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Member Since 20 Feb 2009
Offline Last Active Jun 22 2017 05:41 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What Have You Recently Purchased?

22 June 2017 - 05:44 PM

The Swimmer is a weird film. I think it could have done a little more allegorical (gives a bit too much away toward the end.)  Roger Ebert called it Lancaster's best performance which I disagree (either The Leopard or Elmer Gantry), but it is good. Nice combo though.
Rogue One I saw in the theater.
I ended up really thinking that Hacksaw Ridge was quite a good film.  I think Gibson is quite a good director.  Fascinating story.
The rest I have not seen.   I'll see Fantastic Beasts sooner than later.  A Haunted House was a few dollars :D.


In Topic: What Have You Recently Purchased?

02 June 2017 - 05:48 PM

^ Absolutely love the Batman set. Gotham is an interesting show, but it isn't as good of late as the first few seasons. Daredevil is fab. I watch Legends, (actually watch all the Arrow related shows), but feel it is weak compared to the others. I really liked Prison Break's first two seasons, but I felt it had run it's course after that and began to just be silly when the whole Panamanian  storyline started. Would have worked better as a limited series, I think.

Bought it just for the wheels :).  I cannot believe they only put the first season of Daredevil on BD only and that is even OOP (I know the whole Netflix thing.)  Still like Prison Break after the first two seasons, but they were by far the best.  I even enjoyed the last season which ended on my birthday :D.  That was fun, though I would have tweaked a few things with the ending.  I have not watched any of the others like Gotham, but plan on getting around to it.

I have seen none of these.  I was pretty happy to find Blood Rage used at FYE.  The new prices are just crazy.
Phantasm has been one of those horror films I've wanted to see for years.  Zombie is another.  Finally found it for a decent price.
There are only a few films with Arnold that I have not seen, that is one of them.


In Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Watched

11 May 2017 - 03:43 PM

The Monkey Goes West (1966: Meng Hua Ho: Hong Kong)

The first of four movies in the Journey to the West series. I had seen the third film The Cave of the Silken Web, which I do plan on rewatching, because it came out in a R1 release (and I had no idea there were previous films at the time.) Since I am reading the Journey to the West books (I am on chapter 74 right now) I thought it was a good time to watch this. The book itself is one of the most influential and popular of Chinese literature and is considered one of the four classic novels with Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dream of the Red Chamber. It has been made and referenced into countless books, cinema and TV.

Reading a book and then watching a movie can be problematic because not only are we dealing with different mediums I find myself being overly nitpicky about the differences between the two. The movie starts around chapter 13 from the book. The book first seven chapters deal with the origins of the Sun Wu-kong (the monkey played by Yueh Hua*, the amount of akas he has in the books are quite large; all the main characters tend to have multiple names.) The rest lead up to the journey itself, which the film starts off with. This is an origin film so you are going to get to see the freeing of the monkey, the meeting up with the other two future disciples Eight Rules (the pig also known as Idiot played by Pang Pang in a memorable performance) and Sandy (aka Sha Monk aka Sha Wu-jing in the book) who really only shows up at the end. The key is the relationship between monkey and the Monk Tang (Tripitaka in the book) and especially the byplay between the monkey and the pig which feels almost like an even more adversarial Abbott and Costello.

The special effects can be cheesy, but they have their own charm. Do not expect a Ray Harryhausen style and quality though. You see an interesting mix of stage scenery and outdoor shooting which was common for Shaws at the time. An overall fun film, the characters, for the most part**, fit their roles well and the adventure begins. With only four films there is no possible way to cover even a decent fraction of what happens in the books. But you do get a feeling of some of the episodes in this movie.

Is anyone familiar with the Peking Opera of this? I am thinking that some of the attire and plot are taken from there instead of the book. This film does at times take on a stage feeling. There are musical interludes, which is not as far off from the books as one might think. The books have a lot of poetry included and often are set (rhythmic patterns) to various tunes like “Moon Over West River.” This feeling is lost to me mostly due to the English reading as opposed to the Mandarin one.

* Some of the filming of this coincided with Come Drink with Me and he had stated in interviews that he and others found himself doing monkey-style movements in the King Hu film.

** And here is where the differences in the book start to permeate my thinking. From the book Eight Rules (piggy) has a much longer snout and would expect a better athlete than here (say a Sammo Hung in his prime could be a perfect fit to the character). The monkey is much shorter normally (four foot tall, though he has the ability to change his height very easily). Sha Monk has a different color face, is much taller than anyone else (I think 10 foot, but cannot re-find the place where this is mentioned) and the elder monk has those long ears that no one then wanted to have :D.

In Topic: Criterions You Have Recently Purchased

09 May 2017 - 12:32 PM

All but The Killers are upgrades.  I have seen them all.
Monterey Pop: One of the most well known and influential concert movies.  Criterion has a three disc set which I would recommend first, as the BD below only has one disc.  I just needed for my collection and to lend out.
The Killers: this has two different films on it.  The Burt Lancaster (Robert Sidmark) version is by far the best, but the made-for-TV but too violent for TV version is not bad.  It has Reagan's last movie appearance (and I believe his only bad-guy role.)  Don Siegel was the director and has some flaws here (huge influence on the directing style of Clint Eastwood), though to be fair this was done quickly (I would have had some of the acting redone).
My Darling Clementine: classic John Ford.  Been awhile since I have seen it.
The Night of the Hunter: I still quote "chiiiiiiilllldren" from it.  One of the greatest one-and-done directoral movies.
Red River: I just rewatched this.  Still love it.  The end does feel a little forced :D. Great seeing John Wayne is a not-as-typical role (he's a bastard, which he is in several films; he tended to be put in more variant roles in the 40s than any other decade, with the exceptions that Hawks, John Ford could always get him to act they wanted him to.)
All of these films (not counting the TV version of The Killers) I would give ***½ to **** (out of ****) in ratings. 

In Topic: What Have You Recently Purchased?

05 May 2017 - 06:04 PM

I've seen Prison Break 1 and 3.  Watching the current season so wanted to go back and rewatch.

Needed that little car for the Batman set :D.

The Daredevil set is quite high; I found it used at a much better deal than on Amazon.