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danielnoah
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Seen Any Good Movies Lately?

[ Edited ]
This a thread for discussion about movies you've recently seen, in the theater, on DVD, on television, iPods and airplanes. Fire away, and always put the title of the the film in the subject line of your post.

Since this board is a study of film, we should always be free to discuss any and all elements of a story - including twists, surprises and endings. At the same time, our fellow members should have the option of skipping over "spoiler" information if they so choose. So feel free to write about the surprises in a movie you've seen, but before you do, offer a warning, like this:

I watched E.T. last night. Decent flick. But I didn't really like the ending.

***SPOILER***

I mean, would the aliens really know where E.T. was because he rigged up a speak and spell? GIve me a break!

***END SPOILER***

The kid was cute, though.


Fire away!

Message Edited by danielnoah on 03-12-200708:08 PM

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danielnoah
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300

Number one at the box office this weekend. Anyone seen it? Post your thoughts here.
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crAZRick
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Re: Seen Any Good Movies Lately?

the last 'good movie' I saw was The Da Vinci Code, which I thought was excellent! not having read the book or followed much of the hype while it was making the rounds in the theaters, I bought it and watched it on DVD, as is my normal routine.
Masterful work of fiction there, regardless ones personal religious beliefs or bias.

since it costs about $20 these days to see a New Release in theater (including popcorn, jujifruit, peanut-butter cups, and soda) I much prefer to wait 2 or 3 months and purchase the Special Edition DVD release for the same $20. You get the freedom to watch DVD repeatedly, study the whole movie as in-depth and often as you like, also can usually immerse yourself in the special features, behind-the-scenes, script-to-screen, special-effects, and making-of featurettes, as well as director- producer- writer- and/or star-commentaries, for the same price as the theatrical experience.

of course, I also happen to own a 55-inch super-duper wide-screen TV and 5-DVD changer with surround sound, so my home theater basically rocks my socks off as much as any crowded, noisy, sticky-floored theater ever could.

My DVD collection numbers 525+, and generally encompasses a wide-range of contemporary mythology from Abyss to Zorro, from Alien to Predator to Alien vs Predator... Haddonfield to Crystal Lake to Elm Street, to Jason vs Freddy... from Bill & Ted to Wayne & Garth... Ace Ventura, Axel Foley, Ford Fairlaine to Hudson Hawk, Joe Hallenbeck, and John Maclaine... Bruce Almighty to Devil's Advocate... Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Vietnam, Bat 21, Platoon... Iron Eagle, Top Gun, First Blood, Hots Shots... James Bond to Austin Powers, Batman to Blankman, Spiderman to Superman, Armaggedon to Final Impact to The Core, Day After Tomorrow to Independence Day, Back to the Future to Butterfly Effect, Big Daddy to The Mummy... Da Vinci Code, Indiana Jones, National Treasure... Braveheart, Cobra, Hitch, Hulk, LadyHawke, Shrek, Superman, Willow... 8 Mile, 12 Monkeys, 28 Days Later, 50 First Dates... Backdraft, Blade, Click, Crash, Contact, Dogma, Excalibur, Fallen, Frequency, Ghost, Gladiator, Grease, Hackers, Heat, Jaws, Liar Liar, Misery, Paycheck, Rainman, Ronin, Rounders, Saw, Se7en, Sleepers, Sneakers, Spanglish, Stealth, Timeline, Titanic, Traffic, Twister, Volcano....

whew... what was the question again??

Basically, I can (and often do) watch a movie a day, every day for a year (some days 2 or 3) and never see the same thing twice, if I so choose. So, I see what I would call a Good Movie at least 2 or 3 times a week (and plenty of fluff filler fair attempts at entertainment thrown in there as well!) Hard to pick favorites, because it's all subjective and relative to mood.

I tend to like capers, like Oceans Eleven and Twelve (Eleven moreso than Twelve) or globe-trotting treasure-hunts like Da Vinci Code or National Treasure, or clever little criminal dramas or mysteries like The Usual Suspects. John Grisham's and Tom Clancy's books seemed to have translated fairly well to the big-screen. Die Hard is a classic, nice to see it mentioned and featured in the Writing Movies book. Snakes on a Plane! just so bad, it's good! A Great popcorn-flick! Crash has great characters and compelling criss-crossing storyline, themes and characters.

and, as stated, any of the behind the scenes featurettes and writer/director commentaries are often invaluable resources for a wannabe writer on a few secrets to success when crafting the screenplay...

I haven't seen 300 yet; don't know when or if I'll be adding that one to the collection... have to see how my mood and taste changes over time, I guess.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Re: 300

I thought "300" was excellent. The screenplay was a little lacking in parts, but overall much more intelligent than expected.

Major downside was predictability, which may have been true to the source material. Don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it so I won't give details, but can we just say that a lot of characters / plot points were borrowed wholesale from other recent movies? Maybe that's common now -- I just wish it had been a little less derivative.
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Brendan_M_Burns
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The Best Years of Our Lives

Best Picture from 1946, directed by William Wyler, who also helmed "Ben-Hur."

I know it's old -- black-and-white, for Heaven's sake! -- and stars several actors (Fredric March and Myrna Loy) who got their start in silent pictures, but if you want a movie that captures the complexity of the necessity of war and its inherent tragedy, this is it.

The screenplay by Robert Sherwood won an Oscar, and deservedly so. It has its share of clever writing, but many of the most effective moments in the movie are sparsely dialogued. Consider the scene in Butch's tavern between Homer (Harold Russell) and his uncle Butch (songwriting legend Hoagy Carmichael), when Homer (a double-amputee) complains about everyone at home being conscious of their hands. Butch doesn't say much, just continues to play the piano with the hint of a smile. Brilliant.
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danielnoah
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Re: The Best Years of Our Lives

Hey, Brendan, thanks for the review. My wife and I seeing a showing of this film at a big old revival theater in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to ti!
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Babel

Babel was one of the best movies I've seen in years, and I'm generally not a fan of sprawling, somewhat disconnected narratives. People seem either to love or hate this film. I'm in the former camp, my wife in the latter. (Opposites attract?)
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Re: The Best Years of Our Lives

Daniel,

I would LOVE to see it on the big screen. I've literally watched the whole thing 30 times, first on VHS, then on DVD, and it's not a short movie. I occasionally watch individual scenes (thank you, DVD) and am constantly discovering something new. The acting styles are somewhat dated, but overall it holds up remarkably well.

One thing you'll appreciate about it (don't worry, no spoilers) is that it doesn't follow the typical Hollywood formula by which modern screenwriters seem to be shackled. Instead of one main character, you've got three, all of whom are equally important to plot development, all of whom follow different trajectories, and each of whom affect the other two (and many others) in profound ways. Also, many layers of meaning and emotion are conveyed without the film becoming didactic and whacking the viewer over the head with The Big Message.
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TrayseaWrites
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Re: 300

I saw 300 and I took my 16 year old with me. She critiqued the movie to death!! It was ok for me...she didn't care for it because it wasn't "true" to the actual history.
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danielnoah
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Re: 300

Here's one person who seems to feel that movies have the power of myth...


Iranian official lashes out at Hollywood movie "300" for insulting Persian civilization

An Iranian official on Sunday lashed out at the Hollywood movie "300" for insulting the Persian civilization, local Fars News Agency reported.

Javad Shamqadri, an art advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accused the new movie of being "part of a comprehensive U.S. psychological war aimed at Iranian culture", said the report.

Shamqadri was quoted as saying "following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Hollywood and cultural authorities in the U.S. initiated studies to figure out how to attack Iranian culture," adding "certainly, the recent movie is a product of such studies."

The movie's effort wound be fruitless, because "values in Iranian culture and the Islamic Revolution are too strongly seated to be damaged by such plans", said the Iranin official.

Shamqadri, who is also a filmmaker, said that production of more domestic and artistic films which portray Iranian achievements is a proper response to movies like "300".

"300," an ancient epic about the famous Battle of Thermopylae in Greek history, set a new record at the box office in North America this weekend.

The Warner Bros. adaptation of the 480 B.C. battle took an estimated 70 million U.S. dollars in its debut weekend, according to figures released on Sunday by Los Angeles-based box office track firm Media by Numbers.

The R-rated film, based on comic book writer Frank Miller's graphic novel, tells the story that an army of 300 Spartan warriors led by their king Leonidas fought to the death to delay a massive Persian army's invasion, so that the Greeks could reorganize a counterattack.
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crAZRick
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Re: 300

great find daniel!

just remember, there are those amongst us who would say that, since '300' was spawned from the written (albeit colorfully illustrated, comic book) realm, and because it has to do with men in togas or the like, it's perfectly acceptable as myth or lore...

... or something like that...

I'm still not 100% certain what that argument was about!??

:smileyvery-happy:
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
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Re: 300

I'm a Dark Knight Returns fan, myself.
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crAZRick
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Re: 300

[ Edited ]
for me growing up, it was GI Joe comics, but my taste in contemporary mythology is varied

I'm sure GI Joe would get ripped a new one here, for not being at all associated with Herculean-myth and lore of the ages, but again as more bastardized depiction of Western/American decadence, ignorance, intolerance, and military might in the extreme, eradicating forces on the basis of chrome-colored face-plate or blue hood-and-shroud face mask, or predeliction toward the serpentine species and its tactics, without bothering to really get to know and understand the culture of the people they label as Evil and Enemy... COBRA: sadistically malevolent or simply misunderstood?

maybe that's why the GI JOE live-action movie hasn't hit the screen yet?!

the American infidel screenwriters just can't find a way to realistically depict the the conflicting emotional moral and ethical battle that rages within the COBRA camp!

:smileyvery-happy:

Message Edited by crAZRick on 03-13-200711:09 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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Erin
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Boston Blackie Movies from 1942

Last weekend I saw two Boston Blackie movies: Meet Boston Blackie and Confessions of Boston Blackie. They are great "B" mysteries.
To give a little background:
Boston Blackie is an ex-jewel thief who is always suspected of murder by Inspector Faraday. Faraday never could pin anything on Blackie, and it drove him crazy.

Meet Boston Blackie deals with spies and takes place mostly at an amusement park.
Confessions of Boston Blackie deals with the murder of an art forger.

While these aren't complex character studies, nor have much of a plot line, the movies are still enjoyable. I especially love how Blackie drives Faraday to distraction.
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Re: Boston Blackie Movies from 1942

Another interesting thing about the Boston Blackie series from a screenwriting perspective is that they were each an hour long, back in the days of serials when you could get away with something like that. Nowadays, every guide to screenwriting (including our course textbook -- see page 2) presumes that your screenplay is 90 to 120 pages (= minutes).

Daniel, do you ever seen a return to somewhat more flexible time formats, or is the movie studio/cinema owner alliance too staid to consider it?

This weekend, I saw a movie theater display for an upcoming 'double-feature' from Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino. While that's a unique concept these days, I'd still presume each film will run at least 90 minutes.
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

On another thread, we were discussing the theory that there are no truly unique ideas that haven't been addressed in popular culture (literature or cinema), which made me think of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" -- truly one of the most unique movies I've seen. And I don't mean 'unique' as in 'extremely weird,' although it may be that, too. It *is* non-linear, which some folks can take and others can't.

If you haven't seen it, don't be put off by the presence of Jim Carrey -- he gives an excellent, straight dramatic performance, with no mugging or physical comedy. And Kate Winslet is simply stunning. It's one of those movies you'll want to watch more than once, if just to tie up the loose ends.
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crAZRick
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Re: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

personally, I plan on getting this one 63% *because* of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet starring together

also can't wait to get The Number 23 once it hits DVD

ever since Jim Carrey stopped talking out his ass, he just keeps on keeping on...
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
Ian
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Ian
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎03-15-2007
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Re: Seen Any Good Movies Lately?

Rented Casino Royale last night and absolutely loved it. Pacing is so important in films and this one was spot on for me. A nice rollercoaster ride that every once in a while slows around a curve or hangs in a dip or gradually climbs then shoots you wildly through some 360 or drops you screaming at breakneck speeds.

Haggis is my new hero (no offence Daniel). I was a fan of his television work, most notably with Due South, then came Million Dollar Baby and then Crash just blew me away. Casino Royale, at times, was an over-the-top action film but that is what I expected, wanted and needed. Still, the story was tight and understandable. The creation of 007 was handled well and it all started with a bang (pun intended), albeit a silenced one.

I'd rate this one a must see for anyone. For writers of action, thriller and drama, it's a must own.

Cheers,
Ian
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danielnoah
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Zodiac

Everyone who sees this movie seems to either love it or hate it.

Anyone here seen it? Which side do you fall on?
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crAZRick
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Re: Zodiac

I plan on owning this one; I'm a fan of serial killer flicks, the mystery and the mythos, and the mythic proportion of this story in particular, but also other stories similar to it. Hard to argue with, really (although some might do just that...) but especially difficult having not seen this movie as of yet. I remember doing some research on the case in my youth, for whatever reason, so I'm curious how the movie flows and plays out, in addition to my fascination for the subject matter.

so far, it has great potential to become a classic addition to my vault of contemporary mythology.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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