zustifer: (Boring)
[personal profile] zustifer
Gojira tai Mekagojira (AKA Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, 1974), Jun Fukuda. May 25, 8pm. View count: Three?
The Lost Boys (1987), Joel Schumacher. May 27, 9:30pm. View count: Two?
The Last Starfighter (1984), Nick Castle. June 2, 9pm. View count: 5?
Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971), Don Taylor. June 5, 4pm. View count: One.
The Set-Up (1949), Robert Wise. June 5, 9pm. View count: One.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Robert Longo. June 11, 10pm. View count: Two.
Micmacs à tire-larigot (2009), Jean-Pierre Jeunet. June 12, 9:15pm. View count: One.
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), John Cromwell. June 13, 8pm. View count: One.

Godzilla/Mechagodzilla I have fond memories of from childhood. However, watching again nowadays, I wonder at my ability to pay attention when I know that I was only interested in the monsters. Long stretches of humans running around and doing not much are in evidence.

The Lost Boys is amusing cheese, a fine upstanding example of an 80s teen movie. Everyone's hair is alarming, and the mom from Edward Scissorhands is the mom. Both Cor(e)ys are present.

Last Starfighter I thought held up; it's another old favorite from when I was a child. What I didn't know back then is that Robert Preston (also heard in my many hours of listening to the Music Man soundtrack for some reason) plays Centauri, the lovable but actually pretty mercenary starfighter-recruiter, and Dan O'Herlihy (the Old Man who runs OCP in Robocop) plays Grig, the lizardman navigator assigned to Protagonist whose name I forgot. Anyhow, it's a fun trailer park/spaceship piloting adventure thing, although I do remember being awfully frustrated with Protagonist's inability to realize how cool shooting things in space was. DEATH BLOSSOM.

Escape Apes is pretty horrible. Some apes are thrown back in time by the bomb that Charlton Heston sets off (I think), and do a bunch of pointless things (including shopping for 70s outfits) before going on the lam and everything ending badly. Ricardo Montalban is in it, as, essentially, himself, and so is Sal Mineo(!), as an ape. I don't want to watch this again.

The Set-Up on the other hand is fairly good. It's a boxing picture, and you can see, even without listening to the Scorsese commentary, how much it lent to Raging Bull. The realtime, excruciating fights that make up half the movie are obviously influential. Not a false character step in it. Even the lower echelon boxers that file through the locker room are all believable as heck.

Johnny Mnemonic is just as hokey as I remembered, although I thought Henry Rollins lived longer. I didn't recall that Keanu's 3/4 mark breakdown was based on his missing his fancy comfortable life, though. Keanu does not have enough personality to make us care about him despite his privilege, sadly. Also, the concept of cramming 320 gigs of data into a 160 gig device is hilarious. Seepage indeed.

Micmacs I'd read was more of Jeunet's same, and it is, really, but that doesn't prevent it from being quite enjoyable. I was pleased by it, and found its relatively light treatment of darker subject matter fairly apt.

Prisoner of Zenda we decided to attend at the last minute, and I'm glad we did, because it's a great movie. Surprisingly clever and even self-aware at certain points, it kinda exceeds expectations for 1937. There is a shot where the protagonist throws a glass at a wolfhound, though, which isn't that cool.

Date: 2010-06-18 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
The Last Starfighter was also the first space movie to do all of its space effects sequences in CGI. When you consider that it was only a couple of years after Tron (whose use of actual CGI was really pretty minor) and more than a decade before Toy Story, that's kind of remarkable.

The CGI is crude by modern standards, but I remember going to see it just for that reason. I recall they credit the Cray X-MP at the end.

Date: 2010-06-18 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanspoof.livejournal.com
Oh, yeah, I was going to mention the CG, too, and I clean forgot about it. I have been letting movies pile up due to work.

Date: 2010-06-18 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
I was so much of a CGI geek back then, trying to get something interesting to happen on my little Atari and eating up anything that put some of that on screen. Jim Blinn at JPL, who did cutting-edge CGI animations of space-probe missions way back before 1980, was one of my heroes.

And then I actually ended up with a sort of a career in computer graphics, though ultimately about as far from doing movie CGI as you can get...

Date: 2010-06-18 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
The movie's use of the technology was frankly a little premature; CG of the time just didn't look as good as model effects, and one problem was that many people erroneously believed the superior effects in Star Wars WERE all CG.

(I think they got the idea from two germs of truth: there was that short CG sequence in Star Wars representing a computer display, and, of course, the model shots pioneered computerized motion control. The bit in Star Wars that always amazes me, though, is Darth Vader's simulated display of the Yavin system, which was made not with a computer but with some kind of Rube Goldberg analog gizmo.)

Date: 2010-06-18 03:52 am (UTC)
ext_39218: (Default)
From: [identity profile] graydon.livejournal.com
Yes, but it is hard to top MCPand Sark.

Date: 2010-06-18 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
In Tron the subject matter and stylization meant they could make the CGI of the era work really well! (Though it's also worth noting that even the real CGI scenes were partly traditional animation; I think all the colors and glow effects were put in by hand.)

Date: 2010-06-18 03:45 am (UTC)
ext_39218: (Default)
From: [identity profile] graydon.livejournal.com
DEATH BLOSSOM

Date: 2010-06-18 05:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pentomino.livejournal.com
am I remembering it wrong, or was Death Blossom just spinning around and firing in all directions?

Date: 2010-06-18 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mmcirvin.livejournal.com
That's exactly what it was.

Date: 2010-06-18 02:12 pm (UTC)
ext_39218: (Default)
From: [identity profile] graydon.livejournal.com
Yes, it's like the moral equivalent of a 3 year old kid having a tantrum. Only its a space ship.

But it has a COOL NAME, and it KILLS EVERYONE.

Date: 2010-06-20 05:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanspoof.livejournal.com
I totally thought before I saw the movie again that it was a Dr. Device -style weapon (spreads from ship to ship if they're in close proximity), but it turned out it was more like one of those sprinkler attachments that spins around for kids to run through in the summer.
But I agree - DEATH BLOSSOM!

Date: 2010-06-18 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silenceinspades.livejournal.com
I always thought it was weird that Dianne Wiest went from playing the 'punk rock' sister in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS to the mom in 90% of the movies made from the mid 80s to 2000. Maybe not always, but I think about it at least once a week. Admittedly while I'm playing her character in my one-man FOOTLOOSE show in my living room.

Date: 2010-06-20 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanspoof.livejournal.com
I had no idea! Now I have to see that, after we finish up all these Paul Lynde movies.

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