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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old August 8 2010, 04:44 PM   #616
Greg Cox
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Nightmare Alley - Reportedly, Tyrone Power Jr was unhappy with his career because he got sick of playing swashbuckling types and wanted more gritty, psychologically complex roles. This movie must have been his ideal. It's a very strange but compelling story of an overambitious carny who becomes a renowned "mentalist" using cold reading tricks familiar from Vegas acts. Power is great at walking the fine line between hero and villain, and never quite letting the audience know which side we should be on.

A great movie. If you like the film, you should check out the original novel, which is even darker and seamier than the Hollywood version, which had to clean things up a bit!
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Old August 8 2010, 07:23 PM   #617
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Hero [A] - absolutely love this movie. Wow.
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Old August 9 2010, 07:05 PM   #618
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
My problem with the ending (as noted in my review many, many pages back) was that it requires the protagonist to come down with an extreme case of stupidity after behaving with a modicum of common sense for most of the way through.
Do you mean when...



Apologies if you've indicated exactly what you mean up the thread--this one seems to have stretched two or three dozen pages.
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Old August 9 2010, 07:30 PM   #619
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
My problem with the ending (as noted in my review many, many pages back) was that it requires the protagonist to come down with an extreme case of stupidity after behaving with a modicum of common sense for most of the way through.
Do you mean when...



Apologies if you've indicated exactly what you mean up the thread--this one seems to have stretched two or three dozen pages.
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. Felt like a rushed effort to get to a downbeat ending.
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Old August 9 2010, 09:55 PM   #620
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The Elephant Man - B. About what I expected from this movie. Fine dramatic fare but not really weird at all, especially for Lynch. Good lord Anthony Hopkins was young here.

Gonzo - C+. Biopic of the notorious Hunter S. Thompson. Enjoyable for the many factoids I had not know about the man, but some rather bizarre creative choices from the director. Somehow I think Hunter would have been offended at the use of a Nixon mask to embody his id or whatever the director was trying to do there. PS- I can't believe people actually thought that Edmund Muskie was on Ibogaine just because Hunter wrote that in one of his stories. The whole story around that incident was absolutely hilarious.
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Old August 9 2010, 11:25 PM   #621
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
My problem with the ending (as noted in my review many, many pages back) was that it requires the protagonist to come down with an extreme case of stupidity after behaving with a modicum of common sense for most of the way through.
Do you mean when...



Apologies if you've indicated exactly what you mean up the thread--this one seems to have stretched two or three dozen pages.
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. Felt like a rushed effort to get to a downbeat ending.
Ah, okay. Apparently, the film was originally slated to end with Ghost disappearing into the crowd at the party. The bit in the street at the end (I'm being vague out of laziness to spoiler code) was added when Polanski and Harris felt the ending was too upbeat.

It didn't destroy the film for me--it's the technical problems that bring it down.
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Old August 10 2010, 06:34 AM   #622
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I have just watched Orphans which stars Albert Finney, Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson. This is one of my favourite movies and I have been waiting for years for it to come out on DVD.
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Old August 11 2010, 03:05 PM   #623
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

60. Brief Encounter (B+)
61. Iron Man 2 (B+)
62. The Lion in Winter (A-)
63. Unforgiven (A+)
64. Harry Brown (B+)
65. Toy Story 3 (A+)
66. Letters from Iwo Jima (A+)
67. Inception(A-)
68. Bullets Over Broadway (A-)

Finally got around to watching this DVD I bought some time ago (between my MA paper work and my new Nobel reading project, there's been much less time for films). Overall, though, I would call this one of my favourite Woody Allen films. Notably, this film is one of those from the early 90s when Allen was transitioning from the smallish casts of the 1970s and 1980s (where there were a number of regulars) to his current era, where he casts lots of names and rarely uses an actor more than once. Here we have John Cusack, Jennifer Tilley, Jim Broadbent, Mary-Louise Parker, Chazz Palmintieri, etc. - the only returning face is Dianne Wiest, who won her second Oscar for her final Allen appearance (I'd be interested to know if there's a reason why she hasn't worked with him again in the subsequent two decades). It's quite a funny piece, mainly for the brilliant array of supporting characters. My only niggle would be the ending for Cusack's character, which feels oddly underdeveloped.
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Old August 12 2010, 06:41 AM   #624
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Inception is a great one.
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Old August 13 2010, 09:33 AM   #625
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Updates (in bold):
Aliens in the Attic (6)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Big Battle (7)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Roots of Ambition (8)
Armored Trooper Votoms: The Last Red Shoulder (8)
Armored Trooper Votoms: Pailsen Files: The Movie (7)
Boondock Saints (10)
Boondock Saints: All Saint's Day (9)
The Book of Eli (8)
Broken Blade (7)
Cargo (7)
Cencoroll (8)
Les Chevaliers du Ciel (8)
Clash of the Titans (2010) (8)
Crazy Heart (6)
Dante's Inferno (2010) (7)
Date Night (7)
District 9 (8)
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (9)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance (9)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (8)
Fist of the North Star (1995) (4)
G-9 (6)
Gamer (6)
Green Zone (7)
Higurashi no Naka Koroni Chikai (7)
Inception (10)
Inglorious Bastards (7)
Iron Man 2 (9)
Jonah Hex (6)
The Killers (6)
The Last Airbender (8)
Law Abiding Citizen (9)
The Lovely Bones (6)
Lupin the 3rd: First Contact (7)
Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
Lupin the 3rd: The Secret of Mamo (9)
Lupin the 3rd: The Last Job
Naruto Shippuden Movie 3 (8)
Oblivion Island (6)
Oceans (Documentary/ Rating is NA)
Oldboy (9)
Pandorum (7)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (8)
Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (8)
Summer Wars (9)
Sunshine (4)
Sword For Truth (6)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen (8)
They Were 11 (9)
The Uninvited (7)
Waltz With Bashir (9)
Wicked City (8)
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Old August 17 2010, 02:35 AM   #626
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Mother - Fascinating Korean murder mystery that doesn't go where you expect...

The Green Zone
- The first half is a fun action movie but then it gets sidetracked in trying to shoehorn an extremely pat viewpoint onto a wildly complex situation (that probably defies being condensed into a two hour flick of any sort, much less an action movie), which results in absurdities such as the incomprehensibility of Greg Kinnear's character's motivations.


If they wanted a heavy for the movie, they should have chosen a more plausible one, somebody who could be expected to benefit from the lie and get away unscathed: the Iraqi exile leader (an Allawi stand-in, not sure if they actually used that name) or various oil companies would have obvious and ironclad motivations.

And the ending is dopey, essentially saying that everything we saw in the movie was pointless. So why make the movie???
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Old August 17 2010, 06:34 PM   #627
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Harvey wrote: View Post
CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post

Do you mean when...



Apologies if you've indicated exactly what you mean up the thread--this one seems to have stretched two or three dozen pages.
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. Felt like a rushed effort to get to a downbeat ending.
Ah, okay. Apparently, the film was originally slated to end with Ghost disappearing into the crowd at the party. The bit in the street at the end (I'm being vague out of laziness to spoiler code) was added when Polanski and Harris felt the ending was too upbeat.

It didn't destroy the film for me--it's the technical problems that bring it down.
I thought the ending was perfect. I may be partial to the way it was shot more than anything -- the way Polanski frames the last shot and then when the pages of the memoirs flutter past the screen is such a striking image that it really leaves you with an excitable impression when the title comes up.

I never really thought about the common sense of the Ghost character until now... the decision to show the revelation to Olivia Williams' character could be seen as stupid, but I believe as someone mentioned that it was fantastically well-shot and I agree. So I'm a little more forgiving because the ending was so neatly wrapped on such a visual and story level. Also, to be fair, I'm sure the Ghost didn't think it would catch up to him that fast -- his sense of confused urgency in that last shot leads me to believe that he was immediately planning on exposing Olivia Williams' character.

On a side note, it was refreshing to see a thriller that was not done in the shaky cam vein of the Bourne films. I love those films, but The Ghost Writer was just a classical thriller in the Alfred Hitchcock vein and you really don't get that vibe in a lot of contemporary thrillers anymore. Filmmakers like Paul Greengrass think you need to have an ADD sense of editing and story propulsion in order to achieve suspense and Polanski wonderfully proves all you need to tell a suspenseful story is a combination of sharp writing, elegant editing and good pacing, all of which The Ghost Writer had and in spades.
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Old August 18 2010, 01:19 AM   #628
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
[
his sense of confused urgency in that last shot leads me to believe that he was immediately planning on exposing Olivia Williams' character.
It would have been helpful with that not to tip off the woman at the center of a ludicrously complicated conspiracy that he was about to expose her, even though there was absolutely no reason for him to do so, and had he not done so he could have gotten away with it.

It's well-shot cinematically, no doubt, but it's so incredibly stupid that it just knocked the movie down from the A to the B-range for me.
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Old August 18 2010, 02:09 AM   #629
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
[
his sense of confused urgency in that last shot leads me to believe that he was immediately planning on exposing Olivia Williams' character.
It would have been helpful with that not to tip off the woman at the center of a ludicrously complicated conspiracy that he was about to expose her, even though there was absolutely no reason for him to do so, and had he not done so he could have gotten away with it.

It's well-shot cinematically, no doubt, but it's so incredibly stupid that it just knocked the movie down from the A to the B-range for me.
I think at that point in the film he did that more to spite her than anything. You could almost say that she pulled the wool over his eyes during the entire film.

The Ghost character spends an awful lot of time suspecting Lang and his counterparts and near the end of the film you feel sympathetic toward him. I'm sure the Ghost character did as well. I mean, Lang's wife (Olivia Williams) practically manipulates the Ghost character throughout the entire story. Not only that, but she manipulated her husband which led to his death.

I'm sure the letter that he gives her was more of a way for him to tell her to piss her more than anything. Like I mentioned before, I'm sure he knew once he told her he would be in deep shit, which is why he looked so concerned during that last shot, but I don't think he realized just how deep shit he was in. Which makes me believe that the Ghost character slipping her the letter was completely intentional on the filmmakers' part and part of the general idea. It was meant to showcase just how inept he was (because let's face it, while he was a decently intelligent character, a little bit of suspension of disbelief and stupidity is required in order for all of this to make any sort of coherent sense).

One of the great things about the film is that the Ghost character was sort of thrown into the entire situation without any foreknowledge or any clue just what he was getting himself into. It was the classic "paranoid outsider" character/situation that Polanski has perfected over his career. Even at the end of the story, he was still way over his head, even after knowing "everything", and to me that was just one of the more brilliant strokes in an already brilliant film and added emphasis to that particular story element in my opinion.
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Old August 18 2010, 06:51 PM   #630
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Mirrormask - C. I think I was oversold this one before I watched it. "Raises the bar in mixing live-action and animation" one reviewer had said, no not really this was pretty standard green screen and CG rendered stuff as far as I could tell. Visually this film was like a movie adaptation of the old PC game "Myst". There was a very 90s look to the 3d models which made the movie look a lot older than it really is. There were one or two really impressive VFX shots but the rest is stuff you've probably seen before. Overall it was a pretty fun movie though it took a while to get rolling. Coraline is a better Gaiman adaptation.
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