Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

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Hawki

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To be fair, the budget for Dr. No came in at under $1 million. Even in 1962, that's a rather cheap budget. Dr. No is far from my favorite of the Bond movies, for the record. Not the worst, but it's probably in the bottom quarter.
They should have made it Dr. Yes. That way, when they asked for a bigger budget, they'd have got it. :p
 

Gordon_4

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Dr. No

I'd forgotten how cheap this movie feels. Very first scene you can spot the camera crew reflected off the car that drives away with Strangways. And then of course Dr. No's lair looks less convincing than Dr. Evil's, down to the tacky love hotel look. Dr. No himself shows up in the last 20 minutes of the movie and not really worth the build up.

For Bond girls you get Sylvia Trench, who shows up in the next movie and then never again (I think they wanted her to be a recurring romantic interest before they decided against it). Taro's great, Ursula's great, though I didn't remember her as such a feral-like character. I guess she's supposed to be a Good Girl Friday type against the other femme fatale characters. I also like this Leiter a lot though he barely participates in the plot.

Connery's great as always. He's my favorite just for being the most like in the books. I like it when the hero is having fun (as much as I like Batman, or rather Batman movies) and I'm a little bit tired of this weight-of-the-world-on-my-shoulders attitude in action movies.

Some thought on the more ridiculous parts:

Bond suspects his vodka may be poisoned when he finds his room broken into but not the coffee Dr. No serves him as a "guest". K.

A hitman goes to pick up Bond at the airport and James excuses himself for a second to go back inside and call his handler from a booth to double check if the driver's a hitman or not. Well that was easy. Nice that the hitman let him do that.

James isn't the best at interrogations. He lets go the photographer girl at the party without getting anything from her, even though she's been stalking him and may be part of the hit on him. Later he shoots Dent (who is unarmed) before he has a chance to give him any information, again.
The difference in quality between Dr. No and From Russia with Love is mindblowing.
 
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Hawki

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The difference in quality between Dr. No and From Russia with Love is mindblowing.
Is it?

Honestly, I can't say I like either much. Barely remember Dr. No, Russia moves at a snail's pace. In contrast, I'd say Goldfinger holds up pretty damn well. It arguably 'solidifies' Bond, what with the gadgets and Aston Martin for instance.
 

Gordon_4

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Is it?

Honestly, I can't say I like either much. Barely remember Dr. No, Russia moves at a snail's pace. In contrast, I'd say Goldfinger holds up pretty damn well. It arguably 'solidifies' Bond, what with the gadgets and Aston Martin for instance.
Russia has better pacing, the film overall is less cheap with a much higher quality of stunts both in terms of vehicles and physical stunt work, it introduces Q by his actual name and has a nice low stakes mission.

Of course, Goldfinger is where the DB5 was introduced, and a lot of other very memorable imagery and music was present too, I think I just prefer Russia overall.
 

Thaluikhain

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From Russia with Love has more of a story. Goldfinger has a villain who looks like Trump.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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The difference in quality between Dr. No and From Russia with Love is mindblowing.
I agree with you 100% on that. Watched From Russia with Love today and might be one of my favorites in the franchise. The jump in quality is already evident in the very first scene where "James" and Grant have a cat and mouse chase in a garden, playing with your expectations, and then the first act plays out wonderfully with all the villains still reeling from Dr No's defeat assembling and devising their revenge. The cast of baddies is great.

(I know Grant's training to kill James by outwitting and killing fellow trainees, but what's the point of giving them Mission Impossible style latex masks resembling Sean Connery's face other than to pull a fake out on the audience?)

The movie is technically a sequel (SPECTRE was mentioned already by Dr. No in the previous one, and James is still with Sylvia) but also feels like an upgraded remake of the first one. We get the same scenes again but are improved to great effect, like Q going over the booby trapped suitcase (compared to the boring gun talk in the first one) and James making a local ally (Kerim is more fun and memorable than any of the islanders) and even the flirting with Moneypenny feels more on point. It's still the same director but everything about the movie clicks so much better, not to mention it lost the cheesy B-movie look of Dr. No.
 

thebobmaster

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There are definitely aspects of From Russia With Love that haven't aged well, but overall, I think it's quite enjoyable. There's a reason quite a few henchman in later Bond movies were suspiciously Red Grant-like.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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There are definitely aspects of From Russia With Love that haven't aged well, but overall, I think it's quite enjoyable. There's a reason quite a few henchman in later Bond movies were suspiciously Red Grant-like.
Grant's a solid villain and I'm betting a direct inspiration for the movie version of Roy Batty.

I think the whole gypsy camp episode is by far the worst indictment against the movie as naked wish-fulfilment.

"Hi James, welcome to our camp. As it happens two hot chicks are about to fight to the death over some dude, here's a front row seat, cue the fighty music from Star Trek. But first let's fawn over a belly dancer for five minutes. Now back to the two chicks clawing at each other in the mud. (Insert fight scene from Zulu). Congrats James, you saved our dear leader. You are rewarded with either of the chicks, your choice. Can't choose? No problem, you get to spend the night with both"

The whole thing felt straight out of Conan the Barbarian.

This, by the way, on top of the main plot of the story, which hinges on a beautiful Russian spy falling in love with a photo of Bond so madly and deeply she's willing to defect her country and take a Cold War MacGuffin with her. First thing to come out of her mouth after Bond smacks her in the face (he thinks she just betrayed him and killed his friend) is that she loves him and needs him. Sheesh.

Speaking of music, the movie has a weird way of letting action scenes play out against dead air (the train fight) but insists on scoring completely mundane scenes (like James going over his hotel room for like 2 minutes) to the thrilling Bond theme.
 

Gordon_4

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Grant's a solid villain and I'm betting a direct inspiration for the movie version of Roy Batty.

I think the whole gypsy camp episode is by far the worst indictment against the movie as naked wish-fulfilment.

"Hi James, welcome to our camp. As it happens two hot chicks are about to fight to the death over some dude, here's a front row seat, cue the fighty music from Star Trek. But first let's fawn over a belly dancer for five minutes. Now back to the two chicks clawing at each other in the mud. (Insert fight scene from Zulu). Congrats James, you saved our dear leader. You are rewarded with either of the chicks, your choice. Can't choose? No problem, you get to spend the night with both"

The whole thing felt straight out of Conan the Barbarian.

This, by the way, on top of the main plot of the story, which hinges on a beautiful Russian spy falling in love with a photo of Bond so madly and deeply she's willing to defect her country and take a Cold War MacGuffin with her. First thing to come out of her mouth after Bond smacks her in the face (he thinks she just betrayed him and killed his friend) is that she loves him and needs him. Sheesh.

Speaking of music, the movie has a weird way of letting action scenes play out against dead air (the train fight) but insists on scoring completely mundane scenes (like James going over his hotel room for like 2 minutes) to the thrilling Bond theme.
Well most of that was a SPECTRE plot, that Tatiana did under the impression she was being asked to do it for the good of the Soviet Union since she was asked to do it by Rosa Klebb. Of course by the end she's fallen in love with Bond for real but welcome to formula I suppose.

As for the action scenes, I don't think the fight between Bond and Red Grant would be improved with music.
 
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Agema

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Is it?

Honestly, I can't say I like either much. Barely remember Dr. No, Russia moves at a snail's pace. In contrast, I'd say Goldfinger holds up pretty damn well. It arguably 'solidifies' Bond, what with the gadgets and Aston Martin for instance.
From Russia With Love is often amongst the top rated Bond films - perhaps because it best captured a more down-to-earth, gritty, amoral spy caper before the series decided to take on more fantastical and lighter character. Although Dr. No and FRWL were successful, it was Goldfinger (which earned about twice FRWL's take) that really hit the big time and set the Bond trend for quips, silly gadgets, stylish sports cars and so on.

Goldfinger is thus perhaps the classic Bond movie, and no matter how you look at it one of the best. But many critics have opined FRWL is better.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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Well most of that was a SPECTRE plot, that Tatiana did under the impression she was being asked to do it for the good of the Soviet Union since she was asked to do it by Irma Blunt. Of course by the end she's fallen in love with Bond for real but welcome to formula I suppose.

As for the action scenes, I don't think the fight between Bond and Red Grant would be improved with music.
That's Rosa Klebb, Irma isn't in the movies yet at this point.

I like the silent train fight (and again the helicopter scene, also silent), I just find it odd how every "action" scene is left completely silent (except the last one with Rosa) while completely mundane moments like Bond going around a room or having breakfast are scored with the classic thrilling James Bond soundtrack.

Also here to remark how Hitchcockian the movie is compared to the others. The helicopter chase is straight out of North by Northwest. The train scenes aboard the Orient Express are like the ones aboard the Orient Express in The Lady Vanishes. There's elements of To Catch a Thief and Secret Agent (duh). Maybe a reason to cast Connery in Hitchcock's Marnie the year after. But plot points aside the movie evokes a similar feel by using the landmarks of exotic settings (using the Hagia Sophia while in Istanbul is such a Hitchcock move) and specifically revolving around a MacGuffin (the Lector machine, ultimately pointless) instead of the more grandiose world domination schemes of larger than life villains.
 
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thebobmaster

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Honestly, outside of the gypsy camp stuff (that's what I was alluding to earlier), FRWL has aged a lot better than Goldfinger. Considering it was a movie made in the 1960's, having the true villain mastermind being Rosa Klebb, and having her be an actual threat, is not a bad showing for the time.
 

Gordon_4

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That's Rosa Klebb, Irma isn't in the movies yet at this point.

I like the silent train fight (and again the helicopter scene, also silent), I just find it odd how every "action" scene is left completely silent (except the last one with Rosa) while completely mundane moments like Bond going around a room or having breakfast are scored with the classic thrilling James Bond soundtrack.

Also here to remark how Hitchcockian the movie is compared to the others. The helicopter chase is straight out of North by Northwest. The train scenes aboard the Orient Express are like the ones aboard the Orient Express in The Lady Vanishes. There's elements of To Catch a Thief and Secret Agent (duh). Maybe a reason to cast Connery in Hitchcock's Marnie the year after. But plot points aside the movie evokes a similar feel by using the landmarks of exotic settings (using the Hagia Sophia while in Istanbul is such a Hitchcock move) and specifically revolving around a MacGuffin (the Lector machine, ultimately pointless) instead of the more grandiose world domination schemes of larger than life villains.
Damn, I knew I’d gotten that wrong. Yes, Rosa Klebb is who I meant.

I agree the Lector is a McGuffin but I won’t call it pointless since it’s exactly the sort of thing SIS would send a operative to retrieve from a defector in the day but it’s not relevant to the story what’s done with it because an audience can easily infer it will be delivered and cracked as quickly as possible before the Soviets switch to a new cypher.
 

Bartholen

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Monster's Ball, 7/10

This was a pretty interesting watch. It's a very small-scale drama about the wife of a felon on death row and a prison guard who oversees the felon's execution, and how their lives end up intertwining. This movie is perhaps best remembered for Halle Berry winning an Oscar for best leading actress prior to Catwoman. But there's more to it than that, and you can view the film in a lot of different ways. It can be a patronizingly naive white savior movie, a hearwarming drama about two people brought together through tragedy, a lurid exercise in misery porn, or a gut-wrenching tragedy about the dangers of car-dependent city infrastructure.

For a movie from 2001 it doesn't feel dated much at all. This movie almost feels like it could be from any decade. The cinematography is very restrained and still, the score is minimal, the themes universal, and despite the incredibly grim and touchy subject matter it never feels gratuitous or leering. Which makes the few shocking moments all the more impactful. It's an intensely uncomfortable and depressing movie at times, and I wouldn't recommend just watching it on a whim. It's maybe a bit slow paced, but I don't really know what I'd take out of the movie. It's very well shot and conveys a lot of the story and atmosphere through simple framing. Halle Berry definitely is the star here as she gets all the showiest acting moments, including one of the more interesting sex scenes I've seen in a movie. And holy fuck she is so hot in this. I was astonished to find out she was in her mid-30s when she did this movie, she doesn't look a day over 25.

There are some rather weak aspects of the script though. It's quite clunky with its handling of racism which initially made me quite anxious for the rest of the movie. It's not anywhere near Crash level, but it could be a lot better. Another way the script falters is how Halle Berry's character has almost no agency in the story. Things overwhelmingly happen to her, not because of her. The most proactive thing she does in the movie is probably buying a hat for the protagonist. I'm pretty sure nowadays it'd be quite a sticking point to rob the only female character of color almost entirely of agency specifically in a movie about racism.
 
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Ezekiel

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Vanishing Point (1971)

Wasn't sure if I should pick the 1 hr 45 min version or the 1 hr 37 min version. Went with the longer one and think 20th Century Fox might have made the right decision with cutting Charlotte Rampling's scene for the US. The Barry Newman character didn't need a woman. Her dialogue feels slightly forced compared to the rest. But I kind of like the scene too, so I'm forced to keep both versions. The movie's about freedom. A police chase from Colorado to California with most of the story there is being brief memories of his previous life. It was relaxing, just the kind of laid back movie I needed.

What led me to the movie was Tarantino's Death Proof, a rewatch maybe twelve years later. Wanted to know why he was fanboying so hard over that white 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Realized as I was watching this guy is probably a fan.


 
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gorfias

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Saw this at the theater. It rates a 7.5/10. It is pretty good and competent. Some good characters and writing and fun camera work.
example: guy steals a car in a parking lot from a woman. As he drives away, you can see the terrified woman running in the same direction in which he is driving through his window. It was just a nice touch.
It's an independent film shot for likely less than $200K.

Writer/Director Peter Horgan likens the experience of making this to inspirational films like Christopher Nolan's "Following". It isn't nearly that good, but is a nice watch. I enjoyed watching a movie someone really wanted to make and cared about providing us something of quality.

 

Phoenixmgs

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Uncharted - 6/10

It was a much better watch than I was expecting. It was missing just a few intangibles to really make it a stand-out action movie. I say intangibles because I really can't put my finger on anything it really did wrong nor what was needed to get into 8+/10 territory but it just didn't flow or gel the way a great action movie should. Some of the sets did feel a bit cheap. Sam was more interesting in this than all of Uncharted 4. The Nolan North cameo was pretty nice. It definitely would've been great to have an Elena present but I don't really know where she would've fit in here. I thought Tom Holland was fine for a young Nate, but I don't think he'd be good for the older video game Nate. You could do much worse than Uncharted if you're looking to kill some time, Ambulance was far far worse.
 
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Ezekiel

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Nightwish: End of an Era

She's got nice teeth. No fillings.




104 minutes. 1280x720 BD. Picture quality was bad, but I stopped thinking about it as I was watching. Never watched them perform. Had a good time. Guessing the title means the last of Tarja. Don't know what year she left without looking it up. I don't listen to their later stuff. Just doesn't have that operatic quality without her.
 
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