What Movie Have You Seen Today?

I actually really liked Prometheus. And I was fine with it not feeling like an Alien movie and doing its own thing. Should have stopped there, though.


Oh, it is an Alien movie.

It deals with humankind encountering something they do not comprehend, sowing the seed of their destruction.

Prometheus and Covenant are even more sinister and pessimistic about humankind than the previous films, leaving no possibility for survival at all.

Both feature terrific scenes and are executed by a director at the top of his game.

My problem with these is its reliance on a trope of the last two cinematic decades: the idea that everything should be explained. The origin story. The prequel.

The mysteries alluded to in the first Alien were so mindblowingly terrifying that explaining them diminished the ideas.

SIDEBAR: I still read and hear from people ridiculing the risky behavior of characters in Prometheus, for example. Well, a few years afterwards, even wearing a mask for protection was ridiculed. Let’s face it, humanity has the capacity for intelligence but too often does not use or develop it. In that regard I share Scott‘s worldview.


„Hey, we have something which would have been C-movie trash filmed with the lowest budget and unknowns a few years ago.“
„So, we make it with tons of CGI, an unjustified big budget, and sell it like Guardians of the Galaxy!“
„And we even get Oscar actresses because their puny arthouse stuff is not getting financed anymore!“
„Eli Roth will direct.“
„That figures.“


Have you seen Guardians of The Galaxy or The Sucide Squad? So have Lionsgate.


The Intouchables, a 2011 French film. I saw it in a preview of Quartet, which I watched on DVD almost a year ago. I was intrigued by the preview, but forgot all about it until recently. I finally got around to watching it this week. It’s a feel-good movie, but without the syrupy preaching that often derails such movies for me.

Question: The song “Red Lights” by Vib Gyor is played in the trailer for this movie, and I see it referenced as being used in the movie, but I didn’t hear it, and I also didn’t see it listed in the music credits at the end. Has anyone else watched this movie and heard the song played? It’s bugging me, because I enjoyed hearing the song in the trailer. It reminds me of In-Flight Safety (a Halifax band) with touches of Sigur Ros.


That´s what I meant…they can explore the back story of the space jockey but should have kept the Alien back story a mystery!

Poor Things (2023). Unique to say the least. More from me later. Emma Stone is still one of the best actresses from my generation. Willem Dafoe should have been Oscar nominated. Mark Ruffalo is a hoot.

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The Post

When I watched it for the first time in 2018 I was disappointed because I had expected more of a journalism thriller in the vein of „All the President‘s Men“.

And again, when I rewatched it I at first thought that the beginning is kind of wobbly, with a not especially interestingly filmed Vietnam scene, taking some time before the Washington Post gets center stage.

But after having watched the whole film again, I understood that Spielberg did not want to tell this merely as a story about journalists. He quickly and economically paints a full picture of society at that moment in time, as a background for the portrayal of Katherine Grant‘s decision to reveal the Pentagon Papers.

Grant‘s heroism is all the more impressive because it was the result of fear, doubt and manipulation, sown by all those men in her orbit who only looked at short term profit and did not take her, the widow inheriting the paper from her beloved husband, seriously at all.

The moment in which she has to decide on the phone whether to print and take the risk of losing everything, including her freedom, is not only played expertly by Meryl Streep but also filmed unobtrusively by Spielberg in an uninterrupted slow tracking shot towards her.

And the way Streep clearly shows the fear, asking for the opinion of her closest ally who advises her not to take the risk, is breathtaking. The disappointment and the realization that she is all alone with this finally gives her the strength to decide to print anyway.

And again, the men, save Post editor Ben Bradley (Tom Hanks), crowd her the next day again, psychologically and physically until she find her voice and shuts them up, after repeatedly having been silenced by them in earlier scenes.

„The Post“ really is her film, and it is absolutely involving, filmed with subtle Spielbergian style, leaving lots of room for the brilliant actors in long takes which other directors would have broken up. Spielberg‘s assured mastery does not need additional emphasis. It ties everything together by giving everything in measured restraint.


Hundreds of Beavers

I guarentee no other comedy like this is playing in the theaters. It’s a triumphant fusion/resurrection of the greatest (and most neglected) forms of American film comedy: silent visual humor and classic Looney Tunes. The result is literally a live-action cartoon, an ingenious gallimaufry of real actors, people in animal mascot costumes, CGI, animation, and DIY effects.

The story–“in the 19th century, a drunken applejack salesman must go from zero to hero and become North America’s greatest fur trapper by defeating hundreds of beavers”–is a clothesline to hang visual gags that remind you of everything from Buster Keaton to the Coyote and the Roadrunner cartoons to Super Mario Brothers. The film is in stark black and white and has almost no dialogue (aside from Beaver talk), though it’s full of screams, groans, grunts, and squawks. And while many crazy comedies run out of steam after an hour, the filmmakers have managed to keep the craziness sustained over 90 minutes, and even shape it into a real climax.

This low-budget production from Wisconsin puts Hollywood to shame and demonstrates how talky and uninventive most modern comedies are. Hundreds of Beavers, in all its goofy homemade glory, reminds us what we’ve been missing since the glory days of American comedy.


We watched Outland last night. I can’t recall if I’d watched it before, but I found it to be the best Sean Connery film I’ve seen. I also really enjoyed Frances Sternhagen, who was cast against type as a tough-as-nails doctor. The film was released in 1981, following the Star Wars craze. It was basically High Noon set on one of Jupiter’s moons. And yet it didn’t do well at the box office. Any ideas about why audiences didn’t embrace it?


I can only speculate here. Back then I caught it at the cinema and was quite fond of it. But in spite of a splatter moment or two it wasn’t anywhere close to ALIEN, no horror elements, no big sci-fi effects, more in line with something like The Expanse in showing the future as tough slogging; no big adventures on the horizon either. That wasn’t perhaps what 80s audiences wanted to watch when they went to theatres to see a sci-fi film.

Also, in spite of constantly working, Connery’s big comeback as the main lead came in two parts with NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and THE NAME OF THE ROSE (and THE UNTOUCHABLES, let’s not forget about this). Other films like CUBA, METEOR, TIME BANDITS people watched but didn’t too much care for initially. HIGHLANDER for example became only a hit on video.

Perhaps OUTLAND was really just not the part for Connery; too serious, too deep into the ethics of taking a stand alone. There’s none of the charming swashbuckler in Marshal O’Niel. Compare to this his Ramirez (HIGHLANDER) or even ROSE’s William of Baskerville. Those parts are lifted up significantly by an element of ‘joie de vivre’ that’s almost entirely absent in the OUTLAND part. I’d say that just didn’t connect with audiences back in ‘81.


Absolutely and precisely so.

To think that after Bond there was a long time when Connery was not a box office draw…


The pre-NSNA years were a definite slump for Connery, or we wouldn’t have gotten NSNA. But I really enjoyed OUTLAND and Jerry Goldsmith’s score was one of my most-played records.

I agree it doesn’t match ALIEN before it or BLADERUNNER after it, but I lump it in with those for some reason. It’s pretty bleak and downbeat, and an obvious High Noon rip-off, but it’s still great and Connery rarely looked better.

I will say, though, that Sean Connery vs Peter Boyle always seemed like a lopsided match-up. LOL


Finally I got around to watching this, and your review is spot on. After rediscovering Fincher, re-watching ZODIAC which really is, IMO, his masterpiece and best film, I gave this one a chance. For so long I dreaded this, simply due to its old hat (no pun) formula. But indeed, this is told so precisely and swiftly that everything old seems new again. And Fassbender, if only he had not already aged out of the role, would have been a great Bond. He should have taken over after SP.


Argylle (2024)
Much better than people on twitter and youtube who didnt see it would have you believe, but easily Vaughn’s weakest (self-directed film). I found it very enjoyable and the cast are all brilliant (Rockwell in particular is a standout) but hownmuch you enjoy it is relative to how much you enjoy live action anime as an aim.

Also, Vaughn clearly had an idea of setting a fight scene to a song, but still hadnt by final cut decided which one he would son there’s 4 attempts at it. All are done well, but the repetition makes none of them work.


Personally wouldve gone with Electric Energy, as it blends into the score, unveils just how good a spy Rockwell’s character is and also connects to later in the film when you find out what had seemed like a dumb moment was an intention of the character.

Though Run gets a shout-out for it making me think that if you watched this film drunk, you’d think it was the best thing ever, and i dont necessarily mean that in a bad way

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The pre-NSNA years were a definite slump for Connery

Commercially, yes. But many of his best films and performances—The Offence, Robin and Marian, The Man Who Would Be King, The Wind and the Lion, and Zardoz—date from that period. The first three films I regard as Connery’s very best.


True, but that streak ended in 1976. Then we got The Next Man, Meteor, Cuba, Five Days One Summer, Wrong is Right. The next half-decade or so didn’t go so well for him, and even the good stuff wasn’t making much of a dent at the box office. NSNA put him back on the map and gave his career a second wind. I always figured he kept Bond in his back pocket for when things got dire, and he timed it perfectly. (Personally I don’t rate NSNA much better than those others, but it sure had a higher profile).

As a kid of the 70s, it seemed to me Connery and MIchael Caine were in the same boat: prolific but hit or miss, and mostly miss. I’m glad they both saw an upturn later in their careers. Poor old Roger just went from bad to worse, post-Bond.

I agree with the love for the films you listed, though (except Zardoz). The Man Who Would Be King is one of a handful of Connery films I put well above his Bond output.


The girl with the dragon tatoo

Fincher really is one of those rare directors who know exactly where to put the camera, using only narratively needed shots, directing actors with precision. There is no flashy editing or shot design that goes over the top. Simply a master at his craft. This remake suffers only a bit from the obligation to tell the whole story of the novel instead of ending shortly after the mystery is solved. But Rooney Mara is perfect as Lisbeth Salamander, and Daniel Craig is wonderfully charismatic as well.

Funny thing I had forgotten after my first viewing back then: the main title is designed like a Bond main title (even with a shot of Craig), and Craig shares a scene with Goran Visjnic (who was one of those four actors rumoured to have tested for Bond pre CR).


Dennis The Menace (1993). A classic from my childhood. An easy comfort watch. Walter Matthau is perfectly cast as Mr. Wilson. It’s a bit amazing how Christopher Lloyd transformed into Switchblade Sam. He’s almost too scary for a kid’s movie! Joan Plowright and Lea Thompson are charming as female leads with trying to support Dennis and keep Mr. Wilson calm. Mason Gamble was great as Dennis, and I wish John Hughes and the cast would have done a sequel together. All in all, a guilty pleasure for me, and one of my favorite John Hughes movies.

Dennis The Menace Strikes Again (1998). Speaking of another Dennis The Menace, Strikes Again is a bit of a mixed bag, to say the least. Don Rickles is also a perfectly cast Mr. Wilson. George Kennedy is charming as Grandpa, and I wish he had more screen time. Betty White is ok as Mrs. Wilson, the script doesn’t have much for her to do. The child actors here aren’t as good as the original, but I don’t blame them (or child actors in general). The script lacks that John Hughes with kids writing magic. The bad guys are poorly written con men, and they make Mr. Wilson look stupid, honestly. Stick to the original overall.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen A Dennis The Menace Christmas (2007). Robert Wagner was ok as Mr. Wilson.

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The Equalizer 1 & 2

This mix of an urban Rambo/Robin Hood-revenge actioner could just have been a stylistically ramped up run of the mill B-picture or even direct to video-fodder. Something Liam Neeson in the last twenty years continually stars in.

But this is different. Because it has one of the best, charismatic and most subtle movie stars in film history in it: Denzel Washington.

He can easily portray decency, anger, trauma and happiness, going from one to the other without breaking a sweat. All the character scenes in these films are a joy to watch, and when the action comes it is at least frightening and disturbing. Part 1 features the brutality of the villain much more which Part 2 tones down considerably and rightfully so. I rather watch the main character and his reaction to injustice around him, trying to encourage others to stay decent when he knows he himself will not be able to.

Again, Denzel Washington is the best thing about these films, and now I‘m looking forward to the third film, simply because of him.