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

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Old January 3 2011, 11:05 PM   #16
zakkrusz
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

To start the list is:

Arashi no Yoru ni (One Stormy Night) (7)
Loups=Garous (8)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakeening of the Trailblazer (8)
Musashi Miyamoto (6)
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (8)
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Old January 4 2011, 07:37 AM   #17
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I saw Little Fockers. It was embarrassingly bad.
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Old January 4 2011, 09:16 AM   #18
J. Allen
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Movies Seen in 2011:


"The Last Airbender"
Release Year: 2010
Format Seen: DVD [Rented]

Thoughts: Oh god, what did they do to the fantastic series Avatar: The Last Airbender? I'm serious. All I could do watching it was stare, dumbfounded, while they destroyed almost every good thing about that series. Aang was lifeless. Katara was pouty and sad, Sokka was NOT. FUNNY. The acting was horrid, the special effects were good in some places, godawful in others, and the bending moves? Not even close. I realize you can't pack an entire season into 94 minutes, but could you at least pack a good storyline, good characters, a good script into those 94 minutes? M. Night Shymyalan is no longer even remotely a credible anything to me anymore. I gave him a big chance here, because I wanted him to succeed and I wanted to see one of my favorite animated series' get it's chance in the spotlight, and he just wrecked it. Wrecked it all. Anyone who has seen TLA and doesn't want to see the series, I urge you to see the animated series. It is light years ahead of the dreck you saw in the movie theater.

1 out of 5 Stars. The one star is for Shaun Toub, who played Uncle Iroh. He did a pretty good job with what he had. Plus, I just love Uncle Iroh too much to ever push him aside and give it the Zero it deserves.
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"Toy Story 3"
Release Year: 2010
Format Seen: DVD [Rented]

Thoughts: A great movie all around. It felt good to see the gang together again, although there were some noticeable misses. All the fun, adventure and comraderie is still there from the first two, and I didn't notice any drop in quality or care applied to this movie by the geniuses at Pixar. I admit that the ending got to me, and I teared up, and I'm not giving anything away, I promise, but the movie just touched my heart on so many levels.

5 out of 5 Stars. If I could, I'd play this movie round the clock.
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"They Died With Their Boots On"
Release Year: 1941
Format Seen: Turner Classic Movies (Cable)

Thoughts: Surprisingly good. I didn't know what to expect of this classic movie about Custer's life from his academy days up to the events of Little Big Horn. The historical accuracy is very fast and loose, as far more effort is given to drama rather than details. That said, I couldn't help but be engaged by the movie's lead actor, Mr. Errol Flynn, who has a charm and charisma all his own. It's no wonder he was such a popular actor in the 1940s, and the beautiful Olivia DeHavilland, who won my sympathies so quickly as Mrs. Custer's wife, Libby. Lots of action, great villains, Anthony Quinn as Chief Crazy Horse was funny to see, all in all, a great way to pass the time and an adventure brought to life in a way only a classic movie can.

4 out of 5 Stars. It may not have been accurate, but it was damn fun.
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"Planet 51"
Release Year: 2009
Format Seen: Netflix Instant Watch

Thoughts: In a nutshell? Peppy. That's an odd description, but one that fits this movie. It's a combination throwback sci-fi classic, and a campy comedy cartoon. The great thing is, for me, it works. I like the characters, I like the storyline, the dialogue, I love the look and feel of the environment they're in. The animation is of very good quality, and the story itself is very lighthearted fare, fun for kids and adults, and that's the best part: the dialogue isn't dumbed down and debasing for anyone over 8. Lots of in jokes for the baby boomers, of course, and an all in all good time. I enjoyed it.

4 out of 5 Stars. Campy, classic, comedy cartoon captivates curmudgeon.
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"UP
"
Release Year: 2009
Format Seen: Netflix Instant Watch

Thoughts: I'm starting to wonder whether Pixar is ever going to misstep with me. I have never disliked a single outing they have brought to the fore, and I have never felt I have wasted my money in any way when the movie is over. UP is such a delight, on so many levels, in so many ways. I laugh, I cry, I am excited to see what happens next. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I won't go into great detail, but suffice to say, UP is a work of art from beginning to end. The love and care put into this movie is palpable, and I remember finishing the movie, and just sitting there, thinking about life, and what it holds for each of us, destinations, places we want to see, a life well lived, and that is truly a powerful thing for a movie to do. Wonderful.

5 out of 5 Stars. This movie was unforgettable. Like Wall-E from the year before, the movie is so magical and so touching, I can't grasp the fact that these aren't real people. They're so human it's uncanny, almost unbelievable.
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"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
Release Year: 2009
Format Seen: Netflix Instant Watch

Thoughts: The movie started off okay, and I liked the odd turns it took, but overall, it felt like a big jumble of uncertainty, and I don't mean it in a flattering way. I understand that due to the death of Heath Ledger, this movie had it's share of troubles, but even if he had lived, I don't think the movie would have succeeded. Some may think it's brilliant, and that's fine, but it just didn't click with me. The effects were very good, almost seamless, and the actors did reliably, but maybe it was the dialogue, or the setting, or any number of things that might leave me cold instead of getting my interest.

2 out of 5 Stars. Just not my cup of tea, imaginary or no.
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I might have a few more later, this is good for now. I don't want to overload anyone or go on too long in just one post.
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Old January 4 2011, 11:51 PM   #19
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

The King's Speech (2010)... A+

One of the best movies I have ever seen with an outstanding performance by Colin Firth as King George Vi and an excellent performance by Geoffrey Rush as the Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. The movie is often funny, at times very moving and is well cast though I did have trouble accepting Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill.

I hope that Colin Firth will get an Oscar for this performance.
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Old January 5 2011, 12:16 AM   #20
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Black Swan (2010) [A+]
2. Winter's Bone (2010) [B+]

Some great acting performances along with a decent script and direction. I was a little disappointed in the resolution and some of the odd plot points, but I enjoyed it overall.
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Old January 5 2011, 05:11 AM   #21
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

I hope to keep up with this this year. I started listing them last year but then kind of got away from it. The thing is I'm not really a big movie watcher, and when I do see a movie, I typically go to the theater. I think I'm going to try and actually watch more movies this year at home, and it helps that I just got a new Vizio TV with Netflix capability so I can stream movies.

Anyway, As for the first movie I saw of this new year:

1. Alice is Wonderland (2010) - C-

I think the thing to remember going into a Tim Burton movie is expect the weird, and expect Johnny Depp to be in it. That was pretty much the case on both counts here, as the best way I can describe this movie was weird. I have not read the novel, and the only connection I have to Alice in Wonderland was really the animated classic film from Disney. This one was great visually, and I liked the Hathaway and the Red Queen. They were both great in the roles and actually my favorite part of the film was when they finally met on the same screen. Going back to the visuals, they were pretty much what I expect from Burton.

However, the movie stops pretty much there. There's a story, but it takes so long to get there and I found myself dosing off in the middle of it. Also, Depp was kind of a letdown here as the Hatter, and the person who played Alice seemed a tad disinterested in the role. Not one of the best Burton films I've seen.
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Old January 5 2011, 06:00 PM   #22
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
1. Alice is Wonderland (2010) - C-

I think the thing to remember going into a Tim Burton movie is expect the weird, and expect Johnny Depp to be in it. That was pretty much the case on both counts here, as the best way I can describe this movie was weird. I have not read the novel, and the only connection I have to Alice in Wonderland was really the animated classic film from Disney. This one was great visually, and I liked the Hathaway and the Red Queen. They were both great in the roles and actually my favorite part of the film was when they finally met on the same screen. Going back to the visuals, they were pretty much what I expect from Burton.

However, the movie stops pretty much there. There's a story, but it takes so long to get there and I found myself dosing off in the middle of it. Also, Depp was kind of a letdown here as the Hatter, and the person who played Alice seemed a tad disinterested in the role. Not one of the best Burton films I've seen.
Agree with this review. Also, being a bit more familiar with the story than yourself, I can say that it's just wrong to have the Mad Hatter sword-fighting people.
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Old January 6 2011, 08:26 AM   #23
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"Black Swan" again and am going to be seeing it a third time next weekend with friends. A+
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Old January 6 2011, 01:58 PM   #24
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

tomalak301 wrote:
the person who played Alice seemed a tad disinterested in the role.
Precisely this. It resulted in a lack of charisma and surprise on her part. I really only watched the film to see her performance. She was still very likable, though.
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Old January 6 2011, 04:36 PM   #25
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
The King's Speech (2010)... A+

One of the best movies I have ever seen with an outstanding performance by Colin Firth as King George Vi and an excellent performance by Geoffrey Rush as the Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. The movie is often funny, at times very moving and is well cast though I did have trouble accepting Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill.

I hope that Colin Firth will get an Oscar for this performance.
Agreed on all counts.. Saw this yesterday.. The film was brilliant, but I do agree that Spall tried too hard in the role.
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Old January 6 2011, 05:47 PM   #26
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

tomalak301 wrote: View Post
1. Alice is Wonderland (2010) - C-
That's about how I felt. Boring movie that made a billion dollars.
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Old January 7 2011, 10:28 AM   #27
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

"The King's Speech" A+ 4 stars, etc. Just an amazing film. Brilliant performances, brilliant score, just brilliant everything. Colin Firth is my choice for best actor.
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Old January 7 2011, 01:04 PM   #28
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) C-
2. Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story (2007) A-

Found the film a slow to start, but couldn't stop laughing after about 30 minutes into the film. Really enjoyed it. Also surprised by the number of people I reckonised in the movie.
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Old January 7 2011, 02:56 PM   #29
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

So far?

Paprika: 5/5
True Grit (2010): 5/5
Wild Targets: 3/5
The Town: 5/5
Due Date: 3/5
Get Low: 5/5
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Old January 7 2011, 07:29 PM   #30
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. In the Heat of the Night (A+)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (B)
3. The Passion of the Christ (A)

Depressing Catholic movie double-feature!

These two films are actually quite fascinating to watch back-to-back. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Mel Gibson was quite familiar with the former, because in many respects the structures are the same; the big difference being that Gibson includes flashbacks and the like to cover some of Christ's past, whereas Carl Dreyer keeps things closely focused on Joan's trial and execution.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a 1928 silent film, and it comes with all the limitations of that technological era; it greatly limits both character exchange and atmosphere (otherwise the film is pretty good in terms of depicting the period, though the soldiers' costumes look kind of weird to me, and there's a jarring shot of a guy wearing glasses). The central performance of Maria Falconetti (looking remarkably like Isabella Rossellini) as Joan has been widely acclaimed, and it is indeed pretty good, again given the limitations. Speaking of that, though, while silent movie acting has tended to be extremely hammy, the acting here (facial acting, in particular) feels pretty modern, for the most part, which in some ways just increases the frustration that you can't hear what anyone is saying in the long stretches where people are talking and there are no title cards.

Then we have Mel Gibson's 2004 labour of love, controversial then and controversial now - personally, while I doubt Mel and I would agree on many points of Christian theology, I don't see most of the objections people make to this (most of them would apply equally to the first film I reviewed, and yet that one gets more or less universal acclaim). Gibson would have done better to include the lines from one of the Gospels about Caiaphas' motivation (something that, ironically, Jesus Christ Superstar does quite well) - but the Sanhedrin as a group is not depicted uniformly in this matter; two pointedly condemn Caiaphas, and a bunch of them storm out. Gibson's subsequent life has shown him to be someone with some clear personal issues (suggestive of progressive disintegration, from my armchair anyway), but I don't think it comes close to overwhelming the proceedings. At most, it would be possible to read the events of the film in an anti-Semitic way, but I can't imagine this reading occurring to anyone who wasn't already any anti-Semite (or, conversely, on guard against anti-Semitism).

Anyway, the film is a mix of the Gospels, some later apocrypha, and some stuff that Gibson and co. came up with by themselves (notably the fanciful scene where Jesus invents the table, which is simultaneously really weird and a nice moment of levity). Apart from the aforementioned Caiaphas, a couple of other figures, such as Judas, aren't especially well-developed. Conversely, his Pontius Pilate is convincingly depicted, as is his wife (one of the notable apocryphal additions). They also ignore St. Joseph of Arimathea's role in the Gospel in favour of having the two Marys and anonymous John take him down. Slo-mo is overused in a few places, many of the Roman soldiers and Jewish bystanders are too cartoonishly brutish (not to mention, in the soldiers' case, so bizarrely undisciplined even in front of their officers that it's hard to imagine how they've avoided being executed for insubordination by now), and some scenes are a little too blatantly tableau-ish.

But others are tremendously moving, such as the repentance of the one robber (though Gibson follows this up by having a crow attack the unrepentant one, which seems unnecessarily vindictive), and especially Mary's rush to Jesus' side. Jesus is a hard character to dramatize; in my experience, most of the best stories told with him are mainly about the people around him (which is fitting, in a way). Mary is a great access-point, and Maia Morgenstern gives by far the best performance in the film (if anybody here was robbed of an Oscar nomination, it was her). There's also an effectively creepy Satan. The production values are tremendous.
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