What Movie Are You Watching?

Nycturne

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Inception (2010)- I love this movie based on its creativity even though there is zero evidence as far as I know that there is any technological basis for the premise of the story, joint dreaming, extracting information from someone’s dream, much less planting an idea in someone’s head via a joint dream.

In addition, the story plays fast as loose regarding the mechanics of dreaming, such as how you or objects react in a dream based on physical events. My personal experience is that physics can be highly distorted in a dream. Regardless it makes me think about reality- my reality, and what we consider to be reality. Note, not an original idea: Dreamscape (1984).

Sometimes, a good story that follows a good enough set of rules is all that's needed. Every time I watch this, I find new details, such as the wedding band.

But talking about technological basis, I rewatched this the other day:

Sneakers (1992) -

This is another where when I was younger, I enjoyed it because it was a fun "spy" romp. A heist movie where it's a bunch of white hat / red team types have to put their skills to the test to get out from an ugly situation, rather than an Ethan Hunt / James Bond type.

As an adult who is now an engineer, I can follow what's actually going on with the macguffin and it still holds up surprisingly well from a technical basis. I actually rewatched it recently trying to take special note of the technical background that went into the movie. And it manages to thread the needle of being accessible to non-tech types, but still having meat for someone to chew on to realize the real world inspiration used for the macguffin from the clues in the script.

The macguffin is a chip that can break RSA encryption keys, although they never say it explicitly. While the movie hams it up a bit to make it an easier watch, it is surprisingly grounded. From Janek's talk about a tantalizing idea for beating the number field sieve for factoring large numbers, to the realization that the Russians didn't use the same encryption algorithms that the US does (and that breaking RSA only really works on the US and its allies). The bits related to encryption are pretty dang close. And it did it two years before Shor's algorithm was published, which is the type of threat to RSA that the movie suggested might happen.

It does use the "We're going to bounce this call across the world to make it hard to trace" trope though. Can't win them all.

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Edd

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Sometimes, a good story that follows a good enough set of rules is all that's needed. Every time I watch this, I find new details, such as the wedding band.

But talking about technological basis, I rewatched this the other day:

Sneakers (1992) -

This is another where when I was younger, I enjoyed it because it was a fun "spy" romp. A heist movie where it's a bunch of white hat / red team types have to put their skills to the test to get out from an ugly situation, rather than an Ethan Hunt / James Bond type.

As an adult who is now an engineer, I can follow what's actually going on with the macguffin and it still holds up surprisingly well from a technical basis. I actually rewatched it recently trying to take special note of the technical background that went into the movie. And it manages to thread the needle of being accessible to non-tech types, but still having meat for someone to chew on to realize the real world inspiration used for the macguffin from the clues in the script.

The macguffin is a chip that can break RSA encryption keys, although they never say it explicitly. While the movie hams it up a bit to make it an easier watch, it is surprisingly grounded. From Janek's talk about a tantalizing idea for beating the number field sieve for factoring large numbers, to the realization that the Russians didn't use the same encryption algorithms that the US does (and that breaking RSA only really works on the US and its allies). The bits related to encryption are pretty dang close. And it did it two years before Shor's algorithm was published, which is the type of threat to RSA that the movie suggested might happen.

It does use the "We're going to bounce this call across the world to make it hard to trace" trope though. Can't win them all.

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Despite being Gen X, I've somehow never watched this, it always looked boring from a distance. That cast is crazy, I should force myself to watch.
 

Nycturne

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Despite being Gen X, I've somehow never watched this, it always looked boring from a distance. That cast is crazy, I should force myself to watch.

I found out about the film in the late 90s from a friend in high school. Discovered my parents had bought a copy on VHS at some point (no idea when), and so I watched it. I was sold with that one viewing and it’s one I revisit every so often now. Even knowing the twists and turns, there’s details to pull apart in follow up viewings, and the comedic parts still work.

On a second viewing, keep track of who calls Martin by “Marty”. It’s one of those things that you’ll almost never catch on the first viewing going in blind, but second time through, you’ll notice the clue left in the script that Martin himself should have noticed.

It feels like an older film in some ways, where it’s focused on the tension than the action in the story’s conflict, and it’s the actors that hold the scenes and story together. But with a script that sold itself to the cast, it wasn’t hard to get the right people to make the film.
 

Huntn

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So my daughter told my wife not to see it because my wife doesn't take animal abuse very well. Even in CGI (for example she won't watch the scene in the second Jurassic World when the dinosaurs are being burned by lava).

How much of Rocket's backstory would look like abuse?
Most/all, it’s gruesome. The world creator is a sadistic, sociopathic monster who just uses others for his own designs. It was a bit much for me. In fact I did not like this chapter because of the drastic dark turn it took from the first 2 chapters.
 

Hrafn

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Multiple Ice Ages. in order, but for the life of me I don't know them by name. Boat, Danger, Nursery, love interest for...

Always feel sorry for Scrat. He's just not as much fun as the minions.
 

Herdfan

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Despite being Gen X, I've somehow never watched this, it always looked boring from a distance. That cast is crazy, I should force myself to watch.

I remember watching it when it came out, but it wasn't one of those movie when you saw it in the Guide, you just had to go to it.

Remember very little about it.
 

Hrafn

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Once again late to the party, but Oppenheimer today.

I have no idea how accurate it is but it was great to watch.
 

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The A Team (2010)- Somewhere between a delightful comedy and nonsensical action farce, depending on your perspective. I like it. Nice coreagraphed stunts with a heavy dose of CGI. :)

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Huntn

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M*A*S*H (1970)- Read the book, liked it, saw the movie in 1970, I remember loving it, but when I recently tried to watch it, it just kind of laid there. I guess I’ve changed, not that I thought it was irreverent, some humorous events in the middle of war, it just did not grab me. 🤔

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Roller

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M*A*S*H (1970)- Read the book, liked it, saw the movie in 1970, I remember loving it, but when I recently tried to watch it, it just kind of laid there. I guess I’ve changed, not that I thought it was irreverent, some humorous events in the middle of war, it just did not grab me. 🤔

Did you watch the TV show? What did you think about it? I didn't see the movie until several seasons into the TV version, which I thought was better. Although much of it was comedic, there was a lot of incredible drama as well.
 

Herdfan

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Did you watch the TV show? What did you think about it? I didn't see the movie until several seasons into the TV version, which I thought was better. Although much of it was comedic, there was a lot of incredible drama as well.

I watched the TV show as a teen,, but didn't see the movie until I was older. They are really two different takes on the same theme. I thought the movie was a bit more serious with some humor thrown in, but the TV show was meant to have more humor, which it did.. Watched a lot of the TV show when our daughter was a baby. One of the stations had it on an almost continuous loop.

Won a trivia question once because of the movie. I knew the name of the theme song. :)
 

Alli

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Won a trivia question once because of the movie. I knew the name of the theme song. :)
I can even sing all the lyrics to Suicide is Painless.

I remember seeing the movie at the Navy compound theater filled with service members, many of whom were on leave from Vietnam when it came out. I think that alone made it hit differently.

We watched every episode of the tv show, and had a watch party for the series finale. Incredible show.
 

Huntn

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Did you watch the TV show? What did you think about it? I didn't see the movie until several seasons into the TV version, which I thought was better. Although much of it was comedic, there was a lot of incredible drama as well.
I liked the TV show, observation, it was more sanitized, and humorous. The movie has more of an edge. It’s possible I was just not in the mood for this topic or story.
 

Huntn

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The Matrix Reloaded (2003)- This 2nd chapter does a great job of keeping the momentum up, with some outstanding coreagraphed fight scenes, and pretty amazing CGI cinematography during a gonzo chase scene.
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Huntn

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How The West Was Won (1962)- From IMDB: A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the 19th century, including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

This was a big film in my youth. It’s majestic, the camera perspective makes it bigger than life, incredible scenary, all star cast, and it showed me how music can powerfully set an emotional tone. It makes no apologies, but as far as it goes, it treats the Native Americans fairly, includes a good illustration as to why they had a reason to be hostile as their lands were overrun by Europeans. Includes an impressive Buffalo stampede that they direct at the railroad. It amazes me that 150 years, 3 generations before I was born the West was mostly wilderness as far as settlers were concerned.

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Alli

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Now that it’s streaming on Disney+, we finally watched The Marvels last night. The scene with the Flerkens had me braying like a donkey. I don’t understand why the movie got such awful reviews from critics.
 

Huntn

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Apologies… Said as a huge fan of Captain Marvel: The Marvels disappointed me, did not finish it, did not like the story premise or its gimmick. :( There is a level of writing, coherence and intrigue in Captain Marvel that is absent in this sequel.
 

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Ready Player One (2018)- A grim future where many people spend a lot of time in the largest virtual reality game world. There is a contest, the ultimate game in this future which will award ownership of this trillion dollar enterprise to whoever can figure out the keys to winning. It’s average citizen players against an evil corporate owner. I give it a solid “c”, because the story execution at times was somewhere between messy and convenient, some of the sequences seemed too slick to me, and the CGI action was too cluttered*, although I appreciated the nods to popular cinematic franchises and there is a race early in the story I could get into.

* For a good comparison,watch Alita, Battle Angel if you want to see a recent pinacle of portraying a cluttered virtual urban environment, incorporating CGI, while keeping everything crisp. And a super, although unfinished story, hoping for the needed sequel. 🤔

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Roller

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How The West Was Won (1962)- From IMDB: A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the 19th century, including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

This was a big film in my youth. It’s majestic, the camera perspective makes it bigger than life, incredible scenary, all star cast, and it showed me how music can powerfully set an emotional tone. It makes no apologies, but as far as it goes, it treats the Native Americans fairly, includes a good illustration as to why they had a reason to be hostile as their lands were overrun by Europeans. Includes an impressive Buffalo stampede that they direct at the railroad. It amazes me that 150 years, 3 generations before I was born the West was mostly wilderness as far as settlers were concerned.

I vividly remember seeing this in Cinerama, though I think there was a non-Cinerama version too. Not many films were made in the format because it was expensive and difficult to shoot. The dividing lines between the three segments were sometimes visible, and there was occasional misalignment. Still, it was pretty cool and exciting for a kid.
 
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