Entertainment

What was the last 'good' movie you watched?

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  • Oct 15th, 2018 11:38 am
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PlainDealer wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 1:49 am
Growing up in the GTA, I remember watching this on CityTV's Great Movies (now I'm dating myself). I quite enjoyed it and thought it was one of the better B-movies I had seen even without any kind of familiarity with the Hammer Films that Lee and Cushing made famous.

Looking back, the plot was actually pretty darned ambitious: a frozen missing link on board a Trans-Siberian train with rival anthropologists, spies, Cossacks, a monk who seems less enamoured with Christian philosophy than the powers of dark forces, and a formless killer with surprising abilities and a far-out agenda. It's a wonder that so much was crammed into this movie and that it worked even a little, never mind going on to become a cult classic.

I'm very wary of remakes because the modern versions of much-loved films usually miss the point of the original and are simply unable to capture the charm and appeal that made the source material so enjoyable. With this film in particular, there is just so much going on that if you were to include all the key details, it'd be really easy to screw up without some seriously talent to guide the ship (or train in this case). Also, we're talking about Lee, Cushing, Savalas, and Alberto de Mendoza's Rasputin-wannabe 'holy man' in the same film: how is a remake possibly going to come close to that?
Argh, I was agreeing w/ you wholeheartedly until you nixed the remake idea. I think it's ripe for a remake primarily due to the amazing things modern movie tech can unleash onto the silver screen. Admittedly, as you've explained, there's a lot going on and I wouldn't mind them trimming some fat, I'm sure there are some superfluous stuff. However, the main plot is a pretty clever one and I especially remember those glowing red eyes in the pitch dark. Many ppl probabiy haven't even heard of this film, so there won't be too much pressure to match up w/ the original.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I saw it on CityTV too, so we're probably w/i the same age group. :)
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tranquility922 wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 5:18 am
Argh, I was agreeing w/ you wholeheartedly until you nixed the remake idea. I think it's ripe for a remake primarily due to the amazing things modern movie tech can unleash onto the silver screen. Admittedly, as you've explained, there's a lot going on and I wouldn't mind them trimming some fat, I'm sure there are some superfluous stuff. However, the main plot is a pretty clever one and I especially remember those glowing red eyes in the pitch dark. Many ppl probabiy haven't even heard of this film, so there won't be too much pressure to match up w/ the original.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I saw it on CityTV too, so we're probably w/i the same age group. :)
I get your point about there being a lot of good stuff in the original Horror Express, but again, that movie worked in spite of its complicated plot and had some major players (legends, in fact) to give it personality and credibility. It's hard enough to capture lightning in a bottle twice with the same creators never mind with a different team.

It's not impossible for a remake to be a good movie, but more often than not, we wind up with updates that didn't understand why the original worked. Just taking a look at the last couple of years, there was no shortage of remakes that came and went leaving moviegoers wondering why they were made to begin with:

  • Point Break (2015)
  • Ben Hur (2016)
  • Flatliners (2017)
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017)
  • Tomb Raider (2018)

YMMV, but I find that Hollywood's record for remakes is considerably less than stellar and something like Horror Express has too many ways it could go off the rails. The one good thing that comes out of most remakes is they draw some attention to the original films so some moviegoers will get to discover lesser known titles like the one we're discussing.
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PlainDealer wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 9:21 am
It's not impossible for a remake to be a good movie, but more often than not, we wind up with updates that didn't understand why the original worked.
Very well said.
Off the top of my head, the only ones I can think of that were good are (and this is a very short list when you think of just how many remakes are made on the regular):

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (one from the 70s)
Insomnia
True Grit
The Departed (remake of HK's Infernal Affairs)
The Fly (from the 80s)
The Thing (from the 80s)
Let Me In (English version)
Cape Fear
Hairspray
Oceans 11 (not the female version, but the early 2000s remake of the Rat Pack version)
Scarface (80s version)
Scent of a Woman (remake of the Italian original)
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For those who have a Toronto Public Library, I just saw that we can stream Classic Cinema thru Kanopy

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/det ... &R=EDB0198

Films available including a bunch of very well known classics from Criterion Collection

https://torontopl.kanopy.com/

The fine print/restrictions.

Here's how it works:
Up to 8 films per month
Your library has generously given you 8 play credits every month.
3 days to watch each film
Once you press play on a film, you have 3 days to view it as many times as you like without using another play credit.
Play credits reset on the 1st of the month
Once you have reached your quota of films, you will not be able to play any films until the new month starts when you will be given a fresh quota of 8 play credits again.
Any device
You can access Kanopy from any device, including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
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newt_101 wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 11:25 am
Very well said.
Off the top of my head, the only ones I can think of that were good are (and this is a very short list when you think of just how many remakes are made on the regular):

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (one from the 70s)
Insomnia
True Grit
The Departed (remake of HK's Infernal Affairs)
The Fly (from the 80s)
The Thing (from the 80s)
Let Me In (English version)
Cape Fear
Hairspray
Oceans 11 (not the female version, but the early 2000s remake of the Rat Pack version)
Scarface (80s version)
Scent of a Woman (remake of the Italian original)
Little did people know that John Woo's 1986 classic "A Better Tomorrow" was also a remake of an old black and white film. And Woo's version was so much awesome.
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PlainDealer wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 9:21 am
I get your point about there being a lot of good stuff in the original Horror Express, but again, that movie worked in spite of its complicated plot and had some major players (legends, in fact) to give it personality and credibility. It's hard enough to capture lightning in a bottle twice with the same creators never mind with a different team.

It's not impossible for a remake to be a good movie, but more often than not, we wind up with updates that didn't understand why the original worked. Just taking a look at the last couple of years, there was no shortage of remakes that came and went leaving moviegoers wondering why they were made to begin with:

  • Point Break (2015)
  • Ben Hur (2016)
  • Flatliners (2017)
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017)
  • Tomb Raider (2018)

YMMV, but I find that Hollywood's record for remakes is considerably less than stellar and something like Horror Express has too many ways it could go off the rails. The one good thing that comes out of most remakes is they draw some attention to the original films so some moviegoers will get to discover lesser known titles like the one we're discussing.
When I saw the film, I didn't care that there were many famous actors in it, it was just a great story.

It depends on the quality of ppl doing the remake. (Virtually) Nothing's impossible and I'm sure if the right ones did it it would be great.

Btw, some of those movies you quoted aren't that good in the first place and really don't deserve being remade. That's the prb w/ Hollywood these past few decades, lazy lazy lazy and remaking (already) junk. No imagination whatsoever.
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tranquility922 wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 4:31 pm
When I saw the film, I didn't care that there were many famous actors in it, it was just a great story.

It depends on the quality of ppl doing the remake. (Virtually) Nothing's impossible and I'm sure if the right ones did it it would be great.

Btw, some of those movies you quoted aren't that good in the first place and really don't deserve being remade. That's the prb w/ Hollywood these past few decades, lazy lazy lazy and remaking (already) junk. No imagination whatsoever.
But this has been going on for a long time. First, books and magazine stories, then to plays, then to silent film, then to talkies, then to colour. On and on again, It;s amazing the properties these big companies own. Stuff going back to the 19th century or earlier, Yeesh!
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DougO wrote:
Sep 19th, 2018 12:13 am
But this has been going on for a long time. First, books and magazine stories, then to plays, then to silent film, then to talkies, then to colour. On and on again, It;s amazing the properties these big companies own. Stuff going back to the 19th century or earlier, Yeesh!
Sure, but there are good remakes and remakes that nobody wants and are obviously ridiculous, e.g. recent Spidermans and Supermans come to mind.
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newt_101 wrote:
Sep 18th, 2018 11:25 am


The Departed (remake of HK's Infernal Affairs)
Scarface (80s version)
Funny thing, I recently watched both of these movies and really liked them a lot. Al Pacino in Scarface was unbelievable. Both movies are nearly 3 hours, but it passed like minutes, highly recommended!
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SolarisPlanet wrote:
Sep 20th, 2018 3:06 am
Funny thing, I recently watched both of these movies and really liked them a lot. Al Pacino in Scarface was unbelievable. Both movies are nearly 3 hours, but it passed like minutes, highly recommended!
Yup, good remakes (although rare), are definitely possible. Hollywood is more polished than their HK counterpart, so liked how they just morphed the 2 female characters into 1 to cut out the fat and ofc the original Scarface definitely needed a makeover.
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tranquility922 wrote:
Sep 20th, 2018 6:47 am
Yup, good remakes (although rare), are definitely possible. Hollywood is more polished than their HK counterpart, so liked how they just morphed the 2 female characters into 1 to cut out the fat and ofc the original Scarface definitely needed a makeover.
It's a hit and miss, for example "The Eye" (2008)
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gontori wrote:
Sep 20th, 2018 9:55 am
It's a hit and miss, for example "The Eye" (2008)
I don't remember those 2 for comparison. However, Hollywood's production values are simply unmatched. They spare no expense.
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The Eye was boring. I never even saw the Hollywood remake. Pang Brothers are overrated. Their Stormriders sequel sucked balls. Only good that came outta that sequel was casting Kenny Ho as Nameless.
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tinlun wrote:
Sep 20th, 2018 3:00 pm
The Eye was boring. I never even saw the Hollywood remake.
I vaguely remember either and thought that both were mediocre anyway.
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tranquility922 wrote:
Sep 20th, 2018 4:13 pm
I vaguely remember either and thought that both were mediocre anyway.
The premise seemed interesting only to be plagued with a cheesy second half.

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