We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

From the Last 25 Years


  • Please log in to reply
848 replies to this topic

#1 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted Yesterday, 11:22 PM

Captain Phillips - From director Paul Greengrass comes this Best Picture nominee that tells the true story of an attempted hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates near the Horn of Africa. Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) uses every trick in the book to try and thwart the pirates, led by the desperate Muse (Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi). Also featuring Catherine Keener, Michael Chernus, Dave Warshofsky, Chris Mulkey, Yul Vazquez, and Max Martini. The trouble for me with these kinds of movies is making the story suspenseful even when the audience is aware of how the situation is resolved. Filmmaker Greengrass, who managed to do just that with 2006's United 93, does so again here. He also manages to perfectly exploit the claustrophobic setting of the film's second half. Recommended.    8/10

 

 

captain-phillips-poster.jpg



#2 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted Yesterday, 08:50 PM

Blue Ruin - Effective indie thriller from writer-director Jeremy Saulnier. Macon Blair stars as Dwight, a sad-sack homeless guy living in a meaningless daze. Upon learning of the release from prison of a double-murderer, Dwight heads out on a quest for bloody revenge that spirals ever out of control, involving more and more people. Also featuring Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves and Eve Plumb. Who is who and what the motives are remain mysterious for awhile, thus my meager plot description. Blair makes for a different kind of movie protagonist, and he's good, with expressive Peter Lorre eyes. There's not a lot of depth to the story, as it's all pretty straight forward, but it's a interestingly different look at a much-filmed genre (the revenge movie) and is worth checking out.    7/10

 

 

fid13793.jpg 



#3 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted Yesterday, 06:04 PM

Blue Jasmine - Woody Allen film starring Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, a woman used to living the good life thanks to her rich businessman husband (Alec Baldwin). However, when he turns out to be a crook, Jasmine's left with nothing. She's forced to go to San Francisco to stay with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and try to put a life together, despite her lack of skills and a deteriorating mental state. Also featuring Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis CK, Alden Ehrenreich, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Max Casella and Andrew Dice Clay. Banchett won the Oscar for Best Actress, and she's very good, showing many layers to the fragile, high-strung Jasmine. Hawkins was also a nominee,  for Best Supporting Actress, for her turn as the more blue-collar sister who always gives her sister the benefit of the doubt. Allen's script is also very good, switching back and forth to show Jasmine's past and how it bleeds into her present. The obvious shadow of A Streetcar Named Desire is also an interesting aspect. I thought that, along with Match Point and Midnight in Paris, this ranks among Allen's best since 2000. Recommended.    8/10

 

 

poster-blue-jasmine-406x500.jpg



#4 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted Yesterday, 02:24 PM

Blue Is the Warmest Color - French romance starring Adele Exarchopoulos as Adele, a 17-year-old Parisian high school student trying to deal with her burgeoning sexuality. She has a quick affair with a handsome boy student, but she doesn't feel any spark. Then she meets Emma (Lea Seydoux) an older art school student, and falls instantly, deeply in love. The 3 hour film charts the progress of their relationship over the next several years. Much was made at the time of its release of the lengthy, graphic love scenes, but the film is much more than titillation. Exarchopoulos is extraordinary in the lead, bringing an unaffected realism to the role that makes the heartbreaks inherent to any love affair that much more poignant. Seydoux, too, is very good as the ambitious Emma. This was the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and is one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die. Recommended.   8/10

 

 

Ad%C3%A8le-0.jpg


  • Bogie56 likes this

#5 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:12 PM

Big Bad Wolves - Israeli comedy-drama that's pitch blacker than black. There have been a series of gruesome child murders, and investigating detective Micki (Lior Ashkenazi) thinks he's found his man in meek school teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan). But when a video of Micki attempting to beat a confession out of Dror goes viral on YouTube, Micki is suspended. He decides to pursue the case as a civilian, expecting to be reinstated if he can prove Dror's guilt. Only Micki isn't the only one with their sights on Dror: the latest victim's father, Gidi (Tzahi Grad), has set up a nice and quiet torture dungeon out in the countryside, so that he can take his time getting bloody revenge on Dror. Also featuring Dov Glickman, Menashe Noy and Dvir Benedek. The tone of this movie is very odd. You get to see a nice father-son bonding scene over discussions of proper means of torture, and gently funny moments come right up next to graphic use of a blowtorch on human flesh. The cast is uniformly good, with Grad, as the stone-faced father seeking vengeance with aplomb, the stand-out. Many people will be turned away by the gruesome subject matter, though. This is interesting to compare to the same year's American film Prisoners, with roughly the same subject matter.    7/10

 

 

60684157_500x500_1.jpg



#6 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 05:26 PM

The Best Offer - Elegant, overlong drama starring Geoffrey Rush as a highly-respected, meticulous, obsessive arts and antiquities appraiser and auctioneer. He lives a refined, antiseptic and purposely lonely life, content to spend his nights in his vault with his own massive art collection of female portraits. One day he gets a request to appraise the contents of a large estate, and he begins a tentative relationship with the reclusive, agoraphobic woman who lives there. But will his loneliness ultimately be his downfall? Also featuring Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks, and Donald Sutherland. Rush has always excelled at playing emotionally damaged people, and this is no exception. I also liked Sutherland, who looks great with his beard and great mane of white hair. The problem I found with the film was that a lot of it hinges on a big twist that, for me anyway, was seen a mile away. Still, this isn't bad, and I offer a modest recommendation.     7/10

 

 

the_best_offer_poster.jpeg



#7 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:47 PM

Before Midnight - Third film directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. In 1994's Before Sunrise, twenty-something American Jesse (Hawke) is on a European tour, and while in Vienna, he meets French Celine. They have a romantic night, but then go their separate ways. In 2004's Before Sunset, thirty-something Jesse and Celine reunite in Paris, where Jesse is on a book tour to promote the novel he wrote based on their night in Vienna. Now in 2013's Before Midnight, we learn that forty-something Jesse and Celine got married shortly after the previous film, and live in Paris with their twin daughters. On a vacation in Greece, Jesse and Celine have several deep conversations that illustrate their fears, dreams, hopes and regrets, which puts their marriage in jeopardy.

 

These films have become a cult touchstone to many Gen-X viewers, who have aged along with the characters. I must admit that personally I never cared for the first film, and the second film was interesting as a kind of gimmick revisiting those characters. This third film may be the most mature (no pun intended) but it still failed to interest me much, as these characters hold little appeal for me. The film is European in the best sense, and offers a strong antidote to mainstream Hollywood fare. But watching a married couple chatter away over life's banalities is, in itself, rather banal. With a Metacritic score of 94, though, I realize that I'm in the minority with that opinion, so your mileage may vary. As far as I know, Linklater, Hawke and Delpy are planning another film in 2023/24.   7/10

 

 

before_midnight_banner.jpg



#8 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:00 PM

Badges of Fury - Horrible Chinese action comedy starring Jet Li and Wen Zhang as Hong Kong police detectives on the hunt for a killer that leaves a smile on the face of their victims. The trail leads to a superstar actress (Liu Shi Shi) and her bombshell sister (Liu Yan). Although Jet Li gets top billing, he's not on screen nearly as much as Zhang or fellow police woman Michelle Chen. The film is filled with Chinese movie in-jokes and celebrity cameos that will be lost of most Western viewers, and Chinese humor in general doesn't translate very well, either. The action scenes are absurd, with lots of wire use and CGI. This was easily the worst movie that I've seen Jet Li involved with, but it may be the direction that mainstream Chinese action films are taking.  4/10

 

 

MhD3Ed1QO.jpg



#9 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:40 PM

Bad Words - Black comedy starring and directed by Jason Bateman as Guy Trilby, a 40 year old man who enters a children's spelling bee competition. He wins his way through the preliminary contests, leading to the national Golden Quill Spelling Bee, that will be televised. He's sponsored by Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn), an internet journalist hoping to find out the reasons behind Trilby's quest to win the kid's spelling bee. Trilby also strikes up a friendship with a fellow competitor, 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand). Also featuring Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Beth Grant, Patricia Belcher, Rachael Harris and Philip Baker Hall. There's some laughs here, and Bateman is terrific playing misanthropes, but it fails to expand much past its basic premise. I did like Chand, though.   6/10

 

 

l_2170299_613129bd1.jpg



#10 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:23 PM

August: Osage County - Dysfunctional family drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. The Weston family gathers at the family home in Oklahoma when patriarch Beverly (Sam Shepard) goes missing. Matriarch Violet (Meryl Streep) is a pill-popping drug addict suffering from oral cancer. She has a less than stellar relationship with her three daughters, especially Barbara (Julia Roberts), who herself has a few problems with her daughter and husband. All of the family issues come boiling forth, and more than a few lives will be disrupted forever. Also featuring Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Misty Upham and Chris Cooper.

 

I wasn't enjoying this too much for the first half, as it simply seemed like a lot of unlikable people yelling at other, which it is. And the themes of the film are less than subtle, be it the inheritance of a cruel disposition from mothers to daughters, or Streep's oral cancer being a metaphorical symptom of her acid tongue. But by the end I saw more truth in it, and some of the observations, like the Greatest Generation having "real" problems while their children had to make their own up, were sharp. The performances are good, but while Streep and Roberts received Oscar nominations (Roberts was a lead, by the way, despite her supporting nod), I was more impressed by the less showy turns by Nicholson and Cooper. The direction by TV-veteran John Wells is perfunctory.   7/10

 

 

August-Osage-County.jpg



#11 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 22 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

The Art of the Steal - Canadian caper comedy stars Kurt Russell as Crunch, a getaway driver for a gang of conmen and art thieves that include his brother Nicky (Matt Dillon). When things go south on their latest job, Crunch is sent to Polish prison for 7 years. After his release, he gets work as a carnival stunt driver in Canada, but soon he gets an offer for another heist job, this time for a rare book, only it entails him having to work with his brother again. Also featuring Jay Baruchel, Kenneth Welsh, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kathryn Winnick, Devon Bostick, Jason Jones, Stephen McHattie, A.C. Peterson and Terence Stamp. Like most films about conmen, the plot twists and turns back and forth, at times stretching credibility to make the final twists work out. The cast is all serviceable, with only Baruchel  standing out in any way. This is enjoyable enough, just instantly forgettable, too.    6/10

 

 

the-art-of-the-steal.jpg



#12 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:23 PM

Army of the Damned - Cheap horror/action film with an oddball cast. Sully Erna, lead singer of the rock band Godsmack, stars as Sheriff Bridge. He's escorting the crew of a reality-show for the week, including host Kayla (Jackie Moore) and cameraman Dave (Joey Fatone, from the boy band NSYNC). The police receive a domestic disturbance call, but when they arrive they discover a mass killing that was committed in order to open a portal to Hell, and demons begin possessing the dead to do battle with the assembled law enforcement. Also featuring Michael (Hills Have Eyes) Berryman, Tony (Candyman) Todd, porn star Jasmin St. Claire and David (Baywatch) Chokachi. This is pretty bad, but it rises slightly above the bottom of the barrel. There's a lot of humor, and some inventive camerawork. Still, nothing to go out of your way for.    4/10

 

 

aotd-19.jpg



#13 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:42 PM

Army of Frankensteins - Silly indie horror/comedy/historical war movie made in Oklahoma. Alan (Jordan Ferris) is a nice young man who gets kidnapped by mad scientist Dr. Finski (John Ferguson) and his young orphan assistant Igor (Christian Bellgardt). They use Alan's right eyeball to complete their Frankenstein's monster, but when Alan stumbles across a power mechanism and starts the reanimation machine, not only is their creature brought to life, but an interdimensional wormhole opens, bringing multiple duplicates of the monster into our world, before a massive explosion sends everyone (doctor, assistant, Alan and all of the Frankensteins) back in time to 1864 and the US Civil War. Alan, Igor and a nurse (Raychelle McDonald) from the past time period team-up with Alan's soldier ancestor Solomon (Rett Terrell) to stop the Frankensteins before they turn the tide of war. The Frankensteins are all one actor (Eric Gesecus), multiplied using CGI, which isn't half bad for such a low budget production. However, he looks like a green John Goodman in a neck brace, so the effect is limited in its appeal. As for the movie itself, it's goofy when it isn't lame, and stupid when it isn't badly acted.    3/10

 

 

armyoffrankensteins.jpg



#14 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:23 PM

Another Kind - Low-budget but competent lost-in-the-woods thriller. Three friends (Jamie Law, Nate Miller and Laura Ramadei) go on a snowy hiking trip in the forests of upstate New York. Strange sounds and lights are seen at night, and the hikers start to lose their way, with fears of freezing to death or starving growing ever more likely. The scope of this movie is very small, and so the lack of resources isn't much of a problem. The use of public domain music works well, and the camera shots show a level of skill. The main shortcoming is a brief running time (76 minutes) and little time to expand on the story.    5/10

 

 

398-1-l.jpg



#15 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:50 PM

All Is Lost - Man vs nature on the high seas. Robert Redford stars as an unnamed man sailing solo on a small boat in the Indian Ocean. After a freak accident damages the hull, he has to fight for survival as a cascading series of calamities mount against him. Redford is the only person on screen, and there is very little dialogue at all. Everything is very straightforward and methodical as we watch Redford wordlessly do what he has to for survival. It's a very good, physical performance from Redford, who was 76 at the time of filming. There's also some beautiful cinematography. I had to deduct a point for the very end, though.  7/10

 

 

all_is_lost_ver4.jpg


  • Bogie56 likes this

#16 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:18 PM

Ain't Them Bodies Saints - Slightly pretentious indie drama written and directed by David Lowery. Set in rural small town Texas in the early 1960's (I think), Casey Affleck stars as Bob, who is in love with Ruth (Rooney Mara). They commit a robbery (I think) with their friend, with whom they were raised, but things go wrong, ending up in a stand-off with police. The friend is killed, and Bob is sent to prison for a long time. Ruth, who was pregnant, is set free, as Bob claims she was innocent of wrongdoing. Cut to years later, and Bob escapes from prison in an attempt to reunite with Ruth and the daughter he's never met. Meanwhile Ruth has been establishing a relationship with a Deputy Sheriff (Ben Foster) who had been shot during the stand-off. Also featuring Nate Parker, Rami Malek and Keith Carradine. I recall when this came out that it was compared to the films of Terrence Malick, but in my opinion it falls short of that director's work. I thought both Mara and Affleck were good, within the film's subdued, low-key milieu. The capable performers aren't given much to work with, though, and the whole thing was a bit dull. Some scenes were shot too dark to make out what was happening, and a lot of the dialogue, aiming for a kind of homespun poetic beauty, just falls flat. BTW, the oddball title has no meaning to the film or anything else; it was a misheard song lyric that the director liked the sound of.  6/10

 

 

616b9361776b8e3ddfda60dd0b8ed917.jpg



#17 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

After the Dark - I start my stack of 2013 movies with this unexceptional pseudo-thriller. A group of Western students in college in Indonesia are in their final Philosophy class of the semester. Their professor (James D'Arcy) proposes a final intellectual game: they imagine that a nuclear holocaust has started, and while they have access to a bomb shelter, there's only enough supplies for 10 people out of a class of 21. They then debate who gets in and who doesn't, based on a number of factors, and then imagine what the outcome in the shelter would be. They imagine multiple scenarios before finding the right balance for survival. Also featuring Sophie Lowe, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, Rhys Wakefield, Katie Findlay and Bonnie Wright. While this is professionally, competently made, the nature of the story makes the entire thing an empty exercise, much like the scenario in the film, I guess.   5/10

 

 

sq_philosophers_ver4.jpg



#18 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:44 PM

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning - Dark, disturbing fourth film in the science fiction action franchise. Scott Adkins stars as John, who, as the film opens, is beaten nearly to death by home intruders before watching his wife and daughter be murdered. John wakes up some time later in a hospital, where he's told that he's been in a coma. He sets out to catch his family's killers, only to learn of a secret government program called "UniSol" that created super-soldiers out of the corpses of dead servicemen. These "Universal Soldiers" have been going rogue, though, as one of their number, Luc Devereaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has figured out a way to break the government's mind control over them. He has been amassing an army of these freed soldiers for a coming war. But they'll have to deal with John first, who has a few of his own secrets. Also featuring Mariah Bonner, Andrei Arlovski and series regular Dolph Lundgren. I think I liked this one more than the others in the series, of which I'm not much of a fan. Adkins, a real life kickboxing champion, has made a name for himself in B action movies over the past decade for his acrobatic, visceral fight scenes. The existential horror behind the concept of the Universal Soldiers is explored more here, with a genuine sense of dread and foreboding throughout, helped by the minimalist score. I read that this was initially rated NC-17 due to violence, and I can see why.       6/10

 

This was the last movie in my 2012 stack.

 

 

10666701-1358939909-846378.jpg 



#19 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:11 AM

Underworld: Awakening - Fourth installment in the action/horror series starring Kate Beckinsale as the vampire Selene, a super-warrior in the centuries long war against the Lycans (werewolves). In this outing, humanity has learned of the existence of the vampire and Lycan communities that have been hiding among them. The humans declare open war, and nearly all of both species are eradicated. Selene and her half-vampire/half-werewolf lover Michael Corvin are attacked, with Corvin dying and Selene captured and placed into suspended animation for further study by the scientists of Antigen, a group working to unlock the secrets of the two species' genetic codes. Selene is awakened and she escapes, while also learning that she had a child with Corvin that was harvested by Antigen. The child has her father's half-and-half monster make-up, and when she escapes, Antigen will stop at nothing to get her back. Also featuring Stephen Rea, Theo James, Michael Ealy, Sandrine Holt, Wes Bentley and Charles Dance. This has the same visual aesthetic of the other films in the series, with everything cast in a blue-ish hue, dripping water and wet streets, and lots and lots of gunfire and acrobatic martial arts. The first film in the series back in 2003 helped change Beckinsale's screen image from stuffy period-piece maiden to leather-clad action seductress, and she seems to enjoy the role. I find the fight scenes rather tedious, though, with their endless machine gun fire and videogame-like visuals. The horror aspect is fairly tame in this outing, as well, with the CGI-rendered Lycans more silly than scary.   5/10 

 

 

onesheet.jpg



#20 LawrenceA

LawrenceA

    Champion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 17,264 posts
  • LocationThereabouts

Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:05 PM

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - Fifth and final installment in the hit supernatural teen romance series. Bella (Kristen Stewart) has been changed into a vampire by her equally toothsome new husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her from the traumatic birth of their exceptional child. Bella learns that their daughter is growing at an accelerated rate, and that to protect her from harm, she has been "imprinted" on Bella's former suitor Jacob (Taylor Lautner), meaning he has made the child his lifemate. As if this isn't enough, the Vulturi, the powerful ruling family of vampires in Italy, believe that Bella and Edward's family has committed a capital crime according to vampire law, so they are assembling an army to kill Bella and friends. That means Edward and his family have to recruit their own army of vampires from around the world for one final battle in the snow.

 

Also featuring Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elisabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Maggie Grace, Christian Carmago, Mia Maestro, Christopher Heyerdahl, Omar Metwally, Remi Malik, Joe Anderson, Cameron Bright, Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen. I have to admit that I liked this more than the rest of the series, probably due to the variety of new characters, and the big battle at the end, even if a cop-out twist renders much moot. I also have to say that this movie probably has the most decapitations of any romance film in history. Now that I'm done with the whole series, I'm glad to have seen them, but they aren't something I'll revisit in the future.   5/10

 

 

The-Twilight-Saga-Breaking-down-2-facebo






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users