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Finally have working Netflix after years of pining for it impotently. Feels good. Catching up on movies.

The Graduate - Great. 60s as all get-out. Worth it just for the aesthetics alone if you're into that kind of thing.
Super - Hilarious. Full of great quotes. Easily my favorite of the list.
Glengarry Glen Ross - Wonderful dialogue spoken by awful characters portrayed by great actors, but it's a movie adaptation of a play. There's not much else going on.
Safety Not Guaranteed - Expected time travel and guns, and hoped to hear "Push it to the Limit". Ended up with a by-the-numbers indie film and an awkward romance. The B and C plots were way more interesting. Made it 3/4 of the way through and quit watching.
Chinatown - I'm not much for noir but this had a good script and enjoyable cinematography. First half was better, it kind of fizzled out after the middle. Glad Polanski went with the ending he did, but now I feel awful.

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Watched Dark Star again recently. Great movie.

 

 

My dad used to love it. I enjoyed parts of it as a kid, but there's way too much talking and sitting around doing nothing in the infinite void of space to be all that interesting to an 8 year old.

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Finally caught Ender's Game. I've gotta say, I thought it was a pretty damn good movie. I wish the mind game had been longer, and I kind of wish they'd do an extended version for that kind of reason. But overall, perfect cinematic length endeavor from the book.

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My only gripe with it is that they ruined the whole "game" part at the end by making it so realistic that you think they are fighting the aliens anyways.

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Yeah. I was seriously going back to the 80s with my visualization while reading the novel. It was 3D, but they were still dots and blips flying around.

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So Neighbors (Bad Neighbors for some other countries) was great. Everyone and his mother said it was hilarious, so I had to check it out. They picked the cutest goddamn baby for that movie too. Also it was cool seeing Zac Efron untypecasting himself.

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Watched Man of Steel finally. Been sorta playing movie catchup now that I have a way to access them more easily. Damn. That was so much darker than the other Superman movies have been. I really enjoyed it, and I'm glad they actually attempted to put more of Krypton's history into it than just the usual "LOL BYE BABY SUPES, OH SHIT WE BLEW UP!" they usually stick to. Zod's casting was phenomenal, always loved Shannon's acting.

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I watched the Red Letter Media review of Gone Girl on Sunday which spoiled most of the movie, and then on Monday my friends wanted to see it. I wasn't expecting much, and the first half of the movie goes pretty much as expected. The big twist isn't even played up that much, I guess because there's a lot more movie after that. It's certainly good, Ben Affleck is great, Tyler Perry is way better than expected, and everyone else does a great job too.

 

But then shit goes CRAZY toward the end and it goes from good to GREAT. The main conflict is resolved and in its place is this incredibly weird scenario that ratchets up the tension and totally hooked me. The story goes on past the expected "ending", but instead of dragging on just gets better and better. 10/10, go see it (and don't spoil it).

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Finally watched The Last Detail (1973) after having it on my computer forever. Jack Nicholson and another dude play senior sailors escorting a junior sailor to the brig a few days away, and decide to make his last few days as a free man fulfilling. I acquired it because it was billed as "a glimpse at a Navy that is long gone now." My uncle was in in 1973. It certainly was a different time...

The movie's pretty slow and simple in a 70's way. Personally, I can't get enough of the style, but if you thought Wake in Fright was slow and boring you'll probably hate it.

Edit: Bonus scene

Edit Edit: Can't believe embedding videos is such a pain on mobile.
 

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Apparently one of the infinite perks of being in tech is free movie tickets, which is how I got into an advance screening of Blackhat tonight.

 

Now, I know we've all seen the awful previews and sighed at Hollywood making another awful "hacker" movie where Chris Hemsworth looks sexy while DDOSing the mainframe from his computer that beeps and blinks constantly. Well, aside from the beeping, the hacking is almost realistic, and they do some cool stuff with zooming into the micro level of PC hardware (i.e. logic gates in the processor).

 

Where this movie really shines is the action. The gunshots are possibly the most satisfying I've ever heard in a movie, more weighty BANG BANG than the usual ineffectual pap pap, and there's also some great stabbing. People die and don't come back to life. This (and the casting of Chris Hemsworth) makes me believe that at some point this started out as a typical action movie, and the hacking and some other stuff got tacked on in rewrites to give it some more relevance, which almost succeeded.

 

Where it failed is the editing, cinematography, and the plot. Most of the movie is filmed in a technique somewhere between found footage (shaky, fast-moving, like someone is holding a camcorder) and conventional (think Bourne movie) styles, but thankfully there is no shakycam during the important bits so it's usually acceptable. There are a lot of funky cuts that don't sit right, and several scenes spoken in Chinese are really badly and obviously dubbed. The plot is fairly compelling until "the twist", at which point it falls completely flat, and the last third of the movie left a bad taste in my mouth. And if you care about female representation at all, the love interest will make you cringe non-stop.

 

 

One purely personal gripe is the heavy involvement of a nuclear power plant situation that almost exactly mirrors the Fukushima event, except it was caused by big bad hackers instead. The control room has huge windows INTO the FUCKING REACTOR VESSEL and naturally when it explodes everyone inside gets fucked up, and later Chris Hemsworth has to go in and get a hard drive out (which would have been totally ruined by the immense amounts of radiation), at which point there is another explosion for no reason. That is the second stupidest fucking thing in the whole movie but it only ruins it for me.

 

 

I usually think dumb fun action movies are a stupid waste of time, but if you can catch this at a dollar theater I'd say go for it.

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I'm planning on dusting off the ol' stream for the coming couple months, streaming a good list of horror movies through Halloween. I've got a good list going from some classics like Lynch, Dario Argento, Hitchcock, Price and more as well as some recent releases. If you have any you'd like to see on the list let me know and I'll seek them out. I'll pin down a regular time of the week, most likely a Monday or a Tuesday with my work schedule, but will be streaming intermittently as well. I'll be fiddling with the channel this week and well get it started up again within the next week.The kickoff will be the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. If you've never seen the 1920 film it is widely considered the first horror movie and seems a fitting start. I'll have a concrete air time for it soon.

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