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  #1961 (permalink)  
Old 5th July, 2015, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Regarding "The Hobbit", I recommend the Tolkien book -- superb!
If you haven't read "The Lord of the Rings" series, you should. "The Hobbit" is a microcosm of the larger story that takes place there. Also, "The Silmarillion" is the history of the First Age, how Morgoth was defeated, and the rise of Sauron. It's well worth reading.
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  #1962 (permalink)  
Old 5th July, 2015, 03:43 AM
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Almost certain I read "The Silmarillion," but maybe not in proper chronological order.

"The Hobbit" plus the saga it introduces make fine reading, I greatly enjoyed them as a youngster. I thought I was old and all grown up as a freshman in college. It is to laugh.

JRR Tolkien wanted his great story broken into pieces much differently than the publisher actually did. It most likely would have been better as the author wanted it, can't say for certain.
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  #1963 (permalink)  
Old 6th July, 2015, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
If you haven't read "The Lord of the Rings" series, you should. "The Hobbit" is a microcosm of the larger story that takes place there. Also, "The Silmarillion" is the history of the First Age, how Morgoth was defeated, and the rise of Sauron. It's well worth reading.
Have read the trilogy at least three times, first in college. Got new copies in 2008 (lent previous out and never received them back). Read "The Hobbit" later and now up to three I expect on that as well. They're wonderfully well written, but although I have "The Silmarillion", I've never cracked the cover. Peter Jackson says parts of it were integrated into his Hobbit trilogy, and I can believe it since there's clearly material present that isn't in the book.

However, he also deleted things that worked very well in the book. I feel he made a real mess of the "burglary" of Smaug's Lair and the aftermath, too much emphasis on fill-in action and too little attention to Tolkein's story. I'll revisit the films (didn't finish the second and have yet to start the third), but I suspect I might more enjoy anther read of the book!
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  #1964 (permalink)  
Old 6th July, 2015, 05:05 AM
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I actually read "The Hobbit" first, fortunately. You're right, Peter Jackson slumgullioned the hell out of the original story. "Smaug" is a scarier character in the books, and Sauron is terrifying. I think Jackson did a fantastic job of bringing ""the story"" visually to film. But I doubt he understands the saga AS WRITTEN. In fact, I'd bet on it. He's fuzzed the crap out of it for me, welcome to fuzzy movieland. Perhaps I should re-read the masterpiece in proper order? We'll see, I have "Lab 257" (about the terribly and dangerously mis-managed gummint lab of horrific diseases in Long Island Sound) which is barely started, "Kill Everything That Moves," by Nick Turse, "Classified Woman," (The Sibel Edmonds Story) and "The CIA Doctors" by Colin M Ross, MD on hand, plus a lot of other un-cracked books. Sheeite, I better start taking advantage of all the sunlight we have! But it's monstrously hot in Seattle, and will be for at least another week, cooling all enthusiasm.
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  #1965 (permalink)  
Old 6th July, 2015, 07:31 AM
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I suspect Peter Jackson has gone hopelessly Hollywood, totally discarding his roots -- "Dead-Alive"(1992). However, sounds like you have a series of books/films that are yet to be fully appreciated! Will sniff around and hopefully find something interesting! Many thanks!

PS. Has anyone given consideration to the denouement of "The Return of the King"? Peter Jackson ignores it and appears to me so does everybody else! The tale of Frodo's return to the Shire and the ensuing exodus of Elvin kind (and Frodo) is a real part of "The Lord Of the Rings" (the history of Middle Earth). Why is it universally ignored?
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  #1966 (permalink)  
Old 7th July, 2015, 04:47 AM
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I have no idea why Mr Jackson ignored "The Return of the King," I certainly didn't and don't know how a reader possibly could. I read the Trilogy in proper order and imagine more people than not did also. Ah, in the days that man read he was wiser than the pixel dancing followers of today, with their six second attention spans. Sure makes dragging us through the gates of hell much easier for the powers that be. I still have one hand hanging on to the gate, it's cooler out there!
Well, it's 85F and destined to remain that bad for the next ten days, after being seriously and unseasonably hot for the last fifteen days. Glad that Global Warming is a figment of my left wing imagination! Hardly any snow in the mountains, the water supply is being rationed to the farmers in the hotter interior of the state. Thank you Massa's Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama.

Yes, Obama joined the whip-snapping serious Massa list years ago. The clergy in the church where he sang "Amazing Grace" were noticeably embarrassed by his presence.

I'll put "Dead-Alive ('92) on my Netflix list.
I saw "Kill the Messenger" (2014) early this morning. It doesn't quite cover the book from "cover to cover" yet it's worth the effort, as few will read the book. I read it and a goodly amount of other material about that worst of all scandals. The film was made in Hungary and tptb did a good job of keeping it out of theaters. They also destroyed the author, completely and devastatingly, leading to his suicide about seven years after receiving the Pullitzer for his earthshaking original story. Major media became solely and strictly cheerleaders for the powers that be after Gary Webb's story struck the fear of God into Reagan & company.

Real muckraking requires balls of the finest Inconel 440 stainless alloy nowadays, very few do it, the penalties from an unjust government and its blind supporters in the press and other media are severe and as tall as mountains. Not the Adirondacks, Mt Whitney. Evil doers much prefer the dark, the truth is beyond anathema to them.

I know, complain, complain, complain. Me so bad.
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  #1967 (permalink)  
Old 8th July, 2015, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Have read the trilogy at least three times, first in college. Got new copies in 2008 (lent previous out and never received them back). Read "The Hobbit" later and now up to three I expect on that as well. They're wonderfully well written, but although I have "The Silmarillion", I've never cracked the cover. Peter Jackson says parts of it were integrated into his Hobbit trilogy, and I can believe it since there's clearly material present that isn't in the book.

However, he also deleted things that worked very well in the book. I feel he made a real mess of the "burglary" of Smaug's Lair and the aftermath, too much emphasis on fill-in action and too little attention to Tolkein's story. I'll revisit the films (didn't finish the second and have yet to start the third), but I suspect I might more enjoy anther read of the book!
'The Hobbit' parts 2 and 3:
sneaking
Dragon roar "Where are you?!"
more sneaking
Dragon roar, village on fire, people screaming
more sneaking
Dragon roar, hero kills dragon, people rejoice
more sneaking
people attack dwarves
more fighting
elves attack dwarves
still more fighting
dwarf reinforcements arrive
continuing fighting
orcs and wargs arrive
still with the fighting
bad guys defeated, good guys badly injured, much crying and rejoicing, roll credits.

The 2nd and 3rd movies really were dreadfully thin on anything amounting to a real dialog. The whole Tauriel (Who?) and Kili romance angle (Really? We just HAD to do this?) was a complete fabrication from the books.

Last edited by Gizmo; 8th July, 2015 at 07:43 PM.
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  #1968 (permalink)  
Old 8th July, 2015, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloasters View Post
Real muckraking requires balls of the finest Inconel 440 stainless alloy nowadays, very few do it, the penalties from an unjust government and its blind supporters in the press and other media are severe and as tall as mountains. Not the Adirondacks, Mt Whitney. Evil doers much prefer the dark, the truth is beyond anathema to them.

I know, complain, complain, complain. Me so bad.
What's distressing is that to get actual NEWS, you pretty much have to go outside the US. I find even the BBC's news coverage of our activities to be more accurate that what I get from the likes of CNN or MSNBC. And while I like Fox's "We report, you decide" idea, the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Stories that treat werewolves as real phenomena have to make one question their acquaintance with the truth, which (silly me) was what I thought the point of the news WAS.

Used to be there were actual STANDARDS to news reporting. Now it seems like everyone is trying to 'out National Enquirer' the other.
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  #1969 (permalink)  
Old 9th July, 2015, 05:41 AM
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Were there any "standards" in major media they'd inform us that the people who rule us are psychopaths plus people who kiss their posteriors. Obama and his minions all failed to attend unbiased modern history classes, not to mention intelligent foreign policy classes in university and beyond. They are ignorant of reality as seen by realists and much worse, proud of it. My God, we are in severe trouble because of these narrow minded, no, NO minded neo-conservative it must be said, monsters.

Am I biased? Yes, in their excuses for eyes. But they are blinded by the thick padding of their own deeply encrusted bull excrement--which they refuse to acknowledge is blocking their sight.

Insisting that we remain the world's super-power is laughably insane. Actually trying to pick a fight with Russia is true madness, guess what? Neither of our country's will win WWIII and we'll finish off all life on the planet by taking on Russia. Or China for that matter.

The BBC won't say this because the miserable inhumane excuses for leaders in the UK know full well that they have no defense of their own against destruction in a few minutes by Russia. What choice have they but to kiss Washington DC's butt? The Western World must bow to Obama because they're terrified of the wrath of The American Horror Machine. President Obama is a venal fool with no foreign policy savvy, playing it "by ear" and allowing us to be pushed into extremely perilous conflicts with China and Russia. Both of those nations have no desire whatsoever to engage us and our NATO fools in anything approaching armed confrontations.

Our sub-idiotic major media repeat with stenographic like precision everything the government tells them to, it's that simple. No truth whatsoever escapes the lips of the powers that be. None.
Pro war propaganda exclusively, thank you to The New York Times, the Washington Post and EVERY other sizeable "news" outlet from coast to coast. Radio and tv news? Please don't waste my time.

The truth is is that politicians are nearing powerlessness. It's close to being a Western World plus other idiots (viz the TPP) Corporatocracy and corporations are well known for their VERY narrow interests. Essentially take everything, including the lives of the powerless peoples of the Earth and give NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING to the peasants for the last drop of blood they squeeze from us. This is now "The Code of the West." Simply put, the Trans Pacific Partnership isn't much of a genuine trade agreement. It is a flat out nailing of the FINAL nail into the coffin of Democracy. Corporatocracy's rule ascends over all of us. Have a look at the few published pieces of on Wikileaks.
Horrific!

Thank God that a few leaders of countries not under the complete sway of The West are resisting! China is still very inscrutable, but their Communist/Capitalist government is making slow strides in the direction of freedom for the little guy. A story NOT much told by Western media.

Putin is a GREAT statesman. He's not perfect, Russia has a long way to go in favor of the man in the street, yet he is a statesman in the true sense of the word. I suggest discounting all stories about him in major media.

The truth is that he's bending over backward in favor of peace. Russia has NO troops in Eastern Ukraine, The powerful neo-Nazi components (armed and trained with your tax dollars) of Ukraine's armed forces constantly break the Minsk-II agreement and bombard civilians in so-called Novorussia.
The Minsk agreements furthering peace were ignored by the US and furthered and signed by Putin. And were signed, then ignored by Ukraine.

Did you know that Muammar Gaddafi was in actuality almost a saint among men? Libya had an extremely high standard of living, the little guy was far better off than his opposite member in the USA today. Free fantastic health care (they would fly you to anywhere needed to do procedures, for free, along with a companion) fifty thousand dollars to every newly married couple in aid of building their first house.

But Gaddafi dared challenge Western Banking and hegemony by starting a Pan-African currency in gold. The bahstage! Send in mercenaries by the hundreds of thousands, including Blackwater, bomb 'em back to the stone age.

And Mr Gaddafi had NOTHING to do with Lockerbie and the blown up nightclub in Berlin. CIA, our constructive friends. He paid the fine solely to make the West drop trade restrictions against Libya.

Our media lies about everything. Putin aggressive in Ukraine? Gaddafi one evil sone a beetch. ALL lies.
The media lies about the freely and democratically elected president of Syria. The media forgets to inform us that WE actively support ISIL/ISIS in some cases. And that they were created by our mis-shapen foreign policy.

Apologies, but the bald faced lying goes on and on and will continue. Yay, hooray.
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  #1970 (permalink)  
Old 9th July, 2015, 05:57 AM
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Never liked the Orcs, in print or on film. Because of his rape of the real printed saga Mr Jackson deserves to be unheard from, especially on film. Eight years enough punishment?
We should be so lucky.
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  #1971 (permalink)  
Old 9th July, 2015, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
'The Hobbit' parts 2 and 3:
sneaking
Dragon roar "Where are you?!"
more sneaking
Dragon roar, village on fire, people screaming
more sneaking
Dragon roar, hero kills dragon, people rejoice
more sneaking
people attack dwarves
more fighting
elves attack dwarves
still more fighting
dwarf reinforcements arrive
continuing fighting
orcs and wargs arrive
still with the fighting
bad guys defeated, good guys badly injured, much crying and rejoicing, roll credits.

The 2nd and 3rd movies really were dreadfully thin on anything amounting to a real dialog. The whole Tauriel (Who?) and Kili romance angle (Really? We just HAD to do this?) was a complete fabrication from the books.
In light of which, I'm probably best off rereading "The Hobbit". I found the romance angle interesting, but the story was still drawn out, including the barrel chase down the river. I understand Jackson first went for two films, and then argued for a trilogy. Seems to me he did "The Hobbit" no favors (though no doubt the short attention span action junkies are happy -- I've seen their praise). Hard to believe great literature and turn of word/expression was once valued! Today's population seems headed for the absolute lowest common denominator. Classical education, or TV and video games? Sad!

@Cloasters, I'm choosing to ignore your political commentary, please don't require more of the same -- this has been a good thread on better quality entertainment! I'd prefer to preserve it along those lines, if we can !
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  #1972 (permalink)  
Old 10th July, 2015, 03:21 AM
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Yay!!! My 40 DVD "Combat" TV series has arrived -- expect to start transferring to disc tonight. Been enjoying a single season nugget the last few days, "The Time Tunnel"(1966), an Irwin Allen creation. Also looking into "Blakes 7"(1978-1981), a popular Brit effort!
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  #1973 (permalink)  
Old 10th July, 2015, 05:02 AM
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In the interest of returning to the topic of entertainment I'll accede to your comment. I wish it was easier to reveal the horrid truth surrounding us, I apologize for being unable to resist doing so here.

I just lost my recent movie commentary by pressing the wrong keyboard button. Sorry, I'll repeat it when more convenient.
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  #1974 (permalink)  
Old 10th July, 2015, 10:04 AM
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As previously clearly demonstrated, your truth and my truth are very different things. I guess that's the nature of politics. Let's just leave it at that, OK?

Have had some wrestling with my "Combat" disc transfers, but getting there. Am encouraged to find that the script/production quality I remembered seems real and still present. No, the picture quality isn't what is generally delivered today, but back then isn't today, so I guess it can be forgiven. My impression is it's an awesome TV series (no, not apropos for WWI, eastern WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, but that's the nature of armed conflict, it's always different!) This series deals with the European theater and I think it does very well!
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  #1975 (permalink)  
Old 11th July, 2015, 06:49 AM
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We are all doomed sooner than we think, sorry. Allow me to "re-norm" my input to the Thread. Entertainment time!

Sorry to read that you're having trouble transferring the lo-res images from "Combat!" to your chosen medium. The show was nearly revolutionary for its day, in the sense that it ignored the "war, rah, rah, siss boom ba" ethic jammed down our throats by Hollywood.
War is always the same, from long, long before the Peloponnesian Wars to beyond today. Circumstances, land or seascapes, and motives may change. But it's always close to what's revealed in Combat! for those who have to fight in it. Excellent choice!

I suggest not spending anything on "Blake's 7." imdb rates it 8, so maybe I shouldn't be so sure. None of the actors have photos on imdb, so I can't tell the name of the one particularly annoying actor I called "Mr Sneer." That's all he does. I saw quite a few episodes, it has early quality (British) special effects, aka not good enough. And low cost sets. Don't recommend it. As always, ymmv.

Saw two "chick-flicks" recently that I liked a lot. Jennifer Anniston lost the dewy blush of youth, so it's act or disappear. She's getting better at it. "Cake" (2014) had a very unhappy story line but I sat through it mostly painlessly. It is original, afaik, so imdb awarded it a 6.5. I say a 7.0.

"Grace of Monaco" (2014) only gets a 5.6. I admit it's not great, but after realizing that Nicole Kidman is a stunning beauty some years ago I find watching her irresistible. According to the film which claims to "adapt" the true story, seems she almost single handedly saved Monaco from the greedy grasp of France. The royal family (I hate that concept) she married into was truly a mess, the prince was incompetent. Played by Tim Roth (didn't recognize him at first--he has aged) always a very good actor. My family moved to Europe (impossibly far away and irrelevant) from California some eighteen months after Grace Kelly's death. At that point modern European history became very interesting. All I knew at that point in time was that Grace Kelly was as or even more beautiful than Ms Kidman. Ignorable? You're joking!

Saw Nick Cage in "8mm", ("Eight Millimeter") (1999) Monday night, with Joaquin Phoenix, and James Gandolfini as a character so vicious and scummy that he demands killing. Won't spoil it. Only 6.5 from imdb, FAR too low a score, imho. Kept me on the edge of my seat, excellent drama. With perhaps the central premise that young women are worth less than dirt. Mr Cage's character, Tom Welles takes exception to this attitude. Highly recommended.

Saw the last episode of Season One of "sense8" on Netflix early this AM. I recently listened to three critics voice their opinions of it for an hour. They thought that many folks will diss it, nowhere near enough murders, "action" and explosions, plus a plot too intelligent and maybe too far ahead of the comfort zone of "regular" audiences. On the other hand, they had much interesting to say about it, including that it's the best character-driven sci-fi series of movies they've ever seen. Six thumbs up.
BTW, there's plenty of serious "action" in the films. I LOVE the series, it's the most entertaining and ambitious drama I've seen ever on "cable". I will buy it ASAP. Supremely recommended.
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  #1976 (permalink)  
Old 13th July, 2015, 05:00 AM
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Saw "Hostage" (2005), Stonehearst Asylum" (2014) and "Hard Candy" (2005) over the weekend. Lotsa flick weekend, yay.

"Hostage" stars Bruce Willis as yet another tough guy character, attempting to save two kids from the clutches of three young very nasty thugs. The boy and girl's father is a mobbed up accountant, unbeknownst to the kids, the thugs and everyone else early in the film. Mr Willis plays a a small town police chief retired from being a not totally successful hostage negotiator with the LAPD.
Great plot with very skillful execution, I recommend it with two thumbs up.

"Stonehearst Asylum" will probably appeal to period drama fans the most, Kate Beckinsale and David Thewliss act very well in it, Ben Kingsley is superb but Jim Sturgess isn't as dynamic as I'd like as the guy who saves the babe and most everyone else from the clutches of the totally mad Ben Kingsley. The interesting twist in the movie is that the proper doctor in charge of the place who was deposed by Mr Kingsley may be as cruel and less enlightened than the imposter. Recommended for a boring evening.

"Hard Candy" is a shocking film starting Ellen Page who's character in the better known "Juno" was as different as is possible. She is a great actor, I see awards galore in her future. This film is perhaps best seen in the company of a woman who is very, very angry with you? One would hope that her rage would be greatly assuaged by the amazingly frightening (for males) subject matter. If it's not, immediate serious separation from "she who must be obeyed" (one of Rumpole of the Bailey's best tag lines) is imperative. Have a look at this movie if you dare. Two very shaky thumbs up.
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  #1977 (permalink)  
Old 15th July, 2015, 04:30 AM
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Watched "Mr Brooks" (2007) recently. I was fifteen minutes into it before realizing I've seen it once before. This is one hell of a good drama, I willingly sat through it again. I'm ambivalent about Demi Moore yet she did a good job as a believable and obsessed cop who nearly got her man. The Mr Brooks character, played by Kevin Costner--in general I'm not fan, I've avoided most of his films--is that freakin' smart. He MAY receive his just desserts in the end but we can't be sure, he's terrified of his daughter, who murdered folks twice. My only complaint is that the violence was too clean and clinical. It makes a much bigger mark when it's horrible and much more real. You've likely seen it already, apologies. Two upward pointing thumbs.

Saw "Snatch" for the umpteenth time, more laughs than ever.

Watched "Dispatches 06" (2010) again. Never in general release, so you can be spared the truths therein.
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  #1978 (permalink)  
Old 15th July, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Some interesting titles! Bought "Hard Candy" a couple years ago, another that I've never actually watched! Have been watching some "Blakes 7" and am very impressed with the clever ideas and excellent writing, decent acting as well. True, the first season opening seems a tad sophomoric and the budget is limited (witness the synthesized "music"), but I think they overall do very well with it. I think it stands up to comparison with the Start Trek series and actually has more involved story lines.

I've read "Blood Work" by Michael Connelly a couple times and thought I'd give the Eastwood film (2002) a grudging try. To be honest, from reviews, I'm not expecting much (though the book is very good), so I'll let you know how it goes. Just now got it cued up!

Later... Movie was good, seemed to me a decent adaptation of the book. Perhaps the complaint was "insufficient" action? If so, I'd guess the complainers wouldn't have liked the book either. It's a good slow-boil who-dunnit.
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  #1979 (permalink)  
Old 16th July, 2015, 04:41 AM
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I'll grant that "Blakes7" had some interesting writing in some episodes, they tried not to skimp on writing talent. Glad you like it.

"Hard Candy" is one heck of a rough ride, don't expect smooth sailing. "Hard" is abundant, good luck finding any "candy."

I avoid Mr Eastwood's efforts in front of and behind the camera. I have a 25 film compendium and I've watched quite a bit of it. Shame on me! 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.
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Old 16th July, 2015, 07:07 AM
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Yes, "The Ugly" put in a great performance in that film, I think his job was comic relief. Doubt I'll ever forget the battle over the bridge, "The Good"s solution was very sensible. I rather like the earlier two films in the Sergio Leone trilogy as well, "A Fistful of Dollars"(1964) and "For a Few Dollars More"(1965). 'Course, one can't mention these films without also mentioning the legendary Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune!

Some other Eastwood films worth checking out are "Absolute Power"(1997), "Space Cowboys"(2000), "Million Dollar Baby"(2004), "Letters From Iwo Jima"(non actor, 2006) and "Gran Torino"(2008). Two earlier films of his I enjoy are "High Plains Drifter"(1973) and "Pale Rider"(1985), others being "Hang 'em High"(1968), "Two Mules for Sister Sara"(1970), and "Play Misty for Me"(1971). Naturally, there are others!

On the TV series side, a definite is the BBC "Waiting For God" (superb) and given I'm liking "Blakes 7", I've decided to checkout "The Tripods" as well!
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Last edited by TrevorS; 16th July, 2015 at 07:17 AM.
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