What have you been watching? (Cinema)

New movies! Old movies! B-movies! Discuss discuss discuss!!!

Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:56 am

LIFE OF PI

I read this novel about 10 years ago when it was all the rage, and from what I remember, this film is a very faithful (no pun intended) adaptation. The film follows Pi Patel, a young man from India who is obsessed with religion and his adventures as a shipwrecked cast-away at sea test and affirm his faith.

You can choose to take the film's message one of two ways:

1. Religious people know their own religions are bullshit but pretend to believe them because they are weak cowards who can't handle life straight-up.

-or-

2. Faith is about believing that the extraordinary is possible despite a lack of tangible evidence.

I am not a religious person and have no "spiritual" beliefs, but I can generally accept these types of movies on their own terms and so I took the story's message in that second, more romantic, way and enjoyed it.

Ang Lee does an amazing job bringing this story, which I considered unfilmable, to the screen. He is able to capture a sense of awe in seeing various natural wonders. Many of the sequences are ambitiously staged, visually arresting, and feel like they are out of FANTASIA or BARAKA. The score is also very similiar to portions of BARAKA, employing lots of woodwinds and light chimes.

The film involves a lot of gruesome violent events, but Ang Lee keeps them off-camera. I'm not sure if this was to preserve the film's overall feeling of wonder, or if it was to secure a certain rating. There were lots of families in the cinema when I saw this, and I think Lee probably made the right choice in making this story accessible to children because I think kids are less cynical and more likely to enjoy this film than adults.

By my guess, the film is mostly animated. A lot of the film's characters are animals. The co-lead is a tiger who is on the lifeboat with Pi. I found the CGI very convincing, although more critical eyes may disagree. The only time the CGI really looked fake to me was when the tiger gets all skinny from starving and his sluggish movements and skinny body looked somewhat mechanical.

The only thing I didn't like in the movie was the hipster Montreal writer guy, to whom Pi is recounting the story. I get that this guy was trying to seem sincere, but he just came across like a total tool. He came across like every guy I've ever met who says "I want to be a writer" and you can tell what he really means is "I want to get laid". I'm glad the film ended with a shot a of a CGI tiger scrotum than having to look at this dope's face as we faded to the credits.

Speaking of the narration, I'm also pretty sure that they jump between different actors doing the narration. I think sometimes it is being narrated by the adult actor who is telling the story to the Montreal dickface, and other times I think it is being narrated by the actor who played Pi at the age during which the events occurred. I thought that was a bit odd, but it didn't bother me.

So I think this was a very pretty film. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:40 pm

Saw Silver Linings Playbook this weekend. Let me be clear, the one and only reason I saw it is because the wife is infatuated with Bradley Cooper. And it was our date night, so...

The short review is that its not an Oscar caliber movie. Period.

The slightly longer review is that it could have been an Oscar caliber movie had it not fallen apart in the third act. (I'm going into full on spoiler mode here, so turn away if you still want to see it without spoilage). The acting by almost everyone is really really good. BC especially. Deniro is Deniro. The woman playing BC's mom was excellent.
The story starts off great: its an uncomfortable comedy. This guy is suffering big time with his bipolar disorder, yet you can't help but laugh at some of his actions, and his back and forth with the other headcase, slut-about-town Jennifer Lawrence. I was really feeling bad for these two. And really feeling uncomfortable when they were in public, knowing that one of them would have some kind of outburst and really create awkward situations. But then the movie derails. Almost instantly at that. Right when it all comes to a head, and Deniro and his friend make a wild and over the top bet on the Eagles/Cowboys outcome and the dance competition outcome. At this point the movie shifts gears into a romantic comedy/chick flick. And at this point I got really pissed off, because I was really liking where it was headed. To me it was almost like two different movies. It ends in the most obvious fashion, with a successful Eagles and dance comeptition outcome for all, Cooper miraculously overcoming his delusions of getting back together with his estranges wife, and the typical chick flick ending of Lawrence storming out of the building thinking Cooper is reconciling with his wife, only to be chased down in the street by pretty boy Bradley, they proclaim their love for one another, then we are treated to a montage-y ending where everyone is hanging out watching the Eagles game at Deniro's house, laughing it up and having a great time in there new perfect lives. Never mind the fact that the two main characters have serious mental issues, or at least they did for most of the movie.
And while I'm bitching, the director of photgarhpy should be banished from Hollywood. The camera work really sucked. Quick cuts, weird angles, strange zoom outs etc. Visually putrid.

So I went into it thinking the worst, got suckered into thinking the best, only to get right back to where I started (thinking the worst).
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:52 pm

I saw Silver Linings Playbook this weekend too! Same place? (AMC Hamilton)

I agree with pretty much everything you said, although I liked the janky editing and camerawork. I think it was supposed to get us into Bradley Cooper's frame-of-mind, and in fact think that it was about 60% of his performance.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:56 pm

Thanks for confirming what I suspected about SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, so sorry. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking it looked like a stupid rom com that tried to pass deep mental illness off as a cute quark (he's the wacky bi-polar guy! she's the adorable borderline personality disorder girl!) and then go that step further to say that finding love can somehow cure people with these problems.

When it started getting all this critical awards love, I figured that either I was wrong, or, the wave of love everybody seems to have for Lawrence as Hollywood It Girl #2 at the moment just got the movie overhyped.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:57 pm

Ribbons wrote:I saw Silver Linings Playbook this weekend too! Same place? (AMC Hamilton)

I agree with pretty much everything you said, although I liked the janky editing and camerawork. I think it was supposed to get us into Bradley Cooper's frame-of-mind, and in fact think that it was about 60% of his performance.



Aha, I didn't make that connection. Good call.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:33 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:Thanks for confirming what I suspected about SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, so sorry. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking it looked like a stupid rom com that tried to pass deep mental illness off as a cute quark (he's the wacky bi-polar guy! she's the adorable borderline personality disorder girl!) and then go that step further to say that finding love can somehow cure people with these problems.

When it started getting all this critical awards love, I figured that either I was wrong, or, the wave of love everybody seems to have for Lawrence as Hollywood It Girl #2 at the moment just got the movie overhyped.


keep in mind, these are the same people who thought Crash was a serious and intelligent examination of race relations in america. sometimes academy voters aren't very smart.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:57 am

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En Kongelig Affære
(aka A ROYAL AFFAIR)

This film is an erotic health care reform dramedy about how a smalltown German doctor worked his way up to becoming the power behind the throne of Denmark in the 1700s. The King of Denmark, Christian VII, is widely regarded as crazy because he is a compulsive masterbator, fistfights chambermaids, appoints his dog as an official member of royal council, and declares "war on shit" because he hates the smell of poo. It becomes fairly obvious that he's not crazy, he's just bratty and very bored. This guy is an absolute hoot to watch. Watching him punch people, wrestle prostitutes, have various vulgar outbursts, and make funny faces while in court is all incredibly entertaining. The actor who plays him does a solid job of making a three-dimensional character and not just a joke.

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The German doctor guy is played by sexy Danish actor and whipper of James Bond's testicles, Mads Mikkelson. Mikkelson also gives a really solid performance. He handles his arc well, showing a man who accepts power as it comes to him; at first carefree, then when he sees the potential he has to have real power he shows more ambition, then when he takes that power he communicates the pressure his character would feel.

The Queen Caroline is played by Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress who really impressed me in that last ANNA KARENINA remake. Although her character is supposed to be English, she has known for years that she was betrothed to a Danish King, so she has prepared by studying the language. Seeing as 99% of the film is in Danish, I think it was probably a better move to cast Vikander, who has an easier time speaking Danish, than a real English actress. Vikander also does good work here.

The film gives equal time to each of the three main characters and manages to make their arcs/storylines all gel together quite nicely. The film is well-paced and transitions from comedy to a more serious tone naturally. The cinematography and production value is pretty nice for one of these types of movies, this one looks a lot better than that lesbo Marie-Antoinette one I saw back in the autumn. I think this is a very good film, and I think most audiences will learn something they didn't know about Danish history. I love watching these various individual royal biopics, but I'm really looking forward to how Joss Whedon brings all these characters together in THE MONARCHS.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby bastard_robo on Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:03 am

Watched JACK THE GIANT SLAYER .. Very fun film. Is it great. God no. But it was fun. It's no Troll Hunter Ill say that. But what I got from it was that I want Ewan McGregor in a swashbuckling period film.

ALSO watched JOHN DIES AT THE END. Holy fuck, this movie was great. It's this generations Buckaroo Banzai. That's the best way I can describe it.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:06 pm

TRANCE

This is Danny Boyle's mishmash of Chris Nolan movies, namely INCEPTION and MEMENTO. So saddle up Nolanites, because you’ll get all the dreams-within-dreams, heists-within-dreams, amnesia, twists, and expository rambling you can eat. The basic setup is that James "The Scottish Jeremy Renner" MacEvoy is part of an art heist, but the painting goes missing during the heist and a head injury causes him to forget where he put it. So the other gangsters involved in the heist hire Rosario Dawson, a chesty hypnotist, to jog MacEvoy's memory. The film is generally enjoyable in that really convoluted ridiculous movie type of way that coasts on outlandish twists, absurd coincidences, and characters easily agreeing to ridiculous arrangements. It’s fun enough to watch one, but once you’ve seen it play out, there is no reason to revisit it.

Like in 127 HOURS, the audience is waiting for something they know is going to happen and Boyle’s energetic style manages to make a film that is entertaining while you are waiting for the big thing to happen. In the case of this film, we are all waiting for MacEvoy to remember what happened with the painting. Well, I guess some people in the audience will just be waiting to see Dawson's boobs, but it turns out that seeing the boobs and remembering the location of the painting are inter-related.

The film features lots of European actors, but they are not playing wizards, Nazis, or Americans like they usually do in movies. MacEvoy did a pretty good job with this character here. I haven’t really liked him in anything else I’ve seen, but I thought he found a certain charm here that won me over during his "Choose life"-esque narration at the start. I think Vincent Cassel was phoning it in a bit, but they also didn’t give him much to work with. His character probably should’ve had something to distinguish him as the leader of his crew other than being played by a more famous actor, having more dialogue, and having a really fucking posh home. I dunno, maybe they could’ve given him a sly wit, or a quarky personality, or some sort of physical menace.

Dawson actually proves to be pretty good, some Emily Blunt person probably would’ve been better, but Dawson doesn’t fuck it up. She doesn’t overplay the sexiness to the point that it discredits her as a doctor (in a movie way), and she has a good soothing voice for the hypnosis scenes. I can’t believe they actually considered Scarlet Johansson for this role, there’s no way she would come across smart enough for this. She would be trying to hypnotize me with her baritone mumbling and all I would be able to think was that she was asking me if I wanted gravy on my chips.

Oh, and the score is one big ironic joke. It is all....wait for it.....you guessed it....trance music! I guess since this is like one of those twisty movies they made all the time in the 90s then they figured they might as well use music from the 90s too.

All and all, this is an okay silly twist movie. I would say it makes enough sense, and has enough energy, style, and boobs to make it watchable once. I think I now just have to watch MILLIONS in order to get the 100% filmography viewing achievement for Danny Boyle.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby BuckyO'harre on Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:31 am

The Place Beyond the Pines

Somewhat disappointing but still one of the first discussion-worthy films of the year. Well performed and often gorgeous to look at, but is sometimes at odds with itself over the scope of the story being told and can be overly broad with its character depictions.

We follow two fathers and the long shadow of their poor decisions on the lives of their sons. Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a carnival stunt-biker whose one-nighter with Romina (Eva Mendes) results in a child, but this remains unknown to him until the shows return the following year. Romina is now living with someone and she had no intention of informing Luke or including him in their son Jason's life. But paternal responsibility has already been stirred in Luke and he decides to remain in town despite having no prospects for a normal livelihood. He lucks into work at a small repair shop but minimum wage won't make him a viable option for Romina. The shop's owner, Robin, knows of Luke's desire and reveals that he was formerly a bank robber and proposes using Luke's driving talent for heists. I should make it clear right now that similarities between Goslings' role here and in Drive are readily apparent, and I imagine he accepted it mainly because of his relationship with director Derek Cianfrance. I don't think it detracts from the film, but feel you should know about it before going in. Anyway, the partnership is a success and Luke is even able to convince Romina into sharing some personal time with him. Unfortunately this propels him to overstep his bounds which leads to an assault on the boyfriend. Despite his loss of any chance for romance with her, he still hopes to at least offer Romina financial assistance, but Robin is unwilling to run the risk of more hold-ups right away. Bridges burnt, he attempts to go it alone but he's too desperate and sloppy to make a quick break. Enter Avery (Bradley Cooper), new father and rookie cop who joins pursuit. After being forced to run on foot, Luke is cornered by Avery in a house in a suburban neighborhood. All of this takes place in just the first act and what follows will shape the next fifteen years and eventually entangle the sons of both men.

The film wants you to swallow some pretty big coincidences, but I don't mind that in this sort of "chickens come home to roost" morality tale. You may feel differently though. My main issue is that the nature of story is very intimate, the problems close-knit, but the movie oftentimes feels like it's going to get much bigger than it ever does. You almost expect it to turn into a political thriller, but the story stays rooted to just a few characters. With 'Blue Valentine', Ciafrance used limited scale to his advantage. This, however, is a small film made in a very big way. Overwrought at times. It wants to be 'The Godfather', but there isn't enough meat. There is a positive side to this pageantry though, with the cinematography of Sean Bobbitt warranting high praise.

Aside from Emory Cohen's AJ, who seems like a bit of a caricature, the characters are solidly acted. Bradley Cooper is especially good, which is fortunate since he has the most screen time. Harris Yulin even shows up!

In the end I have to recommend the film because even if you hate it, it's the sort you'll probably enjoy picking apart.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:33 pm

I also had mixed feelings about THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES. My problem was mostly with the third act and mostly with the character of Bradley Cooper's son. The rest of the movie plays perfectly to its themes. The film looks at sons trying to be different than their fathers but ending up exactly like them. The Goz doesn't want to be an absentee father like his was, but he ends up being one coz he's dead, yo. Cooper doesn't want to be a slick white-collar politico and tries to go blue collar, but never really fits in with the working class; and as soon as an opportunity to go political knocks, he takes it. Goz's son seems to have a genetic predisposition to robbery involving bicycle getaway despite being raised by a seemingly caring honest stable man.

But it all breaks down with Cooper's son. This character just doesn't fit. He seems like way too much of a guido thug for the background he comes from, and he neither conforms nor defies his father's identity in a way that really feels in keeping with everybody else in the film. His guido thug behaviour comes across as way too natural and not like a rich kid trying to put on an act. He mostly just seems like somebody else's kid.

The movie's approach to the intimate epic reminded me most of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. It's equally ambitious and obviously made with passion, and it feels so close to being a masterpiece it can taste it, but just misses it with some pieces that feel really out of place.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby travis-dane on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:06 am

What is a "guido thug"? An italian gangster?
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:24 am

Like an Irish monk?
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:40 am

travis-dane wrote:What is a "guido thug"? An italian gangster?


It's a stupid greasy Italian guy who wears lots of gold chains and likes to act macho and start fights.

For further details, see SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby travis-dane on Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:53 am

Spandau Belly wrote:
travis-dane wrote:What is a "guido thug"? An italian gangster?


It's a stupid greasy Italian guy who wears lots of gold chains and likes to act macho and start fights.

For further details, see SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

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:lol:
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby BuckyO'harre on Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:30 am

Mud

'Take Shelter' director Jeff Nichols has made another excellent film. He's again able to utilize a slow build without losing you before the climax. Great acting and strong characterization keep your attention in a sort of modern-day 'Tom Sawyer.' A teenage boy whose life is soon to be uprooted by divorce comes to the aid of a fugitive hoping to escape with his lost love. On the run from the law and the family of a man he murdered for abusing his beloved Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), he enlists the kid and his best friend as messengers and supply gatherers. Through this mysterious man named "Mud" (Matthew McConaughey), young Ellis gets a clearer picture of adult relations and is eventually able to reconcile with the women in his life who had seemed to be the source of all his unhappiness.

The supporting cast, with the likes of Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon, and Joe Don Baker, are a treat, and McConaughey continues to improve his reputation. Even the child actors don't dissappoint. If there's anything I can criticize, it would only be a few moments of minor predictability and a slightly indulgent ending. Yet even there you hardly mind since the rest of the film is so frank you feel it's earned it.

Highly recommend.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby SilentBobX on Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:45 pm

Just finished seeing Pain and Gain with my girlfriend(who used her xmas gift movie passes, love her) and I have to say that this is a Michael Bay film I enjoyed. Yes, enjoyed. No hyperbole, no bullshit. It's a great comedy based on a true story which has to be seen. No over the top action, or shitty one-liners. Wahlberg and Johnson are a great comedy team that bring it. I may write a bigger review later but for now, see it if you want to laugh at something.


Mahalo
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby bastard_robo on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:42 am

Watched VHS2

Enjoyed the hell out of the first one. Will admit that some chapters of that film were better than the others. But, the final was worth sitting through those.

As for VHS 2. Its the Aliens to VHS's Alien. Far better. Tighter in play, and far more fucked up.

Not one segment was boring or even mildly lame. The trick to getting the first person shots were all handled very well. The Cyber Eye bit was great. The Zombie Go Cam was awesome. Alien Slumber Party was a fantastic ode to the late 80's and Early 90's kids films just far more fucked. But the Safe Haven segment. The longest one of the bunch too, Holy fuck. Gareth Evans helped create one of the most batshit pieces of film I've seen in a long.. long time.

I'm a supporter of the found footage format. Just like every thing else, it's all a matter of execution. VHS 2 did it in SPADES!
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:53 pm

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WAKE IN FRIGHT

I saw a remastered theatrical presentation of this film from 1971. The publicity for the film made a big deal about it being "lost" for many years. I don't know how hard it was to see this film until recently (it has also been released on bluray in North America), or if this film was well-known even in its day, but I had never heard of it.

I think different people will come away with different interpretations as to what the film is "about". The plot of the film follows a handsome but snobby school teacher named John. John is an unhappy young man assigned to teach in a remote one room schoolhouse. He acts very poncey and continually expresses that he feels he deserves better, although when pressed to articulate what that better thing is and why he deserves it, he generally comes up blank.

When school lets out for holidays, he is on his way to Sidney to visit his sweetheart. He makes it to a small village in the Outback, where everybody is a drunken hillbilly. Despite being snobby and condescending to all the locals, they continually make sincere efforts to befriend him. The locals' most organized activity is a coin toss game. John plays the coin toss game, a wins for a bit, but then loses all his money and is stuck in this village. Depressed, broke, and with nothing to do and nowhere to go, he quickly joins a group of locals in the binge drinking, vandalism, and kangeroo wrestling.

I kept expecting the hillbillies to turn on John and for the movie to go more in the direction of STRAW DOGS. But it wasn't that type of thriller movie. It was more of a character drama. For me, it was more about the cathartic power of debauchery loosening the stick out this poncey bloke's arse. I think the movie was about how John thought he was better than the hillbillies, but then gets in on their drunken kangeroo wrestling and realizes he isn't and then stops resenting the world for not giving him all the things he thought he deserved, and then begins to feel better about his life.

I really liked the visual construction of this film, it kept the film engrossing despite the slow pace. I also thought the performances were all incredibly natural. I've seen Donald Pleasence play Ernst Blofeld, The President of The United States, and Michael Meyers' psychiatrist; and now I've seen him drink a beer while standing on his head and realize that he has severed kangeroo testicles in his jacket pocket and promptly take off the jacket putting the whole thing in the refridgerator to keep the kangeroo balls chilled. So I would say he's an actor who continually surprises me. All around, a very solid film.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:10 pm

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BEYOND THE HILLS

BEYOND THE HILLS is the winner of the MEEK'S CUTOFF award, given to a stark slow-paced film about a hopeless situation in which the plot goes around in circles several times and then ends abruptly in the middle of a scene during which no revelation or closure occurred and I am immediately rocked with a feeling of being unsatisfied as a viewer but then the more I think about it, the more the film grows on me, but I still wouldn't recommend it to anybody (unless somebody had a rare health problem that could be cured by watching films about Romanian nuns). So yeah, MEEK'S CUTOFF all over again. But with Romanian nuns.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:43 pm

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JAGTEN
(aka THE HUNT)

This is an incredibly gripping drama about a small village kindergarten teacher played by Mads Mikkelsen, who is falsely accused of sexually assaulting a child. They show you right from the start that Mikkelsen is innocent, which in my opinion works much better than if they had decided to keep it a mystery. A little girl in his kindergarten class, who is also the daughter of his best friend, has a little crush on him. When she tries to give him a valentine and kiss him, he tells her that it is inappropriate. She feels rejected and when sulking to the headmaster, she makes up a story based on porno that her teenage brother was watching.

Soon the village turns on Mikkelsen, who gives a nuanced and deeply compelling sympathetic performance for which I hope he receives an Oscar. The tension in this movie is just insane because everybody is trying to do the right thing (protect their children). All you can do is watch this horrible situation unfold. The film works so well because even if you were there, there would probably be nothing you could do. I highly recommend this film. Another great performance from Mikkelsen and one of the most intense movies I've seen in awhile.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 am

PRISONERS

I think this is a good entry in the David Fincher crime thriller subgenre, except it's not directed by David Fincher. So if you liked SEVEN, ZODIAC, and the DRAGON TATTOO remake, this Bud's for you (Caruso).

At first glance, Jake Gyllenhaal seems completely miscast in this role. His hairstyle is miscast on his big blocky head. His ill-fitting shirts seem miscast on his body. Yet he somehow overcomes all this through effort and doesn't sink the movie. Even though his character is a good guy, I never really liked him because he lacks charm. I was thinking about how the movie would've played with an actor that I do find likeable and charming in this role, and honestly, I don't think it would've improved it. So then I started thinking that maybe he wasn't miscast. I think the idea was to cast a guy who seems out of place in this role so that the character becomes distinct. This works better than trying to distinguish the character through quarks or a painful backstory, because those approaches would have the opposite effect of making the character more cliché. Clever.

Hugh Jackman does a good job playing a guy who mostly seems like he wants bad things to happen to his family so he'll have an excuse to go psycho. He really does seem like one of those crazy guys who is crazy in a realistic next-door type of way. But I thought the part where he shoves his son up against the wall and yells at him was way too restained. A guy like this would've probably got a lot rougher with his son.

Good patient filmmaking and a well-thoughout story all around. This was a really engrossing crime film.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:52 pm

From the sounds of it I'll probably regret having skipped this during its theatrical run, but I'll definitely catch it on the home video.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ribbons on Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:44 pm

I liked Prisoners as a bit of pulpy, twisty fun that also seems like the lovechild of Mystic River and The Vanishing. I'm not so much sold on it as the "terrifically complex" post-9/11 moral drama that critics proclaimed it to be, and all the big-name actors who starred in it apparently thought they were making. The allegory is not especially subtle so I get what they were going for, but taken on its own terms I can't imagine *that* many family men doing what Hugh Jackman's character does in this movie (though I'm sure there are more than a few survivalist nutjobs out there). It's just not universal enough of a dilemma to seem compelling to me. But it's entertaining as a mystery potboiler.

Also, I was confused by Jake Gyllenhaal's constant blinking in this movie. Is that a drug thing, as he seemed like an ex-con or reformed juvenile delinquent? Or was he copying the mannerisms of some guy he met? In any case, it was weird.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:32 am

I saw it with several friends, and we all talked about it afterwards. The whole post-9-11 thing didn't hit any of us. Maybe after ten years of Christopher Nolan and Neal Blomkamp I have a new definition of subtlety. But I definitely see it now that you point it out. I guess for me, the whole theme of the-ends-jusitfy-the-means vigilante justice is a pretty standard theme so I don't automatically tie it to one chapter in one country's history. Political allegory may have even been the writer's intention, but I enjoyed the movie at face value for its narrative.

I don't really think the audience was supposed to identify with any of the main characters, and that lack of pandering was a big part of what I liked about the movie. Jackman's character wasn't the typical regualr-guy-pushed-to-extremes, he was a functioning lunatic right from the start. And like I said about Gyllenhaal's character, he's a good guy and the audience is on his side, but the movie doesn't try to endear him like most movies do with cop characters by having him seem really righteous or take his case really really personally or humanizing him with problems of his own. He came across with a professional detachment, but not your usual movie cop slickness. I guess Terrence Howard and his wife were the more "regular" people in the movie, but they don't get a lot of focus, so if you need characters with whom you can identify to enjoy a movie, they definitely won't be enough.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby GothamAlleys on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:22 pm

Ive recently saw John Carpenter's The Ward. Maybe I was expecting a bit too much since the guys a legend, but I was dissapointed. It didnt stand out at all from all the other faceless ghost movies nowadays
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:56 pm

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SPACE JAM

This is the movie in which the Looney Tunes team up with Michael Jordan in a basketball match against aliens who wish to enslave them. I had never seen this movie before, probably because it was a bit after my time. I guess this was a big kids movie for kids born in the 90s because the owner my local grindhouse said it was one of the most requested movies. So I figured I would take this chance to see it on the big screen. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed.

The sports setup seemed like a pretty perfect platform for the Looney Tunes. I mean, sports are physical, so is the Looney Tunes's brand of slapstick humour. So I was pretty surprised at the almost comlpete lack of slapstick during the big basketball game. I totally thought they'd be dropping anvils and pianos on each other and painting bombs to look like basketballs so they can pass it to the aliens only to have it explode. Ya know, classic Looney Tunes gags? There's almost none of that. It's really fucking weird how you can underuse the Looney Tunes so much in a Looney Tunes movie.

The film isn't without some charm. Michael Jordan is a good sport (pun intended) at being the butt of lots of jokes about what a corporate whore he is and how misguided his career change to baseball was. And although he's not a natural born actor, he totally commits to co-starring with a cartoon rabbit.

The aliens steal the basketball talent from the top NBA players, who appear as themselves in the movie, and this actually spawns most of the funniest jokes. Watching pros trip and fall and drop the basketball and then go into therapy to try and rediscover their magic was really funny.

But the lack of gags during the big game portion of the movie is just a fatal error and kept this from being a Looney Tunesey enough experience. They really squandered a good idea here.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:48 pm

I would like to think that the Bill Murray in this movie is the same Bill Murray in ZOMBIELAND.

Also, I haven't seen this film in probably twelve or thirteen years. I imagine it doesn't hold up all that well.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Al Shut on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:38 am

GothamAlleys wrote:Ive recently saw John Carpenter's The Ward. Maybe I was expecting a bit too much since the guys a legend, but I was dissapointed. It didnt stand out at all from all the other faceless ghost movies nowadays


I wasn't aware when this was originally posted but it's extra true.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:26 pm

GRUDGE MATCH was one of my 3 most anticipated december movies, along with smaug and ron burgundy. well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. this movie was shit. instead of GRUDGE MATCH this movie should be called CASHING A PAYCHECK, because that's pretty much all it is for deniro and stallone. i'm actually a bit surprised stallone agreed to do this film. we all know deniro has no shame about doing a movie to pay the bills once in a while, and stallone has made a decent 2nd career out of milking his old characters and new characters based on the 80s nostalgia surrounding his old characters.... but this film borrows, nay, STEALS so heavily from the rocky films that even he should have had enough pride to turn this down. all the old retired boxer movie cliches are present and accounted for: the estranged son, the long-lost girlfriend, the injury that may potentially force one of the boxers to drop out of the fight, the old trainer who is convinced the fighter will get hurt and shouldn't do the fight but trains him anyway, the precocious little kid who exists solely to say supposedly cute and funny things, the final fight where shit gets worked out and demons get exorcised (not literally, though the film would have been much better if that had happened) and the feel-good ending. all of that is bad enough, and really i wasn't expecting anything different, but what i wasn't expecting was that it would all be done in such a sappy, lifetime movie-of-the-week style. they couldn't decide if they wanted this movie to be a comedy or a drama, so they said fuck it, we'll make the most mediocre, middle-of-the-road version of both of those things. so you get sappy stuff, but then every 5 minutes kevin hart or alan arkin shows up for 30 seconds to crack a joke, and then you get more sappy stuff. seriously, why is kevin hart even in this movie? i'm pretty sure it's to bring in black audiences. that may sound overly cynical, but go see the movie and tell me if there's any other logical explanation for him in this film. it feels like he was plucked out of an entirely different (though equally bad) movie and dropped into this shitburger every few moments or so just so they could put his name in the credits and tap into some of that madea money. it's a bad sign when the two best and funniest scenes of the film both take place DURING the end credits.

i'll give them credit for one thing and one thing only. they at least made it somewhat believable that deniro could share the same ring with stallone at this point in their careers. i mean, 20 years ago, when deniro was still willing to get into cape fear shape for a movie, this could have been awesome. deniro ain't doing that shit no more though. so instead, they make a bunch of studly jokes at deniro's expense, and they give rocky a disability to help explain why deniro wouldn't get pummeled into tree pulp in the first 30 seconds of the fight, and it also helped that stallone seems to have laid off the steroids for a few months while they were filming. he's still in way better shape than deniro, but he's not as pumped as normal, his pecs have shrunk and his skin sags and wrinkles, so the two going head-to-head ends up not being as ridiculous as you would think. though, it is still pretty ridiculous.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:43 pm

Thanks, Bax. I was planning on skipping GRUDGE MATCH. The trailers looked like the bad movie you just described.

And yeah, it's hard to even accept DeNiro and Stallone as the same age (even though they are in real life). I feel like DeNiro has been playing these grandpa roles for like 15 years, like after RONIN he just let go, while Stallone is just a credible running and jumping and punching as he was back in the early 90s.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:29 pm

Saw The Wolf of Wall Street the other day. Are we sure Scorsese directed this? There are some notable performances here, particularly Jonah Hill, but the film itself doesn't really do anything to stand above others of its ilk. I thought it should have been shorter and more over the top.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:46 am

Saw Frozen on NYE with the family. I thought it was OK, but was a little taken aback by some of the sexuality shown by the two lead girls (one is 18, one is 16 I think). Just some subtle things, and nothing to get excited about, but I definitely noticed them. Not that my two young daughters did...
And they put the Malificent trailer in front of this movie. I thought it was a little dark (tone) for the ages that were in attendance for Frozen.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:32 pm

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HER

Since this was my favourite 2013 film, and I think some of you other guys might actually watch it and want to talk about it, I figured I'd write up my thoughts as to why I loved this movie so much.

The film is a sci-fi film that takes place at an undisclosed time, although seemingly not too far in future. The plot revolves around a nerdy man named Theodore (played by Joaqunm Phoenex) who has been seperated from his wife and lives alone. He makes a living writing correspondence for other people. He composes love letters and postcards with sentimentality, like highly personlized greeting cards. He purchases an artificially intelligent Operating System (voiced by Scarlett Johansson giving a very warm and natural vocal performance), with which he immediately bonds and falls in love and the film follows their relationship.

This might sound like a Skynet version of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, which was also a relationship drama movie about a man who worked for a greeting card company, and a film that I fucking hated. Aside from the sci-fi aspect, there's some pretty key differences as to why I found this film good and SUMMER to be shit. The characterization of the protagonist being one of the main differences. Theodore in this film is not portrayed as a cynnical douche. He doesn't hate his job or consider his writing to be phoney. He is totally sincere in his writing and frequently shows that he is good at his job because he possesses great empathy. On a date with his Operating System, they go peoplewatching and this scene is an excellent display of what a romantic he is. That's not to say he isn't without his flaws as a human being, but it's easier to take his feelings seriously because he takes other people's feelings seriously.

The film uses its sci-fi device as just one of the ways it explores the subject of how technology has changed relationships. The movie looks at how we have real relationships with fake people, and fake relationships with real people. In the world we live in today, two real people can have relationship in which they mostly communicate by reposting other people's memes to their Facebook pages and consider that a friendship. Just like how the people in this movie send Theodore's writings to each other to express feelings they have or wish they had. At the same time, people will spend huge amounts of their time customizing their devices. They express themselves more directly to their technology than to many of the real people in their lives. All of these ideas, and the non-judgemental way that Jonze explores them is part of what makes the film great. But it's also compelling as a relationship movie because the tender moments are well acted and Jonze is skilled enough with tone that he is able to inject humour steadily throughout the film without ever feeling like he's too detached from his characters.

We've seen relationship drama movies before, and we've also seen movies that deal with AI before. And this film finds a way to make a romance story in which the female lead is basically HAL from 2001 work both ways. One "person" in the relationship outgrows the other and moves on.

I thought the acting was really solid across the board. And the same dusky cinematography style as WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is beautiful. I was able to recognize some of the locations as being shot in Shanghai, but I don't know if the whole film was shot in China. Jonze continues to grow as a filmmaker and has yet to disappoint me. This movie was everything movies should be: touching, funny, and thought-provoking. I think it's great and think everybody should at least give it a shot.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:03 am

Thanks for your thoughts, Spandau. I've been looking forward to this one. I doubt it will come to my little theater, but I'll definitely check it out when it lands on various home video devices.

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:22 pm

caruso_stalker217 wrote:Thanks for your thoughts, Spandau.


You're welcome.

caruso_stalker217 wrote:Your signature is entirely too cute.


I know! That shit should be illegal, yo.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:53 am

Yeah, I really enjoyed Her as well. My hackles were up at the beginning because the first 10 minutes or so made it seem like it was going to be a thematic re-tread of frequent collaborator Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, which I could do without seeing another one of for awhile. But as it went on, the story evolved into a less ambitious but still complex study on relationships and how hard they are to maintain when the two of you are constantly growing apart. Joaquin Phoenix is great as a nebbishy Spike Jonze stand-in, and Scarlett Johansson delivers a surprisingly good vocal performance, something I never would have guessed was her strong suit. It's a testament to the both of them and the direction by Jonze that you find yourself invested in the tender relationship between a man and his phone without ever taking stock of how weird it is.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:00 pm

Ribbons wrote:Yeah, I really enjoyed Her as well. My hackles were up at the beginning because the first 10 minutes or so made it seem like it was going to be a thematic re-tread of frequent collaborator Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, which I could do without seeing another one of for awhile. But as it went on, the story evolved into a less ambitious but still complex study on relationships and how hard they are to maintain when the two of you are constantly growing apart. Joaquin Phoenix is great as a nebbishy Spike Jonze stand-in, and Scarlett Johansson delivers a surprisingly good vocal performance, something I never would have guessed was her strong suit. It's a testament to the both of them and the direction by Jonze that you find yourself invested in the tender relationship between a man and his phone without ever taking stock of how weird it is.



My chances of getting around to watching this movie are slim to none, so I have to ask a question, please answer it for me in spoiler text:
Does he eventuallystick his dick in a computer or what?
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:13 pm

so sorry wrote:My chances of getting around to watching this movie are slim to none, so I have to ask a question, please answer it for me in spoiler text:
Does he eventuallystick his dick in a computer or what?


There's one sex scene early that is just like phone sex. They talk dirty and he wanks. The Operating System becomes somewhat insecure that she doesn't have a body, so later on she contacts a strange woman to act as her puppet and fuck Phoenix as the Operating System instructs her through an earpiece. This evening does not go well.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Ribbons on Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:06 pm

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:38 am




Well done. This could be a new internet meme. Someone please do a Schwarzenegger one!
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:38 pm

Do not see Devil's Due. Not even as a joke. Just don't do it. Also, can we please get a fucking moratorium on the found-footage movies? Please? Like, just stop doing it. It was played out by the Sunday afternoon of Blair Witch's opening weekend. Just knock it off.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:41 pm

so sorry wrote:



Well done. This could be a new internet meme. Someone please do a Schwarzenegger one!


i guess this is one film that won't be getting a sequel.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby tfactor on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:44 pm

I regret to admit we have watch a series of really bad movies recently, and I have come to bash movies & chew bubble gum! And I'm all out of bubble gum.

#1 Sharknado - when the wife and I went out this year for Halloween, we got to see a guy dressed as a Sharknado and we thought it was cool. Or at least a clever costume. The movie however: not so cool! It was an abomination. And that Hollywood is taking this steaming pile of shit and making a sequel ... Wow, it's pathetic. We laughed when we watched it, it's true but not in the good way. More in the look at each other and laugh At the movie not with it sort of way. My advise here is simple: stay away if only to not encourage these Aholes from thinking that they are "on to something"

#2 movie 43 - holly crap how does a project of this level of suck get green lit? Wth? This movie was so stupid, I feel like it had to have been made by some coke dealer producer who had all these A list actors in debt and doing this movie was their only way out. There were 2-3 actual laughable moments. Otherwise it's another movie you come out of thinking "yep, just made myself a little dumber by watching that piece of crap. My advise: walk into a wall for 1.5 hours instead.

#3 OK I don't have a #3 but throw a stick at redbox and your bound to hit another movie that sucks. Honestly I feel like the bar has been lowered beyond the point of tolerability. There are some great movies coming soon, but when I think about the shitstorm of turds we've watched these last couple weeks, all I can say is: Hollywood feels like it's at an all time low. The quality, the endings, the lack of endings & general BS has made me think about taking on a new hobby. Perhaps bowling...

Anyway that's my bile spewed all over this thread. I know I can't be alone in thinking this, I'm just ... I ... I'm stepping away. I hope this year turns it around. That's all.

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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:00 am

as bad as some hollywood movies have gotten lately, i don't think you can really point to Sharknado as a representative example.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Peven on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:10 pm

we get the crap that we do because Hollywood is the nepotism capital of the fucking universe, just one giant daisy chain. it is a case of creative inbreeding
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby so sorry on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:42 pm

Well if your thing is talking trees and Space Racoons this is your year!
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:47 pm

I don't really know what kind of movies tfactor is into because he doesn't come here very often, so I can't really recommend him anything. But bowling might be good excercise and more social.

I agree with Baxter in that I don't really think of SHARKNADO as "Hollywood filmmaking", I think it was a made-for-tv Roger Corman joke.

I can agree that the lack of endings is a problem in a lot of Hollywood movies these days. I liked it better when they made a complete movie with a beginning, a middle, and an end; and if people really liked it, they would then start thinking of a sequel instead of just assuming that you'll come back for three more installments to finally get the conclusion to a movie you saw six years ago.
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:03 pm

Peven wrote:we get the crap that we do because Hollywood is the nepotism capital of the fucking universe, just one giant daisy chain. it is a case of creative inbreeding


the hollywood centipede
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Re: What have you been watching? (Cinema)

Postby Wolfpack on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:48 pm

TheBaxter wrote:
Peven wrote:we get the crap that we do because Hollywood is the nepotism capital of the fucking universe, just one giant daisy chain. it is a case of creative inbreeding


the hollywood centipede


But with more poop.
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