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Yohe's Movie Update
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Steve Yohe



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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm watching it but taking my time.--Yohe
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
KNIVES OUT didn't work for me. It's just a standard murder mystery with a great cast & a big budget. I was very disappointed. Daniel Craig try's hard but I don't think he puts off the detective part, which is always the center of this type of film. I think the problem is you don't know if he is the hero genius or the fool, until the end. Not clear. But most of all, the ending doesn't work. I think Chris Evans is bad. They should have given that part to a young Don Johnson. Evans needs to realize he is a star & not a character actor, and the film fans will only accept him as the lead hero. The actors are interesting, because there are so many stars, but the writing doesn't help them much. *** & is forgettable. Once again, Evans & Craig shouldn't be giving up their Captain America & Bond roles. It's a mistake. John this may be your type of movie. As Yohe likes sword stuff Ö Williams likes mysteries. --- Steve Yohe


Thought I'd written about this one before, but looks like I didn't. So this gets the benefit of a re-watch of the bluray.

Steve is right - this is my kind of movie, and I liked the hell out of it.

I think Craig is fantastic. He eats up the role and nails it. He is exactly what Johnson wants him to be - a Columbo style detective whose style makes potential suspects both annoyed by him but also underestimate him. Right from the start, we see that he knows things about the different characters. We don't always know how he knows them, and Johnson often doesn't spend time on which little birdy told Blanc what. When he meets Marta, he already knows about her puking issue, and uses it to his advantage. He's very observant, and Johnson often places him in scenes where you think something is going by him but he's actually noticing things. The most obvious is what leads to The Dumbest Car Chase Ever, but that's later in the movie when it's okay to get across that things don't pass Blanc by. There are quite a few earlier in the movie. The Gravity's Rainbow scene with Marta is excellent in getting across Blanc's philosophy of working a case, but also more subtly getting across that he's onto the truth about Marta's involvement. His different observations about the dogs, along with his "best judge of character is a dog" comment. We take it on the obvious level that it's a hint that Evan's is a bad person, but we already have a number of other people getting that across. That's overplayed so strongly that we might miss how Blanc sees it - the dogs barking at Evans ties into and early barking clue.

I think Craig ate up playing the role, and gives a ton into making it work. Lots of classic detectives are quirky as well as being brilliant and dogged. Craig nails all that with a gusto. He also brings some heart to it, telling Marta several times that she's a good person, highly in contrast to everyone else in the movie. Well, with the exception of Great Nana. Craig's scene with her is fantastic, both in performance and in Johnson's writing and he and the cinematographer shoot it. There's a lot going on in the scene, but this quote is just awesome in getting across both Blanc's observational skill but also his heart:

"You know, this was a long walk to offering condolences for the loss of your son. And asking you, if it isnít presumptuous of me, not to think too harshly of your family if I am, as I suspect, the first to console you."

Blanc is a detective who wants information from her. But you don't at all think he's bullshitting Great Nana with that line. And you also think that he's 100% correct that not a single person in that fucked up family spent a moment consoling a 100+ year old woman who lost her son. Blanc is gentle and patient with her, but also has a heart for a woman surrounded by a bunch of assholes who just lost the only person in the family who wasn't a giant ass - her son. Great, great, great scene... and Blanc does in the end get the information from her that he wanted.

i love this character and Craig's performance, and really look forward to more of it when Johnson and Craig get around to making another one.

I think Ana de Armas was really good as Marta. I need to see her in other things to see if she's as good of an actor as she flashes here, or if it was Johnson & Co. making her look good. It could be a bit of both. The hook of the movie is that we have to care about Marta, so it's written and crafted that way. But if the actor can't pull that off in performance, it's going to be flat. I think de Armas does a really good job of nailing the emotions pull us in.

The long extended scene with Plummer in the loft/study is fabulous. We'd already had the couple of flashbacks where Plummer shared the dirt on Don Johnson and Toni Collette with Marta, so it was established that he trusted her deeply. Marta made the comment on why her hours increased because he needed help, more specifically he needed a friend (which draws a wonderful point by Blanc about does having a kind heart make you a good nurse). So we get the concept that she's a friend, and he trusts her. The study scene shows the friendship, the interplay between the two, her care for him, and in turn his care for her when the tragedy happens. Plummer is awesome... good god, he was just days away from turning 89 when this was shot. de Armas goes toe-to-toe with him, nails all the early beats and then goes next level when the devastation unfolds. It's really great.

In the other direction, she also plays the goofy stuff well. Just really loved her in it.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Don Johnson are fab. Michael Shannon is fab. Toni Collette has a long background of giving her all when given an over-the-top scene chewing character, and does that well her. (In the other direction, she can really nail the drama roles when needed as she did recently in Unbelievable). Langford is solid, which is what anyone who saw her in the first season of 13 Reasons Why would expect. Stanfield does a good job of nailing the classic detective trope of Local Law Enforcement, as does his guy playing his trooper sidekick. They're not totally incompetent, but the typical few steps behind. I loved the Frank Oz cameo.

One thing that I agree with Steve generally about is Chris Evans. I don't think his acting in it is awful. In fact, I think his performance is technically good - his mannerisms are all good, with lots of subtle ones while making his "face turn" to help Marta. He lays the foundation for a lot of what unfolds later. His acting in the Reveal Scene is 100% spot on for traditional mystery heels when their plot is revealed - they get over the top and weasely and "you got nothing on me". He hits all the right spots.

The problem is... it's Chris Evans. It's freaking Captain America. And it doesn't quite work.

I get what Johnson was thinking. We're told early that Ransom is a do nothing playboy burning through the money given to him. The entire family hates him, and even his own parents don't have a lot of love for him. When Ransom finally ransom shows up, he is the asshole to the rest of the family that we are told he is, down to the Eat Shit argument. If the actor playing Ransom is just an oily heel, we're never going to believe his face turn to help Marta, even with the "screw the rest of the family" attitude. I get that Johnson was thinking to get a clear Face Actor into the role, play it heel, turn him face where the audience would buy it because of the actor, and then do the Reveal at the end that flips it back by showing he was heeling it up with the face turn just a manipulation.

In turn, I also get why Evans took it. He's played just one heel since taking the Cap role, and it's a movie that no one saw. It's a fun, twisty role in a cast with a lot of other good actors to play with. The movie is 100% removed from the super hero genre, or even the action hero genre, while avoiding the rom-coms stuff he's also done.

I get it... but it doesn't really work because it's Chris Evans. There is possibly some enjoyment of watching Evans play heel.

Disagree with Steve on the ending, if by that he means The Reveal. I think that's classic mystery stuff of the detective unraveling the murder's plot. This has the added nice touch of Marta getting the call from the hospital to round out nailing the murderer. Nice touch because Blanc has been calling her Watson, and she gets to play Great Detective's Sidekick and help close the deal. That it ties nicely back into the puking it cool as well, as does the knife spot tie into Plummer's early comment. All of Blanc's walk through in the Reveal shows how well the movie has been plotted out. The staging and acting of the scene is really neat. Love it.

If you mean the stuff after it... I think that's really nice as well. We get:

* Blanc again telling Marta that she's a good person, and while thinking she shouldn't help the family, knows she'll follow her heart

* Evans getting dragged away in classic heels fashion

* Don Johnson getting to stooge it up

* Jamie Lee finding out about Don Johnson's cheating that ties together (i) the long trip of the Baseball which is quite well laid out, and (ii) Harlan's "blank" letter to his daughter. Don Johnson wouldn't get the blank letter. But Curtis has both earlier said that she and her father had a secret way of communicating, and they also showed that very subtle in the stack of letters from her father than she had in her bedroom.

* Marta in control in the end up on the balcony looking down at them, with Harlan's "my house, my rules" coffee cup that we saw at the top of the movie

* it's totally open ended for we the viewers to think of how much or how little Marta will look after the family

I love small open ended things in a movie like this when the large thing has been resolved - Marta is innocent, and Evans revealed as plotting Harlan's death and the frame on Marta.

I like this movie a lot. Within its genre and what it's attempting to do, it is really good. It's not really a thriller, so I can't judge it by those standards. It's a classical detective murder mystery, no more or no less. It's not giving us a detective who is dealing with a ton of personal issues, but instead a classic one who gets dropped into a mystery and works to solve it. Johnson plays this as if it's book 25 of the Benoit Blanc Mysteries, and we the readers know him. We don't actually know him, but even in classic mystery series there is just enough reminder of who the Great Detective is that you can read it as a standalone book. Johnson her gives us just enough of Blanc being famous (i.e. known by some of the suspects and Local Law Enforcement), and of Blanc's philosophy that we get him. There are also little things that you feel would be semi-regular spots in the Blanc Mysteries book series, such as dogs being good judges of people, or Blanc getting lost in a twisted analogy like the Donut Hole Theory, or Blanc getting pulled into a case for a strange reason (anonymous money showing up in this), or comments in topics of the day (the Trump discussion), etc. As a mystery reader, when pondering the movie after each viewing, I can think of how cool some of those spots would be as calling back to earlier mysteries, or the series in general. Blanc's heart, and the comments about Marta being a good person... those feeling like things/themes that would pop up regularly in Blanc mysteries as a counterpoint to a murder taking place and there being a lot of suspects who aren't very good people.

Anyway, I could go on. Really love this.

John
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
Liked FORD V FERRARI a lot. A racing buddy movie centered on Matt Damon & Christian Bale. It's fun and it also works as an adult drama. Felt like a movie from the 70's. *** 3/4 Damon's career is becoming something special, just rowing out one good movie after another. Music was perfect for racing.


Another one that I thought I wrote about earlier, and just rewatched.

This was a good movie. Kind of a traditional Big Star Movie, with star turns from Damon and Bale. They are both good, and have showy performances in their own ways. The rest of the casting is good. Liked the wife and kid as well. I haven't watched the Outlander series that she's a part of, while the kid was the co-lead in Shia LaBeouf's semi autobiographical movie that came out last year as well.

They did a great job shooting the racing, and making this a car movie as much as about the characters.

The "based on a real story" aspect let's them go against the standard for sports movies both by the finish of LeMans and what happens to Miles soon after.

One does kind of wish in the credits they mentioned what happened to the person who won the race, whose legacy in racing is rather massive. I get the feeling that it might take away from what happened to Miles, but I actually think it plays more into just how insanely dangerous racing was in that era - a ton of racers died in the 50s and 60s and early 70s.

I think this is a movie that in years to come that when you look on one of the actors list of movies, or the directors, or someone involved in the production, you'll go "Oh... that was a good movie". It won't be one that you think of as great, or mind bending, or career changing for anyone involved. Just that it's a professional movie, and gives you some confidence seeing these names attached to a movie in the future.

Mangold is now directing the next Indiana Jones movie after Spielberg pulled out of directing (though he still seems involved in the production). A pro movie like this makes you think he can pull off Indy if they have a decent script to work with. Logan is another movie in his background that is a big positive.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the biggest fan of the writing of John Williams, so that was cool. I was going to go see KNIVES OUT again but it didn't work out. These days I can't find a movie to go see. There nothing I'm interested in & I've been really sick lately. About three weeks ago I saw THE GENTLEMEN, but haven't felt like a review. It was British crime drama by Guy Ritchie staring that famous English actor, Mathew McConaughey. Mat is great as usual. It's a Guy Ritchie movie and if you can follow the weird pacing & editing, it might be pretty good. He does have talent. There is a lot of English slang, and sub-titles would have helped. There is a chance some people will hate it, but I enjoyed the 2 hours. I could watch McConaughey in anything thing....even a car commercial where he goes ice fishing in the back of his car. I wonder if it was made for showing in Denmark. You'll have to forgive this review....the Lakers beat the Clippers today & I'm still jumping up & down. So Mat's movie seems to have made a lot of money, got a IMDB rating of 8.1, so it must be a hit. So I go ***1/4.

Watched a film-noir movie last night on TCM called RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1948). Great....ranks with the best Noir films of all time. ****1/4. It stared & was directed by Robert Montgomery. I hadn't thought much about Montgomery until about a year ago. How I think he is one of the great actors. It's about a East Coast gangster who goes to New Mexico to kill a rich guy who killed his friend. Or that is what it seem, until it changes into something else. It was written by Ben Hecht. Has a opening scene that is uncut for 10 minutes & so good you wouldn't realize it. Very well made & filled with great acting by Mexicans. A small Mexican, Indian girl follows Montgomery around the whole movie saving his ass....and she, Wanda Hendrix, is wonderful in the part. Also actor Thomas Gomez got the first nomination ever for a Mexican. The ending reminds me of THE THIRD MAN . Fred Clark, on of the great character actors, is the bad guy. Great movie.

So I am looking forward to seeing King Kong next Sunday. Hope I'm alive. James Bond has been pushed back until November.....life sucks....at least when the Lakers aren't playing.--Steve Yohe
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
I'm watching it but taking my time.--Yohe


Hurry up.

:P
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For John, I watched the last 3 WITCHER shows tonight. Too much magic....you would think a woman wrote it. Had the emotion of a Mexican Soap opera. Most of the time had bad pacing & timing. Some good sword fights & Cavill was very good at it. But the battles were weak. The Witcher was a cross between Conan & Soloman Kane. The bad comic book versions. Some of the sets & background stuff was very good, but they didn't know how to focus on it. The time-line idea was just a gimmick, that just screwed up the story or stories they were trying to tell. The film just tried too much. I didn't understand the dialogue. Too many characters. Liked the first few shows Ok, but I got sick of it. The ending was terrible. Couldn't believe that it was over. Looked like they spent a lot of money. I guess I'm just too stupid to enjoy it. I do sit around watching Mexican soap operas with Maria & I'm not smart enough for them either. Really sorry John. --- Steve Yohe
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Re-watched this again this weekend with Cheetah. Of course it rules.


John
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was it....can't tell.---Yohe
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Definitely not your type of 5 hour movie. :)
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw at least two of the movie & liked them. Give me credit for that.---Yohe
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Five hours diving deep into Jane Austen is pretty different from two hour Hollywood versions. :)

The 2005 version doesn't hold up very well.

The 1940s version works for Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier... though a 35 year old woman playing the 21 year old Lizzy (not to mention being 7 years older than the older sister in the movie) is a problem. Garson was a great actress in the era, so you kind of go along with it. Olivier is great.
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:13 pm    Post subject: Yohe *CERTIFIED* Reviews of Classic Films of Yesteryear? Reply with quote

Steve,

With Hollywood in their executives' islands hideouts from the Covid Virus, the police sex-crimes squads, lawsuits and with their teenage girlfriends and few new movies being released, how about reviewing the classic movies -- you know, ones on FILM-- of the Golden Age of movie-making? I mean Yohe-trademarked and certified classics of yore?

I'd read such reviews in a flash, and you probably have most of them on tape or DVD or can find them hidden on certain online sites for free...

If you have the time, now is it.

Ken
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extraction a strange bird to rate.

On one hand, it's a pretty professionally shot movie with good action scenes, some of which was very interestingly shot (like that extended really long "tracking shot").

On the other hand, a good chunk of it's fighting style is ripped off from John Wick... which works in the Wickverse, but really comes off as a rip off outside of it. Worse because Hemsworth's character feels like some special ops dude turned merc, and you just don't think of a guy like that getting involved in Wick-style fighting.

On the other hand, it does add up to a lot of action.

On the other hand, all but one of the guys he fights are totally meaningless Red Shirts. At least Wick build up some opponents, or even in individual fights has one of the guys stand out as a person to overcome. This was just a mass of folks to do spots through.

On the other hand, Hemsworth does an action start turn, and does it well.

On the other hand, he's busting his ass off to Act while surrounded with largely a cliched paper thing plot. His character is paper thing, his backstory is non-existent other than the ultra cliche of a Dead Son.

On the other hand, this is the porn / slasher movie equiv of an action movie where the dialogue and limited plot is just there to bridge between action scenes (or other types of scenes in porn and slasher movies). So I guess one can turn their brain off between action scenes, then start paying attention the next time people start fighting.

On the other hand, the one real big turn in the movie are openly acknowledged before it happens, so we don't get any of that "You didn't see this coming!!!" crap. That the person re-turns is kind of okay as well, and plays off of the secondary turn (which was also obvious as well). It was nice that they didn't have someone turn on Hemsworth 90 minutes into thins thing.

On the other hand... yeah... White Savior bells and whistles going off to the Nth degree. Some of that is likely unintentional due to the nature of modern streaming big movies like these being a global production... sometime using a Big White Star to launch the thing, while filling a large chunk of the cast with an International Set of Stars... and perhaps taking place in International Locations. Some of it likely due. But a large chunk is because the folks making it didn't know any better, thought dropping a star like Hemsworth into a setting like this was cool~! It's a bit like people who keep refrigerating wives and girlfriends being oblivious to the fact that they're refrigerating. Not really any excuse anymore.

On the other hand, I can't say that I hated the two hours I spent watching it on the night of my birthday earlier this week. It passed time, and I wasn't exactly bored while watching it.

So... yeah... one of those movies that is a strange bird to rate. It certainly isn't "good", though it did some things well. Not exactly "bad", though some elements were bad, generic, lightweight, without an depth or real thought other than we need to shot the crap out of some more people.

* * * * *

In contrast, I rewatched Winter Soldier that same night. Yeah... it's still the best Marvel movie.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished watching this & I'm not going to read John's review first. Shit this is the first thing worth watching in months...so:

EXTRACTION is one of the new shunt action movies like Atomic Blonde or the John Wick movies. It kind of a thing these days & the public accepts them. I've got so I like them too.

For the style of what it is, I enjoyed it a lot. Wish I could see in a theater. A lot of great camera movement & long takes....which is now a fad...but it works really good. The different fight are really well done....much like in ATOMIC BLONDE. This is because the director was the stunt coordinator on that movie...and coordinated all the fight in that movie. I liked it & thought it was great & almost believable. The director also did stunts on the Avenger movies, so that's why he got Thor to star.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is really good & projects without words, like a major action star. Acting wise, I think it's the best thing he's done. This was a good move career wise for Thor. It will help him when does films that are about real life or other action. Once you've killed 70 people in a movie, you don't have to do it again, to prove your a bad ass. They now know..

All the acting is good & moves very well.

I was happy to see Hellboy get killed....because he fucked up my favorite comic.

Ok it has very little plot. And I didn't understand the "turn" by the other lead good/bad guy. Didn't understand some of the conversations. If you want some type of interesting story, you may hate this movie. It's a stunt movie & that's all it is.

So maybe ***1/2 because it's really well made & this type film is hard to make right. I see the talent. I have been to two movies this year, if KING KONG doesn't count, so I was happy to watch this one.

Now I'll read John's review. ---Steve Yohe
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee John I'm sorry to hear you had to stay home without your family on your B-day....just watching movies on TV. But then again try being fucking 72.

Maria was going to take me out on my B-day to eat at Red Lobster, but I had fucking kidney stone to pass in February & the Doc says no more shell fish like a Lobster again in my life. Then the world shut down. So there are only about 12 things I eat in this world, and I'm getting sick of all of them. But Maria says she will cook salmon for me. And I thought that was nice, because I usually get nothing on my B-day...which is the same b-day as Jabbar & Charlie Chapman & Adoff Hitler. So she cooked a big one for me and I start to eat it on the living room table, in front of the huge TV. You know the place John. There is still chicken on the floor from your last visit. I open my coke, and my hand shakes so bad that the can falls on the plate & destroys the Salmon....well it kind of gave it a coke flavor.

I got all upset.....you know being a old asshole. Started punching doors & stuff. It was terrible.....but Maria calmed me down by giving me her Salmon....and it all worked out. It was really good. I must be a great person, having people sacrifice their dinner for me.---Steve Yohe
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