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Old November 8 2010, 12:10 AM   #781
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Still getting through my overly stocked Netflix queue of Halloween movies as well.

Last night watched The Crazies(2009), didn't know it was a remake, with Josh Duhmel and I really liked it. Going to have to watch the Romero original now. Give it a solid A-

Also, watched Paranormal Activity. Not bad, wonder how they did some of that stuff on their $600K budget. Give it a B+
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Old November 8 2010, 01:07 AM   #782
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I haven't seen the remake of THE CRAZIES, but the original left me less than impressed. I like the point Romero makes, but he does it in a way that is less subtle than is usual even for him, and with especially weak production values and poor performances.

254. The Birds [B+]

THE BIRDS is probably the last of Hitchcock's films that the director was proud of without equivocation. I don't think it's his best film by any means (I prefer NORTH BY NORTHWEST amongst several others), but it is certainly as well made as any film by the 'master of suspense.' His use of sound is particularly advanced beyond his other work, and of course the visual effects are well beyond anything found in the rest of his filmography (in that sense THE BIRDS is the most ambitious film ever attempted by Hitchcock). As far as the performances go, ‘Tippi’ Hedren, Jessica Tandy, and Rod Taylor are all perfectly adequate. Hitchcock found them to be less than the standard set by Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, and while I have to agree to a certain extent, I think that he undervalued their performances in this film a bit. The odd triangle of Taylor, Tandy, and Hedren is fun to watch, and keeps the first half of the film (which is basically a screwball comedy with the threat of the birds occasionally in the background) entertaining enough that it never feels like the film is marking for time waiting for the good stuff.

And the birds, oh my, does Hitchcock manage to make such a benign presence such a threat. The schoolhouse scene in particular, where the birds multiply every time the camera cuts away, creates an incredible sense of menace.

If I have any problem with THE BIRDS it would be that the ending is too abrupt. If it had been made ten years later, in a period when end credits were used, the final image of the car fading into the distance could be twice as chilling. As it stands, there’s not nearly enough time for the image to sink in before the Universal logo comes up and the film is over.
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Old November 8 2010, 06:27 AM   #783
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
Last night watched The Crazies(2009), didn't know it was a remake, with Josh Duhmel and I really liked it. Going to have to watch the Romero original now. Give it a solid A-
You mean the 2010 version starring Timothy Olyphant?

Also, watched Paranormal Activity. Not bad, wonder how they did some of that stuff on their $600K budget. Give it a B+
It was made for roughly $15,000. Not $600,000.
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Old November 8 2010, 09:30 AM   #784
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I agree that the blatant racism in The Searchers nearly sinks the film for contemporary audiences. I watched it as part of a film studies class in university, and the professor also admitted this. On a technical level, it has some merit, but I wouldn't personally classify it as a masterpiece -- of course, I've never been overly partial to the Western genre either.

Haven't seen the original, but I enjoyed this year's remake of The Crazies; I found it creepy and effective.

Tonight I saw The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest -- what a disappointing conclusion to the Millennium trilogy, especially after the excellent The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the solid The Girl Who Played With Fire.

For an ostensible thriller, it was rather dull and overly talky, and at about two and a half hours long, it felt like very little happened (it could've been edited way more than it was). It seemed like it consisted mostly of a bunch of interchangeable old guys sitting around talking about how they can't let their secrets get out (although what all these secrets are is never made entirely clear), and to do that, they must silence Lisbeth Salander. Speaking of the titular girl, while her presence is still felt, she is somewhat wasted in the film, given that she spends much of it either in the hospital or in prison. She remains a fascinating character (and Noomi Rapace brings her to life remarkably), but she is underutilized here, IMO.

The whole thing just falls kind of flat; it's overlong, anticlimactic, and lacking in tension, plus there are a few too many "deus ex machina" moments. Unless you're a die-hard fan of the series and absolutely need to see how it ends, I can't really recommend this one.
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Old November 8 2010, 03:48 PM   #785
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Captain Craig wrote: View Post
Last night watched The Crazies(2009), didn't know it was a remake, with Josh Duhmel and I really liked it. Going to have to watch the Romero original now. Give it a solid A-
You mean the 2010 version starring Timothy Olyphant?
Oh, well, makes the joke on The Office even more real.

Also, watched Paranormal Activity. Not bad, wonder how they did some of that stuff on their $600K budget. Give it a B+
It was made for roughly $15,000. Not $600,000.
Whatever, knew it was dirt cheap, must be thinking of something else.

Admit it, you were just correcting me for the sake of doing so. Not like everyone was all confused.


I saw Shutter Island last night and had it largely figured out by the end of the first act. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. I had a big sense of MEH when it was over.
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Old November 8 2010, 08:07 PM   #786
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
Admit it, you were just correcting me for the sake of doing so. Not like everyone was all confused.
I was correcting you because you were spouting inaccurate information and it just helps to know the facts.

I saw Due Date which was rather repugnant and just not as funny or effective as The Hangover and as a result was ultimately very disappointing. It was such a mean-spirited comedy. It was also the first Robert Downey Jr. performance where he came off as inherently unlikable -- in almost every one of his performances, he has this magnetic ability with his limitless charisma to make almost every character he plays likable on some level, but not here.

Daneel wrote: View Post
Tonight I saw The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest -- what a disappointing conclusion to the Millennium trilogy, especially after the excellent The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the solid The Girl Who Played With Fire.

For an ostensible thriller, it was rather dull and overly talky, and at about two and a half hours long, it felt like very little happened (it could've been edited way more than it was). It seemed like it consisted mostly of a bunch of interchangeable old guys sitting around talking about how they can't let their secrets get out (although what all these secrets are is never made entirely clear), and to do that, they must silence Lisbeth Salander. Speaking of the titular girl, while her presence is still felt, she is somewhat wasted in the film, given that she spends much of it either in the hospital or in prison. She remains a fascinating character (and Noomi Rapace brings her to life remarkably), but she is underutilized here, IMO.

The whole thing just falls kind of flat; it's overlong, anticlimactic, and lacking in tension, plus there are a few too many "deus ex machina" moments. Unless you're a die-hard fan of the series and absolutely need to see how it ends, I can't really recommend this one.
I have to wholeheartedly agree with this. It was a weird experience because I was able to watch all three films within a few months of each other which is something I've never really been able to do before (besides the first time I saw the original Star Wars trilogy, but that's a bit different; here, I was able to watch a trilogy of films that was new in the manner of a short amount of time).

I was pleasantly surprised by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo because even though it was structured as this very substandard procedural thriller, what made it so interesting and entertaining was the complex relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth. Also, Noomi Rapace's performance was rather ingenious and multi-faceted, which further carried the film. I was less impressed with The Girl Who Played With Fire, because similar to Hannibal we don't see Mikael and Lisbeth interact until the very last scene in the movie, and really, they don't even interact much (which is then dissimilar to Hannibal since at least Lecter and Clarice were able to really interact in the last fifteen or so minutes of the film; Mikael and Lisbeth don't really have that chance here).

However, at the very least The Girl Who Played With Fire was a serviceable sequel that did have a lot of interesting parts and revelations and at least it kept my interest until the very end, with a decent cliffhanger. The last installment, though, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, was just lackluster on almost every level. My girlfriend actually fell asleep halfway through the movie, and she's an ardent fan of the first two movies, and I felt like there was really nothing new or exciting or revelatory in this particular film. Unlike the last film, where it felt like there were some risks, this film more than either of the last two felt extremely procedural. I understand the film had a lot to unravel in terms of the plot and circumstances the previous two films set-up, but it honestly felt like a first draft of a screenplay which needed a lot of revisions and editing to make it feel sharper and more entertaining and interesting.

Also, a big problem I have with the sequels and especially the last film is that we really don't see Mikael and Lisbeth interact at all. I kind of like the idea of keeping them separate for The Girl Who Played With Fire but with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, at the very least I was expecting them to interact more or to have more scenes with one another. It was very disappointing and it took one of my favorite elements of the first film, if not my single favorite element -- their relationship -- and then sort of just dissolved of it for the sequels. I wanted to see them interact again somehow -- I understand them working together again would feel too reminiscent of the first film but at the very least something to maintain the type of relationship they had which made this entire series so interesting to me in the first place.

It'll be interesting to see how David Fincher and Steven Zaillian adapt these films for American audiences. I would say they have an easy enough time with the first installment; it's so well-made they'll have a difficult time screwing it up. I even think they have some room for improvement with the second film since I think they could make it stronger and better. However, I really hope they do something quite different with the third installment because ultimately as a film the original was very weak and disappointing and I hope Fincher and Zaillian can make it more exciting and entertaining somehow. I honestly think the seeds are there for a better third film, they just need to structure it the right way with judicious editing and slightly better storytelling skills.
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Old November 8 2010, 11:32 PM   #787
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Frozen - C+. I was intrigued by the premise and a glowing review I'd read about this movie on a certain Blu-ray website, but was left more or less unimpressed by this movie. Once you know the premise it goes about where you'd expect it to go.

The Secret of Kells - A. Visually stunning Irish animation about a boy living in a small monastic town during the middle ages who works on a magical book while the town prepares for an imminent barbarian invasion. Just a really good adventure story with Gaelic leanings.

Mary and Max - A. I've watched Adam Elliot mature over the years from making simple stop-motion cartoons about his bizarre family to more elaborate works like Harvey Krumpet and finally here to a full-length feature film featuring some heavy Hollywood talent (Philip Seymour Hoffman as the voice of Max). At times touching, gross, and insightful, this movie is a lot of fun, rather poignant, and expertly animated.
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Old November 10 2010, 10:49 AM   #788
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I served my purpose to catch comedy movies , watched grown ups of such fun and entertainment. Five friends had good bonding and how they paid homage to their former coach was fantastic thing of the movie.
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Old November 10 2010, 03:45 PM   #789
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

^^^
I'm sorry, but what?


Watched Gamer on my Netflix streaming last night.
I suggest you don't.
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Old November 11 2010, 09:06 PM   #790
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Oh, GAMER. I gave it a C when I saw it earlier this year, but that was probably being too generous.

255. River’s Edge [A]
256. Under Siege [D+]
257. The Hour of the Wolf [B-]

River's Edge: For some reason, this brilliant and well-reviewed movie about a teenager who commits murder and how the effect this has on his friends and the town they live in isn't available on DVD. That's too bad, because it still holds up. Even Keanu Reeves fits right in playing an attractive, but very alienated (from his family and ultimately from his friends) high schooler. The manic performances by Crispin Glover and the late Dennis Hopper are also excellent--really, it's better to see them then for me to try and explain them.

Under Siege: Steven Seagal was, for some odd reason, briefly considered to be an A-list action star when this film was released. I don't know why, since his performance is laughable, and the film is just ridiculous. Many of the actors (including Tommy Lee Jones) re-appeared in director Andrew Davies' THE FUGITIVE a year later, which is good for them, because their performances are just embarrassing here. At times the action is passable, but only at times. And what are actors like Bernie Casey even doing here? They're gone before someone can say, hey, isn't that the guy from...

The Hour of the Wolf: This is only the third Bergman film I've had the chance to see (the others being PERSONA and SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, both of which I thought were excellent), so I've yet to form an opinion about the filmmaker. It took awhile to become engaged by the proceedings (in the first 45 minutes, there are two standout scenes--a dinner party in which Bergman masterfully manipulates us into feeling as out of place and enclosed as Max von Sydow's character, and a hypnotic scene where a fishing trip ends in murder--but not much else), but once Bergman engages in all out surrealism, I was onboard. From that point on, it's more unsettling than almost anything else I've seen. Not to mention, hard to describe.
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Old November 11 2010, 09:18 PM   #791
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Bergman is brilliant and excels at the bitter familial chamber drama like no other director I've seen. Sure, he does other movies, but his best usually involve a cast you can count on one hand and a handful of rooms for them to break down and become cruelly honest with each other in.

Restrepo
Documentary about American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Ultimately a very depressing, dispiriting film. Well maybe others didn't feel that, and the soldiers who actually experience this do not present a depressed front (they get pretty low after a fellow company suffers severe casualties, but are mostly depicted as being in reasonably good spirits) but the film left me exhausted and disjointed. but I just found the soldier's task here fruitless, pointless and thankless, and the economic deprivation of the region they were fighting in is appalling. I found myself just looking at the teeth of the elderly local elders. It's a haggard, bleak landscape with little hope of improvement - the new commander who rotated into the region has to keep assuring the elders he's not McKnight (of whom I can only assume, though the film never really gets into this, the elders did not get along with well.)

They shoot at people in hills they can scarely see, some of them die, and in the end, they rotate out - in a region that is eventually abandoned.

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
The Secret of Kells - A. Visually stunning Irish animation about a boy living in a small monastic town during the middle ages who works on a magical book while the town prepares for an imminent barbarian invasion. Just a really good adventure story with Gaelic leanings.
I first saw that in the videostore and assumed it was another cheap half-assed Irish production (we excel at that), and as such was pretty surprised when it wound up nominated for an Academy of all things.

And yeah, it's pretty good. The stuff I grew up with in a niftier package, pretty much.
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Old November 11 2010, 11:03 PM   #792
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

It's bad movie week at my house.
Watched the original Last House on the Left from 1972.
It was bad, as in "I'm not sure if they knew what they were trying to do" bad.
As a horror movie it doesn't work.
As soft core porn it doesn't work.
Seriously I told a buddy today it felt like someone had rewritten a 70's porn script(back when they still got theatrical 'X' ratings and released, right?) and turned it into a horror film.

I could see where some sequences might have played out in grandiose fantasy sex situations.

Anyone see the remake? Surely they just used the name, cause it could be a good horror concept I think.
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Old November 11 2010, 11:15 PM   #793
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I love the remake, although it got mixed reviews.
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Old November 11 2010, 11:15 PM   #794
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Apparently the remake is as bad, if not worse, than the original. I haven't seen either, so that could all be bunk, though I doubt it.

258. The Smiling Lieutenant [A]

I'm glad this movie slipped in before the Production Code started being enforced in 1934, because the thought of what this film would be if all the sexual innuendo were removed is...well, what would even be left if all the sexual innuendo were removed? It's a delightful musical, with good performances and a lot more camera movement than most people give the early sound era credit for. Yes, the resolution is ridiculous (it might be pre-code, but even then a Hollywood film couldn't advocate divorce) but that's really incidental to how much fun the whole affair is. I really need to get around to seeing more films directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
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Old November 13 2010, 06:43 AM   #795
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

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)
Batman: Under The Red Hood (9)
Boondock Saints (10)
Boondock Saints: All Saint's Day (9)
The Book of Eli (8)
Broken Blade (7)
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (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 (8)
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (8)
The Edge of Darkness (9)
Evangelion 2.0: You Can [Not] Advance (9)
The Expendables (9)
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (8)
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (9)
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)
Kino's Journey: Life Goes On (7)
Kino's Journey: The Country of Disease (7)
The Last Airbender (8)
Law Abiding Citizen (9)
The Lovely Bones (6)
Lupin the 3rd: First Contact (7)
Lupin the 3rd: Green VS Red (6)
Lupin the 3rd VS Detective Konan (7)
Lupin the 3rd: The Secret of Mamo (9)
Lupin the 3rd: The Last Job
Macross Frontier: The False Songstress (9)
My Name is Bruce (5)
Naruto Shippuden Movie 3 (8)
Oblivion Island (6)
Oceans (Documentary/ Rating is NA)
Oldboy (9)
Pandorum (7)
Planzet (5)
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 Triplets of Belleville (5)
The Uninvited (7)
Unstoppable (8)
Walking Tall (7)
Waltz With Bashir (9)
Wicked City (8)
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