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nthurkettle

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nthurkettle last won the day on December 4 2020

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  1. nthurkettle

    Cherry 2000 (1987)

    I just watched this for the first time last night as it's on Amazon Prime now and the only way I can describe it is that it's like if they handed the "Mad Max" franchise over to the makers of "Revenge of the Nerds" because it's this absolutely baffling mix of fun 80's sci-fi design, legitimately great stunts like when E. is holding onto the car as it dangles from the crane, crazy weird humor touches like bad guy Luther getting randomly attacked by bees, and then the appalling sexism woven into the premise because the loser drip of a protagonist is repeatedly IN TEARS about how much he misses his horny robot companion that he treated like sh*t before causing her death with soap suds. According to Wikipedia, it cost $10M to make and grossed *$14,000*. The distributor found it so impossible to market because it's a PG-13 movie about a sex robot with no nudity and it's like WHY DID YOU DO THAT WERE YOU TRYING TO MAKE IT KID-FRIENDLY?, so they basically dumped it directly to VHS in America when nobody was really doing that.
  2. nthurkettle

    Ricochet (1991)

    HDTGM could do months of Lithgow movies, all of them absurd and terrible; and he's amazing in every single one.
  3. nthurkettle

    Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

    This was produced by the same team as the original Christopher Reeve "Superman" films, and they wanted to create the same large-scale, heroic "origin story" for Santa here. John Lithgow's performance is an iconic level of batcrap crazy and I love it.
  4. nthurkettle

    Ep 254 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

    According to a list of deleted scenes on the UK version of the DVD, in the original cut this number hewed closer to the description in the play. In Shakespeare's original, the men are said to enter disguised as "Moscovites" - aka comedy stereotypes of Russians in big bushy beards, to do a funny, masculine dance for the Princesses while pretending the Princesses don't recognize them (which, of course, they do, because they've been tipped off by their valet Boyet in advance.) In the film, you're looking at the back of Boyet's head, and his line has been re-recorded so instead of "Moscovites" he says the men are disguised as "Masked Delights"; I guess to justify them all coming in with their Burt-Ward-as-Robin eye masks; which muddies the whole idea of them attempting a disguise. I imagine Branagh was urged to "sex it up" as they re-edited the movie - leading to the out-of-nowhere scene of weird close-ups and groping, possibly done in a re-shoot.
  5. nthurkettle

    Ep 254 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

    I'm razzing the guy but he is primarily responsible for my becoming a Shakespeare junkie in high school with his "Henry V" and "Much Ado". And his directing "Thor" means he cast Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston and those are gifts that just keep on giving. I even think his "Cinderella" is pretty terrific; but man, when he whiffs, he whiffs HUGE. What's interesting is that, in each of the first three Shakespeare films he directed/starred in, he had played the same role (King Henry, Benedick, Hamlet) previously in a long-running, highly-acclaimed stage production directed by someone else. In essence, he got months to sculpt his own performance with a more experienced director before directing the film himself.
  6. nthurkettle

    Ep 254 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

    I think this podcast would have a grand time with the version of "Frankenstein" he directed/starred in, where he films himself as a shirtless, glistening, golden-maned SEX GOD.
  7. nthurkettle

    Ep 254 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

    Kenneth Branagh is 100% a talented and multi-faceted artist and also 100% a giant ego with tendencies towards hubris and cheeseball-ness. These qualities can absolutely co-exist.
  8. nthurkettle

    Ep 254 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

    Okay, I'm a hopeless Shakespeare nerd plus I manage a small Shakespeare troupe, so there is SO much to say about this movie. I love Branagh's three previous Shakespeare films and I think that the play "Love's Labour's Lost" has some wonderful stuff in it; BUT it is one of the hardest plays to even attempt, and it feels as though every choice Branagh made here just made this disaster more inevitable. First, in any Shakespeare script, there is a LOT of wordplay - puns, dirty innuendo, words with double meanings. But as the meaning and the pronunciation of words have changed over 400+ years (for example, the words "good" and "blood" used to rhyme!,) many of the verbal jokes become incomprehensible to modern audiences. Any Shakespeare play is a challenge because of this but ESPECIALLY "Love's Labour's" - it's one of Shakespeare's earliest and much more dependent on wordplay than nearly every other play - there's very little plot, and the principal entertainment is meant to be the flirty banter between the four couples. Second - as Tall John mentioned, the play ends on an abrupt, MASSIVE bummer with the death of the King of France, and there is evidence to suggest there was a sequel, referred to as "Love's Labour's Won", in which the lovers reunite and their courtship comes to a happy conclusion. This play might be completely lost, but there is a theory that audiences liked the sequel better on its own, and that Shakespeare kept revising it until it became "Much Ado About Nothing". (This may help explain why Branagh cast himself as Berowne, as the dynamic between Berowne and Rosaline strongly parallels the Benedick/Beatrice romance in "Much Ado".) So the play is difficult enough to even try, but to give such difficult text to Shakespeare novices, then ditch HUGE chunks of plot and dialogue to make room for musical numbers, and then to add an entire WAR that doesn't even exist in the play; just begs the question of why even try this play to begin with? I have one final theory - Miramax released this film, and they were notorious for forcing directors to drastically cut the running time of films that they were afraid weren't turning out well. Some of the newsreel footage suggests that some of the funniest scenes and subplots in the play were actually filmed, then cut in the frantic effort to get the movie down to 90 minutes. And I am not trying to start a hashtag-release-the-Branagh-cut campaign, but those smaller roles were being played by actors well-versed in Shakespeare, and may have turned out quite enjoyably even within the incredibly flawed overall idea he had for this adaptation. But clearly, he didn't learn any lessons, because in his next Shakespeare film, "As You Like It", he added ninjas and sumo wrestling.
  9. nthurkettle

    Assassins (1995)

    I always loved the scene where they're shooting at each other with silencers and it sounds like they're trying to staple each other to death.
  10. nthurkettle

    C.I.Ape (2021?)

    Every year in L.A., the American Film Marketplace brings together hundreds of filmmakers, film producers, film distributors, and others, to try and close deals for films made outside the studio system. It's where people raise money by pre-selling a movie based on the stars they have, or try and sell finished films to distributors all over the world. Some absolutely crazy projects are there at various stages of development, and as I was perusing some of the catalogs from this year, I came across the attached poster. C....I....APE! This is 100% a real movie which was filmed in Oklahoma and is now seemingly looking for distribution. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11465692/reference?ref_=tt_mv_close The official synopsis from the AFM catalog: "In the world of espionage, some missions require an agent with a unique set of skills, possessing not just bravery but an ability to melt even the most villainous heart. This is a job for C.I.Ape! The 1st ever chimpanzee joining the C.I.A. When a criminal plot is discovered, the C.I.A. turns to him, their most unique operative to foil the plot from the inside. With the Council of Crime’s conspiracy to develop a high-tech weapon thus infiltrated, C.I.Ape and his team fight fire with fire by launching a high-tech plan of their own. Their ingenious act of sabotage brings down the plan and destroys the nefarious weapon, but results in collateral damage in the form of a lonely girl. Rescuing the girl with the simple act of friendship, C.I.Ape proves he’s unparalleled when it comes to espionage of the heart." No trailer yet, but I felt like the world of HDTGM needed to know about this movie early ;)
  11. nthurkettle

    The Marine (2006)

    Bumping this because a) we have to wait until next year for John Cena in Fast & Furious 9, b) I still remember the beyond-cringey "molested by rock candy question mark?" running joke, and c) for the amazing bit where Robert Patrick coos to his sexy partner "We got away clean...", and it's like, MY DUDE, you were witnessed by many, many people riddling a police car with bullets in broad daylight. That is the OPPOSITE of getting away clean!"
  12. nthurkettle

    Conspiracy Theory (1997)

    Also, I remember an interview with Patrick Stewart where they asked him why he did this movie and he talked about the level of hotel you get to stay in when you're working on an A-List movie and the gourmet breakfasts he was having. He was all "I get to eat salmon EVERY DAY!"
  13. nthurkettle

    Conspiracy Theory (1997)

    I recently re-watched "Lethal Weapon 2" and realized that if you had re-cut it from the point-of-view of the woman he seduces, it would be a horror movie without having to change his performance; he is an emotionally-unstable cop with a gun and rage issues who repeatedly demonstrates he doesn't respect the law or boundaries and physically restrains her until she agrees to go out with him. And she ends up dead. "Conspiracy Theory" is that idea x100. The fact that it is ever treated as a romance instead of a straight-up stalker nightmare story is an indictment of how much we were willing to excuse from Mel back in the day.
  14. nthurkettle

    Saturn 3 (1980)

    The number of scenes just devoted to, like, Kirk Douglas exercising. It's like 10 percent of the movie. That and the number of scenes where Harvey Keitel very slowly assembles a murderbot while our heroes are like "welp, can't worry about the completely normal thing he's doing over there, let's get SEXY AGAIN."
  15. nthurkettle

    America's Sweethearts (2001)

    It's so weird because Crystal co-wrote the movie, so he knows that his character is supposed to be the best big studio P.R. guy around, and yet he plays every scene as a hapless underdog who can't keep up with anything even before things go truly off the rails.
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