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3 hours ago, SansFin said:

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

2SIGPVQ.jpg

 

I had an opportunity to watch this shortly after its release. I truly saw little of it because of rowdy crowd at the screening. I do not wish to give the impression that I was a chaste and dedicated cinephile beset by hooligans. I can assure you that I threw much more popcorn than what hit me and my squirt gun needed frequent refilling. I have since that time seen little clips and many memes based on it.

I choose to set aside the time and watch the movie quietly.

Yikes! I know it is a beloved classic. I know it is dear to the hearts of millions. I know I will be accused of heresy if I say one word against it. I know, I know, I know. But seriously . . . Yikes!

A disenfranchised little boy finds a baby bug-eyed-monster in the woods after its mother cuts-and-runs. Hilarity ensues.

I am reminded distinctly of the: quokka which are nearly-painfully cute and adorable little beasties who look cheerful at all times and are quite bouncy. A mother quokka will throw her babies at a predator in order to give her sufficient time to escape. 

I understand more fully why my initial viewing was so rambunctious: the story takes forever to start and then really goes nowhere for long stretches. There are four important scenes spaced out over two hours. There are several scenes which tug at the heartstrings with all the subtlety and finesse of a cheetah having dinner with an antelope. 

I can understand why this was hugely popular with children in that era. I am sorry to say that this is not that era. I am glad that I waited for this to appear on a streaming service rather then spending $12.95 for a used DVD of it.

3.6/9

 

SansFin, for a time it was fashionable to moan, "Oh, no! How could Gandhi have won Best Picture over E.T.?" Whatever one thinks of Gandhi, E.T. is very much as you describe it. You could also point out that the big scene where E.T. almost dies seems to be "borrowed" from Tinker Bell's "death scene" in Peter Pan. E.T. is efficiently made and Henry Thomas is much better than many a child actor, but a great film it isn't.

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"E.T." is on the National Film Registry and is one of the best movies of the 1980s, and while "Gandhi" is a good movie, that Oscar was an epic blunder by the Academy.  Not quite as bad a blunder as, oh, "Driving Miss Daisy" or "Chariots of Fire", but a big whiff nonetheless.

 

Come to think of it, Oscar did very badly in the 1980s.  Did they get it right once?  "Platoon" maybe?

 

Also, it isn't that observant to say that "E.T." borrows from "Peter Pan" when, you know, Mom reads Peter Pan to Gertie.

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I guess if you were generous about Oscar in the 1980s you might say that "Amadeus" and "Out of Africa" were OK winners, if one judges them against the other four films in the field, and forgets that the actual best movies of those years were "Ghostbusters" and "Back to the Future" respectively.

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1 hour ago, kingrat said:

SansFin, for a time it was fashionable to moan, "Oh, no! How could Gandhi have won Best Picture over E.T.?" Whatever one thinks of Gandhi, E.T. is very much as you describe it. You could also point out that the big scene where E.T. almost dies seems to be "borrowed" from Tinker Bell's "death scene" in Peter Pan. E.T. is efficiently made and Henry Thomas is much better than many a child actor, but a great film it isn't.

I have the problem also that I did not understand why he became sick or how he was revived. I watched the entire movie and I did not feel I was distracted at any point but I must have missed those two explanations.

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5 hours ago, SansFin said:

I must have missed those two explanations.

I don't think so, so much of the story was just in there to evoke emotions which work very well for kids, the main target of this movie.  I used to call Spielberg "the great manipulator" because of that.

blogger-image-1454023568.jpg

A perfect example is one of the hermetically suited Doctors in the "quarantine" scene enters the room slowly, deliberately with his arms out like Frankenstein's monster, initially scaring the kids. Even as a youth when I saw it, knew it was added for "dramatic effect". Dumb.

frankenstein-feature-3172258.jpg

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7 hours ago, kingrat said:

SansFin, for a time it was fashionable to moan, "Oh, no! How could Gandhi have won Best Picture over E.T.?" Whatever one thinks of Gandhi, E.T. is very much as you describe it. You could also point out that the big scene where E.T. almost dies seems to be "borrowed" from Tinker Bell's "death scene" in Peter Pan. E.T. is efficiently made and Henry Thomas is much better than many a child actor, but a great film it isn't.

Those of us who've seen Richard Attenborough's directing career CONTINUE to moan about Gandhi beating E.T., regardless of how one might feel about the latter.

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Gandhi is a decent, noble movie, as is E.T.  None of the Best Film nominees that year was really outstanding. Regarding some of the other Oscars mentioned, I think one of Oscars poorest choices was Chariots of Fire over Reds.  As an Anglophile, I enjoyed Chariots, but it's not really a great film. Reds on the other hand is one of the greatest films of all time. I think at that time, the Academy members were so concerned about being called left-wing, that they were afraid to vote for a film about an American Communist. 

Two other points: I think Out of Africa is a great film, in fact, my favorite Meryl Streep movie, and a brilliant adaptation of one aspect of the life of Isak Dinesen. I think its win was justified, even in what was a very competitive year. And, much as I love Peter Shaffer, whom I knew and worked with, I think A Passage to India is David Lean's masterpiece and should have won Best Picture.

 

 

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I was born in 1978, and I think I saw ET: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL sometime on a re-release ca. 1984 (before VHS blew up.)

I still have a STRONG MEMORY of how much I DESPISED IT, like white-hot-LOATHING from the pit of my stomach, as all the other children were getting misty and holding on to their mother's hands I was like:

 

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9 hours ago, SansFin said:

I have the problem also that I did not understand why he became sick or how he was revived. I watched the entire movie and I did not feel I was distracted at any point but I must have missed those two explanations.

 

You did miss it.

 

Elliott becomes sick because he is linked to E.T., and E.T. becomes sick because this world is not healthy for him.  There is dialogue to this effect...Elliott starts saying "we" which his other brother notes, and Elliott specifically says he feels E.T.'s feelings, and of course there is the whole scene where E.T. gets drunk on the beer in the fridge and Elliott gets drunk in class without actually having drank any beer himself.

 

And Elliott gets better at the end because the link between him and E.T. is broken, probably intentionally by a dying E.T.  There's dialogue to that effect as well, as the doctors note the two of them de-synchronizing and their formerly synchronous vital signs going out of sync on the monitor.

 

C'mon, people.

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Anyway, I wouldn't expected all the people in the world that hate "E.T." to have gathered on the same forum, but life is full of surprises.

 

"Out of Africa" was...OK.  Exotic period setting, check.  Meryl Streep doing an accent, check.  Robert Redford being handsome, check--although it was a hoot to hear him attempt an accent in his first scene and give up afterwards.  I do think that of the five films in that field it's a reasonable choice, but if you look at all the movies in 1985 that were better than "Out of Africa", there were a lot.  "After Hours", "Back to the Future", "Brazil", "Ran"...

 

The Richard Attenborough films I've seen have been hit and miss.  "Gandhi" is good.  "A Bridge Too Far" was great.  "Chaplin", not so much.

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13 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Caged is one of those movies that really defies description, at least as I can give one, and that one really has

to see to get the full impact. Even for 1950 it's quite a trip. Even those later women's prison flicks that have

more explicit shower scenes than Caged  don't really match it. There's a scene early in the movie where

Parker breaks down in Moorehead's office and Moorehead asks her what's wrong. Parker doesn't answer,

but one can just imagine what she might say--"What's wrong? I'm stuck in this hellhole for who knows

how long with this bunch of dirtbags. What do you think is wrong?" To make her feel better, Agnes gives

her a coffin nail. Yeah, thanks a million. That fixes everything. 

Plus Parker is pregnant and has to give up her baby!

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On 4/1/2021 at 4:16 PM, CinemaInternational said:

This is also supposed to air in the late night hours on TCM next week. Even though I found the sex scenes to be way too explicit for the rest of the story, this is easily one of the best films of 1999 (#3 out of 59 that year for me). It's beautifully handled on every level, and I think it teaches a good moral lesson in the end. In its native England it was up for many awards, but here in America, award bodies went for lesser films like American Beauty to fill out the nominations list, leaving this one with only two Oscar nominations. And Julianne Moore deserved to win the Oscar that year.

I have seen the earlier version with Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, and John Mills. Its  very good, and it clears up one moral muddle included in this version toward the end, but it also doesn't include one other closing element seen here that I found extremely moving.

Regarding Ralph Fiennes, I think he is one of the better actors at work today, and I urge you to check out Quiz Show from 1994, about the rigging scandal surrounding the game show Twenty-One in the late 50s. Fiennes played one of the cheating contestants who was in moral agony over his actions, and it was a great performance. The film also had rich performances from John Turturro and Paul Scofield, and had a probing script, plus fine direction by Robert Redford. I think it was the best film of its year.

Yes, Quiz show was great as was everyone in it! I stayed up to watch End of the Affair and was glad I did. Will have to catch the original. TCM shows it fairly often.

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On 4/2/2021 at 3:37 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

they look just like PENGUINS IN THE ZOO don't they?

Agnes-of-God-19852015-11-07-00-53-07.jpg

I watched AGNES OF GOD (1985) on TCM (is it OSCAR MONTH?)

I have never seen it before and I have to be honest with you, I actually thought it was pretty lousy- in fact, I was genuinely taken aback by how clumsy the first half of the movie is; it gets somewhat interesting at the end, but notsomuch that it can make-up for what is OBVIOUSLY a STAGE PLAY (and a STAGEY STAGE PLAY at that ) presented as un-cinematically as is humanly possible.

it is allegedly a film about mystery and spirituality and there is absolutely no aura of either about it. It is a film without style.  It is straightforward, HALLMARK HALL-OF-FAME level set-ups, and some in-exscuseably  washed-out cinematography, badly framed, and what dialogue and scenarios that are not ham-fisted exposition are  straight out of a 1950's melodrama that somehow snuck past the HAYES CODE.

In all honesty, I was taken aback by how bad it was.

the acting was fine- although I gotta say, as much as I adore ANNE BANCROFT, she's not given enough to do to warrant the BEST ACTRESS NOMINATION she got for it and especially not in a year as killer for lead performances by an actress as 1985 was.

interestingly, she lost to GERALDINE PAGE (for TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL); GERLADINE PAGE had played the part of MOTHER SUPERIOR in AGNES on stage but was passed over for BANCROFT.

 

edit- actually, there is one effective sequence where a Novitiate(?) takes on the vows, but the rest was very uninspired.

Man, you really hated the movie, didnt you? I didnt. (didnt see it this time around) It does have its flaws and although they try to open it up, it still comes off as a filmed stage play. But there's nothing wrong with that if the performances are good. (and they are). Maybe it helps to be a Catholic (or an ex one, in my regard) to relate to it. I never expected the mystery to be resolved, and it wasn't.

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

Man, you really hated the movie, didnt you? I didnt. (didnt see it this time around) It does have its flaws and although they try to open it up, it still comes off as a filmed stage play. But there's nothing wrong with that if the performances are good. (and they are). Maybe it helps to be a Catholic (or an ex one, in my regard) to relate to it. I never expected the mystery to be resolved, and it wasn't.

I know it seems like I did, believe it or not I really did not *hate* AGNES OF GOD, I just didn’t think it was good. Or maybe well executed would’ve been a better word, I just couldn’t help feeling it should’ve been shot in a whole different way. And the dialogue needed some punching up big time. But I’m not mad at it, really. 
 

NORMAN JEWISON Is a very frank, straightforward Director, his films are usually not ambiguous in the least, so I don’t think he was the right choice for this particular story. (Close your eyes and imagine for one hot minute just what David Lynch could’ve done with it!)
 

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

You know it’s funny, I was having this conversation in private with somebody, but I totally did not see the ending of AGNES As being ambiguous at all. I literally translated as she was impregnated by the Lord and quite frankly she was a little **** about it, Which actually caused me to like the film somewhat in the final act- I could not help but wonder if perhaps someone with more talent than me could’ve turned AGNES into a magnificent pitch black comedy.

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19 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I know it seems like I did, believe it or not I really did not *hate* AGNES OF GOD, I just didn’t think it was good. Or maybe well executed would’ve been a better word, I just couldn’t help feeling it should’ve been shot in a whole different way. And the dialogue needed some punching up big time. But I’m not mad at it, really. 
 

NORMAN JEWISON Is a very frank, straightforward Director, his films are usually not ambiguous in the least, so I don’t think he was the right choice for this particular story. (Close your eyes and imagine for one hot minute just what David Lynch could’ve done with it!)
 

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

You know it’s funny, I was having this conversation in private with somebody, but I totally did not see the ending of AGNES As being ambiguous at all. I literally translated as she was impregnated by the Lord and quite frankly she was a little **** about it, Which actually caused me to like the film somewhat in the final act- I could not help but wonder if perhaps someone with more talent than me could’ve turned AGNES into a magnificent pitch black comedy.

LOL. I guess that's one way to look at it.

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3 hours ago, Vidor said:

You did miss it.

Elliott becomes sick because he is linked to E.T., and E.T. becomes sick because this world is not healthy for him.  There is dialogue to this effect...Elliott starts saying "we" which his other brother notes, and Elliott specifically says he feels E.T.'s feelings, and of course there is the whole scene where E.T. gets drunk on the beer in the fridge and Elliott gets drunk in class without actually having drank any beer himself.

And Elliott gets better at the end because the link between him and E.T. is broken, probably intentionally by a dying E.T.  There's dialogue to that effect as well, as the doctors note the two of them de-synchronizing and their formerly synchronous vital signs going out of sync on the monitor.

C'mon, people.

I understood all of that. 

What I do not know is how the wee beastie can go from being so strong that he can make them fly and then nearly dead in a ditch a few hours later. Normal response to a toxic environment is gradual deterioration and worsening symptoms. You do not run and play and act zany for days only to keel over the instant an internal timer zeroes.

What I do not know also is what caused the Lazarus act. The B.E.M. goes from clinically dead to rambunctious chatterbox within fifty seven seconds with no external input. I would expect at the very least the boy touching the corpse to establish a connection so that life force might flow from him to the thingy. 

 

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3 minutes ago, SansFin said:

What I do not know is how the wee beastie can go from being so strong that he can make them fly and then nearly dead in a ditch a few hours later. Normal response to a toxic environment is gradual deterioration and worsening symptoms. You do not run and play and act zany for days only to keel over the instant an internal timer zeroes.

What I do not know also is what caused the Lazarus act.

 

You said "I don't understand why he became sick or how he revived".  If you're talking about Elliott that just means you didn't pay attention to the movie.  If you're talking about E.T...it is also established prior to ET being "nearly dead in a ditch" that he is in fact getting sick.

 

Quote

Mike tells Elliott that E.T. doesn't look too good anymore. "Don't say that, we're fine!" says Elliott. "What's all this we stuff. You say we all the time now. Look Elliott, I think he might be getting sick," replies Michael. [This confirms Elliott's belief that he considers himself and E.T. to be one being. It also introduces further jeopardy for E.T. Besides being tracked by the antagonist, he is also becoming sick.]

 

https://sfy.ru/?script=et_c

 

So, the idea that E.T. is getting sick is firmly established.  Should they have shown that E.T. is getting sick, before the scene where they find him in the ditch?  Maybe!  If I recall correctly the movie shows Elliott starting to look poorly before that scene, and he is linked to E.T.  Is the fly-across-the-moon sequence realistic when we see E.T. near-comatose in a ditch hours later?  I dunno, but now we're getting into Artistic License Land, because in real life there are no aliens that look like sentient mushrooms waddling around levitating bicycles.  If you're going to write a movie where your sentient mushroom is levitating a bike, you're probably free enough to also write that he is very sick a day later, after he's done levitating said bike.

 

The one thing I'll give you is that the movie doesn't really spell out how E.T. came back to life.  Personally, I went with "his friends came back and revived him."

 

In conclusion: this movie is better than "Gandhi".

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6 hours ago, Hibi said:

Plus Parker is pregnant and has to give up her baby!

Yes. The plot summary was getting so long I decided to leave that out, though it's not unimportant.

It was another event that contributed to her gradually becoming disillusioned with the system and

her later decision to go over to the dark side, though her mother seemed too flighty to take care of a baby.

I also left out that Hope Emerson hid a bottle of hooch under her mattress. One of the funniest scenes

was when Hope came into the cell block dressed to the nines for her night out with some guy. That

dude must have been beyond desperate. 

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6 hours ago, Hibi said:

Man, you really hated the movie, didnt you? I didnt. (didnt see it this time around) It does have its flaws and although they try to open it up, it still comes off as a filmed stage play. But there's nothing wrong with that if the performances are good. (and they are). Maybe it helps to be a Catholic (or an ex one, in my regard) to relate to it. I never expected the mystery to be resolved, and it wasn't.

Lorna tends to get...on a roll, past the first three posts.  😉  I didn't HATE the movie, but, like most filmed stage plays (Meryl Streep in Doubt also springs Catholically to mind), it keeps the Tony-winning Broadway convention of ending ambiguously, which works better on stage than in a "So what did we just watch for two hours?" movie.

5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

NORMAN JEWISON Is a very frank, straightforward Director, his films are usually not ambiguous in the least, so I don’t think he was the right choice for this particular story.

Had the same complaint about Jewison's direction on Nuts, which also had an Oscar-nominated performance based on the Tony-winning play, but left you with the idea that you can't recall what exactly happened by the end of the movie, and that the straight-on tone was going to lead to something.

 I keep wanting to link Fiddler on the Roof and Jesus Christ Superstar with Rollerball and say what "makes" a Jewison film, but....I can never find anything.

Quote

(Close your eyes and imagine for one hot minute just what David Lynch could’ve done with it!)

As I recall, Meg Tilly was screaming enough as it is.

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Quote

Mike tells Elliott that E.T. doesn't look too good anymore. "Don't say that, we're fine!" says Elliott. "What's all this we stuff. You say we all the time now. Look Elliott, I think he might be getting sick," replies Michael. [This confirms Elliott's belief that he considers himself and E.T. to be one being. It also introduces further jeopardy for E.T. Besides being tracked by the antagonist, he is also becoming sick.]

So there were two short lines in this yawnfest which justified its healthy appearance in one scene and its cadaverous appearance in the next. Got it. Thank you.

I am far from being a fan of: Gandhi (1982) but I definitely feel that even the instructions in Dutch for an Ikea commode are more believable and interesting than: E.T. (1982)

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1 minute ago, SansFin said:

So there were two short lines in this yawnfest which justified its healthy appearance in one scene and its cadaverous appearance in the next. Got it. Thank you.

 

You're free to not like the movie!  This is America!  But you made incorrect statements above, and I thought I'd point that out.

 

Actually, I've been thinking, and E.T.'s body isn't particularly realistic.  He walks with a plodding, very slow gait which would leave him highly vulnerable to predators; real animals such as snails and turtles that travel that slowly develop shells as a compensatory measure.  Therefore, "Gandhi" actually did deserve to win Best Picture.

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4 minutes ago, Vidor said:

Actually, I've been thinking, and E.T.'s body isn't particularly realistic.  He walks with a plodding, very slow gait which would leave him highly vulnerable to predators; real animals such as snails and turtles that travel that slowly develop shells as a compensatory measure.  Therefore, "Gandhi" actually did deserve to win Best Picture.

And Tootsie didn't deserve the nomination--You could tell Dustin Hoffman wasn't a real female!  😄

(Hey, it's no sillier than picking on Spielberg's direction or John Williams' score...)  

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37 minutes ago, SansFin said:

So there were two short lines in this yawnfest which justified its healthy appearance in one scene and its cadaverous appearance in the next. Got it. Thank you.

I am far from being a fan of: Gandhi (1982) but I definitely feel that even the instructions in Dutch for an Ikea commode are more believable and interesting than: E.T. (1982)

LOL

I'm with ya on this too, Sans.

Maybe in my case it was the fact that when E.T. first hit the screens I was already 30, and so of an age when an earnestly told little fairy tale like this Spielberg movie would appeal to me less than if I were half that age at the time.

I remember after watching it back then in the theater and thinking it was "cute" and well-made with an inventive use of the special effects available at the time by its director, but little more than that. Oh, and as Tiki mentioned earlier, extremely munipulative and much too eager in attempting to pull at the heartstrings.

(...oh, and I remember noticing that Speilberg loved to make almost every adult character in it either clueless or cruel, and which only further enforced my thought that he had really made it primarily for kids)

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