What's the Latest Thing You've Seen at the Cinema II

Went to see ...

... last night / this morning (midnight showing starting with Star Wars: Force Awakens at 9pm).

Will try to avoid spoilers as I know many people will be going to see it.

Certainly a more original story than Force Awakens was.  Anyone worried that it will be a remake of Empire Strikes Back can rest assured there is a lot more originality and unexpected twists than there was in Force Awakens.  There's some big "leaps" in galactic governance since Episode VII; but you have to not worry too much about that and just go with the flow I think (or perhaps the leap was within Force Awakens).

Technically was a very good movie with good acting, good effects and real and CGI seamlessly stitched together.  I saw it in 2D so can't comment on 3D.

I'm not entirely sure if it lives up to its hyped up billing (in some reviews) as the "Best Star Wars Ever" ... for me its going to take a second viewing to make any kind of definitive judgement call.  There is certainly more humour and I'm unsure if thats a good thing or not - it might be I'm not used to watching movies with such a big crowd.  A solid 4* movie (using my own star rating criteria that essentially means a movie I enjoyed, want to watch again but not in my top movies ever list) which might rise on rewatching.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

AT LAST, a decent Star Wars movie. For me this is No 2 in the canon, after A New Hope.

The film avoids any jarring moments, although it does have its share of coincidence and weaknesses; these I was happy to look past as what was delivered was emotionally satisfying and built upon VERY long laid foundations while extending the lore.

Star Wars has always been a western in space, rather than science fiction, but like Westerns when they are well delivered they are fine fare, and this is a film I look forward to re-watching.

Flawed? Certainly, but not holed below the water line by poor dialogue, mis-applied emotional beats or too much product placement. If this is what Kathleen Kennedy is going to deliver may she have more power to her arm.

If you like Star Wars then you may well differ in your placement of this film in terms of its quality, but I am sure you will feel an enormous sense of relief that at last they have made something that properly can be considered in the top three of the series.

M

Stuff Star Wars, the real movie event of the moment is a 71 year old picture made by the peerless Michael Powell and his partner Emeric Pressberger.

Here is A Matter Of Life And Death, presented in a fabulous 4K restoration which HAS to be seen on the big screen.

Since I first saw it on TV back in the 1970s as a kid, I've loved this film; as an adult, every time I see it - and I must have watched it a dozen times - I become more and more convinced that it may well be the greatest movie ever to have been made in these islands.

Seeing it again at the BFI last night finally persuaded me that it is: From that brilliant (and devastatingly moving) opening five or six minutes, this is a picture that has everything - narrative and compositional daring; breathtaking visual beauty thanks to Jack Cardiff's vivid technicolour and pearlescent black and white photography; jaw-dropping sets from Alfred Jünge; a splendid score by Allan Gray; a brilliantly witty, subversive script by Pressberger; Powell's feeling for place (even imaginary ones) and landscape; top-notch performances by David Niven, Kim Hunter, Raymond Massey, Marius Goring and, most of all, the peerless Roger Livesey. To top it all, it is a work of staggering invention and visual imagination - what other picture has a courtroom the size of a galaxy in it? - that seems as fresh today as it must have done back in 1946.

It's a dazzling, daring romantic fantasy but also a very humane picture, a plea for the rights of the individual against the system, and of the rights of all men and women. If you've never seen it before, or if you have previously dismissed it, AMOLAD deserves your attention or reappraisal.

Between 1940 and 1949, Powell (usually with Pressberger) had a run of pictures, all of them in their different ways masterpieces, that goes like this: The Thief of Baghdad; The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp; I Know Where I'm Going; A Canterbury Tale; AMOLAD; Black Narcissus; The Red Shoes; and The Small Back Room. Can anyone, apart from Jean Renoir in the 1930s, beat or even match that?

Good write up Kevin. This is one of my all time fav movies. Likewise, saw it as a youngster and have since revisited as and when possible. It leaves an impact! The emotional heft, stunning set design and ambition of the whole concept is simply a triumph. Seeing it on the big screen must have been a real privilege! Is it going on general cinema release, or a BFI only event I wonder. If not on the cinema circuit, I look forward to being able to stream the 4K restored version. 

Star Wars Last Jedi

Ponderous and disjointed in places. Several whole scenes, threads and indeed characters could easily be skipped (yes, you, Benicio Del Toro) and frankly just too long but enjoyed some of the characters, and yes a teeny bit of humour. An amiable watch but no masterpiece.

I think the last one was better. Did not bother with so much of the pseudo-mystical Jedi nonsense.

Wife and I decided we'd re-christen the whole SW series as 'when did you last see your father(figure)'

Bruce

(my films of the year: Dunkirk, and the mesmerising Lady Macbeth)

thebigfredc posted:

Boy did I miss the Star Wars bus even though I am right in its demographic. Didn't get in 1977 and still don't. Harry Potter too...tedious. I realise I am the exception, the odd one out. Can't stand Phil Collins or Queen. 

Fully grown men walking around in Star Wars fancy dress or collecting action fingers is a bit weird and the worst of the worst and I am reliable told a gigantic turn off talking like Yoda.  I remember feeling really let down and disappointed after finally watching Star Wars I just didn't get it as a 9 year old and still don't now.

Bob the Builder posted:
thebigfredc posted:

Boy did I miss the Star Wars bus even though I am right in its demographic. Didn't get in 1977 and still don't. Harry Potter too...tedious. I realise I am the exception, the odd one out. Can't stand Phil Collins or Queen. 

Fully grown men walking around in Star Wars fancy dress or collecting action fingers is a bit weird and the worst of the worst and I am reliable told a gigantic turn off talking like Yoda.  I remember feeling really let down and disappointed after finally watching Star Wars I just didn't get it as a 9 year old and still don't now.

<yoda_language>Seek help, you must</yoda_language>

The Last Jedi (spoilers)

Having avoided the trailers, the interviews, the hype and the toys, I came to this as fresh as possible - and it didn't disappoint! The reverential treatment of the original films is thrown overboard and while there are still plenty of references to ESB in particular, this is its own film. The overall tone is a good mix of lighthearted western in space, and serious character drama, with especially Rey and Kylo's arcs very well done. Loved the direction they took with Luke, although I would have expected R2 to stay with him?

Cheers,

EJ

Bob the Builder posted:
thebigfredc posted:

Boy did I miss the Star Wars bus even though I am right in its demographic. Didn't get in 1977 and still don't. Harry Potter too...tedious. I realise I am the exception, the odd one out. Can't stand Phil Collins or Queen. 

Fully grown men walking around in Star Wars fancy dress or collecting action fingers is a bit weird and the worst of the worst and I am reliable told a gigantic turn off talking like Yoda.  I remember feeling really let down and disappointed after finally watching Star Wars I just didn't get it as a 9 year old and still don't now.

There is hope for the both of you - My Little Pony has a surprisingly large mature adult following, I am led to understand... 

tonym posted:
Kevin-W posted:

Ok, it's a really good film, one that will deservedly top a lot of people's 2017 lists, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it; the direction is taut, the cinematography eye-popping and the production design incredible.

However those who say it surpasses the original are a bit wide of the mark IMO. It lacks Ridley Scott's film's poetic touches  - there is nothing to match, for example, the scene where Zhora, having been shot by Deckard, crashes through the windows to Vangelis' music; or Roy's remarkable dying speech.

The new film is more conventional, a more conventional story more conventionally told - nothing wrong with that, but for all its visual splendour, it just lacks that certain something that made Scott's movie so remarkable (once he'd stopped tinkering with it).

Plus, Hans Zimmer's score is horrible, especially when stacked up against Vangelis' contributions to the first picture. Why this bombastic hack keeps getting work in Hollywood is beyond me.

We've just returned from watching this at our little local cinema. Being a Blade Runner fan, I was rather worried I'd be disappointed. No chance, it was awesome, quite gobsmackingly so. Loved every second, and even SWMBO, who I dragged along, enjoyed it. In terms of spectacle I've not seen anything like it & I feel compelled to watch it again as soon as possible.

Me too. I bought it off iTunes as soon as it was available and have now watched it twice more. A couple of things that felt like plot holes or implausible coincidences in the first viewing came into better focus, and the whole thing is now close to 100% coherent for me. A true masterpiece. This might be the movie that gets me to go 4K at last.

I saw Ladybird, wanted to leave in 20 minutes, I remember all the trials and tribulations of a teen and all the arguments my middle sister had with mom outside my bedroom door.  I stuck it out to the end.

 

My two I saw Christmas was The Shape of Water and The Darkest Hour, both incredible.

Christopher_M posted:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

No justice if there aren't Oscars here. Great storytelling.

Fantastic film!  Dark humor for sure, great storytelling with some twists and turns and I remember laughing quite a bit throughout the movie!

(still need to get out and see "The Darkest Hour," "The Shape of Water," and "Blade Runner."  For Star Wars stuff I'll wait until it comes out on DVD rental)

Another vote for the superb 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. From the understated simple monochrome titles and intro music, one knows that one is in for some understated class.

The fictional Ebbing is Sylva NC. Go to Google Maps street-view and head east along W. Main St between Landis St and Spring St, and you'll see a furniture store just beyond the junction with Spring St on the right. It becomes the police station for the film. In fact, Peter Dinklage refers in the dialogue to 'Turning out of Spring' so the real road name in Sylva has been used.

Spoiler alert! (if you have not yet; but intend to see the film). If you street-view beyond the junction with Spring, (presumably by sheer coincidence) the Google Street View shot shows ongoing set-dressing of the police station; the shop opposite advertising 'Billboards', and the door through which Sam Rockwell's character 'Dixon' goes, and up the stairs. Two direct street-view shots of the police station reveal a major plot element of the film.

Enjoy.

John.

 

Hungryhalibut posted:

We saw Darkest Hour last night. A terrific film which is delivered in a really simple way and is very involving. Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill is a real tour de force. 

The film was well acted and had a realistic portray of a humbler and more insecure Churchill, the opposite of how most historian had painted him like, especially if we take into consideration the debacles of the British forces in Norway and France which were unfolding at the time. On the other hand, the constant euphoric music was getting on my nerves.

J.N. posted:

Another vote for the superb 'Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. From the understated simple monochrome titles and intro music, one knows that one is in for some understated class.

Spoiler alert! (if you have not yet; but intend to see the film). If you street-view beyond the junction with Spring, (presumably by sheer coincidence) the Google Street View shot shows ongoing set-dressing of the police station; the shop opposite advertising 'Billboards', and the door through which Sam Rockwell's character 'Dixon' goes, and up the stairs. Two direct street-view shots of the police station reveal a major plot element of the film.

Enjoy.

John.

 

Not sure what you are giving away in the "spoiler alert" JN.

We are planning to go and see this, as well as "The Darkest Hour" but have had to wait for them to appear at our local cinema. Neither of us care to venture into Ipswich and the multiplex hellholes that are there, with audiences under (shock horror) 50. Much better to go to Aldeburgh and be part of a small group of geriatrics, all gently snoring away.

Aldeeberg is just fine for us and is a fully independent cinema.The second screen there can show some very good, but apparently limited appeal, films.

Woodbridge would be better, but the cinema seems to cater for the more mainstream films, and hence of lower interest to us. The attached restaurant is an advantage, should the cinema venture away from a DM-reading demographic.

Tony, you are lucky in having the Regal on your doorstep.

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