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I went and saw Ghostbusters: Afterlife today. I enjoyed it. This is a fun, charming film that honours the legacy of the original while still doing its own thing. The little Marshmallow Man babies alone are worth the price of admission. My rating is








Those Who Wish Me Dead - I don't think it's a stretch to say that Taylor Sheridan writes and sometimes directs (two so far including this one) "guy" movies. He's definitely mining in John Milius territory even though his central characters are usually women. I watched and liked Wind River even though I felt Elizabeth Olson's FBI agent Jane Banner was a little too much like Emily Blunt's Kate Macer in Sicario. The in-over-her-head "greenhorn" getting schooled by the resolute and capable male archetype. This one has another female protagonist in Angelina Jolie's Hannah and she's a bit of a damaged soul, shouldering a lot of the guilt after her smoke-jumper crew is trapped by a forest fire. She also blames herself for three boys losing their lives, a plot detail that, of course, has a direct bearing on the story.

After a failed psych evaluation she's been assigned to a fire lookout tower. It's there where she runs across 12 year old Connor Casserley (Finn Little), whose father Owen (Jake Weber) has just been ambushed and murdered by two ex-soldier types, Jack (Aiden Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult). Owen was a forensic accountant working for the District Attorney's office and had uncovered spmething that had gotten his boss killed. Figuring he was next he flees with his son to his brother-in-law's home in Montana. Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal) is a deputy sheriff who also runs a survival school on the side with his very pregnant (and formidably competent) wife Alison (Medina Senghore).

Sheridan is very adept at moving a story along towards what are usually strong denouements and this is no exception. I don't know if Jolie was the right person to cast as Hannah but she does okay because it's the supporting cast who does most of the heavy lifting. Little, Bernthal and especially Senghore are the ones who end up selling this. And at the very least Sheridan is making progress with his female leads. Hannah ultimately takes care of business with no patriarchal figure looking over her shoulder.

80/100



I know what you mean. But the electronic score for the film was very impressive and distinctive when the picture came out in 1956. The composers used electronic machinery that they constructed themselves. Their score predated the Moog by a number of years.

I loved that film, and it left a lasting impression on me. Some of the set designs and the special effects were galvanizing for their time.
Yeah, I'm not saying delete the synthesizer entirely - but the whole soundtrack is synthesizer!
There's not a note of music (outside of Moog-type noise) to set the scenes or enhance the mood.

The movie is so good that a little John Williams style music would really help enhance the tension, romance, humor, tragedy and excitement of various scenes.

The lack of music in the film really makes me realize how important background music is to films.



Sheridan is very adept at moving a story along towards what are usually strong denouements and this is no exception. I don't know if Jolie was the right person to cast as Hannah but she does okay because it's the supporting cast who does most of the heavy lifting. Little, Bernthal and especially Senghore are the ones who end up selling this. And at the very least Sheridan is making progress with his female leads. Hannah ultimately takes care of business with no patriarchal figure looking over her shoulder.

80/100
I quite liked it as well. As you say, the supporting cast are really great. I really liked how all of the characters we're rooting for are given a moment to step up in their own way, even if it doesn't always end well for them. I thought that the action flowed really well and, like you said, led up to a strong finish.



Speaking of Sheridan, is Yellowstone any good?
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Charlie Wilson's War - (2007)

Gust Avrakotos: There's a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse... and everybody in the village says, "how wonderful. The boy got a horse" And the Zen master says, "we'll see." Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, "How terrible." And the Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight... except the boy can't cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, "How wonderful."

Charlie Wilson: Now the Zen master says, "We'll see."
The United States was just in the "how wonderful" phase of everything. The mujahideen had just ejected the Soviets from Afghanistan - but only after Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) sees the benefit in helping the Afghans do this. He ups the covert budget from $5 million to $1 billion, sends weapons capable of destroying Soviet planes, helicopters and tanks, and basks in the glory of helping America win the Cold War. Of course, later on down the track, the United States would get to the "how terrible" phase of Middle East involvement and history. Philip Seymour Hoffman (I miss him more than any other departed actor) is fantastic as rogue CIA man Gust Avrakotos. I don't know why I'd never gotten around to watching this Mike Nichols film before - but I'm glad I did. It's a top rate movie and I loved it.

8/10
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2001 Monolith spotted at McDonald's Drive Thru
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
8/10.
That was awesome.
It stayed with the spirit of the original.
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2001 monolith recently seen at McDonald's Drive Thru



I know what you mean. But the electronic score for the film was very impressive and distinctive when the picture came out in 1956. The composers used electronic machinery that they constructed themselves. Their score predated the Moog by a number of years.

I loved that film, and it left a lasting impression on me. Some of the set designs and the special effects were galvanizing for their time.
Forbidden Planet was a pretty good movie, I just feel that its take on Science-Fiction can't help but feel rather dated, particularly in how much hand-holdy exposition there was; I mean, the sequence where they're exploring the bowels of the planet is literally nothing but fifteen minutes of Dr. Morbius demonstrating and explaining each piece of Krell technology to us, when I think witnessing Nielsen explore it at least a little bit for himself first would've added so much more wonder to that part of the movie.



Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

I've always disliked the Ouija board as a trope in horror, and the only reason I watched this was Mike Flanagan. It looks and plays like a TV movie, and it's a mess wasting a decent cast. I sort of liked the last scene (not the one after the credits, which was totally unnecessary, but the last real scene of the film) and there's maybe a half-a-star for that alone. Yeah, it's a pretty bad film.

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Don't Breathe (2016)

Another crappy horror in a row. For some unknown reason, this one has lots of good reviews, but in reality, it's just another clone of the robbery/home invasion gone wrong. Despite all the efforts to convince the viewer otherwise, I was rooting for the blind man all the way to the end. Surprisingly long 88 minutes.
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2001 Monolith spotted at McDonald's Drive Thru
Venom Let There Be Carnage
7/10.
I liked this sequel better than the original. The best part is the hilarious banter (and even physicality) between the odd couple of Brock and Venom. I thought Woody Harrelson did a pretty good job as the psychopath Carnage. However, If they do a third movie, I hope they do something other than symbiotes fighting each other.



Hell Or High Water 2016*

Nice movie, well executed, Chris Pine is beautiful in this... and memorable.. he should rough it up more often. Foster and Bridges are predictably as terrific as ever. Love the scene where Foster takes on the entire townsfolk mob .. hilarious and loved the ending.



Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

I've always disliked the Ouija board as a trope in horror, and the only reason I watched this was Mike Flanagan. It looks and plays like a TV movie, and it's a mess wasting a decent cast. I sort of liked the last scene (not the one after the credits, which was totally unnecessary, but the last real scene of the film) and there's maybe a half-a-star for that alone. Yeah, it's a pretty bad film.
I didn't necessarily feel like it was "bad" per se but this is the one that everyone told me was actually good in that series and, after watching it, I could not fathom why they would say that. It seemed a by-the-numbers contemporary Creepy-Kid Movie and I found it more dislikable than likable. I don't think it was incompetent or anything just kinda lame.



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Wait, the new Ghostbusters doesn't suck?



Wait, the new Ghostbusters doesn't suck?
Nope. Thoroughly charming and heartfelt love letter to the original, Amblin films, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman.

With the occasional intrusive studio note to force an “I remember that!”




No Time to Die (2021)

This is an unfortunate semi-sluggish whale of a film, with periods of finger-drumming indifference from the viewer, separated by some impressive chase and special effects scenes. The overall tone of the story felt like an inept requiem for Daniel Craig’s Bond. The picture was overly long, with 30 minutes that could have easily been cut out without any loss to the story.

It can be said that most of the production elements were first rate, with excellent cinematography by Linus Sandgren, keen editing by Tom Cross and Elliot Graham, and a competent music score by Hans Zimmer. As usual, most of the settings were exotic and appealing.

The acting was also good, but for the glaring miscasting of Lashana Lynch as 007’s temporary replacement. Rami Malek added star power to the film, yet his Mr. Robot ogling and cheesy vitiligo face make-up were not enough to exude wanton depravity. Previous Bond villains were far more threatening. Lea Seydoux was workmanlike in her performance, but did not show the allure she exhibited in Spectre. In fact the chemistry between she and Craig was semi superficial and inferior to their attraction in the earlier film.

It was the writing that was shockingly mediocre. It’s a toss up whether it was the story or the melodramatic dialogue which was worse. The story itself wasn’t too far off in style from some of the earlier Bond films, and might have been palatable were it not for the hammy dialogue, especially in the love scenes, which bordered on camp. Some reviewers have rhapsodized about Bond’s scenes of tenderness and introspection, but in my view his occasional histrionics --although well acted-- felt phony, artificial, and self-serving to a script that was designed to build emotion for the inevitable ending.

Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Director Cary Fukunaga were credited as story writers, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge added to the screenplay, writing along with the others. Purvis and Wade have been the writers on the past six Bond films, so they ought to be a reliable team. Whether it was the input from the other two that weakened the writing, or whether it was the case of too many opinions and re-writes involved remains to be seen. Reportedly Danny Boyle was originally hired to direct and co-write but left due to creative differences. One wonders if the script and filming would have been tighter with Boyle at the helm. Evidently Fukunaga was hired quickly in order to meet contractual arrangements. He became the first American director in an Eon Productions Bond film. Sam Mendes did not want to direct a third Bond film.

Since shifting the nature of the 007 films to the more serious and determined Bond of Daniel Craig, most of the high jinx, humor and campiness of the earlier pictures were cast aside to favor more dramatic stories rising above all the razzmatazz, chases, and shoot outs. But once the stories enter the realm of drama, there is a much higher bar in terms of acceptance and believability. In the case of the Bond franchise they’re treading perilously close to being pulled away from their decades highly popular stylish format toward overly wrought boy/girl entanglements, political correctness, and melodramatic sensitivity.


Daniel Craig has been a dynamic force as 007. Yet despite his excellent physical conditioning he has gotten a little long in the tooth, so he was smart to bow out on top. There will certainly be more Bond films. We hope that they’ll right the ship and add more classic quality 007 spy action yarns to the series.

Doc’s rating: 5/10



Wait, the new Ghostbusters doesn't suck?
Nope. Thoroughly charming and heartfelt love letter to the original, Amblin films, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman.

With the occasional intrusive studio note to force an “I remember that!”
🙄



Nope. Thoroughly charming and heartfelt love letter to the original, Amblin films, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman.

With the occasional intrusive studio note to force an “I remember that!”

Was one of those moments in reference to


WARNING: spoilers below
Dan Aykroyd's ghost beej?



Was one of those moments in reference to


WARNING: spoilers below
Dan Aykroyd's ghost beej?
I said studio notes. Not MKS notes.