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Wow, after reading most of the other reviews, I feel like I watched a different film. It was very well done, although none of the supposed teens seemed to be anywhere near teens in age, the concept of the movie was great. What seemed to be at first just an interesting chat room for kids from the same city to meet, turns into something very different.
Others have criticized almost every part of the film, but I don't see many weaknesses, I was entranced from start to finish.
I don't know how prevalent chat rooms are these days, but if it had been set back in the old AOL days, maybe that could have been more appropriate, but it still works nonetheless.
The Games (1970)
Finally! I got to see this movie again...
I waited 40 years to see The Games. I remember seeing it at the drive-in and I must have been about ten years old. Over the years I thought of it, and when the internet arrived, I summarized the plot on some message board, because I could not remember what it was called. Someone told me the title and I looked for it on DVD. This was probably 6-7 years ago. Every couple years I would look to see if it had been released.
At some point I did a search on TVguide,com and was amazed to see it was scheduled to be on Fox Movie Channel in a couple weeks. I checked my Comcast and it was an available channel, although I didn't have it at that time, but then, I forgot and missed the day it aired.
I checked a few more times and finally it was on again. I called and ordered the channel for one day only, DVRed it and just watched it.
I was afraid it would not hold up, being 40 years old and all, but wow, it really did hold up! Sure there were a few unbelievable plot points, like how a milkman could become a world-class runner so quickly and how people who had only run a couple marathons could be near the top in an Olympic marathon, but there were so many things that were spot-on, regarding race relations, the differences in the 4 different countries represented, and the amazing way they were able to stage the different races and especially the Olympic marathon. And all without CGI I especially liked how the announcers, one played by Rafer Johnson, commented on the progress of the race.
My only memories were of events of the last 20 minutes or so of the movie, the Olympic race itself, so the first 75 minutes were highly entertaining to me, but the dramatic conclusion was also amazing, because I was not sure who had won the race.
For a movie with a major star like Ryan O' Neal and that is that well-done and entertaining, with that big of a budget, to not be on DVD is mysterious and frustrating. But I am glad that I finally got to see it again, it was inspiring!
The Box (2009)
Great Sc-Fi Movie, finally!
I was just thinking a couple weeks ago that it had been years since I had seen a really good science fiction movie. I can't begin to bother with most current CGI crap, that might actually be good because I never see because it is CGIed to death. If Jerry Bruckheimer's name is on it, I refuse to see it, no matter what.
I had put this in my queue a while back, based on the description I read on Netflix, I guess,, but it had been a while, so I pretty much had forgotten what I had read, which I like, because I like to know as little about a film as possible before I watch it. I mean, obviously there must be a box, because that is the title, but I honestly forgot about the million dollars and the choice of pushing the button or not, until it actually happened in the movie.
Watching it all unfold, not knowing if it was a thriller or sci-fi or what genre of movie it was, was wonderful, for a change. I am so sick of knowing everything about a movie, before I even see it, it is ruined before you get a chance to watch it.
The fact that The Box has gotten so many negative reviews sickens me, because these are the kind of people going to all these horrible movies being made these days. Remember when Nicholas Cage used to be a good actor? He actually had memorable and meaningful roles.
Many or the reviews I read said they couldn't understand the plot. What is not to understand, it is much easier to understand than The Usual Suspects, which always seems to get great reviews. People say the acting was poor, but I disagree. Frank Langella is one of the greatest actors of his generation and all the smaller parts were really well done, including the babysitter and the kid. As far as the two main characters, I wasn't even sure it was Cameron Diaz for a while, I mean I thought it looked like her, but I wasn't sure. The guy looked familiar, but I am not sure what I have seen him in, but they both did amazing jobs. It is true, that, after the opening scenes, I found it a little hard to believe he was a NASA scientist and she was a professor. But then I remembered it is taking place in 1976. It was a simpler time.
As far as the plot itself, it boils down to the simple choice of whether or not to push the button. Obviously, especially in this money-obsessed, capitalistic culture, a vast majority of us would push it, without question and without thinking about the ramifications of how it might affect them when the next person gets it and it was someone they don't know--that was the most chilling line in the movie, when Langella tells Diaz that he was assuring her that the next person who got it would be someone she didn't know! Wow.
As far as the fact that it is an alien race, deciding on whether or not our species lives or dies, based on making this button-pushing decision goes, doesn't that tell you a lot about our country and our world? Not that I regret watching The Box on my 50" TV, on my Blu-Ray player. But, I am as much of the problem as everyone else. Except, at least, I liked the movie.