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Must See Movies

Razz

Well-Known Member
always loved this one...


 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
In the capable hands of director Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a seafaring adventure like no other, impeccably authentic, dynamically cast, and thrilling enough to give any classic swashbuckler a run for its money. In adapting two of Patrick O'Brian's enormously popular novels about British naval hero Capt. Jack Aubrey, Weir and cowriter John Collee have changed the timeframe from the British/American war of 1812 to the British/French opposition of 1805, where the HMS Surprise, under Aubrey's confident command, is patrolling the South Atlantic in pursuit of the Acheron, a French warship with the strategic advantage of greater size, speed, and artillery. Russell Crowe is outstanding as Aubrey, firm and fiercely loyal, focused on his prey even if it means locking horns with his friend and ship's surgeon, played by Crowe's A Beautiful Mind costar Paul Bettany. Employing a seamless combination of carefully matched ocean footage, detailed models, full-scale ships, and CGI enhancements, Weir pays exacting attention to every nautical detail, while maintaining a very human story of honor, warfare, and survival under wretched conditions. Raging storms and hull-shattering battles provide pulse-pounding action, and a visit to the Galapagos Islands lends a note of otherworldly wonder, adding yet another layer of historical perspective to this splendidly epic adventure. --Jeff Shannon
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com essential video
Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, The Deer Hunter is simultaneously an audacious directorial conceit and one of the greatest films ever made about friendship and the personal impact of war. Like Apocalypse Now, it's hardly a conventional battle film--the soldier's experience was handled with greater authenticity in Platoon--but its depiction of war on an intimate scale packs a devastatingly dramatic punch. Director Michael Cimino may be manipulating our emotions with masterful skill, but he does it in a way that stirs the soul and pinches our collective nerves with graphic, high-intensity scenes of men under life-threatening duress. Although Russian-roulette gambling games were not a common occurrence during the Vietnam war, they're used here as a metaphor for the futility of the war itself. To the viewer, they become unforgettably intense rites of passage for the best friends--Pennsylvania steelworkers played by Robert De Niro, John Savage, and Oscar winner Christopher Walken--who may survive or perish during their tour through a tropical landscape of hell. Back home, their loved ones must cope with the war's domestic impact, and in doing so they allow The Deer Hunter to achieve a rare combination of epic storytelling and intimate, heart-rending drama. --Jeff Shannon
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com essential video
Spencer Tracy's last performance was in this well-meaning, handsome film by Stanley Kramer about a pair of white parents (Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) trying to make sense of their daughter's impending marriage to an African American doctor (Sidney Poitier). The film has been knocked over the years for padding conflict and stoking easy liberalism by making Poitier's character in every socioeconomic sense a good catch: But what if Kramer had made this stranger a factory worker? Would the audience still find it as easy to accept a mixed-race relationship? But there's no denying the drawing power of this movie, which gets most of its integrity from the stirring performances of Tracy and Hepburn. When the former (who had been so ill that the production could not get completion insurance) gives a speech toward the end about race, love, and much else, it's impossible not to be affected by the last great moment in a great actor's life and career. --Tom Keogh
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
A note-perfect cinematic event whose immortality was assured from its opening night, Amadeus is an unlikely candidate for the director's-cut treatment. Like one of Mozart's operas, the multiple Oscar-winning theatrical version seemed perfectly formed from the outset--ideal casting, costumes, sets, cinematography, lighting, screenplay, music, music, music--so the reinstatement of an extra 20 minutes simply risks adding "too many notes." Yet though this extended cut can hardly be said to improve a picture that needed no improvement, it does at least flesh out a couple of small subplots and shed new light on certain key scenes. Here we learn why Constanze Mozart bears such ill will towards Salieri when she discovers him at her husband's deathbed, and we see deeper into the reasons why Mozart has no students. The structure of the picture is otherwise unaltered.

The director's cut of Amadeus finally accords this masterful work the DVD treatment it deserves. The handsome anamorphic widescreen picture is accompanied by a choice of Dolby 5.1 or Dolby stereo sound options, and it's all contained on one side of the disc. Director Milos Forman and writer Peter Shaffer provide a chatty though sporadic commentary, but they're obviously still too mesmerized by the movie to do much more than offer the odd anecdote. The second disc contains an excellent new hour-long "making of" documentary, with contributions from Forman, Shaffer, Sir Neville Marriner, and all the main actors, taking in the scriptwriting, choice of music, casting, and problems involved in filming in Communist Czechoslovakia with half the crew and extras working for the Secret Police. --Mark Walker
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
Men of Honor presents a great role model for younger viewers, yet it's rated R due to abundant use of the F word. With appropriate discretion, parents should allow their preteen and teenaged children to see this rousing if altogether conventional biopic inspired by the life of Carl Brashear. Played with gravity and gumption by Cuba Gooding Jr., Brashear was the first African American to become a master diver in the U.S. Navy, despite the lingering effects of segregation, opposition from Navy brass, and the amputation of his left leg following a tragic on-duty accident. Robert De Niro adds marquee value and salty bluster as Billy Sunday, the drunken, redneck (and fictionalized) Master Chief who watches, with gradual admiration, as Brashear attains his ultimate goal through sheer force of will.

This is all quite uplifting on its surface, but in attempting to hit the requisite highlights of an inspiring biography, director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food) reduces Brashear's achievement to a succession of clichés, forcing Gooding and De Niro to battle sentiment with their noteworthy performances. As Sunday's neglected wife, Charlize Theron is completely extraneous; Hal Holbrook's diving-school commander is a ranting caricature; and newcomer Aunjanue Ellis barely registers as Brashear's wife (in part because their obligatory romance is handled with an utter lack of finesse). There's no question that Brashear's efforts are heroic and worthy of recognition, so Men of Honor serves its basic purpose. Still, one can't help but wonder if Brashear's story would be even more impressive with a more authentic treatment. --Jeff Shannon
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
Men of Honor presents a great role model for younger viewers, yet it's rated R due to abundant use of the F word. With appropriate discretion, parents should allow their preteen and teenaged children to see this rousing if altogether conventional biopic inspired by the life of Carl Brashear. Played with gravity and gumption by Cuba Gooding Jr., Brashear was the first African American to become a master diver in the U.S. Navy, despite the lingering effects of segregation, opposition from Navy brass, and the amputation of his left leg following a tragic on-duty accident. Robert De Niro adds marquee value and salty bluster as Billy Sunday, the drunken, redneck (and fictionalized) Master Chief who watches, with gradual admiration, as Brashear attains his ultimate goal through sheer force of will.

This is all quite uplifting on its surface, but in attempting to hit the requisite highlights of an inspiring biography, director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food) reduces Brashear's achievement to a succession of clichés, forcing Gooding and De Niro to battle sentiment with their noteworthy performances. As Sunday's neglected wife, Charlize Theron is completely extraneous; Hal Holbrook's diving-school commander is a ranting caricature; and newcomer Aunjanue Ellis barely registers as Brashear's wife (in part because their obligatory romance is handled with an utter lack of finesse). There's no question that Brashear's efforts are heroic and worthy of recognition, so Men of Honor serves its basic purpose. Still, one can't help but wonder if Brashear's story would be even more impressive with a more authentic treatment. --Jeff Shannon
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
Taut and gripping, U-571 follows the exploits of a fictional team of World War II U.S. submariners who undertake a secret mission to capture a German Enigma machine to decode German documents. Writer-director Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown) tells an intense, economical tale, reminiscent of the best classic war films, while infusing it with modern sentiments.

Spring 1942: A crew of young submarine sailors are on a much-needed 48-hour liberty when they're suddenly called together and engaged in an expedition. At the helm are Lieutenant Commander Mike Dahlgren (Bill Paxton), Lieutenant Andrew Tyler (Matthew McConaughey), and Chief Klough (Harvey Keitel). Other pivotal crew members include Tyler's Annapolis pal Lieutenant Pete Emmett (Jon Bon Jovi, proving his acting mettle) and Lieutenant Hirsch (Jake Weber), who, along with Marine Major Coonan (David Keith), organizes the mission. As much of the movie takes place in a submarine during WWII, there are inevitable comparisons with the technical masterpiece Das Boot, but Mostow's masterfully shot tale can hold its own.

McConaughey's Tyler is believably earnest as he comes to grips with the reality, tragedy, and consequence of being in command. While this explosion-filled film consistently maintains its tense pace (as did the underrated Breakdown), it also presents with surprising restraint a genuine human story--and the remarkable journey of an unexpected hero. --N.F. Mendoza
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com essential video
You can almost hear the studio pitch meeting echoing throughout Crimson Tide like the sonar on the soundtrack: "It's The Cain Mutiny on a nuclear submarine!" When radio communications problems aboard the USS Alabama prevent the sub from receiving its orders clearly during a tense confrontation with Russian warships, Navy officer Denzel Washington faces a huge ethical dilemma: countermand the orders of legendary Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) to fire nuclear missiles, or follow his command and risk launching an unprovoked nuclear war. It's really an actors' picture, and the fun is in the fireworks between Washington and Hackman, each of whose characters articulates solid reasoning behind his decision. There are no easy villains, and there's no easy way to tell right from wrong--that's what makes the nuclear stakes so terrifying. Director Tony Scott (who directed Quentin Tarantino's True Romance script) called in Tarantino to punch up the dialogue, which is why, for example, the sailors talk about Silver Surfer comic books. The digital video disc is in anamorphic widescreen; the sonorous underwater rumblings on the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack will provide you with a good opportunity to show off your system's bass response. --Jim Emerson
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
This is the restored, 209-minute director's cut of Wolfgang Petersen's harrowing and claustrophobic U-boat thriller, which was theatrically rereleased in 1997. Originally made as a five-hour miniseries, this version devotes more time to getting to know the crew before they and their stoic captain (Jürgen Prochnow) get aboard their U-boat and find themselves stranded at the bottom of the sea. Das Boot puts you inside that submerged vessel and explores the physical and emotional tensions of the situation with a vivid, terrifying realism that few movies can match. As Petersen tightens the screws and the submerged ship blows bolts, the pressure builds to such unbearable levels that you may be tempted to escape for a nice walk on solid land in the great outdoors--only you wouldn't dream of looking away from the screen. --Jim Emerson
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
NASA's worst nightmare turned into one of the space agency's most heroic moments in 1970, when the Apollo 13 crew was forced to hobble home in a disabled capsule after an explosion seriously damaged the moon-bound spacecraft. Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton play (respectively) astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise in director Ron Howard's intense, painstakingly authentic docudrama. The Apollo 13 crew and Houston-based mission controllers race against time and heavy odds to return the damaged spacecraft safely to Earth from a distance of 205,500 miles. Using state-of-the-art special effects and ingenious filmmaking techniques, Howard and his stellar cast and crew build nail-biting tension while maintaining close fidelity to the facts. The result is a fitting tribute to the Apollo 13 mission and one of the biggest box-office hits of 1995. --Jeff Shannon
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member

Amazon.com
Based on an incident that was officially suppressed for 28 years, K-19: The Widowmaker is a fine addition to the "sub-genre" of submarine thrillers. The first major American film about Russian cold war heroes, it re-creates the nightmare endured in 1961 by the crew of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-19, when an exposed reactor core nearly resulted in a nuclear catastrophe. Several crewmen died, and K-19's captain (played by Harrison Ford) had to assert his command when near-mutiny favored his executive officer (Liam Neeson). This escalating tension gives the film its potent dramatic thrust, and both Ford and Neeson deliver intense performances while director Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Strange Days) ably controls a sub full of seething testosterone. It's not as viscerally thrilling as the classic Das Boot or U-571, and some K-19 survivors protested the inclusion of inauthentic drinking scenes, but the movie benefits from grand-scale production values, seamless computer graphics, and a compelling real-life twist. --Jeff Shannon
 

MatthewB

Grandmaster Pimp Daddy
Famous
Dennie Das Boot, is one movie I had to watch over a period of five days. Cause I could only handle one hour at a time. You get so claustrophobic watching it, great movie, but not one you can just sit down and watch.
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member
MatthewB said:
Dennie Das Boot, is one movie I had to watch over a period of five days. Cause I could only handle one hour at a time. You get so claustrophobic watching it, great movie, but not one you can just sit down and watch.
I hear you and a 3 1/2 hour movie is long by any standard!

But, worth the effort, IMHO! :text-bravo:


Dennie
 

MatthewB

Grandmaster Pimp Daddy
Famous
Speaking of five hour movies, recently I saw what I consider one of the best Asian movies I have ever seen. Red Cliff (parts one and two original Japanese release) Took me two days to watch, and I immediatlely went out and bought it. Just loved the battle scenes, the story and the cinematography.
 

Dennie

Well-Known Member
Razz said:
Dennie,
I'm a sub movie lover too... I have all of those!


:text-bravo:

Yeah, "sub" movies and home theater go well together! :handgestures-thumbup:

I have "Mask" also, a great movie!


Dennie
 

zod

Well-Known Member
Here's a couple that in the Cult/ So bad they're good category:

Tim Thomerson is Jack Deth a hard-boiled detective type
Helen Hunt in one her first movie roles



Melanie Griffith is a tracker in the wasteland
Tim Thomerson shows up as the bad guy

Here's an excerpt from an Amazon review: Nobody's yet mentioned another stand-out member of the cast of this film: Tim Thomerson as "Lester," the villain of the piece. His quirky and over-the-top portrayal makes Lester one of the most hilarious and memorable comic movie villains of all time.
The film is rife with running gags, visual humor and clever bits of dialogue (as when one character describes life in the post-apocalyptic big city as being "kinda paranoid and audio-visual;" while another summarizes life in the lawless desolation of Zone 7 this way: "You should see 'em out there, playin' Twister and revertin' to their animal natures!")
 

zod

Well-Known Member
Gems you might've missed:

I first saw this on IFC and was sucked in. Plots, subplots and twists throughout. And Danny Aiello is the aging patriarch/smooth operator that controls the action.



Born Yesterday meets Pygmalion. The acting and script are top notch and the ladies will like it as well.
 
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