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The Movies Thread!

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coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@silverlily it's probably to be found in an Art sort of cinema. Hope you can find it.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : January 15, 2023 8:25 pm
Silverlily
(@silverlily)
NarniaWeb Junkie

...I only have one cinema matching that description in driving distance, I may have to wait for it to be buyable on dvd or through streaming.

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Posted : January 17, 2023 4:02 am
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

We've been on a western kick this month with the siblings having picked through my collection for entertainment in the evenings. We've watched Blood On The Moon (1948), The Virginian (1946), The Duel At Silver Creek (1952), Man In The Saddle (1951), The Stranger Wore A Gun (1953), Drums Across The River (1954), and Fort Worth (1951).  My collection of western films seemed quite large until they picked through them, three of the films came just from my Randolph Scott sets. It makes me want to browse Ebay looking for something new to add to the collection. Giggle

I have to say I think my favorite of the above mention is actually Blood On The Moon which stars Robert Mitchum and not one of the Randolph Scott films. Blood On The Moon is more of across between a western and 40s/50s noir, it's plot and characters are dark and moody for much of the film unlike most of the westerns made in the 40s/50s. 

SnowAngel


Christ is King.

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Posted : May 27, 2023 4:15 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@silverlily  I recently bought the book written by the woman at the centre of The Lost King movie. It's a full account of what she learned, the people who were supportive, and dealing with funding agencies etc.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : May 27, 2023 7:44 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I watched the new Little Mermaid movie the other day. Here are some of my thoughts on it.

But first I'm going to write about something that seems totally unrelated. I've been working on a post for my blog, which probably won't be published until next month, or at least until late this one, but part of which is about the book, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Modern movies that adapt the book typically portray the main character as writing it (the book) at the end and it being a big passion project for them. But Little Women wasn't that for its real author. It was actually something her publisher requested her to write she really wasn't interested in doing, but she needed the money, so eventually she did to the best of her abilities. And the book is now a beloved classic. The 2023 Little Mermaid was also probably something that was assigned to its writer and director, not a personal passion project. I mean, nobody believes it was created because someone had a really great idea for a remake of the 1989 animated movie. Disney just realized it would make money. But I don't think people should stop loving Little Women because it was written for solely monetary purposes, and they have to right to love this new Little Mermaid too (or at least it should be given a chance.) In my ideal world, screenwriter David Magee would have gotten his adaptation of The Silver Chair, which apparently was something of a passion project for him, produced instead of this. But that doesn't mean this is bad. (And his adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover was put up for award consideration, so let's not feel too sorry for Magee here.) 

Does that mean I think the movie is really great? Well...not exactly. Giggle During the first "act" or so, I found myself empathizing a bit with those who'd be cynical of the remake, which was trying to recreate the 1989 movie beat for beat and didn't seem to have many interesting ideas. But at the point that the titular mermaid transforms into a human, well, technically the movie still copies the old one beat for beat LOL but it does so much at a much slower pace, so it feels like more of its own thing and I could forget more about the fact that it was a remake of something else and get invested in this version of the story and characters for their own sake. Most of the new ideas it does have are obvious and predictable, but they're obvious and predictable because they make sense and I do think they probably improve the story even if they could have been executed in more interesting ways. 

One of the reasons people object to remakes when they're remaking a movie that people love is that it'll never be as good as the original. I don't really relate to this. I mean, if I heard that they were remaking one of my favorite movies, like Lilies of the Field (1963), I'd assume it would never be as good as the original, but I wouldn't get mad. I'd be interested in seeing it. (Maybe it's because I don't demand everything I watch or read be great, just OK.) As long as it's not totally terrible, I enjoy seeing something old being remade. After all, cinema is related more closely to theater than literature and much of theater is restaging old plays with new casts and creative teams. Not every production of the same play is going to be as good, but different productions are supposed to exist. 

The choreography for the songs wasn't as good as the original, except for Under the Sea, which disappointed me a bit since staging musical numbers is something I consider a strength of director Rob Marshall. But they were still fun. And the vocals were wonderful. If you're someone who feels that modern musical movies don't have good singing since cast Hollywood stars rather than musical theater ones, this movie might cheer you up. One of the three new songs, Wild Uncharted Waters, is just as great as the old ones and the other two are fine. If you're a fan of the songs from the 1989 Little Mermaid but don't like the idea of a remake, I'd encourage you to still check out the soundtrack. 

And the acting was great, especially Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King as the romantic leads. I really enjoyed rooting for them. Not only does Bailey have a great voice but she's also great at communicating her character's feelings with facial expressions. At first, I felt like Melissa McCarthy was trying to hard to recreate the Sea Witch from the animated movie and wasn't putting enough of her own spin on the role, but that impression faded as the movie went on. I'd say she does a better job of making her character seem convincingly nice when she's tricking the little mermaid. (Well, as good a job as she can while still singing that song.)

Spoiler
Spoilers If You Haven't Seen the Old Movie Anyway
And I actually felt kind of sorry for her when she accidentally killed her eels.
Awkwafina as Scuttle was the actor trying to sound like their counterpart from the old movie the least and because of that I enjoyed her the most out of the supporting cast. 

However, this brings me to a criticism I have of the movie. The only sea creatures to be anthropomorphized were the ones who were characters in the story and it made them stand out as odd. I think they should have either stuck closer to the old version and had more talking animals in the background or departed from it more and had Sebastian and Flounder be merpeople. (Honestly, while Jacob Tremblay does a good job voicing him, I think they probably should have cut Flounder entirely. He was always the least memorable sidekick in the 1989 movie and it feels like he does even less here.) You could argue that when originally adapting Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, Disney gave the role of the mermaid's sisters and grandmother to the animal characters.

Spoiler
More Spoilers If You Haven't Seen the Old Movie
(They tell her about the upper world, tell her to be content with what she has, and try to help her when the prince gets engaged to someone else.)
Maybe they should have gone back to that, especially as crabs and fish are harder to make cuddly in a photorealistic environment. 

Speaking of the original story, Scuttle has a hilarious line that might be an allusion to it. I'm not sure though. I guess the basic joke is pretty generic (though, I repeat, hilarious) so it might be a coincidence, but if so, it's an amusing coincidence. The movie actually begins with a quote from said original story, which struck me as really random at first, but if you keep the quote in mind during the final moments, it makes them more emotional. That was a clever surprise I wouldn't have expected from a Disney remake like this. In general, I feel like the slower pace really did make the ending more emotional than the last scene of the 1989 movie. (Of course, if you're a more ardent fan of that one than I am, you'll probably disagree just a tad.)

Something that disappointed me about the movie was how it skimped on the magical transformations. Except for the mermaid's initial transformation, they always cut to something else or have the screen fill with smoke just like this was a movie made before we had the special effects to show such transformations onscreen. One of the reasons I'll defend these live action-ish remakes of animated movies is that it's cool to see something that previously could only be done in hand-drawn animation done in photorealism. I understand a movie like this was super expensive as it was, but still...

I've heard that there's been a deal of controversy around this movie and that it's losing money. I think that's kind of sad. Sad I mean, I do think it's time for Disney's stream of nostalgia bait to stop, but it's sad that this had to be the one to lose money. I wouldn't say it's the best of the ones I've seen, but it's definitely not the worst either. I had more fun watching it than I've had with movies, including recent Disney movies, that made more money.

This post was modified 12 months ago 2 times by Col Klink

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : June 1, 2023 8:39 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

@col-klink 

I haven't seen the live action remake of The Little Mermaid though I've seen trailers for it. One thing is that, you're so used to Ariel being a red-head, so I think that's going to get a lot of people talking. In my opinion, Jodie Benson will always be the Ariel from the original 1989.

There's been so many live action remakes of Disney animated movies, like the ones a lot of us grew up with, and I almost cringe at it. I think next year, there's a live action of remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame coming out, which I'm not super excited for.

I actually kind of wish that Disney would stop doing live-action remakes, as there's already been too many.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Posted : June 1, 2023 6:34 pm
Courtenay liked
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @jasmine_tarkheena

There's been so many live action remakes of Disney animated movies, like the ones a lot of us grew up with, and I almost cringe at it...I actually kind of wish that Disney would stop doing live-action remakes, as there's already been too many.

I actually think a lot of people (Not you, mind you! Just some people) mindlessly criticize Disney's recent remake because it's the Thing To Do in critical circles. I actually did a whole series on my blog about this, but I actually think the first couple of paragraphs in my post on the LM remake put my case more eloquently. Giggle But if people want to read my argument anyway, here are some links. (One's about a sequel, not a remake, but oh well.) 

A Mild Defense of Disney’s Recent Line of Nostalgia Bait | The Adaptation Station.com

Mary Poppins Returns: My Third Favorite Disney Nostalgia Bait Movie | The Adaptation Station.com

Aladdin (2019): My Second Favorite Disney Nostalgia Bait Movie | The Adaptation Station.com

Cinderella (2015): My Favorite Disney Nostalgia Bait Movie | The Adaptation Station.com

I really do think some of the remakes would be considered equal, superior or only slightly inferior to the originals if people gave them a fair shake. 

Posted by: @jasmine_tarkheena

One thing is that, you're so used to Ariel being a red-head, so I think that's going to get a lot of people talking. In my opinion, Jodie Benson will always be the Ariel from the original 1989.

I actually think they should have not had the actress dye her hair red. (This is assuming they did it specifically for the role and she doesn't just dye her hair that color normally.) I feel like they only did it because the animated character had red hair, not because it looked good. I liked that the actress and the actor who played the prince weren't trying to imitate their animated counterparts, unlike some of the actors in Disney remakes where I can agree with the hate. (Well, not really, but ones where I can agree with the dislike.) I approve of differentiating new versions of the characters.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : June 4, 2023 8:42 am
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

It is hardly ever that I post in this topic (being much more of a book, than a movie/TV, person), but I was finally able to see the film, Morningstar, on the life of John Wycliffe (circa 1328 - 1384), written and directed by Murdo MacLeod, who also previously released Knox (John Knox) in 2015.

I love learning about history, so was gripped by this excellent docu-drama of Wycliffe's life. Inspiring! He stood up for the truths of Scripture against fierce forces in the church, as Asia and Europe were emerging from the devastating bubonic plague of the Black Death. Many times, Wycliffe's life was at stake (pun-intended) for his non-capitulation of God's Word, but he stood strong.

I had heard this from her quite awhile back, but it was still a huge treat to see a NarniaWebber name on the closing credits. Under "Animation and Background Lead" was none other than AJ Aiken! And a superb job she did, too. Applause  


Signature by Narnian_Badger, thanks! (2013)
7,237 posts from Forum 1.0

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Posted : July 27, 2023 12:47 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Guru

I found this interesting video about the making of Contact, which is a film based on Carl Sagan’s novel with the same title:

The video was apparently made on VHS, but it still looks quite good.  I like how it shows the thoughtful effort which went into making the movie back in 1997. I think it was one of the best science fiction films of the 1990’s. I have rewatched Contact many times, and I especially love the story behind the film. 🙂

 

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Posted : October 16, 2023 7:03 am
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

Over two years ago, my siblings and I rewatched the first three Hornblower movies. Yesterday we finally watched Loyalty and tonight it's Duty. I had forgotten what the plot of Duty was until I heard the American girl scream and then I was like oh now I remember what happens in this one. LOL

SnowAngel


Christ is King.

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Posted : October 30, 2023 6:49 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I rewatched Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit last night and it was so much fun that I felt like mentioning in this thread that I love it. I don't have anything particular to say about it. I just wanted to say I love it. Love  

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : November 1, 2023 8:12 am
SnowAngel, fantasia, Courtenay and 1 people liked
SnowAngel
(@snowangel)
Maiden of Monday Madness Moderator

@col-klink, I can drive my siblings crazy with how I will go on and on about a book or movie I really didn't like, but usually when I enjoy something and I want them to know I like it...all I say to them about it is "I like it". And in my mind that should be enough explanation. Giggle  

I've been wanting to watch The Patriot again for ages, I finally did it this week. I couldn't get my sisters to watch with me, so I watched by myself with the exception of about 25 minutes at the beginning that one sister stayed in the room for. I divided The Patriot between two nights and I enjoyed watching it again even if I couldn't get a pal to watch with me. Giggle  

Tonight we are planning to watch Stagecoach which I added to my film collection this week. It's been on my wish list for a while and I finally found a used Criterion DVD for a price I was willing to pay. Smile  

SnowAngel 


Christ is King.

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Posted : November 3, 2023 10:45 am
Col Klink liked
Silverlily
(@silverlily)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I am looking forward to finally seeing the new Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli animation, The Boy and the Heron, on Wednesday with friends. I have heard it deals somewhat thematically with grief and is beautiful but very "trippy" at times, but have been avoiding spoilers otherwise. Updates to come...

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Posted : December 29, 2023 5:21 am
Col Klink liked
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Watching the recent Monk movie inspired me to seek out other movies written by Andy Breckman, the creator of Monk, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. One of them is Rat Race (2001), a comedy about a bunch of people who are racing across the country in a crazy contest to win 2 million dollars. Its comedy is a lot more over-the-top than that of Monk though I can still detect a similarity. Basically, it's like the most outlandish comedic set pieces of Monk stretched out to a whole movie. Some viewers are going to find it stupid and obnoxious. Some of its more outrageous jokes they might even find offensive. But other viewers are going to find it hilarious or at least very funny and I'm one of those. (The movie is also very early 2000s in its music choices and not everyone is going to love that either. Giggle ) There are just so many crazy scenes that I could never have predicted in this thing because they're so weirdly specific for lack of a better description. (I'd give examples but that'd just spoil them.) There were a few devices that I found tiresome but more that I didn't. 

If you go to this website a lot, you're likely familiar with the Talking Beasts podcasts. (If you're not, you should be. It's great.) Last season or so, they did an episode reviewing the recent Barbie movie. One of the podcasters described it as being farcical for most of its running time and then trying to get emotional at the end. This didn't work for him, and he felt they should have just stuck to the comedy. I tend to agree except I felt the movie's weird earnestness began earlier than just the last scene. That's why we agree about the film in many ways, but he leans positive, and I lean negative on it. Rat Race can be described as similar to Barbie in that they're both farces. The plot of each is as ridiculous as possible and the writing keeps us removed from the characters' emotions, wanting us to laugh at their suffering rather than pity it. (The two scripts go about this using very different writing styles, but I believe the parallel can be drawn.) Rat Race though, unlike Barbie, isn't pretentious. There's kind of a philosophical idea in the story about ordinary people being willing to do anything if offered enough money but that's not what you're meant to think while watching it. The movie's only goal is to be a crazy screwball comedy and it's the better for sticking to that IMO.

Spoiler
Ending Spoilers
It does manage to end on a somewhat emotionally uplifting note while still being somewhat cynically humorous. For me, that worked.

Interestingly, Andy Breckman earlier wrote Tourist Trap, a 1998 made-for-TV movie (not to be confused with the 1979 horror movie) that was also a crazy road trip comedy, one aimed more at family audiences, which had a similar tonal problem to Barbie. Not exactly the same, mind you, but similar. Most of it is about laughing at the expense of one of the main characters and then in the last half hour, he redeems himself in the eyes of everyone without much buildup. It doesn't feel very earned. In spite of that, I actually find Tourist Trap funnier than Rat Race. Well, sort of. The broader Rat Race is funnier when it's at its best, but Tourist Trap is more consistently laugh-out-loud funny IMO. 

I heard that Rat Race was very derivative of an earlier screwball comedy, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) so I checked that out too. I kind of expected Mad, Mad World to be the funnier of the two. I'm not sure why since I'm not someone who thinks older movies are always better than newer ones. (Neither do I think the opposite.) But anyway, I actually felt that Rat Race was a lot more entertaining and inventive. The earlier comedy barely made me laugh at all and went on for way too long IMO. 

So, there you have it! Rat Race. Funnier than Barbie. Funnier than It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Not funnier than Tourist Trap but more tonally consistent. I can't recommend it everyone, but I do recommend it to some people. (And I recommend they avoid the trailers which just spoil jokes and make them sound stupid.) 

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : February 9, 2024 9:10 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Having finished the book, A Tale of Two Cities, as part of my online reading group that going through Dickens's oeuvre, I watched the 1935 movie adaptation and it was awesome, one of the best movies I've seen adapted from a Charles Dickens book! In fact, I feel like it improved on the source material, mainly by doing a better job developing the characters in the central love triangle and their relationships. On the downside, Dr. Manette, who was my favorite character in the book, wasn't as well developed in the movie and while Madame Defarge's character was pretty much the same, I feel the way the book developed her was a lot more interesting. (The movie didn't really show her loyalty to her husband which was one of her few redeeming points in the text.) So, I guess not completely an improvement on the book but closer to an improvement on it than any other Dickens-inspired movie I can call to mind. 

BTW, the character of "The Vengeance" was played by Lucille La Verne who voiced the evil queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, another classic movie from the 30s. I don't know if she had a great deal of range in general, but she sounds exactly the same in both roles. It's especially obvious when she (the character) laughs. Sometimes an actor being really recognizable can be a distraction, but I feel like in this case, it actually added to the experience, making The Vengeance extra terrifying to me. Maybe whenever I watch Snow White again, it'll also make the queen extra nightmarish too. LOL  

This post was modified 3 months ago 2 times by Col Klink

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : February 22, 2024 7:44 pm
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