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I've Been Going to the...MOOOOvies


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Great movie!

I was actually a little surprised how much I liked it.

All My Lovin' and especially Let It Be were truly awesome.

I had heard it was good but I was still a bit skeptical going into it. It could have taken a nosedive into cheesiness at any moment but it never did.

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My wife saw this and said I had to see it, and sure enough, it is awesome.

Great action picture, Denzel always delivers.

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Ran across this flipping through the premium channels, and I'm not really big on horror-type movies, but this was pretty creepy - stars Christina Ricci.

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This was a movie I didn't think I would like and was surprised that I did. The run time didn't bother me which is unusual since I have a short attention span with movies.

I was in New Orleans last Summer taking a walking tour of the Garden District and thought one of the houses looked oddly familiar. It was the house that Benjamin grew up in the movie. Very pretty.

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This was a movie I didn't think I would like and was surprised that I did. The run time didn't bother me which is unusual since I have a short attention span with movies.

I was in New Orleans last Summer taking a walking tour of the Garden District and thought one of the houses looked oddly familiar. It was the house that Benjamin grew up in the movie. Very pretty.

Yeah it was a bit of an unusual movie (well, way more than a bit actually) but I did enjoy it.

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Haven't went to a drive-in in ages, but that's where I went to see Thor last Saturday evening. I thought it was wicked...Has anyone else seen it yet? Edited by luvlz2
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Watched 'A Mighty Heart' the other night and I still don't have much sympathy for journalists, especially the likes of Geraldo Rivera. Pearl was killed because he was a Jew.

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Watched 'A Mighty Heart' the other night and I still don't have much sympathy for journalists, especially the likes of Geraldo Rivera. Pearl was killed because he was a Jew.

I wouldn't call Geraldo Rivera a "journalist" per se...he's more of a ham.

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One thing I like almost as much as going to concerts, is going to the movies. Plus, it's cheaper going to the movies than it is to concerts, so I tend to see more of them than I can keep up with...I probably average about 150-200 films a year, depending on how good the schedule is in a given year.

Here in LA, we have several organizations and venues that devote their programming to old, classic movies or independent, off-beat fare along with periodic retrospectives of stars and directors. One such organization is the American Cinematheque, which has two theatres for their programming: the Aero in Santa Monica and the Egyptian in Hollywood.

The Egyptian opened in 1922 and it was run by Sid Grauman, before he left in 1927 to the Chinese Theatre down the block, which is famous for the cement footprints of the stars in the courtyard(cf. the final scene in "Blazing Saddles"). The first film to open at the Egyptian in 1922 was "Robin Hood" with Douglas Fairbanks. Through the decades it changed ownership many times; United Artists was the last corporate owner before it closed in 1992. I saw two premieres at the Egyptian Theatre in the '80's, coincidentally both James Cameron films: "Aliens" in 1986 and "The Abyss" in 1989.

The American Cinematheque took it over, restored it to it's original exterior and finally had it's grand reopening in 1998. Right now, they are running two tributes concurrently: one for the recently departed Elizabeth Taylor...they showed "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra" earlier this week, and "Giant" is screening this Sunday.

The other tribute is for director Monte Hellman, an obscure director from the 60's and 70's who made these wonderful movies, many of them with the underrated actor Warren Oates and a young Jack Nicholson. So for 3 nights(thurs-sat), they have been showing Monte's films, including the premiere of his latest one, "The Road to Nowhere", his first film in 20 years, and Monte will be there all 3 nights for a Q & A.

But it's Thursday night's double-bill I want to talk about: "Two-Lane Blacktop" and "Ride in the Whirlwind".

71XTFGD4CJL._SL500_AA300_.gif

"Two-Lane Blacktop", from 1971, is one of my all-time favourite "road" movies...heck, movies period. I see it every chance I get on the big screen: 1) because of the wonderful widescreen cinematography; and 2) because it's rarely shown on TV. It's kind of like "Easy Rider", only instead of 2 guys riding cross-country on motorcycles, it's 2 guys racing a 1955 Chevy across the U.S. It's also more existential, with minimal dialogue, and there's long stretches where "nothing" happens. But as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Seinfeld showed, it's those little "nothing" moments of the day that add up to a world of importance.

And here's the real surprise of "TLB"...it stars 2 non-actors; musicians who would never act in a film again, even though they are so wonderful, so natural in this film. They are James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. I've always liked the Beach Boys, and being a surfer when I was a young grommet, had a soft spot for the late, great Dennis Wilson, drummer of the Beach Boys and the ONLY surfer in the band.

But James Taylor was another matter...when I was younger, I couldn't stand his music; thought he was too bland and wimpy. And I liked plenty of folk and stuff back then...just not James Taylor.

So imagine my surprise when I saw "Two-Lane Blacktop" for the first time and saw these two musicians in starring roles...and they were GOOD! In fact, I think it's the coolest thing James Taylor's ever done.

The rest of the cast includes the great and hilarious Warren Oates as the driver of the GTO, and in an early bit part as a hitchhiker, Harry Dean Stanton, credited as H.D. Stanton. Then there's Laurie Bird, as "the girl", who was one of those iconic hippie-chicks of the early-70's.

The "plot", such as it is, involves James(the driver) and Dennis(the mechanic) going to town to town in their primer-grey '55 Chevy, trying to hustle up a drag-race for cash wherever they go. Along the way, they keep bumping into Warren Oates, who is driving this 1970 G.T.O. across country for some un-named reason; Warren keeps picking up hitchhikers along the way, but he tells a different story to each one. Finally, Warren challenges James and Dennis to a race from Oklahoma to Washington DC for pink slips.

But as in most road movies, it's not the race or the destination that's important but the experiences along the way, the people and places seen. The movie takes place in a key point in our history...1970, as the 60's end and people are trying to make sense of the decade just past and what the future portends. All the characters seem haunted by something, like the reason they have to keep on the move is to outrun their past.

It's also a portrait of an America that is almost vanished...and America before globalization, a time when every region had its quirks and personality. Before there had to be a Starbucks and McDonalds and Wallmart everywhere.

And it's a paean to the pre-catalytic converter era of cars-when muscle cars roamed the land: Cameros, Chargers, GTOs, Barracudas, Mustangs, Firebirds...if you're a gear head(I'm talking to YOU, MissMelanie!), you will LOVE this movie just for the car and racing footage.

But don't think just because it's existentialist, the movie's all dark and dour. No, there's plenty of humour...Warren Oates is especially funny, and even though the dialogue is sparse, what is said is eminently quotable.

What the movie especially gets right is the behavior of real people. You never get the sense you are watching actors "act", but of people just behaving. It also captures, in the relationship between James and Dennis, that type of close

friendship you have with someone where you are comfortable enough with each other to be quiet.

Which is another aspect I love about this movie...the poetic quietness it achieves, which is ironic considering it's about the car racing culture.

Beautiful soundtrack, too...the Doors, Kris Kristofferson, Arlo Guthrie.

Depending on how big a city you live in, it's doubtful you'll get a chance to see "Two-Lane Blacktop" in a theatre, but there's a great Criterion DVD edition that you can rent, buy or put on your Netflix queue. If you liked "Easy Rider", give TLB a shot...I think you'll like it; maybe even be moved by it.

Here's the opening ten minutes of the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZez1NS7Ptk

The second film screened Thursday night, "Ride in the Whirlwind", is a western Monte directed in 1965 for Roger Corman. It's most notable for being written by, and starring a young Jack Nicholson. Jack and his cowhand buddies get mistaken for bandits and hunted by vigilantes. Harry Dean Stanton also appears. If you like westerns, it's worth renting, if only to see Jack and Harry Dean before they became well-known.

MV5BMTU1NzQwODI0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQyNDQzMQ@@._V1._SY285_CR4,0,192,285_.jpg

Edited by Strider
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One thing I like almost as much as going to concerts, is going to the movies. Plus, it's cheaper going to the movies than it is to concerts, so I tend to see more of them than I can keep up with...I probably average about 150-200 films a year, depending on how good the schedule is in a given year.

Here in LA, we have several organizations and venues that devote their programming to old, classic movies or independent, off-beat fare along with periodic retrospectives of stars and directors. One such organization is the American Cinematheque, which has two theatres for their programming: the Aero in Santa Monica and the Egyptian in Hollywood.

The Egyptian opened in 1922 and it was run by Sid Grauman, before he left in 1927 to the Chinese Theatre down the block, which is famous for the cement footprints of the stars in the courtyard(cf. the final scene in "Blazing Saddles"). The first film to open at the Egyptian in 1922 was "Robin Hood" with Douglas Fairbanks. Through the decades it changed ownership many times; United Artists was the last corporate owner before it closed in 1992. I saw two premieres at the Egyptian Theatre in the '80's, coincidentally both James Cameron films: "Aliens" in 1986 and "The Abyss" in 1989.

The American Cinematheque took it over, restored it to it's original exterior and finally had it's grand reopening in 1998. Right now, they are running two tributes concurrently: one for the recently departed Elizabeth Taylor...they showed "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra" earlier this week, and "Giant" is screening this Sunday.

The other tribute is for director Monte Hellman, an obscure director from the 60's and 70's who made these wonderful movies, many of them with the underrated actor Warren Oates and a young Jack Nicholson. So for 3 nights(thurs-sat), they have been showing Monte's films, including the premiere of his latest one, "The Road to Nowhere", his first film in 20 years, and Monte will be there all 3 nights for a Q & A.

But it's Thursday night's double-bill I want to talk about: "Two-Lane Blacktop" and "Ride in the Whirlwind".

71XTFGD4CJL._SL500_AA300_.gif

"Two-Lane Blacktop", from 1971, is one of my all-time favourite "road" movies...heck, movies period. I see it every chance I get on the big screen: 1) because of the wonderful widescreen cinematography; and 2) because it's rarely shown on TV. It's kind of like "Easy Rider", only instead of 2 guys riding cross-country on motorcycles, it's 2 guys racing a 1955 Chevy across the U.S. It's also more existential, with minimal dialogue, and there's long stretches where "nothing" happens. But as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Seinfeld showed, it's those little "nothing" moments of the day that add up to a world of importance.

And here's the real surprise of "TLB"...it stars 2 non-actors; musicians who would never act in a film again, even though they are so wonderful, so natural in this film. They are James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. I've always liked the Beach Boys, and being a surfer when I was a young grommet, had a soft spot for the late, great Dennis Wilson, drummer of the Beach Boys and the ONLY surfer in the band.

But James Taylor was another matter...when I was younger, I couldn't stand his music; thought he was too bland and wimpy. And I liked plenty of folk and stuff back then...just not James Taylor.

So imagine my surprise when I saw "Two-Lane Blacktop" for the first time and saw these two musicians in starring roles...and they were GOOD! In fact, I think it's the coolest thing James Taylor's ever done.

The rest of the cast includes the great and hilarious Warren Oates as the driver of the GTO, and in an early bit part as a hitchhiker, Harry Dean Stanton, credited as H.D. Stanton. Then there's Laurie Bird, as "the girl", who was one of those iconic hippie-chicks of the early-70's.

The "plot", such as it is, involves James(the driver) and Dennis(the mechanic) going to town to town in their primer-grey '55 Chevy, trying to hustle up a drag-race for cash wherever they go. Along the way, they keep bumping into Warren Oates, who is driving this 1970 G.T.O. across country for some un-named reason; Warren keeps picking up hitchhikers along the way, but he tells a different story to each one. Finally, Warren challenges James and Dennis to a race from Oklahoma to Washington DC for pink slips.

But as in most road movies, it's not the race or the destination that's important but the experiences along the way, the people and places seen. The movie takes place in a key point in our history...1970, as the 60's end and people are trying to make sense of the decade just past and what the future portends. All the characters seem haunted by something, like the reason they have to keep on the move is to outrun their past.

It's also a portrait of an America that is almost vanished...and America before globalization, a time when every region had its quirks and personality. Before there had to be a Starbucks and McDonalds and Wallmart everywhere.

And it's a paean to the pre-catalytic converter era of cars-when muscle cars roamed the land: Cameros, Chargers, GTOs, Barracudas, Mustangs, Firebirds...if you're a gear head(I'm talking to YOU, MissMelanie!), you will LOVE this movie just for the car and racing footage.

But don't think just because it's existentialist, the movie's all dark and dour. No, there's plenty of humour...Warren Oates is especially funny, and even though the dialogue is sparse, what is said is eminently quotable.

What the movie especially gets right is the behavior of real people. You never get the sense you are watching actors "act", but of people just behaving. It also captures, in the relationship between James and Dennis, that type of close

friendship you have with someone where you are comfortable enough with each other to be quiet.

Which is another aspect I love about this movie...the poetic quietness it achieves, which is ironic considering it's about the car racing culture.

Beautiful soundtrack, too...the Doors, Kris Kristofferson, Arlo Guthrie.

Depending on how big a city you live in, it's doubtful you'll get a chance to see "Two-Lane Blacktop" in a theatre, but there's a great Criterion DVD edition that you can rent, buy or put on your Netflix queue. If you liked "Easy Rider", give TLB a shot...I think you'll like it; maybe even be moved by it.

Here's the opening ten minutes of the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZez1NS7Ptk

The second film screened Thursday night, "Ride in the Whirlwind", is a western Monte directed in 1965 for Roger Corman. It's most notable for being written by, and starring a young Jack Nicholson. Jack and his cowhand buddies get mistaken for bandits and hunted by vigilantes. Harry Dean Stanton also appears. If you like westerns, it's worth renting, if only to see Jack and Harry Dean before they became well-known.

MV5BMTU1NzQwODI0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQyNDQzMQ@@._V1._SY285_CR4,0,192,285_.jpg

Am I having de ja vu??

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Am I having de ja vu??

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Yeah, you probably are...although I made a few alterations to my original text...but it's a movie I feel so strongly about that I had to share it with the board. Plus I know there's some gearheads on here that, if they haven't already seen it, should at the very first opportunity.

Edited by Strider
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51QeJsA9nCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

I didn't think it was all that bad but it was prime evidence of the old adage about not being able to go home again. Nearly 20 years between movies is a very long stretch to try to pick up on the same magic again and it shows here.

Edited by Jahfin
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I rented "The Lovely Bones" the other day. Anyone seen this movie? It was a real trip.

I read and liked the book, or at least "liked" as much you can any book about a difficult subject as the rape and murder of a 14-year old girl. But the way the book is structured, and how the author Alece Sebold handles the characters and the transitions between the corporeal and the ethereal, the book is a more enjoyable and easy read than the plot would lead you to believe.

If you are in any way skeptical of religion or the supernatural, the idea of a girl narrating the story from heaven might seem too precious and put you off, and I admit some of the spiritual sentiments come across as new-age mumbo-jumbo, but that didn't detract from the main thrust of the book for me: the affect of a brutal crime on a family and what happens in the aftermath.

Alice Sebold had previously written a memoir called "Lucky", about her rape and recovery, but "Lovely Bones" exploded on the scene when it was published. Given its popularity it was only a matter of time before Hollywood tried to adapt it, and I had my doubts whether a film adaptation could work.

But when Peter Jackson announed that he was going to direct "Lovely Bones", my hopes improved. After all, "Heavenly Creatures" was brilliant, and if he could pull off that story's mix of murder and fantasy, maybe he could do the same for "Lovely Bones".

Alas, when the movie came out, it was a big disappointment to me...it just laid there, and the spiritual, heaven parts were even more cloyingly _ new-agey and goopier than the book. Plus, large sections of the plot were cut or changed, and not for the better. Character motivations often seemed bizarre because of the edits of the plot.

The girl, Saoiran, or something like that was okay, I suppose; she was in another "great book turned into lousy movie" adaptation, "Atonement".

The sole reason, IMO, for watching Lovely Bones is Stanley Tucci as the killer...he's excellent as always.

So yes, this is another case of read the book instead of seeing the movie.

Meanwhile, I have spent 24 hours watching time go by.

Some of you may be familiar with the artist Christian Marclay, a visual and audio montage specialist. In fact, he's regarded by some as the father of "turntable-ism".

Well, LACMA just staged a free screening of his latest work, "The Clock", a 24-hour montage of clips dealing with clocks and the passage of time. It has previously been shown in London last year, and earlier this year in New York.

LACMA's screening ran from 11am Monday to 11am today(Tuesday), and I stayed awake for all 24 hours.

Id like to say more, but I've gotta get some sleep before going to the Mitch Hedburg tribute tonight at the Steve Allen Theatre.

But you can just google Christian Marclay The Clock if you're interested.

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I rented "The Lovely Bones" the other day. Anyone seen this movie? It was a real trip.

I saw if a few months back, and really enjoyed it. Yes, the heaven sequences are rather 'surreal'.

I finally got around to seeing The King's Speech last night. It was as good, if not better than I was expecting. A great screenplay and first-rate acting from the entire cast. It makes me mourn the loss of the UK Film Council even more. :(

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Saw it last night.

The epic-osity of this movie has not been overstated.

To be fair, it would almost be impossible to be funnier than the original, but it's as funny, and even more insane.

Best of all, it puts you right back in the same "feel" of the first movie.

Without getting into spoiler territory, suffice it to say Mr. Chow is fucking hilarious, and Stu still so rocks.

Oh, there will be plenty of complainers and people who don't like it (again, it requires spoilers to discuss), but for me it was everything I hoped for, and then some.

Side note - I remember reading that Bill Clinton filmed a cameo for this movie, but apparently he didn't make the final cut.

From the outrageousness of the movie, it might have been by his own request. lulz

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