What was the last movie you saw?

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justine Elitist Beer Lover
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The Frighteners. Now. :D
Pithecanthropus Roast Master
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Spectre (2015). Panned by critics, but I liked it. Kind of reminded me of old-school Bond, and it was nice to see some of the background characters get to step out of their decades old molds. Christoph Waltz is such a good actor.
Mustapha Mond Daring to be stupid
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TOS posted:
okay, doc strange vs. arrival

if you could only see one, which would you see?


The Arrival.

Dr. Strange is getting some decent reviews, and I'm sure it's plenty fun, but I'm also sure I already know the formula if not the specifics.

The Arrival looks a little more original, at least within the "Holy stick fiddling human waste stick fiddling Aliens Just stick fiddling Came to stick fiddling Earth What The fiddlesticks!" genre. It kinda makes me think of the end of Close Encounters when you suddenly find out that somewhere off screen all of these people have been trying to figure out how to communicate with the aliens. When I saw the first commercials I imagined the screenwriters watching that scene and saying "Hey, I wonder what the story is for those people," and then spinning it from there.
dv
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Finally saw Star Trek Beyond and WarCraft.

Both of them were fine popcorn movies. I don't really understand why Warcraft got so much hate.

Star Trek tried a little harder to be Star Trek this time around, I think. There was at least an aesop, even if they avoided getting too think-ey.
Donkey Butter jerk face
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Earth to Echo. and my kids loved it. It was a fun story and my kids (age 6 and 7) were both super in to it.
TOS
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eye in the sky

a very intense, really watchable look at drone warfare

i suspect it's 100% fantasy, with the real version skipping over the moral qualms
Doctor Strange was a great popcorn flick. Not the best Marvel flick, but certainly not the worst. Next up: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them next Thursday.
Westworld (1973).

I had mentioned in my initial review of the HBO "Westworld" series that I had a something of fond remembrance of the original movie, so when SciFy Channel ran the movie recently I DVRed it to take what is literally my second look at the movie.

Frankly the movie is abyssmal.

It begins with what is essentially an infomercial in the form of a TV news report--though remember: this was in 1973--for Delos, the corporation that runs Westworld (which is the name of corporation in the HBO series though hardly as prominent). It shows that the themeparks run by Delos are the separate (but only by short bits of terrain) parks of "Medievalworld", [ancient] "Romeworld" and "Westworld". While the parts of the ad news report about the other two worlds somewhat emphasize the purely fantasy element of "re-living" those past times, the section on Romeworld directly plays on its adult possibilities, so even excluding the expense of $1000 per day the entire park is clearly a themepark ONLY for adults, no kids allowed even as support characters in any of these parks.

Richard Benjamin plays Peter Martin--a recent divorcee who is also a lawyer from Chicago--who is persuaded to join his best pal John Blane (James Brolin) who is on his umpteenth trip to Westworld. Peter plays the foil that allows John to explain how some of the mechanics within Westworld works, like how there is a infrared sensor inside the guns of Westworld which prevents them from firing upon living beings (though this gets simply ignored for the second half of the movie except being generally explained as part of the malfunctioning mainframe). Peter is immediately insulted at the saloon they go to by the Gunslinger (Yul Brenner) which gives Peter the opportunity of shooting the Gunslinger. That evening both Peter and John go down the street to the brothel where the viewer is treated to a lot of back shots (not even any side boob, though this was on Sci Fy so maybe such was excised) as Peter rather wrassles with his whore/robot in her bed.

There is a later scene at the brothel where a bar fight is staged started by some of the robots as instigated by their controllers. This illustrates the--let me call it--holodeck problem because while Peter and John are inside that bar there are also other guests of the park in that bar so what exactly prevents one guest from tossing another to his death off the second story balcony to the bar floor below? For that matter, what computer controls would limit injuries or even death to a guest from a sword or spear in Medievalworld or Romeworld? I suppose that if a guest wanted to "push" it, he could just simply stand there not offering any active defense forcing a robot to insult the guest until that guest finally broke.

There are, of course, computer problems at Delos (hey, it IS a Crichton flick). While there have been "expected" glitches in the system, more recently there had been an increasing number of other more substantial problems where the robots are acting in unexpected ways. When Peter and John have ridden out of town to hide out temporarily from the law for shooting the Gunslinger a second time (which lawyer Peter unsuccessfully explains to the robot sheriff as "justifiable homicide"), they are confronted by a robot rattlesnake which rattles ominously at them and then strikes John near his elbow. They are rather confused because John apparently had gotten himself in a similar situation during a previous trip to Westworld but he successfully shot the snake before it could strike so he wonders if somehow a real rattler had gotten into the park. There are further disturbances such as one of the guests in Medievalworld has his advances on a pretty serving wench/robot openly refused by a slap to his face.

During one of these scenes with the chief computer programmers at Delos one of them introduces the idea that there may be some sort of computer disease which is spreading between the robots given that the problems seemed to have begun in Medievalworld and spread from there, but this is laughed off by the head programmer. While it is entirely possible that Crichton may have read the paper written by the computer world legend John von Neumann in 1949 which first proposed this idea or that Crichton might have come up with it himself, the reason why the phrase "computer virus" wasn't used was that that term was first coined some 13 years in the future of this movie. Exactly what had gone wrong in Delos should be explained as Crichton's general technophobia that ANYTHING technological will eventually go "bad" regardless of any reasons.

The last THIRD of the movie begins with Peter and John making their way back from the brothel the morning after that bar fight to their hotel when they are confronted by the Gunslinger for a third time. Peter lets John have a chance to gun down the Gunslinger but instead is killed by him. The movie displays the rather classic problem of a panicked running man chased by his pursuing enemy who somehow keeps up despite his relentless but relatively slow walking pace. That's right: the last third of the movie is basically a chase.

After the second confrontation with the Gunslinger, the tech repairing the Gunslinger is told to replace his visual system with an improved infrared tracker which is something of the explanation of how the Gunslinger is able to track Peter despite him getting on a horse and riding away, BUT, um, ALL of the horses in Westworld are robots, so even if we somehow allow the Gunslinger to track the warmed hoofprints of Peter's GALLOPING horse, why are its hoofprints warm?

During that pursuit all havoc has broken out all over Delos with guests being murdered by robots. As a last ditch effort, the head controller in the Delos control room orders all of the power to be shut down which will allow the various robots of Delos to eventually shut down as they run out of power but I guess the Gunslinger also got an extra power booster that allows him to chase after Peter long after the parks have powered down. Oh, that loss of power also cut power to the air conditioning and to the locked and now sealed doors of the computer control room so all of those techs in there are doomed.

Peter manages to ride to the edge of Romeworld and somewhat inexplicably leaves his horse there (perhaps there was some explanation on the cutting room floor saying that robots are restricted to their own worlds but this would conflict with the Gunslinger continuing to operate through the other Delos worlds). While observing the carnage in the form of dead guests caused by the now-inoperative robots, he finds a rather incongruous access point to the underground of Delos. After getting somewhat lost, Peter finds one of the robot repair rooms and comes across several bottles of various acids. During his being pursued Peter come across one of Delos' techs trying to replace the flat tire of his repair vehicle (and is subsequently shot and killed by the Gunslinger) who rather conveniently tells Peter that one way that he could start disabling any of the robots would be to toss acid at their eyes. Upon hearing the pronounced footsteps of the Gunslinger approaching the lab (wait: the viewer knows about that distinct pace because of previous scenes, but how would Peter know this?), Peter devises a plan: he would lie still on of the empty gurneys with one of those bottles of acid in hand. The Gunslinger--using its infrared vision--instantly spots Peter glowing brightly against the room temperature background and kills him. Of course not: Peter's plan works which confuses the Gunslinger long enough for Peter to get away to Medievalworld.

One thing that Crichton did get right was that by this time the Gunslinger had run out of bullets for his gun and rifle so presumably it will kill Peter by manual means.

In Medievalworld Peter encounters his first robots which have run out of power (perhaps there were some in Romeworld but they were less obvious). The large hall he is in is lined by burning sconces, so when the Gunslinger gets into that hall its damaged vision is confused by those sconces and cannot track Peter easily when he near one of them. Perhaps there is also on the cutting room floor an explanation of how the cotton of the Gunslinger's apparel was partially covered by the nitric acid that Peter had thrown at the Gunslinger and that the chemical combination would have made that clothing especially flammable. Maybe, but Peter thrusts one of the sconces at the Gunslinger and he turns into a version of the Human Torch.

Peter is given one more scene to redeem humanity. He hears a weak female voice saying "Please help me" which leads him to the castle's dungeon. There he finds a young woman strapped by her wrists to each of two posts so he gallantly unstraps her and carries her to a bench. Looking around he spots a water barrel and a convenient laddle on its side, so he grabs that to offer some water to distressed woman who begins to insist that she can't have any water. When Peter persists, he is shocked in both senses when the "woman" shorts out. So think about that: some guest was getting his/her jollies by torturing a robot?

And hang on: didn't we earlier see during the brothel/bar fight the madam/robot of that brothel slugging down a drink from a whiskey bottle? Perhaps only some robots can drink?

Last and least: as Peter leaves the dungeon looking back at the malfunctioning robot, on the stairs he bumps into walking burned corpse of the Gunslinger which is somehow pursuing Peter. Horrified, Peter pushes the Gunslinger off the stairs where he finally shorts out.

And the movie ends with the viewer watching Peter as he collapses on those stairs looking back at those robots as some of the opening narrative from that news report echoes.
user Stupid cockwomble
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I mostly recall how much umpteen thousand dollars it took to make the robot visual effect.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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I preferred Futureworld.
TOS
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what they never explained in the original westworld was where the computer virus came from ... was it some bit of code that "mutated?" was it something malicious? it always puzzled me

however no matter what i thought the flick was super cool ... it was a rare intersection of my sci-fi geekiness and my history geekiness
user Stupid cockwomble
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I don't think it was a virus - this was way before such things. It was really just "progress be bad" from Crichton.
dv
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Emergent behavior is scary!
user posted:
I don't think it was a virus - this was way before such things. It was really just "progress be bad" from Crichton.

DEyncourt posted:
[snip]
During one of these scenes with the chief computer programmers at Delos one of them introduces the idea that there may be some sort of computer disease which is spreading between the robots given that the problems seemed to have begun in Medievalworld and spread from there, but this is laughed off by the head programmer. While it is entirely possible that Crichton may have read the paper written by the computer world legend John von Neumann in 1949 which first proposed this idea or that Crichton might have come up with it himself, the reason why the phrase "computer virus" wasn't used was that that term was first coined some 13 years in the future of this movie. Exactly what had gone wrong in Delos should be explained as Crichton's general technophobia that ANYTHING technological will eventually go "bad" regardless of any reasons.
[snip, second and third bold added]

user Stupid cockwomble
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TOS
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i'm pretty sure the movie showed a virus being transmitted between bots
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Crichton wasn't as anti-technology as people believe. Most of the stories weren't so much about the systems failing as much as the were about the people who created them failing. That is why his stories managed to rise above the fray - they were about the people, not the technology, for the most part. He assumed that we would either become arrogant and/or complacent, or naively blunder beyond our competence, and allow our own creations to bring us down.
user Stupid cockwomble
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TOS posted:
i'm pretty sure the movie showed a virus being transmitted between bots

Yul never would wear a rubber.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Gunga Din (1939), Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Sam Jaffe. Adventure story of British and Scottish soldiers and their titular local water carrier in colonial British India in deadly confrontation with a secret army of thuggees bent on conquest.

This is the movie that inspired Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, loosely based on the historical events of William Sleeman's drive to eradicate the thuggee secret criminal society from India, including an assault against a fortress defended by cannons. Also loosely based on the Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name, but only in relation to the character of the Indian water bearer who bravely faces danger in service of the military men who regularly belittle him.

The thuggees are a fascinating and horrifying anthropological example of the lengths humans will go to to justify evil, born from the desperation of collapsed empire, poverty, and starvation in a caste society of religious idealists who considered the poor to be facing their own karma (and therefore undeserving of assistance?). It could be said that the thuggee were indeed karma for a nation who choose such a path, as if you are left to die like an animal by the people of your world, isn't it your natural right to then hunt them down like animals for your own survival?

Well no, from a spiritual perspective, I don't really think so, but I can certainly understand the motivation. Of course, nobody really thinks of themselves or wants to be the bad guy, so the thuggee are also responsible for defaming the name of the goddess Kali throughout the Western world, which would be similar to comparing all Christians to Jim Jones and the People's Temple. It's easy to see why they would choose Kali, the dark face of God's wrath and retribution against injustice, as their totem--a God that grants liberation and the strength to overcome any obstacle...and who's bloodthirsty symbolism fed into their heretical reinterpretation. However, it should be pointed out that they were not a branch of any official religion nor do the Kalika Purana or any Hindu text grant any such rights or encouragement. The thuggee were an example of societal illness on a massive scale, who killed all travelers, native or foreign, rich or poor, regardless of caste, religion, or occupation, save only their fellow members...and they insinuated themselves virtually undetected in society for 600 years. Eradicating the thuggee was probably the greatest of whatever few blessings the British presence brought.

As for this movie...well, it takes it's fairly heavy historical source and turns it into cheeseball comic romp. I'd say it's mostly enjoyable fun, except for the fact that the Gunga Din character is so racist in the still-present British colonial patriarchal view...i.e. the rest of the world is a bunch of illiterate heathens, and Gunga Din is portrayed as a simpleton who dreams of being an honored soldier in The Queen's Army (which also kind of makes him a traitor to his own people). There is one great line where the thuggee leader points out that India was an advanced and powerful civilization when the British Islanders were still painting themselves blue and living in caves.

Ah well, it's interesting and amusing from an historical perspective. The cinematography is pretty amazing for the time.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Doctor Strange

One of the greatest comics and characters of all time, by the master Steve Ditko, co-creator and artist of Spider-Man fame. People used to take acid and read these comics (well, my mom did)...and I certainly recommend the same for this movie...a lot of the effects are simply mindbending.

OK, is it actually any good? I'mma say yes, it does a pretty good job of capturing what made Doctor Strange different from all other superhero comics. To be hyper-critical, it still follows the fairly predictable Marvel action-fantasy formula which we've all seen dozen's of time by now...but the visual uniqueness keeps it from feeling too stale. Cumberbatch is perfect in the role, and neither the blackwashing of Baron Mordo or, uhm, womanwashing of The Ancient One has any harmful effect on the characters or the film. In fact, Tilda Swinton makes an utterly mesmerizing Ancient One. Otherwise, this is one of the most faithful comic adaptations and even manages to make other dimensions look like Steve Ditko's insane artwork. In 3D.

To be more critical, I could say that there is an endless source of real world mythology that could be drawn upon to tell stories, but Doctor Strange opts for a fairly generic and over-the-top vaguely Eastern "magic," possibly to avoid offending anybody's real religion. In fairness, the comic book was mostly the same way.

So, yeah. Thumbs up. Also, this is one where the 3D really makes a difference.
TOS
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Metacell posted:
Doctor Strange

One of the greatest comics and characters of all time, by the master Steve Ditko, co-creator and artist of Spider-Man fame. People used to take acid and read these comics (well, my mom did)...and I certainly recommend the same for this movie...a lot of the effects are simply mindbending.

OK, is it actually any good? I'mma say yes, it does a pretty good job of capturing what made Doctor Strange different from all other superhero comics. To be hyper-critical, it still follows the fairly predictable Marvel action-fantasy formula which we've all seen dozen's of time by now...but the visual uniqueness keeps it from feeling too stale. Cumberbatch is perfect in the role, and neither the blackwashing of Baron Mordo or, uhm, womanwashing of The Ancient One has any harmful effect on the characters or the film. In fact, Tilda Swinton makes an utterly mesmerizing Ancient One. Otherwise, this is one of the most faithful comic adaptations and even manages to make other dimensions look like Steve Ditko's insane artwork. In 3D.

To be more critical, I could say that there is an endless source of real world mythology that could be drawn upon to tell stories, but Doctor Strange opts for a fairly generic and over-the-top vaguely Eastern "magic," possibly to avoid offending anybody's real religion. In fairness, the comic book was mostly the same way.

So, yeah. Thumbs up. Also, this is one where the 3D really makes a difference.


perfect market for a new and growing market: china

skillfully walks the line between being marketable to the audience while not offending the authorities
Vulture 420
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Ouija Origin Of Evil, was actually good for a horror movie these days where most are horrible; this is a sequel or prequel but the first Ouija movie is unwatchable. If you know anybody who actually has Ouija phobia, this is a good movie to tease them with.
Donkey Butter jerk face
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Swiss Army Man - If you haven't watched this you should.

I don't know if I would call it a good movie or a bad movie but I was entertained the whole way through. Though most of the time I was just thinking WTF! hahahahah
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Vulture posted:
Ouija Origin Of Evil, was actually good for a horror movie these days where most are horrible; this is a sequel or prequel but the first Ouija movie is unwatchable. If you know anybody who actually has Ouija phobia, this is a good movie to tease them with.

The only board game I'm afraid of is Monopoly. I'm afraid I'll be playing one game of that boring human waste for HOURS.
user Stupid cockwomble
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You must always end up with Atlantic Ave.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

A great romp in the Potterverse. Some nice fan service combined with great acting all around. Great effects on the various fantastic beasts, and oh man do I wish I had Newts suitcase!

This is apparently the first part of five, and I can't wait to see who they get to play young(er) Dumbledore.
user Stupid cockwomble
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Watching Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation now.

Throughout the last half of the movie I've been yelling at the TV "It's NOT a DISC, it's a DRIVE".

What a stupid thing for them to do.
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user posted:
Watching Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation now.

Throughout the last half of the movie I've been yelling at the TV "It's NOT a DISC, it's a DRIVE".

What a stupid thing for them to do.

Rouge? :heh:
user Stupid cockwomble
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Tom Cruise: The Gay Blade
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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War Dogs. Good flick.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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I saw Dr. Strange last night, and I have to agree with Warin. It was a fun romp, and definitely a good popcorn movie, but it was pretty obvious how it was going to go down early on. Not a bad film, but I kind of wished I had pushed harder to see Arrival.
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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Saw Arrival last week. It was neat.

Gonna see Dr. Strange today.


edit: Dr. Strange was delightfully trippy. It was true to the genre while still a slight departure from the usual smash stuff up Marvel action crapshow. I just wish more attention was paid to developing the villain's story. It was pretty thin.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

Man, what a mess.

Now, I GENERALLY liked the overall story: the idea that (A)Lex(ander) Luthor--who I guess is the son of his now-deceased multibillionaire father who was the contemporary of Clark Kent (maybe one of the other Superman movies covers this? I don't know, having missed them)--would take advantage of the emotional weaknesses of Superman against Batman PLUS generating xenophobia against Superman actually makes a lot of sense. As far as that went a thumb-up from me.

But other screwy plot lines--Clark Kent's reportage to denigrate Batman's vigilantism, the former employee of Wayne Industries somehow sneaking in a huge bomb into a Senate hearing, the use by Luthor of the computer aboard the Kryptonian ship to essentially (re-)create life--these were just awful. And the glaring plot holes such as the inconsistent effects of kryptonite upon Superman--Batman "weaponizes" some kryptonite by changing it into a gas form which he uses to "depower" Superman temporarily, but Superman is able to pick up the spear with a forearm-sized chunk of kryptonite as its spearpoint and fly? And Lois Lane's attempt to be rid of that spear by dropping it into the water under a dock but then turns around and tries to recover it without ever being told by anyone that the spear is needed? Just bad scriptwriting.

And how about that inexplicable appearance by Wonder Woman? Just what ARE her powers? In previous incarnations I would have said she had just superhuman strength and reaction times (because of her bracelets) and was a demi-god like Hercules (the mythic character, not any TV interpretations), but in this movie during the final battle she is approaching overall god-like powers because she didn't even flinch at some actions that knocked even Superman back, in particular their reactions to Kryptonian heat vision. May as well call her Superwoman WITHOUT the weakness with kryptonite.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Why would you call her Superwoman when her name's already Wonder Woman?
DEyncourt posted:
[snip]
May as well call her Superwoman WITHOUT the weakness with kryptonite.

Boeing (707), Boeing (707) (1965)

Tony Curtis is a philandering American reporter in Paris engaged to three stewardesses who share his apartment without each knowing of the other. Jerry Lewis is his co-worker/rival whose presence throws a monkey wrench into the carefully laid plans.

First time I saw it I thought it was pretty bad but on second viewing it's ok. Jerry Lewis is quite restrained.
TOS
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llllaaaaddddyyyyyyy

:: trips and falls ::
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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DEyncourt posted:
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).

Man, what a mess.


Yeah, that was a mess. The last third was just a bunch of smash-em-up blah blah blah. That formula is getting old.

I swear Batman is getting less creative in his older years. He weaponizes kryptonite but still tries to defeat Superman using fisticuffs. What, no kryptonite knuckles? How about a kryptonite chainsaw? You suck, Batfleck.

And then the whole, "What, your mom's name is Martha, too?" Dude, you're not brothers. Kill this alien stick fiddler, already.
TOS
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yeah that martha bit was unbelievable, i couldn't beleive they used it ... like the director, producer, tons of people, all read that in the script and were like, "yeah, that's fine, let's keep that in"
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Ribtor posted:
Boeing (707), Boeing (707) (1965)

Tony Curtis is a philandering American reporter in Paris engaged to three stewardesses who share his apartment without each knowing of the other. Jerry Lewis is his co-worker/rival whose presence throws a monkey wrench into the carefully laid plans.

First time I saw it I thought it was pretty bad but on second viewing it's ok. Jerry Lewis is quite restrained.

Our local theater company did that play last season. I didn't see it. :(
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What was the last movie you saw?

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