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About LawrenceA

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  1. I Just Watched...

    Beyond Skyline (2017) - Science fiction action flick from XYZ Entertainment and director Liam O'Donnell, a sequel to 2010's Skyline. The first half of this film takes place simultaneously with the events of the first film, where LA residents try to survive a citywide alien invasion. This time we follow burn-out ex-cop Mark (Frank Grillo) and his JD son Trent (Jonny Weston) who are on the LA subway train when the invasion begins. They team with other passengers, including train operator Audrey (Bojana Novakovic) and blind Vietnam war vet Sarge (Antonio Fargas) to try and escape from the invaders. Later, after a trip on one of the alien spaceships leaves them stranded in Laos, our heroes join forces with Sua (Iko Uwais) and his underground drug cartel to fight back, while also protecting a mysterious child that may be the key to salvation. Also featuring Callan Mulvey, Pamelyn Chee, Yayan Ruhian, Jacob Vargas, and Lindsey Morgan. The first film was a modestly successful low-budget affair with a B-movie sensibility and a polished look that belied the small budget. That film was made by the Strause brothers, special effects pros that did almost all of the films very good visual effects at their own homes with home computers. This sequel, which still has the Strause brothers as producers, looks just as sharp, although some shots suffer from being too brightly lit, allowing the FX work to be more obvious. While the first movie was a thriller, this one heads decidedly into action movie territory, with Grillo and Asian action star Uwais both getting into many a martial arts battle. The alien's backstory is explored more, as is the first film's silly reveal that the aliens are after human brains. That element becomes key to the story, and while it's no less silly, there's an attempt made to explain and justify it. Regardless, it doesn't bother me, as it adds to the B-movie appeal. I could have done with less giant robot suit fighting, an aspect added with this film, seemingly inspired by Pacific Rim. In the end, this is a reasonably entertaining B-movie with great visuals, cardboard characters and enough going on to hold one's attention. (6/10) Source: Blu-ray, apparently from a new company called Vertical Entertainment.
  2. You may want to ease off on the self-righteousness.
  4. Hate, Detest, Despise and Abhor Movies

    What/which Haneke film(s) made you decide that you needed to see them all? I know he's acclaimed, but he's been rather hit or miss for me. I wasn't crazy about either Funny Games (although I liked the English-language version more), Code Unknown or Cache. I liked The White Ribbon, and Amour was good, although not like the others at all.
  5. Top Ten Favorites Review

    #1 Favorite Movie of 1937 Grand Illusion - Life inside of a German P.O.W. camp circa WW1, from director Jean Renoir. Aristocratic French officer Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and more salt-of-the-earth Lt. Marechal (Jean Gabin) are shot down and captured by the Germans, and soon sent to a prisoner of war camp, where they join in with fellow prisoners in myriad attempts as escape both literal and figurative. They eventually end up in a forbidding castle prison for the most incorrigible prisoners, run by former ace pilot Captain von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim). Also featuring Marcel Dalio, Gaston Modot, Dita Parlo, Julien Carette, Georges Peclet, Werner Florian, and Sylvain Itkine. You'll find most POW camp movie cliches started with this movie. The tone drifts from comedy to drama with ace precision, and the film's ultimately anti-war message of all men being brothers in spirit is well illustrated. The ployglot nature of a world war is brilliantly depicted in scenes where characters will speak in French, German and English, alternating language with every other sentence. Gabin is my favorite French actor of all time, and he brings his patented world-weary sardonic charm to his role. This is also my favorite performance by von Stroheim as the mangled professional soldier lamenting the end of the era of the "gentleman warrior". This movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture of 1938, the first foreign-language film to do so. (9/10) Source: Lionsgate Blu-ray. Bonus features include a featurette on the film's production and impact, a featurette about the movie's negative and subsequent restoration (which is exquisite; the movie looks phenomenal), and multiple vintage trailers.
  6. So Dwight Eisenhower was irrational, then?
  7. Again, this is from a Trump supporter.
  8. To quote the great R. Lee Ermey: "I didn't know they stacked **** that high!"
  9. Some of that may have held weight if it wasn't coming from an unapologetic Trump supporter, someone who openly revels in being a bully and an obnoxious lout. Now you just sound like a partisan hypocrite.
  10. The way it used to work, they had one or maybe two Honorary awards a year. An honorary one to a performer or filmmaker (director/writer/composer/etc), and maybe either an Irving Thalberg (for producer lifetime achievement) or a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award. And even then, with only one or two given, they were rushed and awkward. Yes, there were many great moments, but a lot of disappointing ones, too. With their own night, they not only get all the time that they wish, but they also give out at least 4 every year, to performers and technicians alike, every year, meaning more people get acknowledged while they are still alive to do so. Like I said, I just wish they would air that night as unedited as possible, sometime around the regular Oscar telecast.
  11. I agree with you, but you touch on a perennial subject when it comes to the Oscar telecast: are people tuning in for the awards or are they expecting a "show"? The producers continue to think (maybe market research tells them as much) that people want to see jokes, a long monologue from the host including a lengthy video clip package and song, plus elaborately staged presentations of the Best Song nominees. If I had my preferences, I would make the monologue a bare minimum, cut out the video clips (put them up on the Oscar website beforehand as a promotional tool), cut the songs, cut the usually pointless "themes" that they come up with each year that no one cares about and only results in more video clips, and just present the awards, giving the winners a chance to say thanks in a reasonable amount of time without almost instantly trying to play them off stage. The hosts don't always have to be TV talk show hosts either. While the Franco/Hathaway experiment was a disaster, there are other actors who would be good with light witticisms that could make for pleasant enough hosts without trying to make it about themselves or trying to outdo last year's host or garner viral-video fodder. I would also like to see the "In memoriam" be longer, and without some pop singer on stage taking the spotlight away. Choose some appropriately moody instrumental music to accompany it, and allow some spoken dialogue in the clips of those who have passed. And while I understand the separation of the Honorary awards from the main telecast (the honorees get much more time with their own night), I think that the Governor's Ball (Honorary awards) should be televised, perhaps a week or two before the Oscars.
  12. Hate, Detest, Despise and Abhor Movies

    I was waiting for you to bring these two up! My #1 and #4 favorite movies of all time!
  13. Worst Nude Scenes in HIstory of Movies!

    Lol...I remember that. It was an actor named MC Gainey, a dependable character actor who specializes in heavies and good ole boys.
  14. Movie Related Pet Names

    I don't have any pics except from when I first got them. I don't use mobile phones with their ubiquitous cameras, and I don't carry my camera with me, so I have very few photos. This picture is the first week or two that I had them. They turn 5 years old this coming Saturday. Delilah on the left, Samson on the right.

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