what was the last movie you watched?

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
With the new Dune coming out, I wanted to watch the previous versions just to see how they all compare. I watched the 20± year old Sci-Fi Channel Dune miniseries last night and realized that while I had seen it, I basically remembered none of it.

Other than William Hurt, I don't think I recognized anyone. They tried, but the acting was definitely on the B-side of things (some "overacting", acting like they were on stage instead of a movie/TV series, etc.), with some pretty bad fight choreography at times as well. It told the story fine though. Special effects were definitely not up to par for a 20-year old movie, either.
We decided to double up on the movie and watched the 1984 version of Dune as well. I hadn't watched it in a while but it suffers from a lot of the same issues as the Sci-Fi version - overacting, some still-poor special effects for the time, etc. The production values were obviously higher, and there were several more famous actors in it. I admit that as bad as it is at times (it's so bad the director wouldn't put his name in the film credits), it is one of those movies I still like. It's just so bad it's good I guess. Or the book is good, and this is just the next best thing?
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
We decided to double up on the movie and watched the 1984 version of Dune as well. I hadn't watched it in a while but it suffers from a lot of the same issues as the Sci-Fi version - overacting, some still-poor special effects for the time, etc. The production values were obviously higher, and there were several more famous actors in it. I admit that as bad as it is at times (it's so bad the director wouldn't put his name in the film credits), it is one of those movies I still like. It's just so bad it's good I guess. Or the book is good, and this is just the next best thing?
I really dislike the 1984 David Lynch version of Dune. The biggest problem with the film is that the first hour and a half or so of the movie (which is pretty good as far as intro/development goes) only gets you about 100 pages into the book. Then Lynch had to cram like 500 pages into the last 45 minutes. There's a point where the movie just stops making sense if you haven't recently read the book, and even if you have it gets disjointed and manic.

I have high expectations (perhaps as opposed to hopes?) for Villeneuve's version because Villeneuve is one of my favorite currently active directors and because he is apparently making it a two-film project, giving plenty of time for introduction to this world while not having to rush through the story.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I really dislike the 1984 David Lynch version of Dune. The biggest problem with the film is that the first hour and a half or so of the movie (which is pretty good as far as intro/development goes) only gets you about 100 pages into the book. Then Lynch had to cram like 500 pages into the last 45 minutes. There's a point where the movie just stops making sense if you haven't recently read the book, and even if you have it gets disjointed and manic.

I have high expectations (perhaps as opposed to hopes?) for Villeneuve's version because Villeneuve is one of my favorite currently active directors and because he is apparently making it a two-film project, giving plenty of time for introduction to this world while not having to rush through the story.
Oh, the film has a LOT of issues. Both do (Lynch and Sci-Fi). It's been virtually impossible to do the book justice (so far), but with the improvements in special effects, Villeneuve at the helm, the split film factor, and what appears to be a great cast, I'm also looking forward to this one quite a bit. That's the only reason I've gone back to re-watch the earlier versions again. :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Decided to change it up a bit and go old school with Them! (1954) - I liked this one a lot. Yes, it's dated, but come on, it's a giant bug movie from the '50s with some pretty good acting and a plot that keeps the quick story moving. :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Dad wanted to see Copshop, so we went to check it out. I hadn't even heard of it, but it was actually pretty decent. Yes, there are plot holes, and as my dad repeatedly points out (it's a "thing" with him), times when they shoot more times out of a certain firearm than that weapon can carry without reloading, and there are some parts that are just a bit too Hollywood, but I just liked it. I liked the characters, the plot, the action, and the "feel" of the movie. Not the best movie ever by any means, but definitely one that I enjoyed watching. I recommend checking it out if you like that kind of thing.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I finished watching The Manchurian Candidate (1962) tonight as well - I know I've seen a few bits and pieces before, but never the whole flick that I could recall. Very good movie overall, although the triggering mechanism seems a bit mundane, as in it could be fairly easily triggered (as shown in the film) as opposed to something more selective (like an unusual phrase or series of words, similar to Winter Soldier in the MCU). Seems almost sloppy, but then you would have a different set of challenges to the movie if it wasn't something so pedestrian.
 
Watched Cry Macho. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I love most of Clint’s stuff and this was not quite at that level for me. You still get Clint being Clint, even at 91 years old I think it is now.
 
After seeing Cry Macho I'll give it a solid B. I thought movie better than most of his recent acting/directed films. The Mule (B-), Richard Jewel (C+), Gran Torino (B), ones saw most recently. If Cry Macho to be Clint Eastwood's swan song from acting or directing or both was great on both counts and acting parts very well done by all - including the "C" -rooster (censored here).
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Watched Kate on Netflix while donating platelets today. Pretty decent action flick - the acting was generally well done and the story kept moving. Interesting premise for the plot and it had a story twist (I saw it coming ahead of time, though). Well filmed (in Japan, with neon lighting, atmospheric city settings, etc.). The young girl in the film was a tad bit over the top at times, but maybe I'm just an old fogie. Woody Harrelson is the biggest name here. Definitely a bit contrived in parts and too Hollywood in others, I still enjoyed it quite a bit for what it was.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Also watched Sabotage tonight (Netflix) on a whim. It's older Arnie trying to do Arnie things in a film that had promise but just wasn't that good. The story wasn't bad, but the execution just wasn't really there. Little things were just off throughout and this wasn't Arnie's best acting job either.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Also watched Sabotage tonight (Netflix) on a whim. It's older Arnie trying to do Arnie things in a film that had promise but just wasn't that good. The story wasn't bad, but the execution just wasn't really there. Little things were just off throughout and this wasn't Arnie's best acting job either.
Looks like this is NOT a remake of the 1936 Hitchcock film, which I would actually recommend. Unless you are a dog lover. Then I'd say maybe no.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Given the movie length, I watched The Godfather over the past few nights in bits and pieces. It had been a while since I had seen it, so I got to enjoy all the details all over again.

I've got II and III lined up sometime soon on the DVR as well.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Looks like this is NOT a remake of the 1936 Hitchcock film, which I would actually recommend. Unless you are a dog lover. Then I'd say maybe no.
Thanks. I'll watch for it.

Holy cow. I just looked up Sabotage (new) checking for your (old) recommendation and had absolutely no clue that was Sam Worthington in the movie with Arnie. I like Sam. Didn't recognize him at all.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
My son wanted to go see Venom: Let There Be Carnage so we caught it this evening. This was the first Marvel film I can think of that I wasn't super excited to see going in - the non-Spider Man flicks from Sony (and even the older Spider Man films) just aren't as good as the rest of the MCU. The movie is a bit of a mess, with too much Venom/Brock teen angst/whiney complaining-type stuff early on, a story that wasn't as fleshed out as it could be, a glossed over beginning to Carnage that just doesn't develop the symbiote character at all, some pretty messy fight scenes that are sometimes hard to follow, and a somewhat confusing/meh conclusion to the final fight scene. It just isn't that great of a "movie".
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Caught No Time to Die yesterday with a friend and my dad - pretty decent Bond flick overall; my friend and I enjoyed it. Dad hated it, but that's because he's over 80 and rooted into the characters as they were back in the Sean Connery days and any deviation (race, sex, overall behavior, etc.) is apparently sacrilegious. :rolleyes:

There's a lot of action and the movie keeps you engaged. It certainly was a new take on saving the world. I don't feel like they developed Rami Malek's character/motivations enough, though. As depicted, he's a bad guy with a glossed over history/story. I like him as an actor and would have liked to seen more of him in this.

There are some inconsistencies here and there, but overall I like the actors in their roles, especially Ana de Armas. She does a good job as the "fresh out of school" CIA agent. Interesting - I didn't realize until right now she was also in Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out.
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Went to see Dune in the theater and overall I really liked it. The sound design is striking, but really fits the movie pretty well. Visually the movie is appealing and the actors all do great with their characters. They nailed some design items/characters that I never cared for as much in previous films (ornithopters, the Baron, etc.) Even my wife, who isn't a sci-fi fan by any means, liked the strong female roles and the depth of story and said the movie wasn't bad. From her, for something like this, I take it as high praise. I recommend the movie if you have any interest at all, and am eagerly looking forward to the second half whenever they finish it.

There are a few "shortcomings" though, if I can even call it that.
  • The movie is only the first part of the book and while it never drags or feels long, they could have trimmed some stuff out here and there. I have another friend and his wife who watched it yesterday on HBO and they thought the first hour took too long to get through. I disagree, but YMMV. None of the 7 of us today felt like it dragged or got too slow. There are a few more "vision" scenes than are probably required; that could probably be trimmed a bit pretty easily without losing anything if nothing else.
  • They are basically doing a Dune-"lite", content-wise. While following the story pretty closely, they have trimmed at least a couple "important" characters (so far?) and don't even bother to explain certain things in any detail
    (Suk doctors, Mentats, Guild Navigators, etc.)
    .
  • Unlike the David Lynch version, there is no voiceover explaining things. In the previous movie, this helped let you know what was going on in people's heads, set up the universe a bit more in line with the detail of the book, etc.
  • The audio occasionally suffers from a plaguing problem in many films - the score or music or special effects are a bit too loud and the dialogue is too soft at times. Why is this so hard for filmmakers to get right?
Given the above, it's obvious that Denis Villeneuve has chosen to stay faithful to the book (for the most part) but try to provide the spectacle and grandeur of a sci-fi epic, and he's succeeding so far. What he's trimming out in detail he's trying to make up with accessibility and simplification for the non-book reading moviegoer. The Dune universe is incredibly complex and would be incredibly daunting to film in all it's minutia. He's trying to walk the tightrope of pleasing book fans and pleasing the non-Dune reader with an epic film in it's own right without being bogged down in needless detail. I think he's doing a decent job of that overall, but final determination will be left until after the second part is released and we can see how it all pulls together.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Went to see Dune in the theater and overall I really liked it.
I watched it on HBO, and am basically in agreement with all of your points. The film looked amazing, the score was great, and yes, Villeneuve did nail the ornithopters.

I worried that the movie would fail to find a good stopping point, but with a little tweak in the screenplay relative to the book I think Villeneuve managed to do it.
By moving Jamis' challenge forward a bit, Paul was able to win a final battle before ending the film on the journey to the haven of Sietch Tabr. If it ended on the journey to Sietch Tabr (a very logical stopping point) without the challenge, it would have felt like there was a gradual let down in tension. But if it had gotten to Sietch Tabr and then held the challenge for that movie-end tension, there's no logical start point for the next film.

I haven't read the book in a while, so I didn't really notice the "important" characters that had been trimmed out. Certainly some had diminished roles, though.

A strange but minor complaint that I had was with the closing credits - the black background was noticeably not a deep black (compared to the letterbox on my TV) and it had a slight color tint that kept swapping from barely red to barely green every few seconds (I won't make the mistake of asking Warhawk if the theatrical credits also did this!) I assume it had to do with the digital compression, but I would think that for a movie of this budget they could get a deep black level and a consistent color grading through the credits. It's not like this film got rushed out, I think it has been finished for quite some time. I'm pretty likely to pick up the Blu-Ray of this when it comes out, I only hope they fix that up. Minor, of course - and I never saw anything like that during the film proper - but still a bit irritating.
 
Also watched Dune. Slow first hour, also never read the books and don’t think I ever watched all of the original as I didn’t think that was very good. That being said, loved the visuals, loved the actors in it, finally caught on to the story and it’s intricacies, mostly, and can’t wait for part 2
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I haven't read the book in a while, so I didn't really notice the "important" characters that had been trimmed out. Certainly some had diminished roles, though.
The one that jumped out right away was
Feyd Rautha (Sting's character in the 1984 film)

Also, they haven't introduced
the Padishah Emperor or his daughter, Princess Irulian

There may be others, these are off the top of my head.

Now, they may introduce these characters later, but who knows for sure. It seems they may just combine
Rabban and Feyd Rautha's
characters into one to simplify the storytelling? They also don't seem to be treating
Rabban
as the same simpleton/brute as they did in the book and 1984 version of the movie, which makes me think that this is the approach they might take.

Definitely some characters have reduced roles so far, including the Baron (as one that jumps out at me).
 
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Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
The one that jumped out right away was
Feyd Rautha (Sting's character in the 1984 film)
Oh, ha! I actually thought the other character from your mix hypothesis below was him. They only said his name like once and I didn't catch it, so I figured, well, it's obviously that character. I had forgotten about the simpleton/brute character. It would seem extremely likely at this point that they mix them.

I even have the feeling that the Rabban character called the Baron "Uncle" at one point, but I might have been just anticipating it.

Also, they haven't introduced
the Padishah Emperor or his daughter, Princess Irulian
I assumed they would come later. Again, not having read the book in so long, I wasn't sure either character had an appearance in the first half of the book.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Well, that's cool. They just needed one weekend of box office to green light it, huh?

(And then there's the folks like me who signed up for a month of HBO Max specifically to watch Dune, but I don't know if they can get a feel for how many people do that. I guess New Signup To HBO Max --> Immediately Watches Dune is probably the giveaway though.)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Well, that's cool. They just needed one weekend of box office to green light it, huh?

(And then there's the folks like me who signed up for a month of HBO Max specifically to watch Dune, but I don't know if they can get a feel for how many people do that. I guess New Signup To HBO Max --> Immediately Watches Dune is probably the giveaway though.)
I bet they had a pretty good idea before the first weekend based on international ticket sales and presale in the US. Either way, I'm glad to hear it. There were rumblings already that they would move ahead but this is the first "official" confirmation I've seen.
 
Just caught Dune in theaters. Thought it was amazing. I haven‘t read the book or seen the old movie, so I went in pretty blind. I didn’t think the first hour was slow at all…there was so much damn world building going on I could barely keep up. Not a dull moment, IMO. Felt a bit like GoT in space, and I’m here for it. Give me more.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Just caught Dune in theaters. Thought it was amazing. I haven‘t read the book or seen the old movie, so I went in pretty blind. I didn’t think the first hour was slow at all…there was so much damn world building going on I could barely keep up. Not a dull moment, IMO. Felt a bit like GoT in space, and I’m here for it. Give me more.
Agreed on the world-building, etc., and not being slow. I thought they did a good job all things considered. The books are significantly more complex than the movie, working in a lot more about religion, planetary ecology, politics, etc.

I warned my friend (who thought the first hour was slow) going into it that this was the kind of movie that might not be up his alley, specifically due to the complexity of the universe and the possible slower start to set stuff up. As such, I took his complaint with a grain of salt and chalked it up to his peculiarities of movie watching.