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Topic: The Movie Thread

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RR529

Octopussy (Blu-Ray) - The second of the 80's Bond flicks I've picked up. When another "00" is killed for discovering that the Soviets are seemingly in the business of smuggling knockoff priceless artifacts, Bond is sent in to find out the truth behind the matter.

  • It started off really strong with Bond infiltrating a military facility of an unnamed(?) Latin American dictatorship, but never really climbed back up to those hights again (though the big climax in East & West Germany was pretty good too). Most of the film took place in India, which just wasn't that interesting of a locale IMO.
  • I want to give props to the opening chase (loved him pulling out that small plane), the cool (albiet very brief) car chase in Germany, and the ending plane scene (especially with the stunt doubles climbing on the outside of the craft while airborne).
  • Interestingly, it's the first time I've seen full nudity in a Bond film (for a brief moment or two when "Octopussy" is getting out of the pool in her introductory scene. She's just far enough away from the camera that they probably thought the resolution would ever be good enough to see anything).
  • Even as someone who enjoys the more campy elements of the older Bond films, it really kind of pushes it in the final moments of the raid on the villain's lair (you have a small army of women warriors raiding the place in JRPG levels of bikini armor, and James himself arrives in a Union Jack patterned hot air balloon of all things).

Overall pretty decent, but not one of my favorites.

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JohnnyShoulder

Does anyone have any recent experience oif using the digital codes in the UK found in blu rays? I know most probably throw them away or ignore them, but I've recently purchased a UHD tv but have a OG PS4.

I've streamed a couple of UHD films through Google Play Movies & TV and I'm happy the quality. But the choices of films available in 4k is very limited. I'm fully aware that the best quality is to play the discs but I've no way to play UHD discs at the moment. I might get a cheapish UHD blu ray player and i assume PS5 will have one, so if do buy the discs they will not be wasted. There are a few films I've got my eye one (Alien 40th Anniversary Edition for example).

The problem is that the service you used to load the codes up to, Ultaviloet, is dead. You can still use the codes but I think it depends on the studio on which streaming service you can use to redeem them, from iTunes, Google Play and Amazon prime. Movies Anywhere is cool, where if you redeem the code on one service you can then watch it on any of the other services. But that is only available in USA at the mo.

Edited on by JohnnyShoulder

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

There is no longer a good time to release a game. There are only less s**t times to release a game

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

RogerRoger

@RR529 Great thoughts on Octopussy, although I'm sorry to hear India didn't grab you. They'd been trying to set a Bond film there for a long time and so, when they finally went, they went big-time.

A little bit of historical trivia to consider is that, in the run-up to Octopussy, Roger Moore had stepped down and James Brolin had been cast as the first American Bond. The film was gonna be a little more serious, but then Sean Connery was announced to be starring in the unofficial Bond film, Never Say Never Again. Fearing competition from the original (although they needn't have bothered), the producers thanked Brolin, got the popular Moore back and tweaked the tone of the film to be more universal, with moments of camp and nonsense to off-set the drama. It's also why the Bond theme is played more frequently throughout, as the unofficial film didn't have that and they wanted to remind people that they were watching "proper" Bond.

Trailers for Octopussy started with "From the producers who brought you all the James Bond classics!" as their titles flashed up on-screen, and hyped up Moore's return. It worked, as Octopussy won that year's "Battle of the Bonds" at the box office (although it helped that Never Say Never Again was nothing more than a remake of Thunderball, and a cheap one at that).

Brolin's successful screen tests for Bond should be on your Blu-Ray, if you're interested.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

LN78

@RogerRoger I've just finished a fascinating book on the whole sorry McClory debacle which you might enjoy (if you haven't already) called "The Battle for Bond" by Robert Sellers. Not only does it detail McClory's various abortive attempts to launch a rival Bond franchise (frequently in cahoots with Connery who seemingly held a lifetime grudge against Salzman and particularly Broccoli) but also the frankly ludicrous and underhanded manner in which Fleming attempted to rob him of his intellectual property. I rather like "Never Say Never Again" just by the way.

LN78

RogerRoger

@LN78 Thanks for the recommendation! Most of my knowledge is cobbled together from various sources (individual reports, Roger Moore's autobiography, general Bond overview books, etc.) so it'd be good to get a definitive picture, as I do find it all quite interesting.

Connery hated Broccoli with a passion. Apparently, when turning up for the Royal premiere of You Only Live Twice, Connery broke contract by appearing without his wig. When asked by the press who the greatest Bond villain was, he simply answered "Cubby Broccoli." The other anecdote I remember is when Roger Moore (who remained good friends with both men) got them together at a party, to try and broker peace. According to Moore, Broccoli started by saying "Sean, the one thing that really hurt was that, in a newspaper, you were quoted as saying that if I were on fire, you wouldn't cross the street to [pee] on me." Connery immediately replied "Cubby, I'd gladly [pee] on you any day."

Never found anything on the source of Connery's hatred. I know he has a reputation for being somewhat of a grump and, when coupled with his pretty shocking remarks about women, it paints an obvious picture of the man, but I'm guessing the truth is a little more complex (because it always is).

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

LN78

@RogerRoger The grudge was based (as so may of these things are) on money. Canny Scotsman Connery (who had a particularly impoverished childhood) was of the opinion that he was as responsible for the success of the franchise as the producers and that as the pictures became more successful so his share of the profits should increase as well. The producers,put simply, disagreed and insisted on holding the actor to the contract and wage stipulations that they had agreed to at the time of "Dr.No" and refused to make him a partner in EON productions even as they earned previously unthinkable riches (reportedly around $100,000 a week each in 1960's money at the height of "Thunderball" fever) and treating him simply as a disposable employee. I'm not sure if the book is still in print (my copy was a charity shop find) and it doesn't include EON's acquisition of the rights to Blofeld,SPECTRE and so on that they finally got a hold of after McClory's death but it's extremely enlightening nonetheless.
PS Just for perspective that figure of $100,000 a week is equivalent to around $800,000 in today's money! No wonder Sean got the hump.

Edited on by LN78

LN78

RogerRoger

@LN78 Ah, I see. Thanks for filling me in!

Given how many actors double-hat as Executive Producers nowadays (both in film and on television) I can see how a case like that could set precedence. The latest high-profile example I can think of, ironically enough, was Daniel Craig on SPECTRE.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

Seems like every major showing of Joker in the U.S. has armed guards, and reportedly undercover cops are going to various showings. Some large theaters are refusing to show the film altogether. Liberal journalists and movie critics are calling it a nihilistic, shallow nightmare of a film that will trigger incels and make them kill people (except for the few ones that think it's a masterpiece), but, again, the audience is wholly embracing it, and it blew away Venom's record for the best opening night for a film in October, and it looks set to achieve the same with the opening weekend record.

Haven't heard about any attempted shootings, but a portion of the press is patting themselves on the back for sounding the alarm because, in some NY showing of the movie, a creepy dude that was spitting on people had to be taken out.

lol America is such a mess.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

...There's armed guards in Joker screenings @Ralizah ?

I know there was that Dark Knight Rises incident ages ago but that sounds exceedingly overly cautious

Can't believe Venom set any records either... Such a terrible film

Ya don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all ya need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis Persona 3

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》My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel《

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy At the big ones. They're apparently searching bags and purses at these opening weekend showings from what I've heard as well. I'll update if I have an exceptional experience getting into the film later today.

Yeah, Venom did really well. As did Suicide Squad. Popularity and quality often don't go together.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

I remember reading they both made like $800,000,000 or so at the box office... I didn't know Venom had made any actual records though lol

I look forward to hearing your impressions @Ralizah , the views expressed already during the topic by various people seems to be quite positive and it's been on my radar too.

I also hope nothing goes wrong at your viewing, just in case

Ya don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all ya need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis Persona 3

PSN:GoddessFoxy-E

》My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel《

Th3solution

Speaking of poorly executed Marvel property movies, I rented X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I figured for $2, it was worth taking a chance.
Well, I fell asleep halfway through and didn’t feel the need to restart it after I woke up. Symbolically lighting my 2 dollar investment on fire, I returned the movie, wishing I had the money back for a bag of M&M’s instead.
Since I never saw the ending, I don’t really know if I can fully pass judgment, but the fact that I didn’t have the desire to sink another hour into it is telling.
It’s too bad, because I liked some things about the First Class crew. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have previously been good as Professor X and Magneto; and I usually like J. Lawrence in most of her roles. But even these top shelf actors really underperformed. I didn’t like the portrayal of any of the other characters either, such as Beast, Cyclops, or Storm. But above all, Sophie Turner just didn’t have the acting prowess to carry the movie in the central role of Jean Gray. Her performance was really flat. Of course, the fact that I didn’t care much about the characters and their plight probably has more to do with the poor script and direction of the film. I can’t put my finger on it, but it was not enjoyable, despite some pretty decent special effects and artistic design.

I don’t know how they are going to try to salvage the X-men IP and successfully integrate it into the MCU, but this is not a good sign. I wonder if they are going to reboot the characters all again, or use the same actors. Just please no Sophie Turner, please.

Edited on by Th3solution

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Th3solution

Sorry for the double post, but I just had to share this.
I did a quick internet search out of curiosity to see if my Dark Phoenix criticism was too harsh. This is my favorite quote I found:

Kurt Loder of Reason magazine wrote, "There are several things wrong with Dark Phoenix. I'm tempted to say everything is wrong with it, except that the picture is largely in focus and the credits appear to be correctly spelled. Other than that, though..."

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

LN78

@Th3solution Yikes! I had heard it was pretty bad (evidently the last act was entirely reconceived and shot when it became clear that it was almost identical to the climax of Captain Marvel) and that it caused Disney to shelve the already completed Fox X-Men feature New Mutants entirely rather than prolong the agonising death throes of the franchise. In fairness the signs were all there with X-Men:Apocalypse which is a total mess and the fact that director Kinberg (this was his ignominious debut) already attempted to do justice to the notoriously complex Phoenix story line (as a writer) in the dismal Last Stand and completely borked it that time,too. The current consensus is that the MCU will indeed be starting from scratch with an entirely new cast which thankfully means no more Sophie Turner (who certainly did miss the acting classes at acting school) but sadly no more McAvoy or Fassbender who I also thought did very well in roles of Xavier and Magneto respectively. The lesson here seems to be that when you have a wonderful,beautifully made,well received and completely logical exit point for your notoriously patchy franchise (which Fox obviously had with the exceptional Logan) damn well quit while you're ahead.

Edited on by LN78

LN78

RogerRoger

@Th3solution Yikes. And here I was, thinking of going and grabbing the Blu-Ray this week. The new cast were never my favourite, but I quite liked Apocalypse and was up for "one more go" before Disney came in and rebooted them all again. I think I'll save my pennies now; thanks!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

So: Joker. Quick thoughts.

  • Not directly related to the movie, but my theater thankfully was very light on police presence. No searching you before you went in the theater. Some people I know in other states weren't so lucky. I imagine location was important in my case.
  • Central performance was great, but I think everyone expected that going in. With that said, it wasn't great AS a Joker performance. Arthur Fleck isn't the Joker so much as he is a beaten-down maniac in clown makeup. Which is no surprise, as the director clearly had no interest in the comic book origins of the concept.
  • The movie is essentially a vehicle for that central performance. Almost every single frame of the movie is focused on Fleck in some way. It's practically a one-man show.
  • I'm a bit mixed on the movie around Joaquin Phoenix, though. Despite the movie's almost comical insistence on being misery porn for the first half, I don't think the director really had the chops to pull off a film that evoked intense negative emotions or a sense of gravitas. This is certainly Gotham at its slimiest, but this is so exaggerated that it feels more cartoonish than anything. If any of you have seen the TV show Gotham, it reminds me a lot of that. His history with comedy films kind of comes through in a lot of scenes, too, and I think this would have been more suited as a dark comedy.
  • The cinematography was great. Despite the objectively gross nature of the city (there's trash EVERYWHERE thanks to a series of strikes that have paralyzed the city's services), there's a dark, almost surreal beauty to it. It's a gorgeous looking movie.
  • This narrative about the film being incel bait is disingenuous. The film is concerned with the socially demoralizing effects of late stage capitalism and social/economic inequality, and depicts violence being committed against what might be termed 'cultural elites,' which is presumably why American corporate media is so intent on making it seem "irresponsible" and "dangerous." Anything that questions the basic morality of the oligarchic status quo in this country is probably going to get attacked in this same way. I also wouldn't say that the film celebrates his turn toward violence, considering its primarily spurred by forces beyond his control as opposed to a willful choice to strike back at society.
  • With that said, I do think the film could have been so much more subversive and interesting than it was. Despite the film's (arguably undeserved) reputation, the film frequently pulls its punches with anything that doesn't directly relate to the misery porn that is the main character's life.
  • Good movie, but the controversy that sprung up around it says a LOT more about the current state of American society than it does this film's willingness to be transgressive or shocking.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Ralizah Your use of "misery porn" a couple times has reinforced my decision not to go see Joker whilst it's in theatres. Mind if I ask how visceral it gets? So many reviews call it "brutal" and "shocking" in parts but, as you say, I'm not sure the press can be trusted with this film.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@RogerRoger It's really not that bad. There's only one scene in the film I'd characterize as being "brutal," and, while it is quite visceral and horrible, most of what you see happens just off-screen or is obscured by the actors' bodies. Fleck does get the snot beaten out of him a lot by various residents of this evil city, but there's not a lot of blood involved, and I guess they don't injure him too seriously, because he apparently survives them easily enough.

Otherwise, a few people get realistically shot, and someone gets shot in the head in the film's climax, which throws them back in their seat.

Maybe I'm just desensitized, but it didn't seem overly violent to me. I mean, there definitely IS violence, but it's not exploitation film level violence or anything. One ought to have gone into the film expecting people to get shot and beaten up in the first place. Nothing in it was as violent as the climax of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood..., for sure.

You saw that one really violent trailer for TLOU Part II, right? That trailer was way more violent and hard to watch, imo, than anything in Joker.

I found this interesting article where a journalist got reactions from various AMPAS members...
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscar-voters-react-jok...

What really stuck out to me is the paternalistic moralism that seems to be infecting the Academy. People keep saying there's no "message," but the film clearly deals with specific themes; it just doesn't function as propaganda. They also talk about social responsibility, as if they should be recommending films they think people ought to be watching for ideological reasons instead of honoring excellent cinema and allowing audiences to sort out their own feelings about what messages the films are sending out.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Ralizah Thanks for your expanded thoughts. Given everything, I'm sure a lot of the comments I've seen in professional reviews are slightly over-selling the violence by today's standards, or perhaps the overall tone of the film heightened its impact for them. I was kinda expecting close-up, sustained torture and gore based on the impressions some reviews had given; that would've really put me off, as I can kinda only deal with one uncomfortable thing at a time and am already bracing myself for the "misery porn" elements (and no, whilst I did see the latest trailer for The Last of Us, Part II during its State of Play, I never watched the first E3 one specifically because people said it was brutal).

Those quotes from Academy members betray a lot of what Hollywood has become of late, as well as the divided state of America at the moment. Awards ceremonies are now as much political platforms as they are genuine appreciation of the arts, and the results of that are worrying. As you say, it's a sad state of affairs when the only pieces of art that are deemed to "mean something" are the ones that go "Look at us, we mean something!" as though everybody walking out of a cinema immediately takes to Twitter and complains that the film they just watched didn't tell them what to think. I reckon I'd much rather just be asked a question and left alone to answer it for myself.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

RogerRoger wrote:

I was kinda expecting close-up, sustained torture and gore based on the impressions some reviews had given; that would've really put me off, as I can kinda only deal with one uncomfortable thing at a time and am already bracing myself for the "misery porn" elements (and no, whilst I did see the latest trailer for The Last of Us, Part II during its State of Play, I never watched the first E3 one specifically because people said it was brutal).

Oh, yeah, no, nothing like that. No torture. Very little of anything is close-up. And, again, while it's quite violent in spots, I wouldn't characterize it as gory at all.

Honestly, the hardest parts of the movie for me to watch were when Arthur Fleck tried to come out of his shell a bit and it wouldn't... go well. When he breaks bad later in the film, it's honestly a bit of a relief, because you don't have to worry about seeing Joaquin Phoenix look like a wounded puppy quite as much as before.

RogerRoger wrote:

Those quotes from Academy members betray a lot of what Hollywood has become of late, as well as the divided state of America at the moment. Awards ceremonies are now as much political platforms as they are genuine appreciation of the arts, and the results of that are worrying. As you say, it's a sad state of affairs when the only pieces of art that are deemed to "mean something" are the ones that go "Look at us, we mean something!" as though everybody walking out of a cinema immediately takes to Twitter and complains that the film they just watched didn't tell them what to think. I reckon I'd much rather just be asked a question and left alone to answer it for myself.

You could call us the... Divided States of America. Badum-tish!

But, yeah, I've noticed the majority of bad press this film is getting is American in origin. Foreign critics seem to be able to appreciate the film on its own terms, whereas our own people can't view it through anything other than a pure Culture War lens. It's pretty bad when a good half or so of the reviews I read mentioned President Trump at some point or another, when the film isn't even set in a contemporary American social context. Films have also gotten increasingly politicized reactions over here through the years, with stuff like Joker, Rambo: Last Blood, Ghostbusters 2016, Captain Marvel, The Last Jedi, etc. polarizing audiences along ideological lines. And this is all very symptomatic of a society that is deeply dysfunctional, one that is edging toward the point where internal strife becomes the norm.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

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