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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Keith Law: Moneyball

I’m sorta reminded of the time Effin’ Stink Lad (non-LOSH) cruised a dump on D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage because he was too close to the action.

Moneyball, the movie, is an absolute mess of a film, the type of muddled end product you’d expect from a project that took several years and went through multiple writers and directors. Even good performances by a cast of big names and some clever makeup work couldn’t save this movie, and if I hadnt been planning to review it, I would have walked out.

...Then there’s the baseball stuff, which is not good. For starters, the lampooning of scouts, which draws from the book, isn’t any more welcome on screen (where some of the scouts are played by actual scouts) than it was on the page; they are set up as dim-witted bowling pins for Beane and Brand to knock down with their spreadsheets. It’s cheap writing, and unfair to the real people being depicted. Current Oakland scouting director Eric Kubota also gets murdered in a drive-by line that depicts him as a clueless intern given the head scouting role after Beane fires Grady Fuson in April after a clubhouse argument (that never really happened). I’ll confess to laughing at the scout referring to “this Bill James bullshit,” although the A’s bought into that bullshit years before the film claims they did - and, in fact, hired Paul Depodesta three years before the movie-A’s hired Brand. (In the film, Fuson refers to Brand as “Google boy,” a term applied to Depodesta by Luddite beat writers in LA three years later.)

 

Repoz Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM | 326 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3924944)
I walked out of Gosford Park - what a self-indulgent piece of horseshit. Hated it - only movie I think I've ever done that for at a theatre.

I quite liked that one actually. Stephen Fry's detective was perfect. Though I tend to love Fry in everything so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Speaking of which, not a movie I entered with low expectations, more of a movie I had never heard of, but "Peter's Friends" is now one of my favourites. Fry and Laurie, Emma Thompson, Branagh...how could you go wrong?
   202. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:41 PM (#3924953)
Is yelling stuff in the theater an American thing? I just ask because I go to a lot of movies and honestly can't recall anyone ever yelling anything during any of them. I remember a Seinfeld episode about this and wonder if it's common in the states, or common everywhere and I'm just very, very fortunate.

Most annoying thing I recall is the audience applauding at the end of avatar. wtf is that?
   203. hokieneer Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#3924956)
Adventureland and Hot Rod are 2 recent movies that I was pleasantly surprised with. Not sure why I watched either of them, perhaps friends recommendations, but I was not expecting anything.

I was also really surprised with the 2 recent Harry Potter films, esp part 1. My Wife's a fan of the books and so I've watched all the movies with her (To be honest, I'm not sure how many total there are or how many I've seen). The last 2 were the only ones that were complete piles of ####.
   204. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3924960)
Surprised that "Superbad" is on many people's "pleasant surprise" list. I had the opposite experience - very high expectations, and was pretty underwhelmed by the movie.

Same here. I saw Judd Apatow's name attached to it so I had high expectations. Upon repeat viewings on HBO, I've gone from being indifferent to at least liking it.

Isn't having sex/losing virginity the plot of every comedy movie featuring "high schoolers"?

Well, there is that element to Superbad, but it's really more a movie about two adolescents learning to gain independence from each other.

Most annoying thing I recall is the audience applauding at the end of avatar. wtf is that?

People applauded at the end of Avatar when I saw in theater too. Utterly perplexed me since I was massively underwhelmed.
   205. Every Inge Counts Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#3924962)
The only movie's off the top of my head that I have seen alone (or with only my girlfriend):
Ocean's 13: All by myself. Kept my clothes on.

Greenberg: With my girlfriend. Kept out clothes on.


Low expectation movie: Well from this summer, Fast Five would be there, though it got pretty good reviews.

Two movies that I have seen in the past year, that I had high expectations for and still have no idea where to place them:
Observe and Report-which is a pretty damn dark comedy.
30 Minutes or Less-which is a dark comedy as well, my girlfriend did not like it, but I really enjoyed it...
   206. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#3924964)
Well, there is that element to Superbad, but it's really more a movie about two adolescents learning to gain independent from each other.

Yeah the girls are almost incidental in Superbad. I think the final scene makes that pretty clear.
   207. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#3924969)
Most annoying thing I recall is the audience applauding at the end of avatar. wtf is that?

I've applauded at the end of some movies, although it's pretty rare. Honestly, I didn't at Avatar, but the theater did and I didn't begrudge them for it. The visual accomplishment deserved applause, even if the scripting ruined the finished product for me.
   208. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#3924970)
Greenberg: With my girlfriend. Kept out clothes on.

What did you think of Greenberg? I'm still mulling it over. My initial reaction was that it was a poor man's Punch-Drunk Love. I think I'm officially a big Rhys Ifans fan now though.
   209. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:53 PM (#3924973)
I think the final scene makes that pretty clear.

I think the final shot of them (uncomfortably) saying goodbye to each other is the takeaway. The girls are just a vehicle to that emotion.
   210. OsunaSakata Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3924977)
Kinda curious why Law refers to "Grady Fuson" as a character in the movie, though, since Fuson's name isn't listed as a character in the IMDB cast page.


Grady Fuson is in the movie as a character. He's just called Grady when he's onscreen. Later on he's identified as Grady Fuson when he's interviewed by a sports radio show. IMDB doesn't quite got everything right. They still have Kathryn Morris as Billy's second wife and she got left on the cutting room floor. I'm actually curious about the actor that played Grady, but he's not on IMDB or the official Moneyball site. I didn't catch his name when the credits rolled.
   211. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#3924981)
Has anyone seen Abby - the Black Exorcist?
   212. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3924987)
Is yelling stuff in the theater an American thing? I just ask because I go to a lot of movies and honestly can't recall anyone ever yelling anything during any of them. I remember a Seinfeld episode about this and wonder if it's common in the states, or common everywhere and I'm just very, very fortunate.

It's not at all common in my experience. At most, I've seen people should out "YEAH!" at big fist-pump-type moments.
Most annoying thing I recall is the audience applauding at the end of avatar. wtf is that?

See, what you're really saying here is, "All those stupid people applauded at a movie I feel is vastly overrated. How dumb are they?"

So just come out and say it instead of pretending to be baffled by something that's obvious to even the most casual observer.
   213. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#3924988)
How has this conversation gone so far without any discussion of Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece "The Room"?

Fun fact: An ex-gf claimed to have dated Wiseau briefly when she was 18.
Funner fact: Said ex-gf was going to be named "Mookie" if she was a boy, in honor of the Met.
   214. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3924989)

See, what you're really saying here is, "All those stupid people applauded at a movie I feel is vastly overrated. How dumb are they?"


Irrespective of the fact that I found the movie lame, it was the first time I've experienced people appluading in a movie theater. It caught me by surprise. Maybe this is a common thing that I'd just missed somehow until then, but that's what the "wtf is that" is referring to. Yes, applauding a movie (any movie) in a theater is perplexing to me.

I guess maybe unless it's a first screening with the movie's director in attendance or some strange scenario.
   215. JJ1986 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3924990)
People almost always applaud at midnight screenings on opening day. I don't think I've ever heard applause at any other shows.
   216. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3924993)
See, what you're really saying here is, "All those stupid people applauded at a movie I feel is vastly overrated. How dumb are they?"

Or I could just be surprise. It is possible to disagree with someone else without believing they are dumb.
   217. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3924997)
Applauding I've definitely experienced before, a number of times. Not just at the end, but at fist-pump moments too. (E.g. Star Wars: Vader has Luke in his sights, says, "I have you now," and presses the triggers. The ship next to his blows up, Vader shouts, "WHAT?" and looks up, and we see the Millennium Falcon flying in against the sunlight as Han yells, "YEE HAW!"

BIG cheer AND applause back in '77 for that one.
   218. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3924998)
People almost always applaud at midnight screenings on opening day. I don't think I've ever heard applause at any other shows.

You need to go to a Woody Allen movie in Manhattan. Every one I've been to gets applauded, no matter how crap it is.
   219. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3925001)
How could I forget...Mean Girls is one of my all-time "holy #### this movie is actually really good" movies.
   220. Perry Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3925002)
Saw alone: The Apostle, with Robert Duvall. Good movie, but it was the night of the last Seinfeld. I'd never seen Seinfeld so wasn't interested (although I've since seen tons of episodes in syndication).

On a related note, on the night it was revealed Who Shot J.R., I was scheduled to umpire 4 rec league slow-pitch softball games in Austin. Not a single player from the 8 teams showed up, and my partner and I got paid for 4 games while sitting around shooting the #### all night.
   221. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3925006)
Speaking of Avatar, I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes last weekend and I think that movie animation has now leapt across the Uncanny Valley (on the wings of Moore's Law, perhaps). Avatar was outstanding, but the fact that the characters were blue alien people still kept them in the range of cartoon for me. In Rise, I seriously accepted the apes as actual apes; it wasn't even creepy or fantastic. Well, of course till they started talking and doing stupid action-movie #### like leaping through fourth-story plateglass windows and tumbling unharmed onto the street, or jumping off a bridge onto a helicopter.
   222. Sonic Youk Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3925008)
How has this conversation gone so far without any discussion of Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece "The Room"?

Fun fact: An ex-gf claimed to have dated Wiseau briefly when she was 18.
Funner fact: Said ex-gf was going to be named "Mookie" if she was a boy, in honor of the Met.


youre tearing me apahhhht mookie!
   223. OsunaSakata Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3925013)
I got in free to the campus movie theater if I helped rip tickets. At one such night I walked out of a movie for the only time for Straw Dogs, which I found excruciatingly boring. The people in the box office said,"Go back in! You're going to miss all the shooting!" At that point I didn't care.

Also, I might have been the only person in the theater when they needed to check the print for serious breaks in the physical film itself. I guess the projectionist wasn't paying attention so they wanted someone who actually wanted to watch the movie.
   224. hokieneer Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3925015)
Irrespective of the fact that I found the movie lame, it was the first time I've experienced people appluading in a movie theater. It caught me by surprise. Maybe this is a common thing that I'd just missed somehow until then, but that's what the "wtf is that" is referring to. Yes, applauding a movie (any movie) in a theater is perplexing to me.

I've experience applause at the end of a movie a few times, and it always perplexes me.
   225. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3925016)
Speaking of Avatar, I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes last weekend and I think that movie animation has now leapt across the Uncanny Valley (on the wings of Moore's Law, perhaps). Avatar was outstanding, but the fact that the characters were blue alien people still kept them in the range of cartoon for me. In Rise, I seriously accepted the apes as actual apes; it wasn't even creepy or fantastic. Well, of course till they started talking and doing stupid action-movie #### like leaping through fourth-story plateglass windows and tumbling unharmed onto the street, or jumping off a bridge onto a helicopter.


Agree. I was blown away by Apes. They were able to communicate a lot just through animated body language, and the interactions with the live actors as fantastic as well.
   226. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3925019)
A friend of mine claims to have seen Rise of the Apes in Korea on Smell-o-vision. I can't imagine how smelling monkeys would improve a movie, but it sounds like a concpet that could take hold.
   227. Comic Strip Person Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3925020)
I had a college roommate who took a first date to see "Platoon"; she had grown up in Vietnam as a child of missionaries. She cried through the entire movie.

Not a first date, but I took a college girlfriend to see "The Crying Game". I had been really eager to see the movie; she was really eager to make out in the theater balcony. When the weiner showed up, it definitely shifted the tone of the date.
   228. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3925023)

A friend of mine claims to have seen Rise of the Apes in Korea on Smell-o-vision. I can't imagine how smelling monkeys would improve a movie, but it sounds like a concpet that could take hold.


Wasn't this in Brave New World
   229. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3925024)
When the weiner showed up, it definitely shifted the tone of the date.

But what about the movie?
   230. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:26 PM (#3925025)
I've experience applause at the end of a movie a few times, and it always perplexes me.

I'm kind of perplexed you guys are perplexed. People just want to express appreciation and I don't think it matters that the movie can't hear them. I think for a lot of people it's just a way to release the emotion/tension/whatever they were feeling after an experience they found engrossing, so that the director or the actors aren't there to take a bow doesn't really matter.
   231. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3925026)
Most annoying thing I recall is the audience applauding at the end of avatar. wtf is that?

I tried to get an applause thing going at a packed screening of "Independence Day," right after the President's big speech.
Sadly, the sarcasm must've been audible somehow, because it didn't take. Stupid Berkeley crowds.
   232. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3925027)
When the weiner showed up, it definitely shifted the tone of the date.

She was compelled enough to take an interest in the story and you got the urge to make out?
   233. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3925031)
At one such night I walked out of a movie for the only time for Straw Dogs, which I found excruciatingly boring.

You must've left pretty early. I didn't finish watching this, but certainly not because it was boring. Excruciating, yes. Boring, no.
   234. Mike A Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3925032)
My girlfriend and I were the only ones in the theater for "A Far Off Place" starring a young Reese Witherspoon. About an hour and a half in, the projector broke, and we could find no one in the entire movie theater to fix it. No one at concessions, the ticket booth, no one anywhere. Kinda troubling. We left. Everything was OK, though, and we went back the next day to catch the end.

The only movie I ever walked out of was "Three Amigos." There was a party to go to, and just wasn't feeling it despite being a big Chase/Martin fan.
   235. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3925036)
#235 - that is an awesome story - was there anyone in the projector booth at least? or did it just stop and you guys started shouting like you were on a trapped elevator?
   236. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#3925046)

My girlfriend and I were the only ones in the theater for "A Far Off Place" starring a young Reese Witherspoon. About an hour and a half in, the projector broke, and we could find no one in the entire movie theater to fix it. No one at concessions, the ticket booth, no one anywhere. Kinda troubling. We left. Everything was OK, though, and we went back the next day to catch the end.


Well that's definitely an Option J moment if I ever heard one.
   237. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3925050)
Not a first date, but I took a college girlfriend to see "The Crying Game". I had been really eager to see the movie; she was really eager to make out in the theater balcony. When the weiner showed up, it definitely shifted the tone of the date.


Not a movie, but still sort of relevant: My parents' first date was to a performance of "Equus".
   238. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3925056)
Too late for anyone to read, and I apologize if these are redundant, but...

1) I went to the Crying Game on a first date in high school. I wasn't super interested in the girl anyway, and then the movie was ... whatever it was. Sparks did not fly.

2) I have never walked out of a movie, but the only one that tempted me was Sabrina. (Date, with the future wife this time.)

3) On a related note, Harrison Ford is a terrible actor. I enjoyed Indiana Jones and Star Wars, so maybe he was good back then, but he has been awful for multiple decades now. One of the worst actors ever. Just terrible. Was he good in those old good movies? Or were the movies good enough for his suckiness to go unnoticed?

4) When was the last movie with Harrison Ford that was good? The Fugitive? I liked that one too. Did he suck then?
   239. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3925066)
Ford may or may not be terrible, but he's been in a lot of good movies. Maybe he was the Natalie Portman of his day?
   240. bigglou115 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3925068)
I generally love movies, like all of them. I'll find something redeeming. That said, I've walked out of two movies.

When I was little, I talked my dad into taking me to 'Starship Troopers', and he made me leave after the first 5 minutes (when I say little I mean sub-10, which is weird because he'd let me see a lot worse). I couldn't wait for that one to come out on home video.

I walked out of 'The Recruit' because I was there on a date with the dumbest girl who ever lived. I left her sitting there and went back to see the movie alone the next day.
   241. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3925072)
I'm kind of perplexed you guys are perplexed. People just want to express appreciation and I don't think it matters that the movie can't hear them. I think for a lot of people it's just a way to release the emotion/tension/whatever they were feeling after an experience they found engrossing, so that the director or the actors aren't there to take a bow doesn't really matter.


*shrug* if you say so. Still seems queer to me. Do you applaud after each song finishes on your car radio? Haha, teasing.
   242. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3925074)
3) On a related note, Harrison Ford is a terrible actor. I enjoyed Indiana Jones and Star Wars, so maybe he was good back then, but he has been awful for multiple decades now. One of the worst actors ever. Just terrible. Was he good in those old good movies? Or were the movies good enough for his suckiness to go unnoticed?

4) When was the last movie with Harrison Ford that was good? The Fugitive? I liked that one too. Did he suck then?

Not sure when it happened -- I'd have to go back and re-watch his movies. But he was definitely good back in Star Wars/etc. In fact, in Star Wars he's clearly out-acting almost everybody around him (the difference between him and Hamill is striking).

It's possible that the swashbuckling rogue is the only part he can handle, I suppose. My memory insists he was good as Jack Ryan in all those Clancy movies, but as I hit the mid-40's I've found my memory isn't worth a pair of dingo's kidneys.
   243. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3925082)
No--what's it called? I think almost any Carver adaptation's going to pale in comparison to "Short Cuts."

Not a Ferrel movie by any stretch but you might want to check out the Aussie film Jindabyne which is based on "So Much Water So Close to Home." Far from brilliant but OK for what it is and Laura Linney's in it.

And I like Love, Actually although that's for the Alan Rickman-Emma Thompson and Laura Linney scenes. And Keira Knightley is super dreamy cute in that one.

Did walk out on The Frisco Kid ... I think we went over to one of the other theaters and caught the Muppet Movie actually.
   244. Charlie O Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:05 PM (#3925083)
When my daughter was 11 or 12, she just had to see School of Rock. I had zero expectaions of enjoying it but I laughed through half of it. Sure, it was full of plot holes but so what? I thought those kids and Jack Black were terrific.
   245. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3925091)
As for audience applauding at the end of movies, I never experienced this happening until I move to NYC. No one ever applauded back in the suburbs. Perhaps because NYC is populated by the kind of people who don't mind expressing their admiration for art?

I do remember seeing Romeo & Juliet in high school with a girlfriend on opening night, in a packed theater with plenty of other high school kids, mostly girls. When Leonardo DiCaprio made his appearance on-screen, the audience cheered and whooped wildly. This was just before the peak of DiCaprio's heart-throbbiness.
   246. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3925096)
At one such night I walked out of a movie for the only time for Straw Dogs, which I found excruciatingly boring.

You must've left pretty early. I didn't finish watching this, but certainly not because it was boring. Excruciating, yes. Boring, no.


If you missed the end, you're in luck, because the re-make opens this week.
   247. Guapo Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3925099)
People applauded after "The King's Speech." I always yell, "THEY CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

I don't go to the movies very much any more (damn kids) but occasionally I sneak out after everyone's gone to bed to the late show. At least three times in the last year, somebody's conversation in the back of the theater has caused some sort of confrontation (theater employees summoned in the middle of the movie, actual physical fight after the movie between the offender and the offended, etc.) So while I appreciate the MST3K mindset- it really is better if you just shut your hole.

I don't think I've ever left a movie early. I also went to see The Crying Game for a date in college on opening night. It's weird so many people here did the same thing.
   248. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3925105)
When my daughter was 11 or 12, she just had to see School of Rock. I had zero expectaions of enjoying it but I laughed through half of it. Sure, it was full of plot holes but so what? I thought those kids and Jack Black were terrific.


Agreed. Another one my kids pushed me into watching. And Jack Black is one of those guys I usually can't stand, but every once in a while he's funny, and when he is, he's REALLY funny (IMO).
   249. Mike A Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3925106)
#235 - that is an awesome story - was there anyone in the projector booth at least? or did it just stop and you guys started shouting like you were on a trapped elevator?


We yelled up but nobody seemed to hear. We didn't know whether to search around for people or hightail it out of there. Being thoroughly chicken, we chose the latter.

It was even more disconcerting than ogling a 15-year old Reese Witherspoon for 2 hours.
   250. Karl from NY Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#3925111)
I've never walked out of a movie either. But I want to tell my favorite movie story anyway.

In 1994, the parents decided to take the family to The Lion King. I complained that I was too old (16) to care about a Disney cartoon (the other three kids were younger). So we agreed that I could go see a different movie instead, and the most suitable choice playing was Forrest Gump. What none of us realized was that Gump is like nine hours longer than a Disney cartoon, so the entire family ended up waiting forever in the car for me; couldn't come get me but couldn't drive away and strand me either. I would have left Gump if I'd realized; it was actually kind of boring for a teen who didn't really grasp AIDS and the cinematic history references.
   251. bigglou115 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3925115)
I don't think I've ever left a movie early. I also went to see The Crying Game for a date in college on opening night. It's weird so many people here did the same thing.


I do wonder what this says about the Primates as a population.
   252. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3925118)
I left her sitting there and went back to see the movie alone the next day.


Was she still there when you got back?
   253. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3925119)
About an hour and a half in, the projector broke, and we could find no one in the entire movie theater to fix it.


Only one movie has ever broken while I was watching it in a theatre.

At about the halfway point, it image started shaking, froze, and melted (just like you'd expect).
All that was left was the blinding white light.
Everyone waited in the theatre for 10 seconds, and finally someone stepped outside to complain.
The management came in and explained that by the time they got everything fixed, it would be too late to start again.
They gave everyone a refund AND a free ticket to a future showing of the movie.
Our group decided to hang around the mall for another 90 minutes and watched the next showing.

The movie?

No word of a lie, it was this one.
   254. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3925121)
Was he good in those old good movies? Or were the movies good enough for his suckiness to go unnoticed?

It's really hard for a really bad actor to be on screen a lot and the movie to turn out well. The exception that proves this rule is Keanu Reeves in Speed or The Matrix: surround him with enough activity, and the film can be watchable.

Is that true of Ford? I don't really think so. He's good in an important small part in The Conversation, for instance, an exceptionally good movie. He was good in Star Wars, Empire, Blade Runner, and Raiders in an action-hero kind of way, which might tend to put him in the Keanu category. But he's also good in Witness, Presumed Innocent, and The Fugitive, much quieter movies with actual human psychology on display.

As for stuff he's done since ... yes, a lot of it has been bad. He's one of the major stars who after reaching stardom never really wanted to work unless he was top-billed and the film was a vehicle for him. That's OK, but soon enough there are no parts left for you. Even Sean Connery (in The Untouchables) realized he would have to do some character stuff to gain more respect as an actor. Ford tried that last year in Morning Glory, but the results were mixed. (Some reviewer said of Morning Glory that Ford, playing a guy who doesn't want to be in a TV show, acts like he doesn't even want to be in the movie.)
   255. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3925126)
Good news!

Ghostbusters is returning to theaters this fall.

Bad news, it's in support of the sequel Dan Aykroyd insists on making, with, or without, Bill Murray.

Aykroyd then explained, once again, that this passing of the franchise-torch to new cast members is necessitated by the fact that the original Ghostbusters will be portrayed as old and totally useless, thereby sullying fans’ memories of them in a more visceral sense and helping to provide closure, we guess. “My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can't drive the Cadillac," he said, carefully explaining to your inner child that, eventually, everyone and everything dies and rots in the ground. "He's got a bad knee and can't carry the packs,” he continued in soothing, paternal tones as your snuffling soul wiped hot tears and a long string of snot on its sleeve. “Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood."


Doesn't that sound fun?
   256. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3925131)
I've heard a number of people call Anchorman a grower - and agree. Didn't like it the first time, but it's really grown on me.

I've only been amused by audience yelling once - at the end of the first LOTR flick, a moviegoer on the front row, not knowing this was the beginning of a series, stood up and shouted 'oh no you didn't ... I'm gonna call the mayor!"

Portman is fine, she just doesn't have a lot of range.

Three Amigos was great. (Granted that's based on kid recollections.) So was the Frisco Kid (same deal).

I saw the Crying Game on a date too (not knowing the twist).

Gump was boring for non-teens too.
   257. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3925133)
If you missed the end, you're in luck, because the re-make opens this week.

I am shocked this movie was re-made. I am not violently opposed to remake of relatively contemporary films like some people are but I just can't understand why a studio would greenlight this. I found it psychologically torturous, and I can't see how some executives thought this would be a profitably good idea.

But I have no idea how it ends. Maybe I missed something crucial enough to influence my opinion of the film.
   258. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3925134)
Not sure when it happened -- I'd have to go back and re-watch his movies. But he was definitely good back in Star Wars/etc. In fact, in Star Wars he's clearly out-acting almost everybody around him (the difference between him and Hamill is striking).

It's possible that the swashbuckling rogue is the only part he can handle, I suppose. My memory insists he was good as Jack Ryan in all those Clancy movies, but as I hit the mid-40's I've found my memory isn't worth a pair of dingo's kidneys.


He used to be a terrific actor. The main problem IMO is that he lost his sense of humor in the early 90's, and ever since has played every role with the same grim monotone. It works in the Fugitive because of the part, but it gets really boring after a while. What made him so great in Raiders, Star Wars, Working Girl, and Witness is the humor and sense of fun he brought to those roles. Compare his performances in Raiders vs. the fourth Indiana Jones movie.

(BTW, Alec Baldwin was Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October and was much better in the role IMO.)
   259. bigglou115 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3925136)
Was she still there when you got back?


Wouldn't have surprised me if she had been. It wasn't exactly a complicated movie, but at one point I had to make a flow chart on a napkin for her.

Incidentally, I've walked out on more dates than movies. There was that one, and two where the girl talked on her cell phone at the table in a restaurant, in both cases I went to the bathroom when she picked up the phone and never came back. (I did call both of them cabs though)
   260. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3925151)
You Can Count on Me is a great movie.


Did you know there's a sequel coming out? I forgot the title (Hanna maybe?). Anyway it's got Mark Ruffalo in it and Anna Paquin too. Ruffalo plays a bus driver who hits a baby with his vehicle, or something like that.

What did you think of Greenberg? I'm still mulling it over. My initial reaction was that it was a poor man's Punch-Drunk Love. I think I'm officially a big Rhys Ifans fan now though.


Hate hate hate this movie. I fully agree with this review.
   261. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3925161)
Actually, when I was on my first date with my now-partner, Hotel Rwanda, the film broke. If only we'd have been the only people in the theatre and walked out then, the experience would have had everything. Except Harrison Ford. But it did have Nick Nolte.

Nick Nolte, now there is a matched pair with Harrison Ford. Similar image and range and stature and talent, they're the same age; except Nick Nolte would never do a movie he didn't think was going to be interesting. Couldn't give a #### about how big the part or how much of a star he was.
   262. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3925167)
Gump was boring for non-teens too.


I had a friend in Little Rock who pronounced it the greatest movie ever made. Nice guy, but a cornily earnest type of the sort who gets off on barbershop quarters & reading old children's classics & community theatre & growing vegetables & that sort of eye-rolling inspidness; it got to the point that I blocked his Facebook posts sometime last year lest I say something unfortunate.
   263. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:39 PM (#3925177)
Harrison Ford may be a bad actor now, but HE ALREADY WORKS AROUND THE CLOCK!
   264. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3925178)
In 1964, when I was seven, my Dad took me to see A Hard Day's Night. Most of the audience was made up of teenage girls, and they screamed throughout the film...
   265. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:49 PM (#3925194)
Ever been to a crappy comedy where there's just that one guy who laughs at every scene on his own? Always wondered what it's like to be that guy.
   266. winnipegwhip Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3925198)
After witnessing the horrible acting (who the hell played Lucca Brassi?) I left The Godfather. I knew by the end of the wedding that was going to be a stinker.

Didn't see Godfather 2. I saw Godfather 3 and I knew my suspicions were confirmed.
   267. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3925205)
Doesn't that sound fun?

This could be a worse sequel than Blues Brothers 2000.

I would not have thought that possible.
   268. Gonfalon B. Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:54 PM (#3925207)
You need to go to a Woody Allen movie in Manhattan. Every one I've been to gets applauded, no matter how crap it is.

I was in a nearly full theater watching "Deconstructing Harry" (neither great nor crap). There's a scene where Woody's nihilist character is arguing with his Zionist sister, and she says, "What kind of Jew are you? You don't even care that six million Jews died in the Holocaust!" To which Woody replies, "Well, my attitude is, records were made to be broken." I laugh long and hard, and absolutely no one else in the theater does. After about ten seconds, my friend starts laughing-- not at the joke, but at the sound of single person laughing in a packed theater.

While watching "City Lights," the film broke at the 87 and a 1/2 minute mark. The only reason I can be so precise is that I just looked the movie up, and it is 88 minutes long. We had to wait about 20 minutes to see the last 15 seconds.
   269. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3925211)
For my friends 13th or 14th birthday we took a group to see Cabin Boy and were the only ones in the theatre. It was magnificent.
   270. Ryan Lind Posted: September 14, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3925212)

After witnessing the horrible acting (who the hell played Lucca Brassi?) I left The Godfather. I knew by the end of the wedding that was going to be a stinker.

Didn't see Godfather 2. I saw Godfather 3 and I knew my suspicions were confirmed.


Heh, I get what you're saying, and it's a funny example, but even I wouldn't walk out on a movie that early. If a movie is garbage through an entire hour, it isn't going to get any better.

Also I know it's a hot topic, but I didn't think III was that bad; worse than the prior too but better than a lot of movies. I think the context of how the movie came into existence has as much to do with its perception as anything.

As for movies being impossible, well, apparently there is a movie coming out soon based on the board game Battleship. No, I don't know...
   271. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3925219)
Also I know it's a hot topic, but I didn't think III was that bad; worse than the prior too but better than a lot of movies. I think the context of how the movie came into existence has as much to do with its perception as anything.

I recently watched it and thought it was unbelievably dull, with a dopey plot about whacking a pope.
As for movies being impossible, well, apparently there is a movie coming out soon based on the board game Battleship. No, I don't know...

Ridley Scott was also rumored for a while to be attached to a Monopoly movie.

Ridley. Scott.
   272. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3925222)
We had to wait about 20 minutes to see the last 15 seconds

Last year some neighbors were watching the ninth inning of Game Three of the World Series on a big outdoor screen, and a minor emergency erupted, firetrucks on the street, etc. – somebody put the (satellite) broadcast on "pause." A still image of Neftali Feliz towered over the street while everything got sorted out, and then the firemen came over to watch the end of the game on DVR delay.

Maybe I should have taken that to the video time-shift thread. Are there any baseball threads on this site?
   273. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#3925229)

As for movies being impossible, well, apparently there is a movie coming out soon based on the board game Battleship. No, I don't know...


Here's the description:

Peter Berg produces and directs Battleship, an epic action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force. Based on Hasbro's classic naval combat game, Battleship stars Taylor Kitsch as Hopper, a Naval officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; Brooklyn Decker as Sam, a physical therapist and Hopper's fiancée; Alexander Skarsgård as Hopper's older brother, Commanding Officer Stone of the USS Samson; Rihanna as Lt. Raikes, Hopper's crewmate and a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones; and international superstar Liam Neeson as Hopper and Stone's superior (and Sam's father), Admiral Shane

That's right, Liam Neeson is in the ####### Battleship movie.

Here's the trailer, so everyone can see for themselves ...
   274. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3925233)
There's also a ####### Rock Em Sock Em Robots movie coming out. Can Hungry Hungry Hippos in 3d be far behind?
   275. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3925236)
For my friends 13th or 14th birthday we took a group to see Cabin Boy and were the only ones in the theatre. It was magnificent.

I loved Cabin Boy at that age with such a deep passion that I'm afraid to revisit it and ruin the memory.
   276. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3925239)
There's also a ####### Rock Em Sock Em Robots movie coming out. Can Hungry Hungry Hippos in 3d be far behind?

I think the obvious next step is "3e24: The Strat-o-Matic Story"
   277. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3925240)
After witnessing the horrible acting (who the hell played Lucca Brassi?) I left The Godfather. I knew by the end of the wedding that was going to be a stinker.

Didn't see Godfather 2. I saw Godfather 3 and I knew my suspicions were confirmed.


this is all kinds of funny, intentional or not.
   278. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:18 PM (#3925243)
When I saw Close Encounters in the theater at seven years old, the first five minutes had no sound, which I just figured at the time was the way it was supposed to be.

As far as empty theaters, some brave and hearty soul made the decision to book Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover at a local mall in north Utica. There were seven people in the theater, counting me and a friend, and three left. I found out one of them tried to get them to stop the film, and while they failed in that, they did succeed in having them pull the movie from the theater that night after only showing one day.
   279. Mike A Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#3925246)
I loved 'Get a Life' but 'Cabin Boy' was just awful. When is 'Get A Life' coming out on DVD, anyways...
   280. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#3925248)
Ridley Scott was also rumored for a while to be attached to a Monopoly movie.

Ridley. Scott.


Yeah, they could probably do better, but I guess the guy needs work.
   281. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3925249)
You need to go to a Woody Allen movie in Manhattan. Every one I've been to gets applauded, no matter how crap it is.


what gets me about allen nowadays is that its just so obvious he's writing the main character part for himself, but he's just too old to play the part now. i first noticed this watching john cusack in bullets over broadway. the trouble is the actor he picks to play him ends up doing a bad woody allen imitation -- see owen wilson in midnight in paris.
   282. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#3925250)
what gets me about allen nowadays is that its just so obvious he's writing the main character part for himself, but he's just too old to play the part now. i first noticed this watching john cusack in bullets over broadway. the trouble is the actor he picks to play him ends up doing a woody allen imitation -- see owen wilson in midnight in paris.

This was extremely painful with Branagh in "Celebrity".
   283. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#3925251)
Yeah, they could probably do better, but I guess the guy needs work.


Lucky for you, Vlad, Ridley's also got a Blade Runner prequel sequel "reboot" in the works.
   284. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#3925253)
Yeah, they could probably do better, but I guess the guy needs work.

I don't know how much better they could do. It's Monopoly. Bigger directors have more interesting projects they'd rather do.
   285. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#3925256)
Branagh


anybody ever watch 'fortunes of war', that miniseries he made with emma thompson? he played guy pringle perfectly. which is to say i hated him with a passion, because guy pringle was a perfect idiot in the books the series was based on. but the more i see of branagh, the more i'm convinced he's exactly like guy pringle, so he's not a great actor, he's an idiot.
   286. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:29 PM (#3925257)
Ridley. Scott.

Yeah, they could probably do better, but I guess the guy needs work.

YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH!
   287. andrewberg Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#3925260)
the trouble is the actor he picks to play him ends up doing a bad woody allen imitation -- see owen wilson in midnight in paris.


Larry David did a great Woody impression (or is Larry David always doing a Woody impression?) In Whatever Works. Really oddball movie with rapidly changing pace, but some fun moments.
   288. Guapo Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3925263)
As far as empty theaters, some brave and hearty soul made the decision to book Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover at a local mall in north Utica.


Loved that movie, and you are right- I remember a massive exodus of other theater-goers when I saw it.

Six months later the film society showed it at my college, and some random middle-aged man came to campus and picketed outside with a sign that said: "WARNING: THIS MOVIE WILL RUIN YOUR ENTIRE DAY."
   289. OsunaSakata Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3925265)
We need this movie and this movie.

There was a Burke and Wills joke during Gallipoli and I was the only one who laughed in the American movie theater. I'm not Australian, I just know crap like that. I explained it later to my date who figured out that yeah, it was something that only I knew about.
   290. Whaddaya think of that, John Moore? Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3925269)
Back in college, I took a young woman to watch "An Officer and a Gentleman." Romantic film, I figured what could go wrong? Then came the scene where the guy commits suicide by hanging. Turns out her father had done that a couple of years before. She explained that to me when I caught up with her outside the theatre.
   291. Kurt Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3925273)
Back in college, I took a young woman to watch "An Officer and a Gentleman." Romantic film, I figured what could go wrong? Then came the scene where the guy commits suicide by hanging. Turns out her father had done that a couple of years before. She explained that to me when I caught up with her outside the theatre.

Apparently it was a bad idea for me to rent Dolores Claiborne to watch with my wife's family, for reasons I still don't know.
   292. phredbird Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3925275)
Back in college, I took a young woman to watch "An Officer and a Gentleman."


i don't know why, but i went to that expecting to see an adaptation of 'officers and gentlemen', the book by waugh. boy was i pissed.
   293. NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#3925276)
Also: wait, Exorcist 3 has (good) scary parts? Must investigate.

It can had really cheaply; it was probably one of the first $5 DVD bin denizens years ago.

One of those films that the studio really messed with - the ending exorcism stuff was tacked on with reshoots - but still excellent.

Blatty's other film that he directed himself is the also-excellent NINTH CONFIGURATION, with Stacy Keach and a ton of character actors you'd recognize if you were watching movies heavily in the 70s and early 80s. DVD is OOP, I think, but Warner's stuck it in one of those cheap multi-movie packs (EDIT: the "4 FILM FAVORITES: CULT THRILLERS" pack).
   294. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#3925289)
I don't know how much better they could do. It's Monopoly. Bigger directors have more interesting projects they'd rather do.


It seems that Vlad does not like Ridley Scott
   295. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#3925290)
It seems that Vlad does not like Ridley Scott


Look, the guy's not perfect -- we knew that way back when, thanks to that snoozefest with Tom Cruise. But Alien? Blade Runner? Gladiator? Black Hawk Down?

Lifetime pass.
   296. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#3925292)
Ever been to a crappy comedy where there's just that one guy who laughs at every scene on his own? Always wondered what it's like to be that guy.

That was me in the theater for "Ed Wood." I still adore that movie beyond all reason.
   297. billyshears Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#3925293)
I will lose all credibility for saying this, but one movie that dramatically exceeded expectations was The Girl Next Door. It was funny. And moving. Elisha Cuthbert is hot. Timothy Olyphant is a great likable villain. Perfect for what it was.
   298. Bob Evans Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3925299)
Always wondered what it's like to be that guy.

Repeat until it sinks in: "Extended warranty! How can I lose?"
   299. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3925300)
I will lose all credibility for saying this, but one movie that dramatically exceeded expectations was The Girl Next Door. It was funny. And moving. Elisha Cuthbert is hot. Timothy Olyphant is a great likable villain. Perfect for what it was.

Don't forget it had Paul Dano and Emile Hirsch, two of our finest young actors.
   300. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#3925301)
That was me in the theater for "Ed Wood." I still adore that movie beyond all reason.

Me too! I need to watch it again; it's been a while, but I do love that flick.
Repeat until it sinks in: "Extended warranty! How can I lose?"

"Who wants lottery tickets?"
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