What have you been watching? (Cinema)

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby GothamAlleys on Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:45 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:
GothamAlleys wrote:What did you think of the remake?


If you are asking me, you can scroll up and find out.



Oh, I dont know how I missed that. Anyway, I think while not compared to the original masterpiece and judged as a new, standalone movie, the remake is actually pretty interesting and egaging
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:19 pm

Double feature of Hannah and Jane Eyre yesterday.

Two very awesome films. Hannah was out of this world cool. Jane Eyre was well crafted, haunting, and at times gorgeous.

Great day at the cinema.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:04 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Double feature of Hannah and Jane Eyre yesterday.

Two very awesome films. Hannah was out of this world cool. Jane Eyre was well crafted, haunting, and at times gorgeous.

Great day at the cinema.


What a great double feature choice. NICE
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:58 am

A BETTER TOMORROW

This is the John Woo film that really put him and Chow Yun Phat on the scene. I had never seen it before and was happy that my local grindhouse showed it last night.

The film is about.....um....a lot of stuff. The plot is kinda all over the place. The film mostly concerns itself with two brothers on opposite sides of the law, but throws in so many other subplots and wacky moments that it doesn't develope in the way I'd expect, nor in a way that is hugely compelling, but nonetheless entertaining in that wacky melodramatic John Woo way.

Chow Yun Phat pulls a Jason Statham by taking what seems like the thankless third wheel role, then stealing the show with his natural charisma and becoming the star of the director's next film. Chow doesn't play either of the two brothers, he's the criminal brother's partner in crime who tell us in a powerful monologue that he hates being threatened with pistols because it reminds him of a time when he drank a pint of urine in a disco.

They both work at some sort of crime sydnicate that looks very much like a legit white collar office tower. Despite being high rolling gangsters, the women who work in this office tower snub Chow's attempts at charming them. I'm glad this crime syndicate has cultivated a good harassment-free environment. Like most gangsters, these guys prance around, tickling each other, laughing merrily and frequently, hugging, holding hands, and expressing oodles of sensitivity. There's even some 3 STOOGES type slapstick moments involving a cello. I like these gangsters, the lead guy doesn't even use his gangster influence to rig his girlfriend's music school audition. That's back when crime knew restraint.

A deal goes bad and the lead guy gets his spleen shot out and goes to jail. The lack of a spleen doesn't seem to give the guy any health problems or physical discomfort. Chow goes out for revenge against the guys who set up the lead guy, but makes the mistake of strutting away from the massacre down a really long corridor giving a bad guy the chance to drag himself out into the corridor and blow Chow's shins out with guns. We cut to several years later when Chow has been become a squeegee kid and wears Forrest Gump style leg braces and the lead guy gets out of jail and becomes a spleenless taxi driver.

Like I said, things never really go the way you'd expect in this movie and the whole brothers-on-opposite-sides-of-the-law thing frequently takes a back seat to tickling contests and other plot elements. The action is solid Woo stuff, but obviously he's just getting his career started so the carnage is definately not on the same level as stuff like THE KILLER or HARD BOILED. There's one scene in what I think is an old folks home where it's pretty obvious that Captain Awesome studied this scene for the killing of The Comedian in his film ALAN MOORE'S WATCHMEN. It's almost beat for beat.

Chow gets some of the more badassed moments, but like I said, don't expect Woo's full level of mayhem from this one. Overall, this is a nice movie. I liked it, but it's a bit odd going backwards like this and seeing Woo starting out. The action is on a smaller scale and some of Woo's trademarks aren't completely mastered yet and the music of the same bloody harmonica riff over and over throughout the film becomes kinda annoying.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:34 pm

HANNA

The shit this movie does well, it does perfect. The score may be one of the best I've heard in a while, many sequences are just so perfectly shot and rhythmically edited that it's glorious, the use of the fairytale imagery is inspired, and Saoirse Ronan's performance is fucking great all the way through, even when the script goes looking under the sofa cushions for where it left her character's motivation. But a movie like this, and by that I mean an excercise in style, needs to hit way more consistantly than this one does. It's like watching one of those figure skating routines and once the skater falls on her ass the second time you know that those mistakes are what's going to stick in the overall impression despite the rest being great.

An excercise in style like this needs to keep its pace up and its momentum building, but this one just had too many draggy parts during which they fumbled with the characters a lot. The worst being a couple long stretches with an annoying hippie family. The movie sets up the main character with certain limits and certain strengths and then mostly just flips them on and off like a switch instead of developing them. The main character is raised in some sort of Amish captivity and despite being briefed on technology, she has never experienced it. She seems to get overwhelmed by new experiences, but then the movie doesn't seem to give us the satisfaction of seeing her master these experiences, despite the film's mantra being 'adapt or die'. And then other times she just seems to know shit she shouldn't and that we didn't see her learn.

The movie feels a bit like it goes in circles and the climax is definately way too dragged out. Cate Blanchet's performance also reminded me of her work in INDIANA JONES 4, in that she's a cartoon with a cartoonish accent and a silly personal style sampled from Joan Halloway on MAD MEN, but she never rarely gets to chew the scenary like a cartoon villain should.

So overall, this is my nomination for a movie where a different (shorter) cut of the exact same film could be something I would love. As is, I'm pretty conflicted, but the film definately made a big impression on me. Certain sequences had me in a complete trance but it just fumbled a few too many times for me to give it a pass.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed May 25, 2011 7:21 am

PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID

Sam Peckinpah returns to the Western genre and once again does all the things that made THE WILD BUNCH great, only this time the result is not a great movie. You get the anti-heroism, the showing of violence for its ugly self, the stark machismo, the gritty look. But this time it's just not coming together. I haven't seen all of Peckinpah's movies, but this one is definately the worst of the ones I have. It's not a terrible movie, it's just mediocre or maybe sub-mediocre. From what I understand, the studio, like usual, got annoyed with Peckinpah's attitude and this time they cut him out of the post-production process and edited the film without his input, so I can definately forgive him for lots of these scenes not really working, but not everything.

The writing is pretty bad. The characters all directly state their mindsets and acknowledge their own contradictions like some episode of THE SIMPSONS. The actors are either just not into the movie (James Coburn, Jason Robbards, Slim Pickens) or not good actors (almost everybody else). The movie stars hippie folk singer Kris Kristoffersen who delivers his usual brand of handsome wooden performance that is neither here nor there. But then they actually have Bob Dylan in there looking like some stoned monkey. Dylan has a hard time not staring right into the camera as well as dificulties growing facial hair. He never looks like he's part of the scene. They always just cut to him standing in some awkward pose and it almost seems like they filmed all his parts on a seperate day and spliced them in later. Dylan also does the soundtrack, and even though I like his music, the third time you hear 'Knockin On Heaven's Door' in one movie is a bit much.

So I definately cannot recommend this film. It's got some cute moments but mostly it's just pretty awkward and wooden.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby minstrel on Wed May 25, 2011 1:55 pm

I watched HBO's "Too Big To Fail", a sort of docudrama about the financial crisis that started near the end of the Bush administration. The movie focuses on Hank Paulson, Bush's Treasury Secretary, played here by William Hurt. The movie has a great cast - Paul Giamatti, James Woods, Ed Asner, Tony Shalhoub, and many others. In fact, probably too many others - more on that below.

I really enjoyed the film, but I thought it had a couple of weaknesses. It deals with pretty arcane financial dealing, and it must have been tough to write a script that makes the technical details comprehensible for a general audience. They did a good job (Peter Gould, working from Andrew Ross Sorkin's book), so I think the film is valuable as an explanation, for the layman, of just what the fuck went so goddamn wrong. Curtis Hanson's direction keeps the tension high as the shit is hitting the fan. Overall, the film has all the hallmarks of HBO - good writing, good cast, good direction, and a high level of sheer class. I love watching stuff like this.

I have two complaints, though. First, I think this should have been a miniseries of maybe six hour-long episodes instead of a movie. The material is fascinating and could easily stand being stretched to that length. As it is, though, most of these great actors get very little screen time. Ed Asner, playing Warren Buffett, has two scenes, each about a minute or so in length. In short, he's wasted. Same for Shalhoub, Dan Hedaya (as Congressman Barney Frank), Giamatti (as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke), and others. I would have loved to see more with these actors and these characters.

The second complaint I have is that the movie ends quite abruptly. I was left saying "You mean that's it? That's the end? Really? WTF?" I wanted more material, not just about the banks and AIG, but maybe about what was happening in the auto industry. Also I would have liked to see scenes dealing with where the TARP money actually went, rather than text right before the closing credits telling us how things wound up. Argh.

I really like the film, and I feel like I have a better idea of how the whole mess started, but I wouldn't put it up there with HBO's best.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sat May 28, 2011 11:51 pm



So I saw RUBBER and I really dug it. It's hugely pretentious and that's what I liked about it. That trailer makes it seem like it's just going to be a tongueincheek b-movie, but it's not. It's really meta and in your face about it like one of those Charlie Kaufman joints. Most of you guys would probably hate it, but whatevs. It's all shot with a clean pretty Wim Wenders look, it's got a really good score, but a lot of the acting is very stilted. I would recommend watching it, if the first scene pisses you off, shut it off, if you kinda like that, keep going.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby bastard_robo on Mon May 30, 2011 4:40 am

I saw HESHER the other day. Great, great film.

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:28 pm

Those of you who've known me over the years I've come here to talk about movies know I can't resist any movie about roller boogie or roller derby. So of course I attened my local grindhouse's showing of

SKATETOWN USA

This might actually be the best roller boogie movie out there, not that that's really saying much. I mostly fetishize these movies because I dig on the depiction of this roller boogie scene with its disco music, flashy outfits, feelgood spirit, and it makes me wish I lived in it, although I doubt it was really this fun and I would probably have caught AIDS. The movies themselves are never really all that great, but they do give me this fun vicarious experience of roller-boogie mania and retro-fetishism.

It is basically a variety show of full music performances, comedy skits, and roller dance performances all taking place in one night in a roller boogie disco. All the skits involve the various colorful characters who work at and frequent the roller disco. Most of them are over-acted by what feels like hack comedians, many of whom do that corny type of uncle humour made popular by the likes of Rodney Dangerfield or Milton Berle while others play out typical skits involving one obnoxious character and one straightman.

The film is moved along by a wizard who rules over the disco. He looks John Carpenter with an afro. The main plotline involves a big skating competition. A wholesome roller boogie couple and their manager (played by Scott Baio) run into trouble when they challenge a tough WARRIORS-style roller gang leader played by Patrick Swayze making his big screen debut in tight trousers giving us a full sense of his talent.

It's all so cheesy and upbeat that it's hard to get angry at it. It's also full of really beautiful women in nice disco outfits who are really easy on the eyes. The whole thing is well shot with nice bright colours, upbeat disco music, and well-choreographed roller dance sequences. And it definately won me completely over with the end, which I will tell you because you probably won't watch this film. Swayze and the hero guy need a tie-breaker in the roller dancing competition and so they go down to the pier and strap little engines to their rollerskates and blast forward towards the end of the pier and the first guy to pull away is the "chicken". their skates malfunction and they both fly off the pier and Swayze can't swim and so the hero saves him and they instantly become friends and all roller boogie back at the club during the closing credits.

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:14 am

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TRUE LEGEND

I don't know if the story in this movie is true, but at least if it were, it would be the stuff of legends, unlike how the romance in TRUE ROMANCE wasn't very romantic or how the grit in TRUE GRIT wasn't very gritty or how TRUE WEST just wasn't all that Western. This film marks the return of Yuen Woo-Ping to the director's chair, which actually isn't that big a deal. The guy's main strength is fight chereography and that's what he's been doing for the last 15 years since he got recruited by Hollywood to plan the fights for big movies like THE MATRIX and KILL BILL.

This movie is a traditional kung-fu film. It was a bit weird because watching it I thought it had been two movies maybe trimmed down and presented as one film like how they did with LONE WOLF & CUB or RED CLIFF. The first 75% of the film is your standard revenge movie about a kung-fu master who gets beaten and left for dead by a tyrant, rebuilds by training with Pai Mei, and then goes and kills the bad guy. This portion of the film is okay. Michelle Yeoh gets a pretty wacky cameo as a milfy spulunking physician/chemist with her own vineyard. The main selling point of the first portion is the bad guy who sticks his hands into jars of snakes and spiders so that he has venomous punches and also gets steel plates sewn into his skin so that he is always wearing armour. Like The Punisher and most guys in movies who wear armour, nobody ever thinks to stab him in the head. I'm sure if it's because that would be too rude or too obvious or what.

Killing the bad guy has the unfortunate side effect of resulting in the hero's wife dying. So then starts the short second potion of the movie, which felt more like a sequel. The hero guy gets all sad and becomes an alcoholic hobo. He embarasses himself in some crowded city near the Russian border. The main entertainment in the town is a fighting club. Men fight on a platform shaped like the Star of David above a pit of tigers. The locals are beginning to feel discouraged because a guy named Killer Anton (played by David Carradine in his final film performance) is a blood-thirsty sadist whose team of musclemen kill and embarass the locals. Carradine's fighters frequently win by obvious cheating such as Carradine himself running into the ring and injecting them with Bane juice during the matches, or even times when Carradine decides to change the match to a three on one and orders more fighters into the ring. Nobody seems to call him on this, they all just shrug and accept that his crew always wins. I kept waiting for somebody to show up in the fighting ring with a tank.

The fight scenes are all well enough done. Ping's style always feels very chereographed and graceful and suits certain types of stories that involve magic and fantasy, so I've generally preferred Corey Yuen's work because it feels more intense. But Ping does bring a bit more grit here than he normally does although there's still lots of flying around and posing. The production value is kinda like an early 90s American movie. Like think of MORTAL KOMBAT. For a lot of the costumes you can tell they just went to K-Mart and bought some pijamas and houserobes right off the rack. They're not all ornate like in one of Zhang Yimou's joints. And the CGI sets are pretty corny. The part where he's training with Pai Mei at the Kung-Fu Mount Rushmore looks like your watching somebody play SoulCalibur or something.

So overall, this movie is okay. It's a very generic meandering kung-fu film with an occasional inventive spin on certain familiar aspects but it definately feels like a million movies you've seen before. The action is decent and some of the cameo characters are funny.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:56 pm

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MEEK'S CUTOFF

This is a film about mid-1800s Americans on a journey West to settle out there. They have hired a frontiersman named Stephen Meek (portrayed in a toned-down-by-comparison-to-There-Will-be-Blood John Huston impression by Bruce Greenwood). The film opens with the pack in the middle of their journey and generally realizing Meek is a bullshitter. They have become discouraged and will gradually become more hopeless as the film continues. They consider their options, and many of them feel they have no choice but to keep following Meek even though they know he is a bullshitter who is possibly leading them around in circles. Michelle Williams plays Emily Tetherow, who is the strongest willed of the pack and represents the biggest challenge to Meek's authority.

The conflict takes form when the group captures a Native man who does not speak any English. The debate over whether to use, to free, or to kill the Native man is the film's constant catalyst for confrontation.

The film is shot in the square ratio like those old boxy televisions and doesn't have much of a score. It's generally all quiet like a Canadian movie. These are obviously deliberate choices. The fullscreen ration avoids beautiful Sergio Leone panoramas and keeps the scenary unimpressive and unpleasant like it would be for the characters; and the scorelessness keeps the drama undramatic. The film is a bit more subtle and a bit more original than most, but with that comes the lack of a traditionally satisfying narrative, especially in the conclusion. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked this movie. It's definately not for everybody, and it's not even a movie for me in any big way, but it's still pretty good.

Also, I think if this movie had come out five years ago, people would've read all sorts of metaphors for Dubya Bush into this thing, so I guess it suffers from an umtimely release date.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby minstrel on Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:02 pm

Roomie bought a DVD set of a British TV show I'd never heard of called Danger UXB, about soldiers in England in WWII doing bomb disposal. It's well-made and, at times, very suspenseful. Sometimes it's dull, though, especially during the romance parts. I'm not a fan of romance parts getting in the way of my suspenseful bomb disposal.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby BuckyO'harre on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:08 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:
MEEK'S CUTOFF

This is a film about mid-1800s Americans on a journey West to settle out there. They have hired a frontiersman named Stephen Meek (portrayed in a toned-down-by-comparison-to-There-Will-be-Blood John Huston impression by Bruce Greenwood). The film opens with the pack in the middle of their journey and generally realizing Meek is a bullshitter. They have become discouraged and will gradually become more hopeless as the film continues. They consider their options, and many of them feel they have no choice but to keep following Meek even though they know he is a bullshitter who is possibly leading them around in circles. Michelle Williams plays Emily Tetherow, who is the strongest willed of the pack and represents the biggest challenge to Meek's authority.

The conflict takes form when the group captures a Native man who does not speak any English. The debate over whether to use, to free, or to kill the Native man is the film's constant catalyst for confrontation.

The film is shot in the square ratio like those old boxy televisions and doesn't have much of a score. It's generally all quiet like a Canadian movie. These are obviously deliberate choices. The fullscreen ration avoids beautiful Sergio Leone panoramas and keeps the scenary unimpressive and unpleasant like it would be for the characters; and the scorelessness keeps the drama undramatic. The film is a bit more subtle and a bit more original than most, but with that comes the lack of a traditionally satisfying narrative, especially in the conclusion. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked this movie. It's definately not for everybody, and it's not even a movie for me in any big way, but it's still pretty good.

Also, I think if this movie had come out five years ago, people would've read all sorts of metaphors for Dubya Bush into this thing, so I guess it suffers from an umtimely release date.



There definitely aren't many people I could recommend this to,but I also enjoyed it. Even most of the other indie-theater goers around me were pissed off by the ending. Which I found strange since it seemed fairly obvious that the outcome wasn't the point. And you're right about the ratio. The director has said it was to help enforce the female perspective,and more directly, the field of view from a bonnet.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Yeah, MEEK'S CUTOFF definately wouldn't have been improved by adding another scene or two resolving everything in a big way. The point of the movie for me was more the power struggle and the character arcs, both of which I thought did reached a conclusion. And the more I thought about it, the more satisfied I was with it. But yeah, I also wouldn't recommend it to most people.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby SilentScream on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:25 pm

The Inbetweeners. The film version of the TV series. For those not in the know (and don't worry you ain't missing much) this is basically a UK American Pie without the laughs.

Yes, sirree, £10 of my money down the drain. Should've known better, of course. Wasn't a particular fan of the TV series but went with a couple of mates who were fans of it and it's deliberate juvenile, toilet bowl approach to life and humour and all things INBETWEEN. So I wasn't expecting much and, fair play, the flick lived up to this and went even beyond.
IT WAS PISS POOR.
Typical lad's flick, appealing to spotty, acne ridden teenage boys who have yet to pop their cherry and thereby take refuge in the misogynistic world of the inadequate. Also (judging by the amount of them in the audience)it must appeal to the middle age saddoes, too, who still like to think they're still 16 and oh-so-down-with-it-with-the-kids, right? Innit?
For fuck's sake, don't these guys EVER grow up? Don't they realise how ridiculous (and a bit unsavory) they looked, guffawing away like asthmatic hyenas at the antics of a group of gormless, charmless teeenage boys?? I felt embarrassed for them. Though they're probably that shameless and pig-thick ignorant that it probably didn't register with them anyway.
The flick itself floated right by me; we all the formula to this kind of tat, right? A moment or two of mild, faint humour in a sea of predictability and so forth and so on and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
This is not to say I'm not adverse to a prurient, base and nudge-nudge, wink, wink type of humour. Loved Borat, loved Bruno, Leslie Nielsen flicks etc. But these were done well; the Sacha Bohen flicks having a point to them, the Nielsen ones pure slapstick and candy corny. They were fun.
This, on the other hand, was like a TV epsiode so draaaaaaaaaaawn out that it cracked it's unfunnyness like a sledgehammer on a peanut.
Yes, I know it's become of the biggest grossing films at the UK box-office and, yes, I shouldn't read too much into what is just a harmless turd of a flick. But, for fuck's sake, surely movies like this can be better done?
Even my mates seemed underwhelmed by the end of it all.
Terrible stuff.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:20 pm

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DRIVE

My avatar and sig have been vindicated. DRIVE is an excellent crime film that somehow takes the look and sound of LOST IN TRANSLATION and makes it work in a film that is both thrilling and romantic. My favorite moment in the film is actually the most romantic part, the big kiss scene that occurs midway through the film. This film depicts violence in the ugly way that I best relate to it. A lot of time is spent building mood with cinematography and music, like in MIAMI VICE or COLLATERAL. There are no cheesy oneliners or expensive stunts, the film relies on tense plotting, mood, and character work to keep itself moving.

I totally recommend watching this film.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:53 am

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THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE

This film tells the story of a man named Latif in 1980s Iraq, who is recruited by the government because he has an uncanny physical resemblance to Saddam Hussein's son Uday Hussein. Both roles are played by Dominic Cooper. Latif's job is to be Uday's double and impersonate him in public appearances that are dangerous or reprsent a scheduling conflict for the real Uday. Latif is a mild-mannered man and Uday is a spoiled brat taken to Patrick Bateman levels of cokehead psycho rapist. Uday cruises around Bagdad in his sports car snatching up schoolgirls, taking them to his parties, shoving cocaine up their noses, fucking them while they overdose, then dancing around while shooting and stabbing his party guests and then gets his various aids to chuck the bodies in ditches. Uday crashes weddings and insists on raping the bride.

The movie seems to have all these obvious possibilities for conflict, but misses all of them. You've got the obvious conflict of two very different men trying to share one identity. But the problem is that Uday is such a nutso psychopath that you can't reason with him, you can't really undermine him, the only way to stop him is to kill him. They could've even gone with a MAN IN THE IRON MASK type of plot where the double tries to kill the real guy and take his place. The other possible conflict is Latif's internal conflict of losing his own sense of self, or being seduced by the lifestyle available to him as a prince of Iraq, but the film doesn't really go there either. The movie is mostly one good guy impotently disapproving while a bad man does bad things. So it's kinda boring. There's nothing driving it forward.

They throw in Ludivine Sagnier (we all remember wanking to her in SWIMMING POOL right?) as Uday's top mistress who wears various wigs throughout the movie that cause her to look like various American popstars (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera) and she begins to bond with Latif. We hear the aids say that Latif shouldn't fuck her because Uday is possessive of his top whore, but it doesn't really matter. This conflict never happens and as Latif says in the movie, Uday is totally random. Latif says that if Uday ever kills him it will be on some stupid whim and not for any reason that could be understood or avoided and he's right.

So this movie never really finds anything to be about, and Lee Tamahori's direction never finds the right tone to make the scenes simply entertaining in themselves. I'm sad that such a good idea for a movie got wasted.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Bloo on Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:31 am

ABDUCTION
A Bloo Review of a John Singleton film

John Singleton what happened to you? You made a huge splash with Meance II Society and have slowly made worse and worse movies. Has there been any greater carraer downfall then yours? Maybe Cathrine Hardwicke, but even I'm not sure about that. She's made like 5 or 6 films that have gotten progressively worse compared to your ten (I'm counting features only).

This wants to be an Alfred Hitchcock movie so bad, but he can't help himself but fill it full of stupid shit. Alright the story, pretty fucking simple. Taylor "I can't emote worth a shit, the only reason I get work is because I make middle aged women wet their panties" Launtner is a bad ass "rebel". We know this because he rides on the hood of a truck when going to a party. He almost gets into a fight with the girl next door (Lily Collins) - who we later find out really IS the girl next door - doucebag boyfriend. But he controls himself, gets drunk, and passes out. He wakes up (sans shirt, remember we need those soccer moms to pay to see this shit) alone at the party. His best friends, the non descript white kid and the smart black kid capable of making the best fake ids and scoring cool shit like concert and sporting even tickets (guess what this becomes important later), have ditched him. Somehow his dad (Jason Issacs) has found him (it's never stated how) and takes him home. At home his mom (Maria Bello) watches as Issacs and Launtner spar with boxing gloves. Pretty soon this turns into WWE Smackdown with Sharkboy throwing kicks and jumping in the air. She calls them in for supper. Even though he was mad at his dad for making him fight, they get along fine at supper. The next day at school, we have to establish further that "Mr. I never found a shirt I didn't like to take of" knows how to fight by having him a random wrestling match where he pins the kid in like 5 seconds. Now this shouldn't bother me but it does, I don't know how things are done in Penn. but out here, wrestlers wear skintight singlets not muscle shirts and baggy shorts. It bothered the shit out of me. Anyways, we established, twice now, that he knows how to fight. He is then assigned to study cases of missing children for a socicalogy report teamed up with? DING DING DING If you guessed his crush next door, you'd be right. They are surfing through websites of missing children and the computer generated images of what they'd look like now, and lo and behold they discover his childhood picture. Instead of asking his parents about it, he acts like a spoiled child and sulks and lies. He complies a list of evidence, which his mother discovers. But the Russians have found them and attack, killing his parents and almost killing his girl. The chase is on. The CIA is chasing them (headed up by Alfred Molina), the Russians are after them, Sigourney Weaver shows up to help them out. That's right I forgot to mention that Taylor suffers from insomnia and bad dreams and his therapist is Ripley. However the insomnia never comes back into play (in fact it makes no sense since we saw some random girl wake him up at the beginning of the film and he's perfectly sober...or maybe that's just his shitty acting), the bad dreams do though. oh no what will happen? ohh the tension, ohh the intrigue, ohhh the twists and turns.

Yeah no, this was a bullshit movie. They over establish some things to the point it's beating you in the head (ohh he can fight, ohh he doesn't fit in with his parents, ohh he has bad dreams). Other stuff, isn't established at all (they are going to sting the bad guys and kill them, someone has duct taped a gun to the bottom of Taylor's seat. However we never see this happen or even talked about. Nothing establishing this.). There is technology that makes no sense (the supposedly hack free Mac's webcam is turned on by remote, an encrypted binary computer program is text messaged to another phone, a mobile phone is used as a listening device (with no mention how, and the phone isn't thrown away). And this kids are idiots who have never seen a movie or fucking think. They board a goddamn train at one point to go to Nebraska. A FUCKING TRAIN! The worse thing to get on when you're on the fucking run because, you know what, there's no where to run.

Like I said, Singleton wants this be a Hitchcock movie, but it never works. The clues and foreshadowing are too blatant and obvious. When he tries to create tension, it doesn't work, or has no pay off. Bombs go off in Act 3 that weren't introduced in Act 1. Taylor Lautner isn't a believable kid thrown in over his head. The whole purpose of this movie is to groom him as an action star. Neither he or Lily Collins can act (he is limping in the end and the limp changes legs all the time). Weaver looked bored. Bello, out of place. Of the veteran actors only Issacs and Molina seemed to give any more then half an effort into this and that was wasted.

Jesus what a mess of a film. Singleton, I hope selling your soul to the Hollywood devil was worth it.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ye Black Knight on Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:13 am

Forsooth! This knight hath just veiweth'ed "Harry Potter and ye Deathly Hallows, Parte 2"!

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This knight hath uneasy wonderings about these wizardly tales, dear Ye Zone-ians, whence a young squire pointe'th his white "wand" at elders (whose only garb beith a loose fitting robe) and white magic leap'eth from said "wand" and onto one another! Much ballyhoo is given to he who wielde'th ye most powerful, and most size-able wand!

Additionally, ye rapscallion Lord Voldemort sport a visage that hath a great likeness to a loin-sword! And what manner of beast be'ith Voldemort's favored companion? Why, a serpent of course!

This knight hath no quarrel with men who take'th pleasure in "crossing thiere swords", yet uneasy am I whence pubescents be'ith drawn into theire escapades!

Still, a quality cinematale nonetheless!

This post now concludeth!
VIEW THIS KNIGHT'S WEB'TALES OF METAL, PRESENT'ETH'D IN YE ART OF PURE CINEMA:
http://www.heavymetalsuperstar.com
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:40 am

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BELLFLOWER

So I saw the trailer for this film, which looked somewhat amateur especially in the quality of the acting but something about it just grabbed me. The fetishistic shots of the car and the hard driving music appealed to me. I saw the film on Saturday, and it is a bit amateur, but more on a technical level than an artistic level. The sound levels are a bit wonky and so the actors frequently sound like they're projecting loudly into a microphone when they're just supposed to be sitting around talking. They also occassionally employ a posterizing after-effect that usually just ends up looking really cheap and out of an early 90s music video. There are also some title cards for each chapter in the film that I think they totally should've scrapped. But for the most part the movie looks pretty good and the music is well-integrated too.

For a group of actors making their debuts, the acting is good enough. I had my doubts about the lead guy because he also happens to be the writer and the director and I would generally advise against writing, directing and starring in your debut film unless you're prepared to be the next Tommy Wiseau. For the first while in the film he comes across like a Michael Cera clone. That high pitched voice, the nervous mannerisms and he even looked like Cera. I figured this actor-director guy was probably just like that in real life, I didn't realize how good an act it was until halfway through the movie when he grows a beard and gets all these wounds from a car accident, he drops his voice a couple octaves and starts seeming like a Christian Bale toughguy.

The film is about two somewhat nerdy alcoholic lifelong best friends in their 20s who have moved to Los Angeles to build a MAD MAX car. The two grew up watching MAD MAX 2 over and over again and idolized Lord Humongous and decided that they want to be the alpha males of the wasteland once the apocalypse happens. They decide that the way to do this is to have a crazy musclecar that shoots flames and smoke screens and whatnot. They spend all their time working on the car and drinking. The main guy meets a spunky love interest who warns him she'll break his heart. He gains confidence from driving an awesome flamethrower car and wafflehausing a hot chick and gradually transforms from Michael Cera dweeb into the Balesque toughguy. He spends the rest of the movie dealing with his desires to become a drunken violent womanizing madman and whether Lord Humongous really has a place in the pre-apocalyptic world.

The film walks a fine line, always teetering on the edge of falling into some really annoying hipster movie but always holding itself together. The obsession with MAD MAX could've easily fallen into a lot of lame wannabe Tarantino style dialogue about pop culture and hipsterisms, but BELLFLOWER shows good restraint and sticks to its bigger ideas and sincere characters rather than trying to impress us with its taste in music and slick references.

This film reminded me most of ALL THE REAL GIRLS, both in its no-budget look and feel as well as its offbeat lovestory and some of its themes about ideals versus reality when it comes to how men think about the women they love, and the difficult transformation into manhood. I liked this movie more than ALL THE REAL GIRLS, I found it more engaging, but if you liked that movie and some of David Gordon Green's other early no budget dramas (before he started doing lowbrow stoner comedies), you'll probably like this too. This was a decent flick and I hope this guy gets to make more movies.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:10 am

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ANOTHER EARTH

This is a low-budget sci-fi movie driven entirely by its characters, themes, and ideas and not by its spectacle nor by a sense of discovery or awe. It asks more questions than it answers, and that's fine by me. The sci-fi idea in this movie is that a second version of our own planet, Earth, suddenly becomes visible orbiting very near to our own Earth. When we establish contact with the other Earth, we learn that not only are the planets identical, but so are their inhabitants, meaning there's another version of you out there.

The plot revolves around two characters. The main character, Rhoda, was top highschool student on her way to the Ivy League when she drank a bit much and drove a bit carelessly and smashed into another car killing a small family except for the father, John. Rhoda goes to jail for several years and is released. She is still horribly guilt ridden and suicidal. She begins work as a janitor and gradually integrates herself into John's life as his maid. John is now a sad drunken shut-in with bad headaches. He doesn't recognize her because he never met her, he was in a coma for months after the accident and her identity was kept secret by the courts because she was a youth. I typically don't like movies where it feels like we're waiting for one character to reveal a secret, that we the audience already know, to another character. But this one didn't drag it out too bad.

The film concerns itself with its human drama and philisophical questions about second chances, perspective, and self image.

The girl playing Rhoda is okay, she mostly just has to look guilt-ridden the whole film. The guy playing John gives a good performance that has a lot range, he does a good job at showing how is grief and drinking and headaches result in occassional frightening outbursts but that he is still a good, but messed up guy inside. The camera work is a handheld docudrama feel (but don't worry, it's not found footage style, it's a straightup drama) that isn't bad most of the time but sometimes does a jerky zoom-in that feels kinda cheap and better suited to home videos and old kung-fu movies. The piano and violin score is a bit intrusive, overly meloncholy, and repetative at times but never distracting.

Overall I'd say this is an okay movie. If you like low budget downer character-driven sci-fi movies. On a technical level this one isn't as polished as NEVER LET ME GO, but it explores its interesting ideas and drama well and in a sincere fashion.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:03 am

i (and apparently a lot of other people) saw Paranormal Activity 3 this past weekend.
in a nutshell: much of the film is very good, but the ending (or lack thereof) is horrible. obviously to go into any depth i have to go into spoilers.

the film starts out with a few extra scenes that would have been in PA2 that partially set up this film. in it, we see pregnant kristi getting a visit from katie, where she drops off a box full of old vhs tapes that she doesn't have room for now that's she's moving in with micah. they can't remember where the tapes came from or why katie had them (they were left to her by her grandmother or something), and they don't have a vcr to watch them with, so they stow them in kristi's basement.... the same attic where all the ghost crap in PA2 begins. then, we see the part of PA2 where they come home and the house is destroyed, and they think it's a burglar or vandal, and this time a new scene is inserted where they mention that the only thing missing from the basement is that box of tapes.

then we start seeing the tapes themselves (by the way, no mention of how these tapes were eventually found again, unlike the first two films where we are given the impression we are seeing a film constructed from tapes found after the events took place, but after the last film, i've given up on trying to figure out the logic of the films, and decided it's just better to sit back and watch and not think too much), featuring katie and kristi as little girls, their mom, and their mom's boyfriend. as usual, they start out fairly innocent, with a birthday party, and a pretty funny attempt at a sex tape that is interrupted by an earthquake. when watching back the tape of the quake, the bf notices some dust in the form of a figure that suddenly disappears. he's convinced there's something weird in the house, and conveniently he has a business as someone who videotapes weddings, so he's got all the cameras and video editing equipment necessary to tape and watch what's going on. from there it's the familiar story of ever-increasing ghost shit happening on camera. most of the new scares are well-done. in particular, one moment involving the babysitter and a sheet and another scene of katie getting lifted off the ground by her ponytail. in a twist on the previous films, this time it's the mom, not the bf, who doubts there's anything weird happening... but after one particularly intense night, the mom is convinced, and they all run to stay with the grandmother.... and that's where the shit really goes down, and some clues to what's really going on get explained.

and that leads up to the ending, which means the rest of this is all spoiler-y. so they end up at grandma's house, and we find out grandma is in a coven with a bunch of other old ladies. the bf wakes up in the middle of the night, his wife is missing, the kids are missing, and the house seems empty. so like any reasonable person would do, he turns on his video camera and goes looking for them. eventually he finds the kid, and mom (who i think might have been dead, but we never find out for sure) and then the grandma shows up, and "toby" which is the name that kristi gave her imaginary demon friend, and the grandma seems to command toby to kill the bf, which he does in pretty convincing fashion. then the grandma takes the two kids hands, says something like "let's get started now" and they walk upstairs, but not until kristi turns around and tells the demon to come with them. they walk up the stairs.... and that's it. WTF? first of all, let's start with the kids. through most of the movie, kristi seems to be friends with "toby" but then there are other moments where she's scared by the activity or whats going on... including at the end at the grandma's house. was she just pretending? and katie too, most of the time she seems to not be involved in the activity, and is more of a victim of it, and is more scared by it. but then at the end we see a moment where she seems to be possessed and attacks the bf. and then she calmly goes along with the grandma and the demon too. plus, there are times with kristi where we see her talking to the demon and saying stuff like "i don't want to" or "no i won't do it" or stuff like that. like the demon is trying to make her do something she doesn't want to. and then finally towards the end she says "ok i'll do it".... but do what? we never find out. since we heard all through the first two films about how their house had burnt down, i figured this film would end with the fire, and finding out how it happened, and maybe the demon was asking kristi to start the fire.... but there is no fire, and there is no burning down of the house. and if the mom and bf end up dead (not sure about the mom though) at the end of the movie, then when does this house burning ever happen? seemed like the first film implied their parents were still alive when the house burned down. then i thought maybe the demon is asking her to have a male baby, because they need a firstborn male, as set up in PA2, and referenced again by the grandma early in the film when she tries to convince the mom to have a son. but that's never confirmed either, and it would be kind of weird to ask a 6-year-old girl to promise to have a son. so there's just so much loose ends hanging around this ending, it's completely unsatisfying. but of course, it leaves the door WIDE OPEN for a sequel. which is probably the real intent of it.

oh, and finally.... after those opening scenes setting up the video tapes, we never return to "2006" or whenever. PA2 ended with katie killing them and taking hunter, for what purpose we don't know. i figured this movie too would return to shed some light on what happened after the end of PA2... but nothing. no mention of hunter, katie, what she did with him or where she took him. i thought the way the film was going, we'd end up seeing her deliver the baby to the coven that we discover in this film. but no.... that cliffhanger is never resolved, and we just get another cliffhanger piled on top of it.


so yeah... the more i think about the ending, the more angry and frustrated i get. i had issues with PA1's ending, but that was mostly because that last lunge at the camera was a cheap scare that went against everything else that led up to that point in the movie, and broke the 4th wall that the film had done so well at setting up. the PA2 ending is a bit abrupt and sudden, but i really liked how it tied in to the first film. the ending of this film... it just feels unfinished. it just feels like they forgot to include the last reel or something, something that would tie the events of this film in with the others, and it never happens and really leaves you hanging in an unsatisfied way.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby SilentScream on Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:05 am

Weekend.
No, not Godard's pretentious classic but a really fine and moving queer romance flick that takes place over a 2 day period and concerns what happens when a likeable and chilled out guy meets a more robust and outspoken guy at a club one friday night. In the following couple of days we follow their relationship as it becomes far more than the usual one night stand. Will it become something far more deep and personal? Permanent perhaps? Or will it just peter out as most transitory flings do?

Mmmm, so far doesn't sound that exciting, huh? Why should we care? Hasn't this kind of boring stuff been done a million times before? BUT...hold your horses a moment! Pull back those preconceived prejudices, cause this flick is FAR more than some soppy guy meets guy encounter with a ......ending. Infact, it's a touching study of individual identity and just how far one is willing to have their identity and feelings assimiliated into a loving relationship with someone who, though you really connect with, is someone who is the opposite of you. I found it an extremely well crafted and wonderfully scripted film; directed with a sure touch and containing lovely performances in what is essentially a two-hander.

So ok, it's about two g@y guys. But don't let that put any straight guys off. There's no playing to the camp, melodramatic gallery and, more importantly, it's themes are pretty universal and played out with lots of credibility and naturalism. So do yourself a favour; give it a watch or rent it on DVD when it comes out. It's heartwarming and intelligent, one of the best flicks I've seen this year and very highly recommended.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:55 am

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DARK CRYSTAL

So I saw this film for the first time at my local grindhouse last night. I think it's considered a semi-classic for people a bit older than I, and regarded as Jim Henson's most ambitious technical achievement in puppetry.

It's your standard fantasy epic about the good light-skinned people and the bad dark-skinned people and the prophecy that a brave boy from the good tribe, with the help of a fiesty love interest, he will journey to find the magical object, take it to the magic altar, and trigger the big special effects sequence that will eliminate all the bad and fill the land with good blah blah blah.

The plot is pretty boring and it doesn't help that the movie starts with a lot of expository narration, and then all this information is then repeated immediately by the characters in the scenes after the openning narration. It might've helped if they'd left one cliché unused or developed any of the characters deeper than one-dimensional archetypes. The ideas are all absurdly simplistic. People are born bad, are easily identifiable by how they look, do bad things for no reason, and cannot be reasoned with or changed. Good people are born good, and never even face temptations to do bad things. The only idea I liked in the film was the Jungian aspect that the good and the bad used to be one and split and so each good person has a counterpart in the bad tribe. If a bad guy is stabbed, a good guy develops a wound. If a bad guy dies, a good guy will just fade away into nothing. This idea isn't really explored enough though. It's just about getting the magic object to the magic place.

I probably sound like I'm being really negative, but I actually found this an okay movie. After the boring early parts, it gets entertaining in the way all Jim Henson stuff is, which is the joy of watching cute creatures with funny voices and the way the puppeteers manipulate them to express personalities and emotions. And when the plot is moving, it's not so bad, it's just when it stops to explain itself that it gets a bit tedious.

So overall, this is okay. A great technical achievement, but an average film.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby tfactor on Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:26 pm

OK so I just wanted to jump in here because for the first time in a long time - the wife was able to talk me into spending money on not 1 but 2 movies.

Spoilers ahead - you've been warned

#1 was paranormal activity 3 - Holly shit this movie sucked. Like most of you I caught the advertisement which was the audiences reactions only to the movie, so naturally I thought; there must be something worth seeing here. Plus these idiots have had 2 other movies in which to perfect their "Art" however this movie was not artzy, it was not scary and the ending just completely fucking sucked!

#2 Breaking Dawn (Twilight part1) which honestly I had low expectations for. However as a stand alone movie - this wasn't a complete waste of time. I enjoyed the movie overall, though honestly the movie is seriously way to drawn out at times. Like during delivery once the baby comes and Belle is dying. It felt like that scene went on for 20 minutes. Anyway the movie was worth seeing and I don't think you should hold off until part 2 is released.

thats it for me, though honestly I feel I have fallen from the know. Both of the movies I went to see - I hadn't read word one about either. And I just keep thinking, if I had only been more active in the Zone - we could have not wasted our time & money checking out PA3. Though on the flip side - I would have also known everything there is to know about Twilight, so .... yeah!

Hope you enjoy and are able to avoid shitty movies - unlike I was.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:26 pm

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On the weekend I went to see this movie, so I think I should talk about it.

EXIT THE DRAGON, ENTER THE TIGER

This was my first foray into the field of Brucesploitation (the films made to capitalize on Bruce Lee's death) and it may be my last because I don't really see them doing one that is better and more tasteless than this. They get a Bruce Lee lookalike to call himself Bruce Li and star in this film. Bruce Li plays Bruce Lee as well as the main character, David, who Bruce Lee (played by Bruce Li) names as his successor and avengor. The Bruce Lee character tells David that he's being menaced by the mob and if he dies, David must avenge his death. This, of course, happens immediately.

Bruce Li may not have Bruce Lee's charisma, physical abiltiy, energy, or sense of decency, but he certainly does have a lot of posters of him. Everywhere in this movie they just hang the same two or three mounted Bruce Lee posters in the background just to remind us of the iconic status that is being siphoned. Most of the time it doesn't even make sense. Why would strip bars and loading docks have posters of Bruce Lee? And it's pretty surreal seeing this lookalike guy fighting in front of posters of the real guy.

There's a fair bit of mediocre kung-fu action, but it's definately the tasteless re-writing/fictionalizing of Lee's life that made this a worthwhile viewing. It made me realize that just how little ambition THE SOCIAL NETWORK had in the slander department. They shoulda got James Frey to take a pass at that screenplay.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby SilentScream on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:34 am

50/50.

(First off, I do not like Seth Rogen - a stupid, inconsequential performer with zero comic timing who belongs on daytime TV. That said, he's OK in this movie, so begrudging credit to him).

The picture itself I really liked for the most part. It's a dark comedy drama about a young guy who learns he has cancer and is given a 50/50 chance of survival. Not the cheeriest of subjects to watch while munching your popcorn, I know, but the director somehow steers a really good course throughout it all, not allowing the potential mushy and gushy sentimentality to swamp the story. I was thinking PLEEEASE DO NOT turn into one of those Bette Davis, Warner Brother's flicks of the 1940's - a slushly weepie. And, fair play, it didn't. It kept it's nerve. Infact, I was impressed by the lack of self-pity in the picture; and the darkish humour, too, sat really well with the reality of the situation that the protagonist was going through. That was very well handled.
The only downside was the portrayal of the women in the flick. That didn't sit well with me in parts and though I can see this is a movie that incorporates a large 'bromance' element (and how I fucking LOATHE that term 'bromance'!) that was no excuse for the slight anti-women feel that came through. There was no real need for it. Minus points for that.
That said, overall the script was pretty spot on and the subject itself, the big C, though downbeat, did have an affirmation about it which I applaud.
And what of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the main role? Well, ever since seeing him in Mysterious Skin a few years back, he's an actor who I rate highly. Here, he's excellent, portraying a man with cancer not so much as a victim but as a quite unlikeable person, too, in parts. It's a subtle and affecting performance that does, for me, establish him as an actor of real, durable quality.

A qualified success, but (overall) a flick well worth seeing.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby minstrel on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:56 pm

Review of Hugo
I went to see Hugo last night with my roomie. It took a bit of doing, because the first theater we went to that was showing it (Laemmle’s Fallbrook) was showing it NOT in 3D. That put us off that theater forever. So we went to a later showing at a theater further away (AMC) and were pretty steamed to have to do so.

I’d heard great things about this movie, so I went in with high expectations. These expectations were mostly fulfilled. But I found that this movie had a fairly glaring weakness that, while not completely ruining it, kept it out of the ranks of classics, at least for me.

The rest of this review contains spoilers, so proceed with caution!

For those who don’t know yet, this movie takes place in Paris in the 1930s, and deals with a young boy named Hugo who lives in a train station, and, after being trained in such matters by his late father and uncle, maintains the station’s clocks. He does this on the sly – he has no official position, and if the authorities find out about him (said authorities consist of Sacha Baron Cohen), he will be sent to an orphanage.

In addition to his work on the clocks, Hugo has an automaton that his father brought home from a museum. It’s a mechanical, clockwork man that, when it working order, can write and draw. This automaton is not in working order, however, and Hugo’s obsession is to try to fix it.

In the meantime, Hugo has run-ins with various station regulars, including a mysterious old man who runs a toy shop at the station. It turns out that this old man is really the famous movie pioneer Georges Melies, who has been brought low by circumstances beyond his control, and is now trying to forget his film career.

I’m going to start with the glaring weakness I mentioned above. The plot attempts to glue Hugo’s story to Melies’s story through this automaton, and it didn’t really work for me. That connection was so tenuous that it looked to me like original novelist Brian Selznick had two books in mind: one about a boy in a train station, and one about Georges Melies, and for some reason, he decided to combine them together into one somewhat misshapen thing. I’ve never read the novel, but the movie looks a bit like that. Hugo is obsessed with clockwork mechanisms and fixing things, and Melies’s world didn’t have much to do with that. If Hugo had been obsessed with movies (he has an interest in them, but they don’t rule his life), then I’d buy into the connection between him and Melies much more easily.

Okay, so what works about the movie? That’s easy: the visuals. This movie is one of the most gorgeous, beautiful movies to just look at I’ve ever seen. The production design, art direction, and so on should all win Oscars, along with the cinematography. The sets are incredible, the views of Paris eye-popping. The 3D works perfectly in the service of all this. Even without a script, a story, or a cast, it would be worth money just to sit in a theater with the sound off and just watch. Scorsese and his collaborators have set a very, very high bar here visually, and I bet some lesser directors are scurrying around trying to find ways of upgrading their own projects to match this new standard.

The cast is all good. I’d never seen Asa Butterfield before, but he carries this movie almost effortlessly. A very talented kid. Ben Kingsley does his curmudgeon act very well – maybe we’ve seen it before, but he’s good at it. Chloe Grace Moretz does a good job with a fairly one-dimensional part, as Melies’s granddaughter (goddaughter?) and Hugo’s only friend. She’s pretty much just a friendly, clever girl who wants to go on adventures – I got a strong whiff of young Ellie from Up from her. Sacha Baron Cohen is effective, if a little over-the-top, as the comic-relief station inspector. Christopher Lee shows up and is, surprise, Christopher Lee.

I really enjoyed this movie I’d rate it 10/10 except for that clumsy plot issue. As it is, I think it’s a strong 9/10. Highly recommended!
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ye Black Knight on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:26 pm

Lo, for this knight hath just screened "Caligula" once more, and truly this be'ith one of ye finest cinemasagas e'er create'thd!
This knight proffers his highest recommendation for this film, yet I implore thee to view ye "unrated version"! Verily, for this edition contain'eth far more gratuitous content of wanton sex and violence!

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Another note for thee whom hath not witnessed this towering achievement of cinema: prepare thineself for tears, dear Ye Zone'ians! Tears of both tittilating joy, and most bitter sorrow!


This post now concludeth!
VIEW THIS KNIGHT'S WEB'TALES OF METAL, PRESENT'ETH'D IN YE ART OF PURE CINEMA:
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:03 am

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GREMLINS

My local grindhouse operator tells me this is the film people request the most and that it was a major coup to track down a 35mm print. At least all those people who demanded this movie showed up to watch it, because the place was packed. I had seen it as a kid, but didn't remember it so I used this theatrical showing as an oportunity to rediscover it. I honestly can't say that I totally get the love for this movie. It's alright and the monsters are pretty cute and funny. At the same time, it's full of the same type of humour you find in any given stupid kids movie like THE CHIPMUNKS or THE SMURFS/LES SCHTROUMPFS/DIE SCHLÜMPFE. I'm sure most of the guys who moan and groan about THE CHIPMUNKS being the epitome of pandering lame cinema consider GREMLINS to be some sort of classic. Gremlins are born and instantly they're making pop culture references and mimicking human behaviour (that they haven't witnessed) because it's cute and funny, not because it really makes any sense.

The storytelling is generally okay but not super tight. It seems like it sets up lots of things that don't really pay off. Especially the stuff about the father being an inventor. I thought it was a big setup for him to invent some gremlin-killing machine later, but no, he's just a failed inventor and the narrator for no good reason.

The movie also follows your standard horror movie formula of setting up unlikeable characters so that we can enjoy watching them get killed off later, but then I think the movie abandons most of them. They set up Judge Reinhold as the hero's douchey rival and I thought for sure he would get some sort of comeuponce, but then I think his character just disappears.

There are plenty of laughs, the funniest being when Phoebe Cates finally reveals why she hates Christmas. That monologue was like something right out of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN. I also laughed at the nasty lady's railed chair whipping her through her window.

So all and all, this movie is okay. I get that lots of guys saw it as children and played with dolls of Gizmo and have more affection for it than I do, but it's mostly just a cute stupid 80s kids movie.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TonyWilson on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:30 am

You laughed at the Cates monologue? :shock: :shock:
That's the moment that for me gives the film a little bit of weight and seriousness to anchor everything else. You heartless monster :D
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:16 pm

dying in a silly costume while doing something stupid = comedy
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:39 am

I realized I forgot to do a review of this.



GONE WITH THE POPE

When I saw this trailer it got me really excited. This really looked like the ultimate badass grindhouse flick. As it turns out, it has way more heart than it does pulpy tasteless thrills. This is obviously a very personal film for Duke Mitchel dealing with his Catholic issues in the same fucked up way as other Italian American Catholic directors such as Abel Ferrera or Martin Scorcese have. It's definitely closest to Ferrera's Catholic film BAD LIEUTENANT in tone and overall fuckedupness.

For a self-financed grindhouse movie written directed and starring one dude, it's surprisingly well built and professional on all technical levels. But like I said, it's more of an exploration of Catholic issues than it is the trashy gangster flick that awesome trailer makes it out to be. If you're somebody like me who can actually sit and watch exploitation trash like blaxplolitation movies and not be bored, you won't regret watching it. But I don't recommend this to the average film fan who finds those types of movies better in theory or when they're being parodied in stuff like BLACK DYNAMITE than actually watching them.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby bastard_robo on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:47 am

Sunday: Took my 83 year old Grandmother to watch the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...

So that happened.


Then I hopped over to LA to see Battle Royale on the big screen for the first time, in what were probably the most god awful seats I've ever had the opportunity to sit in...
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:14 am

bastard_robo wrote:Sunday: Took my 83 year old Grandmother to watch the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...

So that happened.


Then I hopped over to LA to see Battle Royale on the big screen for the first time, in what were probably the most god awful seats I've ever had the opportunity to sit in...


ah.... watching anal rape on the big screen with grandma! is there any better way to spend the holidays? i sure can't think of any.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby bastard_robo on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:26 am

TheBaxter wrote:
bastard_robo wrote:Sunday: Took my 83 year old Grandmother to watch the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...

So that happened.


Then I hopped over to LA to see Battle Royale on the big screen for the first time, in what were probably the most god awful seats I've ever had the opportunity to sit in...


ah.... watching anal rape on the big screen with grandma! is there any better way to spend the holidays? i sure can't think of any.



Oh.. if you look up awkward or uncomfortable in the dictionary, you'll see me in a dark theater, the light of the movie gently reflecting off of me and my grandmother, and you'll see me leaning all the way over on the opposite side of the seat, and my grandmother watching intensely...

Thank God she didn't have questions afterwards...
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:47 am

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TAKE SHELTER

This is a slow-moving low budget film about a man named Kurtis (played by Michael Shannon who looks a lot like Richard Kiel) whose dreams of impending disaster compell him to act in bizarre ways. Kurtis is a mildmannered small town construction manager and loving family man. His wife is played by Jessica Chastain reprising her role from TREE OF LIFE, except getting some of that dialogue stuff this time. I found her character to be somewhat unrealistic in her endlessly supportive and understanding nature. Like something out of a dream of the 1950s she is just always so loving and right there in the morning looking beautiful and graceful and content serving this nice homecooked breakfast to her man. She was just a little too patient and devoted sometimes.

The movie plays well with our fears of going crazy and what we would do when we could no longer trust our own senses and instincts. The movie progresses along a clear path with some predictable/inevitable plot points such as Kurtis losing his job, and I will admit that at times I did get a little impatient and just wanted to jump ahead and find out how it would all end.

The dialogue and its delivery isn't as stylized as WINTER'S BONE, but I found the films had a bit of a similiar feel with these country folk (although the people in this film aren't total hillbillies) who all have these established relationships and blurt out minimalist dialogue in between dramatic pauses in these quiet scenes. Same as WINTER'S BONE, I didn't always connect with this film in a huge way, but I did like it and feel it is well made. I don't think anybody who is a patient viewer would regret watching this film. The ending might be a bit too M. Nighty for some people's tastes, but it didn't bug me. I found the two scenes near the ending (the one where he freaks out at the town lunch hall and the scene where he has to leave the shelter after the storm) to be the most powerful and I would say that it's a sign of a good movie that it had earned those scenes and a wise move of the director's to linger on those two scenes so much.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:39 pm

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SHAME

Michael Fassbender stars as the title character in this drama about a pair of fuckup siblings. Shame is the fuckup who appears solid on the surface, he is successful in his career, well-liked, handsome, clean, healthy-looking, but he is a sad man struggling with the shame of being a sex maniac. He uses every free moment of his life to watch porno, fuck hookers, and wank. Shame's sister, Sissy, is played by Carrie Mulligan as the more obvious fuckup, a lounge singer with no home or stable job who is instantly recognizable as clingy and needy. We the audience wonder why these two are so fucked up, and then it is revealed that they are Irish and therefore probably Catholic. The two have an intense relationship that frequently has an incestual overtone to it. I guess if you're really angry at your sister and you happen to be naked you wouldn't go and put clothes on and then come back and choke her, but still, this film involves a lot of these two rolling around naked together or snuggling in bed and talking really close. It's creepy and shameful.

The key word with this film is 'lingering'. Long scenes, long takes, long pauses. It seems being dead for 30 years has made Steven McQueen very patient and it shows in his filmmaking. Scenes that at first feel pointless gradually reveal their intentions. The film features lot of that acting stuff you've heard about on the internet. Fassbender frequently hangs his head in shame, and cries out in shame, whimpers in shame, and lashes out in shame. His brooding performance really communicates the shame of living with shame. I will admit that in the past I have had trouble taking this idea of 'sex addiction' completely seriously as an addiction. It mostly seemed like men who make shameful decisions and are too ashamed to accept responsibility, but this film dramatizes it well in a way that helps me understand it a bit better. This film takes us through the psychological cycles of these two self-destructive individuals, starting with the lead containing his problem and showing us how he uses sex to deal with everything in his life and when we get to the part where he goes on a sex bender it really rang home for me how similiar this is to other chemical addictions.

Some of subject matter and the tone made me think a bit about Steve Soderbergh's THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and I think SHAME has a much clearer idea of what its themes are and what it wants to show and say. It's probably more like something like YOU CAN COUNT ON ME or FIVE EASY PIECES, but because of the Soderberghesque directing style it doesn't look or feel like those movies. I liked this film and would recommend it to patient viewers, although I don't think I would watch it again.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:18 pm

bastard_robo wrote:
TheBaxter wrote:
bastard_robo wrote:Sunday: Took my 83 year old Grandmother to watch the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...

So that happened.


Then I hopped over to LA to see Battle Royale on the big screen for the first time, in what were probably the most god awful seats I've ever had the opportunity to sit in...


ah.... watching anal rape on the big screen with grandma! is there any better way to spend the holidays? i sure can't think of any.



Oh.. if you look up awkward or uncomfortable in the dictionary, you'll see me in a dark theater, the light of the movie gently reflecting off of me and my grandmother, and you'll see me leaning all the way over on the opposite side of the seat, and my grandmother watching intensely...

Thank God she didn't have questions afterwards...


Your grandma is 83, why would she have questions? I'm sure she knows what sodomy is. LOL Did she read the book? There was a few more things happening in the book during that scene that included "adult toys."
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:20 pm

I just watched The Iron Lady... pretty darn good. It was better than J. Edgar. Meryl was great.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby The Vicar on Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:41 pm

justcheckin wrote:I just watched The Iron Lady... pretty darn good. It was better than J. Edgar. Meryl was great.


Streep just bagged a Golden Globe for it.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:16 pm

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A DANGEROUS METHOD

This a film revolving around the relationship between Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Sabine Spielrein a woman who starts out as a patient of Jung's getting treated for hysteria but who ultimately becomes a psychoanalyst herself. The film is mostly conversations dealing explicitly with ideas. We see Jung clash with Freud because he feels Freud's theories about human pyschology are too simplisitc. Freud and Jung also have personal tension because Freud refuses to deal with Jung as anything but an apprentice, when Jung wants to be treated as an equal. Jung also deals with internal conflict in that he feels shame about sleeping with his patient, Spielrein, although all his colleagues assure him that this is a perk of the job and he shouldn't beat himself up over it. So I would say there is a fair bit of drama and conflict here, definately enough to sustain an interesting movie. The film has a pretty solid idea of its scope and story arc and delivers its material in a precise and focussed manner. It never becomes boring, but I also wouldn't say it ever really becomes exciting either.

The acting is generally pretty good. I found Viggo as Freud and Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross felt the most natural in their roles. Fassbender delivers Jung's uptightness, but doesn't completely give the character a warmer side that might've helped seeing as I think we in the audience are supposed to identify most with him. Knightley's character is by far the most demanding. I think she does a good job howling and making angry monkey faces while Fassbender spanks her, but I will admit that maybe it's her baggage from other roles that made it a bit difficult accepting her in this role.

If the movie really has anything holding it back, it's the tv movie production values. It looks a bit cheap and the environments frequently feel stagey with extras that look like extras and uninspiring cinematorgraphy. It feels like a bit of a rushed product that didn't have time to really prep locations or do a lot of rehearsals or plan out sequences with any flair. I think a bit more atmosphere and more stylish look would've given it more impact. But overall it's a decent flick. I had a good time and think this material could've been an AMADEUS level film, but it definitely didn't get anywhere close to that.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:46 pm

The Vicar wrote:
justcheckin wrote:I just watched The Iron Lady... pretty darn good. It was better than J. Edgar. Meryl was great.


Streep just bagged a Golden Globe for it.


I think so too.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:40 am

Spandau Belly wrote:Image

SHAME

Michael Fassbender stars as the title character in this drama about a pair of fuckup siblings. Shame is the fuckup who appears solid on the surface, he is successful in his career, well-liked, handsome, clean, healthy-looking, but he is a sad man struggling with the shame of being a sex maniac. He uses every free moment of his life to watch porno, fuck hookers, and wank. Shame's sister, Sissy, is played by Carrie Mulligan as the more obvious fuckup, a lounge singer with no home or stable job who is instantly recognizable as clingy and needy. We the audience wonder why these two are so fucked up, and then it is revealed that they are Irish and therefore probably Catholic. The two have an intense relationship that frequently has an incestual overtone to it. I guess if you're really angry at your sister and you happen to be naked you wouldn't go and put clothes on and then come back and choke her, but still, this film involves a lot of these two rolling around naked together or snuggling in bed and talking really close. It's creepy and shameful.

The key word with this film is 'lingering'. Long scenes, long takes, long pauses. It seems being dead for 30 years has made Steven McQueen very patient and it shows in his filmmaking. Scenes that at first feel pointless gradually reveal their intentions. The film features lot of that acting stuff you've heard about on the internet. Fassbender frequently hangs his head in shame, and cries out in shame, whimpers in shame, and lashes out in shame. His brooding performance really communicates the shame of living with shame. I will admit that in the past I have had trouble taking this idea of 'sex addiction' completely seriously as an addiction. It mostly seemed like men who make shameful decisions and are too ashamed to accept responsibility, but this film dramatizes it well in a way that helps me understand it a bit better. This film takes us through the psychological cycles of these two self-destructive individuals, starting with the lead containing his problem and showing us how he uses sex to deal with everything in his life and when we get to the part where he goes on a sex bender it really rang home for me how similiar this is to other chemical addictions.

Some of subject matter and the tone made me think a bit about Steve Soderbergh's THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE and I think SHAME has a much clearer idea of what its themes are and what it wants to show and say. It's probably more like something like YOU CAN COUNT ON ME or FIVE EASY PIECES, but because of the Soderberghesque directing style it doesn't look or feel like those movies. I liked this film and would recommend it to patient viewers, although I don't think I would watch it again.


the ironic thing is, the vast majority of this film's viewers will probably just be sex addicts who watch it so they can wank to the naked scenes of carrie mulligan.







like me :oops:
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:10 pm

I just saw The Artist, really great. The dog should win an award. :)
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby The Vicar on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:29 pm

justcheckin wrote:I just saw The Artist, really great. The dog should win an award. :)


Is it true that Andy Serkis plays the dog?
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby justcheckin on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:54 pm

The Vicar wrote:
justcheckin wrote:I just saw The Artist, really great. The dog should win an award. :)


Is it true that Andy Serkis plays the dog?


Actually, the dog looked more like Michael Cera.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby minstrel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:56 pm

justcheckin wrote:
The Vicar wrote:
justcheckin wrote:I just saw The Artist, really great. The dog should win an award. :)


Is it true that Andy Serkis plays the dog?


Actually, the dog looked more like Michael Cera.


That just shows how great an actor Andy Serkis is.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Al Shut on Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:29 am

I'm pretty sure the dog already won an award.
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