Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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It's time to have some fun
Glad you enjoyed Sorcerer so much, incredible film.
Sorcerer was Cricket's nomination in the 1970's HoF. It was well received too and came in tied for 2nd place. I wish I could have found a good screen shot of the truck crossing the old jungle bridge. That scene, which is an actual shot and not a scale model, is amazing!

...I don't know a comedy like that can be made any more, but I sure hope someone tries!
~Doc
Peter Bogdanovich, one of the greats. I need to explore his filmography more. I doubt with the taste of modern audiences a film like What's Up Doc could be made. It seems humor today is often based on shock value and crude language jokes. I'd be interested in knowing of any modern films that are similar in style and tone to What's Up Doc...anyone?

I agree Meryl looked in this movie very favourably. Me either didn't like hers charackter as much as Hoffmans.

You might like this polish movie about break up of family
Thanks Ms. M



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Europa Report (2013)

Director: Sebastián Cordero
Writer: Philip Gelatt
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo
Genre: Indi Sci-Fi Mystery


"An international crew of astronauts undertakes a privately funded mission to search for life on Jupiter's fourth largest moon."

Europa Report is a neat little indie sci fi film that never got much notice and that's too bad because this sharp 2013 film is unlike the majority of sci fi that's being made. This is a science based film, not an action thriller. The film plays out from the viewpoint of a Earth based Mission Controller who was connected to the mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. Some time after all contact is lost, the mission transmission feed makes it's way back to Earth where the mystery of what happened to the crew and spacecraft is determined by the raw feed. This works well for an indie film and gives an air of authenticity to the story.




If you're looking for a CG block buster, edge of your seat flick, pass on this one. Europa Report is more about the science than entertainment. What we see is based on actual science and a mission to Europa in the near future could look very much like this fictional one. The actors are all mostly unknowns, and that too adds to the believability.




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Only The Brave (2017)

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Sean Flynn (story), Ken Nolan
Cast: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges
Genre: Biography, Drama


"Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire."

The firefighting part of the film was pretty intense and well shot. It felt like you were there and could smell the smoke and feel the intense heat. As this is based on a true story where the crew of 19 firefighters tragically died, it was all the more so powerful...However it wasn't a great production when it came to the back stories and the actors made it feel like a TV drama at times. I get that we are suppose to know the lives of these firefighters, but it felt a bit soapy with their personal dramas. The personal lives of the firefighters part wasn't nearly as interesting as the actual fire fighting. And a lot of the film focuses on the personal aspect.





I wish there had been more film time spend on fire fighting and especially the last fire that took their lives. The outdoor scenery was neat and looked to be filmed on location, a big plus. The last 30 minutes is powerful and sad, because it's based on a true story and 19 of the firefighters die when caught by a fast moving fire.

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Only The Brave (2017)

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Sean Flynn (story), Ken Nolan
Cast: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges
Genre: Biography, Drama


"Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire."

The firefighting part of the film was pretty intense and well shot. It felt like you were there and could smell the smoke and feel the intense heat. As this is based on a true story where the crew of 19 firefighters tragically died, it was all the more so powerful...However it wasn't a great production when it came to the back stories and the actors made it feel like a TV drama at times. I get that we are suppose to know the lives of these firefighters, but it felt a bit soapy with their personal dramas. The personal lives of the firefighters part wasn't nearly as interesting as the actual fire fighting. And a lot of the film focuses on the personal aspect.





I wish there had been more film time spend on fire fighting and especially the last fire that took their lives. The outdoor scenery was neat and looked to be filmed on location, a big plus. The last 30 minutes is powerful and sad, because it's based on a true story and 19 of the firefighters die when caught by a fast moving fire.

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I recommended this to you!



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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

Director: Elio Petri
Writers: Elio Petri & Ugo Pirro
Cast: Gian Maria Volontč, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio
Genre: Drama Satire


A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.
A symbolic representation of the dangers of the breakdown of democracy. Italy's fragile democratic government in the late 1960s was in danger of being subverted by communist youth sympathizers and anarchist. Social discord was rampant in the late 60s and the very fabric of Italy's democracy was in danger of being eroded from both leftist and from reactionary right wingers. This is what the film is about....polar opposites of the political social spectrum that threaten democracy by their extremism.

The film uses surrealistic satire to commentate on social problems. In the film the Chief of Homicide Police sacrifices himself by commenting a murder in order to teach his subordinates the meaning of democracy, in which no one is above suspicion, not even the Chief of Homicide Police. He plants clues for his fellow detectives to find, and is disappointed when they turn a blind eye to their duties. Duty and democracy is what he wishes to teach them, but like a bad nightmare, they won't believe he's a suspect in a murder case. In a sense the murder is the hero who has given his all to the state, and his hapless employees are the enemy who won't act like citizens of a democracy.

The murdered girl is symbolic of murdered free thought. She's a free spirit who's symbolic killed by bureaucratic complacency. The film makes sure the audience knows all of this by having the dead girl tell the Chief (and thereforth us), that she didn't mind be killed at all, because she would have ended up murdered anyway. Thus she's symbolic dead, and the Chief is a symbolic murderer, and the real death is civic duty.

Interesting film.
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Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Director: Sidney Lumet
Writers: Frank Pierson (screenplay), P.F. Kluge (short story)
Cast: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama

I've known about this movie for years but I've never gotten around to watching it, until recently...I liked it too and was blown away by the first 30 minutes, it was like 'you are there' during a botched bank robbery. I laughed too, I don't know if anyone else found a lot of the film humorous but I did.

Al Pacino is great of course, so was Charles Durning as the Police Chief. Those two made the movie. Sal (John Cazale) the other bank robbery was interesting as we never really learn much about him, and yet I could tell he had his own back story, which we learn only a little about, which keeps him a mystery.

I didn't know anything about the actual robbery before the movie, so when we see Sonny's other wife, I did a double take! I wasn't sure at first what was suppose to be happening. The actor who played his wife Chris Sarandon was extremely good. I looked him up on IMDB and that's a link, damn! He's done a lot of movie roles where I've seen him but never knew his name.

Loved the on scene street locations, so much nicer than in a studio and it allows a huge exterior set with lots of extras! It looked great and the ending while not a surprise, happened so fast that it was shocking.

I do wish the film was 30 minutes shorter, I did find myself getting restless during the middle of the film. But overall a strong movie.




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Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: Lorenzo Semple Jr (screenplay), James Grady (novel)
Cast: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

"A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust."
Now, that's a cool movie poster! But I'm not sure if Robert Redford was cool enough to play the lead. Sorry, but it's true!

While he did fit the role of a bookish, paper pusher CIA employee who's thrust into the world of high espionage...he was lack luster in the film, which then didn't really draw me into the world of clandestine CIA activities. His best roles are the intellectual ones like All The President's Men (1976)

The script could have gone several different ways with the story:

It could have been a thrill-a-minute action flick...I don't usually like those but I could see it working with this story premise.

Or the premise could have been deeply complicated involving decoding and fact finding with little action, but lots of high brow stuff. That would have suited Redford well.

My favorite would have had Robert Redford being more of a frightened and inept agent, who only survives by the seat of his pants and by sheer luck. That would lend itself to some dark comedy.

Sorry to fans of Redford, but IMO he lacks the screen presences of say Dustin Hoffman or Al Pacino. And so for me couldn't carry the film....and so I was never 'in' the story, I just merely watched the movie.

I'm not a big fan of Faye Dunaway in this either, come to think of it, she's as lack luster as Redford. I guess they make a good pair.

However....this was still a fun and entertaining movie.




To my taste "Condor" was one of the best films from the middle 1970s, along with The Sting. The story was fresh, exciting and innovative, and it played into the growing suspicion of the public that the clandestine activities of the Federal government were much broader and deeper than previously imagined; especially so after information started becoming available about the JFK assassination cover up.

I never felt that Redford had a very broad range as an actor, nor did Dunaway. But the role is so strong that it carried him along with it. He had a very creditable portrayal. Dunaway always seemed self conscious in her roles. But there again, she did a nice job. Max von Sydow turned in another superb performance, and was probably the most believable of the four main characters. He's one of the few actors who is excellent in every role he does.

The film may seem a little dated today. But at the time there hadn't been that many good films about the Deep State, assassins and the like. It's always been one of my favorites.

~Doc



It's time to have some fun
To my taste "Condor" was one of the best films from the middle 1970s, along with The Sting....

it played into the growing suspicion of the public that the clandestine activities of the Federal government were much broader and deeper than previously imagined; especially so after information started becoming available about the JFK assassination cover up.
Some early to mid 1970s movies did indeed reflect the growing mistrust of the U.S. government which started with the JFK assassination (as you said) and that mistrust grew with all the lies told about the Vietnam war and then of course Watergate. So yeah Three Days of the Condor was very timely. I can agree too that the story and script was top notch as was the great Max von Sydow.

You mentioned The Sting, that review is coming up shortly



@Captain Steel Europa Report is your type of movie! Have you seen it?
Haven't seen it, and never even heard of it before.
Only thing I recognize about it is Sharlto Copley (from District 9).
It is now on the list!



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Fantastic Planet (1973)

La plančte sauvage (original title)
Director: René Laloux
Writers: Stefan Wul (novel), Roland Topor (adaptation)
Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi


On a distant planet somewhere in the vastness of the universe, dwells to sentient beings... The giant blue alien Draags and their pet slaves, humanoids called Oms. The Draags are a machine like and at times seem to be almost insect like in their life cycles. The Oms on the other hand are very human like and rebel against their Draag masters. CR

I enjoyed this immensely. The entire movie is so rich in creative details and imaginative alien creatures that I enjoyed just looking at it and soaking it all in...The story itself was was well done, straight-up conceptional sci-fi. It would be interesting to read the novel that the movie is based on. I use to read a lot of sci-fi and this reminded me of some of the classics that I read.

I liked the animation style too, the humans looked like a Renaissances painting by Botticelli. The first half of the film with the interaction between the young Terr and Tiwa was very impressive and really conveyed the feeling of a captured pet and a childlike alien which was a good juxtaposition.

Then there's this terrifying aspect of Fantastic Planet. It's almost at a subconscious level in the film, and has a terrifying impact.

The scene where the aliens eyes go blank and they go through some creepy ass alien decompiling of their bodies. And the music was eerie too.



A must see for any sci fi fan!





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The Sting (1973)

Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: David S. Ward
Cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Genre: Comedy,Drama Period Piece



Two adventurous con men during the Depression of the 1930s team up to pull the ultimate con on a mobster. CR

One heck of a good time movie that's powered by the charismatic performances of it's two leads, Robert Redford and Paul Newman.



Two likeable grifters...aka con man, undertake one helluva complicated scam...aka the sting. The target...aka the mark, is Robert Shaw a ruthless rackets boss who's grown rich on illegal horse race betting...aka book making, during the depression of 1936.

The story which follows the con is complicated and even though I've seen it twice, the amount of twist and turns the movie takes is still impressive. Make sure you're not distracted during the movie as you need all of your brain power to follow this brilliant script written by David S. Ward.




The sets, both the exteriors which made use of some traveling mattes to give Chicago the look of 1936...and the interiors which are chalked full of what looked like authentic props and set dressings, were a thing of visual beauty and put me in the mind of the depression era.

But much of the credit must go to Robert Redford in one of his most personable roles, Redford's colorful Johnny Hooker makes this movie so darn likable.

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Darkest Hour (2017)
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
Genre: Biography, Drama, History

"During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. "

Very disappointing for me. Maybe I expected to much. Or maybe it's Churchill burnout...I mean we've had 3 Winston Churchill features: Darkest Hour (2017), Churchill (2017) and The Crown (2016)...I've watched all of those and a kettle full of other Churchill documentaries and in my mind Gary Oldman didn't quite invibe the character of Churchill. He didn't really look much like him either. So he didn't work for me. Maybe if I hadn't seen John Lithgow knock it out of the ballpark with his performance of Churchill in The Crown, I might have like Oldman better in this.

But even if Lithgow had reprised his role in this movie, the script itself isn't that interesting and Churchill is made to seem like a old fuddy duddy. Which I guess is popular as that's the way he was portrayed in Churchill (2017). I sort of hated the way the director choose to spoon feed us emotions by cutting to close ups of what he wanted us to focus on. I'm thinking of the handkerchief scene for one example. Ahhh...that just smacked of formulated film making.

The cinematographer was kinda lameo too. It was too self conscious and tried way to hard to impress with a bunch of fancy stuff that smacked of style over substances. I take that back, the cinematography wasn't overly stylish, it was more of the flavor of the week variety.

-



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Very surprised you didn't love it Citizen. I didn't think much of it either though, we agree for once
I just added a bunch of 2017 movies to my Netflix/DVD queue, so who knows maybe we'll agree on some of those two. Next DVD coming is Brigsby Bear. Not sure if it will be my kind of movie, but I got it for my wife. I think she'll like it, I hope. Have you seen that one?



I just added a bunch of 2017 movies to my Netflix/DVD queue, so who knows maybe we'll agree on some of those two. Next DVD coming is Brigsby Bear. Not sure if it will be my kind of movie, but I got it for my wife. I think she'll like it, I hope. Have you seen that one?
Citizen please make sure you try Brigsby Bear it's iMO easily the most endearing film from last year and i think you'd like it a lot. Cricket called it "a film you can't dislike" or something, whatever he said is spot on it's just a really nice film IMO. Think you'd like it a lot.



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Citizen please make sure you try Brigsby Bear it's iMO easily the most endearing film from last year and i think you'd like it a lot. Cricket called it "a film you can't dislike" or something, whatever he said is spot on it's just a really nice film IMO. Think you'd like it a lot.
Glad to hear it, I will be checking it out on the weekend and will post somewhere about it.



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Secret of the Incas (1954)
Director: Jerry Hopper
Writers: Ranald MacDougall & Sydney Boehm (screenplay)
Cast: Charlton Heston, Robert Young, Nicole Maurey
Genre: Adventure, Drama


Roguish tourist guide and self made adventurer, Harry Steele (Charlton Heston) is hot on the trail of an ancient Inca artifact. He's out of money and hanging around Cusco, Peru, just looking for a chance to get the treasure so he can sell it. He charms a Romanian woman defector Elena Antonescu (Nicole Maurey), who's escaped communism and has ended up on the run in Peru.

Shot on location at Machu Picchu in Peru and in Technicolor this is an amazing film. It was the first to show audiences Machu Picchu and do it in color too!

Backing up Charleston Heston is Robert Young, Thomas Mitchell (who plays a bad guy here with gusto!), the lovely Nicole Maurey and Peruvian singer Yma Sumac who sings a couple of native songs which have to be heard to believe...she has an amazing octave range.

This was a fun film, I'm ready to watch it again! and to my amazement I started realizing that the Charlton Heston character looked a lot like Indiania Jones:



The film is often cited by film buffs as a direct inspiration for the Indiana Jones franchise of films, with many of the scenes in Secret of the Incas bearing a striking resemblance in tone and structure to scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Throughout Secret of the Incas, the main character, Harry Steele, can be seen wearing the "Indiana Jones" outfit: brown leather jacket, fedora, tan pants, an over-the-shoulder bag, and revolver. The character also sometimes wears a light beard, unusual for films of its time, and there is a tomb scene involving a revelatory shaft of light similar to the "Map Room" sequence in Raiders.

Raiders' costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis noted that the inspiration for Indiana's costume was Charlton Heston's Harry Steele in Secret of the Incas: "We did watch this film together as a crew several times, and I always thought it strange that the filmmakers did not credit it later as the inspiration for the series" and quipped that the film is "almost a shot for shot Raiders of the Lost Ark."
This is a public domain movie, which means it's sadly in need of a restoration. On the other hand it's easy to find.

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