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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:12 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17590
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
This afternoon I saw "Victoria and Abdul," in which Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul share in a deeply felt mutual admiration for each other despite the disapproval of everyone from members of Victoria's family, through all levels of the government bureaucracy, down to the servants in the Royal Household. Victoria, played for the second time in her career by Judi Dench, is "not amused" by the backbiting and evil tongues, and Abdul, played by Ali Fazal, clearly adores the Queen in this film with a screenplay by none other than Lee Hall, who also served as an executive producer along with other familiar names to BETM folks: Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Two other familiar names also make an appearance in the film: Trevor Fox as the head chef in the royal kitchen, and Joe Caffrey as the sous chef.

I enjoyed the film, which is billed at the beginning as "based on real events ... mostly." And indeed, it apparently is, according to this interesting article in Vanity Fair magazine:

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/20 ... real-story

The New York Times' review is brief. It is not negative, but the writer was not exactly enthralled either:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/movi ... dench.html

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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:54 am 
Billy
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Location: Rochester, NY
I saw "Victoria and Abdul" tonight and thought it was a delightful movie! At times it seems to move very slow, but is very artfully crafted. Judi Dench gives another tour de force performance.


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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:11 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:05 am
Posts: 3698
Location: Malverne (Long Island), NY
Last night, I had the most unfortunate experience of watching a movie called A Bad Moms Christmas. I'm not above such silly movies, so for those who have planned to see it, trust me when I say, I get the interest, and I understand your curiosity. At the same time, though, I hope you'll trust me when I say this movie just sucks way too much to make it worth your time. Jokes which fall flat were left in with painful results many times throughout the movie, and considering some of the stars within, I really do pity them for being a part of such a poorly executed movie. There were a lot of good laughs, I'll admit, but just so, so many dumb, cringe-worthy moments, and not in any fun way.

The blame really must fall on the production crew in this case, and not the actors, because despite the high standards I put on actors, none of them were at all responsible for the mistakes made therein. Instead, the directors, the sound mixer, and most of all the editor should be chastised for not doing their jobs well.

I just looked at the IMDb page to see who they are, and it reaffirms my feelings about the editing. The directors are no slouches (Hangover movies), but the editor is clearly the most at fault here. The film had potential, but he completely ruined it. Oh, well. Anyway, avoid it if you can!

Sean

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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:16 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6791
I saw LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson, who (in my opinion) deserves to be considered for an OSCAR in this role. It is hard to equate this performance with his gormless character on Cheers!.

For those who do not remember the 1960s, or live in another country, the genesis of America's current political issues gestated during the LBJ years, when the Southern Democrats (who harbored ill-feelings that were born after a Civil War a century before) split with LBJ over his Civil Rights Bill of 1964. You will find that movement alive and well, albeit in another party, and supportive of the current administration.

It is a thoughtful and non-political view of the man who, except for Vietnam, can still be considered a great President for his efforts to pass the Civil Rights Bill, and to bring to America Medicare and Medicare. AND he was considered to be a conservative Democrat - until he was handed JFK's mantle, on Nov 22, 1963. That transformation alone is reason enough to see this film. (Bobby Kennedy is portrayed as a petulant whiner.)


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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:05 am
Posts: 1644
Location: Kansas City, USA
I would echo the positive comments by kport regarding the "LBJ" film. Very good acting all around, and the feel of that era was recreated very authentically, I thought. I also agree with the earlier comments about the film "Victoria and Abdul" - another interesting story about a slice of British history I wasn't aware of.

Another historical re-telling that was less successful, I thought, was "The Battle of the Sexes" about the Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King tennis match of 1973. The film had the opportunity to be a real hoot, since my memory of the event was more of an over-the-top production that was taken only reasonably seriously. I do think the match did a lot to break down gender stereotypes and ended up giving women's tennis a platform to be given the respect it deserved, which was a good thing. However, it seemed like they were afraid modern audiences wouldn't find it interesting unless they made King's sexuality a fairly major part of the story, which left me feeling like the film makers were using this historical sporting event to push their own particular agenda. To me, the tennis match itself and the way it broke down sex role stereotypes would have been interesting enough to stand on its own. Steve Carrell and Emma Stone both did a very convincing job of portraying the two lead characters.


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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:50 am
Posts: 1
I watched Valerian recently. That movie was decent. I wasn't crazy about the cast though, but CGI was stunning and the story is ok.


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 Post subject: Re: What movies did you see recently?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:26 am 
Dad

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:05 am
Posts: 1644
Location: Kansas City, USA
This weekend I saw what I would probably call my favorite movie so far in 2017: "Wonder." It's about a 5th grader (played by Jacob Tremblay) who has a facial deformity known as Treacher Collins syndrome. The story picks up as the boy - Auggie - is about to go to a regular school for the first time, after having been home-schooled up to that point. His father (Owen Wilson) warns his wife (Julia Roberts) early in the film that it will be a bit like "leading a lamb to slaughter" when she insists that he face the world and go to school with other kids.

The acting by the principle characters - as well as the other kids and supporting adult characters - is uniformly excellent. This is a film that works on many different levels, as it shows things from Auggie's point of view, as well as his parents, his first friend that he makes at school, his older sister, and his sister's friend. It sounds like a lot of plot lines to keep afloat, but the film makes it work. It shows how one person's difficult situation can have a domino effect and can impact many others in the process.

As a teacher, I frequently find many portrayals of school life in movies to be fairly inaccurate. But this film comes about as close as any I've seen at painting a realistic picture of how kids would react to something like this. It's also accurate in how it shows how a good school administration would handle the situation, by having three supposedly responsible students (one turns out to be a bully) show Auggie around school before the start of the school year, to ease him into things. Despite some expected tormenting that Auggie endures, this is a very warm-hearted movie about the power that a loving family can have in a difficult situation. It also shows the impact we can have on someone who might be perceived as "different" - due to something they can't help - by offering friendship, understanding and love.


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