing tradition of Roddenberry's Star Trek - the pursuit of the arms race and drugs.

I don't suppose either of the stories are particularly memorable but what was memorable IMHO are the interactions of the crew.

For Arsenal, I liked seeing Picard out of his element exhibiting his caring side when he had to take care of Dr Crusher. I thought Geordi held up pretty well when he faced almost a mutiny situation by the Chief Engineer.

And for Symbiosis, the only parts that felt cheesy were Tasha Yar's Just Say No speech to Wesley :D and Riker's frozen look when zapped did remind me a little of good ole Kirk's over acting :D But the deliberations between Picard and Dr Crusher was a highlight for me in this episode. I did think the Prime Directive angle seemed a bit skewed. Picard not providing the necessary repairs might sour relations with the addicted race. I'm sure the race would eventually overcome their addiction but I doubt they would have seen the "wisdom" of Picard's decision with hindsight. Few people do.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 30, 2013, 23:06
Coming close to the end of S1 of TNG.

Skin of Evil then We'll Always Have Paris.

Skin wasn't a particularly great episode. And for the third time is as many episodes, poor Riker has been taken hostage/prisoner/stunned :D life is tough as a first officer leading an away team. ps it's interesting to note that Riker's decision to defer a promotion wasn't just cos he happened to love the Enterprise/Deana etc. In Arsenal, he mentioned he was offered the Drake but passed on it because he felt the Enterprise tour of duty would have been better career wise.

Deana continues to over-act though not in quite the same capacity as Shatner ;) in this episode. Where the story works as I found in most TNG episodes has been with how well the crew interacts, having a genuine bond with each other and I think that same affection affects the viewer as well :)

So Denise Crosby aka Tasha gets written off the script as requested. Wife and I discussed this earlier during dinner about the fear of being typecast in ST roles and I think it is true that outside of Shatner, none of the TOS guys really had a second career. So maybe it was a wise decision for her to leave. I think her roles when she eventually came back to rejoin the cast as a guest were far more impactful.

As for Paris, well, I've always been a sucker for Casablanca so all the jokes/references were ticks for me in the like column. This is possibly the first of many Picard stories which tell of the choices he's made to become the man that he is so it is always interesting to me. Michelle Philips as the love of his life is age appropriate (take that, Kirk!) ;) and (also unlike Kirk), you don't see Picard jumping from one bed to another proclaiming eternal love that seems particularly empty with each iteration.

I did like the farewell scene on the holodeck. The wonders of technology to allow one to make amends for the past.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 31, 2013, 22:27
It was a long marathon tonight. The last two episodes of S1, which IMHO ended very unsatisfactorily and then two episodes of S2 which seemed to almost completely ignore the season finale from before.

Conspiracy was first hinted at in Coming of Age. I guess the idea of a story arc that spans many episodes was still quite new in the 80s so it had to be concluded quickly. It also does not work well with syndicated shows which can show episodes out of sequence. I thought the conspiracy theory had promise and the alien race being introduced here seemed very insidious. But in an effort to conclude the story, things felt very rushed. The Starfleet officers who were infected began "monologuing" and revealing their entire plans to Picard over dinner. And serving Picard worms? Come on.

What really bugged me was that the story never really concluded. At the end, we were told the aliens had sent a homing beacon to their home planet, which meant an invasion was possibly forthcoming. But this was completely ignored in the following episode (the season conclusion) or the following season.

Some googling revealed that in subsequent novels, these aliens were shown to be related to the Trill symbiotes like the one in Jadzia Dax. That made a lot more sense and would have been a pretty neat story. That said the Dax symbiote still had memories of the previous hosts whereas these aliens don't apparently.

This was then followed by Neutral Zone, the S1 season finale.

When Data first discovered the life pods, I kept thinking Khan! :P but it turned out to be much more mundane. A yuppie, a druggie music start and a bored housewife were the 3 inhabitants of a cryo space ship that was somehow left stranded over the centuries. Overall it was a weak episode which suffered from being really unfocussed. We could have had a half decent story with the three cryo-ed survivors. But like in TOS, they let the silly people have full run of the ship, including the Bridge. At least these guys weren't intent on taking over the ship but it's something you'd think in the almost one century since TOS, the Federation guys would have taken note of. The thing is, in some of the earlier episodes, the writers did factor that. So to me, it's more like sloppy writing. Which is quite possible because of the writer's strike also during this period. The second arc involved the Romulans which I thought was also potential for a pretty good episode. Perhaps something like the Enterprise incident from TOS but taken much further.

Instead we had two half baked ideas which were never satisfyingly concluded. So who/what was destroying the Romulan and Federation outposts along the neutral zone? And why was this never mentioned again!??? WTF

We went on to S2 thinking this would be followed up on but no. All we got were more surprises but nothing following up on what were life changing events at the end of S1.

Riker sports a beard. Worf wearing yellow and now officially head of security. And Geordi is now Chief Engineer. That would put the old Chief Engineer who had an almost revolt in his place ;)

We get a new doctor who looked like this the last time we saw her on the Enterprise
(http://www.beertripper.com/startrek_images/bp-OS-Ann_Mulhall_Diana_Muldaur_2.jpg)
:)
It has been almost 100 years between TOS and TNG so we have to factor that

Wife and I took an instant dislike to her. Maybe it was out of loyalty to Crusher. Or maybe because in her effort to be more like cranky Bones, she ended up tipping the scale to the other side into obnoxious. Her distaste of Data was just downright rude.

But on the bright side, we now have Whoopi and Ten Forward.

The Child features yet another "formless" energy based sentient feeling who tries to get a taste of life as a humanoid. That would be OK if not for the fact that how it impregnates Deanna is
a. a little creepy like rape and how everyone was ok with it
b. a little too immaculate conception for my liking :P

So it gets to grow up and we see the Doc and the Cap exchanging dirty/knowing looks when seeing the kid.

All well and good but never quite resolved satisfactorily. The kid suddenly stops growing - I'd have thought it would have wanted a full lifecycle - despite aging very quickly in the first 2-3 days.

It was as if they had run out of time and needed to conclude the story so they concocted a problem with Enterprise's mission that would have caused the ship's crew to be in danger unless the kid was out of the ship.

I think S2 needed a place to introduce all the new characters (including O Brien who is for now just "Transporter Chief") and this was it but it never really exploited the potential of the material of that alien life form.

Where Silence continues the Enterprise's encounter with yet another all powerful being. From memory we are going to see a lot of these types of encounters throughout the next few seasons but as one of the earlier attempts, this one doesn't quite cut it. How they outwitted the being wasn't particularly clever nor was the challenge particularly difficult. I was curious why Riker and Worf lost their cool when they came back from the Yamato. I thought the creature/space might have something to do with that. It was out of character for Riker and never quite explained clearly.

But as ever, the repartee and the interactions of the crew (sans annoying doctor) still makes for a fun to watch episode... like when Picard FINALLY cancels the auto destruct sequence in the last 10 seconds!!!

Picard: “Abort auto-destruct sequence.”
Computer: “Riker, William T., do you concur?”
Riker: “Yes! Absolutely! I do indeed concur! Whole-heartedly!”
Computer: “Auto-destruct canceled.”
Picard: “A simple ‘yes’ would have sufficed, Number One.”
Riker: “I didn’t want there to be any chance of a misunderstanding.”

:D

you gotta laugh


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on August 31, 2013, 22:35
I did chuckle :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on August 31, 2013, 22:47
I did chuckle :)

:P

speaking of Riker, I first pointed this out to the wife when we were watching the movies so we kept a watch out for these scenes. Have caught a number of them already :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/lVIGhYMwRgs&noredirect=1&fs=1
LIKE A BOSS
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 01, 2013, 23:45
More from S2 of TNG tonight: Elementary, Dear Data followed by The Outrageous Okona and with Loud as a Whisper concluding tonight's marathon.

Elementary is the second transporter episode (if I recall correctly), the first being Picard's film noir detective novel which also went wrong. Elementary introduces the character of Moriarty who's been juiced up by the computer when Geordi inadvertently gives the computer the instruction to create an adversary who has the capacity to defeat Data (as opposed to Sherlock Holmes). The episode was not quite memorable but for the premise of what makes us sentient being called into question. Hologram Moriarty rightfully asks if Data is considered alive and then takes himself as a parallel. I didn't like that something as simple as computer security would tell you not to link the holodeck computer to the one that controls the ship or that you would allow a hologram to command the "arch computer" (tho to be fair, that might be how the computer saw as an adversary who could defeat Data). The other annoyance? Data/Geordi's English accent - annoying to the point of distraction.

Those quibbles aside, the biggest problem I have with this episode (and with S2 so far) has been with the damn doctor. She's just downright dismissive in her reaction to Data. I am surprised Picard would allow that at all. It seems unbecoming of his crew.

One could perhaps argue that it is because the doctor is new and had not had the opportunity to work with Data. But neither has Guinan and she was patient with Data to a fault, when Data asked her for help in the next episode: Okona.

Here the crew meet an affable rogue. No he's not as prickly as Han Solo but the white shirt and black vest can't be a coincidence ;) and he's played by the Rocketeer.

(http://s.excessif.com/mmdia/i/53/7/billy-campbell-star-trek-la-nouvelle-generation-10474537yomkp_1798.png)

Other guest stars of note include Teri Hatcher!! (who wasn't even credited) as a Transporter Chief!!

(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121213025459/memoryalpha/en/images/5/56/BG_Robinson.jpg)

Not another particularly strong story but the characters are likeable and frankly, it's only the goodwill that we have for the crew that keeps us watching, I imagine.

Loud as a whisper was the last episode before turning in. Maybe it is the writers' strike but it is yet another not particularly well fleshed out story. Two warring factions on a plent request help from the Federation for mediation and have chosen the supposedly best mediator in the universe - the one who negotiated the peace between the Klingons and the Federation. But when the Enterprise goes to pick him, they realise he is deaf. We later learn this trait is hereditary but his kind have found a way to overcome this limitation. The mediator is served by 3 assistants who are linked telepathically to him and communicate on his behalf. Kinda like Herman's Head but outside his head :D

(http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/data/581/hermansddssa.JPG)

So he has a feminine (harmony/wisdom) side, a guy (lust/libido and strength) side and an intellectual side. The paranoid side? That's the main guy himself ;) man, I miss Herman!

So far so good?

Here's the problem. When they first start negotiations, fighting breaks out and Herman's head trio are vaporised. Quite ghastly too.
(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_08/loudasawhisper3.jpg)

So poor mediator loses his nerve and cries weee weee weee all the way home.

Of course, Deanna (with whom the mediator has been making googley eyes at the entire time, aided by his libido voice being the third wheel at the date) finally convinces him to get off his ass and he continues with the peace mediation.
(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_08/loudasawhisper4.jpg)
awkward dating moments #29

Weak man.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 02, 2013, 22:01
:P

speaking of Riker, I first pointed this out to the wife when we were watching the movies so we kept a watch out for these scenes. Have caught a number of them already :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/lVIGhYMwRgs&noredirect=1&fs=1
LIKE A BOSS


Blimey! Never did pay attention to riker's sitting down stance.

The youthful Teri Hatcher looks a wee bit like Deanna Troi :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 02, 2013, 23:30
Heh, Riker sure is acting more like a BOSS in tonight's instalments after being a fodder/hostage for a couple of episodes in the last few nights.

S2 TNG continues with The Schizoid Man, Unnatural Selection and A Matter of Honor.

The term Schizoid sounds a bit rude/not politically correct, doesn't it? Well it's to explain Data's out of character moments when a mad genius doctor (Soong's teacher apparently) with a few weeks to live decides to transfer his mind/brain/character into Data. He was already planning to do it with his own computer but having Data there presented an interesting opportunity that he couldn't resist. So you get to see Spiner acting all out of character again. He does a corny eulogy for the doctor and has to be told off by the Captain and in his "fully functional" self, he starts making some advances towards his (much younger) assistant. I can't say which was more creepy - blonde bimbo with old genius or android :P

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_09/schizoidman1.jpg)
Is this Data's attempt at looking more human? Or are the writers poking fun at Frakes' beard? ;)

There's a bit of banter between the crew which as I said before makes TNG special. But while the premise is interesting, I think the plot device of having the audience KNOW exactly what the twist is and the Enterprise crew in the dark IMHO doesn't make the viewer as invested in the show. There is no tension so to speak because you already know. I am glad tho that the writers persisted and we get to see the elements of Data's existence as a life form recognized a few episodes later.

Unnatural Selection is a decent scifi plot and a part detective story to boot. The Enterprise receives a distress signal. Is there any other kind? They find the vessel but it is dead in space. Because they don't know what happened, they do something pretty unique (and IMHO should be SOP whenever you come across ANY deserted ship!!). The Captain uses his authority code to over-ride the other ship's computer and establish a link between the computers of the two vessels. Neat eh? You get access to the Captain's logs etc and even the onboard cameras. So they discover *GASP* the entire crew is all dead. And from the sensors in the other ship, the doc says they died of natural causes. No need to send an away team that can pick up dangerous pathogens etc. Problem is the dead captain looks like he's 80 but Riker claims they are both the same age. So something has caused their accelerated ageing.

They then backtrack to where that ship had been previously. And encounter the scientists on that planet were also infected. So both the ship and the research station are under quarantine. So far so good. But the scientists request Enterprise save their children which they claim were isolated and not infected. Doc says yes. Captain says no. They finally agree on a compromise where they put the kid in carbonite (sorry Star Wars reference) so he can't infect the ship. Actually it isn't as cool as carbonite. Just looks like plexiglass.

But they get a surprise cos the 8 yr old kid that's transported over looks like he's 20! HINT - accelerated aging. Turns out the scientists have been experimenting with genetic engineering on their kids.

But no, the doc (I really hate her by now) insists on helping the kids and wants to break the carbonite plexiglass to examine them further. Cap says no. Again. Doc finds compromise again (which I already thought of in the first place). Use a shuttle craft. Cap says risky. Doc says she'll risk her own life.

OK. So far so good. But she's an idiot and can't pilot the shuttle craft. Guess what. She calls Data to do it. Because he won't be infected. Yeah, I get that! But he would ALSO be in contact with any pathogens and would never be allowed back on the Enterprise. COME ON WOMAN!!! And I can't believe the captain went along with it!! I mean fine if you want to risk your own life being a hero, but treating Data as a person with no value is just taking the piss. Plus I noticed she CAN pronounce "Data" the way Data is pronounced when referring to computer data. But she had to use "dah-ta" when insulting him in the pilot episode.

So anyway, she removes the plexiglass and all seems well at first. Then she gets hit by the first symptom of the accelerated aging. At this point, I was cheering. For her to die and leave the Enterprise already. But what about poor Data!?? And come on, you have symptom - accelerated ageing and you have kids who've accelerated ageing as part of their DNA. Still need me to connect the dots?

*sigh*

Eventually, Transporter Chief O'Brien (yes he finally gets a name!!) comes up with the idea that when teleporting the crew of the Enterprise back, they can use the pattern buffer from a previous transport to recreate them minus the virus. Sounds good. Data is saved. But the Doctor who doesn't believe in transporters has never used it before and thus unable to use this method of rescue. During this time too, they discover the Khan-ified kids' immune system is soooo powerful that it reacted to a virus brought on by an officer of the earlier ship and caused the officer's DNA to be changed. That DNA strand happened to affect aging. The cause was always pretty obvious to me.

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_09/unnaturalselection1.jpg)
orbeee good!

I would have thought by now, you just SAVE DATA and leave the woman behind, but they try to find her transporter pattern from her previous ship. Unsuccessfully because they'd already wiped out her information from records.

So they finally come up with the bright idea to use her DNA to help reconstruct her pattern buffer thingamabob. And it works. And it also works on the scientists below. Altho you'd have thought that the immune system of those kids would still cause the same bloody problem even if their DNA was fixed. It's not a permanent solution. But the 45 minutes are up so we have to wrap up quickly.

I still think the premise (Khan, Genetic Engineering is bad etc) was quite cool but I just was not invested in seeing the doc pull through :P

And finally - A Matter of Honor the best of tonight's bunch!

Here's the build up for the episode. Starfleet is doing a round of "officer exchange", so a Benzite comes onboard and Wesley mistakes him for a friend he had met earlier during the Academy Admissions test. All Benzites look alike (cue racist joke) ;)

But in the interest of furthering the alliance with the Klingons, Starfleet wants to do a rotation with the Klingons. Now I normally think an exchange usually means two ways but in this case, it looks like the Klingons don't really want to reciprocate. Riker decides to volunteer because that's the kind of guy he is ;)

So he err bones up on his understanding of Klingon cuisine and culture and ethos. I love this episode because of two things.

First, it shows us the kind of person Riker is. He's courageous but he's also smart and quick on his feet and still diplomatic. He doesn't get enough dues IMHO. Onboard, he first has to face off a challenge from the second officer to solidify his position and over dinner, he really gets to bond with his new crew.

Second, the introduction to Klingon culture. Instead of the one dimensional Russian stand ins for TOS, these Klingons have a culture and ethos unlike any other. They may seem barbaric but there's a tradition bound by honour and courage that just makes us root for them.

The routine exchange goes awry because it seems the Klingons have contracted some space parasites that are eating away at their ship's hull and the Enterprise has got it too.

The Enterprise realizes the source is from the Klingons and tries to alert them to the problem. The Klingons however see the parasite as an act of war. :P So Riker is torn between his loyalties. How he fixes everything and saves the day is just inspired. And how he won over his second officer was just as impressive.

(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080814193227/terminator/images/7/7c/Brian01.jpg)

Speaking of the second officer. MAN.. this guy is distinctive. Even under all that make up, I knew he was the scary killer from XFiles :D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 03, 2013, 23:03
Tonight, perhaps one of the best TNG episodes for me: Measure of a Man, followed by Dauphin.

Measure of a Man really encompasses Roddenberry's ideals of a better world. The premise is simple: At a Starbase, Starfleet orders Data to be transferred to a robotics expert who believes he can recreate Soong's positronic brain and replicate Data. But when queried further, Data recognizes he is still too far off from achieving his goals and in his process to dissect Data, it may mean the end of Data as we know it. Data refuses the transfer but is told he cannot, short of resigning. Which he does. But the robotic expert says Data is property of Starfleet and thus has no right to resign. To sort this out, the JAG office gives Picard only option: contest the ruling and have Riker prosecute the matter on behalf of Starfleet, since the starbase is new and the JAG office is not equipped to handle cases as yet.

There's one scene where Riker discovers what he realizes is a winning argument in his research, but quickly turns to dismay when he re-examines what that means for Data.

So it is Guinan who gently nudges Picard into seeing the parallels with slavery and allows Picard to make a winning argument.

Some of the arguments are a bit contrived on this rewatch but the fundamental message is still powerful after all this time.

We did see a bit of the crappy doctor in a few scenes but by and large, they kept her lines to a minimum and all the better for it.

Dauphin strictly speaking isn't as big a milestone as Measure. But it has some moments, tho not because of its central premise of Wil Wheaton falling in love with a female ruler of a foreign world.

But the moments are when Wil asks for help in trying to woo the girl. Geordi, his first port of call tells him to ask someone else as he is busy.

So his first one is Worf. Why I'll never know but it does create a great scene:
http://www.youtube.com/v/ITmnIY_H24o&fs=1

He ducks a lot. HILARIOUS!!! :)

His next attempt is Will Riker. Makes sense. He's a ladies man. But Wil gets more than he bargains for.

http://www.youtube.com/v/zvY3jVJJKEI&fs=1

(and yes, Riker SITS LIKE A BOSS!)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 04, 2013, 01:11
Seems like most interesting bits and pieces of TNG can be found on youtube!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: landis1 on September 04, 2013, 08:49
hey shouldnt the excellent TNG reviews be more relevant if presented in its own thread ;D

(http://i.qkme.me/3q7d25.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 04, 2013, 22:32
Star Trek Into Darkness 1080p BluRay TrueHD 7.1 is out! 35GB.

I am so re-watching this when it's done!  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/v/6B22Uy7SBe4&feature=share&list=SP86F4D497FD3CACCE&fs=1

I think it's kinda funny ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 04, 2013, 23:56
4 episodes of TNG tonight: Contagion, Royale, Time Squared and Icarus Factor.

I can't honestly say that any of the four episodes were particularly memorable but interspersed within were just some brilliant moments with the crew.

In Contagion, Picard crosses the Neutral Zone to help out the Enterprise's sister ship, the Yamato, helmed by his good friend. The Yamato is experiencing some technical glitches and there are fears it may affect the Enterprise, as both are the same Galaxy class vessels. The Yamato is seemingly OK, but did suffer a loss of an engineering crew. But mid-way the conversation, something happens and the ship explodes. Picard is steely enough to call for shields to be raised. The glitches turn out to be because of the Yamato's mission and why they crossed into the Neutral Zone. In one expedition close to the Neutral Zone, the Yamato finds artefacts of technology so advanced from a now extinct race. The artefacts point to a planet in the Neutral Zone as the home planet and the Captain of the Yamato decides to take the risk as he feels that if the technology falls into Romulan hands it would upset the balance of power between the races. Picard realises he must complete the Yamato's mission even though he is being pursued by a Romulan vessel, the same one who had also been trailing the Yamato previously. It turns out the alien race isn't entirely evil but the automatic probe it sends out sends a code that ends up conflicting with the Yamato's computer. The bad news: when the Enterprise downloaded the logs from the Yamato, the bad code was also transferred. So the Enterprise looks like it is experiencing the same glitches as the Yamato and headed for the same fate. The solution: as any Level 1 tech support would tell you: "Have you turned the computer off and on again?" :) I guess Geordi never watched the IT Crowd

http://www.youtube.com/v/nn2FB1P_Mn8&fs=1

This isn't really a character development episode and overall, I thought it was really about Enterprise's charter to explore strange new worlds, even if these worlds have been dead and gone for a long time.

The funny bits? (not haha funny but funny)

Riker (having just survived what appeared to be a Romulan attack at point blank range... on realizing the Romulans are also affected by the same glitches): Fate—it protects fools, small children, and ships named Enterprise.”

The Royale.. I really don't know where to start. It has a B movie plot and IMHO not unlike some of the old TOS episodes in terms of vibe. The neat thing to me was how the crew SAW the plot as hackneyed as well. Premise: the Enterprise finds a piece of debris trapped in a hostile planet's atmosphere and the debris shows the marking of a 52 star US flag and the NASA logo. So maybe there's hope yet for NASA ;) Not much makes sense. The planet is completely inhospitable for human life but the scans discover a pocket where the atmosphere is breathable so an away team beams down to investigate. Turns out, the crew of said NASA vessel had been in contact with an alien race but the contact caused the crew to perish with exception of a colonel. To make reparations, the aliens created this make belief world based on a cheesy novel called the Royale (it starts with It was a dark and stormy night...) :P and the colonel died of old age eventually. The away team tries to leave but are trapped inside. It feels a lot like a transporter malfunction episode when they have to "successfully" finish the program before they can exit.

As usual, the crew get into their elements: Worf answering the hotel room phone asking if they want room service ;) Data dabbling in gambling.

Time Squared goes back to doing what ST does best: scifi stories. Here, a time paradox. The Enterprise detects a shuttle adrift and beams it over. The hatch opens and GASP it's another Jean Luc Picard. The adrift Captain and the shuttle are both out of phase and it takes some reverse logic to get both working again. The shuttle reveals it is 6 hours ahead of the actual time while the "captain" while awake is not lucid enough to tell them what had transpired. From the logs tho, we find out the Enterprise had been destroyed. I really liked how Picard (well the Picard of our timeline) took to the situation. For a captain, especially Picard, the idea of abandoning the ship sounds totally alien. And so he starts doubting himself. Why did he leave the ship? What did he do wrong? etc What I didn't like was the doc trying to get him to step down for incompetence. I HATE THIS DOCTOR. As Deanna says, his doubts are natural and with a very real danger looming, shouldn't the captain have every right to be worried?

So the time loop catches up and the Enterprise is caught up in a space whirlpool except the whirlpool seems controlled by a sentient being who seems to have a personal vendetta with the Captain. The Captain realizes he needs to leave the ship to protect the Enterprise but catches himself. Eventually he realizes he has to stop the loop from happening, so he shoots the doppelganger Captain before the double can leave the ship "to protect the crew". DEAD. Man, Picard can be cold. But he's right. Having no other option, he directs the ship towards the centre of the vortex. And is saved. And the dead double/shuttle disappear.

What I really enjoyed was again the crew interactions. Sometimes you forget just how different the crew are physiologically :) in the opening scene, Riker invites some of the guys over for some "home cooked" eggs. The eggs aren't exactly the same variety as what we get on earth, so both Geordi and the Doc are completely choking from the test. Then the camera pans over to Worf who's wolfing down the entire portion with gusto. Brilliant.

And finally the Icarus factor. I usually like stories that deal with the father and son dynamics. You know:
(http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/25900000/Simba-Mufasa-the-lion-king-25952837-800-400.jpg)

Mike & The Mechanic's Living Years always brings a tear to me. I dunno why. My dad is still alive but I think the father and son relationships are always hard to fathom. There's a lot we don't say.

But I digress. In Icarus, Riker is offered command of his own vessel during a stop on a starbase and has to receive the mission briefings from a civillian officer. Turns out to be dum dum daaaaaam, his dad, played by Greg (of Dharma and Greg)'s dad. But it is clear that the two have a major rift.

It's funny to the wife and me, that Riker sees Picard more as a father figure. At one point, Riker asks Picard for advice on what he should do and Picard gives the best dad answer. Really touching. Which is more than what we can say for the Riker and real dad bonding moment where they duke it out using the "ultimate" evolution of martial arts. They obviously missed the memo from UFC.
(http://wpmedia.o.canada.com/2012/02/ufc143_10_werdum_vs_nelson_0191.jpg)

Instead we have this:
(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_09/icarusfactor2.jpg)
Adoi.

If anything, the best of this story hasn't got to do with the main story arc, but the secondary one. Worf is acting all grouchy. OK scratch that. MORE grouchy than normal but only Wesley recognizes it. He digs around and realizes it is the 10th Anniversary of Worf's ascension rites and it is an important milestone with the requisite ceremony. So he plans a surprise party. Well not a great surprise cos Deanna Troi spoils it. She is a lousy secret keeper!! And not just in this episode. So Worf goes to the holodeck where Wesley has created a chamber appropriate to the 10th anniversary rites where a whole bunch of Klingons stand forming two lines armed with pain sticks (yes these do exactly what you think they do) and Worf has to walk through them, reciting lines in Klingon (which he thankfully translates into English for us) at each stage before being zapped with said pain sticks. At the end of the line, he's is bent over, crouched in pain, but he has an odd smile and he says THANK YOU :) while his friends are all queasy from just looking at the torture. BEST PART EVER :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/t9L2NlSYJGM&fs=1

You have to see it to really appreciate it ;)
Title: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 05, 2013, 13:54
http://youtu.be/k6Lb3kFwJRQ

Great fan edit - TOS crew meets Miley.

Maybe we need an official ST thread :)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 05, 2013, 13:57
No need maybe lah dawg. Do it ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on September 05, 2013, 17:13
No need maybe lah dawg. Do it ;)

Yeah, this thread has gone completely off-topic -- it's turned into a Star Trek discussion thread.  Bit late to ask mods to split off the ST-related posts?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 06, 2013, 00:45
This isn't always about Star Trek but just the movie nights my wife and I have been doing... well since I became a jobless hobo :D

We've done summer blockbusters and also all the 22 Bond movies so it isn't just Star Trek.

But back to TNG - Pen Pals, (we skipped Q Who but I suspect we might have to revisit that eventually), followed by Samaritan Snare and Up the Ladder.

Pen Pals has me wondering about Data sometimes. I wonder if he's really as naive as he appears to be or if he really knows how emotional humans can be. Case in point: Data starts a new project - improving the long range sensor capability of the Enterprise and accidentally picks up what seems like a primitive CB radio broadcast from a little kid. He communicates with the kid, knowing full well it is in violation of the Prime Directive because the kid is from a preWarp civilisation. Only when he realizes the kid's planet is in danger of implosion, does he inform the Captain, making him fait accompli in violating the Prime Directive

But here's the sneaky bit. When the Captain orders him to cease communications with the kid, Data readily complies, but the process of ceasing the communication involves Data replaying the kid's plea for help. With that guilt trip, Data manages to convince the Captain and the crew to save the planet. There is a long deliberation about the Prime Directive which explains it a lot more detail than it ever did in TOS or previous TNG episodes which is interesting from a trekker perspective, I guess.

Anyway, the Captain fuzzies the logic by calling her transmission a distress call but Data goes further. He asks for permission to send the girl and her family to a safe place which the Captain accedes to but when he is unable to use the radio, he convinces Picard it's the same as beaming down. THAT LOGIC I don't quite see? The way I see it, if after a century from Kirk's time, the Prime Directive still can seem ambiguous, I really don't see hard core Trekkers giving Kirk reboot a hard time with his attempt to save the primitive race.

If you think that contravenes the Prime Directive, wait till you see what Data does next - when he finds the girl and realizes he cannot get her to safety, he beams himself and the girl to the Enterprise. YES! The Enterprise!!! Where he proceeds to show her how her planet looks like from space. SMART. So the doctor manages to wipe her memory afterwards.. but this wasn't part of the Data's plan when he first brings her onboard.

But then again, the little girl would eventually grow up to become this BOMBSHELL from Las Vegas (now defunct!) :) so maybe Data was more savvy than we give him credit for.

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UaLWp72nij4/TB_JZvp-QQI/AAAAAAAAPkc/rCPQO1QjJHI/s400/nikki-cox-feet.jpg)

Overall, I give this episode the thumbs up for the questions it forces us to ask and the grey areas we sometimes face.

Samaritan is next and there are two arcs here: one involves a shuttle trip Picard and Wesley make to a starbase, the former for an artificial heart replacement (the story of how he gets that will serve as a brilliant episode in the future) and the latter for Starfleet Academy examinations. I thought Wesley's questions to Picard seemed a tad over-intrusive. Maybe it's something kids get away with. But Picard's backstory and his snippets of wisdom are nice moments. Cucumber sandwiches? How very British! :P

The main arc however involves the Enterprise and the rest of its crew who answer a distress call from a rather primitive and dare I say it, "slow" looking species. It turns out that the species are not really slow but are pretty sneaky. They look for things to help them go and as it turns out, one of those things is the Chief Engineer who beams over to help them with their repairs.

There's a bit of the TOS plot device that I despise - characters acting out of well character and here it is Riker. He ignores Worf's suggestion to send someone perhaps less senior than Geordi. And he ignores Deanna who RUSHES to the Bridge to tell him that the stranded vessel's crew are not to be trusted. Riker is usually calm and considered and always aware of the risks. But here, he acts completely out of character so events can happen. And the resolution? Just as weak. They fake a Corbomite manoeuvre bluff and Geordi gets to go scot free.

And finally Up The Long Ladder. Not TNG's proudest moment. It was like the writers couldn't come up with any real ideas and just threw some plot devices and hoped one or two or three or more would stick.

One. Worf faints on the Bridge. Turns out it is Klingon measles and it is embarrassing for him to get that as a full grown warrior. The doc hides the truth from the crew, and for that he shows his gratitude by offering her a Klingon tea ceremony. (which incidentally kills humans!?? So I question Worf's intention ;)) Good thing the doc is a doc and she gives herself the antidote before taking the tea. But apparently the tea drinking is followed by the reciting of Klingon love poetry. Weird mating ritual and weirder that the doc wants in.

Two. Enterprise receives a distress call to find a misplaced human colony on a planet doomed for extinction. The humans had left Earth after WW III and there were no proper records of them. Turns out these humans were all Irish and wanted to live like old Irish farmers. Irish stereotype jokes ensue. Cue the hard drinking. Cue the strong Irish women.

Three. Riker is enchanted by one Irish woman who asks him for a place to wash her feet. Apparently that's code for let's find your quarters and get comfy. I apologize for the times I cursed Kirk. I forgot about Riker ;) to be fair, he isn't the captain (and after the last episode! THANK GOODNESS!)

Four, the Irish came on this long journey with another group who are technologically advanced. But when they landed on their final destination, an accident caused all but 5 (3 men, 2 women) survivors. So they decided to continue living but used cloning. Problem was clones degenerate and they can't keep creating new ones. So they first ask for the Enterprise to supply them with genetic samples. Riker is quite vehement about his refusal :) (which also brings to mind a later episode where we do see a Riker double!). So they then take by force what they couldn't before. Of course, Riker finds out and goes ballistic. To be honest, I would have expected the doc to verify the cloned bodies he destroyed were THEIR CLONES before he zapped them to oblivion but you know Riker. Shoot first, ask questions later.

I shouldn't need to mention FIVE because by now you already know what happens next. Negotiations to allow the two human groups (though separated by time and culture) to coexist together.

Overall a blah episode. I did laugh a bit when Worf had to face off against the Irish woman and later seemed somewhat attracted to her because, you know, she was Klingon like :P Worf also had a decent line introducing the Irish to the replicator's wine selection

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 07, 2013, 00:01
So I convinced the wife to rewatch the Q episode we skipped the other day and she agreed to watch the one from S1 as well.

For tonight, we queued up (geddit) Hide and Q, Q Who then Manhunt (picking up where we left off).

Hide and Q was the 10th episode from S1. Tasha was still onboard and rewatching this after just seeing season 2, I can kinda see why she wanted to be written off. As Chief of Security, she was whiny and a bit ineffectual. In this episode, Q interferes with the Enterprise crew yet again. As before, his intentions are not quite clear. He offers Riker all the powers of the Q including bringing back the dead, which Riker uses to save his crew from a recreation of a battle in the Napoleonic wars but with strong aliens and phaser weapons disguised as bayonet rifles. Riker is clearly intoxicated with his new found power but because of a promise to Picard, refuses to use it again for fear it may corrupt him further. But it is eating him so there's a face off with Picard, where he tries to use his power (goaded by Q) to help his friends. The crew, while tempted by his gifts, eventually choose to reject those gifts as they see what that power is doing to them. And Riker finally rejects this gift. When I first watched this, I didn't understand why Riker would return his gift to the Q. But watching it again, it is clear the gift was not without strings. In an argument with Q, Picard realizes this was a test. The Q were intrigued and a bit frightened of the human race and was allowing the power to corrupt humans. At least, John Lancie's Q. In Q Who? we see that the Lancie Q has been banished from the Q continuum because of his failure in that episode. I guess it makes more sense this way.

I've never been a fan of the Q episodes and Hide and Q didn't change my mind. But it does get a tick from me for the issues it proposes. And yes, it is more like TOS than I care to admit ;)

Q Who was next and I convinced my wife to watch this as I know it introduces a critical plot element for future ST universe. Wife guessed very quickly it was the Borg. In this episode, Q returns and brings the Enterprise crew to (what I assume to be) the Delta Quadrant. In doing so, he exposes humans to the Borg and the Borg to the humans, way ahead of schedule. The Enterprise follows their standard procedure when they encounter the Borg, not even when Guinan tells them to run the f**k out of there as fast as possible. Heck, Riker even tells Worf not to raise shields for fear of being perceived as hostile. Whatever Starfleet protocols are, they are not designed to handle the Borg. There is no diplomacy. There is no mercy. There is just adapting and assimilating. So for this, I give Q a pass for his appearance. The point Q was making was that humans were just not quite ready for everything that is out there. And he proved it. Picard has no choice but to ask Q for help to get them out of the jam when they are under hot pursuit by the Borg vessel. I think the creation of the Borg race is a big departure for TNG. It really marks a difference in direction too from TOS and is all the better for it.

It's a shame then that we followed Q Who with Manhunt. A Lwaxana Troi episode. I don't understand why they had to create that character who overacts almost as much as Shatner does in TOS. Maybe Majel was tired of being outshone by Shatner then :) or maybe she's still smarting from being deposed as First Officer by Spock after the pilot. Who knows.

The plot isn't quite coherent either.

Let me explain. The Enterprise are tasked with transporting two fish like aliens and Lwaxana Troi (in the capacity of Betazed ambassador) to a conference. The crying shame is that one of the two fishes is Mick Fleetwood. YES Fleetwood. And the idiots in make up decide to make him look like this:
(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_10/manhunt3.jpg)

Are you shitting me!?? And it's not that there aren't any other guest star slots for him to fill. He could have been a holographic bartender that Lwaxana tries to seduce. Or if he is really that wooden an actor, how about just those holodeck thugs who have few lines.

Anyway what Lwaxana fails to reveal until confronted by Deanna is that she is at her err Betazed menopause. But it's not like how it affects Earth women. For more: I'll let Riker and Troi explain...

Riker: “Yes, it’s something Troi warned me about when we first started to see each other. A Betazoid woman when she goes through this phase quadruples her sex drive.”
Troi: “Or more.”
Riker leans over... looks at Deanna almost suggestively.
Riker: “Or more? You never told me that.”
Troi: “I didn’t want to frighten you.”

Probably the best part of the episode.

So anyway, Lwaxana tries to woo Picard. Picard can't say no because apparently it's traumatic for the Betazed women in that phase. He manages to get Data to interrupt his date with Lwaxana once he realizes what he is up to. And then he avoids her completely by hiding in the holodeck playing Dixon Hill and pretending to be on "ship business". This starts Lwaxana off on another manhunt (hence the title) where she pursues, Worf/Wesley, Geordi in turn before settling on Riker, much to Deanna's dismay.

Eventually, of course Lwaxana finds both Riker and Picard on the holodeck and realizes she's been stood up so she focuses her attention on a holodeck bartender for a pretty lengthy period before Picard reveals the truth to her. By this time the Enterprise has arrived at the conference venue.

Remember Mick Fleetwood the fish? Well, he and his mate have been in "stasis"/coma during this period as they cannot take well to space travel and have just been "thawed", ready to beam down to join the conference.

Remember the incoherent plot? Well, suddenly Lwaxana accuses them of being terrorists who have hidden explosives inside themselves. What!?? Oh right. Because she can read minds. So then you gotta wonder.. how come Deanna didn't get it? HER WHOLE PURPOSE on the Enterprise was for situations like this and she completely misses the BIG PLOT.

WHAT!??

The only highlights of this episode are the Riker/Deanna exchange I posted and Worf commenting the fish like race are so handsome. I think on some level, he might be complimenting Mick Fleetwood ;) but it (like the scene with Riker frying up eggs) just shows that we sometimes forget the crew aren't all human and have the same points of reference ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 08, 2013, 00:12
Wife and I were watching the telly earlier following the Australian federal elections so we started movie night late. So just one episode tonight: The Emissary.

And it wasn't a bad one either. The Emissary in question is a half Klingon, half human woman who boards the Enterprise on an urgent mission. An old Klingon vessel that had gone missing for almost a century pops up with a message to Klingon High Command informing them the crew has reached its destination. Problem - the destination is now a Federation colony and the crew of the old Klingon vessel didn't get the memo that they are no longer at war with the Federation.

The Klingon emissary tells Picard to shoot on sight. Because those Klingons would. And of course, they won't surrender even with the superior power of a modern Federation craft because well, they are Klingons.

Eventually Worf comes up with an idea, a ruse that prevents bloodshed in accordance with Picard's wishes.

There is a second arc and it is also great - the emissary is an old flame of Worf's so this episode allows us to explore more of the Klingon culture and their mating rituals. FWIW, Worf's advice to Wesley a few episodes back seems off the mark ;) I didn't see her throw stuff at Worf, nor did he recite Klingon love poetry. They do get pretty intense and a battle is just foreplay. Good thing Riker didn't follow through with his boast to take on two Klingon crew women when he was attached to the Klingons :P

The guest star list is also pretty nifty.

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_10/emissary5.jpg)
The actress who plays Worf's old flame played a Vulcan doctor in a previous episode (Schizoid Man), and goes on to play a few other characters in the ST franchise. But here's the even cooler part.. she's in How I Met Your Mother!

Can you guess who?

Give up?

(http://www.serienjunkies.de/fotos/schwiegermuetter-719/how-i-met-your-mother-judy-eriksen-7489.jpg)

And that's not all!!

We have the flaky sis from Mad About You!
(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121204042813/memoryalpha/en/images/f/f0/Clancy_at_the_conn.jpg)
(it's actually her second guest appearance.. she was in a golden outfit the last time)

And boom!
(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090423150057/memoryalpha/de/images/d/d4/Taktischer_Offizier_2365.jpg)
Os from Drew Carey Show. I actually recognized his voice before I recognized his face. He actually looks a lot taller here than how I remembered him! He's 1.88m tall but next to Ryan Stiles, who's 1.98, he always seems so short :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 08, 2013, 22:13
Didn't catch any TNG tonight. Decided to watch Cold Eyes on WEB's recommendation. It was pretty damn good a thriller!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 09, 2013, 23:32
Back to good ole TNG tonight: Peak Performance, Shades of Grey (concluding S2) and Evolution which is the first episode of S3.

Peak Performance pits the Enterprise crew against itself in a wargame simulation. In preparation for a Borg attack, Picard finally accedes to it. The idea is that Riker and his team would field a less capable vessel and face off against the Enterprise. Sounds promising. But there's a bit of a slow build up as they try to get the ancient craft ready for the simulation. The battle finally begins but is interrupted midway by a Ferengi vessel who thinks the battle is over something valuable in the older vessel. Normally the Ferengis are not a big problem but because the computer is stuck in a simulation mode (following damage by the Ferengi), the weapon systems are disabled so they are a sitting duck so to speak. Eventually, Riker and Picard create a ruse to outwit the Ferengi. Riker and the Enterprise gets full marks by the examiner and everyone's happy.

Overall a decent episode. The highlights are however because of how well the crew work together and the writers who've worked out how to write the dynamics of the team. Worf in particular gets some brilliant lines.

In his quarters, he is attempting to build a replica sailing boat when Riker interrupts him breaking his concentration and results in him breaking the mast of the ship. Riker asks if he is interrupting. Worf opens a drawer on the table he is working on, sweeps the entire ship inside and says: Just finished :)

When Riker is challenging the strategist in charge of the war games to a strategy game, Worf helps him prepare
Worf: I have wagered heavily in the ship's pool that you will take him past the game's sixth plateau
Riker (knowing his opponent is a grand master): And if I don't?
Worf: I will be irritated

When tasking an officer of the derelict ship to repair a system, the officer asks where she can get the necessary opti-cables. Worf reaches to some fibre cables from the derelict ship, pulls them down and passes it to the officer with a wry comment: Anywhere

For me, I guess having watched too much Star Trek for my own good, I'd have the war game using the ship's holodeck. Would have saved them a lot of trouble. :)

I did think the simulation could have been extended a bit more but I guess Riker's team proved they already one upped the Enterprise for a brief moment and disabled the ship before the Ferengi interrupted.

Shades of Gray was the S2 finale. And what a whimper. I think Peak should have been the last episode. Basically, this was a no budget episode. They had busted the budget for Q Who (The Borg) and Elementary Dear Data. So they didn't even bother setting the scene properly. The opening act already showed Riker injured bitten by something and forced to be beamed back on board. Turns out he's been infected with something that attacks the nervous system and the lifeform is spreading to his brain where he will die.

Doc puts him in some kind of REM state to slow the attack which causes Riker to dream. Cue cheapest episode ever. Just replay all the scenes that had Riker in them for the last 2 seasons. Normally such recollections might make you reminisce but no, this was a bad incoherent story so the flashbacks are just fillers. Eventually the doc realizes she has to trigger all of Riker's worst memories to destroy the life form. That's it. End of story. End of season.

But Season 3 kicks off. Hurray for us. Still a bit uneven. But miles better than The Child which kickstarted S2.

Here Wesley plays God. Sorta. He experiments with nano-creatures but accidentally lets them loose on the Enterprise. This causes them to multiply and evolve and become a new sentient race with a collective mind eating away at the Enterprise computer. Creepy. Isn't that the Borg? The Enterprise computer starts malfunctioning and puts the Enterprise (now holding near the space version of Old Geyser) at peril. Eventually everything wraps up in the last act. Too tidily and with no sense of danger or tension. That might be my biggest criticism of this episode.

But the highlights: Crusher is back, still sizzling with Picard and the crew have a new uniform. So much cooler. Wife said the Captain doesn't need to keep pulling his shirt down everytime he sits down :D

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on September 10, 2013, 10:13
Shades of Gray was the S2 finale. And what a whimper. I think Peak should have been the last episode. Basically, this was a no budget episode. They had busted the budget for Q Who (The Borg) and Elementary Dear Data. So they didn't even bother setting the scene properly. The opening act already showed Riker injured bitten by something and forced to be beamed back on board. Turns out he's been infected with something that attacks the nervous system and the lifeform is spreading to his brain where he will die.

Doc puts him in some kind of REM state to slow the attack which causes Riker to dream. Cue cheapest episode ever. Just replay all the scenes that had Riker in them for the last 2 seasons. Normally such recollections might make you reminisce but no, this was a bad incoherent story so the flashbacks are just fillers. Eventually the doc realizes she has to trigger all of Riker's worst memories to destroy the life form. That's it. End of story. End of season.

One suspects not just a no-budget episode, but a no-script episode -- IIRC, there was a Writers' Guild of America strike around that time, so if they'd run out of 'proper' scripts by then, a producer probably cobbled this one together just to complete the usual 22 ep run.  Or this was a mere first-draft and had not been properly re-written and polished before the strike hit, so the producers had to run with it as-is.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 10, 2013, 22:53
Two episodes tonight of TNG's S3. Both IMHO representative of why we love TNG so much: Ensigns of Command and Survivors.

Ensigns has two story arcs tho both are related. The Enterprise receives a message from an alien (non humanoid) race informing them of human presence on a planet in their system as designated in their treaty with the Federation. The alien race see humanoid beings as inferior and thus would exterminate them as one would pests. The aliens give the Federation 3 days to resettle the humans on their planet, as per the treaty.

The Enterprise is puzzled as the planet is not rated Class M (suitable for humans) but decide to investigate. On their arrival on the planet, they are surprised to find about 15 thousand people, survivors of a colonist ship over 90 years ago when that ship's navigation system failed. The colonists managed to adapt to the intense radiation of the planet and have thrived. There are a few complications.

First, because of the intense radiation, only Data can safely land on the planet. The intense radiation also means the transporters would not function properly. So Data finds himself on the planet trying to convince the residents to evacuate. He encounters resistance from the colonists' charismatic leader who holds sway over the people and who cannot fathom the destructive power of the alien race.

Second, with such a large colony and without the use of transporters, it would take them too long to evacuate using shuttles. Starfleet urgently despatches a colonist ship but that would take 3 weeks to arrive. Time they would not have. So the Enterprise goes off to intercept the alien race's ship bound for that planet to negotiate for a delay. They are initially unsuccessful as they try to use logic and mercy as arguments but the aliens fall to the word and letter of the treaty. A smaller arc involves Geordi, O Brien and Wes trying to fix the transporter to work through the radiation.

Both arcs really pay off.

Data is forced to react and think outside his usual "logical" box as his arguments fail to convince anyone. This ties in with the prologue where Data, in all honesty tells the Captain to avoid his violin performance because he has been told his playing has no feeling. The Captain gently rebukes him that as a commander, too much honesty can be a bad thing as the commander needs to instil confidence in his crew.

Data finds only one ally initially on the planet, a female scientist fascinated with how far robotics and artificial intelligence has progressed. She even develops a crush for Data, sadly something he cannot and does not reciprocate. With her encouragement, he tries to use reverse psychology and also covert tactics, both of which are successful but each time, the colonist leader interrupts and thwarts his plans. The second time, he even zaps Data unconscious. Eventually he realises that he needs to use stronger emotions and not just logic. He modifies his phaser to work in the planet's radiation field and then challenges the colonists to stop him from destroying their precious aqueduct, a monument of their resistance against the harsh environment of the planet. With his phaser, he makes short work of the guards, stunning them and then setting his phaser to maximum, destroys the aqueduct. Data in his logical manner reminds the colonists that he is but one android armed with one phaser. The aliens would make even shorter work of the destruction. The leader has no choice but to concede and Data saves the day.

Onboard the Enterprise, Picard finally realizes that you sometimes have to fight fire with fire, and gets the crew to help review the extremely lengthy treaty. He finally finds a loop hole provision in the treaty, which would incur a delay of at least six months. The alien race too concede and gives the Federation the 3 weeks it needs for the colonist ship to arrive.

I really like the fact that Data manages to exceed his original programming and yet at the same time, doesn't when he cannot reciprocate the feelings of the female scientist. But in the epilogue, the Captain notes that Data's choice to integrate two vastly different styles of violin maestros suggest an advancement of sort.

Survivors is also in the tradition of good TNG stories. Here, the Enterprise responds to a distress call from a planet but arrives too late. The planet is completely desolated. No sign of civilization, just barren land. But a more thorough scan reveals a patch of land where a house sits and two human signs are detected. It's very incongruous and the away team finds the house occupied by an elderly couple. Picard and Riker are both suspicious that there are two survivors when all others are destroyed, worried they may have conspired with their invaders to escape death.

While investigating the couple, the Enterprise gets attacked by a massive ship and gives chase when that ship retreats. Picard suspects it is a distraction and heads back to the planet and this time beams onto the planet to meet the couple. The Enterprise is again attacked shortly and this time the Enterprise has to retreat when the ship suddenly attacks with a much stronger range of weapons. After a few more ruses, the Captain finally realises the implication and forcefully beams the couple onboard and confronts the gentleman. The old man reveals that the colonists on the planet were attacked by a vicious alien race. The elderly gentleman is a super being not unlike Q but had taken human form when he fell in love with an Earth woman. Using his powers he tries to deceive the invaders but is unsuccessful. Even though he has the power to fight off the invaders, his race are pacifists. Eventually the invaders not only kill the colonists but also his wife. But in his rage, he not only kills off his invaders but every living creature of that alien race. He has been forced to live with that guilt. Picard says he does not even know how to judge such a crime and leaves him to head back to the planet where he would recreate his wife and live out that existence of guilt.

I have not bothered recounting Deanna's arc because I really think the story would have been far better without it :)

But kudos to the writers for again giving Worf some really memorable speeches.

When the away team first beams to the couple's home, they are confronted by the old man with a phaser. Worf later approaches the old man.
Worf: Sir, may I say your attempt to hold the away team at bay with a nonfunctioning weapon was an act of unmitigated gall.
Old man: Didn’t fool you, huh?
Worf: I admire gall.









Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 12, 2013, 01:13
Four episodes tonight :)

Who Watches the Watchers
Bonding
Booby Trap (*snigger*)
Enemy

While I can't say that anyone of them stands out in particular, I do love how the dynamics of the crew have matured and you can now develop better stories/arcs around them, rather than have a "god being of the week" being the main draw.

Who Watches The Watchers presents another interesting dilemma regarding the Prime Directive again. A Federation team is onboard a planet studying the natives (Vulcan type race in a Bronze age level of technology) using a holographic duck blind (whatever that means). The duck blind is used again in the movie Insurrection. What's interesting is that this race has moved beyond the worship of deities and are now embarking on a logical and reasoned development, much like Vulcan. The Enterprise is at hand to help them resupply their energy reactors but a mishap at the control room exposes the Federation and Enterprise team to two of the natives, one of whom is critically injured and has to be beamed onboard the Enterprise. Crusher patches him up and tries to wipe his memory, albeit unsuccessfully.

The interaction with Picard and the miraculous recovery causes the two natives to view Picard as a god. At first their attempts to spread the message to the rest of their tribe is unsuccessful but the tribe finds an injured and missing Federation study team member which forces them to re-evaluate their position.

Picard is aghast that their interference has set them back a millennia of development as the natives start regressing to deity worship and looking at everything as omens and portents. I was reminded of Into Darkness when the Enterprise becomes a new deity of much less advanced race of aliens :) I know Abrams gets a lot of flack for that but as we see, even in Picard's much later timeline, they can still muck up with the Prime Directive this much. In Picard's case, the case is worse because this was a step back in their development whereas one could argue the aliens in Into Darkness were just trading one deity for another. In any case, Kirk does get reprimanded and then demoted.

Picard being Picard decides the best way is the truth, and so he beams the native's leader onboard to try to persuade her of his mortality. It has some well written lines in there and the scene where the leader realises even Picard's people cannot cheat death is powerful.

Bonding isn't my favourite episode here perhaps because of the heaviness of its subject matter - death and mortality and how humans cope with losing our loved ones. Pretty decent acting from Worf who has to bear the death of an away team member while he is the leader. There is the use of a "god like creature of the week" but by and large, the plot device is secondary to how well the cast portray the loss. Worf in particular has some really powerful scenes where he bears the burden of an away team member die while he is the leader of the team.

Booby Trap (snigger) has the Enterprise trapped in a dampening field (again). This time, it is due to the presence of some ancient device that absorbs any energy that the ship is generating and converts them into a dangerous radiation. And to make things worse, the Enterprise is lying derelict next to an ancient ship that was stuck in the same web, its crew dead for over a thousand years, a reminder of what future faces them. It is that same ancient ship (whose SOS beacon is still transmitting) that lures the Enterprise in in the first place.

So Geordi is tasked to save the day. Like Leisure Suit Larry, he's finding love in all the wrong places (primarily the holodeck). His first holo-date with a crew mate goes south very quickly, and his second one borders on sad. In his attempt to generate enough power to overcome the dampening field, he creates a holodeck program where he can tear apart the Enterprise's engine during the prototype phase. In the course of finetuning the program, the computer generates a holo character of the engine's (female) designer. Things get hot/weird quickly. It's kinda like the reverse of Data's situation in Ensigns of Command but just somehow creepier.

Still there is one scene where it just shows how comfortable the cast are and how good the chemistry is :)

Quite exasperated that no one seems to know any of his references to model ships in bottles...
Picard: Oh, good Lord, didn’t anybody here build ships in bottles when they were boys?
Worf (dismissively): I did not play with toys.
Data: I was never a boy.

Suddenly:
Chief O Brien: I did, sir.
Picard: Thank you, Mr. O’Brien. Proceed.

*O Brien beams the away team down... and Riker gives O Brien a look, obviously thinking he's sucking up to the captain! :))

O Brien: I did! I really did! Ships in bottles — great fun!

And finally, Enemy. which in case you can't tell from the name is a rip off of the Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr movie Enemy Mine, which was made 4 years before this episode.

Geordi and a Romulan are stranded on a planet because of a strong ionic storm that disrupts the use of transporters. They are forced to work together, overcoming their prejudices to escape. But if you watched Enemy Mine, you'd already know that.

The second arc involves the Enterprise and a Romulan warbird looking for the stranded Romulans being in an escalating stand off. SIR Patrick Stewart (and don't you forget that Sir) carries himself well and the standoff with the Romulans is IMHO a great deal more interesting than the very predictable arc with Geordi.

The small third arc involves Worf. I was honestly quite surprised, even with this reviewing with how the story progressed. One of the Romulan survivors beamed onboard the Enterprise is dying. A check of all the crew of the Enterprise reveals ONLY Worf as having the compatible ribosome to patch up the Romulan. Worf is unable to overcome his hatred of Romulans do donate what he calls the life blood of his parents who were killed by the Romulans. Even with the Doctor and the Captain trying to persuade him otherwise. You'd imagine that in a "hollywood" ending, Worf would realise the error of his ways, repent, save the Romulan and save the day. But no. Worf stands his ground. But it makes perfect sense that Worf a Klingon would never agree. Even at the risk of escalating the conflict to an outright war. Pretty daring stuff I thought.

ps wife remarked this in the last scene. After the stand off, Picard says he will escort the Romulan warbird back to the Neutral zone.. but the parting scene shows both craft heading off in different directions. HUH!??

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 12, 2013, 21:08
Tried watching TOS 2 days ago. The Alternative Factor iirc. Could manage only about halfway thru before dozing off.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 13, 2013, 00:30
Tried watching TOS 2 days ago. The Alternative Factor iirc. Could manage only about halfway thru before dozing off.

Heh I remember that episode. I remember thinking at that time that the premise was actually decent but the hammy acting, the low budget sets and the amount of inane things the writers made the characters do and say just really really detracted from my enjoyment of the show.

I can imagine that in a TNG reboot, they'd have dressed it up with better jargon... worm hole, neutrino positronic phase reversal that gives us a glimpse into a parallel universe etc :)

For us, we are going through S3 at a very quick pace. Tonight:
The Price
The Vengeance Factor and
The Defector

Price provides us with possibly one of the first glimpses of a stable worm hole that would become the premise of Deep Space 9. Here, the planet that "owns" the wormhole is a pretty backward planet so the discovery of the wormhole would make for a great bargaining chip, as it provides shortcut to the gamma quadrant. And there are a lot of interested parties - the Federation and 2 other factions are negotiating and bidding for the right to use that wormhole and in return, provide the fledgeling planet with assistance and resources. The Ferengi make an unwelcome appearance and force Picard and the planet's leader into letting them participate in the discussion. Midway, a Ferengi scheme causes the Federation negotiator to fall ill and Riker has to step in to represent the Federation's interest. That's the main arc.

A secondary arc involves Deanna getting into bed with a contract negotiator for one of the other parties. He's human but later reveals himself to be 1/4 Betazed (his mother was 1/2 Betazed) which explains how he has always been so successful in his negotiations. We see him later use his tricks to not only take one of the other parties out of play but also negotiate a settlement with that party to improve his own bid. Deanna is conflicted because it was revealed to her in confidence.

The third arc involves Geordi and Data trying to test if the wormhole is truly as stable as they claim. They enter the worm hole (along with a pair of Ferengis in a second shuttle) but end up in the Delta quadrant instead of Gamma. Geordi's visor and the shuttle sensors show the other end of the wormhole is unstable and they quickly bug out of there. They warn the Ferengi repeatedly but it falls on deaf ears. Geordi and Data barely make it. The Ferengi.. well, we see them in Star Trek Voyager many years later :D I think remembering this snippet was what made me enjoy this episode.. that the writers finally manage to finish what they started, even though it may be many years later.

In the meantime, the slimy negotiator works out a scheme with the Ferengi to put the Federation in a bad light and turning the odds in his favor. He takes a chance and concludes the deal even before Data and Geordi return with their findings. Deanna eventually exposes his wheeling and dealing just as Geordi and Data return with news that this is a dry well.

There's some unevenness in the story. I really found the 1/4 betazed negotiator too damn smarmy. Half the time I couldn't tell if he wasn't just an empath but was also planting ideas/suggestions because strictly speaking, he had no chemistry with Deanna. It almost looked a bit like some mind control. Then again, the sex must have been pretty good because the morning after, at their girls' yoga session, Crusher remarks that Deanna was exceptionally limber :D

But Riker's cool against the negotiator is brilliantly scripted and Worf's expression when he has to deal with the Ferengi are top notch. And I also like that this episode provides the basis of DS9 and Voyager.

Onward then to The Vengeance Factor, where Riker gets his heart broken by an eternally youthful witch on a quest to avenge her clan's destruction. Sorry for the spoiler :)

It is a drawn out story. Not scifi at its best. Basically the Enterprise investigates a series of raids on Federation outposts and the clues point to a nomad group called the Gatherers, who splintered off from their home planet. So Picard goes to the home planet and requests their leader grant immunity and amnesty to the nomads. They track down the band of nomads responsible for the raids, cornering them and forcing them to talks. Turns out the leader of this band of vagabonds isn't the real leader and offers to take the Enterprise to his leader for final negotiations, where they continue to bicker like kids and Picard telling fibs that they are making progress.

A second arc involves the alien leader's chef/servant that Riker instantly has the hots for. He finally thinks he's getting lucky when she pops into his room late at night.
http://www.youtube.com/v/q2raQbAvo0s&fs=1

But like the Colbert Show, things don't go as planned. He stops short when he realizes she is there, ordered by her mistress to pleasure Riker and not by her own will.

Eventually you realise she's been genetically engineered to carry a virus that's fatal to a clan that massacred her own clan a long time ago. So she's like ancient. And Riker kissed her. Killing the nomadic tribe's leader would mean the end of that vendetta.
http://www.youtube.com/v/PN0XRkSyhwM&fs=1

Poor Riker.

Worf as usual gets some pretty darn good line. When they rout the nomad's attack and capture the entire band of vagabonds...
Worf: Your ambushes would be more successful if you bathed more often.

Brilliant.

But more brilliant is The Defector. I think it is really TNG at its best. The premise is simple. The Enterprise encounters a small Klingon scout ship being pursued by a Klingon Bird of Prey in the Neutral Zone. The pilot of the scout ship is asking for protection as he wants to defect to the Federation. Once onboard, he reveals that as a lowly clerical employee he has seen the Romulan High Command building a base in the Neutral Zone with plans to attack the Federation outposts along the border.

The Enterprise crew have to figure out if the defector is lying and that this is all a ruse to get the Federation to make the first move, giving the Romulans the perfect excuse to retaliate, which as Data claims is one of their usual tactics. The defector destroys his ship and the Enterprise's scan of the pursuit battle earlier seems to poke holes at the defector's story. But if the statements are true, it would be disastrous if the Enterprise does not act in time to stop the base from being fully operational.

The script is brilliantly written with the tension mounting, and the twist (even for a rewatch) being quite a surprise for me. Turns out, they were both right. The defector was genuine but he was also being fed misinformation to test his loyalty and to ensnare the Federation. And for a minute, I thought it was going to be a two partner as the Enterprise gets outgunned with 2 Romulan warbirds decloaking in front of them. But Worf had managed to sneak a communique to the Klingons who were nearby and they entered the Neutral Zone with the Enterprise, while remaining cloaked. With the odds now turned, the smarmy Romulan captain (seen previously in The Enemy) beats a hasty retreat.

But the writers continue to deliver. The defector, once aware of the subterfuge and the realization that he would never again see his family, commits suicide. It is a poignant moment when they also see his suicide note addressed to his daughter, knowing it is unlikely that the message would be delivered and yet there's a sense of hope that perhaps peace might still come in this lifetime.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on September 13, 2013, 13:43
Who Watches The Watchers presents another interesting dilemma regarding the Prime Directive again. A Federation team is onboard a planet studying the natives (Vulcan type race in a Bronze age level of technology) using a holographic duck blind (whatever that means).

I think a "duck blind" is the camouflage shelter duck hunters use to hide themselves, then they use those duck calls, basically horns which sound like ducks, to lure them in, before shooting them.

Quote
SIR Patrick Stewart (and don't you forget that Sir) carries himself well

OT: SIR Ian McKellan says he always said one day he would "marry Patrick Stewart", and so he has -- not himself, but Sir Ian got himself licensed to officiate at weddings and performed the ceremony where Sir Patrick married his girlfriend.  As a further aside, it's kinda weird to think that a blockbuster action movie like X-Men features three Oscar winners (McKellen, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin), and two Royal Shakespeare Company knights.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 13, 2013, 19:38

Heh I remember that episode. I remember thinking at that time that the premise was actually decent but the hammy acting, the low budget sets and the amount of inane things the writers made the characters do and say just really really detracted from my enjoyment of the show.

I can imagine that in a TNG reboot, they'd have dressed it up with better jargon... worm hole, neutrino positronic phase reversal that gives us a glimpse into a parallel universe etc :)


You got that right! The only thing stopping me from re-watching TNG is the fact that seasons 5-7 are not out on blu yet...and I have your episodic comments to fall back on  ;D

So I did World War Z today. Easily one of the better zombie movies I have seen in a while. I didn't even know that it was a zombie movie. Simple narrative, nothing new, but hell it was (for me) more exciting than Iron Man 3  :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 13, 2013, 23:51
You got that right! The only thing stopping me from re-watching TNG is the fact that seasons 5-7 are not out on blu yet...and I have your episodic comments to fall back on  ;D

So I did World War Z today. Easily one of the better zombie movies I have seen in a while. I didn't even know that it was a zombie movie. Simple narrative, nothing new, but hell it was (for me) more exciting than Iron Man 3  :P

Sorry if there were too many spoilers. I still think it's fun to rewatch this again even tho I watched them on DVD when the box sets first came out years ago.

WWZ doesn't break a lot of new grounds but their portrayal of zombies with such speeds and tenacity was creepy. The zombie on a plane bit really sibeh kancheong man!!

For me, still back to TNG tonight:

The Hunted
High Ground and
Deja Q

Tonight, two episodes back to back that focused on war and terrorism. I think sometimes ST writers don't get enough credit for their prescience.

The Hunted begins as a story about the hunt for a prisoner who breaks out of a high security prison of a new planet that is seeking entry into the Federation. James Cromwell (That will do, pig fame and also First Contact's Zephram Cochrane) is a guest star, playing the planet's leader. As the Enterprise is in the region, they try to assist in tracking and capturing the prisoner. It turns out much more difficult than they expect. We later find out that the prisoner had been modified and conditioned to fight in an old war but on their return, in times of peace, their condition makes them a threat to normal residents and they are imprisoned to protect the normal residents. In some respects, the use of scifi (genetic engineering and programming) elements is merely an attempt to highlight the PTSD of war veterans. It's amazing that this story was written even before the first Gulf War tho I guess there are parallels to the Vietnam war vets. I don't believe they even recognized PTSD officially in those days.

Anyway, the prisoner/war veteran story creates some very well paced action sequences where he continually thwarts the Enterprise crew's attempts to capture him and in fact, escapes spectacularly numerous times.

Watching High Ground so quickly afterwards had a strong sense of deja vu. This time, it is about dealing with terrorists/freedom fighters. While providing humanitarian aid to a planet stricken by terrorist attacks, Dr Crusher, Worf and Data are in the vicinity of a bomb blast. While they are not injured, Crusher insists on providing aid ignoring the Captain's orders to return. In the chaos, one of the terrorist beams in next to Beverley and then just as quickly beams away again before Worf and Data can react.

Beverley is soon told of her task - to help cure the terrorists who are feeling the lethal after effects of their new transporter technology. They can go anywhere and go very quickly, but the process is an interdimensional jump that wreaks havoc on the human body. You find out later that these transporters can also work through Enterprise shields and the Enterprise itself almost becomes a casualty of a terrorist attack. Geordi's quick thinking saves the day but the Captain is beamed away as another hostage.

The terrorists see the Enterprise/Federation's aid as an indication they are taking sides in the conflict and want to use Picard/Crusher as leverage for the Federation to force the planet's government to make concessions to the terrorists. I think there are some parallels to this in US' foreign policy, especially in the middle east. It definitely does pose a certain conundrum.

I read that the writers weren't happy with this episode and I can understand a little why. There isn't really a resolution in the end per se. Yes the main terrorist gets shot dead but during the show, he is portrayed as a grey area. Not in absolutes. Not as a baddie per se, though they didn't whitewash what he did either. But I thought part of what made it so powerful was the ambiguity of it all. I also read that the BBC refused to screen it precisely because it didn't condemn terrorists. Like I said, I didn't think the writers knew how powerful the message would become barely 10 years after the episode aired.

We thought we'd continue on with another episode and almost turned it off when we realized it was a Q episode :)

But in this episode, Deja Q, it turns out Q has been kicked out of the continuum and he really isn't as annoying when he's mortal and human. I thought the idea to have Data be his guide to navigate the perils, the challenges of being human was inspired :)

The main story arc is that a moon had fallen out of its orbit and in danger of crashing onto the planet it orbits creating a mass extinction event for the residents. The Enterprise tries to find ways to move that moon from its course but doesn't have much success. Then Q drops in - literally. At first, Picard suspects that the abnormal behaviour of the moon is caused by Q, and that this is some new test or challenge but it slowly becomes clear it isn't and Picard puts him at work to help solve the problem of the decaying orbit moon.

Q does turn up quite helpful in explaining the cause of the phenomenon and while his solution doesn't work (change one of the "constants" in the universe) because well, Geordi isn't Q :P, it does give Geordi an idea.

But things gets complicated when an alien race (in the form of a gaseous/energy cloud) attacks the Enterprise. Turned out Q had pissed them off before as well, and they have decided to get even with Q now that he is mortal. And are almost successful were it not for Data's intervention. But Data's heroic attempt almost kills him.

Inspired by Data, Q does the "self sacrifice" bit and leaves the Enterprise to certain death, so the Enterprise can be spared and continue its mission with the moon.

But the other Q (played by LA Law alum Corbin Bernsen)  notices this and restores Q's power. Q thanks the Enterprise crew for their help (cue the scene with Riker and the 2 babes on his arms and the cigar in hand that landis posted earlier). When Riker rejects the gift, Q sends the girls to Worf, who doesn't make a peep of complaint :P

Q also quite nicely gives Data a temporary ability to laugh, before sending the moon back on course.

There is no real tension in this show because it was kinda predictable that Q would save the day. But having Data be the guide to being human was quite priceless. And seeing Worf's crestfallen face when Q removes the girls at the Captain's insistence was quite funny :P

And of course, it is this episode that gives us the facepalm meme ;)

(http://picardfacepalm.com/picard-facepalm-hotlink.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 14, 2013, 00:17
Ahhh...now I know which episode to watch out for the facepalm ;)

Actually for me, one of the most memorable aspect of TNG when I watched it years ago on Dvd was...Q! Dunno why but whenever TNG is mentioned, I think of Q. He was just very erm...intriguing a character.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/3a/Q_portrait.jpg/250px-Q_portrait.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 14, 2013, 23:20
With it being the weekend and all we thought we'd do something different. So it was Fists of Legends, a Korean flick first.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a3/Fist_of_Legend_film_2013.jpg)

I wasn't really sure what to expect at first. The blurbs for the show weren't all that illuminating. But it turned out to be an excellent flick. We start with a noodle shop owner who's barely making rent and having issues raising his teenage daughter after the death of his wife and his only source of support is his mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. In his youth, he was a "fighting legend" and a TV show involving UFC/MMA fights for middle aged man tries to recruit him for the show where he is pitted against other similarly middle aged men with a "legendary" past.

Like most Korean shows, it's hard to find one "genre" to place this movie. It is at times a comedy, a family "awwww" moment and then just as quickly, it flashes to serious action sequences, and even throws in a commentary about the class divide and money politics when you are least expecting.

The story flashes back to the main protaganist's past as the story progresses. This is where I lost a bit of continuity because err, I can't really remember the characters' names all that well and the younger versions of the characters don't look anything like their older selves.
(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/f/f8/Fists_of_Legend-Hwang_Jung-Min1.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Hwang_Jung-Min1.jpg)(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/f/f5/Fists_of_Legend-Yu_Jun-Sang1.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Yu_Jun-Sang1.jpg)(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/2/2f/Fists_of_Legend-Yoon_Je-Moon2.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Yoon_Je-Moon2.jpg)

(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/6/62/Fists_of_Legend-Park_Jung-Min.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Park_Jung-Min.jpg)(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/b/bc/Fists_of_Legend-Gu_Won.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Gu_Won.jpg)(http://asianwiki.com/images/thumb/f/f2/Fists_of_Legend-Park_Doo-Sik.jpg/90px-Fists_of_Legend-Park_Doo-Sik.jpg)

And it doesn't show the past as one unbroken segment, rather it comes in bits and pieces as we try to piece together how he got there. A bit like Man of Steel, I guess. But I did think that made for a great story, because you slowly come to understand how the kid's bright future suddenly eclipsed one day and he never really got out of the darkness.

It's poignant and sad, and the story doesn't try to apologize or rationalize things for a happy ending even though the ending is a relatively happy one.

I am not going to post spoilers for this show since it is relatively new. But I do think it is well worth a punt. I also liked the references to A Better Tomorrow. Yes the HK flick was apparently a hit in Korea too :)

Despite having a long run time, we still had time to sneak in one episode of TNG - A Matter of Perspective.

I vaguely recall this episode but I didn't remember the ending/twist so it was fun watching it again. Here, Riker and Geordi board a space station with additional scientific supplies where an alien scientist is working on a device that produces Krieger waves, a potentially new source of energy while the Enterprise heads off for a survey. On its return, Geordi beams back first, and we learn from him that Riker stayed behind to speak to the scientist on a personal matter. Seconds later, as Riker beams onboard, the space station explodes. Chief O Brien manages to get Riker in time but the scientist dies in the explosion and the space station disintegrates. Shortly, an investigator from the planet arrives to arrest Riker. Apparently, the law on the planet assumes a person is guilty until proven innocent. Kinda like political satirists in Singapore then ;)

Picard reaches a compromise with the investigator to allow the investigations to be done onboard using the holodeck to replay the scenes based on the testimony of the witnesses. So we end up with he said, she said situations. Riker claims the scientist's wife was hitting on him. She says it's the other way around. And the scientist assistant claims it was a mutual thing. And Deanna is unhelpful here, claiming she can only sense that each witness is recounting the truth as they see it. The "aha" moment was predictable in some ways as you kinda knew how the explosion occurred, but the why was still a good twist. Wiki says that this is TNG writers' version of Rashamon :)

Some critics say that unlike Rashamon which shows each witness to be unreliable, this TNG version doesn't. I don't know. I thought there were still variations in the story and the truth was probably something in between the extremes recounted. The difference was that when the truth was revealed in the end, the variations didn't matter. But they were still inconsistencies that were never really clarified. They just became irrelevant.

ps the famous double facepalm meme appears in this episode, but it was doctored ;) only Riker had the facepalm

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/11_12/amatterofperspective7.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 15, 2013, 23:32
MAN! Did we hit the motherlode tonight! I gave the option of Blind Detective or more TNG. And she chose TNG.

Yesterday's Enterprise, The Offspring and Sins of The Father. Could not believe the dumb luck that put all these episodes back to back.

Yesterday's Enterprise starts off on such a light note, it's hard to imagine how tense things get later and how much they managed to pack in a 45 minute episode. I always considered many TOS episodes to run for far too long. They always have too much flab in the middle as filler. Not TNG and not this episode in particular.

So Worf gets introduced to prune juice by Guinan ;) which impresses him so much that he calls it a warrior's drink. He will go on to drink this in the rest of TNG heck even DS9 and is a constant source of humour - the incongruity of a proud strong warrior drinking that old man's drink never really gets old.

But things switch gear very suddenly. From Ten-Forward, we see a space anomaly developing and Worf is summoned to the bridge. On the Bridge, the scans show a vessel approaching, and as the scans become clearer, there's a sudden change on the bridge. It is darker, the Captain's chair is the only central chair and there are many more consoles now on the bridge. The crew's uniforms look different, and all of them are packing. The camera zooms out and Worf is no more, replaced by Tasha.

*zoom*

We are brought to speed very quickly. In this new alternate universe, the Federation is at war with the Klingons. The peace accord was never brokered. And this new ship that just traversed the anomaly is the Enterprise C, which disappeared 20 odd years before. The crew are the same, yet different. Picard is far more curt with Riker, cutting him off and letting him know who's boss.

The only person (besides the audience) who's aware that something has changed is Guinan and she uses her long friendship with Picard to convince him that this timeline is wrong.

The D crew beam over to the C and begin repairs and healing. When Picard questions the old Captain, they discover the Enterprise C was in a battle with 4 Romulan warbirds, while defending a Klingon outpost and was heavily injured. The detonation of the photon torpedoes in close proximity created the anomaly that brought the Enterprise C into the future.

Picard takes a gamble to send the Enterprise C back through the anomaly, against most of his crew's objections. It seems quite heartless at first because the C crew would be outgunned by the Romulans. But Data posits that the Enterprise C's defence of the Klingon outpost might very well be the deciding factor in achieving peace between the Klingons and Federation, even if they perished. And we later learn from Picard (in a private moment between two captains) that the war is not going well for the Federation, who forecast a surrender in just 6 months. We also see in the interactions with the C crew that there's a sense of displacement, and many are happy to go back to their own timeline, even to certain death.

Of course, nothing is that easy, and before the C can enter the time rift, Klingons attack, killing the C's captain before Enterprise D manages to force it to retreat. Guinan reveals to Tasha that she had died a senseless death in the other timeline, so she volunteers to go back with the C and provide tactical support. But just as quickly, the Klingons return with reinforcements. The Enterprise D is forced to cover the C while it approaches the anomaly, against very bad odds this time. Riker is killed and Picard is about to lead a death charge when asked to surrender by the Klingons. Just as the C enters the rift. And then the bridge brightens up again and everything is back to normal. In fact, no one seems the wiser. All except Guinan, who asks Geordi in Ten Forward to describe what Tasha was like.

It's a pretty tight and well paced and well scripted episode. I almost wish they had made THAT into a movie instead of Nemesis :) or even Generations.

Offspring takes over where Measure of a Man leaves off. In this episode, Data begins experimenting with a new positronic brain design after attending a conference. As the show starts, he unveils his newest creation, a new Soong-type android to Geordi, Wes and Deanna. There's much to like about this episode. Data trying to be a parent, but I think the powerful stuff is when the offspring begins to grow beyond the parent's expectations (or in Data's case limitation). Data's daughter, Lal eventually also develops the ability to process feelings but that is not something her positronic brain can process properly and it leads to a cascading failure on her brain. Just before she is deactivated:
Lal: I love you, Father.
Data: I wish I could it feel it with you.
Lal: I will feel it for both of us. Thank you for my life.

Man, I thought I was gonna tear up again.

The last scene has Data storing Lal's memories inside him, but it is obvious he cannot comprehend the emotions. The camera continues tracking his emotionless face as he assumes the Ops console and off screen, the Captain shouts an order, and Data follows the order, emotionless. There is a similar shot in another Data episode later on where it ends with him stroking his cat, and his cat interpreting the action as one of affection but Data's face remaining completely emotionless.

ps it is Offspring where we get the famous TWIN FACEPALM ;)

(http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/175/315/PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg)

And last but not least, Sins of the Father. If there's one thing I like about TNG, it is about how much they've taken the Klingons forward. No longer just 1 dimensional caricatures of Russia, the Klingons have a rich tapestry, history and culture. And I guess this is the episode on which that the foundation is laid.

Again, it's amazing how much the writers and director packed into one 45 minute episode. You start off with an officer exchange program. This time a Klingon, Kurn is placed as first officer of the Enterprise after Riker served on the Pagh. The first act goes on to show how different the styles are between the Klingons and the Federation, with the Klingon First Officer giving everyone a really hard time. Everyone except Worf. He treats Worf with the utmost of respect, but it seems that this is an insult to Klingons.

Worf eventually confronts him and is provoked to start a fight. This pleases Kurn, who then reveals he is Worf's younger brother. It turns out that Kurn was placed in the care of a family friend when Worf's parents went to Khitomer. When Worf's father died, the friend adopted the younger brother as his own son, as he had no children. Kurn then explains his real reason for confronting Worf. The Klingon High Council was about to rule their father a traitor, based on the accusation from the House of Duras (a rival family to Worf's) and he wanted to see if Worf would take his birthright to challenge the decision. Apparently proof has been found that Worf's father had betrayed the Klingons.

Like with most Klingon episodes, there is a lot of political intrigue in the Klingon High Command. It turns out there was evidence of a traitor amongst the Klingons but it was the father of Duras, not Worf. But if it were ever revealed that the house of Duras had a traitor, it would break the alliance in the council and destroy the High Council. So the Council used Worf's father as a scapegoat thinking Worf would be too far away in Starfleet to be aware of the charges and they were not aware of the second son. For the greater good, Worf accepts the punishment of shunning, which I gather is a big deal for a race built on honour and tradition. At the end of this episode, Worf is banished and the leader of the High Council (and Duras) agrees to keep Kurn's heritage a secret.

I vaguely recall the many episodes regarding Worf and the Klingons that take off from the events set in motion here. Really good writing.

It's been a good night.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 16, 2013, 23:42
You got that right! The only thing stopping me from re-watching TNG is the fact that seasons 5-7 are not out on blu yet..

Die. We are 21 episodes into TNG's S3 already. I sure hope S5 is coming soon.

Tonight was a damn long marathon.

Allegiance, Captain's Holiday, Tin Man and Hollow Pursuits.

I can't say that tonight's episodes bettered last night's but it does continue in the best of TNG Traditions.

Allegiance is in some respects a very TOS like script, where the Captain is captured by an alien race. The difference is really with execution, with how the crew react with each other and the "logical" flow of the story that makes more memorable than where TOS had gone before.

With Will Riker guarding the Captain so jealously, Picard never really gets off the Enterprise on away missions. So in this episode we have a "hive" type alien race that have an advanced transporter that can beam people off the ship from a fair distance away. In fact, the crew is only aware when the computer sensors record a sudden energy burst in the Captain's quarters. The Captain finds himself in a confined room with 2 other aliens for company. When Worf and his Security Team reach the Captain's quarters, we are surprised to see the Captain standing there, drinking tea.

From that moment on, the story splits into two arcs - the Captain attempting to rally the other prisoners to escape and two, the Enterprise crew's reaction to the doppelgänger Captain.

Picard uses his smarts to try to escape and when he fails, he realizes he is stuck in a rat maze. He also figures out one of the prisoners is not really a prisoner and forces the experiment to come to a close. The crew on board follow the doppelPicard's orders but soon begin to question them as he behaves just slightly out of character and particularly when he puts the crew's lives at risk. The ending is OK with the aliens getting a taste of their own medicine.

Captain's Holiday is another Picard episode and this time he plays Indiana Jones. We've already established that Picard is an archaeology buff before so it seems like this episode gives us the chance to explore that side of him further. Picard has just finished a gruelling role as a mediator/negotiator for a peace treaty and showing signs of wear. The crew conspire to make him go on shore leave which he resists until Deanna brings in the big guns - she says her mother is planning a visit. Riker suggests Risa, which is enroute to the Enterprise's destination:
Riker: Have I mentioned how imaginative the women on Risa are?
Troi: Too often (and gives Riker a look)

Riker also asks the Captain to buy a souvenir from the planet for him, but unknown to Picard, that souvenir is a sign that the owner is looking for some "company" so he gets accosted numerous times while he's sitting in the sun trying to read the book. :)

The story gets a scifi twist when Picard is visited by two aliens who claim to be from the 27th Century and are here to retrieve an artefact that was sent back in time to prevent its theft but was lost. Apparently historical records from the future notes Picard retrieving an artefact whose description is similar to that invention. It turns out Picard does in fact get involved with a femme fatale who's on a treasure hunt and they embark on that adventure together, complete with scowling villain in tow (villain du jour for TNG S3 = Ferengi) but the treasure hunt turns out to be a bust. But obviously Picard is not fooled. He realizes the whole treasure hunt was merely a show by the femme fatale to hide the fact that she had already found the artefact, so the villain would give up and stop following her. When he confronts her, and she shows him the artefact, the two aliens from the future reappear and ask for the artefact back. Picard had originally planned to return the artefact to them but he is also concerned if they are the rightful owners. The femme fatale remembers that the archaeological records show those aliens were the baddies and to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, Picard sticks his transporter on the device and orders the Enterprise to destroy it.

Like I said, not quite the stellar examples of TNG like last night's trio but there is a fun-ness to the crew of TNG that just bears repeated watching. Riker's prank on Picard, and Deanna/Riker talking about Risa just shows great chemistry.

I did say I thought at least Picard gets some age appropriate partners unlike Kirk who always seems to be seducing some virgins :P  but wife disagreed. Googling said she was right. The femme fatale here is 18 years his junior but somehow it isn't so icky when she's in her 30s and he in his 50s I guess.

Then it is Tin Man. A Federation Probe discovers life on a remote part of the galaxy that the Romulans lay claim to. To make First Contact, they send in Empath Extraordinaire, which turns out to be:
a. a patient of Troi's (not a good sign)
b. someone who botched up another First Contact effort and caused the death of some of Riker's cohorts from Starfleet Academy

The plot is quite straightforward. Empath extraordinaire has trouble coping with living among humanoids and their feelings but finds peace working with Data since he can't read an android. Turns out he and the life form the probe encountered, dubbed TinMan have been in telepathic contact.

The Romulans appear, and try to beat the Enterprise to First Contact by disabling them first and is successful. But their attempts to communicate fails and they decide to fire upon it so the Federation does not gain First Contact either. Empath tells the alien lifeform/ship to protect itself and it does, destroying the Romulan ship and crippling the Enterprise. It's only a brief respite as a second Romulan ship is on the way. So Picard allows Empath and Data to beam over to make contact. It turns out the life form is in the shape of a ship, and had a symbiotic relationship with the crew that lived inside the ship. But an accident wiped out the crew and the ship has lost its desire to live. It was in fact on a suicide run, hoping to die when the sun in the system goes supernova. But by uniting with the Empath, both are made whole again.

I know. Touchy feely,

But the ending was a nice touch where Data gains a new sense of awareness of where he belongs. It is touchy-feely too but like I said the crew have really wormed their way into my heart and the moment feels heartfelt.

And finally - Hollow Pursuits where we meet Lt Barclay for the first time.

I think this might be the first episode in ST where we see the show almost from the perspective of a junior crew member and not from the perspective of the Captain or his senior Bridge Crew. it is later used to good effect in Lower Decks. But here it is about Barclay. He is bumbling, reticent and always late for duty much to the chagrin of Geordi. Even Wes has given him a nickname (Broccoli) which ends up being used by even the Captain. Turns out he is having trouble coping with being on the Enterprise and spends his time on the holodeck pretending to be a hero. The creepy bit - the holodeck is populated by characters who are "replicas" of the Enterprise's crew - Deanna (who has the hots for Barclay), Riker (who is changed to be much shorter), Wes (an insolent kid) etc.

Riker and Geordi want to transfer him out but the Captain insists they try to get Barclay out of his shell. Things take a turn for the worse when Geordi catches him in the holodeck but he keeps Barclay's secret, after having fallen in love with a holodeck character not too long ago. But then Riker stumbles onto the same holo recreation as well when he is tired of Barclay not reporting for a meeting on time. He immediately wants to delete the program and is really not amused when he sees the effete and short version of him, but Deanna says that the programs might allow them to understand Barclay better. Then they find Barclay's recreation of Deanna. It was hard not to laugh along with Riker at Deanna's fuming and the realisation that she had put herself in that situation.

Anyway, Barclay is drawn out of his shell and helps save the day and he can finally delete his programs and deal with the real world, well all except one.

Overall the episode is a nice way to introduce Dwight Schultz (Howling Mad of A Team) in his recurring role as Barclay. It's nice to know that even in the 24th century, there are still nerds and they are still awkward and geeky. I read that Barclay is Raj from Big Bang Theory reincarnated (or is it the other way around) ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 17, 2013, 01:03
Die. We are 21 episodes into TNG's S3 already. I sure hope S5 is coming soon.

See lah...I told you so  ;D

I insist on getting all 7 seasons first before embarking on the voyage because I know that I will sail through them in excess of warp factor 9  :D

Evolution of warp effects from TOS to TNG to Abrams!

http://www.youtube.com/v/zP9PLYJxjaM&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 17, 2013, 22:54
Maybe it won't be so bad with new Fall Season in the US starting this week.

We caught the last episode of S1 of Under The Dome... AAAAAArrrrrggghhh!! Cliffhanger. And then the first episode of Bones which resolved last season's cliffhanger. Sorta.

And then TNG - The Most Toys.

There are many things I like about this episode. The ending in particular and also how the crew react to what they think is the loss of a valued crewmember and friend. But the antics of the guest star as a collector of Machiavellian machinations is a bit too TOS Shatner-like for my liking.

The story starts with the Enterprise involved in another mercy mission. The water supplies on a particular planet had been contaminated and the only source of the counteracting agent is with a merchant. Because of the unstable nature of the agent, Data is forced to transport the material in a shuttle craft from the merchant's ship. We join the crew as Data is about to embark on his third and final shipment.

But just before the opening credits, Data is zapped by the merchant's crew and rendered inert. We then see the shuttle leaving the merchant's ship and explode suddenly, presumably killing Data. Picard only has time to scan the debris before heading off to their main mission. It's here that we see how they deal with the loss of Data. Wes and Geordi looking through his belongings, Picard still referring to the Ops person as Data (Worf had taken over). Geordi keeps going over the sequence in his mind but can't accept that Data is gone.

Data on other hand wakes up to find himself the property of the merchant who collects rare one of a kind items - items like Data and insists on showing him off to his rival collector, but Data resists him at every turn. Eventually Data has no choice but to accede when the merchant threatens to kill his other crew if Data misbehaves. As part of his programming, Data chooses to obey.

Over on the Enterprise, the rescue mission is a success. But too successful, it seems. Picard sends an away team and realize the crisis had been man-made. Following the clues, they discover the merchant is a collector of rare items and proceed to track the merchant down.

On board the merchant ship, Data has managed to win over another crew member who decides to help Data escape. But their escape is foiled and the crew member is killed. Data manages to pick up the weapon from the altercation and aims it at the merchant.... just as the Enterprise arrives to beam him out. O'Brien is shocked when his sensors detect that the weapon had been fired so he neutralizes it.

The weight of this is just mind blowing. Data had somehow exceeded his programming in some way as he chooses to fire the weapon for a "greater good". What's even more startling is that he lies about it later when O Brien and Riker ask him about the weapon discharge.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 19, 2013, 00:08
A trio of TNG episodes tonight: Sarek, Menage a Trois and Transfiguration. Decided to leave the S3 cliffhanger and S4 episode 1 for another night.

Sarek forms a bridge between the original series and TNG. I have always liked Mark Lenard's portrayal of Sarek even in some of the more whimsical moments in TOS but in TNG, he truly shines as an accomplished statesman, hampered by an ageing body. Vulcans may live long and prosper but the end comes to us all in time. So it is with Sarek. He's back on the Enterprise, the new one and on another diplomatic mission. His Chief of Staff, who beams aboard first, first tells Picard to leave Sarek be so he can concentrate on the negotiations but the Sarek who beams onboard is still feisty and insists on being apprised of the preparations. He even attends a concert performed by the crew, where Picard notices him tearing from the music. All is not well. Worse, the crew become increasingly hostile to one another, with many altercations occurring. Beverly's investigations suggest it is caused by Sarek, who had reached the age where a rare condition, which causes Vulcans to lose their control over emotions, to develop. Picard is hesitant about confronting Sarek because Sarek is like a hero to him (in a way, also to the audience). Sarek is at first insistent that he is not unwell but progressively becomes irritable, and angry before he realizes he has truly lost his control. The peace conference is in shambles because the alien race would not trust another mediator. But Sarek's wife (no longer Spock's mother) tells Picard of a mind meld process where Sarek can in effect tap into Picard's control while they are joined. Picard agrees to this and is kept in quarters under observation by Beverly while Sarek starts and concludes the negotiations successfully. Picard on the other hand is barely holding it together, filled with all of Sarek's feelings - for his wife, his son and all the things he had kept under control. At the end, Picard feels he has gotten the better part of the bargain because the mind meld brings him closer to understanding his hero.

There's not a lot that I didn't like in this episode. If there's one thing I had to nitpick, it is the choice of Picard as the vessel of the mind meld. There was another Vulcan in Sarek's staff who could just as easily (if not more) help Sarek in that mind meld. But I do think it's a wonderful moment, which has a larger impact when Picard meets Spock much later on in TNG. Spock and Sarek have always had a difficult relationship and it is through Picard that he finally comes to terms with his father.

Menage a Trois brings back my second most hated character on Star Trek, and the third. Lwaxana and the Ferengi (they all look alike). Scene opens - peace conference (we seem to have a lot of those) on Betazed and the Ferengi are invited. Ferengi captain is captivated by Lwaxana, both for her looks (Ferengi's eyes have stamps) and for her ability to read minds, which he feels will be a worthy addition at his side when he conducts negotiations.

After the conference, Deanna requests for some shore leave and Captain Cupid Picard "orders" Riker to go on his as well while the Enterprise goes on a routine, uneventful survey. While on the planet, Deanna, Riker and Lwaxana are kidnapped by the Ferengi Captain. With Riker and Deanna's lives at stake, Lwaxana agrees to keep the Captain company. Riker manages to swindle his way out of the holding cell and send a coded message to the Enterprise, that is masked from the Ferengi. They also try to get Lwaxana to finagle the captain's codes to gain control of the computer. But the Ferengi doctor swoops in at the last minute and forces the Captain to hand Lwaxana over to him so he can figure out how the Betazeds get their telepathy - cue torture scene. Riker manages to save Lwaxana but is in turn outmanoeuvred by the other Ferengi. To save his life, Lwaxana agrees to stay back with the Ferengi Captain willingly, just as the Enterprise appears.

Riker and Deanna are beamed over without incident, but Lwaxana says she will stay onboard as promised. Frankly, I wished they had stopped the story there. But no, Deanna senses Lwaxana wants Picard to play along and pretend to be her lover so the Ferengi will send her back willingly. So Sir Patrick Stewart hams it up (deliberately unlike Shatner-san) and quotes Shakespeare to woo Lwaxana back.

Well, it is from THAT scene that we get this meme:
(http://dailypicksandflicks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/WTF-Picard-meme.jpg)

so it's not a complete loss :D

Here's Shakespeare's greatest hits REMIX by Sir Stewart
http://www.youtube.com/v/pF2StmlnmN4&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

So Lwaxana beams back to the Enterprise and onto Picard's lap. Picard quickly concedes his seat and tells Crusher to plot the course back to Betazed. Warp 9 :)

Overall, not a great episode and especially in the company it finds itself in in Season 3, but it does make for a light hearted break in between two heavier episodes.

Then on to Transfigurations. For the sake of brevity - Enterprise finds almost dead survivor (dubbed John Doe by Crusher) in a crashed escape pod. To help stabilize the patient, Crusher uses a neural link device between Geordi and the patient, without checking if the alien is compatible. Geordi gets zapped for a brief instant. But does not seem to suffer any negative effects. But he does go on to become Don Juan and manages to woo Christie (he was on a holo date with her in an earlier episode and things went south very badly very quickly).

Patient survives death miraculously and then regains his health and mobility in quick order, though not through Dr Crusher's help. His body is self healing and a mutation is going on inside his cells, even the healthy ones. And he also has a healing touch. One touch and O Brien's dislocated shoulder is fixed. ps O Brien seems a lot more active in TNG than in DS9. So far I have seen him playing the cello, and kayaking! But there's one set back. John Doe has no memory of who he is. As he heals, he also starts emitting energy in bursts and in one episode, tries to flee the ship in a shuttle pod but is unable to disable the security over rides before Worf confronts him. He warns Worf to leave him alone, but Worf continues to advance. An energy burst forces Worf off the the platform and Worf's neck is fractured in the fall. Of course alien's "invisible touch" (cue Genesis) saves the day again.

Picard's interrogation is cut short when an alien vessel on an intercept course catches up with the Enterprise. Hails answered. On screen. And we see the ship is full of aliens of same race as John Doe. They ask Picard to hand over the prisoner and bugger off. Picard and his crew agree that the protocol is to agree. But Beverly who has the hots for John Doe disagrees, now claiming it was she who saved Doe's life (when she earlier had admitted it had nothing to do with her).

In the nick of time, Doe's energy bursts transforms him into an energy being. He beams the alien captain on board, gives a sermon that I am sure Magneto gave in XMen about how their race was evolving into a next phase and how the evil powers were killing these mutants to prevent them from spreading. Doe sends the alien captain back to his ship and the captain rightfully decides to fight another day. Doe gives Crusher a longing touch, then disappears into space as a newly evolved race. Picard looks like he is having a hard on from witnessing the transformation.

(note to self, never go on an away mission with Beverly Crusher. I know she's a good doctor and all but man, she has no sense of safety protocols. I mean Geordi was none the worse from the zap but I can imagine how things could have gone south very easily)

Overall, it's not a bad episode. It's got a good premise and the idea of evolution of a species is a good one. But it's just that in comparison with some of the episodes we've seen in this season, we might have set some really high benchmarks. Zach Handlen dubs it Space Jesus. To be honest, that was my initial vibe as well :) it was that or the Space Four Apostles.

Some good lines in the episode, as usual from Worf:

Before Geordi becomes Casanova, he tries to get love advice from Dr Love Worf
Worf: You must let her see the fire in your eyes.
Geordi gives a look - but hard to see through the visors ;)
Geordi: But what would I say?
Worf: Words come later. It is the scent that first speaks of love.
Geordi (sarcastically): Thanks, Worf. That helps a lot.

Cut to a few scenes later after Geordi gets zapped by Cupid John Doe
Geordi accosts Christie in Ten Forward and escorts her to a romantic walk at the arboretum (and then makes out in the turbo lift)
Worf (previously drinking with Geordi and Data before Geordi breaks the bros before ho's commandment) remarks proudly to Data: I've been tutoring him.... he learns very quickly.

:)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 19, 2013, 00:10
Speaking of Transfigurations, I can never say that word with a straight face after

a. (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TsF15sRFTQU/TyXy4LdC5MI/AAAAAAAAByw/dH0Ddghress/s1600/Transmogrification.jpg)

and

b. (http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/DIlG9aSMCpg/maxresdefault.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on September 19, 2013, 16:15
There's not a lot that I didn't like in this episode. If there's one thing I had to nitpick, it is the choice of Picard as the vessel of the mind meld. There was another Vulcan in Sarek's staff who could just as easily (if not more) help Sarek in that mind meld. But I do think it's a wonderful moment, which has a larger impact when Picard meets Spock much later on in TNG. Spock and Sarek have always had a difficult relationship and it is through Picard that he finally comes to terms with his father.

I wonder if part of that was because control of emotions is something humans must also wrestle with anyway, and in some part it is just as difficult, if not more so, for humans since we don't have the whole "logic is supreme" and "emotions must be competely supressed" creed?  Also, perhaps Sarek felt it would be more overwhelming for a Vulcan to deal with it, or he might even have been embarassed to let another Vulcan in to his deepest secrets?  And Picard was the most senior person present, again it might not have been appropriate to let a junior officer in on all sorts of high-level secrets.  But it does make for a nice setup for Picard's future dealings with Spock (sorry, minor spoiler).

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 19, 2013, 23:42
I dunno. Humans aren't exactly the best at controlling emotions so you'd think the Vulcan would be better at it. Plus the Vulcan was already helping Sarek's balance without mind melding.

Still, like I said, I loved the use of Picard anyway. I don't think the writers probably thought ahead that far but when they tied it back to Spock later on... WOW :)

Anyway, we are still prolonging S3's cliffhanger and the S4 premiere... so we ended up watching Blind Detective and then the first episode of Sleepy Hollow. Will comment on Blind Detective in WEB's discussion elsewhere but Sleepy Hollow was actually quite impressive. It does bear the hallmark of Orci and Kurtzman (or was it the other way around) but the two leads have good chemistry and the conflict does look interesting.

Speaking of Orci/Kurtzman, I was watching Into Darkness again earlier, this time on BD and it's still damn impressive the third? fourth time around. Uhura is really damn well portrayed here. There was a moment that I somehow missed in my previous viewings. In the scene where she confronts the Klingons alone, and the Klingon was ready to kill her just before Harrison.. ok Khan fired on the Klingons, there was a split second where she twisted round and stabbed the Klingon in the thigh. Man she was fast. I thought the DD5.1 soundtrack on the PPV was great but the TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack was just excellent. I loved the how well it upmixed onto Neo X as well. Really enveloping soundfield.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 21, 2013, 00:28
Watched a classic tonight. This film has made about half a billion dollars to date. Amazing PQ & SQ for a movie as old as I am  ;D

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/eb/JAWS_Movie_poster.jpg)

Oh...also did Quartet 2 days ago. Strangely gratifying to hear Professor Minerva McGonagall say "Fcuk You"  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 21, 2013, 01:23
What a night!!

Best of Both Worlds - the S3 Finale and the S4 premiere, followed by Family.

I watched these episodes on the DVD boxset, perhaps close to 10 years ago but they are still incredibly powerful today. I can't be sure but I suspect watching all 3 episodes in one sitting might have compounded their impact and effect. With the DVD, I think I had to wait for S4 to be released for the conclusion to the 2 parter. This time, both seasons were already here.

Best of Both Worlds is probably too seminal for it to require a summary :) but I'll try.

Enterprise goes to the Federation's furthest outpost. There were reports of an alien encounter. Then radio silence. They rendezvous with an Admiral who's brought along his hotshot commander, Shelby, an ambitious young woman who's setting out to prove herself and take Will's place as First Officer on the Enterprise. Will, had in the meantime been offered the USS Melbourne.

Investigations prove their worst fear - evidence of a Borg invasion. The Federation had been working on a defence but there's nothing beyond plans at this stage but the Enterprise crew quickly try to adapt their weapons and defence based on the new research, while Shelby and Riker keep butting heads.

Anyway, their first encounter with the Borg quickly shows how much the Borg have adapted. Despite their best efforts, the Enterprise shield is drained, Borg drones appear on the bridge and take Picard. A rescue effort is mounted but it is too late - Picard was already Locutus. And here we have one ballsy scene - Riker deciding to fire their new weapon against the Borg ship, in effect damning the Captain to certain death.

End S3. WHAT AN ENDING!!!

Just as quickly (on the Bluray), S4 starts...

But as Picard was aware of that weapon, the Borg were aware of the weapon as well and had already adapted their defence system to compensate.

The Enterprise is crippled from expending all their power to that weapon and falls behind while the Borg ship continues towards Earth. With the help of Picard's knowledge, the Borg make short work of the Federation fleet assembled at Wolf 359. When the Enterprise catches up to Wolf 359, all they encounter is a debris field of derelict Starfleet vessels, including the Melbourne.

The Enterprise catches up with the Borg ship and detaches the saucer and stardrive section. This was originally conceived by Shelby and relayed to Picard. The Borg thus anticipate the next wave of attacks to be done according to Shelby's plans. But Riker is aware that they must adapt their plans since Picard's knowledge is part of the Borg collective and he does a superb rout. Using the saucer section to attack and create a diversion and provide electromagnetic interference, the star drive section despatches Worf and Data in a shuttle. The Borg shields while active does not prevent the shuttle from passing through. Once inside the Borg shields, Data and Worf beam inside the Borg ship and manage to squirrel Locutus out of the Borg ship, into the shuttle and escape the Borg shields again. Once out, they are beamed back to the Enterprise, just in time too before the Borg destroy the shuttle.

Dr Crusher and Data begin work to try to disconnect Locutus from the Collective and save Picard but are initially unsuccessful. In the meantime, the Borg ship is already in the solar system and reaching earth. But Data's attempt to communicate with the Borg hive allows Picard to regain some control back and he provides Data with the simplest way to deactivate the Borg ship. Picard is back!

The episode concludes quite quickly with things slowly going back to normal. Picard losing his Borg augments and the Enterprise getting refitted and repaired.

Then episode 2: Home.

IMHO Both Worlds is more like a 3 parter storyline, with Home concluding the story. Here, we see Picard going back to his hometown for shore leave while the Enterprise is on the docks. There's not much scifi in this episode. Really just Picard coming to terms with his loss during his encounter with the Borg. His loss of confidence, his loss of self and even his loss of passion for the stars. It's a very powerful episode, in fact, far more powerful to me than the previous 2 episodes. I loved Picard's gruff brushes with his brother. Their barbed crossing of wits is just spectacular. You really can picture the two as brothers who grew up together - fights and all. Just very good casting of the guest stars. Like the one who played Picard's childhood friend who also provides Picard with a job offer so tempting it gives Picard pause.

There are 2 other arcs in Home - Wesley getting a holo message from his dead dad, ala Michael Keaton in My Life (man I really bawled my eyes out when I watched that in uni years ago). And Worf getting a visit from his (human) parents. I don't know why I never quite appreciated Worf's story as much till now. I remember the embarassment that Worf felt when his parents emoted too much, but I never quite got the powerful impact of how Worf only became the person he became, because of his parents. The parting scene in his quarters... somehow just clicked with me a lot more today than when I watched it 10 years ago. Maybe it also reflects my own growth and relationship with my parents in the last 10 years.

All in all, this was a great trilogy of episodes of TNG to watch back to back. Strongly recommend it!

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 21, 2013, 22:24
Just one episode tonight - Brothers. It carries over the family theme from the last episode but deals primarily with Data's family.

Data is minding his own business when he looks like he is experiencing a short circuit. And then proceeds to hijack the Enterprise. Almost half the episode is spent on Data outwitting the crew (including Picard)'s attempt to regain control, while he brings the Enterprise at breakneck speeds to a planet.

On his arrival, he encounters a mad scientist, who proceeds to re-enable Data from the short circuit. Tadaaaa. It's Noonien Soong, Data' dada. They spend an inordinate amount of time catching up when all of a sudden Lore shows up and Soong promptly re-enables him too. Soong had activated a homing signal to bring Data back but as Data and Lore and fundamentally identical, the signal brings Lore back as well. Which brings Soong to an awkward moment. He had spent the last few decades perfecting his design and it culminated in a new emotion chip for Data. It would give Data the ability to have emotions but without the violent/evil streak of Lore's original design. But before he can transplant it to Data, Lore assumes Data's identity again and gets the chip instead. Soong tries to explain that the chip was designed for Data's circuitry and would not work with Lore. In their struggle, Lore injures the scientist, hastening his impending death. In the meantime, Riker and an away team beam down to the planet and discover Data and the doctor, just in time for Data to say goodbye.

It's quite a powerful episode, made all the more amazing when you realize it is just one guy - Brent Spiner playing ALL three roles - the old doctor, Data and Lore and yet still comes across so convincingly that you never really question it is the work of one thespian.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 22, 2013, 23:22
We were going to watch the F1 race so only had time for 1 episode of TNG tonight. Suddenly Human.

OK. I get it. Star Trek can do fuzzy warm, family stories but do we really need so many episodes back to back? :)

The setup is interesting. The Enterprise answers a distress beacon and finds a group of young soldiers injured during a training mission. All but one of the young soldiers are alien. The last one - a human.

They realize later the boy was a survivor on an attack on a Federation outpost and is the last surviving relative of an Admiral. The boy was only a child when the aliens attacked. He's been brought up by the aliens as one of their own and identifies himself as one of them. Crusher diagnoses this as Stockholm Syndrome.

So we have Picard playing Dad trying to get the boy to recognize his humanity. It seems successful. He cries when he remembers his parents dying and even has a joke with Wesley Crusher in Ten Forward.

Which is what makes the ending quite unexpected - and almost special. Picard realizes that trying to make the boy human is the wrong thing to do. He has grown up in an alien culture and accepted as one of them, even seeing his adoptive father as his real father. So he sends the boy back. Pretty powerful, I thought.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 23, 2013, 23:30
I tried to ration our allocation of TNG :) so just one episode tonight before we started on the fall US TV schedule - Remember Me.

Remember Me seems to follow on the "character-development" storylines that have dominated S4 thus far. In this episode, Beverley wonders why she is the only one who can remember people who seem to disappear from the Enterprise. At first the Captain believes her, even against incontrovertible evidence from the other crew members and gets them to investigate. Worf doesn't like his answers challenged and I swear he was rolling his eyes at Beverley a few times :P

The scifi bit? Her son created a warp field bubble by accident - and it's trapped Beverley in this "out of phase" world. The last thing she remembered was hearing an old colleague talk about losing old friends so her mind created this world that people disappear without a trace. Eventually, boy genius with the help of "The Traveller" (from Where No One Has Gone Before) recreates the field so she can jump back. It's not a great episode and perhaps there are too many giveaways that Beverley is the one trapped (as opposed to everyone else).

Not a bad episode, particularly with Stewart and McFadden's acting and chemistry. But scifi - meh.

We then switched to Castle which premiered earlier today in the US. Cliffhanger - aaarrgh!

Then I took francis' recommendations - Montage. THIS TWIST - I DIDN'T SEE COMING!!! Man, Koreans are really top of their games now.

(http://photos.hancinema.net/photos/photo301354.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 24, 2013, 23:12
Trying to ration off the TNG episodes so I had to stop the wife at one episode while we watched new season episodes of Bones and How I Met Your Mother :) will start on James Spader's The Blacklist tomorrow I think and follow up with the second episode of Sleepy Hollow.

TNG Tonight is Legacy where the crew of the Enterprise end up on the planet where Tasha Yar (yeap, another family-themed episode) was from while searching for survivors of a freighter who crashlanded on the planet. The away team meets up with a faction on the planet, the Coalition but the survivors have been captured by another faction, the Alliance, who are at war with the Coalition.

The leader of the Coalition sends Tasha's hotter younger sister to help the Enterprise penetrate the Alliance's defences. Can't say I see a family resemblance, but the actress does a decent job channelling Linda Hamilton circa Terminator 2 ;) which is ironic considering this episode predates T2!

(http://i44.tinypic.com/10z5vg2.jpg)
(ps was not expecting to find this but google finds EVERYTHING! :))

Data gets lucky with sisters ;) you daaawwwg

(http://i41.tinypic.com/s4rgxs.jpg)

She ends up in this distracting outfit that err shows too much information (tamel coe, anyone? :P)
(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_03/st-legacy7.jpg)

Overall, it's not a particularly strong story, not when compared to most of S3 and of course, Family earlier this season. But there are some powerful moments in there, tho not from Tasha Yar's sister, but from Data. Earlier in the episode, he was in a poker game and he had clearly learnt how to read humans better, but at the end, he was still "blindsided" by Ishara Yar. And there was almost a hint of emotion when he looked at a memento Ishara had given him, just in the closing shot of the episode.

Some people criticized that Ishara had set her phaser to kill when she fired at Data but I think that is nitpicking. She had been chased by a rival faction just before Data showed up, so it is not surprising her phaser would be set to kill and not stun. But she clearly hesitated so I don't think Troi was wrong when she said Ishara was conflicted.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 24, 2013, 23:47
Did I hear tamel coe? Mai tu liao! Checking out Tonight is Legacy in High Def NOW! :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 25, 2013, 23:15
Did I hear tamel coe? Mai tu liao! Checking out Tonight is Legacy in High Def NOW! :)

The episode is called Legacy ;)

Anyway, we ended up catching just one episode of TNG tonight before we went to bed, having caught on the season premiers of The Blacklist and Person of Interest, both thumbs up and Sleepy Hollow (intriguing so far).

The Blacklist is a weird mash of Alias meets Silence of the Lambs and obviously Spader is a strong persona. Person of Interest now has Sarah Shahi in the cast and I really like her sassy character. It was a shame Life was canned. She was great in it, as was Damien Lewis tho he got a new lease in Homeland. Sarah hasn't fared too well. Fairly Legal was canned pretty quickly (it was actually quite a fun legal drama).

The rationed episode for TNG tonight was Reunion.

Worf meets up with his ex girlfriend. Finds out he had fathered a child the last time they errr had calisthenics exercises on the holodeck when she was onboard the Enterprise (season 2). Wife and I were curious how the child could have grown so quickly in the last year or so? Must be a Klingon thing.

Anyway the ex, who's an Ambassador from the Federation to the Klingon empire, is here on business. She is accompanying the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. He's dying and he wants Picard to find out who poisoned him. He suspects it is one of the two challenges to the Chancellor title when he dies - Duras (the one whose father's crimes, Worf confessed to on behalf of Worf's father to stabilize the Klingon empire) or Gowron. So he makes Picard the Arbiter of Succession as an excuse for him to investigate.

During the ceremonies, a bomb explodes. Enterprises CSI team concludes the bomb has a Romulan component. This causes Worf to suspect Duras.

Meanwhile, Worf has trouble admitting his ties to his son, Alexander as Klingon traditions would bind his son to the same shame he now bears. This causes his ex to do some digging on what transpired during Worf's challenge to the High Council. Duras finds out she's poking around and confronts her, and kills her when he realizes she knows too much. She survives long enough to tell Worf who the perp is. Wife (yes she's a geek but she won't admit it) says how come he didn't open her eyes after her death, as is the custom of the Klingons that we saw in previous episodes :D

Worf then beams onboard Duras' ship. Duras the coward tries to use his shamed status to avoid him but the Klingon crew obviously feel Worf has the right to challenge for vengeance. Duras tries his best to weasel out, telling Worf only he can corroborate Worf's families innocence that he copped to but Worf is not easily assuaged. He kills Duras before the Enterprise crew can stop him. Gowron thus wins the Chancellor title by default.

Worf gets a reprimand, cops to the kid that he is the father then sends the kid to his parents on Earth.

Hmm, didn't realize there was a family angle again! :)

Overall, this is one excellent episode. Klingon episodes (from TNG) usually are. They are much more substantial and less cartoon-y than they were in TOS. I love the additional elements of Klingon culture weaved in here.

And it is weird seeing Suzie Plakson two nights in a row separated by over 20 years!

(http://macha.sener.free.fr/startrek/races/images/kl-kehleyr.jpg)
(http://static.screenweek.it/2011/2/8/how-i-met-your-mother-7x15-judy-eriksen-cap-06.png)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 27, 2013, 13:17
The episode is called Legacy ;)

Oops..paiseh  ;D

Ended up watching Into Darkness in TrueHD. Bro Petetherock might have a point. The SQ should have been more demo worthy. Would have liked the explosion into warp to be deeper. Perhaps Master Audio would have done a better job?

Also, watched The Exorcist 1973 for the very 1st time. Whoa! The devil's vulgar vocabulary puts most Rappers to shame.

Devil (inside the possessed girl): "Stick your cock up her ass, you mother-fcuking worthless cocksucker!"
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 27, 2013, 15:55
Think what pete was referring to is the way that many studios seemed to have dialed down the real LFE information on those BDs. It doesn't rattle the windows/doors but there is still a fair bit of low frequency output. It's something they've done with a lot of recent blockbusters like Avengers, Iron Man 3 etc and it is not just specific to TrueHD remixes, from what I can tell.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 27, 2013, 23:03
Good thing the fall premiers have started trickling in.

Was watching SVU, CSI, Criminal Minds last night so skipped TNG. Tonight, it was Agents of SHIELD and Elementary.

Loved the idea of going back to London (and 221B Baket St) in Elementary and I could barely recognize Rhys Ifans when he's all cleaned up :)

SHIELD was pretty neat. I loved the tie in to the Avengers movie and even Iron Man 3.

But wife said she'd only stay up for another episode if it was TNG. So on then to Future Imperfect. She said later the episode of TNG was miles better than SHIELD :) I dunno. I quite enjoyed SHIELD but have to admit, Future Imperfect was a pretty darn good episode too.

Riker is on an away mission when something goes wrong, and he wakes up apparently 16 years in the future, now Captain of the Enterprise. An older Beverley tells him that an encephalitis virus he contracted 16 years before and was dormant previously had started showing symptoms putting him in a coma for a few days. They saved his life but his memories of the last 16 years had become wiped out. Turns out he married, had a son, while Picard and Deanna got promoted and headed back to Starfleet HQ. Riker takes some time to assimilate all that information and to make head or tail of it, but there is one moment when he realizes the whole thing was a set up. It's a very good "fan aha" moment that rewards you for playing close attention to previous stories.

So then it appears he was captured by Romulans who want the location of a Federation Starbase but he manages to escape with another inmate, a young boy, whose appearance had been used to create Riker's son in the fake future. But another trip and Riker realizes even that scenario was faked. Turns out the boy is an alien left behind on the planet to protect him from his enemies by his mother, who went on to sacrifice her life for him. The boy's mother set up an elaborate holodeck that would read the boy's mind and recreate whatever he needed and wanted. When Riker beamed onto the planet, the boy saw a chance for real companionship and used the same sensors to recreate Riker's "ideal" world.

It was quite a neat second twist that I wasn't quite expecting (I was expecting a second twist but not this).

It also has another "family" message but really weaves a nice scifi/new civilisation theme around it.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 28, 2013, 22:43
Watched After Earth and a couple of TNG episodes tonight.

I can see why AE was panned so much. For one thing - all the great action sequences were already shown in the trailers. Everything else was just talkie bits which were uninteresting and IMHO made us lose all sense of identifying with the main characters. I can understand a kid being scared and unprepared. That's understandable. What's not is that this kid is supposed to be some hotshot in the academy who aces his tests etc. After a while, he just became too whiny and I feel, completely unrelatable. Wife did highlight something that I thought made sense - this movie was pitched as a Will Smith movie (and the trailers suggested it would be action packed), but the main character was the kid and I think it just didn't click with the audience. Maybe if the central character was a kid, they'd pitch it more as a kiddie movie and have more story elements that would be relatable to that audience.

We followed that up with TNG's Final Mission which ironically also starred a kid in the central role - Wil Wheaton as Wesley in his last episode before he went off to Starfleet Academy. Wheaton is a bit stilted in the show as well, and it's hard to figure out where he is in this episode. He's supposed to be off to Starfleet but there's still the immaturity when he disses off the Captain of an old shuttle providing transport to Picard on a mission. Granted, the shuttle Captain is a bit of an not a very nice person but Wesley's character seemed a bit too whiny. Things don't get better when they crash-land. Elsewhere, the Enterprise is on a rescue mission - a barge containing nuclear waste gets caught up in a planet's gravity field and is emitting fatal levels of radiation towards the planet. Enterprise tries all sorts of ways to redirect the barge but is unsuccessful. In the end, the only option is a slow tractor beam to pull the barge into the sun. But because of the high levels of radiation, they have to be sufficiently far away and this limits the speed they can pull the barge along. Of couse, Will gets the job done in the end, with just a second to spare before radiation levels reach critical levels on the Enterprise.

On the planet, Wes and the Captain, parched from the 50C temperature levels on the planet, eventually find a water source, only to find it protected by a force field and an energy source that attacks anyone attempting to destroy the force field. The bastard shuttle Captain tries to use his phaser but causes a rock slide that almost kills Wil. Sadly, it does not as Picard pushes him out of danger then, stands there petrified while the rocks fall on him. Bastard shuttle Captain tempts his luck again with the force field but this time, the energy beam takes him out encapsulating him in a silica type structure. Hasta la vista. Wonderboy  Wil eventually figures out a way to remove the force field, gets Picard the water he needs, just in time before the Enterprise finds them.

Overall, not a great episode, but perhaps saved only by Stewart's acting and the second arc involving the Enterprise crew. I won't be sad when Wheaton leaves the set :)

This was then followed by the Loss, again no great loss if you missed it :)

The Enterprise is caught by a tide of 2-dimensional life forms which exert such strong forces that prevent the ship from pulling away. At first, this is an educational exercise - trying to determine what the life forms are and how to get out. But the stakes turn out to be much higher when sensors pick up a string fragment in their path - that spells certain doom for the Enterprise.

The second arc is the part I can't quite like - the presence of these 2D creatures causes Deanna to lose her empathic abilities. In this respect, the script reads like a TOS one - where writers make characters act illogically to move the story along. When Deanna senses something so powerful, she doubles over... instead of calling for help immediately, she takes a rest. Come on. Really!?? We've seen her react how many times before to unknown life forms, she should already know better. When she calls Beverley for help eventually, she says, no hurry. Smart. And when she loses her powers, she acts like a *itch and hits out at everyone. Of course, it turns out the creatures were the ones who caused the problem, as their single minded thoughts were so powerful, it blocked out all other emotions from the crew. Once they figured out how to escape, her empath powers came back.

Overall, not a great two episodes - from the characters development perspective tho the scifi quotient wasn't too bad in both episodes.

Thankfully, I had just finished watching Into Darkness earlier today to get my ST fix ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on September 29, 2013, 00:46
So gum...I watched After Earth tonight too. I did enjoy the BD. I'm referring to the Special Features menu, especially the making of, where the fun camaraderie between will & jaden made me envious. What was the movie about again? ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: desray on September 29, 2013, 08:16
HK Hi
Wife was angry that they killed off Kirk so unceremoniously in Generations and decided not to watch First Contact tonight. :)

So we ended up catching
(http://www.olografix.org/krees/dfnet/pic/relat/hitmanreturns.jpg)

For this I set the Marantz AV8801 to Pure Direct Mode so only the 5.1 speakers were used. Have to say, the surround soundstage felt more lifted than it usually sounds. But I was also surprised how much bass and information was in the main left and right speakers. My f113 sub hardly got any work out at all, but the front two SS2.2 subs augmenting the main L/R speakers were filing in the bass beautifully.
 

That's because u used pure direct mode. The LFE will not be channeled to the subwoofer. Its not how much amazing bass coming out from the mains...because it has to. Unless of course marantz pure direct mode implementation is different from the other AVRs?
:P

Sent from my PadFone Infinity using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 29, 2013, 09:28
My mains are set to large so no bass info from the front LR goes into the sub anyway.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 29, 2013, 23:15
Another night, another 2 episodes of TNG - Data's Day followed by The Wounded.

Both IMHO more than make up for yesterday's less than stellar episodes.

Data's Day, as the title implies, revolves around Data. You see him in command of the bridge during the night shift, and then when it ends, he goes about doing other functions on the ship. In this episode, he also acts as a narrator - as a voice log to Commander Maddox who had wanted to disassemble Data in Measure of a Man. There are 3 arcs on this episode - first, the wedding of Keiko and Miles O Brien, where Data (having introduced the two) will also act as the father of the bride in the ceremony. Second, a mission to escort a Vulcan ambassador to a secret negotiation with the Romulans and Data's attempts at understanding humans in the midst of all this.

The story uses slightly different camera angles, with the focus always on Data, but it's also funny what you catch on the periphery - like Riker kao-ing some female officer on the bridge ;) you'd think they have some sexual harassment training in Starfleet by then.

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_03/datasday8.jpg)

So the wedding finally goes on, despite a few mis-steps - with Keiko having cold feet and Data's attempts to help having unintended consequences. But you also see his methodical attempt to logically process the things he has to do - going through sequentially through Geordi, Worf, the doctor and even Troi for help at different points to make sense of the human puzzle. The scene with Beverley and Data doing tap dancing in the holodeck was priceless ;)

The other arc has a nice twist at the end - the ambassador has a transporter accident which Data discovers was a cover up by the Romulans to mask the successful transport of the ambassador - who turns out to be a Romulan spy. And Riker quotes The Big Lebowski!! :) nice reference!!

Overall, Data's attempts at being more human suffers from a few mis-steps but there are signs he's slowly getting it as well - his hands making a nervous tapping action when the Enterprise crosses the neutral zone like any other human for instance and his appreciation of friendship and love. Even if he still makes the same cheesy grin when asked to smile. Oh well, T800 couldn't do it particularly well either :)

(http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/722546/terminator-smile-o.gif)

The Wounded was next. We are introduced to the Cardassians here - though they look the same as the ones in DS9, I never recalled the DS9 Cardassians sporting this retarded head gear ;)

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_03/thewounded2.jpg)

In a nice follow up, we see Miles and Keiko having breakfast together with Miles making a face having to eat vegan food that Keiko likes. Wife was asking how they could have had dates and gotten married without knowing their diet preferences.

So anyway, the Enterprise is on the edge of Cardassian space. The Federation had just had a treaty with the Cardassians ending a long conflict. Without provocation, the Enterprise is attacked by a Cardassian vessel. The Enterprise quickly disables the ship's shields when the other ship refuses to answer hails. Turns out the Cardassian are retaliating because of a recent attack by a Federation vessel on a Cardassian scientific outpost.

The Federation vessel in question turns out to be the Phoenix, helmed by Captain Maxwell, a good acquaintance of Picard - and O'Brien's old Captain. HQ gives Picard orders to bring the errant Captain back to face disciplinary action and also to bring a few Cardassians as observers.

The Enterprise finally manages to catch up with the errant Captain but not before he had destroyed a warship and a supply ship. Maxwell explains that the Cardassians have been regrouping and consolidating their fleet and the peace treaty was a ruse. But Picard counters his (very weak) arguments. Maxwell agrees to surrender but Picard allows him the dignity of captaining his own ship back to Federation space.

But the Phoenix breaks away from formation very quickly to pursue another supply ship. He tells Picard to board the vessel so he can verify his claims. If not, he will destroy the supply ship. Miles volunteers to beam on to the Phoenix to talk some sense into the Captain and succeeds. The Captain surrenders to Picard and is held in quarters while his first officer takes the Phoenix back.

In the Enterprise ready room, the Cardassian commander is gloating but Picard stops him short - Maxwell may have broken the treaty but it is not without cause - the supply ship he had threatened to destroy was heavily cloaked and there was no reason for it to be so, had it been a legitimate supply vessel. He warns the Cardassian that they will continue watching.

Picard really kicks ass!

I really liked this episode. It deals with war and the effect it has on soldiers, taking on PTSD even before it was vogue to do so.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on September 30, 2013, 22:42
Was watching the Q&A debate between the two contenders for the Labor leader role and the (mutual admiration society) interview of Julia Gillard on ABC before that.

So only had time for one episode of TNG - Devil's Due

IMHO not a great episode and reading wiki, the final puzzle fell into place - both wife and I thought the plot was very TOS-ish. Turned out it was a plot for Phase II and was just adapted for TNG.

The Enterprise heads to a planet where some Federation scientists are under attack of the local residents. Turns out the residents are freaked out by what they think are signs of the end-times as predicted in a contract/ancient text that dates back 1000 years. Picard tries unsuccessfully to negotiate for the return of the kidnapped scientists.

At that moment, a female "devil" appears. The texts had predicted her return after 1000 years to claim her end of the bargain - the servitude of the planet's population. The planet's leaders cower under her demonstration of powers but Picard is less amused, convinced she is just another being. The stakes are high because under the contract, even the Enterprise and her crew would fall under the provisions of the contract. The temptress seems quite taken with Picard and throws herself at Picard at every instance - see what I mean by a TOS episode? I can imagine Kirk would be more than happy to have his way with her :) or is it the other way around. But no matter - this is TNG after all and Picard acts every inch the stiff upper lip British (wait. isn't he french? :D)

So Picard uses a precedent in the law to allow mediation, offering his own soul to the ante. The devil agrees and chooses Data to be the impartial mediator. Cue LA Law - another TOS throwback that every civilisation looks like the US of A.

Of course, the Enterprise crew is busy at work to help prove Picard's case and they figure it out at the end - the lady, as expected was a con-woman and has a cloaked ship to create her magic acts using transporter and holographic projectors. Riker boards the woman's ship and uses the same tech to make it seem that Picard was a god like being. Picard wins the case, villain says she will return. End of episode. Told you it was TOS-like!

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 01, 2013, 21:57
S4 of TNG continues tonight - Clues.

It's been a while since I watched this episode so the story, the twist and the premise were all just as fresh to me. Am thankful for that. Picard starts off in the holodeck, playing Dixie Hill again and we notice he has NEVER been able to ever solve even ONE mystery. Getting Guinan all dolled up to join him in this episode doesn't help either.

He gets a phone call - from Data on the bridge that the Enterprise has encountered an anomaly - Class M planet in a system they are surveying that was unknown to previous expeditions. He heads to the bridge and then BOOM - a wormhole envelopes the Enterprise and the crew is knocked out. Credits.

Scene reopens with Data reviving the Captain. Data explained that everyone had blacked out for 30 seconds when the wormhole hit, all except Data. With only minor injuries, the Captain resumes course to their next destination but as the crew go about their duties, they find inexplicable phenomena that indicate the black out was more than 30 seconds but in fact, a full day.

As the evidence piles up, the Captain starts doubting Data's explanations but cannot get him to reveal the truth. To get to the bottom of the mystery, he redirects the Enterprise back to the last destination. As they approach the Class M planet, an energy field appears and attacks the Enterprise, then dissipates - only to enter Deanna's quarters and take over her body.

"Troi" heads off to Data's quarters and confronts him in a "voice of God" voice that their plan had failed. Data tries to reason with the entity to give them more time when he is summoned by the Captain to explain his duplicity. He still keeps mum. Then "Troi" appears and explains. The energy beings were xenophobic :) and didn't want their location and existence to be known by others. Whenever a ship appears in their system, they would encounter a "wormhole". In effect, it just knocks out the occupants for a day, while the alien energy forces transport their ship to another part of the galaxy, and making it appear they ran into a wormhole.

In Enterprise's case, this method failed because Data was immune to the effect and revived the crew before the aliens could perform their ruse. Their plan was to destroy the Enterprise. But Picard respects their wishes to remain unknown to the rest of the world, so orders Data never to reveal the incident while the aliens knock them out again and in the process wipe out their short term memory.

With the truth finally out, Picard reasons that the plan had failed because there were too many clues that remained to indicate the wormhole didn't happen. The aliens agree to his plan to do over, this time making sure all the clues are wiped out.

And so it goes. No one is the wiser this time, except Data - who has an almost smiley face at the last scene

Speaking of Data - he must be trying to emulate Riker in his effort to be more human ;)

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_04/clues7.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 02, 2013, 10:11
Saw Masquerade last night. Boy, what an entertaining film. Funny and absorbing, this was one movie I wished wouldn't end so quickly. The koreans are good.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 02, 2013, 10:50
Yeah it was a really good flick, I thought :)

ps was quite surprised the actress playing the Queen in Masquerade is the new girl in Cold Eyes
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 02, 2013, 12:09
Oooooh...eagerly awaiting the release of Cold Eyes & Montage on BD :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 03, 2013, 22:29
Been catching up on the new series of US TV shows so have slowed down our TNG but at wife's insistence, we caught TNG S4's First Contact - not to be confused with the movie :)

It's actually an interesting premise - instead of mankind's first contact with the Vulcans, this one shows the Federation trying to make First Contact with an alien race about to break the Warp barrier. But being able to break the Warp barrier doesn't mean they are ready as is the case of this race. So the leader of the planet decides to hold off official First Contact until they are truly ready, focusing his efforts on educating his population to be more mature. It was funny wife and I identified Bebe Neurith (Frasier's ex) as the space alien groupie even with all her make up on - her voice is that distinctive!

I think in a way, it was a commentary about earth - even if we are technically capable of venturing into outer space (albeit without warp engines), we are still too inward looking, too immature to really understand the significance of other intelligence in the galaxy. Looking at the way the Republicans manage to shut down the US economy says we haven't changed all that much in the last 20 years either.

ps I still can't believe Picard can use the "Let me show you your planet as seen from my space ship" routine though... this is a race about to build a warp engine. Surely they would have seen their planet from space?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 06, 2013, 23:55
Been remiss with my recaps as I've been driving back and forth to the Gold Coast to help work on some speakers :)

But we have actually caught a few episodes here and there, with a marathon this long weekend. I'll try a brief recap of
- Galaxy's Child,
- Night Terrors,
- Identity Crisis,
- Nth Degree,
- QPid,
- Drumhead and
- Half A Life.

IMHO all except Qpid were pretty decent stories, despite a few mis-steps

Galaxy's Child - Enterprise finds a new life form, born and bred in space. They are attacked by the creature when they approach and the Captain orders the lightest weapons setting to break free of the dampening field it exerts. Sadly even at that setting, the creature is killed. Picard is filled with grief and regret. They then realize the reason for the life form's aggression - it was pregnant but the death of the parent puts the baby at risk. So Enterprise tries using its weapons and performs a Caesarian delivery. Baby gets out and mistakes the Enterprise for mummy, feeding off its energy. At a loss, the Enterprise tries to head to an asteroid belt where the life form was heading towards before its untimely demise. At the asteroid belt, they manage to "sour the milk" by changing the energy output frequency and sends the baby away to its own kind.

The other story? A bit creepy. Geordi comes face to face with his crushee, Leah Brahms the creator of the Enterprise engine. Geordi had inadvertently created a holodeck version of her when he was trying to solve a problem in an earlier episode and things got err romantic with the fake Leah. Anyway, real Leah comes on board and Geordi puts the moves on her, knowing her likes and dislikes etc, like a stalker. And she eventually discovers the holo-version of her. Not pretty. :) Worse, she's married.

Next up, Night Terrors. The Enterprise discovers a derelict ship. The away team finds the engines dead, and the crew dead - some stabbed, some killed by phaser fire etc. Not pretty. The only survivor - a Betazed who's in a catatonic state.

They decide to tow the ship back to the nearest starbase, but hits a snag. The Enterprise starts losing power to the engines, and the crew starts exhibiting the same signs of animosity and distraction. And Deanna starts getting nightmares.

Turns out they are stuck in a dampening field again - and the crew hypothesizes there is another ship stuck in the same field that is trying to communicate with them using delta waves but this causes the humans to be unable to get into REM sleep while causing nightmares in Betazeds. It is the inability to get into REM sleep that causes the crew to become paranoid and distracted. They realize the message Deanna is getting in her nightmares is really a suggestion from the other ship to collaborate on an escape. The Enterprise starts emitting hydrogen gases into the anomaly which the other ship detonates - and this propels both ships out of the dampening field.

Identity Crisis - I quite liked this one because there was a whodunit kind of mystery. Geordi is reunited with his former Lt from his last assignment who is investigating the disappearance of the other members of an away mission that the Lt and Geordi were on. They track the latest MIA person (who had stolen a shuttle) to the planet where the away mission had taken place but they are too late. The shuttle heads in too sharply and burns up in the atmosphere. Eventually you find out the away team was infected with some small virus that was not detected by biofilters and had laid dormant. The virus when active tho, causes the host to mutate into a reptillian creature. Crusher discovers just in time how to fix it but not before Geordi himself transforms and beams down to the planet just after he pieces together a missing clue from a holodeck recreation. In the end, an away team has to go find him and beam him back. This is one of the things I could never understand. If bio-filters are "fallible", why not just put every away team in sealed space suits :)

Still, it was a neat plot device.

Nth degree is the one where Barclays gets zapped by a probe and becomes a genius. Then he brings the ship to another part of the galaxy to meet a new race. Turns out the race are also keen to meet new life and new civilizations but they don't like to get on space ships. They send out probes - to communicate with other life forms and then zaps the other lifeforms to their home world where they make first contact. OK, that's a bit like kidnapping. But an interesting premise, I guess. And it's also cool to see Barclay become confident about himself in the process - tho the super IQ does wear off.

In QPid, Q is back and is bent on repaying Picard for helping him get back into the Continuum. Annoying. When he discovers that the Captain had a thing with Vash (the female Indiana Jones with less scruples), he decides to transport Picard and his crew into a make believe Sherwood forest, where they play Robin Hood and his merry men (well all except for Worf who is never merry) and Vash as Maid Marion, held captive by the Sheriff (aka Q). Vash is unwilling to play the damsel in distress and even betrays Picard, which intrigues Q. Anyway, as expected, Picard and crew save Marion/Vash and ends the test. Picard and crew return to the ship, sans Vash. But Vash reappears later in the Captain's ready room - Qlike. Looks like Q has made her one of them and they are going to explore the galaxy together.

I've never been a fan of Q episodes but I do have to admit these Worf lines are brilliant!
http://www.youtube.com/v/ri5S4Hcq0nY&feature=player_embedded&fs=1
Plus an awkward moment when Beverley pops in to have breakfast with Jean Luc, and then realizing he had already a guest from the night before ;)

Then to something serious - Drumhead. An investigation into a Klingon spy results in a massive witch hunt where no one is safe. I think the message is incredibly powerful - and one all the more dire given the post 911 world we live in.

I don't think I can do the episode justice with a recap, so I will just leave one quote:
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably."

Finally, Half A Life. There are 2 parts to this story. The first involves the Dr Timicin, a scientist from Kaelon II. Kaelon II's sun is dying and the scientist has developed a possible solution to revive the sun but needs to test it on another sun to see if it works. Kaelon (a xenophobic race) reluctantly asks the Federation for help and the Enterprise is tasked to deliver the scientist and provide the equipment for his tests, once they have found a matching sun. The experiments include sending modified photon torpedoes and detonating them at a precise sequence to reignite the sun. At first it succeeds but then becomes unstable, causing the star to explode. With a failed experiment, the Enterprise heads back to Kaelon II.

The second arc involves Lwaxana who is also onboard the Enterprise. She takes a fancy to Dr Timicin who surprisingly returns her affections. When she realizes that Dr Timicin is about to be "mercy killed" when he returns (as his 60th birthday is looming), she kicks up a fuss. At first, Dr Timicin is insistent that he needs to follow through with his traditions but as he discovers the collected data from the experiment, he realizes he could fix what went wrong. This, along with his affections for Lwaxana makes his seek asylum on the Enterprise. His people are not happy. They blame the Enterprise for corrupting him and even send attack ships. Dr Timicin is aghast that his people would not even take the new findings that he had discovered. And when his daughter (played by Michelle Forbes aka Ensign Ro!) comes onboard the Enterprise to plead with him to return to a noble death, he finally decides to go back and comply with traditions. This is the second time from memory where the "human" alternative is not the chosen one (the other one was where a young human boy who was adopted by an alien race was returned to the alien race). I think it speaks of the Prime Directive more powerfully than what Kirk merely gives lip service to.

Frankly this is also the one episode so far of Lwaxana Troi that I could actually stomach. Wife even said it made her likeable.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 07, 2013, 00:07
Ah...good to see TNG episodic recaps back in action! :)

Seems like all rationing has gone out the window? ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 07, 2013, 00:20
Yeah, we did try watching the new US seasons currently airing but we still end up going back to TNG
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 07, 2013, 22:36
Caught Homeland, The Good Wife, Castle and Family Guy earlier.

So far, Homeland hasn't been all that gripping. I always found Carrie's character hard to sympathise with when she went all spiralling into madness. It was why I liked the direction they took in Season 2. And why haven't we seen Brody yet!??

Castle was cool but The Good Wife is easily the best show tonight. I find there's a guilty pleasure in the rooting for the not quite squeaky clean lawyers. I used to love David E Kelley's legal dramas and was really sad when Boston Legal went off the air. But I think the Ridley Brothers really took The Good Wife into a whole new area. Even with only one brother left helming the show, it's still got its mojo.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 08, 2013, 01:08
Tried out season 1 episode 1 of Futurama.

Guess what? Nimoy guest starred!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 08, 2013, 08:32
Futurama has quite a few Star Trek homages. There's one with all the Trek stars except Chekov
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 11, 2013, 00:19
The Lone Ranger this evening. Wayyyyy too damn long lah this movie. Not particularly entertaining also. Only Depp made it slightly amusing.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 12, 2013, 22:14
sumofabeech.

The Conjuring scared the crap out of me! Clean up on aisle 4!
:P

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 13, 2013, 00:34
sumofabeech.

The Conjuring scared the crap out of me! Clean up on aisle 4!
:P



Will clear my bowels before watching The Conjuring. LOL

Pacific Rim does not seem to suffer from the deep bass being filtered I believe. This film reminded me of the era when I was fascinated with Ultraman & Voltron :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 13, 2013, 22:47
The Lone Ranger this evening. Wayyyyy too damn long lah this movie. Not particularly entertaining also. Only Depp made it slightly amusing.

I dunno. I quite enjoyed it. It was a straightforward, simple plot. And to be fair, that was what Lone Ranger was about anyway. I am not sure I would want to hold it to a different standard from what the old TV shows were about.

Watched it in the cinema so doubt the wife would want to watch it again at home. Might be able to convince the neighbour for a guys movie night - Fast 6, Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness and This is the End.

Pacific Rim does not seem to suffer from the deep bass being filtered I believe. This film reminded me of the era when I was fascinated with Ultraman & Voltron :)

Watched this in the cinema with the wife but it wasn't in our usual cinema (the large 20 something meter screen) so might go for a second round with my mate ;)

For tonight - White House Down followed by a TNG episode before calling it a night.

You know, I enjoyed White House Down far more than I was expecting.

It took a long time to lay out the story which I wasn't expecting since this was a Roland Emmerich show after all and I thought it would be more action packed than Olympus has Fallen but short on story.

This didn't turn out to be the case - the story was sufficiently fleshed out and by and large, I could suspend enough disbelief to thoroughly enjoy the show. And they didn't skimp on the action sequences either.

I just don't get why
a. the stupid girl didn't turn her phone to silent mode.
b. Channing didn't punch the reporter for showing his daughter's face to the public/terrorists. Come on, that's what John Maclane would have done (and did!) :)

As for TNG's The Host... well, it was a controversial episode. It features a Trill (the same race as Jadzia and Ezri in DS9) but in this earlier incarnation, a lot of the stuff we find out in DS9 isn't quite solidified yet but still lends itself to some interesting dilemmas (something Worf would have to face later in DS9 as well). In this episode, it's Beverley.

She's fallen in love with Ambassador Odan (Trill) who's onboard the Enterprise to negotiate a peace treaty. Turns out his previous host had also negotiated a treaty with the same players a few decades before but to prevent confusion, they refer to the previous host as the father.

Anyway, there's a shuttle accident and Odan is critically injured but refuses to be beamed to Sick Bay. Turns out the parasite/symbiote can't be transported - though this is not the case in DS9's Dax.

So Odan is dying but the symbiote can still be transplanted. But the Trill can't send a new host in time, so Riker offers to be the host for the symbiote while awaiting the final host.

Things become creepy - Beverley can't look past the fact that Will is like a brother to her, while the implanted Riker/Odan still has strong feelings for Beverley and expects to resume things. Again, this is something that's vastly different from the Trills in DS9 who try to sever such bondings between each host.

Eventually Beverley overcomes her prejudices and smooches Riker/Odan.

In the meantime Riker/Odan completes the negotiations and collapses because of the incompatibility of the human body as a host for the Trill symbiotes. Just in time the new Trill host arrives - but there's a snag. The host is a lady. And she proceeds to smooze up to Beverley again. But Beverley says she can't get used to the changes - read between the lines and she says she's not a lesbo. She claims it's a human condition - funny you'd think there'd be homosexuality in the future too :)

Episode ends.

Interesting dilemma but what ruined it for me was the extensive Dax/Trill history that was developed in DS9 (that I still kinda remember) was just far more powerful and I find it hard to overlook the conflicts in the two representations.

Plus, the Trills look different too - forehead ridges here in TNG vs polka dot skins on Jadzia in DS9.

ps here's also the episode with the Riker twin face palm (no photoshop) :D

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_05/thehost7.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 16, 2013, 11:34
Finally did The Conjuring last night. Wasn't scared shitless, but I did visit the toilet halfway thru due to slight diarrhea. Probably drank a bit too much milk  :P

Laudable effort from Hollywood. I was genuinely spooked by a few scenes. But why must the female doll look like a cousin of chucky?  ???

However, the soundtrack & design of Conjuring was really astounding. It has even more deep bass than Into Darkness!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 19, 2013, 14:01
Forgot to update this in a while.

We caught the penultimate two episodes of S4 saving the last one until S5 is out.

The Mind's Eye and In Theory.

The Mind's Eye is an interesting political intrigue story. Geordi is brainwashed into being a Romulan agent and tries to sabotage an investigation the Enterprise is helping to conduct - an uprising in a Klingon colony where the rebels have been assisted with what appears to be Federation weapons and medical supplies. I thought it was a good episode and there was still a decent twist about 3/4s into the show which I was not expecting. This episode marks the return of Denise Crosby (aka Tasha in the first season) though she remains in the shadows during the entire show and except for her voice, there is no way to tell it is her.

In Theory is another Data centric episode. In this one, he decides to date a colleague. There are some scenes borrowed from the time when Wesley falls in love but it's somehow not quite as funny this time around. That said, the scene where Data asks Worf for advice is followed by a brief menacing look and threat that Data better not damage the intended girlfriend (because she is under Worf's command) is memorable! :)

But it is quite painful seeing Data perform some hackneyed scenes and you realize from the start the romance is doomed. It is a good thing then there was a second arc about the Enterprise being caught in a field of dark matter. For me, what made the show was the end - where Data picks up Spot (his car) and begins stroking the cat as a human does. The cat is oblivious - he gets stroked but Data's face is emotionless which really just summarizes the love story we just witnessed.

Might be a while before I resume TNG - or at least until S5 is available.

Anyway, I did rewatch Pacific Rim last night with the neighbour. The 7.1 lossless soundtrack was awesome. I watched it in a small cinema that was closer to where we lived the first time so have been meaning to watch it again at home. Both versions have the Japanese dialogue undubbed so Mako still speaks to Stryker in Japanese instead of getting it redubbed into English. But for some reason, they BOTH did not subtitle the last thing Mako says to Stryker before he goes on his suicide run. Definitely enjoyed rewatching it at home more. The picture seemed clearer and I was able to make out the action sequences better.

Bass was OK but it didn't seem as powerful as Oblivion.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 19, 2013, 23:00
My neighbour popped by for another movie night. This time - Star Trek Into Darkness. This might be the fourth time I've seen it and I still love it. I managed to dial up the volume levels since we started earlier and it was all the better for it. Noticed better low frequency extensions and rumblings that wasn't so obvious before. Maybe you just have to listen to this show at closer to Reference levels.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 20, 2013, 12:05
http://www.youtube.com/v/b0YC3RpvE3M&feature=player_embedded&fs=1

"You have not heard Rick Astley until you've heard it in the original Klingon" ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 20, 2013, 21:32
While not technically a movie, it is by the same team that brought us Toy Story - Toy Story of Horror a Halloween short film starring the guys we have come to love. It's a sequel of sorts to TS3 and has a good script and great voice acting. Wife's not usually a fan of cartoons but even she enjoyed that :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on October 20, 2013, 23:04
Into Darkness at reference levels? Don't think my cabinets can take the punishment. Loudest I ever tried was -10 on my denon avr iirc.

LOL at the klingon Music vid! Btw, I heard that Rick Astley him the very self is coming to SG for a charity show! :)

Watched Man of Steel tonight. Whoa I like! Didn't know that my fav *ahem* milf of all time Diane Lane played supe's mom! And Amy Adams is just so sweet, although the name Lois Lane still conjurs up the image of Margot Kidder. Think I can feel Henry as supe more than Brandon.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 21, 2013, 23:13
We were watching a few shows that aired earlier today in the US. But with time to spare we finally cracked open the last episode of TNG S4 at wife's request.

As expected - it ended on a cliffhanger so I was forced to dig up my old DVD boxset of S5 :) so we could watch the conclusion.

It's been a while since I watched these so I was kinda appalled at how washed out the DVD looked and how shimmery the interlaced video was. Uuurgh.

But Redemption Parts 1 and 2 are IMHO what makes TNG special. It provides a great backdrop on the Klingon culture and politics. And there's a lot of political intrigue when the Romulans are involved. It brings to a head the events that started with Worf realizing he had a brother and then had to challenge the council's decision to brand their father a traitor to the episode where Picard was asked to be the executor of the rite of succession. It is also a great episode because it challenges Worf's beliefs about what being a Klingon means - the old ways and the new almost perverted version of honor and being a warrior. It is Worf's strong adherence to the old ways perhaps that is what brings Worf back again to the Klingon Empire for some IMHO excellent episodes in the future season.

Damn. Can't wait for S5 to be out!



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 28, 2013, 23:09
Caught Man of Steel the other night with the neighbour who's now officially between jobs like me :)

I find myself reminded on what I wrote before - great premise and a brand new Krypton and Jor El that can finally displace Brando. But the fight sequences are really really very drawn out.

Over the weekend my wife and I did a Dexter marathon. We had been saving all 12 episodes of the last season so we could watch them consecutively. Have to say, it was quite a great season. A few times, I found myself cheering for the dysfunctional family. The writing and the acting for that dinner scene was just superb. The writers really toyed with us before laying that ending on to us. I am kinda sad it's all over. The last few seasons of Dexter, granted, have not been fantastic but the last season was a good send off.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: jimi on October 30, 2013, 17:51
My neighbour popped by for another movie night. This time - Star Trek Into Darkness. This might be the fourth time I've seen it and I still love it. I managed to dial up the volume levels since we started earlier and it was all the better for it. Noticed better low frequency extensions and rumblings that wasn't so obvious before. Maybe you just have to listen to this show at closer to Reference levels.

Lol! I also gotta try this...

Caught Man of Steel the other night with the neighbour who's now officially between jobs like me :)

I find myself reminded on what I wrote before - great premise and a brand new Krypton and Jor El that can finally displace Brando. But the fight sequences are really really very drawn out.


I liked it. Visually it was stunning.

... but don't you get a bit tired of all these Superman versions? Where's all the new stories?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on October 30, 2013, 18:19
I understand the need for the drawn out fight. It was necessary to show why Supes had to do what he had to do in the end. Because there was no other way to stop Zod.

But it was like I said very drawn out.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 04, 2013, 09:14
Just some updates for the last couple of days..

Watched an old horror flick on Halloween. We'd already watched the Conjuring so dug through my collection for an old one called The Rite. It starred Anthony Hopkins so we figured it can't be that bad. It wasn't. It's not the usual scare flick but quite an interesting premise about what an exorcist really does. It was based on a book written by a Catholic priest who attended an exorcism course at the Vatican. They took some liberties with the source material but the author (and the real life exorcists who were depicted in the show) claimed the changes were based on experiences of other priests/exorcists even if it didn't directly happen to them.

The following night, it was Source Code. It was showing on TV the other night and I had read that it was one of those movies where the ending was creepy if you really stopped to think about it :) and it was. I think it was unsettling even the first time I watched it. If you think about it, the hero of the show effectively took over the life of a completely innocent guy (Sean Fentress the history teacher). Also, if Colter continued to be successful each time, there would be a timeline where all the tragic disasters were averted and the Source Code project would be a failure. I really think the movie should have ended at the "moment frozen in time", where the comedian was entertaining the passengers and Sean/Steven were locked in a kiss with Christina.

Last night - Running Man. A Korean action flick. Have to say the stunts were quite good. While he is no young Jackie Chan, the main actor could probably hold his own with Jackie in his last decade of movies. And the car chase sequences were also pretty decent, tho it looked a bit "sped up" to me. It wasn't as obvious as with TCS "car chases" though with only just a hint that they were speeding up the playback.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on November 05, 2013, 00:41
Completed all 6 seasons of Pimp My Ride. This is my fav ride after pimping  8)

(http://www.alsacorp.com/images/pimpmyride_pics/Screenshot_47.jpg)

Honda CRX in full chrome paint job. Swee!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 09, 2013, 20:58
With the wife away, managed to crank up the volume when I was watching AmeiZing :)

I finally got around to running Audyssey on the Marantz 8801. The soundfield was quite enveloping for TV and movies but I still preferred to use Pure Direct for the concert.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 09, 2013, 21:24
Must be my age. I prefer her slow songs to her fast tempo ones. chapter 28 onwards.

:)

The pic quality is ok tho there was a dark segment in the middle which showed a lot of noise.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 13, 2013, 21:13
Watched Fast n Furious 6 extended tonight with my neighbour. Sounds superb after I finally used Audyssey to calibrate the room.

The extended version just fills out some of the scenes but it wasn't as tight as the theatrical version. Both also had the same plot holes...

possible spoilers...

by the time O'Connor negotiated for amnesty/pardons, he was already in London, so he could have been extradited then and he would have no room to negotiate.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 15, 2013, 21:37
Movie night with the neighbour - White House Down. It sounds really superb after I had done Audyssey earlier this week.

I still have the same comments as the last time. The problem with these 2 Die Hard@The White House is that the hero isn't as funny as Maclane and the villain doesn't have the same panache as Rickman. I still think it was a stretch that Channing would piece together who the main villain was.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on November 22, 2013, 21:31
Another movie night with the neighbour :)

Had to do a makeshift workaround because the projector shelf I was building was only half complete. I usually stacked the HD33 on top of the JVC upside down (and tilted slightly) because it didn't have lens shift but I had no idea how tall the shelf was going to be until I did some trial and error. Damn, it's gonna be much taller than I thought. JVC's bulb died so waiting for a replacement module so have been trying to get used to the greys on the HD33 these few movies.

But with the HD33 at the right height and not tilted, it meant I was getting a much sharper picture than before. Man, I miss the JVC.

So anyway, tonight it was Now You See Me. Always a bit hard to watch [POSSIBLE SPOILERS] when Caine and Freeman play the baddie but I did enjoy the pacing and the twist. Even the second time around. I also picked up something I missed the first time around. When Jack and Dylan were duking it out and chasing themselves through the shaft, they fell into what looked like a dumpster and there it was SHRIKE on the side of the dumpster. Thought it was odd.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 04, 2013, 20:28
Have had a few movie nights with the neighbour these last few days.

GI Joe Retaliation.

Oblivion.

Olympus Has Fallen.

GI Joe has to be taken in the right spirit. It's an old kids cartoon so that has to be put in perspective. It's just fun to watch and the action sequences were always a highlight.

Oblivion - I even managed to get his wife to watch and she was reasonably impressed considering she's not into scifi and action movies. The surround sound and LFE sounds even better after I ran Audyssey.

Olympus Has Fallen is still great.. even on my 4th viewing. I think the plot is better structured than White House Down and obviously, it's more gory than WHD. I also thought Butler exhibited some glimpses of the dry humour that I liked about Bruce Willis in the original Die Hard. And man, this movie was NOT filtered. I could feel the JL f113 kicking my ass every explosion.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 04, 2013, 23:45
I wept through web's recommendation of Miracle in cell No 7 today. That little girl is adorable beyond description.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 14, 2013, 23:09
Haven't had the chance to catch a movie since the wife came back with the father in law but we did manage to squeeze in Insidious Ch 2 tonight. I think the story was trying to do too much so it took a while for everything to settle into place. Very creepy music/tightly cropped camera angles mean you get scared a lot.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 14, 2013, 23:12
Insidious chpt 2 almost bored me to koonz. Lol
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 14, 2013, 23:15
Insidious chpt 2 almost bored me to koonz. Lol

Very creepy though with 11.3 speakers and a 120" screen :P scared the crap out of me many times
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 15, 2013, 00:31
Very creepy though with 11.3 speakers and a 120" screen :P scared the crap out of me many times

No wonder. My screen size is less than half yours, and I have 6.2 speakers less too. Heh heh
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 15, 2013, 23:09
No wonder. My screen size is less than half yours, and I have 6.2 speakers less too. Heh heh

I think some movies really benefit from a big screen effect.

Anyway watched Paranoia tonight. Posted comments in another thread. It was more of a yawn fest than Insidious 2 IMHO.

Should have watched Elysium.

Heck, even Planes
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on December 15, 2013, 23:50
I would give Elysium a 3 out of 5 even though I watched ir on my 5.5 inch LG Optimus G Pro, with stereo sound piped through my Vsonic GR02 Bass edition IEMs  ;D

I am a sucker for space themed movies  :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 16, 2013, 22:27
Watched Percy Jackson 2 tonight.

We watched the first instalment years ago but to be honest, I don't remember that much from the show. I did recall the premise - half bloods were half mortals and half-gods and they were in a Harry-Potter-ish school for their kind. I remember thinking the first story was very much like a re-boot of the Clash of the Titans set in more modern times and having just watched Clash of the Titans (the Terminator reboot), I thought the Percy version was a fresher take on the genre and story.

Percy 2 though wasn't as much fun. Yes, I did like the reimagining of Olympus in modern day times and you can see the parallels with the older myths and stories (the 3 blind seers etc) but I didn't feel as invested in the characters.

I did like the twist at the end though.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 03, 2014, 00:34
Been a while since I updated this thread - seeing as I've been back in Singapore.

I did watch Bolt on the iPad on the flight back to Brisbane - with a decent bass soundtrack courtesy of the new craze of the town, the xiaomi pistons :)

I'm always surprised to see it was without the Pixar lamp opening because the story has that Pixar story telling magic - then I see John Lassiter in the credits along with a fair number of Pixar's illustrious alumnus in there. Must be why they had the secret sauce from Pixar.

Anyway, it was great to watch movies in my media room again.

First up Elysium. I had been saving the movie for a while. My thoughts? Kinda like Oblivion. Not in terms of plot, I mean. But that both plots were not particularly strong. Both borrowed elements from other scifi movies and stories that came before it. But what I enjoyed was the statement or the idea they were trying to convey. Oblivion asked us fundamental questions about our soul and what makes us who we are. And Elysium? An unsubtle parallel about how the rich of the world hoard virtually all of the world's resources at the expense of the rest of the world.

What I found a little hard to believe was how the weaselly Spider who obviously made his money off the poor by offering exorbitant prices to get them to Elysium would suddenly be a good guy and make Elysium open to the population. Or for that matter, Jodie Foster's change of heart at the very end.

We wanted a lighter movie to follow so we picked Monsters University. Had to switch the HDMI Audio from Bitstream to PCM to get rid of the audio dropouts. Anyway, Monsters U was a great reunion with the original cast. I thought Mike was actually less annoying and more easy to like in this instalment. Sully IMHO didn't get as meaty a role in this one, I thought. I did like them showing how the rivalry with Randy started.

We tried to do a hat trick with young Detective Dee, but the wooden acting and the late night made us call it a night about midway.

Hope it's better paced for the second half.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 03, 2014, 23:22
After watching The Hobbit 2 earlier this afternoon, we spent the evening catching up on the second half of Young Detective Dee. Then we caught Mortal Instruments.

The Hobbit 2 reminded me just how far behind the Chinese/Koreans were in CGI. The attempts on Detective Dee looked cartoonish compared to the way Hobbit 2 presented their world. Heck even Monsters U had some pretty photo realistic sequences that surprised me a few times.

But worse than that was the pacing in Detective Dee. It was really just stringing along a series of events without a proper theme to me. The acting toggled between OTT unbelievable to wooden (yes angelababy, that means you). The fight sequences were well choreographed but just lacked the grittiness of say a Jet Li or Donnie Yuen.

Mortal Instruments was worse. No sense of continuity, and it is really not a good sign when the audience can see the twist before the protagonists. It's just incredibly juvenile and I cannot believe kids actually buy into that. Maybe the book is better. I was reading David Eddings in my teens and I just cannot understand how we've digressed into such lame stereotypes and bad story lines in the last few decades. Really - "Luke I am your father" again?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 03, 2014, 23:36
What a weird coincidence... Aidan Turner who plays Kili in Hobbit is also Luke the werewolf in Mortal Instruments
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 03, 2014, 23:55
I was a big fan of David Eddings' Belgariad series. It was the only fantasy books I read. Maybe one day there will be movies made of them
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 04, 2014, 00:03
Dh, u must be back in sg for cny. Welcome back.

Sorry to hear that u wasted time on mortal instruments. I stopped abt 30mins into it. Reminded me of how juvenile twilight was too.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 04, 2014, 01:11
Dh, u must be back in sg for cny. Welcome back.

Sorry to hear that u wasted time on mortal instruments. I stopped abt 30mins into it. Reminded me of how juvenile twilight was too.

Actually I was back for Xmas :)

Am now in Brisbane again.

I was a big fan of David Eddings' Belgariad series. It was the only fantasy books I read. Maybe one day there will be movies made of them

Ditto. Loved reading his second series when I was in uni (I think) which appealed to a more mature audience.

I'd also love to see Magician but the one I always thought was going to be spectacular on film was the Dragons of Pern series.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 05, 2014, 01:08
Watched About Time on the basis of WEB's recommendation and rediscovered my love of British comedy that only the mind of Richard Curtis can deliver.

It's funny, witty, and just packs a huge emotional punch. Just before the funeral, when Tim went to see his Dad to say goodbye properly, I teared.

I reckon it might be his best movie to date.

I swear they had to "uglify" Rachel McAdams so it would look like Tim had even a shot with her :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 05, 2014, 01:20
BTW am amazed how much the actor who plays Tim sounds like Hugh Grant.. and his real accent is actually much further North
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 06, 2014, 01:26
Watched RIPD today.

Not a great movie by any standards. Guess even Jeff Bridges gotta eat :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 06, 2014, 09:37
I would classify RIPD as light entertainment when there is nothing better to watch. All I remember now abt ripd was the big fat giant guy jumping buildings :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 06, 2014, 11:17
Yeap that one.

Possible spoilers
Ps since when did bacon start playing baddies exclusively. Don't get me wrong. He was great in first class. And he exudes meanness even from the first scene here. Maybe I'm showing my age cos I always remember him as the good guy.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 06, 2014, 19:38
Today is for 'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa'.

Call me shallow but I am a fan of Jackass. This is their first movie where there is a bit of a plot, complete with the usual crude, rude but often hilarious pranks on unsuspecting onlookers. Heck, I could even feel the bond between grandpa and grandson as the film progresses. I usually prefer cute little girl actresses but this little boy actor can really give those little girls a run for their money. Sweet!

http://www.youtube.com/v/tctgUr147zA&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 06, 2014, 23:14
I tried starting This is the End but even I thought it was a bit difficult to handle :) stopped about midway when Emma Watson came back to the mansion and thought they were discussing how to rape her!

Watched The Great Gatsby tonight. It was a difficult movie to watch and I suspect that's why it didn't do so well in the theatres. The trailers showed a bright, gay, brightly lit extravaganza but the story is quite bleak and the ending was depressing. I think in many ways, it captures what Fitzgerald was trying to convey in his novel and I think the premise of using Nick as a patient writing down his story as part of a treatment was quite well conceived.. it wove the scenes and stories seamlessly from the past to present. If it had been presented as a simple narration, it would have been tough because the voiceovers would have seemed a bit too intrusive.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 07, 2014, 00:05
Don't worry. Emma Watson didn't get rape  ;D

If you go on, you will see the biggest dick captured on film, you will see a Channing Tatum cameo, you will discover a crazy formula to land up in heaven and you will never guess the biggest music band up there  ;D

It's interesting... I thought you will enjoy it since you can probably pick up all the actors' actual film references. Maybe my threshold for crass humour is higher  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 07, 2014, 00:26
I know she doesn't :)

But I couldn't identify with the "Jay" character just wasn't particularly endearing. He took himself too seriously. I did like the Pineapple Express 2 sequel shot on a budget tho :D

I haven't watched Pegg's end of the world movie yet but I always loved the British wit and humour in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 07, 2014, 23:23
Prisoners tonight.

The pace was slow. But the descent into darkness.. well crafted. The twist was expected - probably cos of too much Criminal Minds - but how the twist unfolded and how all the pieces fell together was quite spectacular.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 08, 2014, 01:22
Prisoners tonight.

The pace was slow. But the descent into darkness.. well crafted. The twist was expected - probably cos of too much Criminal Minds - but how the twist unfolded and how all the pieces fell together was quite spectacular.

I couldn't guess the killer. Perhaps I need to watch some Criminal Minds in future.  ;D
I did not expect Hugh Jackman to be such an accomplished performer in drama. Kudos to him.

'Unbeatable' tonight. Hmm...seems like most of the good movies I have recently viewed involve adorable child actors. Damn good film. Great fights, touching drama, and of course the never-fatiguing theme of the power of the human spirit. This is a must own blu ray for me.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 08, 2014, 23:01
I didn't mean I guessed who the killer was but shows like Criminal Minds usually conditions you to look for
a. usually someone innocuous that you didn't suspect but it is someone you would have seen earlier.
b. the one they catch first usually isn't the bad guy
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 09, 2014, 22:37
Last night, caught the mediocre 2 Guns. Shows like this and RIPD remind me that sometimes an actor just gotta eat :) Denzel plays himself - smug, always sure he's right and not afraid to bend the rules to get what he wants. He probably waltzed right in from his role in Flight without breaking character. It's a reasonably fast paced so I didn't fall asleep but there was no drama, or tension. And you didn't have to look far to see the twist.

I followed that up by Planes - which borrowed the plot from Cars (the first one). It was originally meant as a direct to video release and should have stayed that way. Dane Cook doesn't quite have the same depth as Owen Wilson (and this is Owen Wilson I am talking about here!! :P) and Stacy Keach just isn't Paul Newman. The mentor-student arc that made us care in Cars was completely lost in Planes.

Going out of the box, we decided to watch AMeizing instead. Wife hadn't seen it before and she refused to let me skip to the good bits. Have to say, despite not being a fan of her faster numbers, we were both amazed at the scale and grandeur of the sets she used. And watching it in sequence made the ballad/reminiscing segment in the middle much more powerful. The sequence of the songs conveyed a meaning I didn't notice before.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 09, 2014, 23:35
About Time today.

What a refreshing change. A film about time travelling that has nothing to do with science fiction at all. Heart-warming, sincere and so plausible I didn't care about any time continuum issues. Ended with a great lesson to us all about how to live a happy life.

4/5  ;D

(http://www.anxiousamp.com/sites/default/files/About-Time-UK-Quad-Poster-585x443.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 09, 2014, 23:38
Ditto on About Time!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 17, 2014, 23:33
Been about a week since I posted here. Been watching more TV series than movies.

But we finished our weekly recordings a bit earlier tonight and thought we'd start on one of the Korean shows:

Cued up "Terror Live". Wasn't sure what to expect and wham! It hits you right in the face within the first five minutes.

Possible spoilers...

A terrorist attack. And the terrorist is on the radio station calling in to a radio chat show. No exposition. No development of characters. That comes later. As the show progresses, we find out the back story. Have to say it's a very compelling story and the ending poignant.

I love that the action takes place almost exclusively in the confines of the radio booth. Kinda like Phone booth and it is really the main actor's skill that draws you in to all the action.

Well worth a watch IMHO. Won't want to give too much away.


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ea/The_Terror%2C_LIVE_poster.jpg/418px-The_Terror%2C_LIVE_poster.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 19, 2014, 00:06
Another Korean hit - this time The Flu. Think of it as Korea's Contagion.

Overall, I think it's another ball out of the park. While I can't say I identified with the female protagonist, the overall story and pace was excellent.

Possible spoilers
The chaos depicted was far more devastating than World War Z and I thought more believable. As with Terror Live, the government bureaucrats are depicted as inept if not evil, whose goals and politicking often run counter to the people's benefit.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a2/The_Flu_poster.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on January 19, 2014, 00:16
Ah... I have these last 2 Korean ones. Will watch them soon.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 19, 2014, 22:07
On sick leave so just 'nua' on the couch watching movies.  ;D

First up was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. This should come with a warning on the cover: "Suitable only for the percentage of the human population who enjoy watching a well known purple dinosaur". Way too childish for my liking.  :P

The Flu, on the other hand, was much better. Again, my heart went out to the adorable little girl actress. This film has a production very reminiscent of Hollywood. It is a compliment, I guess  :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 19, 2014, 23:29
Saved Captain Philips till tonight :)

I avoided the other thread discussing the movie for the longest time so as not to have any spoilers though truth be told, I thought the official trailer I saw in the cinema kinda spoiled it already.

Or so I thought.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS START...

The trailer was quite different from the original teaser I saw. The teaser kept leveraging Greengrass' involvement in the Bourne trilogy and the scenes showed seemed a bit like an action flick set in the confines of the large ship. I was half expecting a Die Hard type movie.

Then the official trailer was shown. In it, I thought it was depicting a much more sympathetic view of the hijackers and I thought that was the focus of the movie. So in a way, I was a bit disappointed that this wasn't the case. Yes, the hijackers were shown to be human but you never really sympathised with them (well except for the kid). The final movie was still an action type genre. But where the movie shines IMHO are Tom Hanks and the actor playing the leader of the hijackers.

Watching the behind the scenes footage makes that interaction all that more amazing. Abdi (along with at least one actor playing the hijackers) wasn't really an actor at all. Greengrass just wanted a Somalian and someone who had understood what life was like in the country. And he was a refugee who won the lottery, as he calls it, allowing him and his family to move to America. So how he managed to hold his own against Hanks is nothing short of impressive.

Greengrass' technique is all the more apparent here than even in the Bourne series. I thought it was inspired to have the actors playing the hijackers and the crew on the ship separated during the initial filming. So when they burst through the bridge door, it was the first time the two sets of the cast met each other. And the tension seemed a lot more real. The dialogue was semi-improvised during the takes so there was a lot of spontaneity in them that just became more realistic and gripping to the viewers, heck even to other actors in the scene. I was also amazed that they managed to commandeer a sister vessel to the original hijacked ship from Maersk to film in. No studio sets. They filmed on the ship and on the lifeboat/vessel throughout the show.

Overall, a damn enjoyable flick - which might be considered great, if only because of the interaction of Greengrass, Hank and Abdi.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 20, 2014, 23:20
Caught a new TV series tonight - True Detective. It's by HBO and stars some really big names in showbiz - people you'd normally associate with movies rather than the small screen - Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

The story telling is a bit slow. We watch a full episode for the pilot before getting straight to the kicker punch line. And unlike most pilots, it's a single episoder.. where it could have benefitted a longer exposition.

But the acting is great. McConaughey and Harrelson are both in their game.

The story is told in flashback. Both characters are interviewed in 2012, and as they recount an old case from 1995, we have flashbacks of the guys from that period. It is a decent bit of make up and camera work to date the flashbacks in a slight sepia-ish tone to create that dated look and for both guys to really look 15 years younger. The first time they encounter the crime scene, it's like something out of Hannibal.

Overall, I'm not quite sure if I am following this series. As I said, the pacing is glacially slow but the 2 actors are good and the twists/detective work is fairly interesting. Maybe I've been spoiled by too much CSI speedy gonzales sleuthing. Real crime is probably that much slower to solve.

(http://www.hggirlonfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/true-detective-poster.jpg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roiKrE5KLbk

http://www.youtube.com/v/roiKrE5KLbk&fs=1

We followed it up with Riddick. We'd practically forgotten the last 2 movies but they did at least try to bridge the 2 movies. I remember watching Chronicles years ago not knowing if it was a prequel or sequel to Pitch :P

Overall, not a great movie. Stilted lines, wooden acting, and 1 dimensional villains. Even showing Starbuck*'s tits didn't improve things :)



*reboot
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 21, 2014, 13:28
Overall, I'm not quite sure if I am following this series. As I said, the pacing is glacially slow but the 2 actors are good and the twists/detective work is fairly interesting. Maybe I've been spoiled by too much CSI speedy gonzales sleuthing. Real crime is probably that much slower to solve.

That's the thing: most network TV cop shows move lightning fast and solve cases within 42 minutes; or indeed with Law & Order solve them in 20 and spend another 20 prosecuting.  Hence really slow-burn shows like Homicide Life On The Streets never really took off.  The Wire was also pretty slow going.  But those are two of my favourite cop shows of all time, and reward your patience.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 25, 2014, 22:26
Our regular TV programs ended around 11. Too early for bed but not early enough for a full movie. Lucky for us, ST TNG S5 is here.

We went straight to Ep2 - Darmok.

First - a guest star bonus.

(http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_06/st-darmok7.jpg)

Ashley Judd as an engineering ensign in a before she was famous role ;)

Darmok is slow moving as most TNG episodes go, but if you can forgive that small foible, it is just one of the episodes where TNG really works as a scifi type series. Here, Picard and crew meet a new race of people but have no form of communication. The universal translator works but the "interpreted words" don't make sense.

In a move that could be seen as aggressive, the alien captain beams himself and Picard down to the planet, and has his ship emit a dispersion beam preventing the Enterprise from beaming the Captain off the planet.

The plot splits - with Riker trying to overcome the odds to get the Captain back - foiled in turn by the aliens, and with Picard and the alien captain on the planet trying to communicate. And I like that there isn't a Hollywood ending here. The two races achieve some form of understanding at the end, but it is at a great cost and Riker for all his right intentions, almost causes a catastrophic incident.

Of course, if you want to split hairs, you can. You can't imagine how the alien race could build star ships if they can't communicate in precise terms. Or more importantly, how would you teach your kids the metaphors and stories if they are born without such knowledge. But the premise is powerful stuff. Not quite Inner Light... but still powerful nevertheless.

ps next episode shows Ensign Ro! :) I had an A Ha moment recently watching Chicago Fire. The mean bureaucrat consultant looked really familiar but I just couldn't place her. Until I googled her. It was Ro!!

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 26, 2014, 00:56
TNG season 5 is out?

Thanks for the info bro! :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 26, 2014, 23:28
TNG season 5 is out?

Thanks for the info bro! :)

Have you started on S4 yet?

For tonight, we watched Last Vegas followed by 3 episodes of TNG S5.

Last Vegas is a pretty light fare. Yes it stars four of Hollywood's greatest acts - DeNiro, Douglas, Freeman and Kline but they all seem to be having a blast making the show. The wit/repartee is funny and they seem to genuinely like each other. I discovered in the behind the scenes stuff that they had never worked with each other before so it is really quite amazing they share such good chemistry.

The story isn't too deep and sadly the trailers reveal a lot of the punchlines and were it not for the strength of the actors, I think the show could have failed terribly. But with the weight of the 4 actors, the scenes didn't seem contrived. Predictable? Yes but a fun ride nevertheless. I think Hangover may be a bigger hit but this one has a lot more heart.

Anyway for TNG S5:
Ensign Ro, Silicon Avatar then Disaster.

I didn't realize Ro Laren was such a big deal that they even named the episode after her :) it wasn't a particularly fast paced episode but a decent amount of time was allocated to develop her character and her newfound friendship with Guinan. The story is a tad predictable, from the plot twist to Picard's ruse. But I can imagine it is necessary to introduce Bajor which would feature as the premise of DS9. But Ro is a strong character. She's half rebel, half Starfleet officer which makes her IMHO a more interesting female character than Crusher/Troi.

Silicon Avatar was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Having watched TNG in series again made me understand the enormity of the crystalline entity more clearly than when I first watched it - when I didn't understand the history of Data/Lore and Omicron Theta and didn't understand why the female scientist's skin crawled every time Data talked. I just think they were trying to do too much - Data's past, the scientist's guilt at losing her son, and the main plot - attempting communication with the entity that has destroyed all life: is it a good or bad thing? I think the last point would be worth exploring further and would have made this episode stronger. Instead, the dilemma was cut short by an act of vengeance.

Disaster marked a refreshing change in pace. The plot never seemed to miss a beat. Everything moved along at progressive frantic pace with the action split into 4 areas - the captain in the turbo lift with a bunch of kids, Riker and Data attempting to get through to Engineering, Deanna being thrust into command on the bridge and finally Keiko and Worf in Ten Forward. I loved Picard's interaction with the kids. You know he's not a "kid" person but he manages to get them to work under his command and get out of a sticky situation. Worf and Keiko trade some brilliant quips while he is perplexed why Keiko's birth does not go according to his computer simulation in school. Hilarious. Even Riker and Data have some funny moments when Riker wires up the wrong cables in Data's head. Only Deanna doesn't get a reprieve when she's forced to make command aka life or death decisions while on the bridge and is clearly out of her element. Oh missed out LaForge and Crusher but that wasn't as memorable as the rest. Ensign Ro makes a comeback as resident *itch :)










Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 27, 2014, 00:54
I'm waiting for all 7 seasons to arrive on blu then do a marathon veg out session ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on January 27, 2014, 22:12
I'm waiting for all 7 seasons to arrive on blu then do a marathon veg out session ;)

I think gotta wait till end of this year?

Anyway, for tonight - Turbo then just one episode from TNG.

Turbo was actually not half bad - and Ryan Reynold here sure beats Ryan Reynold's RIPD that we watched over a week ago. Not quite Ratatouille good but was heck of a lot more enjoyable than Planes.

The Game? Was a bit of a letdown after the last TNG session. The premise is quite weak. I'm not sure the Enterprise with a motley crue of various alien races would all succumb to a silly game that seems designed for the human brain. The highlight? A very young Ashley Judd reprising her role as the engineering ensign. Here, she and Wesley Crusher (back for a holiday) get to some cute-sy, geeky flirting and dating.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: desray on January 28, 2014, 07:19
I think gotta wait till end of this year?

Turbo was actually not half bad - and Ryan Reynold here sure beats Ryan Reynold's RIPD that we watched over a week ago. Not quite Ratatouille good but was heck of a lot more enjoyable than Planes.



+1...I dozed off halfway while watching Planes!!!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on January 28, 2014, 11:09
ps next episode shows Ensign Ro! :) I had an A Ha moment recently watching Chicago Fire. The mean bureaucrat consultant looked really familiar but I just couldn't place her. Until I googled her. It was Ro!!

I didn't realize Ro Laren was such a big deal that they even named the episode after her :) it wasn't a particularly fast paced episode but a decent amount of time was allocated to develop her character and her newfound friendship with Guinan. The story is a tad predictable, from the plot twist to Picard's ruse. But I can imagine it is necessary to introduce Bajor which would feature as the premise of DS9. But Ro is a strong character. She's half rebel, half Starfleet officer which makes her IMHO a more interesting female character than Crusher/Troi.
...

Ensign Ro makes a comeback as resident *itch :)

And the actress did such a nice job she went on to become the ball-breaking admiral commanding the Pegasus in new Battlestar Galactica.  Having said that, she played a completely different role as Rosie Laren's mother in the US The Killing. 
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on January 30, 2014, 00:11
Tonight was Justice League: War

Expected it to be a boring affair but boy was I mistaken. Have not watched a really enjoyable DC universe animation till this. LOL-ed at some of the digs the super heroes made at one another. I have almost forgotten about Shazam. Never heard of Cyborg till now.

Worth a watch  :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/q3F9ASSsHUk&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 01, 2014, 19:14
I thought some of the DC animated movies have been pretty good. Pretty good voice cast too :) Will keep a look out for Justice League War.

Just a quick recap for the last few nights.

On the TNG front we caught the 2 parts of Reunification. The premise was impressive - Sarek returns, and so does Spock. But it feels a bit squandered. For the most part, the political intrigue was quite transparent and there wasn't much to hold the attention of the viewer. But it was great to see the crew in their element - Worf singing Klingon opera? Classic. And the interaction between Spock, Data and Picard was just brilliant. Spock and Picard play off almost a father and son relationship with Picard channelling Sarek. And Spock vs Data on being human vs a being of pure logic.

For CNY, wife wanted a scare fest! So we caught an old Korean horror flick called - Possessed. It's not the usual spooky movie. There was a whodunit embedded inside and it's pretty good as a twist. This was followed by Rigor Mortis. I didn't initially get the homage to Mr Vampire but I definitely recognised the veteran cast. Rigor Mortis is a bit of a mixed bag. I thought the acting was very good, especially the old seamstress. Her path to hell was paved with good intentions and it's so easy to understand where she's coming from. The special effects and the creepy cinematography were also first rate. Can see the influence from the Japanese horror flicks. The only thing I didn't really like was the epilogue - it kinda just discarded all the emotional investment we made at the start of the movie...

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 01, 2014, 23:37
TNG S5 continues with A Matter of Time.

Personally, couldn't wait for it to end. Frewer as a guest seemed incongruent to the themes of Star Trek. I did like the dilemma that was posed of the crew in trying to help a planet stave off the apocalypse but Frewer's antics were annoying as hell. We knew a twist was coming and when it came, it felt rushed.

Followed it up with The Counselor. Ridley Scott at the helm, with Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything it seems.

It's a simple story. But I think they tried to make it too arty.

So for the first hour, it seems, we have various characters moving along at their own paces, seemingly disjointed and unconnected. Now I am OK with that when that device is used well. But with Counselor, it seems like they are just milking it too much that I started losing interest. They are still introducing new characters all the way to the final act and we have no clue who he is and what he is. Worse, the characters often get sidetracked with discussions about the metaphysical without really being prompted, and the audience never quite knows what the main plot is till the end. Pretentious arty? Yeap.

I understand that the characters are all flawed - but even flawed characters can be sympathetic. Except not in this film.

It's really a shame.. the assembled cast were all great. But really let down by the script.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on February 02, 2014, 00:01
Yeah Rigor Mortis was not bad for me too. Felt like an artistic homage of/to Mr Vampire, sans the comedy. Auntie Mui should win an award for her performance.

How come sg no have wok fried glutinous rice? ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 02, 2014, 11:47
Wife highlighted a very interesting documentary/interview on telly and prompted me to watch it. Good thing my TV can work as a PVR with the HDD attached so I just rewound the TV feed and caught up.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/big-ideas/#episode/FA1208H017S00

The person of interest - a TV director, David Petrarca who's talking about how TV is changing. He's here at a convention in Perth.

He talked about the old school network programming and the 6 act - 1 hour episode that WEB hates ;) but the logic behind it is simple - 6 commercial breaks, so you get a climactic peak before each commercial break, that forces you to wait through the commercials to see the conclusion.

He also talked about how movie making has changed. Studios no longer spend small amounts of money on many projects but instead focus their money on big blockbusters that try to have a global reach. So the directors and film makers no longer have free reign as the themes and ideas get watered down so as not to offend any international groups or alienate them because the themes are too alien. In Disney's case, they even fund movies that they see can contribute to their entire machinery - so if there are no movie rides from the movie for their theme parks, it's a no go. Might explain the stinker that is Monsters University.

And then came cable networks which really broke the mould. Because networks didn't need to appeal to such a large audience as regular TV, they were able to appeal to niches, and that attracted big name directors and actors to projects like Soprano which was ground breaking in those days. HBO gave the directors free reign rather than having huge constraints imposed like on regular TV (they could only shoot sex scenes at certain angles etc..)

They weren't limited to 1 hour resolutions and over time, the scale of cable TV series have really grown in scale. The guy mentioned that he gets more time to plan/scout/shoot/edit each episode of Game of Thrones than he does for an equivalent amount of screen time for movies. So if anything cable series now get to have an even larger scale than some movies. Part of that was also due to the switching of TVs from 4:3 to 16:9. He mentioned that when he was on Dawson's Creek, he could only do close ups of faces :P all the widescreen panoramic shots of the scenery all got chopped off.

And now Netflix and Amazon have even gone another step further.

Pretty interesting stuff.

And puts shows like True Detectives in a new light.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 02, 2014, 23:18
Another two-fer tonight :)

Phobia 2 was first. It was a let down, especially compared to how good the first one was. Only highlight was the 5th story :) which was more or less a parody of itself. I did like that they reunited the cast of the camping trip story for the segment.

Then Escape Plan. Honestly surprised how it went straight to video. It's not going to win Best Movie but it was quite funny and the 2 old guys work well together.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 03, 2014, 23:41
In line with our horror-esque movie nights, we did Carrie - the reboot.

Can't say it was particularly scary. I honestly don't recall much of the original but even then, you could easily see where things were headed. There was just no tension.

Followed it up with 3 episodes of TNG.

New Ground is actually one of the first few ST episodes that I do recall watching, if not the first. Wiki said it aired in 1992 but I don't really know when TCS first aired it.. might have been around the time I started work. I remember being confused cos Worf's mum had beamed on board and she was human and Russian... and his son was clearly Klingon like him but with a Russian name.

Anyway, as is the norm by now, the plot has two arcs - the first involving Worf taking on the care of Alexander and the second, the Enterprise is on hand to assist in the trial run of a new form of propulsion - creating a warp speed wave that pushes the vessel in its wake.

Of course things go wrong on both fronts, predictably if you've watched enough episodes. Alexander turns out to be less than stellar a Klingon kid and the experiment goes horribly wrong - destroying the test vessel and is picking up momentum, on track to demolish a settlement in its path.

But the highlights for me were (in no particular order) - the establishment of the Klingon mythology - Kahless and his brother were mentioned by Worf in his attempt to instill the Klingon code in him, unsuccessfully and the really great interaction of Worf and his mother.

Next up - Hero Worship, which I must also have watched around the same time for the first time on TCS that many years ago.

I liked the premise of this - a kid, filled with grief on losing his parents in a disaster on a space vessel, beings attached to Data, mimicking him, after being saved by Data. The main arc - investigating the destruction of said vessel wasn't quite as interesting. I didn't find this kid as annoying as Worf's kid in the last episode - which set the bar pretty low to be honest. I remember thinking Data must feel sad when the kid eventually comes to terms with his grief and slowly detaches from Data. But that's not who Data is. I remember feeling that sadness that he could not feel that.

And finally Violations.

This type of story usually irks me. I don't like it all that much when the twist is revealed too early in the story - and worse, when the crew seem to be behind the curve. In this story, the perp is already known by the audience 5 minutes after the credits and you spend the next 40 minutes or so for the crew to catch up to that conclusion. Not a particularly strong episode - which is also weird why they reused almost the same premise for Star Trek Nemesis.

Hope the next few episodes are better.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on February 04, 2014, 16:37
Followed it up with The Counselor. Ridley Scott at the helm, with Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz. What could possibly go wrong?

It's odd: Ridley Scott seems quite hit-and-miss as a director.  Unlike say David Fincher, where even the mess that was Alien 3 wasn't really his fault (blame studio interference).  Don't get me wrong, I love most of Sir Ridley's work, but it is odd that he's put out as many duds as he has.  I guess the same could be said of Francis Ford Coppola.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 04, 2014, 23:17
Movie night tonight wasn't in the home theatre. It was on the local TV programme. Or rather, it was from a couple of nights ago - a Korean flick called The Frozen Flower but was available for "catch up" using the Viera's online app for SBS channel. So it was a good thing I had the old Denon 4810 hooked up driving a pair of LS50s in the open living area. The plasma TV's speakers suck and while audio quality may not be important for a movie where I am reading subtitles, sound still plays an important role - the tone of the voices, the soundtrack/score for instance.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/A_Frozen_Flower_film_poster.jpg)

Anyway, all we knew about it going in was that it was a highly rated Korean period flick from 2008

Was not expecting how much nudity and scenes of sexual activity was going on. Not just the regular heterosexual variety either. If you thought Brokeback broke barriers, you might want to take a Xanax before this one :P

In any case, it was a pretty interesting story. There's a lot of grey areas here and I like that things aren't always black and white. Like most Korean movies, there's a tendency to be on the melodramatic side but all in all, it's been a good balance.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 07, 2014, 20:10
Just a quick recap.

Unbeatable (a HK/China MMA flick) and from TNG - Masterpiece Society.

Unbeatable was pretty good. Perhaps it's a good thing that the art of cinema in the East haven't adopted the formulaic by the numbers approach of most Hollywood productions today. So this story surprised me several times. Like The Counsellor, the movie starts with 3 different characters who don't seem to have anything in common, but it doesn't take long before their fortunes fail and they all find themselves living in the slums of Macau. And from there, their paths cross. I love that there are hints of Rocky in there. I enjoyed the homage scenes :) and I loved that what you thought was a simple underdog story overcoming the odds a la Rocky takes an unexpected turn.

Masterpiece Society? Not TNG at its best. It tries to rehash themes from previous seasons - Riker in First Contact (the episode not the movie) and Data in Ensigns of Command but falls flat. Most of the guest stars are quite one dimensional including the so called leader. The most fleshed out character was Hannah where she and Geordi find the engineering solution that can save their "genetically controlled" society comes from a piece of tech in Geordi's VISOR - something that would never have been invented in that society. The "dilemma" that Picard faces at the end is a mockery of the Prime Directive concept - which IMHO was much better treated in the 2 earlier episodes I mentioned.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 07, 2014, 23:49
For tonight two episodes of TNG S5 - Conundrum then Power Play.

Conundrum was pretty good in my book actually. And ironically, it's one of those episodes where the audience is ahead of the crew in figuring out who the bad guy was. But here, the hints were subtle.

The Enterprise encounter a ship which performs a scan of the entire ship, and then a split second later, everyone on the bridge has amnesia. And the computer records are wiped clean.

At the end of the credits, we see a new bloke on the bridge and at first, he could very well be one of the other bridge guys who get rotated for duty, though I did notice he had the same number of pips as Riker. It was only later when the crew discovers the hacked personnel database that we realise something is amiss - cos the new crew member is shown as First Officer.

But his presence is low key enough that it isn't in the audience's face, and I found myself rooting for the crew to overcome their mistakes.

I loved what the writers did with Worf after the amnesia :) his insistence that he was the leader ;) and planted himself easily in the captain's chair. Ro and Riker also have a tryst that leads to some awkward moments after the amnesia is cured.

Power Play has Troi, O Brien and Data being possessed by alien entities and trying to take over the ship. Again the audience is made aware of the subterfuge ahead of the crew but the subterfuge is short-lived as the possessed beings reveal their hand too quickly. I can't say I was won over by the acting of faux Troi, O Brien and Data - they were a bit over the top and weren't particularly convincing (especially when they were trying to pretend to be ghosts of Federation crew) but I did enjoy how the Bridge crew tried to out wit the intruders with Ro, Geordi and Riker planning some ingenious workarounds.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 08, 2014, 22:37
We were planning a Chris Helmsworth double bill tonight - Rush then Thor 2.

Rush was.. well, a rush.

Like many, I had heard of Lauda but not of Hunt except in the odd discussion about famous F1 rivalries (usually alongside Senna/Proust and more recently Hamilton/Alonso) so I didn't know what to expect going into this show except it was about the rivalry. I never knew who won 1976 so the ending was as much a surprise to me today. What was amazing is that the OTT and almost unbelievable plot twists were actually REAL events - like Lauda coming back to the race just 2 races after his massive crash or that he stopped racing midway in the last race in Japan. I think Richie Cunningham really knows how to tell a good story. No, Rush didn't make me cry like Apollo 13 did, but the story telling was superb and just had me on the edge of my seat. I expected the story to end after the Japan GP so it was weird seeing the epilogue at the end but in many ways, it tied up the story even more effectively than had it ended at the race.

Thor 2 on the other hand was a snore fest. We couldn't even get past Chapter 9 before deciding to call it a night.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 09, 2014, 23:52
So we finally finished Thor 2 tonight. Can't say it was a satisfying ending. I thought the movie picked up only when Loki and Thor paired up. Loki is really a much more interesting character than Thor. The coda afterwards was confusing as hell. Who the heck is the Collector and who's he working for? And why did the Asgardians trust him!??

In other news, I think we are running through TNG episodes really quickly - Ethics, Powerplay, Outcast, Cause and Effect and finally First Duty.

Ethics was kinda preachy - you know hotshot doc who ignores ethical testing procedures in the name of progress. But it did give the crew some ethical dilemmas of their own - Worf deciding first to end his own life in a harakiri type procedure, Riker asked to overcome his own prejudices to help Worf.

I actually thought Worf would have asked Picard - considering what they went through, like fighting for Worf's family's honour in a previous episode. But using Riker allowed the writers to write in the scene where Riker could consult with Picard. I guess the reverse wouldn't have worked. In previous episodes where an alien way of life was presented as a stark contrast to earth's, I always thought it was courageous of the writers that they allowed the alien custom to win at the end of the day (for instance, when the human boy was adopted by an alien conquerer). This didn't prevail here tho. Worf chose the "human" way in the end. Sorta.

Outcast is also a bit on the preachy side - this time on LGBT rights. I thought that it must have been quite daring for them to even consider a show like this in that era. So props to them for that. But the ending!? That was like a cop out and I thought it really seemed a shame after their bravery to tackle this issue.

Cause and Effect IMHO was much better. It's back to TNG scifi business - this time a time loop ala Ground Hog Day. Like Ground Hog Day, it can be a bit painful when they repeat the same scenes from the umpteenth time, but credit to the DP who actually used a different angle/shot to capture the same scenes so you don't feel the repetition too much. And I loved how Data's cryptic message to himself made sense only at the end. This must be the 3rd or 4th time I have seen this episode and it still gets me, that twist!

And finally, First Duty with Tom Paris in an earlier cameo before Voyager. Apparently the character was the whole basis of Tom Paris :) but apparently it would have meant paying royalties to the writers who came up with this episode in all the seasons of Voyager.

I think First Duty works on many levels. The idea of loyalty is somewhat less well defined than you might think in the Trek-verse and I think it is very well handled here. And of course it was great meeting Boothby for the first time.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 13, 2014, 23:38
With Sochi going on, there wasn't much on telly, so we ended up bingeing on TNG. And we went through the rest of the season in just about 2-3 days.

Even tried watching Helix based on Norman's recommendation. The premise is intriguing, I grant that... shades of Resident Evil meets Contagion, but the writing is just damned lazy. If anything, watching some of the best episodes of TNG in the last few days merely hammered that point home.

First up - Cost of Living. To be honest, it's a bit farcical to talk about TNG's excellent writing in the previous paragraph and then mention this episode in the next. It's a Lwaxana Troi episode and I guess the writers tried to give her a spot after the death of Gene earlier in the filming of this season. But the plot involving Worf's son Alexander and Lwaxana was just grating. The A plot (I'm assuming Alexander and Troi Sr is the B plot) involving a parasitic life form was passable but the OTT Troi and Alexander just made it hard to stomach anything else.

Next up, Perfect Mate which I've always ranked quite highly.. here, Picard falls in love with Xena Onatopp who plays an empath woman. It's interesting that 10 years later, Famke and Stewart would share the screen again in X Men. Picard doesn't really get to show his romantic side, unlike James T Kirk and his alien gf of the week in TOS so the story remained familiar to me. I also particularly fond of the scenes where Riker and Worf became enamoured by Famke when she's in her element ;)

And then Imaginary Friend. As far as "kids stories" on Enterprise goes, it isn't the worse. I did like the premise where an imaginary friend can become real - cue horror movies and I like the way they try to weave in a scifi plot. So overall it works but I never quite got the danger aspect of it. And here Picard tries to out-argue the alien at the end.. not unlike some of the sloppy TOS endings where Kirk talks the computer to death ;)  which IMHO made the episode end on a less than stellar note. On the plus side, Data's discussion on cloud formations with Guinan was well worth the price of admission heh

TNG picks up again with I Borg, when the Enterprise rescue a lone Borg survivor from a crash site and slowly get attached to it. I can't say I'd agree a doctor like Beverley would have been so compassionate about saving a Borg especially after what happened to the crew of the Enterprise in their first few engagements, nearly almost losing Picard but that was the only point for the suspension of disbelief. Once I got over that, the rest of the movie made sense. Why Picard would allow the Borg to be rescued and why they'd want to use the drone as a weapon. I liked the issues it raised.. if your enemy is inhuman, does it mean you have to lose your humanity to fight them. If so, what remains of your own humanity. It's something the US today might need to revisit.

Next up, Next Phase where Geordi and Ro get phased out in a transporter accident and everyone assumes they are dead. It's a nice detective episode and was well paced. I really quite enjoyed it. Data's funeral service for Geordi was pretty good, and not just for an android.

And then Inner Light. I still remember the story quite vividly and yet, when the story reached its climax, I still teared. It's just such a powerful story about a man's life and Stewart just carried that role with authority. The ending as he began playing the notes of his song... as the scene faded to black. Powerful stuff.

And then Time's Arrow. It's now common place to have cliff hangers as season finales and at first I wasn't keen to start on this episode but resistance is futile ;) it starts off with a great twist - they find Data's head in the caverns below San Francisco that looks like it's been deactivated for over 500 years and try to investigate how it could have ended there, plus the caverns were also showing signs of alien activity during that period.

The rest of the story isn't particularly engaging and to be honest, Inner Light is a tough act to follow. So I don't find myself digging through my DVDs to catch the concluding episode next season.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 15, 2014, 23:17
Another double bill tonight.

First up - Very Ordinary Couple

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lMiRr70tXA

http://www.youtube.com/v/2lMiRr70tXA&fs=1

It's not one of the usual Korean thrillers we've been watching but it's not one of those usual rom coms from Korea either. And for that, I think it's worth watching.

Possible spoilers follow...

I think the premise is that sometimes despite our best efforts, some relationships just can't work. Best intentions count for nothing in the end. I was quite surprised that when it ended, the couple went separate ways, though an epilogue kinda left the ending more ambiguous.

End spoilers....



The second movie - Dallas Buyers Club. I can see why Matthew McConnnanevermind has won an Oscar nomination for this role. It's quite a heavy movie and I put off watching it for too long. But it's a powerful story about a man's struggle to fight the system and in the process, finds redemption. From wiki, it does suggest there's some liberty taken with the real life story but the changes made for a very compelling and powerful journey.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on February 16, 2014, 12:15
Lol...his name is always challenging to spell.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 16, 2014, 22:56
Another two-fer tonight :)

First up Enders Game and followed by The Family.

The missus found Enders too kiddy but I thought it was OK. I thought the universe that was created was quite fresh and I did like the ending. They changed a fair bit from the book - in it, Ender never realised he had killed his bullies. Here, he's a bit more introspective and I thought that made the character more interesting. Altho I always find it weird seeing Harrison Ford in villain or anti-hero roles.

The Family hasn't rated particularly highly but I had a good laugh watching it. It's a bit like Goodfellas in a way. There's a comedic element to it, but there's also some dark undertones. De Niro, Jones, Pfeiffer and even the kids were excellent, all bringing their A game. I really liked the part where De Niro had to talk as an expert on American lifestyle during the film festival.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 17, 2014, 22:45
Another double bill tonight.

First up - Very Ordinary Couple

I think I know why I wasn't quite happy when I first started watching this show. The music. The opening scene had a theme playing in the background and it was all too familiar - the love/marriage theme from Up! It was a cheap shot - they borrowed the music (i'd say rip off) so you'd try to picture the couple in the same light. But it was a really pathetic attempt to tug at the heart strings and the opening act just could not accomplish what Pixar did in their first act - and with only pixels and computers, no less.

Anyway, another Korean flick tonight - Memories of Murder. This is a pretty old show now from 2003. It's actually an account of a real life crime spree - a serial murder/rapist in a countryside part of Korea.

The story is interspersed with stories of Korea in the 80s and it's sometimes quite amazing to see how fast they've managed to grow. 80s Korea was filled with student riots, military rule and portrayed here, police brutality, although it is depicted here as a cultural divide between the "privileged uni kids" vs the less well educated cops. Guess Korea didn't need an LKY ;) if you think about how far they've come from the 80s till today, it's embarrassing when Singapore leaders still try to sell the Singapore success story. If general sentiment is to be believed, it's more like downhill since the 90s.

Like with Korean flicks, there's a tendency to try to throw humour even into a subject as serious as this. So it can be a bit incongruent at times. I think it's only more recently with Man from Nowhere and I Saw The Devil where they remain focused on the serious stuff. Others like Secretly Greatly still try to put in some comedic elements in there.

My main take away from the show - why does Korea have a statute of limitation for murder?? It doesn't make sense. I first saw it in Confessions of Murder and more recently, Montage. Sadly, it's also the case depicted in this movie. The statute of limitations ran out and the case is now closed - still unsolved.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 18, 2014, 17:14
Had an early day today so watched Justice League Flash Paradox.

It was in a reimagined universe where Kal El crash lands in Metropolis and is taken captive by the government, and where Bruce Wayne is killed instead of his father, and the Batman mantle is now worn by Thomas Wayne. Pretty interesting premise tho not being a DC fanboy, I wasn't able to tell who some of the superheros were in this new reality.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 18, 2014, 23:19
Finally got around to watching Berlin File. I like that the writer/director didn't try to inject too much romance or melodrama into the show. It was a pretty good intense action flick with shades of Bourne (the original 3) thrown in. The plot gets way too complex for its own good, so there are red herrings here and there. Had to pause and explain who was who for the missus a few times :D

The last shootout was a bit too drawn out, I think. But I did love how the movie closed.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 20, 2014, 22:49
Tonight - we finally caught The World's End.

I am surprised my wife got through watching it till the end ;) she didn't through the Franco end of world epic.

To be honest, it wasn't Pegg and Frost's finest hour. Shawn and Hot Fuzz were brilliantly paced from start to finish.

End showed promise - I liked the beginning and the premise, but with Shawn and Fuzz, the twist was MAJOR. Something I was not expecting and bam, the emotional impact was huge. I think End gave too much away before the twist. Where it didn't sit well with me was the ending. It just seemed a tad off pace from the pair's usual delivery.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 21, 2014, 23:54
We saw a TV show earlier showcasing this new house built on the Great Ocean Road that reminded us of The Lake House, so decided to put that disc on for tonight's movie night.

It's from 8 years ago now but I still love the movie, the music and the themes. It's a Hollywood-ised ending vs the original Korean version but it just felt right.

Must go find the soundtrack. It's brilliant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXipWDRZme0

http://www.youtube.com/v/QXipWDRZme0&fs=1

Followed it up with Free Birds. Not a brain taxing movie but Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson were pretty funny in this pairing.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 22, 2014, 23:14
12 Years A Slave tonight.

Man, it is a really difficult movie to get through. It's sometimes disheartening how low humanity can sink. I didn't realise slave owners pretty much did "hire purchase" of slaves though. I can see how they were so vehement in their ownership rights.

In some small respect, I also see how easy it is for the rich today to discard the rights of the less well off in the name of "job creation". It's not slavery per se, but the same strains of selfishness and inhumanity are present. Maybe we haven't progressed as much as we'd like.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on February 23, 2014, 23:03
Another Korean double bill tonight.

Both oldies ;)

Gabi - ie Coffee is a Korean period drama about the influence of Russian and Japanese empires towards the end of a dynasty of Korea. Not a bad flick but there was a lot of political intrigue that I feel wasn't properly conveyed by the English subs.

And the second, Il Mare. We watched it years ago - possibly on DVD or VCD but I think the subs were terrible. This newer BD release has better English subs so I thought it made a bit more sense but like WEB, I felt it fell short of Lake House.

First, a "bonus". It's been so many years since I watched the show that I was surprised by the two leads. The girl, obviously was Gianna Jun (that's what she calls herself these days), of My Sassy Girl fame. I had just seen her in The Berlin File a few nights back. Amazed she's hardly aged at all :) The male lead? I was stunned. He's the main character in New World. He's aged a lot more but I think he carried himself very well in his later roles.

Anyway, here's where I felt Il Mare fell flat. I never got the feeling the two were really in love. The male lead always seemed like he was just amused by her. And the female? She was still pining for her last boyfriend. The sudden jumps in the target of her affections make the romance feel less than valuable. I don't think we ever felt the relationship was worth rooting for.

I think Keanu and Sandra did a much better job convincing us they were in love. Even though Sandra "settled" first, you could see she wasn't really happy.

Plus the scene when Gianna realised she had witnessed his death was too sudden. I liked how in Lake House, it was subtle and indirectly led to Sandra Bullock going back to the Lake House after the trauma, kicking off the whole story. Here, everything reset and the timeline shifted but in this version, Gianna had never met that guy so there was no emotional pay off.

I don't think Hollywood remakes normally gets it right. But in this case, I'll have to hand it off to the team who did Lake House.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 05, 2014, 00:49
Yug Ylimaf tonight.

Wonder if anyone can guess what it is without googling or having watched it before  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 05, 2014, 09:40
Not sure what it is but its just family guy backwards, no?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 05, 2014, 10:51
You are good bro. It is indeed Family Guy spelt backwards. This particular episode deals with reverse time travelling. Worth a watch imho.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 05, 2014, 11:04
I remember this episode :) But I wasn't familiar with the episode name
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: siesta on March 05, 2014, 11:32
Did you end up following True Detective? It has been a while since the weekly waits between episodes been so painfully long for me. Monday can't come soon enough.
Who is the Yellow King????

Caught a new TV series tonight - True Detective. It's by HBO and stars some really big names in showbiz - people you'd normally associate with movies rather than the small screen - Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

The story telling is a bit slow. We watch a full episode for the pilot before getting straight to the kicker punch line. And unlike most pilots, it's a single episoder.. where it could have benefitted a longer exposition.

But the acting is great. McConaughey and Harrelson are both in their game.

The story is told in flashback. Both characters are interviewed in 2012, and as they recount an old case from 1995, we have flashbacks of the guys from that period. It is a decent bit of make up and camera work to date the flashbacks in a slight sepia-ish tone to create that dated look and for both guys to really look 15 years younger. The first time they encounter the crime scene, it's like something out of Hannibal.

Overall, I'm not quite sure if I am following this series. As I said, the pacing is glacially slow but the 2 actors are good and the twists/detective work is fairly interesting. Maybe I've been spoiled by too much CSI speedy gonzales sleuthing. Real crime is probably that much slower to solve.

(http://www.hggirlonfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/true-detective-poster.jpg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roiKrE5KLbk

http://www.youtube.com/v/roiKrE5KLbk&fs=1

We followed it up with Riddick. We'd practically forgotten the last 2 movies but they did at least try to bridge the 2 movies. I remember watching Chronicles years ago not knowing if it was a prequel or sequel to Pitch :P

Overall, not a great movie. Stilted lines, wooden acting, and 1 dimensional villains. Even showing Starbuck*'s tits didn't improve things :)



*reboot
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 05, 2014, 23:14
I am still following True Detectives but it is a real effort IMHO. It's not that the stories aren't compelling. It's just that the southern drawl that the actors put on is just too hard to penetrate :) I find myself wishing I had subtitles half the time.

Anyway was reminded that there were a few missing posts since the server migration, so off the top of my head, here goes, in no particular order:

First up the 2 animated shows. Despicable Me 2 - IMHO not really a great movie tho I can see the fascination with the minion franchise juggernaut :) It's a shame the girls and Gru don't IMHO get much of a character development, and the villain IMHO wasn't really fleshed out either. Why retire and fake his own death? Why the return? How does the son figure into the equation? Etc. Instead, it was a minion overload. Granted, the minions are funny and they got me the most chuckles but this is a movie, not really a TV show so you really wish there was a bit more substance. I also watched Free Birds based on a recommendation of a friend. I don't think I'll trust his recommendations in the future ;) Maybe he was watching it as a doting father of two toddlers. Yes, there were some haha moments in there, and the premise was interesting - Turkeys travelling back in time to the first Thanksgiving to get turkeys off the menu ;) but the story was IMHO quite predictable and you just bided your time till the ending.

Next up, some Oscar nominees.

American Hustle - it was slick and funny. I really liked Christian Bale breaking the Bruce Wayne mould for this role. Was that a fat suit or did he really put on that much weight? I can see why Dallas won the awards though. I think the biggest challenge they had on Hustle was there was really no one character the audience identified with. They were all antiheroes and I think it was hard to root for anyone in particular.

The Book Thief on the other hand was robbed. I really loved the movie. It was touching and compelling. The kid should have won Best Actress. Heck even Geoffrey Rush should have won something. Did they even win the soundtrack Oscar? I think it was just nominated cos it was a Williams effort but it wasn't imho the highlight of the movie and definitely didn't have the same emotional impact of Schindler's List.

Was originally planning on those two for my Oscar double bill but The Book Thief was too heavy so we split it up for two nights and used some light fillers to make up the double bills :)

First up was Thanks For Sharing. It wasn't too complex or cerebral but the characters were generally quite easy to digest. Nothing too shocking. I liked the chemistry between Paltrow and Ruffalo but thought Paltrow's role was a bit too "perfect" for the most part and didn't seem as realistic. The Pink storyline was a good B story arc.

The second light movie we chose was On His Majesty's Secret Service an old HK flick. My wife and I quite enjoyed Mr and Mrs Incredible which also had the pairing of Louis Koo and Sandra Ng and thought we might like this movie which had the same couple. But the comedy was a bit too contrived in OHMSS, even with our lowered expectations. I blame the Chinese ;) I think with funding from Mainland China, there was some pressure to put in some mainland actors in the movie and man, those guys can't act to save their lives. The second male lead - supposedly the skilled martial artist - was wooden (Benedict Goh, you are forgiven!!) and the second female lead was not much better.

(http://culturalcringe.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/bengoh4-jpeg.jpg?w=510)

Even with the original Guo Jing in a cameo, the movie could not be saved...

(http://i57.tinypic.com/30iw2h0.jpg)

(http://i60.tinypic.com/2il1see.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 06, 2014, 00:13
Dh, your last pic stirred up something within me. I have a sudden and inexplicable urge to watch this again:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/5e/New_Heavenly_Sword_and_Dragon_Sabre.jpg/200px-New_Heavenly_Sword_and_Dragon_Sabre.jpg)

 ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 06, 2014, 12:10
Anywhere to get this online? :) wouldn't mind a rewatch of those old 80s series starting with Condor Heroes 1 and 2

Preferably with english subs.

ps I read that the author revised the endings in Heaven Sword in his novels after this show.

It's been so long and my Cantonese was 1/2 past six (still is), so I suspect I must have not gotten most of the plot intricacies - like the heaven sword and dragon sabre was wielded by the hero in Condor. Really!???

I remember trying to watch some of the reboots but they never quite drew me in.

Damn speaking of old shows, I can't find that old video of wan dao by mrbrown.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 06, 2014, 12:27
I doubt the actor-in-an-eagle suit can pass muster now  ;D

That said... This is the definitive version. I still have the original VCDs  :o
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 10, 2014, 23:11
Had a movie over the XP downtime :) and another one tonight

First was the Thai horror flick - Long Weekend. I thought it struck a pretty good balance between horror and humour. As expected, there was a twist ending tho I can't say I expected it till the very last scene. I thought the twist was quite good but wife felt it was cheating.

Tonight, we continue with another selection from Asian cinema - The Face Reader. My wife is a sucker for these Korean period dramas and I have to say, Korean history has as much great material as the Chinese. This one used the plot device of a "fortune teller" who can tell a person's character by reading his face to weave a political intrigue about a coup overthrowing the emperor. It's weird to see the Il Mare lead again in the role of a villain but he's very good here as well.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 12, 2014, 00:23
Damn speaking of old shows, I can't find that old video of wan dao by mrbrown.

Sounds intriguing bro. Do post if you find it  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 17, 2014, 00:15
We finally got back to watching some movies tonight, with mostly TV catch up earlier in the week.

For tonight - Andy Lau's back in FireStorm and then Wolf of Wall Street.

I can't say I enjoyed FireStorm all that much. True the action sequences and sound effects and pretty damn good. There's some noticeable CGI at work but they work well enough not to be cringeworthy. The shoot out scenes are fast and furious but are excellently placed in the soundstage of my room with bullets whizzing across all the 11 speakers back and forth, I almost felt the need to duck :)

I think where it failed me was in the character development - there are some characters that just pop up for 2 minutes of screen time but are there just to move the plot along - the asthmatic kid for instance. I did like the premise of Andy Lau's character's descent into darkness, crossing the line between right and wrong but I don't think it was explored well enough. And the final action scene seemed like it was designed to cram as many bullets, as many dead people into one shot as they could. The opening scene was much better. I loved how well the baddies coordinated the first heist and there was a lot of smarts in that scene. The final shoot out was just a blood bath for its own gory sake, I thought.

On then to Wolf. Geez this movie was 3 hours long!?? I am glad I watched it at home so I could take a break to get more coffee, loo breaks etc :) I really don't know how to rate the show though. At times, I thought it was a satire. I did like the idea of breaking the fourth wall to draw the audience in. But in the end, I thought the writer was trying to much to paint a sympathetic picture of himself. He tried to make it look like he sold out to the Feds because his wife turned on him or that his friend turned on him when I suspect it's just something as simple as saving his own bacon. I didn't think the show was robbed at the Oscars - not as much as Hustle. I think Matthew McC deserved his Oscar (even if he did ramble on ;)) but boy is he prolific this year - after Dallas, he's had True Detective and I had no idea he was also in this movie.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Audio on March 17, 2014, 12:05
I saw the wolf too.

Simply love it because I really feel it funny.  I should be selling all my stocks soon...  :)   I couldn't help but laughed out loudly when he tried to steer his yatch to rescue his $20 million that Aunt Emma had left.  :)   I really think everything had been exaggerated but it's really fun!!

Not to be watched with kids or with any female friends who might find the sexual scenes uncomfortable.  I already heard from 2 female colleagues who's complaining about this movie after watching it with their male friends; unaware of the content.

Picture quality is really great!!   

(Audio)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 17, 2014, 22:27
I admit to laughing at the ridiculousness of it all as well but I guess his attempts to whitewash his crime just didn't sit well. In particular, the epilogue - showed he was still contemptuous of "normal" people who are honest about what they are selling.

Anyway for tonite - mainly TV but because we started early, we could squeeze in one movie - Frozen. I honestly can't tell why this has been so highly acclaimed. I guess I miss the days of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz - their pairing brought some excellent melodies and lyrics. I think on some level, the music in Frozen is technically difficult - but it just isn't as "soul lifting" as the Menken/Schwartz combo. Heck, even Elton John's stepping in for Lion King felt grander.

Kirsten Bell does a pretty good job here, as does Edina Menzel but again I can't quite shake the feeling that The Croods had more interesting characters than this. Except maybe for Olaf - he was hilarious :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 23, 2014, 00:07
Made up for the lack of updates with a weekend movie marathon.

47 Ronin, Walking with Dinosaurs and then an old Korean thriller - The Chaser.

47 Ronin and Walking with Dinosaurs really just reminded me of Plinkett's Revenge of the Sith review that just came out not too long ago. I remember jdc sending me the links for the review of Phantom Menace a few years ago and I only watched them when I was in a free wifi zone in MacDonalds in Kowloon while waiting for my wife to finish shopping. I think all the HKers must have been wondering who the blithering idiot was who kept laughing at his computer.

Admittedly, Plinkett's final review of the original trilogy isn't as epic as his original but it still bears watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABcXyZn9xjg

http://www.youtube.com/v/ABcXyZn9xjg&fs=1

Plinkett obviously went through all the special features and behind the scenes documentaries of the trilogy and picked up some very salient points about Lucas' movie making.

Plinkett basically called Lucas a lard ass director. In every shot of him behind the scenes, you see Lucas sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee. And if that's not lazy enough, he uses just two cameras and shoots them simultaneously so he doesn't have to shoot the same scene from the reverse angle. It's always two people walking, stopping/sitting down to talk.. then angle/reverse angle. It's uncanny how many scenes are like that and the same angles repeat. And repeat and repeat. When Anakin tells Mace Windu that he thinks Palpatine is a Sith, there was no urgency. The same 2 cameras just show the 2 characters just walking back leisurely. For all of Star Trek 2009 reboot's failings, this wasn't one of them. When Kirk recognises that the Vulcan distress signal and the Klingon distress signal are related, he rushes to the bridge to alert them and the camera follows their frantic rush.

Part of the reason why Lucas shoots this way was because of the blue/green screen. Basically Mace and Anakin are just walking in a green room with very limited space and the computer just fills the background later. So for all of the freedom that CGI affords you, Lucas seemed crippled by it when shooting the live action sequences. It's a shame that Lucas never picked his foibles from the original trilogy days. In a special feature from Ep4, an editor admitted that Lucas' editing was quite monotonous and that he had to re-edit those scenes to improve the pace/story.

The other problem with CGI is that the actors really have no idea what they are playing against. When Obi Wan faces off against Grievious, he is smiling when Grievious casually removes his robes and does some fancy sword play which adds nothing to the story. Ditto with the extended fight scene between the two of them. It's inconsequential because it doesn't feel real and there's no sense of involvement or emotional investment. It's just 2 cartoon characters duking it out.

Contrast this with the scenes from the original trilogy - when Lucas was in the desert and on the sets and in the face of the elements.

Which brings me to 47 Ronin. It suffers from a similar failing of CGI. I know CGI can look photo realistic but there's just something about the effect that doesn't quite trick the brain, so you aren't completely sold or immersed in the story.

You know it's not Japan that they are showing in the movie and the dragon is all make belief.

That said, I didn't dislike the movie. Granted the pacing was uneven, but I did like the lack of Hollywood endings. The heroes regained their honour at the end of the movie and were no longer ronins, but it also meant death by the bushido code for disobeying the emperor.

Walking with Dinos suffered a little from the CGI fakery but because there was no limitation with the live action actors, it was a bit easier to get more interesting camera angles which didn't look as staid as Phantom. Justin Long's character was quite easy to like and identify with. And the John Leguizamo was hilarious as Alex. I did like that they didn't try to make the dinos look human (like with the Disney movie from some years back). And they didn't make the dino mouths move like they were talking. It provided them with a way to tell a story for the younger kids but allowed the dino geeks to tell a real story.

And then Chaser. Flippin' heck. I had not expected such a violent show. In this show, an ex-cop now pimp encounters a serial killer who targets prostitutes when a few of his girls go missing. At first he thinks the girls had run away. And at first he thinks the suspect might have sold them off as slaves. But it is far more sinister than he realises. Through the ineptness of the police force and the prosecutor, the murderer is released even though he had confessed to the killings, and proceeds to kill again, finishing off his victim who had managed to escape while he was in custody. It was heartbreaking and disturbing. And even worse, it was based off a real serial killer in Korea in early 2000s.


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 23, 2014, 15:31
Sounds intriguing bro. Do post if you find it  :)

It's the same song ;) but I think it's been uploaded quite recently. Any idea who the singer is and what album it's from?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkpNjELGWXM

http://www.youtube.com/v/xkpNjELGWXM&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on March 23, 2014, 19:26
just wanted to echo your thoughts on The Chaser - the same director also did The Yellow Sea, which is another very tense, thrilling & depressing movie. the bad guy from The Chaser is unrecognisable in The Yellow Sea where he plays the protagonist.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 23, 2014, 23:08
It's the same song ;) but I think it's been uploaded quite recently. Any idea who the singer is and what album it's from?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkpNjELGWXM

http://www.youtube.com/v/xkpNjELGWXM&fs=1

You keep bringing me down memory lane  8)

I remember watching this and several other TVB period dramas in the 80s, with my sister beside me on the sofa, glued to the TV which was about 1 metre from our faces (that probably explains our severe astigmatism  ;D).
We would take turns changing the VHS tapes rented from the shop near our flat. Occasionally, I had to remove the VCR cover to clean the dirty tape head with tissue made damp with my saliva.  :P

I believe the song is by zhen ni. Boy, it is good to hear these familiar tunes again.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 23, 2014, 23:14
Wife's having a short lull in her PhD research so we had an afternoon matinee, followed by the usual two-fer in the evening.

For the afternoon - White Storm, followed by Kahaani and Blood and Ties in the evening.

White Storm is IMHO a better HK flick than FireStorm. It's perhaps a coincidence that the theme of CGI destroying movies carries over in this movie. Yes, White Storm does employ CGI but for the most part, the action sequences are filmed in real locations - in Bangkok, in a dingy apartment block in Kowloon etc and there's a much more realistic and gritty feel to the show.

I was thrown for a loop midway through White Storm thinking it was odd for the movie to end on such a downer but that was only the first act. The second act seemed a bit incredulous at first but ends with a decently stylistic (if typical) HK gangster flick shootout - thousands die, millions of bullets are expended.

What I liked - that they referenced themes that many Gen Xers would identify with (at least those who grew up watching HK wuxia TV shows). The 3 main characters do a pretty neat modernised version of Adam Cheng's old song "誓要入刀山" and it is pretty brilliant when they played it in the finale shootout :)

Here's the original
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROZ_113ndBU

http://www.youtube.com/v/ROZ_113ndBU&fs=1

And here's the remix
http://www.56.com/u95/v_MTAwODQyMjc2.html

Also memorable was Nick making out with a post op lady boy :P

http://www.youtube.com/v/ljedoOWAhLc&fs=1
I think he washed his mouth with water just after the scene.

For the evening, finally convinced the missus to watch Kahaani. And luckily WEB delivered ;)

It was an excellent movie - a bit reminiscent of Unknown with Liam Neeson - but the ending was quite out of this world. I think it's going to be difficult to discuss this without spoilers but suffice to say - WEB is right! Go watch it.

Then we had another Korean thriller - Blood and Ties. A fresh graduate finds herself suspecting her father was the uncaught kidnapper/murderer of a young boy 15 years ago. Like with a few similar shows, the premise is based on a statute of limitation running out for the crime. Unlike most similar movies, the focus isn't on the cops trying to break the case but on the girl's suspicions - is she imagining the link or is her father really that sinister?

I did find the ending disturbing. It's not a typical Hollywood ending - very few Korean shows are - but it paints much more 3 dimensional characters who aren't just villains or heroes, but with multiple shades in between.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 23, 2014, 23:20
You keep bringing me down memory lane  8)

I remember watching this and several other TVB period dramas in the 80s, with my sister beside me on the sofa, glued to the TV which was about 1 metre from our faces (that probably explains our severe astigmatism  ;D).
We would take turns changing the VHS tapes rented from the shop near our flat. Occasionally, I had to remove the VCR cover to clean the dirty tape head with tissue made damp with my saliva.  :P

I believe the song is by zhen ni. Boy, it is good to hear these familiar tunes again.

Yeah we almost had a break in when my sisters and I were watching the show in my parents' bedroom (with air-conditioning on) through the entire day and the house was all dark. I heard a noise downstairs, and thought it was my parents coming back so we quickly switched off and went downstairs :D it was enough to frighten the burglars. But we didn't know it at the time. We saw no one downstairs and went back to watching the show! :P

ps don't you love the cheesy (schwing) sound every time he removed the sabre from the scabbard? ;)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 23, 2014, 23:30
Hahaha yes bro the exaggerated schwing sound was/is so iconic.

Sorta like the loud (bish) sound of a punch in old bollywood movies. I wonder if bollywood still uses it. Probably not.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 23, 2014, 23:34
Hahaha yes bro the exaggerated schwing sound was/is so iconic.

Sorta like the loud (bish) sound of a punch in old bollywood movies. I wonder if bollywood still uses it. Probably not.

And that toy was a menace, man!! Dunno how many times my pinky got caught in the flip down mechanism :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on March 23, 2014, 23:53

For the evening, finally convinced the missus to watch Kahaani. And luckily WEB delivered ;)

It was an excellent movie - a bit reminiscent of Unknown with Liam Neeson - but the ending was quite out of this world. I think it's going to be difficult to discuss this without spoilers but suffice to say - WEB is right! Go watch it.


Very glad to know you like it and that my reputation is intact :)

Kahaani was my way back into Bollywood after many disappointments.

Alamak... With regard to White Storm I made a mistake again. You are right. The theme they sang is from 倚天屠龙记. WTF I am so disappointed with myself. I went from 楚留香 to 陆小凤  ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 24, 2014, 22:16
Another day. Another Louis Koo movie.

Here he is partnered again with Sean Lau

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/94/Out_of_Inferno_poster.jpg/220px-Out_of_Inferno_poster.jpg)

Having just watched the Korean movie The Tower not too long ago, I can't help shaking off this is a remake of The Tower that I watched a couple of months back

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ad/The_Tower2012-poster.jpg/220px-The_Tower2012-poster.jpg)

Most of the beats/elements are very similar to The Tower. But it is to the credit of the Oxide brothers and the two lead actors that they managed to go beyond just a disaster movie.

I also found it interesting the movie is based in China (Guangzhou) rather than HK.

I tink Sean Lau is typecast these days. He could be the same character he played in White Storm ;) Ditto with Louis Koo. But the same dynamics also play out here - as a source of conflict and also how it is resolved.

I didn't think it was as polished or well crafted as White Storm but it is a commendable effort.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on March 25, 2014, 10:02
just wanted to echo your thoughts on The Chaser - the same director also did The Yellow Sea, which is another very tense, thrilling & depressing movie. the bad guy from The Chaser is unrecognisable in The Yellow Sea where he plays the protagonist.

I have both but couldn't find time to watch them! :P  I recently got the Thieves and Pieta in my Korean movies collection waiting for me too! :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: InnocentBlood on March 25, 2014, 10:26
I have both but couldn't find time to watch them! :P  I recently got the Thieves and Pieta in my Korean movies collection waiting for me too! :)

Chaser & Yellow Sea will make an excellent double bill but will leave you emotionally exhausted & depressed. i thought the chase scenes in Yellow Sea were very well done and very realistic, especially where the cars crash into one another.

there's actually a Bollywood remake of The Chaser and needlessly to say, it's a bloody embarrassment to the original Korean film... :p
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 28, 2014, 22:19
Walter Mitty hits the home screen tonight.

Wife wasn't entirely bowled over by the story :) but loved the scenery.

Me? I dunno. Kinda uneven I thought. I think as WEB mentioned, Ben Stiller made some dubious choices in there for the sake of comedy - the Benjamin Button scene, and hitting the sign post in Iceland.. I thought it broke the pace of the movie and where it was headed. I've been told that daydreaming about saving the day is something every guy goes through at one stage or another :) so I think most guys can identify with that aspect. And I think inside, I cheered for him when he stopped his daydream and began living his life -- and then hopped on that plane to Greenland with nothing but his briefcase.

But for all my daydreams, I can't say it's ever been that crippling to anyone the way Walter goes through life, though.

After the show, wife and I googled Life and read of its sad end. I remember having to catalog Life magazines in my old school library and even though I was in a school halfway across the world, Life was a shared heritage that to me, transcended borders. It survived two generations but today, only lives on as a google image archive. I don't have any kids but I wonder if some of my friends' kids will grow up not knowing what a magazine like Life or Nat Geo is can is capable of.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 29, 2014, 21:53
Tonight - The Four.

Perhaps it's because most of the cast were relative unknowns, I had trouble keeping track of who's who in this show. The Dept 6 boss looked a lot like the villain who looked a lot like the Prince :P

We were almost about to give up halfway with all the meandering that was going on and because of the XMen rip off - there was a character that was a mix between Wolverine and the Hulk, a Xavier like telepath etc etc and it didn't help that the big bad was already revealed very early on.

In other news, we finished up the first season of Helix. Good twist happened midway through the last episode. Did not expect that. And then a bigger twist just at the very end. Can't wait for 2015.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 30, 2014, 23:24
The Four 2.

Overall, it seems better paced and scripted than the original. But you can see the director has pilfered from Hollywood liberally. The underground prison looked a lot like the Caves of Moria or any of the underground caverns in the Hobbit series. I swear I saw Wolverine's claws used in a scene and obviously there are numerous XMen like powers include Mystique's. Still, the mystery is at least a bit more drawn out (even if it is still relatively predictable).

I realise these movies are based off a novel written by a Malaysian writer. But I wonder if his original text also plagiarised that much of Western comics or was this just a bad text to screen transcription?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on March 30, 2014, 23:28
Walty Mitty charmed me. Fav scene was him freely skateboarding down the winding road. Wish I could do that.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on March 30, 2014, 23:45
Walty Mitty charmed me. Fav scene was him freely skateboarding down the winding road. Wish I could do that.

Yes that scene was awesome :)

tho I felt it didn't add that much to his character (when you realised why the hotel manager was yelling at him).

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 04, 2014, 22:00
The missus read about "hot Jesus" a couple of weeks ago so finally got our hands on the History Channel mini series - The Bible. Parts of it have been adapted for a movie about Jesus and it's being aired in the states.

We skipped the Old Testament and went straight to the New Testament story and I thought it was an interesting way of narrating the story with live action and sfx. Even though it was a mini series, my wife and I nitpicked the editing done :) we thought it was a shame the story of John the Baptist was never fully told or that they never really showed the sermon on the mount much.

A couple of times, we also nit picked the accuracy of the events - like the appearance of the Magi which is traditionally depicted at the same time as the adoration of the shepherds but isn't believed to be at the same time.

We are now coming to the Last Supper and so far, a few things jumped out at us.
a. they do make it a point to portray Peter as the lead disciple, even though the Bible often mentions John as the one that Jesus loved the most. We saw Peter being asked to join Jesus but we never see the rest - well, except Matthew the tax collector.
b. they also depicted Mary Magdalene as one of his disciples who followed him, like she was one of the apostles. I don't know if that's from Da Vinci Code or from the Bible, really ;)

Think we might go back and watch from Episode 1 and cover the Old Testament.

But for a change in pace, we finally watched Frequency. Which is ironic because Jim Caviezel was also the actor who played Jesus in the other Jesus movie :)

I have to say the years have been good on Caviezel. He actually looks better playing the lead protagonist in Person of Interest than here (filmed about 14? years ago).

Here, he's a bit gawky. I mean he's a really tall guy and from his posture, it seems like he's a bit unsure/uncertain/insecure about his height so his gait and his poses are gangly. Not like the uber confident way he struts and holds his height even against a shortie like Sarah Shahi.

Watching it again after so many years, I can still remember the main beats of the movie but because I had forgotten the details, some of the plot elements still surprised me. But it also meant I noticed the plot flaws a lot more this time.

I did think the make up artists here deserve some kudos. I thought they managed to age Dennis Quaid and the actor who played the old cop buddy of Quaid very well. They did look like they aged 30 years when the movie transitioned between the 2 time periods. Ditto with the actress who played the mother.

And here's something I didn't know

Michael Cena was in this movie!!! He had like one scene - he plays the son of Caviezel's best friend who discovers the old CB Radio.
(http://superiorpics.com/movie_pictures/mp/2000_Frequency/noah_emmerich_michael_cera_james_caviezel_frequency_001.jpg)

ps I was rummaging through my music library not too long ago when I (re)discovered that Garth Brooks sang the theme song from the movie and it's been on one of my frequently played playlists ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60l-teEf8SA

http://www.youtube.com/v/60l-teEf8SA&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: armoury on April 05, 2014, 00:47
I have to say the years have been good on Caviezel. He actually looks better playing the lead protagonist in Person of Interest than here (filmed about 14? years ago).

Agreed, there are some actors who look better in their 40s than they did as young men.  The ultimate example is probably George Clooney, others would be Richard Gere (although he always looked good), and oddly enough Eric Roberts -- I just saw him in an episode of Justified and he now looks better than he did, excepting of course the slightly heftier girth.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 07, 2014, 00:00
Another weekend, another double bill.

Tonight, Legend of Hercules followed by another Korean flick, Commitment

Legend of Hercules proves that copying another epic doesn't equal success. Honestly, Legend plays out by the numbers, copying copiously and slavishly from Gladiator and 300. Lutz lacks charisma, gravitas or the conviction to play the reimagined Hercules who is a gladiator fighter turned general. His war speech is a pale shadow of Crowes and brings cringes. The fight scenes appear to be heavily CGI-ed and never once, do you feel there's any real danger or suspense.

The upside? It's a relatively short film so you don't have to prolong the agony.

Commitment on the other hand, saved the night :)

It's an excellent paced spy movie that uses the North/South Korean conflict as the stage. I liked that unlike the other recent Korean spy movie (Secretly Greatly something), this one doesn't try to incorporate romance or comedy. It keeps an even tone through out and is IMHO all the better for it.

The fight scenes are superbly choreographed and believable. And the plot twists are reasonably well written.

Well worth a watch IMHO.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a8/Commitment_poster.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 07, 2014, 00:02
speaking of Hercules.. this is possibly the best Hercules movie ever to be filmed :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/1sHCnvgpeKM&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sHCnvgpeKM

Trust me.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 08, 2014, 23:04
No one watched the full movie of Hercules Returns? :) way better than the Kellen Lutz one!! Promise.

The sound effects was also pretty special ;)

Anyway, we have another double bill tonight and both IMHO were superb.

We had Grudge Match or Raging Bull meets Rocky up on the playlist first.

But let's set some ground rules. This isn't Rocky. Or Raging Bull. I'd argue it's more of a family movie than an action movie. But both the characters draw inspiration from their Rocky/Raging Bull personas.

It may not pack a big punch like its spiritual forefathers, but it's got a lot of heart. I loved how well the two characters played off each other and also De Niro's interaction with his illegitimate son and grandson. Honorable mention also has to go to Alan Arkin for channelling Burgess Meredith, and making the character his own.

Stallone and Kim Bassinger's chemistry was possibly the only downer in this movie.

If you go into the movie expecting a remake of Rocky or Raging Bull, you'll be sorely disappointed. But I love how Match plays homage to them. Both of them aren't exactly spring chickens and you can't expect to punch with the ferocity and speed of their youth. But the in jokes and references are aplenty and I enjoyed them tremendously. I'm also impressed with how much weight De Niro lost during the course of the movie. I might just be shamed into action ;)

And then, we went east with Miracle in Cell No. 7.

And I proceeded to bawl my eyes out. Damn those Koreans with their touching melodrama. I won't give too many secrets away except to say watch it. Yes, it was melodramatic and yes, some of the scenes are over the top (in particular - spoilers in white - the balloon scene and the extended scene just before the execution which I felt was too drawn out - but you know what, even those small niggles didn't get in the way of the waterworks).
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 13, 2014, 22:55
Man of Tai Chi tonight

You know, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. :)

I get that Tiger and Keanu are friends in real life and I know there are things you'll do for a friend but let's face it - Tiger isn't lead material. Jackie Chan may not have the looks but he's always had humour. Tiger does not.

So I was disappointed with the fight scenes. I get that they were going for authentic but Bruce Lee once said - what's good for real life fighting isn't good for the cinema so the fight scenes just lacked tension and suspense. Which is weird because it's got his sifu Yuen choreographing.

But I did like that the story is ultimately like any old kung fu movie just that it's brought to modern times and I applaud that novelty.

I just don't get Neo Keanu's motivation. Yes it was about money etc and showmanship but it wouldn't have explained the final fight. I was half hoping that Keanu was a demon and that it was his goal to corrupt innocents into turning evil. Anyway, the final move which showed Tiger killing Neo? I didn't get what that was about. And why his sifu still took him back in boggles the mind.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 16, 2014, 23:11
Oshin tonight. It's a remake and a movie to boot so I wasn't sure how they could fit almost 300 episodes' of stories inside a movie. Then I realised they didn't.

It's like a Act 1 of the series when Oshin is still a little girl. Nothing about her teenage years or when she was a young woman.

They did take a few liberties here and there from the original but for the most part, it follows the old series.

I have no idea how many more movies are in store...
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 17, 2014, 01:03
Oshin brings back memories. Loved that little girl.

Anyone remembers another jap drama from roughly that time which portrayed female volleyball players who can spin the ball in unbelievable ways, such as making it travel along the net and then suddenly flying off unexpectedly into the opponent's court? :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: durianlover88 on April 17, 2014, 06:50
小鹿纯- 凌空番身?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 17, 2014, 10:31
小鹿纯- 凌空番身?

That should be it! Too bad I can't find any youtube vids of it. Maybe need to search in jap :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 17, 2014, 10:58
There was also a tennis version of those super serves ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 17, 2014, 11:46
Yup yup I remember the tennis version as well!
They were so mesmerizing during those days. Wonder how i would feel if i ever get to watch it again now :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 17, 2014, 11:56
It's not a live action show but the anime Prince of Tennis was actually pretty good too :)

In some ways, it reminded me of Initial D.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0fOC6vQYZo

http://www.youtube.com/v/i0fOC6vQYZo&fs=1

Try to get the English subbed version in original Japanese ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 18, 2014, 01:38
Thanks for the recommendation DH. Will check it out :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 18, 2014, 23:12
Had friends over so we went over old ground - Kahaani.

I don't think it fared particularly well with them ;)

But as it was still early, we watched The Journey. Even without English subs (we had a friend who didn't understand Mandarin and his wife only understood malay and cantonese), it seemed to fare better :P

Journey has a lot of heart and if you are like me, living far from home, it tugs at the heartstrings a lot, a reminder of what's good about home.

The soundtrack is equally good. Must go find it. The Fish Leung song was good.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on April 18, 2014, 23:31
It isn't Fish Leong. It's Geraldine Gan, I think. She appeared in the movie as one of the bridesmaids in the first scene. Glad you like the movie  ;)

(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/A1A5A439-4615-46F0-AA43-97024499CD5F_zpseezt8p8g.jpg)

Soundtrack sold at Malaysia's Popular for only RM15 but it doesn't come with the last song sung by Ben. What a shame.

一步距离
http://www.youtube.com/v/gwp-MF-1GWQ&fs=1

好时光
http://www.youtube.com/v/Um_kKDG8t7g&fs=1

New Chapter
http://www.youtube.com/v/-BhhGLvFQ-4&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 18, 2014, 23:34
Get me a copy if you can, WEB :P pay you back when I'm next back!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on April 18, 2014, 23:38
Yes sir! The next time I am there I will look for it  :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 19, 2014, 22:45
Police Story 2013 tonight.

I thought Jacky Chan said CZ12 was his last action movie so wasn't even aware he was in this.

Overall, it's not quite the same genre as the Police Story of old. In some ways, the plot started off pretty well - with shades of Die Hard and it feels like a more contemplative story than straight out action.

The problem I think has to do with the writing. It just never draws you in and keeps you hooked. It meanders a little but never grips you. For all of Die Hard 2's failings, this wasn't one of them. The story meandered a while before you realised where it was headed but the execution was good and you just went along for the ride.

And what's with all the new MMA fighting scenes!?? Donnie Yuen did that with Special ID and here, Jacky's doing the same. Yes, I get that MMA is the new rage but it doesn't IMHO translate to interesting fights. Two guys stationary in a locked vise grip just doesn't have as much tension as a well choreographed fight sequence. Heck, I give Man of Tai Chi better scores for fight scenes than this one.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: durianlover88 on April 20, 2014, 00:54
The Journey movie out in dvd/BR already?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 20, 2014, 01:40
I remember only the NG scenes during the end credits of Police Story 2013. That is how forgettable it is for me. Much prefer the earlier police stories where the emphasis were on comedy and of course his dare devil stunts.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 20, 2014, 22:43
Even the NG scenes weren't anything to write home about here :) he just took a few knocks but for his age, I guess it could be serious.

Anyway, on AndrewC's recommendation, I watched Cyrano Agency. Very bitter sweet to watch.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on April 22, 2014, 01:51
In other news, I find myself semi-addicted to Storage Wars season 4 currently. The rubbish I watch :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 22, 2014, 22:52
Been catching up on TV shows so haven't watched all that many movies.

Tonight, we went back to Korean cinema - The Fives. Man, it was another gruesome serial killer movie but I thought the premise was quite interesting. Like with most Korean shows like these, it's hard to discuss the movie without getting into spoilers so I'll be brief. If you like action/thrillers from Korea, this is definitely up there.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 23, 2014, 22:19
In preparation of Spiderman 2, we thought we'd watch the first one again.

I did think it wasn't as bad as I remembered when I first watched it :)

Emma Stone is adorable as Gwen and well, Garfield was just being mopey Garfield which wasn't too far off from his Parker persona. And he did do the quips and traded barbs really well as Spidey.

I wish Denis Leary could have been in the sequel.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 27, 2014, 00:48
Wife suggested this highly acclaimed Korean flick called - Night and Day and it is one of the worst movies I have seen so far. I guess I am not arty enough for the market. I really don't know what the point of the whole movie was.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on April 27, 2014, 23:05
Had a double bill tonight.

First up was Kurt Russell's heist movie - The Art of the Steal.

Wife couldn't sit through the movie so I watched it alone. I know it didn't get particularly good reviews but I thought the plot was quite smart and the twist was pretty decent. Kurt is helped along the way by Terence Stamp and Matt Dillon acting the slimy prick he's mastered mimicking since Something About Mary ;) And for once, I wasn't particularly annoyed by Jay Baruchel :)

This was followed by Petty Romance, another Korean flick tho thankfully not one of the arty ones ;) It's still a romcom and for the most part, it follows the romcom beats - boy meets girl, both fall in love but refuse to acknowledge it, some major misunderstand crops up before it's resolved so it is quite formulaic. But the characters have been fleshed out quite well and the use of a secondary storyline (the comic book they are writing together) makes for some interesting stills.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/88/PettyRomance2010Poster.jpg)

Bear in mind, some of the scenes are quite graphic so not particularly safe for younger viewers (i.e. if you have kids around) ;)

(http://www.uk-anime.net/images/god-eater-13.jpg?width=560)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 02, 2014, 22:15
Another Korean flick tonight...

The Concubine.

Man, had no idea this was another graphic movie. It's not a typical Korean flick or even a typical movie in terms of structure. There were many scenes allocated to minor characters that fleshed out their roles a fair bit which was odd to me cos in terms of pacing and beats, it seemed different from what you'd expect from a tighter movie edit. In some ways, it seemed almost like a shorter TV series instead.

But I think all that worked in favour of the movie. It felt like a more complete view of the actions and events in the Korean court. I also loved the ending - like we had come full circle from the beginning of the movie. I think it's well worth a watch.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/The_Concubine-poster.jpg)

ps there was a deja vu moment when I watched this movie cos the lead actress looked familiar but I don't really watch many Korean shows/movies.

Then it hit me :)

(http://star.koreandrama.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/Jo-Yeo-Jung-01.jpg)(http://thehotlist.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/stephsong.jpg)

She does look a bit like Steph Song, no?

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 02, 2014, 23:26
Alrighty...the 3 pics above are enough to make me wanna watch concubine  :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 04, 2014, 23:08
Alrighty...the 3 pics above are enough to make me wanna watch concubine  :P

My wife says this actress is known for her soft core porn roles and first shot to fame in The Servant. She's asked me to cue that for one of our next movie nights.

But for tonight, it was I, Frankenstein followed by a Taiwan flick "Sweet Alibis".

I first saw trailers for I, Frankenstein a couple of months ago and it looked pretty decent, if a bit derivative. It had Aaron "Two Face" Eckhart in it and Yvonne "Chuck's hottie" Strahovski as well so it looked a bit promising. Plus it was from a graphic novel.

(http://d1mxyp5ceukbya.cloudfront.net/images/i-frankenstein-aaron-eckhart-poster-small.jpg)

Watching it, I had a sense of deja vu. There's that word again ;)

To be honest, the set pieces looked a lot like they were recycled from the Underworld series. And for the most part, the story was predictable. Still, Eckhart gives a generally convincing performance as the misunderstood monster.

Googling reveals that the writer of the graphic novel was also responsible for Underworld - tho Bill Nighy's dual role in the two franchises might make it difficult for them to do a crossover movie as they originally planned. Plus, was not aware the writer also played one of the demons in the movie ;) neat cameo.

The second movie, Sweet Alibis makes for a different pace - part slapstick, part detective flick. I always found the use of Hokkien (or their native dialect) very amusing and it was used to great effect in this show, as it is based in KaoHsiung. It gave a very grounded and intimate feel to the show. I didn't know that Alec Su is also Su You Peng. I have to say the role he played wasn't a particularly easy to like or identify with. But he slowly grows on you.

He has reasonably good chemistry with his co star Ariel Lin and I think that made the movie work. I liked the use of the "fast forward/rewind" effect in the beginning which helped clue us in on what had transpired previously. It was a neat gimmick but fills in the blanks when it was needed.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d8/Sweet_Alibis_poster.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 05, 2014, 00:21
Bro, if you didn't know that Alex Su is Su You Peng, you were probably not a mandopop fan boy during the 90s :)

AND WOW your wife watches soft porn with ya?  ;D

NOW The Servant sounds interesting  :)

Meanwhile, I am into episode 4 of 倚天屠龙记 1986  ;D

(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2921/14105727405_5843acd86f_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 05, 2014, 22:03
I know who Su You Peng was :) I just didn't know of his Alec moniker ;)

I never started on the old 80s shows. I guess the lack of English subs and being forced to watch it in Mandarin was something I looked forward to :P

I am looking to start on the complete Gatchman series in a bit. Man, I had no idea the show was created the year I was born!! GASP
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 08, 2014, 23:30
Another Korean flick.

I'm not sure I am getting a good deal on my wife watching soft porn flicks if she also gets shows like what we watched tonight - The King and the Clown.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/The_King_and_the_Clown_movie_poster.jpg)
No, it's not a comedy - tho it does have some black humour in it.

The movie is from 2005 and apparently kickstarted the whole "flower boy" phenomenon in K-pop - basically very young, metrosexual boys who look very feminine. When I say kick started, perhaps I should have said "reignited". Apparently pretty boys were quite common in the days of the Korean emperors as well. So this movie is apparently founded in some historical fact. This movie isn't as daring as Frozen Flower but then again, it did premier 3 years before.

Overall, I did like the opening acts where some daring minstrels/jesters mocked the political intrigues of the court - at first for the common folk in the capital city but through a twist of fate, the head eunuch decides to use their act to help the emperor open his eyes to the ails of his royal court. But it got a bit tired along the way. I think it was as if the writers couldn't figure where to go next so it floundered a little in the second half.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 09, 2014, 23:46
I had heard good things about HER so was really looking forward to this.

If there was one theme that really struck me - it was really the extent of how DISconnected we are. You can imagine a near future where Theodore's job - to write emotionally powerful letters on behalf of other people - is going to be necessary. And when Theodore first realises at the subway entrance that Samantha had outgrown the human shell, so to speak - as he stares around at others like him - it shows a pattern of disconnect that exists even today. We are all wrapped up in our own tiny world, cocooned by technology and alienated from everyone else, even that person next to you in the subway.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 10, 2014, 00:14
I almost started on HER too but...you guessed it...I am officially hooked on Dragon Sabre. Into the 21st episode now. Yes the special effects cannot be taken seriously today, but the kungfu fight choreography is still some of the best I have seen from other Wu Xia serials, even besting those nowadays.

AND Cheong Mo Kay has so many pretty love interests. This is one of my fav:
(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7321/13959029878_6aa68e9fa9_z.jpg)

 ;D
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 10, 2014, 00:51
AND Cheong Mo Kay has so many pretty love interests. This is one of my fav:

I know she wasn't the one but I was always partial to zhou zhirou :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 10, 2014, 23:09
Another double bill on a chilly Saturday night :)

First up was Three Days to Kill. At first, I thought it was going to be another take on the Taken franchise with Kevin Costner channeling Liam Neeson. After Taken 2, I wasn't sure if it could add anything to the franchise.

But the Luc Besson story was quite a surprise. It mixes elements of a spy flick with a heck of a lot of shoot outs and knife fights, with intermissions of a family drama. I liked it all the better for that. Not too give too much away, there was this scene where Costner is torturing some suspect when his daughter calls and what ensues is HILARIOUS :)

So it wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I found myself laughing along. As you'd expect from Besson, there's a couple of obligatory car chase scenes. The first one in particular, I thought was insanely well choreographed.

I can't say I was bowled over by Amber Heard here either. If there was a low point in this movie, it's her.

This was followed by The Servant. My wife said this was the break out role of the actress who played The Concubine (the movie we had watched a week or so ago)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/TheServant2010Poster.jpg)

I don't think the movie was as well paced as the Concubine. It suffers a little from what I call the Korean movie problem - where they try to fit in melodrama, action and even comedy in the same movie. And I think the movie is all the worse for it.

So at the beginning, there were elements of a comedy in it, though thankfully, it didn't lapse too much into slapstick. For the most part, this plays out like a tragedy. What's interesting though was the last act. Apparently this movie is based off a Korean fable/legend, a tale of true love. But while the notion of love is idealised in the fable, here it is presented as a bit more base and the characters I thought were pretty well fleshed out and their motivations clear.

What I didn't like though was that it never showed how the servant became a gangster kingpin. You can see a few times that they could have elaborated on this aspect - his inability to protect the woman he loved should have been a great motivation for him to rebel against the rule of the nobles but we never see that.

Speaking of familiar looking actors, I was really bowled over when I saw this guy who plays the nobleman's son/inspector.

(http://www.hancinema.net/photos/fullsizephoto151170.jpg)

Doesn't he look like Chua EnLai?

(http://www.wildrice.com.sg/newsletter/NL02/enlai.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 10, 2014, 23:17
I know she wasn't the one but I was always partial to zhou zhirou :)

You got good taste in women dh, here's ya reward  ;D

Zhou Zhiruo
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdsvZz6IwLHWpecIR5U7wR_MCFCOpPeIX44C1k3E1LDB3X7Ea-)

Chua Enlai looks more goondu than that korean guy.  :P
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 10, 2014, 23:23
sweet

ps speaking of the actress playing zhou zhirou... she was in The Four.. wow, she's really aged a fair bit but the missus thinks she still looks pretty hot for her age ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 11, 2014, 21:51
Wow. A second night with Kevin Costner. He's been busy.

Tonight - Jack Ryan.

I'll admit being a big fan of Clancy's Ryan novels so getting a reboot wasn't something I was expecting or was looking forward to.

To be fair, the Ryan movies have been uneven. I loved Hunt for Red October but found the one with Ben Affleck a little meh. I think the biggest challenge these movies had was that the books are so well researched and so in depth that it's hard to get them demonstrated in a movie. To put things in perspective, I was doing a course in Macro Economics and International Economics in university and I remember thinking the textbooks were dry. By chance, I was reading a Clancy novel which made references to Wall Street. And you know, Clancy's novels actually did a SUPERB job of explaining some of the intricacies for me. That's how in depth they were.

So what did I think of Shadow Recruit? Pretty good actually. Kevin Costner has transitioned well from hero to mentor figure. I'm not sure why they didn't use the Greer character from the novels though since Costner's role seems completely new for the movie. And Chris Pine doesn't try to pull off a Captain Kirk smirk in this movie and is all the better for it.

What I liked about it - it doesn't try to dumb down the plot too much. The mechanisms aren't as complex as in the novel, Debt of Honor but it sorta works. And it plays on Ryan's smarts rather than just an action hero. Admittedly, the speed of his deductions is somewhat faster than in a novel, but again because of the pace/urgency, it sorta works.

Of course, in an action/thriller movie, you are expected to have the obligatory action sequences and again, it works because this Ryan is a lot younger and his experiences as a Marine are much more recent than in previous incarnations.

I really hope they do make more of these series. Kenneth Branaugh, despite being late to the party has nevertheless done a bang up job of directing the show. I don't know where he went wrong with Thor but Branaugh has always been one of the most respected directors I know. I think Dead Again is still one of the best thriller/whodunit movies I've ever watched.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 11, 2014, 23:59
A little distraction from Kenneth Branaugh  ;D

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5503/13974458797_e846f86096_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 12, 2014, 17:41
Get me a copy if you can, WEB :P pay you back when I'm next back!

Lucky you. This later batch includes The Better Half song. But it's ok. I bought it again. RM18 no need to think  ;D

(http://i568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/westendboy47/A6C9899A-F2A2-4766-998E-4679F62A7B7E_zps1djnkl7x.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: durianlover88 on May 12, 2014, 18:31
Sori broler WEB.....where buy ah?
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on May 12, 2014, 18:40
Popular bookstores in JB.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 17, 2014, 23:49
Watched another Korean flick tonight - Best Seller.

The blurb advertised it as a thriller and it sorta was. But there's a horror story behind the whodunit as well. Which played out quite well. There are a few plot twists that really got me a few times and the actress was pretty good. The only thing I didn't like was how after they spun the story and settled everything... there was one of those weird scenes that make you wonder and leave everything unresolved again.

(http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm96/javabeans122/movie/2010/bestseller_4.jpg)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 18, 2014, 22:52
Another night, another Korean flick.

Tonight, The Suspect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuQm-aDH5ac

http://www.youtube.com/v/CuQm-aDH5ac&fs=1

It has shades of the Damon-Bourne series which I found quite well written overall. The only criticism I can make of it was the "stormtrooper problem". Most of the cops can't seem to shoot anything to save their lives. Even at virtually point blank ranges. It doesn't mean no one dies. Heck, the body count is comparable to Bourne. Like Bourne, the fight sequences are very well choreographed and don't look too contrived. It's quick lethal and effective. The car chases are also pretty well choreographed but does suffer from the "Man of Steel" problem - i.e. goes on for a mighty long time.

But small niggles aside, this is an excellent spy flick.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 19, 2014, 22:25
The lead actor from The Suspect is in our flick of the night, again.

This time from his earlier effort - The Silenced.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7c/The_Crucible-poster.jpg)
Man, this is a depressing movie. All the more because it was actually based on a real story.

Spoilers to follow.

A new teacher arrives in a small country town in South Korea to be an art teacher in a school for the mute/deaf. What he finds is a systemic abuse of the children. And this movie shows the trials and tribulations as he and a human rights activist try to bring the guilty to justice.

It's downright disheartening.

The movie makes a statement about the level of corruption by the rich and powerful. A theme which also follows from The Suspect. That the rich can and will pervert the course of justice. In The Suspect, the villains are brought to a swift justice.

Sadly this is not the case for the perpetrators in The Silenced. It's rare that a movie can ignite a nation but that's what this movie did. While the movie brought the old case to light, there was no justice served because the statute of limitation had run out. The uproar did however cause the lawmakers to change the law so that the statute of limitation on abuse of the handicapped and underaged minors was completely removed.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 21, 2014, 12:27
Saw WEB's review of Psychometry so put that on last night.

It's quite an interesting take on the serial killer/police procedural model that we've seen before in other Korean shows and it gets points for that novelty. The characters are decently fleshed out though I can't say their motivations were particularly well thought out - I blame the writers.

If there's one thing I have noticed, it's that the Korean writers haven't quite gotten the psychology of serial killers down pat vs say some of the better Hollywood thrillers. Here you have a serial killer and the story concludes when the cops finally catch up with him - but there's no big reveal - who he was, how he became a serial killer etc. Maybe I watch too much Criminal Minds or Hannibal :) but part of what makes a show like Silence of the Lambs interesting isn't just the police procedural aspect but the understanding of why Buffalo Bill became Buffalo Bill

This isn't just a criticism of Psychometry. It's true of most Korean films of this genre as well.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: francis wu on May 21, 2014, 13:01
At least you saw some good ones.  I did 6 yesterday, namely The Four part 2, Mortician and the Monkey King 2, all canto and all failed miserably, all 1 in my richter scale of 5 except Hello Babies, I Krankenstein and 47 Ronin which are 2s.  Fortunately, these BRs cost only 8 rmb each ;D

I have Atlantis, Lone Survivor, Bad Country, Dallas Buyers Club, Mcanick, Mark Lui/Thank You concert 1 and 2, Polygram Forever Concert, Mitty, 3 Days to Kill, Firestorm,Devil's Due, Tiokarev, Police Story 2013 and the Monuments Men waiting! :)



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 21, 2014, 14:54
Avoid Police Story 2013.

:P

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 21, 2014, 22:05
Another Korean flick tonight - The Grand Heist.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/The_Grand_Heist-poster.jpg)

I first expected this to be another Oceans 11 clone a la The Thieves (a Korean/HK joint production that starred Simon Yam among others).

But it turned out to be a period piece (set in the Joseon empire). In the middle of political intrigue, a band of unlikely allies is formed to perform the Grand Heist - to steal the reserves of ice blocks (harvested during the winter months and dispensed during the hot summer months) hidden in the imperial vault. No, Frozen wasn't the first movie with that idea ;)

At the start of the show, it is established that scheming politicians had commandeered the industry - hoarding the ice reserves for their own selfish gains and monopolising the supply - so only the rich could afford them, as opposed to it being dispensed to the general population (not unlike Singapore then) ;)

The heist isn't as elaborate as Oceans 11 or 12 :) but it is reasonably well engineered and there are, as you'd expect, some twists and turns along the way. I think I enjoyed this movie more than Psychometry because it doesn't try to take itself too seriously.

Going through wikipedia, it turns out there are some "cameos" in there, including one who would go on to play an important role in the rule of the future king - though I suspect it'd be lost on us who aren't au fait with Korean lore.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 22, 2014, 23:00
Decided to give Korea a miss tonight ;) I did grill some kalbi flavoured beef for dinner but that's another subject.

With the wife catching up on her Grey's Anatomy, I decided to watch something I know she wouldn't be bothered to watch - Getaway

This one.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Getaway_Poster.jpg)

Not the Steve McQueen one.

The one with Selena Gomez. And Ethan "I need a pay check after Gattaca" Hawke.

That combo doesn't quite inspire hope, I know but as a petrol head, I just watched it for what it was. A popcorn brainless flick with some excellent stunts involving a gorgeous Shelby Mustang.

Non petrol heads probably won't understand my fascination but some of the camera work was really good. I loved the front bumper cam which showed Ethan Hawke's car chasing up to the baddy in a Merc SUV. Of course it doesn't make sense why the Merc would be able to outrun a supercharged Mustang GT500 but the camera view as the Mustang clawed back the distance and the sound of that supercharger whine in between shifts almost made me giggle like a schoolgirl.  8)

I also loved the way they used BMWs 6 series no less that could power slide as well as the Mustang in some of the stunt scenes.

As far as I could tell, they didn't employ CGI. It was really just the cars given a complete thrashing. Yes. Even the gorgeous Mustang wasn't spared.

But the plot itself? Completely unbelievable.

That a baddie would put a transponder in the car then be completely surprised when Ethan drives up unexpectedly to a heist is completely BS - especially when he had been so careful and infallible up to this point.

That Ethan Hawke and "kid" would turn up to a hostage exchange with the item they want in the same car and expect the villains not to renege on the deal? Completely unbelievable. It was only luck that the cops got there as quickly as they could. It seemed a stupid gamble.

They left themselves open for a sequel but seeing how badly this was panned in the reviews, I don't give much hope. Shame really. I thought the use of real world stunts (not CGI) was quite a nice change from current CGI laden movies. Which reminds me, I need to watch Need For Speed (the movie) which also eschews CGI for some good old rub and race.

The movie was quite short so I had some time to kill before the missus was done with Greys. I next put on Gatchaman :)

I was always a big fan of the anime but was only familiar with the Mandarin (and later English) dubs. Also, my school schedule meant I never always caught every single episode. So it's a childhood dream to be able to catch all the episodes with the advent of BluRay (and DVDs).

For something as old as I am (it debuted in Japan in 1972!), it's in surprisingly decent condition. Granted, it's not as razor sharp as modern cartoons but the animation work still looks pretty special today.

There are a few "throwbacks" that let you know this is from the 70s. Like the villain henchmen having slightly bell bottomed trouser uniforms ;)

(http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/l635/KellyJennar/GATCHAMAN_VOL_18-6-1.jpg)

And that the critical data was stored in a cassette tape :)

And the transmission is sent using a ticker tape printer.

But you forgive that when you watch the first episode and one of the first few words you get to hear is "KAIJU!!"

:) ah thanks, Pacific Rim!

Yes, it comes with Japanese audio (2.0! but still a blast) and English subs.

Here are some things that I don't recall.

One, Jun was quite smitten by Ken. I must have watched it in more innocent times that I completely missed that.

Two, unlike most cartoons I remember, PEOPLE DIED (Yes GI Joe! I'm referring to you! Speaking of Joe... this was also highlighted in one of the last episodes of Community.. another great series that's just ended..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVXaGh46Wc8
http://www.youtube.com/v/SVXaGh46Wc8&fs=1

But I digress.

No kidding. Deaths in a children's cartoon!!! You see scientists crushed by the kaiju within the first 5 minutes. Bloodless of course. But still. And this was mentioned later on when the world leaders are in discussion. Not only that, there was this scene when Ken is at an impasse with the villains and the villain leader holds up two astronauts who were captured earlier as hostages. Ken, the goody two shoes that he is, of course surrenders. And then the villain leader reveals "Even corpses have their uses!" and drops the two dead astronauts on the ground. WOW. Stone Cold Killer man.

This was a kid's cartoon!!??? I'm surprised I didn't have nightmares from this show!

And now, for some nostalgia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjuN5Bn-RCo

http://www.youtube.com/v/tjuN5Bn-RCo&fs=1

The BD looks better than this :) honest.

BTW I only recently found out that there was a live action Gatchaman movie from Japan. (Please don't mention the stupid guinea pigs on G-Force.. *shivers*)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnZVeUWG84c

http://www.youtube.com/v/UnZVeUWG84c&fs=1

Good right??

Now if only I could get English subs with the Japanese BD!!
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 23, 2014, 22:22
Wow. Two Fan Bing Bing movies in a single day.

We had just got back from XMen - Days of Future Past this evening and was settling in to watch Shinjuku Incident when that familiar face pops out.

So FBB not only got first dibs with one of the first HK-China collaborations, she's also in at least 2 of the first few Hollywood shows (with designs on the Chinese market) - Iron Man 3 and XMen DoFP.

But I digress. Again.

Shinjuku wasn't exactly what I was expecting to be honest. I thought this would have been one of Jacky's last few action/kungfu flicks so I was really surprised when the first scene we see Jacky confront a few thugs and he was all flustery.

I get that Jacky tried to go legit and this is a noble effort. The story is pretty well written. The best laid plans, the best of intentions.. can come to nought because power corrupts. The second act really caught me by surprise. I also liked that there weren't any clear good guys or bad guys especially towards the end. Everyone was just morally grey and ambiguous. When we first met Echigo, the Yakuza man who married Jacky's old flame, he's seen as the good guy but even that changes.

If there's one niggle (and it is IMHO a problem with Jacky Chan's other movies) is that he always tries to portray himself as the good guy. There's only one person who's story arc doesn't change and there's no personal growth. He's just steadfastly loyal and morally upright. And completely unbelievable in the process. He did this in Police Story 2013. In CZ12. And countless others.

Here, there was at least an effort to show he ended up in a bender once he found his old flame in the arms of the Yakuza boss. But it was short-lived.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 23, 2014, 22:51
Didn't even consider giving Getaway a try cos the IMDB score was only a measly 4.3. Maybe I should...just to watch the cars in action :)

Gatchaman was never in my childhood. Dunno why also. My only Jap hero from that time was Ultraman.  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/v/hRXUSvhWt_8&fs=1

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 23, 2014, 23:54
Banned in Malaysia ;)

Allegedly for making the cross sign when he fights monsters.

Gatchaman is really quite a ground breaking anime.

But don't just take my word for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhGYL0xlrM4
http://www.youtube.com/v/xhGYL0xlrM4&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOjNhj0L4OE
http://www.youtube.com/v/xhGYL0xlrM4&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 24, 2014, 00:21
Nuff said bro. Gatchaman on the way ;)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 24, 2014, 22:26
Nuff said bro. Gatchaman on the way ;)

Hope you aren't disappointed.

Haven't been able to continue Gatchaman in the interim.

Saw on mrbrown's feed that Machinima finally published their Street Fighter webisodes and spent the afternoon watching the first 10 episodes. You know what? It's not half bad. It plays true to what we know of the Street Fighter universe/canon which does restrict what it can do without upsetting fans but where they've embellished adds a lot more depth to the existing characters. I really love the back story that they created of Akuma/Gouki and Gouken (Ken and Ryu's situ).

I honestly think it's better than some of the movies I've seen this year :P

Here's the Episode 0. You can find links to the next episode at the end of each chapter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyVO0NLoLWE
http://www.youtube.com/v/NyVO0NLoLWE&fs=1

Will follow up on the last 2 episodes after this.

For the evening, we are back with HK cinema - tonight Fire of Conscience from 2010.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cb/Fire_of_Conscience_poster.jpg)

It's a pretty decent flick compared to some of the more recent HK/China collaborations. The missus did find the opening scenes a tad confusing which is understandable. The first 15 minutes introduced about 20 different characters, and initially you don't know where the pieces fit so it can be a bit confusing. But once you get past that, the pieces all come together. All the different cases start to tie in - a hooker murdered in her room, a cop who's hit by a bus chasing some pickpockets and a shootout at a dim sum restaurant.

The niggles? Richie Ren's character and motivations isn't particularly well fleshed out. I think we can understand why he did what he did, but it's not entirely clear. And the ending - where they try to "tie" the movie's theme to the myth of the dragon was lost on me.

The use of surround effects isn't as exaggerated as the Andy Lau one (Fire Storm) but there're some pretty decent explosions which gave the sub something to do.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 25, 2014, 19:25
Hope you aren't disappointed.

I just hope that I shall be watching the correct version  ;D

This one, correct?
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/Battle_of_the_Planets.gif)

Quote
Battle of the Planets (1978) is an American adaptation of the Japanese anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (1972).[2] Of the 105 original Gatchaman episodes, 85 were used in the Battle of the Planets adaptation, produced by Sandy Frank Entertainment.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 25, 2014, 20:47
I'm watching Gatchaman. Not the US one. Jap audio with English subs.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 25, 2014, 22:22
Roger that.

This is the one I hope

http://bakabt.me/149748-kagaku-ninja-tai-gatchaman-science-ninja-team-gatchaman-animecha-432p.html (http://bakabt.me/149748-kagaku-ninja-tai-gatchaman-science-ninja-team-gatchaman-animecha-432p.html)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 25, 2014, 22:39
This is a possible spoiler but it illustrates what's wrong with the US English dubbed of Gatchaman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co4_WHDp72Y
http://www.youtube.com/v/co4_WHDp72Y&fs=1

It dumbs down the plot a lot more than what the original Japanese intended.

Anyway for tonight... we watched just one movie - so we could catch the F1 race on TV. Can't tell you what a joy it is not needing to pay to watch live shows. :)

For tonight - My PS Partner.

I always thought Kim Ah Joong was damn adorable in 200 pound beauty. But she's not a particularly busy actress. So it was great seeing her again in this movie.
(http://star.koreandrama.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/Kim-Ah-Joong-21.jpg)
PS aka Phone Sex is how the two main protagonists end up getting involved in each other's lives. She misdialled him thinking she was calling her boyfriend, while he's just gotten dumped by his ex. Both end up confiding in each other and becoming friends without meeting. At first. As with most romcoms, the path of true love never did run smooth and the exes/bf continue to complicate matters.

I don't think Kim is pretty per se, and it is her disarming demeanour that makes her adorable. That said, even the missus remarked she has a superb bod :) must be plastic surgery.

Am going to watch Catch Me soon - that's her latest flick.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 26, 2014, 21:39
Catch Me aka Steal My Heart was on tonight.

(http://www.hancinema.net/photos/fullsizephoto370921.jpg)

The movie is funny but it's not ground breaking. Maybe I have been spoilt by much better productions from Korea. This is a reasonably entertaining rom-com that follows the beat of said formula. It does do a decent job of creating a backstory of how the two leads met, fell in love and then broke up ten years before this movie starts. In present day, the guy is now a hot shot profiler on the fast track on the police force while she's now a cat burglar that the police are trying to nab and a chance encounter puts them in each other's lives.



Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 28, 2014, 22:27
With the end of most US TV series for the summer, we had more time for movies :)

Tonight - Non Stop with Liam Neeson, followed by Sector 7, another Korean flick.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/87/Non-Stop2014Poster.jpg)

Overall, I was really impressed with Non Stop. It really kept you guessing all the way to the end. And for the most part, it was quite plausible.

Spoiler alert.
I thought the one area that was never fully resolved was "who killed the Captain?"

It is most likely the accomplice in First Class but they made such a big song and dance about the fact that only the old lady and Julianne Moore were inside, so I kept expecting another twist after they landed :)


Other than that, kudos.

Elsewhere, someone mentioned Executive Decision. I really enjoyed that movie because it really conveyed how claustrophobic the aircraft can be. I remember thinking Air Force One depicted the aircraft like a 3 storey building - highly implausible ;) even if it was an enjoyable movie. "Get off my plane!" ;)

This one was in between. It seemed fairly roomy but not excessively so. The only complaint I have is that the aircraft looked a bit tiny on the inside ;) On the outside, it looked easily like a 200-300 seater aircraft. On the inside, there was only 1 Economy Class cabin vs 2-3 in a usual aircraft of this size. But this is really nitpicking ;)


We followed this with Sector 7.

I think I must have watched too many Korean flicks. Because you start seeing the same actors pop up in just about every movie :)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ec/Sector_7_film_poster.jpg)

Sector 7 isn't a ground breaking show by any means. It does borrow heavily from Aliens and the Abyss which ends up being quite a derivative show. There's a fair bit of CGI involved though to be honest, I didn't think it looked as bad as how Lucas shot Ep1-3 :) in the hectic chase scenes, the camera angles were pretty well done, conveying the hectic pace and panic.

I like that they didn't try to cram the usual comedy/slapstick moments into this show (as most Korean shows are wont to do). Having said that, most of the characters aren't particularly well developed and were just secondary to the action sequences. Even the main protagonist and her fella were just 2D characters.

It was a thrilling ride but not a memorable one.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on May 28, 2014, 23:55
Hey! Like your new lego-ish, nimoy-ish avatar :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 29, 2014, 00:17
Hey! Like your new lego-ish, nimoy-ish avatar :)

tank yew tank yew :)

inspired by my recent purchase - the ST movie official Starfleet uniforms :) I'm surprised my wife let me be seen with them in public! tho she did say she was going to walk a few steps ahead or behind me.. just in case

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on May 29, 2014, 23:27
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/93/The_Sword_With_No_Name_film_poster.jpg)

The Sword With No Name

I can't say I wasn't bored senseless by it. Perhaps something was lost in translation but I found the plot elements quite hard to follow.

Had to use wikipedia to get some semblance of what had transpired.

Here, you have a King of Korea, but his father is still alive, and appears to be a minister. It turns out that in Korea, some kings may die without an heir and a distant relative is appointed as the heir to the throne, and such a situation can exist - a King ascending the throne but with his father still alive.

Credit where it's due, it does attempt to flesh out the characters a bit more. However, I can't quite understand what the motivations are for the hero vis a vis his mother being beheaded for being a Christian.

The movie does paint a bleak picture of Korea of that period - where it is a pawn between European powers, China and Japan - struggling to find its own space. The Queen in this movie was believed to be a good influence. She realised how China's resistance to the West saw the great empire being brought down by brute force and superior firepower and she learnt to leverage the strengths of the West to keep the balance of power in check.

This put her in the path of some officials who were in the pocket of the Japanese. And she was murdered for that.

That much is history. The rest of it - her love affair with the general etc were all made up.

From a historical perspective, it is interesting because Kabi (aka Coffee) another Korean movie takes place several years after this and we see the Russian and Japanese forces again jostling for power in the Korean peninsula.

The highlights of the show (sorry pete - no chiobu factor here) are the pretty well choreographed fight sequences. They were pretty flashy. Some CGI was used for the backgrounds but the swordplay looked pretty realistic to me.

Am also trying to watch Rosemary's Baby - the new mini series. It's based off the novel and old Polanski movie but with a fresh new cast - Zoe (Uhura) Saldana and Patrick (Mike from Suits) Adams.

We started this a few nights ago but really struggle to get past even the first episode. It's not that it isn't interesting. It is. Zoe Saldana's gradual descent into paranoia and madness is quite well done - and putting her in Paris where she doesn't speak the language makes it all the more fathomable that she might feel isolated.

The problem is that others HAVE borrowed from the original Rosemary's Baby before it so there's always a sense of deja vu about this. It doesn't help that we were watching 666 Park Avenue just a year or so ago and this plays like a rerun of that series.

While Park Avenue had more screen time for the power couple to slowly ingratiate themselves into the younger couple's lives (and I think Quinn/Williams were amazingly adept in that role), this version feels a lot more rushed and hard to believe. Ex Bond girl Caroline Bouquet seems a bit creepy here and sends off alarm bells from the moment go - so it's hard to believe they'd invite her into their lives as quickly as they have. I have only gotten an hour through the first episode. Will probably complete it for completion sake :)


Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 01, 2014, 22:50
Watched two movies over the weekend.

First up - another fireman movie - As the Light Goes Out.

Overall, it's an entertaining movie. Decent use of sfx and firefighting sequences. Where it falters are the characters and some inane plot developments. I get that they are trying to make the characters a bit more complex but the set up - 3 hotshot firefighters face an inquiry panel over an IMHO relatively stupid incident and their reactions and conflicts resulting from it creates the scenario we see unfold later. I think what really threw me was when [SPOILERS ALERT] the hero decides to lock his friend in a store room while he proceeds to create an explosion to demolish a wall, killing himself. Well and good, except how is the friend going to get out of locked room? DUH[/endSPOILER]

I think the Korean flick "The Tower" was a fair bit better.

Tonight, The Lego Movie. Wife wasn't entertained but me? I absolutely loved it. It had great characters, superb lines and superb actors. It was like every one was just perfectly cast - from Channing Tatum as Superman, being always stuck with Jonah Hill as Green Lantern. I mean, how perfect is that? Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman. Allison Brie as the perpetually happy "Happy Pony" character.

This scene gets me every time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnUPtvhxDuk
http://www.youtube.com/v/VnUPtvhxDuk&fs=1

The downside? You know it's a kids movie and there are some soppy motherhood themes - BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. There, I said it.

And you know what, even the writers know it's soppy and it gets the same witty treatment.

I don't think you need to be a Lego fan to understand the premise of this movie though. I think most of us must have struggled years ago - build that "picture perfect" windmill or use the parts to build your spaceship that also transforms into your robot? But seeing that love affair with coloured bricks distilled into this movie? Priceless.

The ending [SPOILER ALERT] - your sister gets to play too. And the Duplo aliens attack? WOW. [/ENDSPOILER]

Did not see that coming.

Now I can't get this stupid song out of my head!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRlywVTz08o
http://www.youtube.com/v/rRlywVTz08o&fs=1
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 01, 2014, 23:13
Indeed. Everything is awesome with the lego movie. A must own bluray for me :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 02, 2014, 23:37
Korean's on the menu again tonight.

Tonight - Deranged. A 2012 medical/whodunit drama that has shades of WWZ and other zombie movies. It gets a strong recommendation from me

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/Deranged-2012.jpg)

While WWZ and most other zombies often have some rather flimsy premise of how zombies are created, this one actually put some thought into how it could happen. As a result, the "zombies" aren't really the undead but have a scientific/medical explanation.

And boy was it disturbing.

SPOILERS
The investigators discover that the human zombies are caused by a mutation of the horsehair worms. And get this - it's a real thing. Had to do a wiki search but it's apparently real. These tiny worms start off being tiny larvae that are ingested by these insects. Inside, they continue to grow and feed off the host, growing to as long as 100cm!! and in some cases, even up to 2m!!!

Now here's the weird bit.. when they mature, they cause some kind of chemical reaction to the host's brain which causes the hosts to kill drown themselves - thus allowing the worms to break free of the host and enter another body of water to propagate again.

EEEEeeeeeewwwwww

Here's the link to wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsehair_worm)

Creepy huh. So far, they don't work on humans (or mammals) so that's at least one thing to be thankful for! :P

But the conspiracy doesn't end there. It gets worse. I think it's definitely well worth a watch. It does get a bit predictable towards the end, but the ride was quite thrilling.

We also started on A Romance of Their Own but had to pause midway as it was getting late.

Here's the weird thing - you could almost swear the author of Twillight had ripped the premise of her book from this movie (which itself was an internet comic/novel). I checked :) it predated twilight.

Shy awkward girl moves to new city and finds herself in a love triangle between the two hottest guys in school.

Brooding stares* follow :)

* also seen in twillight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gugBiEkLwU
http://www.youtube.com/v/0gugBiEkLwU&fs=1

Sidenote - I LOVE HONEST TRAILERS! :)

Have to say, it is a bit more interesting than Twillight - which I suppose isn't that difficult

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 03, 2014, 22:58
Korean double bill tonight.

First up was Midnight FM.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/eb/200pxlatenightfmmovieposter.jpeg)
The plot is not groundbreaking. We've seen bits of it before - serial killer calls radio DJ and tries to hijack the show or people will die. But the cast were quite well put together and the whole thing works quite well.

I like that the DJ makes references to movies - as a movie buff, it was something I enjoyed tremendously. So she picks songs from movie soundtracks to evoke a memory or a mood from the show. References are made to Taxi Driver, Casablanca among others and it's a neat trick. As the DJ decides to retire for further studies abroad and have better specialists for her mute doctor, she is about to go on air for the last time.

Unfortunately, her biggest fan will have nothing to do with it.

And action.

The second one was Hwayi - A Monster Boy.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/20/Hwa-yi_poster.jpg)
Off and on, I have found some Korean movies hard to fathom. Hwayi is one of those. The plot isn't too complex and there is a decent pace with some high adrenaline action sequences.

But it's really to do with the psyche of the characters. I can't say I completely understand the movie.

Possible spoilers.
I can understand for instance how some of the foster fathers had gotten fond of Hwayi after adopting him but I don't understand the back story which the cop dug out - involving his foster fathers growing up in an orphanage where his real father was a director.

The main foster father is a puzzle that I am still struggling to understand the most. At first, you see him as this hard almost heartless person who is forcing Hwayi to be a killer. But you kinda understand why he does what he does at the end - he sees a younger version of himself in Hwayi - always afraid of monsters and his stern discipline was to make a monster out of him, so that he can drive away his own demons. It's just a bit jarring in this movie, along with the real mother being killed etc that it's hard to understand the beat of the movie.

Maybe it's a Korean thing.

End spoiler.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: whyeme on June 04, 2014, 20:34
Damn. I can't watch anything else. Hooked line and sinker by Breaking Bad. Now into season one episode 7. Lil late but good things are worth it :)
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 04, 2014, 22:57
I am also planning on starting Breaking Bad :)

But been a bit tied up otherwise.

Anyway, took a change from my Korean binge.

Tonight - Monuments Men.

As a movie, I think it's just above average. But there's an easy chemistry that the cast shares that make it a joy to watch. Clooney and Damon have been at it for years now so that's understandable but even the newer guys like Goodman and Murray seem to have a catalytic effect on the humour and good nature.

It even makes me wonder how much of the lines are ad libbed.

As for historical accuracy vs the mechanics of a film medium, when it comes to movies, I think the mechanics of the film wins every time. (not the case for documentaries). This is the case for Argo as well where liberties were taken in the interest of creating tension. So how the original corp were distilled into these seven men made for a much better story, and also made it easier to follow.

But what struck me the most as I was reading the articles on google was that this film was partly funded by the Germans. And you know the Germans were not painted in a good light in this movie. It's one of the reasons why I respect the Germans - for acknowledging their past as aggressors and apologising for it so we can all move on. It's also a startling disparity with how the Japanese have completely whitewashed their role in the same war.

We followed this movie with a web-cast repeat of the special 50th anniversary of the National Press Club held earlier today, where 2 former Prime Ministers of Australia from opposing parties shared the stage. Their banter is still apparent after all these years but the striking thing is how a democratic society can have the grace and the ability for different views to be aired and discussed on a national television medium.

I weep a little for Singapore. The shame of LHL to quote European reactions to hate ideologies and make it the same level as a genuine concern and criticism of the lack of transparency of our countries' reserves.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 05, 2014, 21:59
Our Westward trek continues tonight with Philomena.

I think Coogan took a lot of liberties with the movie - so even though it is based on a true story and a novel, parts of it just didn't happen.

What Coogan did was take a story that was incredibly heart breaking but tempered it with the usual British upper lip. A bit of humour and about the triumph of the human condition. It could have been incredibly bleak an ending otherwise. But it wasn't.

I thought Dench left the Bond franchise because she was having trouble remembering her lines - but she was still magical in this show.

And then we finally finished Rosemary's Baby. The ending was just really abrupt - too abrupt. One moment, she was hysterical and crying blue murder. And the next, she was (SPOILER ALERT!!!) raising Satan's Baby (SPOILER END). It was just too sudden.
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 07, 2014, 22:20
And China destroys yet another HK franchise.

(http://i1.wp.com/4.bp.blogspot.com/-Rdt7OGFPXgk/UusksuyTgnI/AAAAAAAAWCQ/cysXvDoNz0o/s1600/Man+From+Macau.jpg)

It's a little cringe-inducing seeing Chow Yuen Fatt make a mockery of the God of Gamblers role he had created in the 90s. All because of the China renminbi.

My wife walked out of the movie midway. Me? I tried to put myself in a CNY frame of mind and watched it like I would any CNY/festive movie where brainless (and not particularly funny) comedy tends to be the norm so I was able to stomach it.

I can't believe it's going to have a sequel. And they are replacing Nick Tse with Nick Tseung. Did Tse finally realise he was selling out??

My wife was interviewing a HK PhD student for her research recently and the subject of Chinese in HK movies was discussed. I dunno how true this statement is BUT it was remarked that the HK people understand that they need the funding from the Chinese but they express their disdain of the Chinese by having them continue to speak in Mandarin while the rest of the HK cast speak in Cantonese. I always found it very jarring. Dunno how true this is. And apparently the HK audience in general just boycott these shows.

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: westendboy on June 08, 2014, 11:44
This is the dumbest movie I had the 'privilege' of paying hard earned moola to watch during CNY. If not for the festive period I think 1 star would be 1 too many. The only joke I LOL is that drawing the biggest card out of a deck joke.

This is in the running for the Worst Movie of 2014  :-X
Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 08, 2014, 23:09
Two excellent movies for a long weekend to celebrate the Queen's Birthday here in Queensland.

First up - The Lunchbox.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/81/The_Lunchbox_poster.jpg)
Don't let the poster fool you. It's not You've Got Mail or a Hollywood romcom.

It's a simple, unpretentious movie and just incredibly easy to love. The characters are easy to identify with and even though there was a moral ambiguity in the tale, the audience would just root for them precisely because they are so well fleshed out and wonderfully portrayed. I cannot believe Irrfan was the (prick) boss of Lizard man in Amazing Spiderman.

The make up really made him look old - and you can sense his own insecurity about his age.

My only hang up was the ending. It was just so abrupt... almost like Inception, where you had to determine which was the story ends. Perhaps a part of me wished for a happy ending.

The Grand Budapest Hotel followed.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/The_Grand_Budapest_Hotel_Poster.jpg)

Wes Anderson has done an impossible take - it was funny, poignant, absurd, flippant, sad, powerful and all at once, and yet just incredibly fused into a powerful movie.

F Murray Abraham and Ralph Fiennes were the stars of the show - even though it was a star studded cast and there was really no one that could be ashamed of their part. Except maybe Adrien Brody who was as 1 dimensional as they come. But his role fit the absurd aspect so well that I had no complaints either.

And the camera work? The use of miniatures and the use of tilt-shift photography, the use of different aspect ratios throughout to let you know which period you are in - it was spectacular.

Not every movie night has been great - but tonight's duo is certainly a highlight of the year if not years of movie nights :)

Title: Re: Great movie night - Real Steel + Inception
Post by: Doggie Howser on June 09, 2014, 23:25
Oops sorry about the wrong Wes when I posted the earlier review :P

Tonight - Don't Go Breaking My Heart followed by 300: Rise of an Empire.

Don't Go Breaking My Heart (from 2011) must be one of the earlier collaborations between HK and the Chinese. It stars Louis Koo and Daniel Wu along with a Chinese actress I don't recognise. And you know, it wasn't as terrible as the modern collaborations.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Don%27t_Go_Breaking_My_Heart_film_poster.jpg)

It's a romcom for sure but it didn't follow any real formula so we were still guessing at the end who she would end up with.

Possible spoilers
I thought Daniel's character was a bit unrealistic. Sure he was the perfect guy but it's hard to know all the faults and foibles of a person in the short time she's known him. Louis Koo's character, for all his imperfections feels more real. That said, the "courtship" was downright "stalker-ish" behaviour. It reminds me of something from How I Met Your Mother, the Dobler or Dahmer theory that states
"If both people are into each other, then a big romantic gesture works: Dobler, but if one person isn't into the other, the same gesture comes off serial-killer crazy: Dahmer.</