Friday, March 15, 2013

Open Thread. . . and Pimping Opportunity

Sadly, I was unable to complete my homework this week... then my dog ate my computer... plus, I'll be out most of the day. So there will be no film discussion (no refunds). Instead, I'm throwing the floor open to you. Your mission is to sell us on some movie you think we should all see. And if you can't think of one, then make one up. Tell us what you would like to see made into a film.

39 comments:

K said...

I'd like to see George MacDonald Fraser's series on the Flashman papers made into a series of movies.

For those unfamiliar with them, they are somewhat bawdy historical non PC fiction written as a memoir. The accuracy of which is backed up by references in the main text to historical essays in the book's appendix.

The main character is a cad, bully, coward and cheat who still manages to be pretty likeable due to his honesty about himself. In the stories, he usually ends up getting skewered by his own amorality - but almost always ends up with more medals and unearned honor than when he started.

There was one movie made - Royal Flash which was poorly done. It's high time someone took a shot at doing it properly. It would require some chutzpah from the producers since the books are quite non PC from a more or less conservative viewpoint.

Tennessee Jed said...

I think there is one that is a worthwhile film called Consent. It is a small independent film festival flick that explores how people can do horrible things they disagree with when told to do them by somebody in a position of power. I couldn't believe it actually happened until I found out it did.

There are other films I have enjoyed, but my tastes run counter to what most of you folks like, and I'm not particularly good at convincing people to see them.

Tennessee Jed said...

I mis-typed the title, btw. The name of the film is compliance, not consent.

ScottDS said...

I recently watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World... and dammit, I broke down twice in the last 20 minutes!

Steve Carrell goes out of his comfort zone and plays a lovelorn schlub [smile] who encounters his neighbor, played by Keira Knightley... it's a road trip-slash-boy meets girl story. Carrell is good as usual and Knightley manages to add some sincerity and sweetness to her role WITHOUT coming off as the cliched "manic pixie dream girl."

It's wonderfully shot, features some familiar faces in supporting roles, and deserves to be seen by a wider audience, having bombed at the box-office... but, man, the last 20 minutes, and specifically the last 5 minutes had me crying my eyes out. Yeah, I'm man enough to admit it, so shut up! :-)

(NOTE: it's rated R but, aside from a few F words and one quick bloody gunshot, it's pretty safe for teens.)

ScottDS said...

As for movies I'd like to see get made... there are a few scripts I've read about over the years that have yet to be made into movies, like The Sky is Falling:

When a pair of priests discover proof that there is no God, they go on a path of destruction.

You can imagine why this would never be made.

There was also rumored to be a movie in development based on Gregory Benford's novel Cosm, about scientists in a lab who accidentally create a miniature universe. I've never read the book but the Amazon reviews are mixed. It certainly sounds interesting.

tryanmax said...

I've been saying for a long time now that I would like a Metroid movie based off of the videogame. Way back in the day, the objections were that the source material was too scant and too much like Alien. But through further installments, there has been much character development, backstory, and world building to draw from. Plus, the games are episodic in nature, making it ideal for film adaptation. Rather than directly lifting a storyline from one of the games, it could just be presented as a further adventure of Samus Aran needing only to be consistent with game canon.

Also, I think some creative minds in the CGI department could come up with some cool live-action interpretations of the Power Suit and the Maru-Mari (Samus’ ball form).

rlaWTX said...

I have now seen "Silver Linings Playbook" twice. I think it was worth the hype. From the psych field perspective, there were several points where I really want to walk into the family and tell them to STOP and start a family therapy session - which I realized meant that I had totally bought the family, their dynamic, the family as a broken system.
I think that Cooper was better than Lawrence (he was ROBBED! at he Oscars). DeNiro was better than I have seen him in a long time.
The ending... let's just say - that's some kind of dance routine!
Anyway... too often "serious movies" leave you depressed and hopeless; this one doesn't.

Best one-liner - the "explain the parlay" scene: Dr. Patel (calmly, with Indian accent, in the background) "yes, that's very manic".

djskit said...

"Drive" from 2011 is a part neo-noir, part western, part gangster flick. I love this movie. Albert Brooks playing the villian is a master stroke.

I'm a big fan of the George Steven's classic, "Shane" and re-watched it the other night and it's clear "Drive" is heaviy inspired by it. Both on a superficial and emotional level.

Both are on Netflix streaming - watch them the same weekend and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I second the Flashman recommendation.

However, there is not the slightest chance in the world that these books would ever be properly converted into a film. Though Fraser represents Flashman as a cad and scoundrel of an imperialist nation, the books themselves are intended as a defense of British imperialism. Nobody out there is going to make a series of movies in which British imperialism is something to be admired. They are too busy bravely sermonizing on pretend issues. Where would we be without George Clooney's bravery in opposing corporate greed and McCarthyism?

Anyway, when Fraser was asked who he would choose to play Flashman, he thought the choices were few, but believed Daniel Day Lewis would be best. Its about time Day Lewis played someone who didn't take himself so seriously. And the only benefit of having suffered through the truly odd and awful Gangs of New York, was seeing Day Lewis with a perfect Flashman mustache.

AndrewPrice said...

K and Anon, I've never heard of Flashman. I will need to check this out.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I believe you are doing a review of that in a couple weeks! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I haven't seen the Carrell movie, but honestly his presence pretty much will keep me from seeing it. I think I enjoyed one of his films (and not even that much).

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Your mention of Metroid makes me think that the Final Fantasy people should try it again. Only this time they should dump the PC garbage and stick with the stories they insert into their games.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I haven't seen that one.


djskit, I've heard really good things about that one, but I haven't managed to see it yet. Somehow it never came to the HBO channels.

BIG MO said...

Hmm! Nice assignment. Since Axis of Evil clowns Iran and North Korea have been playing with nuclear toys, I’ve been watching (well, re-re-re-watching) 1980s-era movies about nuclear war: The Day After, which is OK, but not great; and the BBC’s Threads and The War Game. Threads, which focuses on a group of families and officials in Sheffield, England, before, during and after nuclear war, is hands-down one of the bleakest films ever made. It makes The Day After seem tame — and hopeful — in comparison. There’s nothing happy or hopeful aboutThreads. The War Game is similar; made by the same chap behind Threads, The War Game is a documentary-style film about the effects of nuclear war in Kent, based on actual events following Hiroshima & Nagasaki, as well as the bombardments of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo. The War Game was so shocking when it came out in 1965 that it was censored for about 20 years.

But my favorite is Countdown to Looking Glass, a 1984 Canadian-made movie for HBO that depicted events leading to a nuclear showdown through the eyes of a fictional news network, CVN. It’s incredibly realistic both in its “reporting” and using real news personalities and politicians: CBC host Patrick Watson (playing anchor “Don Tobin”), journalists Nancy Dickerson and Erik Sevareid as themselves, and politicians Newt Gingrich and Eugene McCarthy as themselves. Both Gingrich and McCarthy give their commentary to Tobin saying things they actually believe, which lends serious authenticity. The cast also includes Scott Glenn giving a great performance as reporter Mick Boyle stationed on the USS Nimitz during the showdown in the Gulf of Oman. Countdown to Looking Glass is absolutely well worth your time. All of the above movies can be seen on YouTube.

Backthrow said...

I'll pimp two movies; one older, one (relatively) newer.

NORTHWEST FRONTIER (1959, a.k.a. FLAME OVER INDIA) --a rousing, epic adventure in which a British army captain (Kenneth More) has to escort a young Indian prince --who is marked for death-- and his governess (Lauren Bacall), along with a small band of fellow passengers (Wilfred Hyde-White, Herbert Lom, Ursula Jeans, Jack Gwillim, etc), through rebel-held territory in a rickety old steam locomotive. Very well directed by J. Lee Thompson, who won his next gig, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, on the strength of this film. If you enjoy films like ZULU and THE WIND AND THE LION, chances are you'll like this as well. Available in a nice widescreen print on Netflix streaming.

DINNER RUSH (2000) A night in the life of an upscale Italian restaurant in NYC. Danny Aiello headlines the large ensemble cast as a bookie and the owner of the old family eatery, where his son (Edoardo Ballerini), a talented chef, has turned the place into a trendy, reservation-only establishment, though Aiello treats the gambling-addicted sous-chef Duncan (Kirk Acevedo) more like his son than he does his true son. A bunch of interesting characters, both employees and patrons, weave in an out of the restaurant and the kitchen, in several subplots. Some criminal activity figures into things, but this isn't a full-fledged gangster movie, despite the film's poster/boxcover art.

Director Bob Giraldi only really has one theatrical film credit other than this (the '80s John Cryer flick HIDING OUT), but is more known for directing rock videos like Micheal Jackson's 'Beat It' and Pat Benatar's 'Love Is a Battlefield'. He's also a restaurant owner, and filmed this feature in his own place. Available as a Netflix DVD rental (I couldn't find it on any of the main streaming services).

When I used to work in a video store in the mid-2000s, if all the big/popular stuff was rented out and an adult asked for a recommendation for something newer they hadn't already seen before, DINNER RUSH was my ace in the hole, and never failed.

K said...

Big Mo: I'm not a fan of nuclear war post apocalyptic movies with the possible exception of the humorous Dr. Strangelove. They essentially worked as pro-Soviet propaganda and helped underwrite the "Peace" movement - a Soviet front at that time.

The ones made in the 80s were violently opposed to Reagan's defense build up which, as it turns out, was the fastest road to the dismantlement of MAD.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, Threads was an interesting film. It definitely made The Day After seem like a joke. I haven't seen The War Game or Countdown To Looking Glass.

I do agree with K though that these films were meant as disarmament propaganda. So I can't imagine them running them now because now they would be interpreted as pro-war with Iran and North Korea.

There was an interesting television special one night about terrorists nuking Charleston, which was done as a fake news broadcast. That was interesting, but I can't remember the name.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I'm thinking I saw Northwest Frontier, but I'm not sure. I'll have to look for that. I find that period of history to be quite interesting.

Dave Olson said...

"The Arroyo" is a film that has been made and edited, and is now just awaiting distribution. It is from Declaration Entertainment, a crowd-sourced company. The trailer is available on YouTube and it looks fantastic. Essentially, it's "High Noon" with cell phones, pickup trucks, and AR-15s, and the bad guys are Mexican drug cartels and U.S. politicians, as it is in the real world.

Their next project could be a game-changer. It's called "Aurora", and it could be the next "Star Trek". Just a tease for that one, but it's written by Bill Whittle of EjectEjectEject.com, and of the Firewall and Afterburner series on PJTV.

Backthrow said...

Andrew,

That TV-movie special was called SPECIAL BULLETIN (1983). I remember it airing, but I don't think I watched it at the time, other than for a few moments, in passing.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086350/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_1

My memory's a bit hazy, but I either watched THE DAY AFTER when it aired, or more likely, the day after it aired (no pun intended) on videotape in public high school. They made sure we watched all the pro-Dem/anti-Reagan stuff back then (often earlier, pre-administration productions that they could use allegorically to promote disarmament...) in some of the classes, like FAIL-SAFE, DR. STRANGELOVE, THE MISSILES OF OCTOBER, etc. Good movies, but it's clear what our teachers/administrators were trying to cultivate with us, at that point in time (early 1980s).

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, That's the one. I remember seeing it and thinking that it was interesting at the time, but they ruined it by running this constant warning at the bottom of the screen that this was a drama and was not a real news program.

We rarely watched videos in class. I'm not sure why not.

I saw The Day After when it aired and I kept thinking, "So this is supposed to scare me? What a pathetic attempt." Basically, all the main characters survive and they just look dusty and tired. Threads was much better in that regard because it really did paint a bleak view of things.

Backthrow said...

Yeah, THE DAY AFTER didn't scare me, either... and I remember THREADS being heralded as far more realistic at the time, too.

A perfect double-feature for when you're feeling down in the dumps:

THREADS and THE ROAD

-just kidding, LOL.

Actually, my favorite nuke apocalypse flick from those days (toward the end of the trend) was MIRACLE MILE (1989). Like a good, single-story TWILIGHT ZONE feature film.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, Threads and The Road would make for a fun night. I really dislike The Road. I watched it and kept waiting for something interesting to happen, but nothing ever did. Depressing and pointless, what a combo.

BIG MO said...

True, some of those films were propaganda, but give Countdown to Looking Glass a try. If for nothing else than Gingrich's defense of why certain thing are worth fighting to defend. Unlike the films where war actually happens, CTLG ends when the "Looking Glass" command and control plane takes off. And it's not a judgmental film, but rather a terrific look at how things could lead to an actual exchange. And the media portrayal isn't like today's arrogant news readers.

K said...

Big Mo: I'll give it a try. Always looking for good stuff. :)

BevfromNYC said...

OMG! Countdown to Looking Glass! Do I have a story about THAT film! I was on a tour of some Shakespeare play when it aired and we had a free day in Shreveport, Louisiana (yeah, it wasn't a big budget tour, okay?) and some of the cast went to the horse track. When they came back that movie was on T.V. Panic ensued and one of the actor went screaming down the hall of the hotel "What has Reagan done now???" The "news reports" were just a little too real and there was no disclaimer to explain. He thought it was real and we were really under attack (okay, he was probably smokin' some wacky weed at the time too..., but hey, don't judge...). It took us about hour to calm him down and make him understand that it was JUST A MOVIE, DUDE!!!

Ah, fun time...fun time.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Sounds like pretty much any member of the Democratic Party. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I'll check it out. I see it on youtube actually.

shawn said...

Their next project could be a game-changer. It's called "Aurora", and it could be the next "Star Trek". Just a tease for that one, but it's written by Bill Whittle of EjectEjectEject.com, and of the Firewall and Afterburner series on PJTV.

I remember when Whittle first pimped the Declaration Entertainment website and saw the advertisements for both of those films. I went to the site recently and info on the movies is gone, unless it's behind the paywall. The Arroyo looked interesting, but I was really looking forward to Aurora, which is supposed to be about a private enterprise exedition to Mars ala something like the Space X program. Hope it gets made.

K said...

Shawn: Nobody has more respect for Bill Whittle's essays and political commentary than I. The best in the business for my money. I even purchased his "What We Believe" set to support his work.

That being said, the movie making section of DE struck me as more a way to crowd source his own movie script rather than to create alternative movies. A serious conservative crowd sourced movie would start with, say, a David Mamet script or at least a screen writer with a known track record.

PikeBishop said...

I am going to venture into dreaded territory for some......The Baseball movie.

First, go read Donald Hays' novel "The Dixie Association," printed in 1981, a rollicking, account of a class D minor league team in Little Rock, playing in the aforementioned league, and a portrait of the New South of the late 70s. The book is heavy on Faulknerian overtones, especially in the naming of characters; understandable since the author is an English professor at University of Arkansas. A great read, and I have done my fantasty casting of the film in my mind for many years.

PikeBishop said...

To all the posters who mentioned "Threads," yes it made "The Day After" look like a Sunday School picnic, and the final scene is one of the ten most haunting/memorable final cuts I have ever seen (right up there with Planet of the Apes) Do you recall it?

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I don't remember the ending, but I remember the family trying to protect themselves with mattresses.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn and K, I haven't really followed Whittle. I remember seeing him once or twice at BH, but I didn't really pay much attention to him apart from that.

Kenn Christenson said...

Id's like to see "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" remade. Think it would be very interesting to see if/how one could survive, stranded on the Mars we know, today. (Speaking of science-based sci-fi.) :)

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, That would make for an interesting film.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

1930s: Fritz Lang's "M" -- Peter Lorre is a child killer and when the cops put the squeeze on the unnamed German town's underworld the gangsters hunt the man himself... German Expressionism, noir, and Peter Lorre burns the house down in the kangaroo court scene...

1960s: John Frankenheimer's "Seconds"... anyone who thinks Rock Hudson wasn't a great actor needs to check this out. A company offers folks bored with their current lives a second chance (hence the title) at a completely new life... complexities ensue. Hudson's final scenes at the end are chilling.

1980s: King of Comedy... Scorsese's underappreciated classic... Robert DeNiro is in top form, but Jerry Lewis is the revelation here... awesome.

1990s: Dark City. I know Andrew loves it, but if you haven;t seen it please rectify that.

2000s: The Casey Affleck two-fer... The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Very insightful... slow, in the good way, with a great soundtrack by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Also Gone Baby Gone about hunting down a child molestor... challenging, difficult to watch -- he's a great actor.

2010s: Emilio Estevez's "The Way" sdtarring Martin Sheen. Sheen's son dies on a pilgrimage walk in France and has to go claim the remains. Sheen decides to complete the walk -- part buddy movie, quest film, and fish out of water... kind of a Catholic Finding Nemo if Nemo had died at the beginning of the film. Very introspective about faith, abortion, and other issues that arise during the groups's conversations along the way. An obvious labor of love by Estevez -- not perfect (a tad too long -- maybe 10 minutes or so) but that's a quibble.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I've never heard of Seconds! I'll need to check that out. That sounds quite interesting.

Dark City... yep. Awesome!

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