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Yohe's Movie Update
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm at the stage where I think I've seen every major film & and it's a big deal when I find a classic I hadn't seen or thought about. Found one last night in THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, a John Ford/John Wayne war film from just after WWII ended in 1945. It ranks with the great war movies and of the best John Ford movies. ****1/4

It's based in the Philippines right after Peal Harbor, when things looked the darkest. The Navy & the Army are stuck on the island as it was being invaded by the Japanese. It's not talked about in the film, but everyone in the movie knows what's going to happen. Unlike any other Ford movie, this has a dramatic tension thru out, but no one is really talking about it. It happens around the time of the Bataan death march, but it's never stated in words. I think the history was fresh to everyone at the time. The big moment in the movie is the taking of General MacArthur by PT boat off the island to get him away from the attacking Japanese. They show him getting on the boat with his wife & kids....but his name is never mentioned.

They didn't sell the movie on that historical event. The film is about soldiers following orders in the face of death. It's about them doing their jobs, and not being patriotic robots. It takes place in the PT boat core, that isn't taken seriously by the Navy, but they prove their worth. It has action, but it never gets away from the people & the drama. I don't remember seeing a Japanese person in the movie.

It is a propaganda film, but the war was over at the time of the making, and doesn't take anything away from the film. It has John Ford's sentimental emotion, but never goes over the top....like in later movie. Has some comedy, but for a Ford movie, it very well under control.

The lead star is Robert Montgomery, and Wayne plays his second in command...and it reminds me of the way Wayne backed up Henry Fonda in FORT APACHE. I didn't know much about Robert Montgomery until I saw him in a English film about a month ago (all of these film are off of Turner.). I watched this because of him....and because I had never seen this Ford film. I think the guy was great & he must have been very respected because he worked at MGM for years. He plays this part in a low key way, but Wayne steals nothing from him. At times he and Donna Reed kick Wayne around. Montgomery took a vacation from film to fight in WWII & saw tons of action. In the Navy, he captained one of these PT boats in Europe. He knew this topic. John Ford broke his leg about three weeks before the completion of the filming, and Montgomery directed the action stuff & other scenes. Ford himself could tell the Montgomery stuff from his own.

John hates this, but I think John Wayne is one of the great film actors in history. I've read liberal authored books on him & it backs me up. No one brought more power to the screen that him & his parts couldn't have been done better with a sophisticated actor. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE is one of his best movies. He is under control thru out and doesn't steal anything. In this film, everyone, all the actors, had just come home from WWII. Everyone but John Wayne, who cheated the draft. John Ford created him like shit thru the whole filming. I guess Ford thought it was showing respect to the other vets, to pick on a draft dodger. Wayne understood & took it. (Fucking Ward Bond is in the movie too). At one point, Montgomery, who could do no wrong, went to Ford & asked" Your not doing this for me...are you?" But Wayne is great in this filn...and he doesn't do a lot of hero stuff. This is a movie with quiet power, and Wayne gets it across. He is a master film actor & star. He also takes second billing to Montgomery....which tells you something about both stars.

I always thought of Donna Reed as a TV star. She had a major TV show I liked...but I did know much more about it. She won an Oscar for playing a hooker in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, and she was great with Jimmy Steward in IT'S A WONDERFULL LIFE. She is very good in this. Strong let wonderfull. Plays a nurse & has a minor romantic thing with Wayne. John tells a friend in the hospital that he think she's kind of quite, and the guy says " you and a 11 thousand other guys on this island". A major part of the story, is Wayne is ordered on a mission...and she is left behind to be part of the Japanese Bataam death march. Once again, it's never play out with a lot of talk....you see it in there faces. In every role I've seen Reed in she really come off as a major actress. She doesn't ever seem to resent playing the loyal girl or wife to a strong leading man. Maybe people resent that today....but once again I think she is great.

Like in all Ford film, the character actors are super. Everyone has a well defined part in this & no one doesn't fit or give the feeling they are acting.

It's filmed outside in Florida, but it sure seems like the Philippines. The camera work is fantastic, like in all Ford movies. When it turn to being a action film, it doesn't disappoint. The ending is one of the best I can remember....and it's not over done.

When the film came out, it didn't make much money....it's described as a bomb. Wayne said that the WWII was over & no one wanted to see another war money. Ford, as I wrote, was hurt & didn't finish the movie. He didn't like the music & he didn't edited it. He disowned it & didn't see it for years. Late in life, he was interview by a famous film historian...and he was asked about THEY WERE EXPENDABLE. He said he hadn't seen it, but because the interviewer thought it was great...he did watch it. John Ford then called the guy & said he was right.---Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had nothing to do, so I watched DARK PHOENIX. Hated every second of it. Worse that the last Fantastic Four movie. 1/2*. FF was more fun to watch. Both were written & produced by Simon Kinberg, only the hack also directed this one. Is Jennifer Lawrence's career over yet??? So bad that Stan Lee refused to do a cameo. Watching it made me want to turn into a fireball of energy and shoot off into space....flying around the world as a firebird. Only to return to eat up Fox Studios. ---Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CHERNOBYL is about as good as good can get. ****1/2 Should win very award.---Steve Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2851
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have HBO now, so I really need to check the listings to see when it will next air. Keep hearing so many good things about it, but keep forgetting to check the schedule.

I guess that's what I get when I don't watch a lot of TV shows and prefer watching DVDs and Blu-Rays instead.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have "On Demand"?--Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2851
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do, actually.

Probably need to check to see if it's there.

Or maybe I'm just forgetful. *shrugs*
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2851
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TOY STORY 4 was pretty good. Not as good as the others, mostly because you didn't really have a true heel this time around, but there are some fun moments and a few instances in which I laughed out loud at something funny.

I think they were trying to go for something deeper with Woody's character this time around. I don't know if their take will click with everyone, but it worked fine for me.

One thing I can say: The ending made it clear there's not going to be another Toy Story film. In fact, I wonder if it was Pixar's way of telling Disney "we're moving on from this franchise."

Explaining why would be spoiling the ending, though. (No, nobody dies at the end.)
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really was looking to give a good review & I liked the last Spider-man, but SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is a comedy and it's not very funny & the jokes so weak only a teenager could go for it. After the last AVENGER movies, this seemed really small. Poorly written and directed....it doesn't have the feel of importance to it. The romance don't work, because I see no heat between Paker & MJ. The action has no feel of drama because it's all CG junk. Spider-man is all CG & he jumps around without the fear of falling or getting hurt because you know it's a cartoon & not real There is no heel like Michael Keaton's Vulture. It's a CG mess of a thing. **1/2

The Marvel writers seem to want to kill off the old characters. Spider-Man is now more like Iron Man & he flys around like Superman. Seems they need to make the old heroes more powerful than in the comics, because CG is what sells. Big is better. The ending is fixed so that the relationship between Parker & Spider-Man is gone...and the High School stuff is gone. After Spider-Man saves the world in the Avenger film...with the world watching ...he is back being the bad guy....I guess. A mess, but should make another billion. Poor Marvel they were on a roll, and now they are trying to screw the pooch. They are lucky that the culture is addicted to Marvel crap. Sorry, I wanted to like it.---Steve Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2851
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked Spidey Far From Home, but it was nowhere near as good as Spidey Homecoming.

It didn't take long for me to figure out that Mysterio wasn't the hero he was pretending to be. The problem was that they didn't really have that great of a twist to it like they did with Vulture and he wasn't quite somebody you could empathize with.

Vulture worked because he lost a deal that would have kept his company in business, thanks to Tony Stark, and decides to keep the technology he found to enter the black market, because he wants to keep his family fed. And it turns out his daughter happens to be the girl who Peter Parker likes.

Mysterio is somebody who thought that Tony Stark was making light of his technology and thought he could do better, along with everybody else who thought the same of Tony. It doesn't quite work as well as the twist with Vulture.

I did like the concept of Peter Parker wanting to live out his own life as a teenager rather than fixate so much on being a superhero. That part of the film worked well.

But their twist with the villain was nowhere near as good as in Homecoming.

That's where the film didn't work as well for me. I don't think it's a bad film -- I'd call it a "better than average" film but it's not one I'm compelled to watch a second time.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having Spider-Man as a villain could work, but letting everyone in the world know Peter Parker is Spider-Man...takes that storyline away. High School & his friends are not needed any more. He'll just be a guy in a suit flying around in a space ship. And didn't he help save the world just a few months before this movie started. I would think that would give him some slack with the world. Once you saved the world, you should be free to do anything.

So when they get stuck....they just reboot.

I gave up reading superhero comics because of stuff like this. But still...I didn't hate this movie..just didn't care.-Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wondering what John thought of GODZILLA 2?--Yohe
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 16866

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the last page...

jdw wrote:
Forgot that I didn't write anything on this...

Godzilla 2 was horrible. I won't go as far as Steve in saying it's the worst $200M+ budget movie in recent memory - Batman v Superman and Justice League were both worse, and pretty much every Transformers movie is down at the same level of being shitty.

That said...

Who knows where to start:

* Horrible dialogue.

* Meaningless death of Dr. Graham

Especially given they were going to kill off Dr. Serizawa.

* Military jobbers

Obviously the military are always jobbers in Godzilla movies. But they just got their asses kicked in the first movie, so they probably would have known they were just jerking off here trying to shoot up the monsters.

* Overkill

17 or so different monsters, none of which get much air time other than the Big 4. But it does allow them to destroy a bunch of cities off camera. Just a waste. In the end they distract from a focus on Mothra and Rodan. I get that they're trying to get across Ghidorah as a potential King of the Monsters controlling a bunch of monsters... but the numbers are too big to track or bother with.

* City destroying

Yeah... standard Godzilla stuff. But it had impact in the first movie. It doesn't here as it's more monster destruction porn rather building any tension.

* Heel turn

I don't think anyone gave a shit about Emma's heel turn. Just a "twist" for twists sake.

* Battles

They frankly were shot poorly. A lot of shit in the dark that's hard to track.

* Let's blow more shit up

So we're suppose to be in awe of Godzilla's secret hideout. Exactly what it is makes for an interesting question to chase in a later movie. So let's blow the fuck out of it with an A-Bomb. I get that we need to A-Bomb the Big Guy to wake his ass up. But... like it couldn't have been done in a more interesting way that doesn't blow his hideout up?

* Bad Acting

Good lord was it bad from top to bottom. I hate Bradley Whitford, but it felt like he was the only one who knew he was in a dog so he took a hammy character and hammed it up even more.

I could go on and on. Just a bad movie.

The first was actually quite good, working on several levels in addition to just love of Kaiju movies and Godzilla specifically. The Kong movie wasn't "good", but it kind of got the job done in getting over Kong and fitting into the series. This... good lord.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you ask, I thought Spidey was fantastic. When I get some time, I'll write more.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their is nothing good or bad about CRAWL. If you like movies about alligators in bad weather eating humans....it's the movie for you. Well made & actors are good. Very little time spent with any talking. Just alligators & swimming. *** The story limits what it could be. Moves well & doesn't last long. I think Barry Pepper is an underrated actor. For the budget (13.5 mil), looks real good.---Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2803
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne Hathaway's box-office test the movie THE HUSTLE ended up making 91 mil world wide. They don't give the budget numbers, but I could see it being made for under 30 mil, maybe under 20 mil. So you would think it made some money....maybe a very minor hit. Maybe? So she didn't embarrass herself, & she'll probably continue being a fill in leading actress. As she age's, there might be a TV show. In real life, people like her & she has friends....so maybe she'll hang around. She may always be around in some way. If it went right, she might have a Donna Reed type career. At best! Reed won an Oscar & got good roles.--Yohe
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