What is the last film you watched? (2016)

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What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:33 pm

This is a continuation of this thread devoted to films watched in 2015. Starting January 1, please post new entries here. The older thread will be locked in a few days.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by drednm » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:22 pm

Watched the final Downton Abbey tonight.... The end of something very special.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:02 pm

drednm wrote:Watched the final Downton Abbey tonight.... The end of something very special.
Don't worry--the reruns will continue for years.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:03 am

drednm wrote:Watched the final Downton Abbey tonight.... The end of something very special.
I finally left "Downton Abbey" misty eyed, elated but saddened.

So much happened in that final episode which took us to New Years’ of 1926, - so much to piece everything together and not end it all as such; more to see that the times were changing since we first visited “Downton” and that the world we had then entered was rapidly heralding in new practices

The sheer brilliance of how the series was put together shined to the very end. Nothing flagged; the dialogue was still full of witty bon mots. There was plot set against plot and nothing to cause our attention to be diverted one moment.

In this final episode we were also treated to scenes of visual splendour; the settings were grand and the costumes reflected the elegance of the times. Nothing was at fault.

I have enjoyed this series very much indeed and am sad at it going, but it has gone out on a high and I doubt whether in my lifetime I shall again witness something of its quality on television.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Brooksie » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:59 am

I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) the day it came out, and it struck me as a very peculiar film.

(No plot spoilers follow, by the way)

Say what you like about George Lucas, but his reverence for film history was always clear in the original Star Wars trilogy. His inspirations included everything from Flash Gordon to Toshiru Mifune to Wings (1927), but he still came up with something new and different to any of those inspirations. That combination of acknowledgement and transformation is, to me, the essence of cinematic evolution.

By contrast, The Force Awakens has a solid basis in ... Star Wars. It resembles the sequence in Being John Malkovich (1999) where Malkovich enters his own mind and finds a Playhouse-style world populated solely by Malkoviches. It is set in a world populated by nostalgia for the characters and situations of earlier Star Wars films.

Nostalgia has powered some of our best films, but this is not really nostalgia - it's something closer to taxidermy. One of last year's most exciting pictures, George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road makes for an ideal comparison - not because it too takes place in an established cinematic universe, but because it is intensely cinematic. During The Force Awakens, I never once felt my heart pumping a little faster. Not even when that famous John Williams fanfare played, and certainly not during any of the action scenes. To be bored in a film such as this is the greatest sin of all.

Similar to Han Solo trapped in carbonite, The Force Awakens is a collectable trophy - a motionless likeness enclosing a once vital but now weakly beating heart.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by drednm » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:20 am

Donald Binks wrote:
drednm wrote:Watched the final Downton Abbey tonight.... The end of something very special.
I finally left "Downton Abbey" misty eyed, elated but saddened.

So much happened in that final episode which took us to New Years’ of 1926, - so much to piece everything together and not end it all as such; more to see that the times were changing since we first visited “Downton” and that the world we had then entered was rapidly heralding in new practices

The sheer brilliance of how the series was put together shined to the very end. Nothing flagged; the dialogue was still full of witty bon mots. There was plot set against plot and nothing to cause our attention to be diverted one moment.

In this final episode we were also treated to scenes of visual splendour; the settings were grand and the costumes reflected the elegance of the times. Nothing was at fault.

I have enjoyed this series very much indeed and am sad at it going, but it has gone out on a high and I doubt whether in my lifetime I shall again witness something of its quality on television.
Well said, Donald. There is talk of a feature film, but I won't hold my breath.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by oldposterho » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:11 am

While this is probably not the place for this discussion I couldn't disagree more about The Force Awakens. If Episodes 1 through 3 proved anything it's that Lucas should never be allowed anything more than a Story By credit. While he is fantastic with technique and technology I often wondered how somebody who got the performances he did from the American Graffiti ensemble could have allowed those abominations onto the screen? After seeing a making of reel for the film it's pretty clear the actors directed themselves, which was a good thing.

TFA, for me, has reinvigorated the franchise and washed away the stench of 1 -3. Full disclosure, I'm a J.J. Abrams fan and a Star Wars nerd from day one. I also re-watched all 6 films in order prior to seeing TFA, which I think helped me to re-imerse myself in the story universe.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:21 am

oldposterho wrote:While this is probably not the place for this discussion I couldn't disagree more about The Force Awakens. If Episodes 1 through 3 proved anything it's that Lucas should never be allowed anything more than a Story By credit. While he is fantastic with technique and technology I often wondered how somebody who got the performances he did from the American Graffiti ensemble could have allowed those abominations onto the screen? After seeing a making of reel for the film it's pretty clear the actors directed themselves, which was a good thing.

TFA, for me, has reinvigorated the franchise and washed away the stench of 1 -3. Full disclosure, I'm a J.J. Abrams fan and a Star Wars nerd from day one. I also re-watched all 6 films in order prior to seeing TFA, which I think helped me to re-imerse myself in the story universe.
I'm midway between Brooksie and you. I think that Lucas had reached the stage where he knew he was a genius and there was no one to tell him he was making a mistake, which is what the second trilogy was. Nor do I hold J.J. Abrams in such high regard as you. He strikes me as a very competent house director, but little more.

What The Force Awakens did for me was cleanse the palate from the second trilogy and handle each aspect at least competently. I went to see it more out of a sense of duty than an expectation of delight. I found it as utterly satisfying as someone who grew up watching Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Homes and Watson might feel on seeing the Jeremy Brett version. Yea, there was a lot of nostalgia to it, but I'm pleased with the three new leads.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Jim Reid » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:14 am

I've got to say, although I saw the first three SW films when they first came out, I wasn't blown away by them. Of course I loved the special effects, but the acting and the dialogue were like fingernails on a blackboard. I enjoyed this latest episode very much. Abrams' hands were tied a bit on this film because he had to deal with continuing a story he had not written. The "new" parts of the film like the girl, the pilot and the storm trooper were done very well, but slowed a bit when the "classic" SW characters showed up. I'll be very interested in the next chapter which will be all J.J. Abrams'.

BTW, also not a Star Trek fan, I love what Abrams did with that franchise!

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:29 am

Based on a Laurence Meynell thriller, THE HOUSE IN MARSH ROAD (1960) is a plain, but enjoyable drama with elements of the supernatural. Patricia Dainton plays the long-suffering wife of Tony Wright, a would-be author who is simply a leech. When Dainton inherits a house in a small village, Wright's only thoughts are in flogging it and spending the money on drink. A meeting with a blonde lady who does freelance typing (Sandra Dorne) leads to other things and gives this unpleasant fellow ideas. In the meantime, odd things happen in the house which suggest there is a poltergeist who disapproves of the pair...

THE HOUSE ON MARSH ROAD is certainly full of familiar elements, but holds the attention reasonably well in a way that is a little reminiscent of some of Vernon Sewell's films of this period, such as the slightly later HOUSE OF MYSTERY (1961). One does wonder why Dainton doesn't just dump this wastrel, but Wright's portrayal is that of the good-looking, personable rotter who charms his way out of any corner. One thing (can't remember if it was explained in the book) which was odd was the offer of £6,000 for the property by local businessman Sam Kydd: we never find out why he made such an over-generous offer. A small cast, with the splendidly named Anita Sharp-Bolster as the Irish housekeeper.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:23 pm

Jim Reid wrote:I've got to say, although I saw the first three SW films when they first came out, I wasn't blown away by them....
I'm still trying to live down the shame I felt for permitting myself to succumb to the media frenzy whipped up by the first one.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:09 pm

Donald Binks wrote:...I doubt whether in my lifetime I shall again witness something of its quality on television.
Well, the option of witnessing a production of incomparably higher quality, and thoughtfulness, will be available to you if the BBC authorizes production of the conclusion of the Wolf Hall miniseries, the initial six parts of which were broadcast here on PBS early last year. Simply the most brilliantly written, most faithful to its momentous subject, most beautifully photographed BBC production, I've seen since I began watching them on PBS sometime in the '70s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Hall_(miniseries" target="_blank)

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:00 pm

oldposterho wrote:While this is probably not the place for this discussion I couldn't disagree more about The Force Awakens. If Episodes 1 through 3 proved anything it's that Lucas should never be allowed anything more than a Story By credit. While he is fantastic with technique and technology I often wondered how somebody who got the performances he did from the American Graffiti ensemble could have allowed those abominations onto the screen? After seeing a making of reel for the film it's pretty clear the actors directed themselves, which was a good thing.

TFA, for me, has reinvigorated the franchise and washed away the stench of 1 -3. Full disclosure, I'm a J.J. Abrams fan and a Star Wars nerd from day one. I also re-watched all 6 films in order prior to seeing TFA, which I think helped me to re-imerse myself in the story universe.
Ditto!

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:17 pm

Just saw The Hateful Eight and spent much of the time spotting the attempts to use set design to get the composition down to manageable proportions.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:26 pm

I am intrigued at the comments on the latest "Star Wars" picture. There has ti be someone whose tastes do not match up with everyone else and that is me.

Like a number of popular films series ("The Godfathers". "The Rockys", "The Hobbits" etc.,) the "Star Wars" pictures never appealed to me sufficiently to pay good money to go and watch them at the cinema. I watched the first one on television years back and I think I lasted twenty minutes before I turned it off. I thought it incredibly silly.

Perhaps I am not one to be able to put up with men dressed up in "animal" outfits pretending they are creatures from outer space?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:44 pm

Donald Binks wrote:I am intrigued...
But not depressed?
Perhaps I am not one to be able to put up with men dressed up in "animal" outfits pretending they are creatures from outer space?
Silly as those were, they were less idiotic than the robot "character."

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Danny Burk » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:56 pm

Donald Binks wrote:I am intrigued at the comments on the latest "Star Wars" picture. There has ti be someone whose tastes do not match up with everyone else and that is me.

Like a number of popular films series ("The Godfathers". "The Rockys", "The Hobbits" etc.,) the "Star Wars" pictures never appealed to me sufficiently to pay good money to go and watch them at the cinema. I watched the first one on television years back and I think I lasted twenty minutes before I turned it off. I thought it incredibly silly.

Perhaps I am not one to be able to put up with men dressed up in "animal" outfits pretending they are creatures from outer space?
I'm one of apparently very few who doesn't care for science fiction in general, and particularly in "outer space stuff", as I call it. I've never understood the appeal. It seems that most of my friends love it and eagerly await the next installment, whereas I couldn't be less interested.

I used to say that I was the only one who'd never seen the first 3 STAR WARS films, so about 15 years ago, I watched all 3 with a friend who loves the entire "outer space" genre. Yawn. No opinions were changed. Guess how much interest I have in the new one?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:55 pm

Danny Burk wrote:I'm one of apparently very few who doesn't care for science fiction in general, and particularly in "outer space stuff", as I call it. I've never understood the appeal...
That blanket aversion does not apply to me (though my interest has cooled since the time I stood in a line a mile long the night 2001 opened in my area). But comic-book exercises in the genre hold no appeal at all.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Donald Binks » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:48 pm

I like a good science fiction picture and as "Entre" says - one that is not of the comic book type - but one that presents a sensible and logical proposition. "2001" was so way ahead of its time - and still is. (Although there were scenes in it I have no idea of what they meant).
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:15 am

Again, thanks to my sister-in-law, I saw "Brooklyn" (2015). Beautifully acted, directed, and especially - written! This is about the difference in cultures, in this case Irish, Italian, American (U.S.), Brooklyn vs Manhattan vs Long Island, etc. The theme is actually about the displacement in culture of another one, and then what occurs or doesn't; how two different cultures either fuse or don't, find a symbiotic combination or a disconnection. The absolute subtlety of all is glorious. Soft and quiet, the intelligence of the whole production will not appeal to the lovers of the loud, but will captivate utterly those who look for films that pick up on ideas rather than guns and violence. This is simple without being simplistic. Takes place in 1952-3. Wonderful love story, touchingly told. Basically an Irish cast, made up of Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, and many others, in the running for SAG award this year. Won't be to everyone's taste, but this is a beautiful film. If you like the kind of thing that's on Masterpiece Theater, you'll love this!

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:32 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:Again, thanks to my sister-in-law, I saw "Brooklyn" (2015). Beautifully acted, directed, and especially - written! This is about the difference in cultures, in this case Irish, Italian, American (U.S.), Brooklyn vs Manhattan vs Long Island, etc. The theme is actually about the displacement in culture of another one, and then what occurs or doesn't; how two different cultures either fuse or don't, find a symbiotic combination or a disconnection. The absolute subtlety of all is glorious. Soft and quiet, the intelligence of the whole production will not appeal to the lovers of the loud, but will captivate utterly those who look for films that pick up on ideas rather than guns and violence. This is simple without being simplistic. Takes place in 1952-3. Wonderful love story, touchingly told. Basically an Irish cast, made up of Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, and many others, in the running for SAG award this year. Won't be to everyone's taste, but this is a beautiful film. If you like the kind of thing that's on Masterpiece Theater, you'll love this!
Very much think I would--out of all the crapola currently being advertised on TV, the ONLY recent picture that aroused my interest. But there's sure not much promotion behind it--don't recall seeing more than one ad for it, versus one every half hour for Danish Girl...which I might very well take in myself, if I can acquire enough stink bombs first.

But, hey! No representation from Queens?

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:57 pm

Donald Binks wrote:I am intrigued at the comments on the latest "Star Wars" picture. There has ti be someone whose tastes do not match up with everyone else and that is me.

Like a number of popular films series ("The Godfathers". "The Rockys", "The Hobbits" etc.,) the "Star Wars" pictures never appealed to me sufficiently to pay good money to go and watch them at the cinema. I watched the first one on television years back and I think I lasted twenty minutes before I turned it off. I thought it incredibly silly.

Perhaps I am not one to be able to put up with men dressed up in "animal" outfits pretending they are creatures from outer space?
As you have no doubt discovered by now, you are not alone. I have only seen a couple of the films, but in the company of friends, and suspect that I would not have gone to see them off my own bat. It does seem astonishing that some folk get so fanatical about them to the exclusion of everything else. And, as a bookseller, it has seemed funny that people asking for STAR WARS related books often have little interest in George Lucas and Co., being happy to wallow in the umpteen 'novels' that have spun off this franchise...

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:07 pm

Another of the Basil Dearden - Michael Relph 'social problem' films, LIFE FOR RUTH (1962) [Network] has been, until recently, maddeningly elusive. After a seashore accident, a young girl's parents are told that unless she has a blood transfusion she is likely to die. The father (Michael Craig) is a Jehovah's Witness and refuses to consent to this. His wife (Janet Munro) is a member more by default, and rushes to the hospital to give consent, but it is too late. Although the others at the hospital want to let things lie, the doctor (Patrick McGoohan), disgusted by the coroner's verdict and police indifference, decides on a public prosecution.

Perhaps the religious-controversy element has made LIFE FOR RUTH a rarely-screened film, but this is an absorbing and fair-minded film in which the father, though responsible, for his daughter's death is seen as a part-scapegoat, since he was allowed by law to take that decision. Also, he comes from a line of Witnesses, so his reasoning is due to family and social indoctrination. Some might see the film as anti-religious or anti-Watchtower. It is in a way, but its main point is that whereas an adult is in the position to decide whether or not to take blood (even if it deprives a family of a loved one), a child is not able to decide for him/herself and a parent should not deny that child a chance of life because of a religious conviction. Decent performances, particularly from McGoohan and Munro, but marred a bit by a rather over-insistent score.

*an interesting point is that when Craig was sworn in, he affirmed rather than gave a Bible oath. Perhaps Witnesses see this as a form of blasphemy.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:39 am

In order to spot the "real" Mary Carlisle, I just watched Madam Satan (1930) again. She's there all right, fleetingly in one scene, & very clearly in another near the end, but not costumed as in the masthead--that girl may be one of the Ballet Mecanique dancers, though there's SO much going on in that fantastic number, it's hard to pick out individuals.

So much has already been said about this astonishing picture that I won't belabor the point, except to mention one detail that seems to have been lost in the shuffle: the most beautiful song in the film, I think, sung with a light & poignant touch of her Danish accent by Elsa Peterson, who plays Kay Johnson's maid. IMDB doesn't even list this song among the soundtracks, and Elsa Peterson's filmography consists mainly of uncredited bit parts; be that as it may, her voice is magnificent, such that I can't believe she wasn't a professional vocalist of some sort.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Changsham » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:17 am

Donald Binks wrote:I am intrigued at the comments on the latest "Star Wars" picture. There has ti be someone whose tastes do not match up with everyone else and that is me.

Like a number of popular films series ("The Godfathers". "The Rockys", "The Hobbits" etc.,) the "Star Wars" pictures never appealed to me sufficiently to pay good money to go and watch them at the cinema. I watched the first one on television years back and I think I lasted twenty minutes before I turned it off. I thought it incredibly silly.

Perhaps I am not one to be able to put up with men dressed up in "animal" outfits pretending they are creatures from outer space?
My sentiments too with all those film series. All overhyped lightweight entertainment punching above their weight. I was somewhat shocked though when I finally watched Saturday Night Fever, allegedly another airhead film. A brilliant condemnation of the vapid Disco Era. Amazing how the overwhelming majority of the audience for this film missed the point entirely.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by sherry » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:50 am

The first movie I saw this year was Stonehearst Asylum (2014) (based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe).
It's always a pleasure to see Sir Michael Caine and Sir Ben Kingsley , but I don't think I would like it as much without the ending -- and that's all I'm going to say :wink:

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:18 am

Changsham wrote:...I was somewhat shocked though when I finally watched Saturday Night Fever, allegedly another airhead film. A brilliant condemnation of the vapid Disco Era. Amazing how the overwhelming majority of the audience for this film missed the point entirely.
To that overwhelming majority, the only point would have been the music, dancing, & clothes; which were the same reasons I avoided it like an open latrine. But I saw enough of it in clips, and heard enough said about it in reviews, to gather that it was not, like Grease, for ex., a glorification of the lifestyle, but as you said, a critical expose'. (Of course, the Disco-lifestyle is STILL flourishing, under different names, now fueled with designer drugs, all around the world in urban areas.)

Can't think of this picture without the one I consider its more appealing sibling: Urban Cowboy (1980). That one I did see because not only did I find the music, clothes, etc., congenial, but inhabiting at the time old Buffalo Bayou, I KNEW plenty of real urban cowboys.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:08 pm

Danny Burk wrote:I used to say that I was the only one who'd never seen the first 3 STAR WARS films, so about 15 years ago, I watched all 3 with a friend who loves the entire "outer space" genre.


Ha! I outlasted you! I didn't watch all three, all the way through, until last year.

Jim

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:28 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
Danny Burk wrote:I used to say that I was the only one who'd never seen the first 3 STAR WARS films, so about 15 years ago, I watched all 3 with a friend who loves the entire "outer space" genre.


Ha! I outlasted you! I didn't watch all three, all the way through, until last year.

Jim
But I outlasted you both, having yielded only to the first.

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2016)

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:35 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:
Danny Burk wrote:I used to say that I was the only one who'd never seen the first 3 STAR WARS films, so about 15 years ago, I watched all 3 with a friend who loves the entire "outer space" genre.


Ha! I outlasted you! I didn't watch all three, all the way through, until last year.

Jim
But I outlasted you both, having yielded only to the first.
You refuse to give in to the dork side of the force?

Bob
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