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Old March 16 2014, 06:28 PM   #156
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen In 2014

On a TV:

28. Lifeforce (1985) -- C+
29. Extraterrestrial (2011) -- C-


In a Theater:
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) -- A

I expected Lifeforce to be a disaster, but I actually rather enjoyed the movie, flawed as it was. That said, it suffers from a couple of major problems. One, the movie frequently suffers from telling rather than showing. Rather than seeing things happen, there's a disjointed feeling where we go from one incomplete scene to the next, only to have the characters spout exposition explaining what we missed. The other major problem is the pace. Even in the longer, international cut, there's a real sense that the movie was cut to bits in editing. I for one would have liked to have seen all the space-based stuff left on the editing room floor. The effects don't always hold up, but these scenes had some genuine wonder mixed with horror in them.

Timecrimes is, in my estimation, a masterpiece. The writer/director's follow-up, Extraterrestrial, is at best a minor work with a few moments of brilliance. Advertised as a comedy, it's actually a much more serious movie with occasionally amusing moments. The SF elements are often quite minor. Michelle Jenner is very easy on the eyes, though.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was a lot of fun. I like the way it mixes Anderson's child-like sense of wonder with moments of brutality and vulgarity (without overdoing either). Like the shifting aspect ratios of the movie (it goes from widescreen to full frame, depending on the time period; at least, that's what it did in the print I saw), the juxtaposition of the two is fascinating.
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