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  #1981 (permalink)  
Old 17th July, 2015, 04:24 AM
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"Play Misty for Me" was shocking in the sense that Mr Eastwood left his known screen persona far behind. I liked it a lot! It was a great advance in his directorial career, I heartily approved. I wasn't very enthused about the two "....Dollars..." movies. Yet "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" knocked my socks off. Who knew that parts of Spain were such an arid wasteland?
Ennio Morricone's spare music accompaniment was superb. The film could perhaps be a half an hour shorter, but I'm sure not a director or writer.

I also liked "Absolute Power" a lot. Clint played another ~~ordinary human in that. Very enjoyable.

I know nothing of "Waiting for God" or "The Tripods." "The Tripods" looks to be right up your alley.

Have you seen "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2011)? Might be in a similar vein of "Waiting for God." It was definitely out of the mainstream, but I liked it a lot. Hard to go wrong with Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench.
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  #1982 (permalink)  
Old 20th July, 2015, 05:18 AM
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Ennio Morricone's music seems always a winner, likewise that of Ry Cooder.

"Waiting For God" features superlative imagination, writing and acting. One can't begin to comprehend until one's viewed it! Still, to be sure, 90% of today's audience probably couldn't even begin to appreciate it ! A commentary on today's viewer, not the series.

Haven't watched the suggested film, but will look it up. The performances of Judi Dench together with Geoffrey Palmer were the heart and soul of "As Time Goes By". I strongly suggest this series, a rediscovered love affair, long after the clamor has subsided.

Am finding "The Tripods" an engaging series. I was expecting a Sci-Fy emphasis, but that's actually almost a foot note. The emphasis is very much on people relationships/interactions set in something of a 18th/19th century world. That is to say, a far simpler world than we've grown to know (at least, technologically.)
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  #1983 (permalink)  
Old 21st July, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Truly radically different, I greatly appreciate Ennio Morricone's efforts. I like Ry Cooder a lot, as well.

Sorry, "As Time Goes By" was a noble effort, yet it didn't grab me as strongly as perhaps it should have. Not sure why.
Perhaps Judi Dench is less the usual Ms Dench in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?" It's definitely an out of the mainstream movie, imho. That's why I liked it so much.

If 90% of today's audiences wouldn't appreciate "Waiting for God" I should check into it. Added Season's 1 and 2 to my Netflix queue.

Watched "Dying of the Light" (2014) this weekend. Not a good film, perhaps because Nicolas Cage doesn't play an older, breaking down man well. Shame! Anton Yelchin did his best in the sidekick role but couldn't reach above the star, naturally. I like Mr Yelchin a lot. Best in "Odd Thomas," but I've missed the majority of his films.

Also saw "Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit" (2014), liked it much more than "Dying...". I guess I like Kevin Costner more than I realize. When they were in High School my uncle lived across the road from "Buzz" Pine, Chris Pine's dad and they were close. The son's a better actor than his father, imho.

Not a great weekend at the movies, sigh.
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  #1984 (permalink)  
Old 21st July, 2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Am finding "The Tripods" an engaging series. I was expecting a Sci-Fy emphasis, but that's actually almost a foot note. The emphasis is very much on people relationships/interactions set in something of a 18th/19th century world. That is to say, a far simpler world than we've grown to know (at least, technologically.)
Disappointment, got part way through the second series when I realized I was missing a lot of the story. Turns out only the first two books of John Christopher's trilogy made it to the screen. Seems the third was scripted, but a BBC strike resulted in a choice between cancelling "Dr Who" or "The Tripods", final choice being obvious. Am currently hunting up an audio or ebook version of the third volume -- don't want to miss out. Turns out there was also a prequel written so I plan to check that out as well.

From what I read, the TV series was geared for a slightly older audience than the books and works well for a wider age-range. It appears to me a well crafted and well budgeted effort, such a shame the third series was killed.

PS. The second series contains far more Sci-Fy content than the first and it's well integrated, likewise the effects. A few bits are reminiscent of "War of the Worlds"(1953), but that's a fair homage in my mind.
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  #1985 (permalink)  
Old 23rd July, 2015, 03:15 AM
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I like him best when he plays human beings, but thuggery seems too often to rule his efforts, imo. He is a great director, yet seems to lean too hard to the far right side of the aisle, ymmv. Otoh, I love "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." His character is superb, I seriously think that Eli Wallach deserved a Best Supporting Oscar for his work in it that year, but the critics nearly universally panned it.
Everything has its place, I suppose. Plus, playing a hard-boiled cop doesn't really take a lot of skill. IMO his 'Dirty Harry' and 'Any Which Way' movies were really kind of a divergence for him. TGBU was one of his best westerns, though I thoroughly enjoyed Pale Rider also. For that matter, "Where Eagles Dare" I thought was a decent flick. Yes, Eli Wallach's performance was VASTLY under-rated. The by-play between him and Eastwood was part of what made that movie.

I try not to let politics dictate what I watch or listen to. E.g. I strenuously disagree with Joan Jett's politics, but I love her music. If I want your political views, I'll go to a rally. I'm paying for entertainment; anything else is a breach of contract.
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  #1986 (permalink)  
Old 24th July, 2015, 07:29 AM
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Just watched "Ex Machina". Enjoyed it quite a bit. Curious what you guys think.
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  #1987 (permalink)  
Old 26th July, 2015, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
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Truly radically different, I greatly appreciate Ennio Morricone's efforts. I like Ry Cooder a lot, as well.

Sorry, "As Time Goes By" was a noble effort, yet it didn't grab me as strongly as perhaps it should have. Not sure why.
Perhaps Judi Dench is less the usual Ms Dench in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?" It's definitely an out of the mainstream movie, imho. That's why I liked it so much.
I can understand that -- I find it a bitter-sweet tale of real humanity. I like its warm and compassionate exploration of the characters and relationships. I don't think it's a reach out and grab you type of series, much more gentle than that.
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Disappointment, got part way through the second series when I realized I was missing a lot of the story. Turns out only the first two books of John Christopher's trilogy made it to the screen. Seems the third was scripted, but a BBC strike resulted in a choice between cancelling "Dr Who" or "The Tripods", final choice being obvious. Am currently hunting up an audio or ebook version of the third volume -- don't want to miss out. Turns out there was also a prequel written so I plan to check that out as well.
Had the opportunity to review the second and third books and decided that the TV series can be spliced to the final books to good effect. I dropped the final two episodes of the second series, included the very last chapter (eleven) of the second book, and added book three. I think this maximizes the contribution of the TV show while providing satisfactory overall continuity. Audio book works well for this. A shame the third series got killed.
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Just watched "Ex Machina". Enjoyed it quite a bit. Curious what you guys think.
It's on my list of must view films together with "Luci"(2014) and "Maze Runner"(2014), but don't yet know when I'll get to it. I've been attracted to android associated material since before reading "I, Robot" (Issac Asimov), which I've enjoyed a number of times. Was always a fan of the "B" Sci-Fi movies ! There are other "created woman" films I like such as "Splice"(2009), "Species"(1995) and "Thale"(2012).

Guess one could also throw in "Weird Science"(1985), but that's a teen comedy, sort of a different animal!

PS. Some related films are "Android"(1982) (very underrated IMO), "Blade Runner"(1982), "I, Robot"(2004), and also "Cyborg"(1989).
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  #1988 (permalink)  
Old 27th July, 2015, 04:26 AM
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"Ex Machina" is in my queue from Netflix, glad that you liked it, that's a good sign. All of their sent DVD's have worked fine of late, fingers are crossed.

Haven't had enough time for films lately. Did manage to see "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014) early this morning. I think it's the best "Hobbit" movie of them all. If I understand the plot correctly, Saruman saves the day, this is a surprise, as I thought he was "pure bad." The blurb on Netflix says that Sauron is defeated in this movie, but we sure don't see that happen in a graphic manner, because Saruman is Sauron. What a shame.
I think this is the last of "Hobbitville" we'll see from Peter Jackson, quelle tragique!

Re-watched "Capitalism: A Love Story" (2009) recently. It rates 7.4 from imdb. Hate to be a lonely fan, c'est la vie.
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  #1989 (permalink)  
Old 28th July, 2015, 05:30 AM
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I like "warm and compassionate exploration(s) of characters and relationships." They are so very definitely NOT Hollywood in this wonderful age of exploding wunnerfullness. But there are very, very few upper crust people, and more and more downtrodden people by the day. Their stories are so much more real and relevant, imho. I'm still sometimes greatly amused by the upper class British accents, maybe because I had the great good fortune of pretending I was one of them for two years, even though I was American middle class, at best. I love PG Wodehouse, what can I tell you?

I enjoyed "Blade Runner" muchly, perhaps most because of the very foreign atmosphere that was created "right here in LA." Also, Rutger Hauer was extremely good in it.
I also read "I, robot" many years ago. The movie was OK, hardly great.

Maybe "Vice" (2015) touches on some of the same subjects as "Ex Machina" does? It's also in the "created woman" category, but with a very good twist of its own. It rates a dismal 4.1 at imdb, but I thought it was far better than that early this AM. It's Sci-Fi, fer sure. Bruce Willis is almost the same old Mr Willis, yet the plot addresses situations and things driven by technology that are almost here and now. I liked it quite a bit. One and a half thumb's up.
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  #1990 (permalink)  
Old 30th July, 2015, 05:00 AM
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Thanks for the "Vice" tip, will check it out. A Sci-Fi Bruce Willis flick I think clever (not great) was "Surrogates"(2009). Some people don't care that much for Will Smith, I think his primary claim to fame stems from his "The Fresh Prince of Bel-air" TV days, though I was never interested. My favorite film with him is "Enemy of the State"(1998), Gene Hackman was great! I also like "Men in Black"(1997) with Tommy Lee Jones, "I, Robot" (after getting over the obvious departure from the book, was curious as to how they managed to make a movie of it), and "Independence Day"(1996) with Jeff Goldblum. Was planning to check out "I am Legend"(2007), but haven't got there yet. Not at all excited about his other films ("Wild Wild West", "Bad Boys", other MIB entries, etc.)

(Probably mentioned before, but the absolutely must see "Bad Boys" is Sean Penn's from 1983. Superb!)

Seem to be having a run of bad luck with BBC TV series. Was enjoying "Survivors"(2008), but turns out it too was canceled after the second season. I found it good though and the stopping point is semi-survivable, albeit disappointing. Good production values, good characterization.
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  #1991 (permalink)  
Old 30th July, 2015, 06:17 AM
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Can't recall if I've seen "Surrogates," I think so but Will Smith wasn't in it according to imdb. Rosamund Pike who I really like as well as Helena Mattson (a Swedish knockout) were in it, so maybe I didn't see it. I too hated "The Fresh Prince...," but greatly enjoy Will Smith's performances in the "Men in Black" series. I think the second flick wasn't so hot, but one and three rock. "I am Legend" is a must-see, imho. "Independence Day" was great in the theater, but lost appeal over time. Oops, forgot "Enemy of the State," two thumbs up.

I bought "Ex Machina" (2015), "Woman in Gold" (2015), "Xmen: Days of Future Past" (2014) and "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2015) from Amazon. No I don't love Amazon, they're destroying Seattle among other dastardly deeds.
So far I've seen only "Xmen..." imdb says 8.1, I say 6.8, it just ain't that great, imo. I also received the "Rogue" version. We'll see one of these years.

Thanks for reminding me about "Bad Boys," I'll put it on the Netflix list.

I'm having good luck with two Danish tv series, "Dicte" first season only on Netflix. She's a newspaper reporter who naturally gets into plenty of trouble. I liked it a lot. Now I'm watching "Rita," about an elementary school teacher with a mind of her own. Only prob with them is English subtitles, so you can't turn away from the screen 'cause you become lost. I understand about four words in Danish.
I find Finnish and Norwegian the most confusing Scandinavian languages. Not that I get a word of Icelandic, of course. Finnish is from Mars and I can't tell where words begin and end in Norwegian. It's an interesting world.
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  #1992 (permalink)  
Old 31st July, 2015, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloasters View Post
I enjoyed "Blade Runner" muchly, perhaps most because of the very foreign atmosphere that was created "right here in LA." Also, Rutger Hauer was extremely good in it.
Actually, I liked Sean Young.

Quote:
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I also read "I, robot" many years ago. The movie was OK, hardly great.
They had such great source material, I was really disappointed in what they did with the movie. Not that the movie was bad, but the book was IMO far better (big surprise there).

Haven't seen Vice, I may have to check that out.
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  #1993 (permalink)  
Old 31st July, 2015, 03:22 AM
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Thanks for the "Vice" tip, will check it out. A Sci-Fi Bruce Willis flick I think clever (not great) was "Surrogates"(2009).
Yeah, enjoyed Surrogates, but agree it was mostly just 'ok'.

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My favorite film with him is "Enemy of the State"(1998), Gene Hackman was great! I also like "Men in Black"(1997) with Tommy Lee Jones, "I, Robot" (after getting over the obvious departure from the book, was curious as to how they managed to make a movie of it), and "Independence Day"(1996) with Jeff Goldblum. Was planning to check out "I am Legend"(2007), but haven't got there yet. Not at all excited about his other films ("Wild Wild West", "Bad Boys", other MIB entries, etc.)
I thought the chemistry between Hackman and Smith was very good in "Enemy of the State'. Similar with MIB. MIB II was just hokey with the whole "Light of Zartha" thing, but I enjoyed MIB3.

I thoroughly enjoyed ID. "I Am Legend" I thought was pretty good also.
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  #1994 (permalink)  
Old 31st July, 2015, 03:30 AM
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So far I've seen only "Xmen..." imdb says 8.1, I say 6.8, it just ain't that great, imo. I also received the "Rogue" version. We'll see one of these years.
XMen was OK, but it just felt like the story was forced, like they were trying desperately to rescue a failed franchise, and just missed.

Thanks for reminding me about "Bad Boys," I'll put it on the Netflix list.

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I'm having good luck with two Danish tv series, "Dicte" first season only on Netflix. She's a newspaper reporter who naturally gets into plenty of trouble. I liked it a lot. Now I'm watching "Rita," about an elementary school teacher with a mind of her own. Only prob with them is English subtitles, so you can't turn away from the screen 'cause you become lost. I understand about four words in Danish.
I find Danish to be rather like German, mixed with Swedish and then pureed and served with a little Norse on top.

It's confusing as hell.

I actually like to watch foreign movies with the subtitles. Yeah, it's a b**ch to keep up sometimes, but I'm actually starting to pick up some Japanese, and I've refreshed my (admittedly weak) mandarin by watching some Chinese flicks. (Mostly Hong Kong Chop Suey Kung-Fu, but WTH)
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  #1995 (permalink)  
Old 31st July, 2015, 05:08 AM
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Swedish as printed is somewhat similar to German. As spoken? Heck no, they perform amazing acrobatics with vowels. Printed Swedish was the only thing I "understood" when I visited Finland, and barely at that. Luckily many Europeans and Scandinavians speak English, whew!
"Work" and "Poison" are close to the same in Danish and German, and they've adopted many, many English words and phrases as their own. Not that I know which ones in real time!

It's very cool that you have learned some Japanese as well as Mandarin! Asian languages are a total puzzlement to me, much of the "Viet-Namese" GI's thought they knew was in reality pidgin-Japanese.

Watched "Ex Machina" last night. I can't say anything about it without spoiling it. Suffice to say that it keeps you on the edge of the seat and the ending is totally (at least to me) unexpected and surprising. Yet it's a puzzle if the end can be categorized as "Ex Machina." Highly recommended, it's real deal Sci-Fi.

Spoiler Alert! TrevorS, better to ignore the following paragraph. Spoiler Alert!


"Vice (2015) touches on some of the same subjects but a good deal more lightly. Not exactly, but I'm leaving any explanation out. It's "ha-ha" funny in some spots. In comparison iirc, there's no "ha-ha" to be found in "Ex Machina."
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  #1996 (permalink)  
Old 2nd August, 2015, 04:33 PM
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Watched "Jupiter Ascending"(2015) -- quite a ride! Reminded me of "The Last Star Fighter"(1984), "Dune"(1984), "The Matrix"(1999), and Robert Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children". Will have to watch it at least once more (Matrix took several viewings to fully synch). Love the ending -- I'm thinking it's a keeper, but guess that's just me!

PS. Ran into the actress portraying the Aegis(sp) commander just last week as a gov't minister in "The Survivors"(BBC-2008). Small world!
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  #1997 (permalink)  
Old 3rd August, 2015, 05:55 AM
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"Ran into," does this mean you met her in the flesh? Or did you see her in the BBC series "The Survivors?" If it was a wishful experience it's quite understandable. If you really did meet her you are one clever dog!

I'm glad you really enjoy "Jupiter Ascending," but I give it a lower rating. Why? Why bother to interfere with your day? I was wrong about Noomi Rapace being in it, imdb says she wasn't.

Watched "Woman in Gold" (2015) over the weekend and greatly enjoyed it. Over the years I've found Helen Mirren to be a most excellent actor from "Prime Suspect" (1991 and on) the last two episodes were superb, to today. IMO in "The Queen" (2006) she looked(or perhaps "felt?") more like QE II than the real queen does.
Justice accomplished is always enjoyable, I give "Women in Gold" two thumbs up.

Unfortunately "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (2015) is second in rank behind the first movie. I really like Dames Dench and Smith in it, and I'm a long time fan of Bill Nighy and Celia Imrie. Maggie Smith gets the most on camera time, which is nice. Judi Dench is a supreme actress, Maggie Smith is more in the excellent category. I'm glad Ms Smith has plenty of on screen time, who knows how long she'll be with us?
There is far more colorful spectacle in this film, but the plot doesn't grab you like it does in the "The Best Exotic Marigold..." (2011).
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  #1998 (permalink)  
Old 10th August, 2015, 04:19 AM
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Saw "Salt" (2010) for the fourth or so time early this AM. It's not a perfect movie yet it certainly is an action film from roughly ten minutes into it 'till the end. It's beyond me that we consider truly heroic toughness of characters to be "normal." Where does that leave us normal people? OK for a boring night.

Netflix sent me the first two seasons of "Waiting for God" (1990-1994). The close of (1st season) episode two with the motorcycle cop in the Head Grifter's office is hilarious. I really like this tv show and only have two more episodes remaining in the first season. Thank you for the recommendation!

Have you seen "Kingdom" (2007-2009) starring Stephen Fry, Celia Imrie et al? I found it delightful, three thumb's up.
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  #1999 (permalink)  
Old 28th August, 2015, 03:49 AM
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Caught "Under the Sand" (2000) recently, it stars Charlotte Rampling and the dialogue is in French. Fortunately there is very little dialogue and you can follow the plot by simply watching her actions. I've loved her for decades, yes, I'm a sucker for a pretty face. It's a captivating film featuring zero action. Nice change of pace. One and a half thumbs up.

Saw "City of Lost Children" (1995) another effort from France. Thank goodness you can choose English, because it's difficult to understand the movie, even in English. Definitely different, most assuredly Francais. A young Ron Perlman stars. It gets a 7.7 from imdb, but I recommend it only if you want to see something VERY different.

Sorry, have to recommend the English tv series "Kingdom" again. Personally speaking, it portrays the world as it should be. Something that is difficult to find on the screen.
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  #2000 (permalink)  
Old 31st August, 2015, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloasters View Post
It's beyond me that we consider truly heroic toughness of characters to be "normal." Where does that leave us normal people?
My son and I were discussing this subject the other night, about how unrealistically tough and strong the movie characters are, especially women.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the notion that women can be every bit as tough-minded and capable as men, but we need to face facts: in a physical contest between a man and a woman, the man is far more likely to be the victor. Pound for pound, women are not able to withstand or dish out the physical punishment that men can. The bone structure is not as heavy, the bones themselves are not as dense, and the muscle-mass isn't as great in proportion to the body weight.

That doesn't mean that a woman can't win in a fight with a man, but it DOES mean she's not going to go toe-to-toe with a man and have any reasonable expectation of winning. She has to fight SMARTER.

Then we get to the topic of just pure physical punishment: how many times have you seen the hero get thrown bodily against the corner of a square steel (or concrete) post, get up, and continue the fight?

Really? That dude should have broken his back, or AT LEAST a few ribs, and yet he's fighting like it was just a couple of bruises! The human body IS remarkably tough, but even so there ARE limits.

Or fall 2 stories onto your back on a car, get up and walk away. The movies would have us believe that this sort of thing happens all the time.

Sorry, no. While it IS technically POSSIBLE to survive such a fall and walk away, it's also TECHNICALLY possible that I could step out of my house tomorrow and win the lottery. It's just not terribly likely. What's MORE likely when you fall 2 stories onto your back on top of a car is that you break most of the bones in your body, if not die outright from the impact.

Still, it makes for great movies.
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